Chicago Wedding Times – December, 2021

Famous Last Words

Test your knowledge. Can you identify the movies that ended with these words? The answers are at the end of this newsletter.

  1. “Where we’re going, we won’t need roads.”
  2. “Tomorrow is another day.”
  3. “Where the devil are my slippers?”
  4. “Attaboy, Clarence!”
  5. “Didn’t I promise you fireworks?”
  6. “There’s no place like home.”
  7. “Kitty!”
  8. “Damn you all to hell!”
  9. “Naah, I’d only blow it.”
  10. 1″Holy merde!”

The answers are at the end of this newsletter.

Eight Things That Need a Wedding Planner’s Help

A total do-it-yourself wedding puts the pressure on you to remember every single detail. And there are several that can slip through the cracks if you don’t have someone dedicated to managing the flow of your wedding day. Here are just eight frequently forgotten areas that may benefit from a planner’s hand. 

Making it legal. Your planner knows what your local county clerk or other authority needs, in order to issue your marriage license. You may need medical exams, or at least blood tests. Be sure to check.

Pre-ceremony video. It’s fine for your videographer to shoot images of each of you getting dressed and groomed for the ceremony. Just keep it clean. Images of you separately won’t violate the tradition of a groom not seeing his bride before the ceremony. 

Do we need wedding programs? Yes, if there are special traditions that need explaining. Otherwise, it’s optional. Guests like to know who your officiant, attendants, musicians and readers are. And a program tells them. But the simplest program reads: “1) We get married 2) Everybody parties.” 

Your ceremony processional. Suppose you reach the altar when your processional song is only half finished. With a DJ, the song can simply be faded down. A string quartet can be told in advance to gracefully end the processional song early. If your processional song is a live vocal, no one will begrudge your singer finishing the song. Just face your guests and smile, as though you planned it that way.

Is it acceptable to wear an engagement ring to the ceremony? Of course. You’re engaged, aren’t you? When the wedding band is added to the engagement ring, together they become your wedding ring. You may prefer to hide the engagement ring during the ceremony, so your mate can slip the wedding band onto an empty finger. But that’s up to you.

When does the veil come off? Right after the ceremony, unless you spent a fortune on it, and you want to show it off at the reception. 

How do we keep our guests occupied between the ceremony and reception? If there’s no gap between the two, there’s no issue. If there’s a 3-hour gap, prepare a flier showing some local attractions your guests may wish to visit before they go to your reception. Perhaps schedule a narrated tour of the city.

We’d like a grand exit at our reception. Is that okay? Of course! Some couples like a big sendoff, with sparklers or fireworks or confetti. Sometimes it’s all staged for the photo op, then the couple returns and finishes the reception. But you don’t HAVE to have a grand exit, if you’d rather spend the end of your reception thanking each guest personally.

Real Chicago Wedding – Nov. 6, 2021

Sarah and Nate Bieganski were married in the gorgeous La Pergola Room at Galleria Marchetti. Then guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal and some spirited dancing. The Chicago DJ pros of Fourth Estate Audio played a full evening of guest requests. 

Eight Magic Keys to a Wedding That Doesn’t Suck

Whether your wedding budget is $1,000,000 or $10,000, you can throw a celebration that’ll leave your guests with great memories. All you need to do is follow these simple rules: 

Dress up your venue. If you can’t afford a grand ballroom with crystal chandeliers and historic tapestries, work with what you have. Creative centerpieces, beautiful florals and elegant uplighting can make any room come alive. 

Connect people with similar interests. Start with your seating chart, by pairing singles with singles, couples with couples, work friends with work friends, school friends with school friends, etc. Create a one-page quiz about the bride and groom and put it on each dinner table as a conversation starter. Look for opportunities to introduce guests to one another.

Keep the food and drink coming. Hungry guests can quickly become cranky guests. Pass-around appetizers, or even a table of vegetables and dip, and cheese and crackers, will keep your guests happy until dinner is served. And a nice dessert table or late-night hot dogs, cheeseburgers or pizza will be much appreciated.

Stay on time. The best weddings don’t have a long gap between the ceremony and reception. Don’t leave your guests searching for something to fill the time. You might just lose a few of them. Don’t let your photographer tie you up for an hour after your ceremony, while a bunch of hungry people wait for dinner. Your guests should have a place where they can relax and schmooze when you’re not with them.

Speak up, then shut up. Don’t let your Best Man, Maid of Honor or anyone else drone on with a 20-minute stream-of-consciousness speech while everyone is sitting there starving. Give your speakers and toasters a 3-minute time limit, and suggest that they write their speeches in advance. If someone rambles, have your DJ play them off with music, like they do on those TV award shows.

Hire great vendors  When you have professionals you can trust, your party will take care of itself, and you won’t be stressed. So you’ll be relaxed and a lot more fun around your guests. They’ll take their cue from your mood.

Entertain your guests. Your DJ doesn’t need to be your only entertainment. Couples have brought in everything from Irish dancers to Those Funny Little People, or asked talented relatives to perform a song or two. Some couples have brought in Casino Night games or photo booths. Couples with outdoor weddings have set up lawn games like Jenga and Cornhole. The more entertainment options your guests have, the more fun they’ll have. 

Get them home safely. Your guests who like to drink – a lot – will need safe transportation home. Having a hotel shuttle bus or an arrangement with Uber will ensure that everyone will live another day, to remember what a great time your reception was.

Here are the answers to our “Famous Last Words” quiz!

  1. Back to the Future
  2. Gone with the Wind
  3. My Fair Lady
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life
  5. Independence Day
  6. Wizard of Oz
  7. Monsters Inc.
  8. Planet of the Apes
  9. The Sting
  10. 9 to 5

How did you do?

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

Jay Congdon