Chicago Wedding Times – November, 2023

Do You Know Their Real Names?

Here are ten real people and ten celebrity performer names. Can you match the names on top to their professional names on the bottom?

Stephani Germanotta
Belcalis Almanzar
Amethyst Kelly
Benito Martinez
Amala Dlamini
Montero Hill
Abel Tesfaye
Melissa Jefferson
Tramar Dillard
Robyn Fenty

Lil Nas X
The Weeknd
Bad Bunny
Lady Gaga
Flo Rida
Cardi B.
Iggy Azalea
Doja Cat

Most people can get 3 right. Check your answers at the bottom of this newsletter.

I’m Keeping My Last Name, and Here’s Why

You and your fiancée have agreed that you’re not taking his last name, and you’re both at peace with it. Now comes the challenge of explaining your decision to everyone else. Here’s how. 

“We’re both keeping our names.” What a nice way to say, with a wink, that you’re equal partners, and neither of you is demanding that the other chance his/her identity. Then the burden is on people who suggest you change your name, to justify their sexist notion that a bride must give up her maiden name.

“I’m keeping my name for professional reasons.” Quite often, the bride has already established herself in her career, or she’s from a prominent family, and her name carries certain currency that would be erased if she started all over with an unfamiliar name. People in broadcasting and entertainment do this all the time. You can, too.

Put it on your invitations and your thank you letters. When people receive multiple mailings from you with your separate first and last names, they’ll gradually start to accept that that’s how you’re to be addressed as a couple.

Let your officiant and your DJ know. There’s no law that says your minister or rabbi has to introduce you after the ceremony as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” Why not just “John and Mary”? And a professional DJ who is going to introduce the wedding party probably has a reception worksheet that asks you how you’d like to be introduced. It can be “Mr. John Smith and Ms. Mary Jones,” or “John and Mary,” or anything you like.

“My legal name will be —-.” Period. Once people know that that’s your legal name, they’ll know that calling you anything else is incorrect.

Have “Mr. and Ms.” signs at your head table. You can do the same thing with your cake topper. It’s a subtle way to start educating people that you’re a “Ms.,” not a “Mrs.,” even if you’re married.  

Don’t take it too personally. Your older guests grew up in a generation in which it was simply expected that a woman would take her husband’s last name. They may still refer to you as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s just the language they understand, and it’s not a personal slap at you.

Get your own stationery. Use letterhead and envelopes with both of your names when you’re communicating as a couple. Eventually, people will put you in their address books with both your names.

“Do you disapprove? Does that mean you don’t want to come to our wedding?” When all else fails, and someone keeps challenging your decision to keep your own name, don’t be afraid to imply that there are consequences for rejecting a decision that you and your mate have made together. Anyone who doesn’t respect your individuality may not be a true friend.

We all know married couples who have kept separate names for years, even decades, and their love shines through, every single day. What matters is what’s in your hearts, not what’s on a piece of paper. The people who know you best and love you most will certainly understand.

Real Chicago Wedding – Oct. 7, 2023

Emily and Marcanthony Oglesby celebrated their new union in grand style at the Jacob Henry Mansion in Joliet. After cocktails, the party moved to the mansion’s elegant Victorian Ballroom for dinner and lots of dancing. The Chicago DJ pros of Fourth Estate Audio blended the couple’s favorites with guest requests.

Wedding Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

You’re engaged! And you want to spread the joyful news to everyone you know. So you head straight for the internet, right? No! No! For the love of God, NO! There’s a right way and a wrong way to use social media as your wedding communications center. Pay attention, now.

1. Don’t post your engagement notice until you’ve first notified your closest relatives and best friends in person. You know… face-to-face, or by phone, or by a written note, the old-fashioned way.

2. Once you’re ready to tell the whole world, go ahead and post all those cutesie, lovey-dovey pictures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anything else you can think of.

3. Social media are not for sending invitations. Sometimes you have to use real paper. Your invitations should be printed and mailed, with RSVP cards. And each invitation should identify the person or persons who are invited. If you’re confident enough to let someone invite a “plus-one,” that’s fine. If you’d rather not have strangers at your wedding, make sure your invitation asks, “Which of these people are coming?” One other benefit of sending invitations by regular mail is that you won’t have to face those internet-only friends and explain why they weren’t invited.

5. Can you post your gift registry on your social media? No! If you want any internet presence for your registry, create a dedicated wedding web site, and post it there. No web site? Let your relatives and wedding party spread the word about where you’re registered.

6. The internet is not for asking, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” Your besties deserve something a lot more personal. You can send a little gift. Just search Pinterest for “Will you be my bridesmaid?” You’ll find lots of cool ideas. Or you can simply ask each candidate in person, or on the phone, or in a nice note. Keep your bridal party private, so no one feels cheated by being left out and having the snub rubbed in their faces on Facebook.

7. Facebook has a “limited view” feature. Use it! That way, you can send some messages to one group of friends, other messages to a larger group, and still others to the entire world and the assembled press corps.

8. Get your own hashtag. And display a prominent sign with that hashtag at both your ceremony and reception. Even the best professional photographer can’t get every photo. And having a hashtag where your guests can instantly post pictures right on the spot will produce some of the evening’s best and most memorable images.

9. Thank-you notes must be printed, not emailed. Okay, maybe the guest who emailed you a Starbucks gift card as your wedding gift deserves to be dismissed with a limp email thank-you. But everyone else spent time, energy and money picking out the perfect gift. It’s only fair that each guest receive a personalized hand-written thank-you note. It means a lot more than a lousy email message.

Now you know the rules of netiquette. Happy planning!

Here are the answers to our music quiz.

Stephani Germanotta = Ladg Gaga
Belcalis Almanzar = Cardi B.
Amethyst Kelly = Iggy Azalea
Benito Martinez = Bad Bunny
Amala Dlamini = Doja Cat
Montero Hill = Lil Naz X
Abel Tesfaye = The Weeknd
Melissa Jefferson = Lizzo
Tramar Dillard = Flo Rida
Robyn Fenty = Rihanna

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

Jay Congdon, President