Chicago Wedding Industry Event: CS Brides Market Mixer

It is a rare occurrence when we ALL enjoy a night out together. We are thrilled to share a picture from this weeks Chicago wedding industry event. CS Brides Market Mixer was held at the amazing new venue…MORGAN MANUFACTURING! We have been anticipating the day this new Chicago wedding and event space finally opened. Let us tell you…the wait was worth it. The space was even more beautiful then expected. We had the chance to see all rentals Morgan Manufacturing will offer: lounge chairs, chaises, tables, coffee tables, tufted ottomans, cabs, and high boys. Wolfgang Puck provided the food, champagne and wine. As wedding planners we eat A LOT of good food…our favorite from this spread, the little pork nuggets (delicious)! AS well as Wolfgang Puck’s very own Chicago Mix popcorn (YUM!). Spritzology provided specialty cocktails: carrot juice and bourbon, and a cantaloupe spritzer. We spent the night enjoying the company of each other, wonderful vendor friends and of course glowing at the beautiful new venue. Big City Bride has some amazing upcoming events at this new Chicago venue. Stay tuned for those pictures to come. 

Oh what a night!!!! How thankful we are to work in an office with such great friends. So great to see Morgan Manufacturing open their doors for a party. Cheers to new venues with old friends!

 

 

 

A Farm Wedding: Rustic & Timeless

This adorable celebration was unforgettable. Just take a look through this amazing gallery and you will see what we mean. Our bride and groom hosted pure wedding perfection. They incorporated their exclusive style with every element of their wedding celebration. Big City Bride, Chicago wedding planner, was beyond THRILLED to be apart of a wedding so chic and so fabulous. A dreamy mix of colors paired with eccentric decor created a room impossible to duplicate. It was a day both rustic and timeless. Chicago wedding photographer, A Couple of Dudes, beautifully captured every moment. A celebration of “I do’s” we will never forget. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

And they lived happily ever after…Happy Anniversary to two amazing people. Your wedding was unforgettable. The style, the details, but more importanly the love we witnessed. Thanks for letting us be apart of such a special celebration. Happy TWO years of marriage! Wishing you many, many more. 

Megan + Eric

A perfect August day at a classic Chicago Venue. Megan + Eric celebrated their Chicago nuptials (almost) one year ago. The day was beautiful and our bride was… BREATHTAKING. The details surrounding this Chicago wedding were incredibly gorgeous. The Drake is a staple to Chicago that brings a traditional and sophisticated wedding vibe that is undeniable. This wedding was all that and much, much more. The food, the music, the details, the decor were all beyond beautiful, but the love shared this day by our couple and their families made the room glow. Chicago wedding photographer captured the magic we were so lucky to witness. Take a look at this beautiful Chicago wedding celebrated at the Drake Hotel planned by Chicago wedding planner Big City Bride. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

Megan + Eric- Happy Anniversary! We wish you all happy things on this special weekend. Your day was perfect, we wish you many more years of bliss. Thanks for letting us be apart of your celebration. 

 

Gretchen + James

 

 

This classic Chicago wedding gives the word romantic a whole new meaning. This Chicago celebration had only the finest ingredients: unique colors and modern details. Chicago wedding planner, Chrissy Magliano created an unforgettable celebration and a dream come true for our lovely bride, Gretchen! The Chicago History Museum was the perfect host for this late summer wedding.

We could look at these photos all day long…lush floral, breath-taking print material and details right down to the bow tie. Take a look and fall in love with this very special wedding! The day was perfectly captured by Chicago wedding photographer Robin Sloan, Riverbend Studio.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 Gretchen + James, Thank you for letting us plan your special day. Big City Bride was so happy to witness such a special love. We are sending love your way as you celebrate one year together. CHEERS to many, many more! Happy Anniversary!

Photo Credit: Riverbend Photo Studio

Do I Need a Wedding Planner?

We recently teamed up with Venue Logic to help newly engaged couples answer the question, “Do I need a wedding planner?” Your wedding day and all the preparation leading up to your special celebration should be enjoyable. Leave your worries with us, Big City Bride would love to plan your dream wedding! Read through our interview to findout what a wedding planner can do for you! 

 

Q: What services does a wedding planner offer?

