Chicago Wedding Times – June, 2022

How Well Do You Know Weddings?

Here’s this month’s quiz. Test your knowledge of a “normal” wedding and see how you compare:

1. How long does the average wedding engagement last?
    A. 6 months
    B. 12 months
    C. 16 months
2. What percentage of grooms say they proposed on one knee?
    A. 70%
    B. 40%
    C. 20%
3. Tradition dictates that a bride should not wear this for her second or third wedding.
    A. White gown
    B. Veil
    C. Garter
4. Why do people throw rice at the newlyweds?
    A. A blessing
    B. Protection from evil spirits
    C. Wishing them lots of children
5. According to The Knot, what is the average cost of an American wedding?
    A. $30,000
    B. $20,000
    C. $10,000
6. What is the most popular month to get engaged?
    A. February
    B. December
    C. September
7. A three-tiered wedding cake serves, on average, how many guests?
    A. 150
    B. 175
    C. 200

8. According to tradition, what does a flower girl symbolize?
    A. Youthful optimism
    B. Virginity
    C. Fertility

9. Where does the bride’s family sit at the ceremony?
    A. Front rows
    B. Left side
    C. Right side
10. The average wedding gown in America costs how much?
      A. $1,000
      B. $2,000
      C. $3,000
We’ll have the answers at the end of the newsletter.

Advice the Wedding Industry Is Afraid to Tell you

1.       Don’t Do It Yourself, just to save money. If you truly have an artistic flair for decoration or design, then by all means let your creativity come out. But remember, a wedding reception is a party you throw for your guests. Too often, DIY efforts add nothing to the guests’ experience, and often detract from it. Like bad karaoke singing, a weak do-it-yourself project may be met with groans, not cheers. Want to try your hand at making a centerpiece? Try one, then tell friends, “Someone made this and thought it might make a nice centerpiece… what do you think?” When they don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings, they’re more likely to give you their honest opinions.

2.      Get help! If you think you can execute every tiny phase of your wedding planning all alone, you’re going to end up frazzled, frustrated and bitter that no one appreciates all your hard work. If friends or relatives offer to help, let them! They can make some of your phone calls, help you address your invitations, scout out potential vendors, and run errands in those hectic final weeks. Be sure to thank them with nice gifts.

3.       Just say no. Everyone is going to give you advice; that doesn’t mean to have accept it all. Once you have a vision of your dream wedding, weigh all advice – from friends, loved ones, vendors — according to whether it fits your vision. If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to politely reject it. It’s your wedding, not theirs.

4.       Who really cares? Don’t over-analyze your décor, your menu or your party favors. A month after your wedding, no one will remember them. So if you need to cut back your budget, they are all safe places to cut. Put your energy and money into things that will enhance your guests’ experience – like great dance music and creative personal touches that help your guests get to know you better as a couple. We have lots of proven ideas to make your wedding memorable and fun. And we’re happy to share them with you. All you need to do is ask.

5.       Respect the weather. An outdoor wedding in August will almost certainly subject your guests to stifling heat. A basket full of paper fans and sunglasses would be helpful. Still, some of your more sensitive guests may have to head indoors. A winter wedding reception in a poorly heated venue can create an entirely different set of problems. Consider the comfort of your guests at all times.

6.       Get points! If you’re going to be charging your wedding expenses to a credit card, get one that offers travel credits or other bonuses for every dollar you spend. Even if someone is reimbursing you for your out-of-pocket costs, you still get to keep the points.

7.       Guests cost money. If you’re providing dinner for all of your guests, consider whether you really want to invite every acquaintance from work, or every relative you haven’t seen in three years. You know who the really important people in your life are. Everyone else can go on a “wish list,” and get invited only if you can afford it.

8.       Have a policy on kids, and stick to it. If kids are welcome, fine. If they’re not, don’t be afraid to say so on your invitations. Perhaps you can arrange a supervised activity room for the little ones, so they won’t interfere with the adults’ fun.

9.       Seat singles with singles, couples with couples. An unaccompanied guest would probably feel uncomfortable at a dinner table full of couples. Consider that, when you’re putting together your seating chart.

10.   Can you hear me now? If you’re having an outdoor wedding, or a large wedding, your officiant will try to tell you, “Oh, everyone will hear me.” NO, THEY WON’T! Have a microphone for your ceremony, and tell your officiant to use it. There’s nothing more frustrating for your guests than attending a wedding, and not being able to hear what’s being said.

Real Chicago Wedding – June 11, 2022

Danielle and Zach Hegerty were married at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square. Then, their guests were treated to a classic pub-style reception with lots of high-energy music and lighting, and a floor full of enthusiastic dancers. The ears of the guests in the brewpub below are probably still ringing loudly..

10 Cooling Essentials for Your Summer 

Summer weddings can be gorgeous. But outdoor weddings in the hot sun are filled with potential hazards. Here are 10 essential tips on how to prepare, so you’ll steer clear of those outdoor nightmares.

Hydrate. Make sure you have lots of ice water for your guests. If you want to make it classy, add slices of colorful lime or orange, and have servers pass those drinks.

Cover up. If you’re serving food outdoors, cover the serving plates, to keep the bugs away.

Chill. Cheese, meat, seafood and anything with eggs will spoil fast in the summer sun; so store those sensitive foods on platters made of ice.

Rent cold air. Portable air conditioner units can be a godsend for your guests on a hot summer day. Giant fans and even hand fans will also be popular.

Pass out sunblock. The heat is bad enough, without have to worry about sunburn. Keep a generous supply of high-SPF spray on hand.

Combine indoor and outdoor party areas. Some of your guests will want to escape to someplace cool. A ballroom with an outdoor terrace is a nice combination; golf courses also provide both indoor and outdoor accommodations.

Shade. Try to hold your outdoor ceremony under a big shady tree, or at least a big canopy, so your guests won’t bake while waiting for those late-arriving guests.

Refrigerate. Keep your cake and bouquet in the fridge until they’re needed. And alert your florist to make sure your flowers have plenty of water, so they don’t droop before all of your pictures are taken.

Wear lightweight clothing. Choose a gown, bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s tuxedos in a cool summer fabric.

No perfume. It attracts bugs.

Okay, here are the answers to our quiz:

  1. The average engagement lasts 6 months. 
  2. 20% of grooms say they got down on one knee to propose.
  3. A veil is not considered appropriate after a bride’s first marriage.
  4. People throw rice to wish the newlyweds many children.
  5. The average American wedding costs $30,000.
  6. December is the most popular month to get engaged.
  7. A normal 3-tiered wedding cake serves about 150 people.
  8. The flower girl in a wedding ceremony symbolizes fertility.
  9. The bride’s family typically sits on the left side of aisle.
  10. The average wedding gown in America costs $1,000. 

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

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