Chicago Wedding Times – October, 2022

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 your fireworks?”
6. “There’s no place like home.”
7. “Kitty!”
8. “Damn you all to hell!”
9. “Naah, I’d only blow it.”
10. “Holy merde!”

The answers are at the end of this newsletter.

How to Plan a Successful Rehearsal Dinner

Your rehearsal dinner is a great chance for your attendants and families to get to know each other on a more personal level. And for a lot of couples, it’s the last relaxing moment they’ll spend until the end of their reception. It all gets pretty hectic once the wedding day begins; so the rehearsal dinner is the perfect moment to let your hair down and center yourselves for the big show to come. It’s also the perfect time to pass out thank-you gifts to everyone who helped you plan your special day.  

  • Where do I start? Once you’ve scheduled your rehearsal, look for a nearby restaurant that can reserve a private room for your dinner. If you think your rehearsal will take half an hour, double it, and allow for enough travel time to get to the restaurant. Then make your reservation for the proper time.
  • Who do I invite? Your officiant and spouse. Your immediate families. Your bridesmaids, groomsmen and their significant others. If you have a young flower girl and ringbearer, invite them and their parents. Some couples like to include guests who’ve traveled a long way to attend the wedding. 
  • When do I send the invitations? Shortly after you mail your wedding invitations. Be sure to include the start time of the rehearsal itself in your invitations.
  • Does everyone order their own meal, or do we prepare the menu in advance? Depends upon the restaurant. If you have to cater your own meals, your dinner options can be reduced, and your guests can be offered a choice on their invitations. Otherwise, let people order from the restaurant’s menu.
  • Do I book a DJ for the rehearsal dinner? No. This is not a time for people’s attention to be focused on a third party. Let your own table conversations be the entertainment.
  • Who pays? Typically, the groom’s parents. Depending upon each family’s finances, some couples arrange for both sets of parents to share the cost. If the couple is older and already established financially, they may decide to pay for the meal themselves.

And that’s all there is to it. Enjoy the experience, and get to bed at a decent hour. You’ll need all your energy for your wedding day.

Real Chicago Wedding – Sept. 23, 2022

Amy and David Lee threw an epic wedding reception at Meridian Banquets with lots of their own personality and performance, including live music by Amy’s parents, singing by David, a choreographed high-energy dance routine by Amy, a “table dash” picture session and much more. Fourth Estate Audio provided their special evening’s big soundtrack.

Ten Tips That’ll Remove 90% of Your Wedding Headaches

Planning a wedding presents a whole host of opportunities to wreck your credit, destroy your friendships, and drive you to a nervous breakdown; but following these common sense tips can smooth out that bumpy road, and ensure a relatively stress-free planning experience.

1. Don’t go solo. If you really wanted to do everything yourself, you wouldn’t be getting married, right? Don’t be afraid to accept the generous offers of friends and relatives to help you with your planning. Assign a specific, manageable task to each person; and be generous with your gratitude for all those wonderful helpers.
2. Know when to say no. Every vendor will try to upsell you, whether it’s your florist, caterer, entertainer, decorator, etc. Even your parents and best friends will push you to add all sorts of extras. If you’re not comfortable with an idea, or you think it’s simply horrible, be friendly but firm and final, in saying it’s not right for you. The people who truly care about you will get over their hurt feelings and support your vision of your dream wedding.
3. Negotiate. It’s okay to ask your vendors for discounts or free upgrades. The worst they can do is say no; and maybe, just maybe, you can score some real bargains.  
4. Let the pros do it. Dreaming up do-it-yourself decorating tips is a nice way to keep a lot of frustrated artists occupied and out of trouble; but that doesn’t mean you have to use their ideas. Unless you’re artistically inclined, and you have hours and hours and hours of leisure time to cut and pin and paste and fold and paint, let the professionals do it. They’ll get it right the first time. They may have creative ideas you missed. And when your planning comes down to crunch time, you’ll appreciate every free minute you saved yourself.
5. Don’t ignore tradition. Remember, the wedding has already been invented. You don’t have to carry the burden of completely reinventing it all by yourself. It’s nice to have some special surprises that set your wedding apart from ordinary weddings. But don’t be too quick to dismiss everything that anyone has ever done before you. Trying to be absolutely unique may make your wedding the talk of the town, but it may not be the kind of talk you want.
6. Don’t fuss over favors. No one has ever said, “My most enduring memory of the wedding was the favor I received.” Most favors get tossed into dusty drawers, or simply thrown out. Food always makes a good favor, whether it’s candy, chocolate, nuts, maple syrup, honey, or a special blend of coffee. It’s a nice treat that’s always used, and always appreciated.
7. Write your thank-you cards in advance. Each time a new gift comes in, write the card and tuck it away with the others. That way, you won’t be swamped with the chore of writing a hundred cards all at once when you should be relaxing and enjoying married life.
8. One notebook is worth a thousand Post-Its. Keep an organized planning notebook with lots of sections for your gown, your venue, your florist, your DJ, your photographer, and so on. Be sure to get some of those plastic pocket pages that can hold business cards and small pieces of paper. You’ll save countless hours of searching when you have all your data in one place.
9. Let your bridesmaids pick their dresses. They don’t have to be identical. Good designers can show you an overall theme and color for bridesmaid dresses, and offer you a choice or 4 or 5 dresses that fit that theme and color. Different body types look better in different dresses. And giving your bridesmaids a choice will make them love you forever.
10. Remember why your guests are there. They’re coming to see the two of you get married, not to see what chair covers you chose, or which flowers you selected, or how carefully you’ve timed out every second of the evening. Don’t allow yourself to get mired in the minutiae of your wedding. If your guests have fun, and you get to celebrate with the people who mean the most to you, nothing else matters.
See? That was easy. Following these simple guidelines can eliminate more than 90% of the stress that goes with planning a wedding. And arriving at your wedding relaxed and smiling is your reward.


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