Chicago Wedding Times - March, 2019

Dazzle Us with Your Pop Music Knowledge

Name the artist who recorded each of these hits from the 1990's.

  • My Heart Will Go On
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Everything I Do (I Do It for You)
  • Genie in a Bottle
  • Gangsta's Paradise
  • Wicked Game
  • Under the Bridge
  • Go West
  • Don't Speak
  • Back for Good

If you can get seven right, you're an expert! We'll have the answers at the end of the newsletter.

How to Keep Your Guests Happy (and Keep the Wrong Ones Out)


How do you politely lay down the law to your invited wedding guests, and avoid those unpleasant surprises? Just follow this guide.

  • Make your invitation clear. Spell out who is invited, and ask which of the people on the invitation will attend. That way, you won't get someone showing up on his first date with an uninvited guest, or someone bringing children when the children weren't invited. 
  • Simple seating rules. Don't pack the dining room to capacity. Guests need room to move their elbows and walk between tables. Short centerpieces let guests see the people on the other side of the table. If you can't seat an entire bloc of friends at a single table, try to seat the rest at an adjacent table.
  • The right way to pick your date. Once you've determined a few dates when the church/temple and reception venue are both available, ask the people closest to you which date is best for them. Then send out your save-the-date cards months in advance, to give everyone else a chance to work your wedding into their schedules.
  • Plan for unwanted weather. Summer? Provide fans, sunglasses, sunblock and water for an outdoor ceremony. Fall? Provide lap blankets or heaters in case it's colder than you expected. Rain? Have an indoor backup plan for your ceremony.
  • Take your stock photos before the ceremony. It's unfair to subject your guests to two hours of cocktails and rumbling stomachs while your photographer shoots hundreds of extra poses.
  • Keep your ceremony and reception close together. Don't separate them by three hours and leave your out-of-town guests with nowhere to go in a strange town. 
  • An open bar is a must. A cash bar is tacky. If your budget is tight, serve only beer, wine and a signature cocktail. Otherwise, let the booze flow.
  • Check your food in advance. Have a place on your invitations for guests to list any dietary restrictions. Attend a tasting, to be sure your venue or caterer serves tasty food.
  • Keep the wedding toasts brief. Tell your chosen speakers that your DJ will "play them off the stage" with increasingly loud theme music if they get too long-winded. Then tell the DJ to do just that.
  • Be there! Your guests are there to see you. It's okay to step away for some brief private moments, but not for a half hour or an hour at a time. You're the reason they're all there. Be gracious and generous with your face time.

Real Chicago Wedding - Oct., 2018

Lauren and Mike Steadman were married at the Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club, in a virtual celebration of Celtic music, plus some Halloween favorites. For their entertainment, they turned to the Chicago DJ pros of Fourth Estate Audio. Learn more about Fourth Estate right here. Enjoy the pictures!



 How to Make Your Wedding Ceremony Yours and Yours Alone 

Not everyone has enough money to throw a wedding like the British royal family and dazzle all of the guests. But your wedding can be just as memorable. Just share your personal love story. This is how.

1. Personalize your readings. You don’t have to use the same old biblical passages, unless you find them particularly meaningful. You can have someone read lyrics from your favorite song, or a passage from a children’s book, or something clever you heard somewhere, or a story about the two of you. It’s your wedding. Make it about you.

2. Share some of your experiences. Whether you tell your love story to your officiant and have him/her write something for you, or you prefer to write and read your own story, a little history on how you got to the altar is a great way to share yourselves with the people closest to you.

3. Share your vision. Tell your families and friends how your love for one another will be served in the years to come. In short, try to “define” your love, and share how you plan to manifest it as your love deepens and matures.

4. Share your connection. After a couple of meetings, your officiant should have a good idea of what drew you to one another. People love to hear why you chose him/her, after rejecting everyone else.

5. Be traditional – at least a little. Traditional vows are traditional for a reason – because they are able to distill the very essence of love in just a few words. But feel free to add your own personal vows, whether or not your fiancée knows what you’re going to say. You can be humorous, playful, sappy… anything you want. And your guests will love it.

6. Expand your music options. We’ve long since passed the point where every bridesmaids’ processional had to use Pachelbel’s Canon, every bride had to enter to the Bridal Chorus, and the wedding had to end with the Wedding March. You may opt for some other classical music, or modern pop, or something completely out of the ordinary. Pick ceremony songs with special meaning for both of you.

7. A few words about your rings. You chose them with great care. Now, let your officiant spend some time explaining why they are so special to you. Perhaps you’re wearing your great grandmother’s ring. Whatever rings you’ve chosen, a few words about the romantic, cultural and religious significance of rings is always an important part of the ceremony.

8. Don’t try to be too cool for the room.  An amusing anecdote always gets a great response. Just don’t try to overplay the humor, or tell inside jokes that might leave your guests felling left out. Make it universal.

9. Nothing negative. Don’t be tempted to tell a joke at your spouse’s expense. It won’t be received well, especially by your spouse.

8. Consider a creative end to your ceremony.  It doesn’t have to end with your officiant announcing you as a married couple. Some couples release balloons; others release butterflies or doves. A champagne toast before your recessional would create a memorable moment for everyone. Don’t forget to pause a second or two, just to bask in the glow of your loved ones celebrating your new union.

Above all, remember that your wedding ceremony is meant to be shared with everyone special to you; and it’s likely to be the only time all of those people will gather in one place for a single purpose – to help you launch your new life, surrounded by love.

Here Are the Answers to Our Music Quiz 

  • My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  • I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  • Everything I Do (I Do It for You) - Bryan Adams
  • Genie in a Bottle - Christina Aguilera
  • Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio
  • Wicked Game - Chris Isaak
  • Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers 
  • Go West - Pet Shop Boys
  • Don't Speak - No Doubt
  • Back for Good - Take That

How did you do?

I hope this newsletter has been helpful. Please email suggestions for future articles to me at

To learn more about professional DJ entertainment and lighting by Fourth Estate Audio:

  • Visit our web site at
  • Listen to great planning info on our DJ Hotline at (844) 888-8444.
  • Call me at (630) 654-4440. I'm here to help you.   
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