Chicago Wedding Times – July, 2022

July 15, 2022

How Is Your Wedding Etiquette?

Here’s this month’s quiz. Test your knowledge of accepted wedding etiquette:

1. Should you list your gift registry on your wedding invitations?
2. Is it proper etiquette to have a cash bar?   

3. Is it proper to send identical thank-you cards to every gift giver?

4. What is the maximum acceptable time the bride and groom may keep their guests waiting at their reception?

  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • No time limit

5. You should inviite your guest’s partner if they are:

  • Married
  • Engaged
  • Living together
  • All of the above

6. If you’d prefer cash gifts to apply toward a home down payment, how should you spread the word?

  • Ask your parents and wedding party to discreetly tell everyone
  • Put a note in your invitations
  • Include a note on your wedding web site

7. Are you required to reserve rooms at a 5-star hotel for your out-of-town guests?

8. Must you return your gifts if the wedding is called off?

9. If your friends and families have children, do you have to invite them?

10. Which of your co-workers should you invite to your wedding?

  • Just your boss
  • All of them
  • None of them
  • The ones with whom you are close

We’ll have the answers at the end of the newsletter. 

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

One of the choices you’ll face as you begin planning your wedding is whether to hire a wedding planner, or try to do it all yourself. This article will give you an honest look at what wedding planners can do to make your event special and stress-free. 

1. Do your grunt work. Let’s start with the simplest thing first. Your planner will do little things like counting all of your rented linens at the beginning and end of the night, setting out your guests’ table cards and having extra ones ready, and making sure your décor is perfect and that your flowers get moved from your ceremony to your reception site. 
2. Keep your vendors honest. The planner reviews all the promises your venue and vendors made, and makes certain that everything is in writing, so there’s no “I never promised that” when your wedding day comes.
3. Win extra perks from your vendors. A venue or florist or DJ company wants your planner to recommend new clients; so it’s important for those vendors to bend over backwards to please your planner. That means any small disagreement that comes up will probably be resolved in your favor.
4. Get discounts. Again, vendors want to curry favor with your planner, in hopes of getting future business. So they’re more likely to offer reduced pricing or free upgrades that you wouldn’t be able to get on your own. 
5. Keep you on time. It’s very easy to let the time get away from you when you have dozens or hundreds of guests all competing for “face time” with the newlyweds. Your planner will crack the whip on your photographer, florist, caterer, baker and everyone else to ensure that everything is on schedule, no one has to wait an extra hour for dinner, and your dancing starts on time.
6. Fix problems before they become problems. Your planner has the cellphone number of every vendor; so if the cake is late, or the flowers aren’t what you expected, your planner can get through to your vendors immediately to fix what’s wrong before it interferes with your perfect day.
7. Pass out the checks. Your vendor will handle all of your wedding day payments, including tips for your vendors, so you won’t have to worry about it.
8. Run interference for you. There will always a family member who wants to remake your wedding in his or her image; your planner’s duties include defusing all the little intra-family squabbles that are certain to pop up, and ensure that your wedding is indeed your wedding. 
9. Schedule your other wedding-related events. Your planner can coordinate everything from your bridal shower to your rehearsal dinner to your next-day brunch, so you and your bridal party can just enjoy the experience.

10. Share insider secrets. Planners who have done lots of weddings have picked up all sorts of great ideas for streamlining your planning process. Yes, you’ll have to do some things yourselves, like writing and sending your invitations; but there are ways to simplify virtually every step of your planning process. Rely on your planner to know them and share those valuable tips and tricks with you.
The best planners may look expensive; but quite often, they’ll save you enough money to cover their fees and more. And the peace of mind of having a personal representative handling your stressful and time-consuming details is priceless. 

Real Chicago Wedding – June 25, 2022

Christine and Erik DePotter were married on the stage of the elegant Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, then welcomed their honored guests to a festive dinner and dancing in the theater’s historic rotunda. And for music, they turned to one of the theater’s preferred vendors, the Chicago wedding DJ pros of Fourth Estate Audio.

What to Change for Your Second Wedding

Your first wedding was a young girl’s fairy tale fantasy. No expense was spared. Even the silliest indulgence was fulfilled. But now you’re headed back to the altar with a new perspective, new expectations and some valuable life experience. Here’s how to make your second wedding different — and better — than your first.

1. Make it your own. The first time, you didn’t know any better, and you let everyone manipulate you into putting their imprint on your wedding. This time, you’ll take more control of your planning, and tell all of those unsolicited advisers, “We’ve got this… it’s been handled.”
2. You have a different partner. Don’t try to relive your first wedding. This one is all new, and it should reflect your blended personalities, tastes and preferences.
3. There’s nothing wrong with going small. You’ve already done a wedding with a cast of thousands. This time, keep it intimate, with only a few dozen of your closest relatives and friends.
4. Make it a family affair. If you or your fiancée have children from an earlier marriage, showcase them in your ceremony and reception. Starting a whole new family is reason for celebration, and everyone in that family must know how cherished and essential they are.
5. Have some fashion courage. You don’t have to wear a pristine white gown this time. It doesn’t even have to be floor-length. You’re immune from all the traditions of a first wedding. Experiment with fashion, music, décor and special celebrations that show off your own unique awesomeness.
6. Skip the bouquet and garter tosses. Chances are, most of the people you know are now married, and the tosses are for single people. Instead, why not take the microphone and present your bouquet to someone who has inspired you throughout your life?
7. Consider a destination wedding. You probably have more money than you did when you planned your first wedding and honeymoon. If you have some close friends whose finances will allow it, why not invite them to share in a week-long celebration, culminating with your wedding ceremony? You can even host a reception back home for everyone else, and show video of your ceremony at your reception.
8. It takes two to plan a wedding. Neither one of you should make all of the decisions, because neither of you has all of the good ideas.  Gather all of your wedding wishes and decide together which of them to include. If either one of you doesn’t like a particular idea, throw it out.
9. Clear the air. This should really be the first essential of a second wedding. While you’re still dating, be very honest with one another about your earlier relationships, and even about the mistakes you made in those relationships. There’s no need to bad-mouth your ex. Once your fiancée knows all of your embarrassing secrets, and loves you anyway, you’re ready to begin a wonderful adventure together. 

Here are the answers to our quiz:

  • No. Your invitations should not include any registry information.
  • No. A Cash bar is tacky.
  • No. Each recipient deserves a personalized handwritten message with his/her card.
  • Never keep your guests waiting more than 30 minutes.
  • If your guest has a partner, invite the partner – period!
  • If you’d like cash as a gift, let your parents and bridal party spread the word tactfully.
  • No. In fact, many of your guests may not be able to afford a 5-star hotel.
  • Yes. If you’re no longer getting married, the gifts no longer belong to you.
  • No. You may designate an “adults only” reception at your option.
  • Invite your workmates with whom you are close.  

How did you do?

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

Jay Congdon