Susan: A wedding planner is the “Go To” for EVERYTHING!  This means we are the hub of communication that turn ideas into action. We get to know each couple to learn how they want to celebrate their nuptials – at a historic building, on a beach, in a church, under a Chuppah, in VW van – whatever it is, we start with the big picture. We want to know your story.  How did you meet? What was the engagement like?  What do you love to do as a couple? It is important to learn about you as a couple to dream up creative ideas that fit your personalities.  We discuss the wedding vision, frame priorities, set a budget and then begin researching options and ideas for all wedding needs. We tailor each wedding to fit the couple perfectly.  Couples depend on us to handle all of the logistics.

Q: Why it is helpful to hire a wedding planner?

Susan: We are your wedding expert, stylist, financer, secretary, soundboard, and often a moderator.   We are your everyday support system throughout the process. We are armed with endless resources and tools. You would never consider building a home without a contractor.  It’s the same concept with a wedding planner. As planners, we know the intimate details of venues, vendors, group hotels, wedding day timing, tricks, tips, cool ideas, timeless traditions AND what to avoid.  There are countless wedding options available.  We are “in your corner” from the beginning helping you weigh every option so you can make educated decisions throughout the entire process.   We have our black belt in everything wedding– from design to dilemmas and we’re prepared to help you.  The success of a good wedding is hiring good people…we make it our mission to place you with good people that make sense for your wedding.  We also serve as the leader for all your vendors.  We communicate the plans and details to all the vendors, field their questions, confirm their contractual commitments and lead them throughout your wedding weekend so you can fully enjoy these special moments in time.

Q: What to expect if you hire one?

Susan:  We manage everything from the time you get your ring to the time you leave on your honeymoon. We handle all the logistics…we have the tools to make your vision a reality. We will define the look, style, mood and emotions you want to create.

You can expect us to:

•    Set a budget

•    Find the perfect ceremony and venue location(s)

•    Hire professional vendors

•    Negotiate contracts

•    Help you create a design you LOVE

•    Construct interactive ideas or surprises that will create an experience guests will never forget

•    Be the glue for all vendor communication

•    Organize transportation plans

•    Create a detailed wedding timeline that puts all your plans on paper and then successfully execute these plans

•    Solve any hurdles that may arise

•    Know your wedding inside and out so that you can be a bride/groom!

These duties are just a general overview… our level of involvement goes far beyond the tasks we have listed. We are at your service for whatever you need!

Q: Am I responsible for anything?

Susan: It is almost easier to tell you what the wedding planner typically does NOT handle.  This includes a few wedding responsibilities that really surround the couple, their family and closest friends.

ATTIRE

Choosing bridal attire, bridesmaids gowns, tuxedos, etc. are a task typically for the couple. Usually a bride will have a few key family members or friends who are by her side for this big decision.

GUEST LIST & GUEST SEATING

Creating the guest list and plotting the guest seating assignments typically only the bride, groom and their families know who to invite and who should sit together (and who should definitely NOT!)

REGISTRY

Couples almost always create their gift registry…we certainly can provide helpful tips, but registering is a fun “rite of passage” for the newlyweds-to-be!

HONEYMOON PLANNING

We typically leave the travel planning to the couple or we can suggest vendors who can plan a happy honeymoon.

 

Planning a wedding CAN BE fun…let us show you how!

 

Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Planning Your Wedding

 

We have our black belt in everything wedding from design to dilemmas! Here is our top 10 to-dos to cover all your bases when planning your wedding!

1.         MASTER PLANNER: Hire a wedding professional. It’s likely that this is your first time quarterbacking a wedding…and hopefully your last!  This means you are not repeat business to wedding vendors nor will you be a natural born expert in the field, so get a professional in your corner who can help you navigate the many, MANY wedding decisions, questions and plans ahead.

2.         DATE:  Select a date that works for your ceremony location AND reception site AND key family members, bridal party,  close friends, etc.  You also need to consider checking your wedding date against anything happening in your wedding location.  Large conventions or citywide events can squash wedding plans!

3.         BUDGET: Set your guest list and a budget range first and foremost.  Embrace whatever budget you are comfortable spending and enjoy the process without wincing every time you have to pay a deposit. 

4.         GET THE WORD OUT:  Send Save-the-dates to “claim your date!”  Many engaged couples have friends who are tying the knot too!  So spread the word by sending a save the date (even it’s an E-save-the-date).   And the follow up with the wedding invites.  But word to the wise: begin your invitations early – they take longer than you’d expect. And you want to be sure to give yourself enough time to receive the RSVP’s so you can create your guest table seating.  AND be sure to have the post office weigh them before mailing!

