Backyard Bliss: How to Plan a Wedding in Your Backyard

Summer calls for backyards, cocktails and wedding season. Every Chicagoan understands the importance of taking full advantage of a warm summer night. We count down the days to pack away our parkas and enjoy that summer breeze in the backyard. We feel so lucky we have spent so many Chicago summer nights in our bride and groom’s backyard putting on a true “Father of the Bride” wedding. For brides considering their home or lake house for a summer Chicago wedding feeling defeated by the task-here are a few quick tips from Big City Bride, Chicago’s favorite wedding planner.

  1.  You are building your venue, so make sure your measurements are accurate: The size of your tent must fit more than just your guests. Your tent will also house a dance floor, bars and possible lounge furniture so it should be spacious enough for servers to move around without bumping into guests. This is the biggest piece of your puzzle and you will be working and reworking layout until final week. 
  2. BathroomsThe number one question we are asked on wedding day by guests is “Where’s the bathroom?” Trailer bathrooms are available for rent and these should be placed in an easily visible and accessible area. If for some reason the bathrooms must be staged down the driveway, around the house, behind the tent etc. add signage pointing this out!!! Trust us. It’s worth it. 
  3. Take advantage of your space: Work with your wedding planner and design team to take full advantage of your land. Do you have outdoor furniture already living in your yard? Use it! Maybe you have a swing that could be used as extra seating for cocktail hour. Ask your florist to add some arrangements to make it apart of the scene. Maybe your screened in porch could be the Dessert Lounge.
  4. ParkingYou want your day to be accessible for your guests. With a home wedding many guests may prefer to drive. For this, we suggest using a Valet Company. Don’t rely on street parking to work out. If your home is close to a public beach there are many parking restrictions and you don’t want to make any of your neighbors upset by a guest blocking in a car, etc. Hiring a trusted vendor to take care without problems. 
  5. Don’t panic during setupAs a wedding planner we never want our couple to see their fairytale wedding vision half complete, but with a wedding on home property this often happens. You are going to see vendors loading in, you will see your gorgeous centerpieces packed in boxes and your tables without linens. DO NOT WORRY. Everything will be ready and perfect for your day.


Photo Credit: Edenhurst Studio

Photo Credit: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography 


Photo Credit: Allori Photography 

Photo Credit: Allori Photography

Photo Credit: Riverbend Studio


Photo Credit: Riverbend Studio

Building a venue and working at a couple’s home is a thrilling challenge for our team of Chicago wedding planners. We love the detail, design and uniqueness of these celebrations! If you have any questions or need assistance – give us a call! We would love to help build your dream wedding. 


Our world is filled with much more LOVE today. Equal love to be exact. The United States Supreme Court has spoken…SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL! And, it’s about time! Our hearts are overflowing with joy for those couples that can legally unite in marriage. It is a victory for America and we love the movement. Our social media feeds are bursting with prideful photos and empowering messages supporting this accomplishment. Our world can feel pretty distant sometimes. We all seem to be wrapped up in our corner of the world, however, on days like today it unites us. Oh happy day, America! Let’s celebrate equal living and equal love! Big City Bride Chicago wedding planners look forward to seeing same-sex marriages bloom. We are so happy to celebrate with ALL the couples that are planning their marriage and forever life together. 


Our Chicago Wedding Planning logo even added some color today! 




Add Chicago Baseball to Your Wedding Weekend

The Big City Bride Chicago wedding planning team spent last night cheering on the Chicago White Sox with a VIP Box Experience. It was a BLAST and perfect setup to be at a game and still comfortably move around and hangout with friends. While we were there, our minds naturally went to wedding planning and we thought a Chicago baseball game is the perfect outing for a summer Chicago wedding party! For all our Chicago brides-to-be hosting a summer Chicago wedding add a Chicago baseball game to the itinerary.

This event is perfect as a:

o   Wedding weekend event: You could plan this as an optional event for the Thursday before your wedding. It is a festive Chicago event and would be perfect for out of town guests.

o   Bachelorette/Bachelor Party Weekend: If your friends or family are making it a weekend experience in Chicago a game day is a relaxing. 

o   Non-traditional Sunday “Brunch:” Brunch near the field and head to the game after.

For a more casual, fun and festive Chicago wedding event event look into a Chicago game day!…AND, don’t forget to add a Chicago hotdog to the itinerary too!

Our team of Chicago wedding planners enjoying Chicago baseball!

Personalized Wedding Chair Signs

One easy addition to make your wedding day unique and personalized is adding a darling Mr. & Mrs. sign to the back of you and your new spouse’s chair for the reception. These adorable signs conveniently designate the most important seats in the house, all while adding another element of decor to your big day. And, the best part is how creative you can be! You can switch up the wording and design to best fit you and your style. Some suggestions from Big City Bride Chicago wedding planners are: “Mr. & Mrs.,” “Mr. & Mr.,” “Mrs. & Mrs.,” “His & Hers,” “Bride & Bride,” “Bride & Groom,” “Groom & Groom.” These signs can be wooden, metal, cardstock, playful paper banners, chalkboards, sports jerseys… ANYTHING that fits you and your wedding. 

Here are a variety of Big City Bride Mr. & Mrs. chair signs from Chicago weddings that we LOVE:

The father of the bride surprised the couple during his toast with these personalized Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox jerseys! For your wedding you could add your favorite sports team repping your new last name. Fun, festive and a wonderful tribute to your favorite sports team! (And, the best part is this detail will live on long after wedding day.)




BIG thanks to our Chicago Wedding Photographers Robin Sloan and Studio Verite for capturing all the wedding details!

Wedding Trends: The Wedding Lounge

Much like fashion, Chicago weddings consist of constant style changing dcor. May it be the season, the “hot” colors or the new trend we love pairing classic wedding style with a trendy twist. Chicago weddings can be preppy, edgy and modern, hipster and ironic, glamorous, designer, casual chic, or even country. The options are endless and requires the conscious pairing of stylish pieces.

To design the perfect Chicago wedding you’ll consider the season, your venue, and your desired ambiance, and then choose your linens, chairs, flowers, lighting, print materials, and music! Your favorite Chicago wedding planner will happily guide you through each decision, making sure your wedding is your vision.

One trend that continues to stun us with it’s beauty is wedding lounges! The wedding lounge area is the perfect accessory to your day. It creates a space for guests to break between dances, sip on a signature cocktail, catch up with friends and look completely glamorous. They add style, uniqueness and let’s just say we have never met a BCB wedding lounge we didn’t LOVE!

Don’t forget to add rugs, small floral arrangements and pillows to your lounge pod. Chic and comfy! This is absolutely a trend you’ll be seeing for years and years to come.




Thank you to these talented Chicago wedding photographers: Riverbend Studio and Gerber & Scarpelli for capturing these beautiful wedding lounges and the many special moments and details of the day!