Chicago Wedding Times – January, 2023

Test Your Celebrity IQ

Match the celebrity with the sport he or she played in high school (hint: two celebs played basketball, two played soccer)


Steve Carell
James Dean
Will Ferrell
Sheryl Crow
Kate Middleton
Kate Hudson
Tom Cruise
Hugh Jackman
Denzel Washington
Tommy Lee Jones


Field Hockey
Track & Field

The answers are at the end of this newsletter.

How to Make Your Wedding Budget-friendly for Your Attendants

Agreeing to be a friend or relative’s bridesmaid or groomsman (or even bridesman or groomsmaid) is a wonderful honor, but it can get expensive. Here’s how sensitive brides or grooms help make their attendants’ experience joyful without being painful.

  • Skip the destination wedding. It’s one thing to ask your friends to drive a few minutes to your shower, bachelor party, rehearsal or wedding. It’s quite another to make them fly there, book a hotel and rental car, and spend a fortune on restaurant meals. A destination wedding can be cost-prohibitive for all but your wealthiest friends.
  • Give your attendants wardrobe flexibility. Instead of choosing identical bridesmaid gowns, many brides now work with department stores that offer several different fashions in a single color scheme. You choose the color, and each bridesmaid can choose which gown in that color looks best on her, and best fits her budget. To make your bridesmaids’ choice even more budget friendly, just choose a primary color and ask them to shop for their own formal or semi-formal dress in that color. Shopping off the rack typically saves the high cost of alterations.
  • Don’t go crazy on the shoes. Choose a common shoe color for all attendants, then let them pick shoes that they’ll be able to wear after the wedding is over.
  • Let your attendants do their own hair and makeup. You don’t all have to look like identical China dolls at the altar. And sparing them the expense of a professional stylist will be most appreciated. Plus, each attendant already knows how to make herself look the way she wants to look. A stylist would have to guess. Of course, if you’re in a position to pay for all of their styling, then the sky’s the limit.
  • Buy your attendants’ accessories for them. Whether it’s jewelry, matching hair clips, tiaras, cufflinks, tie bars or what not, it’s easier and more cost-efficient for you to simply buy all of the accessories, rather than make each attendant chase them down and shell out his or her own cash for them.
  • Can Mom and Dad pay for your shower? If one of your attendants offers to throw you a bridal shower, that’s great. But a shower can get expensive, depending upon where it’s held. If your parents can pony up the money, it’ll take the burden off your attendants.
  • Turn your bachelorette party into a sleepover. No need to jet off to Paris for a week-long fling. Something simple and personal can be a great bonding experience, and it won’t cost a fortune.

Your attendants will have assigned duties during your wedding week. Some may help arrange transportation. Others may help reconfirm all the arrangements with your vendors. Still others may help with the décor. Anything you can do for your attendants to keep their costs down will pay many dividends. 

Real Chicago Wedding – Dec. 3, 2022

Tylar and Phil Davis shared a joyful evening with family and friends as they were married at Drury Lane. A spirited evening of fine dining and dancing followed, with the evening’s soundtrack curated by the Chicago DJ professionals of Fourth Estate Audio. – spanning everything from Sinatra to Snoop Dogg.

When Is the Best Time for Wedding Toasts and Speeches?

There are conflicting opinions about the appropriate time to let your Best Man, Maid of Honor and other speakers deliver their toasts. So let’s review some of the pro’s and con’s of each option.  

Speeches before dinner 

Pros: at the beginning of dinner, all of your guests’ attention is focused on the wedding party table. The guests haven’t gotten deeply into their table conversations yet. That’s what makes it a perfect time for all of your speeches. They’re all out of the way, and your guests are then free to talk and move around at 

Cons: one or more of your speakers may have written a 10-minute novel. And delivering a long-winded speech when everyone is sitting there hungry will certainly take some of the joy out of the moment. Plus, the food may get cold. And if your venue is serving multiple events in multiple rooms, it may throw them way off schedule for all of their meals.   

Speeches after dinner 

Pros: everyone gets to eat right away. 

Cons: going directly from the wedding party introduction into dinner may make some couples feel rushed. But with no buffer between the intros and the meal, the only other option is for everyone to sit uncomfortably for several minutes, hungry, wondering why they’re not being served. Also, if the speeches are delivered after dinner, most of your guests will already be finished eating, and they’ll be milling around the room talking to guests at other tables. That means, you won’t have their full attention, and your speakers may have to shout on the microphone to be heard. Plus, if you decide to visit all of your guests’ tables during dinner, it’ll likely take 30 minutes to an hour, and there will be a huge lull in the party as all of the people who have finished their meals get impatient for the dancing to start.   

A good compromise  

If you’re just not ready to have your speeches before dinner, or you’re worried that someone is going to take forever on the microphone, why not have your blessing before dinner, then save the speeches until after the salad is served? Everyone gets a chance to settle down. Everyone is still at their tables, awaiting their entrees, so you still have everyone’s attention. And you can tell your venue or caterer that it’s okay to keep serving while the speeches are going on. That way, everyone eats, every speaker is heard, and the party stays on schedule. Sound good? 

Here are the sports our celebrities played in high school:

Steve Carell – Hockey (Goalie)
James Dean – Basketball
Will Ferrell – Soccer
Sheryl Crow – Track & Field (Hurdles)
Kate Middleton – Field Hockey
Kate Hudson – Soccer
Tom Cruise – Wrestling
Hugh Jackman – Rugby
Denzel Washington – Basketball
Tommy Lee Jones – Football

 How did you do?

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

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