5.         GET CREATIVE:  Design is more than flowers.  You can create the look you want with linens, chairs, paper flowers, antique tabletop items, mix-matched china, runners and more.  Details give the event personality – but don’t have to cost big bucks.

6.         TAKE THE FLOOR:   Be sure to map out a floor plan early so you how you will lay out your party.  Be sure to think through head table seating, dance floor placement, bars, etc.

7.         TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Create a detailed timeline for vendors, family and friends and include a detailed family photo list to outline the photos you absolutely need to capture so you aren’t disappointed months down the road. 

8.         BE THE QUARTERBACK:  Make sure to meet with all your vendors one-month prior to the wedding to review your contract terms, final payments, wedding wishes and the wedding day plans.

9.         CHECK YOURSELF:  Make a checklist of everything you’ll need for the wedding weekend.  This will include your attire, bridal party gifts, vendor tips, sentimental items, personal comfort kit of toiletries, etc.  Cross check your list against your timeline to make sure you are covered for every moment of your special weekend. 

10.      FINISH LINE FUN!  Don’t plan until the bitter end.  Give yourself a deadline to finish your wedding responsibilities and hand off the plans/pieces so you can enjoy this once in a lifetime experience! 

Photo Credit: Chicago Wedding Photographer Riverbend Studio

A Different Approach to Wedding Gifts

Today, we are toasting all our furry friends…”Here’s to those that have been apart of Big City Bride wedding days, those that fill our homes with love and those that simply pass by our office making us smile!” Big City Bride taking a thankful moment to give back. Chicago is filled with inspiring charities all throughout the city. This year, Big City Bride made a donation to PAWS Chicago. PAWS Chicago is a Chicago-based charity founded in 1997 and has dedicated the last 17 years to servicing animals.

If a bride and groom are not fond of a traditional gift registry we suggest picking a charity you both love and asking guests to donate . A donation to a favorite charity is a special way to add purpose behind each gift. Creating a charity donation is a unique and personal touch to a wedding. It releases the pressure of finding the perfect gift and instead invites family, friends and loved ones to celebrate a cause they know you love.

There are a few ways to do this! We suggest setting up a wedding website explaining the “no gift” policy and attach a link to the website where guests can donate. This two-step process is easy, efficient and a personal way to explain the charity. Make sure to include information on the invitation making guests aware of the gift policy or the link to the website. Communicating to your guests how to find the information is very important! 

After the donations have been made and the wedding celebrations have ended, this can also be a fun way to celebrate as newlyweds! If a local charity has been selected, pick a day and donate a few hours. Maybe this even becomes a yearly donation celebration right around your anniversary.

We understand everyone is juggling different financial situations and donating money might not always be an option, Chicago charities are always looking for volunteers and even just one hour can make a difference!

  

 

Photo Credit: Chicago wedding photographers Husar Photography (top left) and Edenhurst Studio (top right)

 

Ashley + Nathan

 

Chicago’s Union Station was the perfect venue to host Ashley and Nathan’s chic and glamorous Chicago wedding.  

  

The wedding was full of elegant details from the start. Gorgeous gold and black print material along with a pink and black “Perfectly Pink Post Party” invitation was sent to guests introducing this one of a kind celebration.

The bouquet was full of soft, delicate roses.

  

Their first moment was magical and real. Nathan was glowing when he saw his beautiful bride for the first time. 

  

  

  

  

Chicago wedding planner, Chrissy Magliano, transformed Union Station yet again! This time a gold and black chic wedding celebration. The room was FIERCE and no detail was left behind. Statement centerpieces, black and gold place settings, dazzling chandeliers, picture perfect cake and a trumpet entrance. Their perfectly planned wedding was an elegant dream. The dcor and lighting  created an unforgettable celebration.

  

  

  

  

  

 

Following the reception was the Perfectly Pink Post Party. ALL Pink and ALL chic!  The bride, groom and wedding party all changed into their PINK party attire. Guests enjoyed after party popcorn paired with pink cocktails. Union Station was glowing with pink linens and lights.

 

  

  

 

 

And of course, a GRAND exit was the only way to end this bash. The party ended with a sparkler exit down the red carpet and our bride and groom road away in their beautiful white carriage. 

 

 

The night was fabulous, fun and a true representation of our fun-loving couple. Ashley and Nathan it was an honor planning your glamorous celebration. Happy Anniversary!

Photo Credit: Chicago wedding photographer Riverbend Studio