Chicago Wedding Times – Sept., 2022

Test Your Knowledge

Let’s go back to 1995. Name the artist who performed each of these hit songs.

  • Zombie
  • Take a Bow
  • When I Come Around
  • Circle of Life
  • Whoomp! There It Is
  • I’ll Stand by You
  • Cotton Eyed Joe
  • Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman
  • Lightning Crashes
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

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

What Will Be Your Wedding’s “Big Bang?”

It is simply impossible to have a wedding that fulfills your every fantasy, regardless of whether your wedding budget is $10,000 or $250,000. So how do you throw a wedding that gives you a ‘big bang’ for your buck? These tips will show you the way.

Don’t try to pack everything into your wedding. It can’t be done. Your dreams are just too big for a budget. So try to find just one thing that will leave a big impression on your guests. It could be anything from a spectacular floral arrangement to a dazzling gown, from a unique venue to a unique theme, from a one-of-a-kind décor idea to a fun guest-participation activity. Your guests will forget what they ate and what favors they were given, no matter how much money you spend on them. They’ll remember whether they had a great time.

The trend is your friend, but not your master. Enjoy reading about all the hot new trends for weddings on sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot; but don’t feel like you have to do what they tell you. Today’s trendy new idea will become tomorrow’s corny old embarrassment. You can weave creative new ideas into your wedding, but it’s always wise to have it rooted in something timeless.

Build your wedding around your venue. You wouldn’t have a nautical-theme wedding in an old barn, or a Gatsby-themed wedding in a VFW hall. Your venue should reflect your theme, and vice versa. Art galleries, museums, yachts, old mansions and converted lofts are all creative options upon which to build your dream wedding. Hosting your wedding in a big white tent lets you create and decorate your entire wedding from scratch.

Your wedding should help define you as a couple. Sprinkle your ceremony venue and reception venue with items that are uniquely “you.” They can be childhood photos of the two of you, pictures from your parents’ and grandparents’ weddings, table decorations that showcase special moments in your relationship, speeches or performances that tell your love story, and especially music that is special to both of you.

Involve the special people in your lives. If there’s a great singer or musician in the family, ask him/her to perform a number at either your ceremony or reception. Play a game like “The Newlywed Game” at your reception to get the crowd loose and laughing. Those shared memories are great for bonding. Anything that makes all your guests feel like they were part of something special will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Be there. If the bride and groom have their first dance, then disappear for an hour, the energy drains out of the room, and the party dies. Set a good example by being on the dance floor as much as you can, and as much as your energy allows. Your guests will follow your lead. Remember, a wedding reception is a party you throw for your friends. Be good hosts. Once the dance floor gets rolling, you can step away for awhile to savor the moment – just the two of you.

Follow these helpful guidelines, and for the rest of your lives your guests will remind you what a great time they had!

Real Chicago Wedding – August 13, 2022

Emma and Perry Blough were married in a beautiful backyard ceremony on a sunny (and cool!) August day. Then they celebrated the rest of the evening with friends, family, and music by Fourth Estate Audio.

What Does the Groom Have to Do? And When?

For starters. Typically the groom pops the question. He and the bride agree on a wedding date and the ceremony and reception venues. The groom picks his groomsmen, and decides which friends and relatives to invite to the wedding. And most of the time, he chooses the couple’s entertainment.

Six months to go. Your guest list should be done by now. Your wedding rings should be bought by now. Your DJ should be hired by now. It’s time to hire your limo, start making honeymoon plans (passports, if it’s out of the country), and familiarize yourself with what your state requires for a marriage license.

Three months to go. You and your groomsmen need to reserve your tuxedos.

Two months to go. Finalize ceremony plans with your officiant. Shop for flowers with your bride. Reserve the restaurant for your rehearsal dinner.

One month left. Be sure everyone is fitted for his tuxedo. Buy gifts for your bride and attendants. Make them personal. Ask about adding your bride to your bank accounts and insurance policies.

Two weeks. Schedule your bachelor party! File your marriage license. If you plan to move after your wedding, get change-of-address cards and start arranging hookups of water, power, cable and phone service at your new home.

One week. Pick up your tuxes. Assign your attendants’ responsibilities for the rehearsal. Ushers should know about any special ceremony seating. Make sure your honeymoon arrangements are all confirmed. Give your signed wedding license to your officiant at the rehearsal dinner.

Showtime! Give your bride’s ring to your best man, along with an envelope containing your officiant’s fee. Pack your luggage for your wedding night. Eat a hearty breakfast. SHOW UP ON TIME!

And that’s it! If you have the time and energy to help with additional arrangements, your bride will appreciate your assistance more than you know. But these are the basics. Thanks to

Here are the answers to this month’s quiz: 

  • Zombie – Cranberries
  • Take a Bow – Madonna
  • When I Come Around – Green Day
  • Circle of Life – Elton John
  • Whoomp! There It Is – Tag Team
  • I’ll Stand by You – Pretenders
  • Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex
  • Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman – Bryan Adams
  • Lightning Crashes – Live
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – U2

How did you do? Most people got between 7 and 8 right.

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

Visit our web site at
Call me at (630) 654-4440. I’m here to help.

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Jay Congdon