Chicago Wedding Planner – Why We Love Our Job!

Happy Friday! We are so excited to be featured on Chicago Wedding DJs blog. We worked alongside their fabulous team at the ChicagoStyle launch party. Read through our interview below or find the original here! Claire Weller explains how she got started and why Big City Bride is so unique!

Q: What first inspired you to help wedding couples as a Chicago Wedding Event Planner for their wedding celebration?

A: I’ve always had a heart and a mind for creative projects…but never saw myself working alone as an artist. With a love of people and a smile for hospitality, I thought I’d give weddings a try. Being a wedding planner allows me to love on people, be creative and celebrate amazing moments! What more could you hope for?

Q: What inspires you today?

A: Happiness. It’s so magical to be a part of a very happy day. The happiness I see on wedding day is unlike any other…it’s powerful and palpable and emotional…and the reason I do this job!

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I love wedding day. I love that through the months of planning my couples become dear friends and I get to make sure they have the best day of their lives. All of the stressful planning and tiny details come together for an unforgettable day. My adrenaline pumps, I have endless energy, I never stop smiling and I’m in my groove all day long.

Q: What the best advice anyone has ever given you?

A: Never give up. We always joke that you must collect your “no’s” before your “yes’s”! It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you’re persistent.

Q: What advice do you have for our readers?

A: Figure out what is important to you and stay true to your priorities. Every bride is different and therefore so is every wedding. Remember to focus on what matters to you.

Q: What are your favorite aspects of a wedding reception?

A: I love any moment charged with emotion. Father of the bride speeches, best friend toasts, first dances, when a couple sees the room for the first time…. it’s all amazing to me!

Q: You are a planner with Big City Bride. Tell me about the company and what makes Big City Bride unique?

A: We are a team and I’m so lucky to have the support of 5 other planners. We all work full time in our Lincoln Park planning studio. We share our experiences, knowledge, contacts and ideas. We support each other through planning and on wedding days. Wedding planning is not an easy job so I feel blessed to have a strong team alongside me.

Planning Your Valentine’s Day Proposal & What to Do Next!


Valentine’s Day is only day behind Christmas for the most marriage proposals. 10% of couple’s choose this holiday to make it official. Chances are you know a couple that could or should take the proposal plunge.
Here are tips to help prepare and plan for the perfect proposal:
  • DO hire a proposal planner. Yes, this is becoming a thing! Just as you would hire a wedding planner to orchestrate the details of your big day, hiring a proposal planner ensures perfect production for your movie moment. They can also be on hand to capture the proposal on video and in photos.
  • DO beat the clich Valentine’s Day proposal…Skip the table-side champagne and stay away from horse drawn carriages. While your honey may love fairytales, give (s)he a great engagement story that you will BOTH be proud to tell over and over again!
  • DO use the special night as an opportunity for a surprise engagement party. Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest “going out” nights of the year, so invite all your friends & family to meet up for a celebratory cocktail and make it aninsta-engagementparty. OrplanaV-Daypartyvs.aromanticdinner:Haveyourfriendsover,shewon’tbe expecting a proposal, but will be thrilled when all of her faves are there to celebrate.
VALENTINE’S DAY MARKS THE END OF “ENGAGEMENT SEASON”…and as Chicago wedding planners we say it’s last chance to plan a 2016 wedding.
While our list could go on and on, here are a few pros of fast wedding planning most people don’t know about:
  • Lock in lower costs! Many venues and vendor pricing increases each year. Snagging a 2016 date will ensure lower costs!
  • Negotiate Vendors – they will be happy to fill their 2016 event calendar. And, let’s face it – Less time for decisions, means less time to stress!
  • Claim “Married” on your 2016 Tax Return.


Photo Credit: Robyn Rachel Photography

Wishing everyone the most loving and fun Valentine’s Day weeknd! Hugs to all our couples celebrating their FIRST Valentine’s Day as a married couple!

XOXO – Big City Bride!

Crafting Your Chicago Wedding Welcome Bag

A great way to kick off your Chicago wedding weekend is to welcome your family and friends with a Chicago welcome bag. Wedding welcome bags are a way to introduce your city to all your guests. They will be excited to explore and love trying some of your city favorite treats. 

Here are some fun ideas to include in your Chicago wedding welcome bags…
• A welcome letter is a great way to thank your guests for traveling near and far to help celebrate your big day. Some guests may not bring the wedding invitation from home and giving them a weekend itinerary will help them stay on track for all the wedding weekend festivities.
• Include a Chicago visitor’s guide! Share with your guests your favorite restaurants, bars, stores and Chicago attractions. They will love the opportunity to explore a new city with first hand recommendations.
• Don’t forget about the goods! Including Chicago snacks can put a nice touch on your welcome bag. Some great Chicago treats to include are: Frango Mints, Jay’s Potato Chips, Garretts Popcorn, and Cracker Jacks. Additionally, guests will love bottled water and local craft beer!
IMPORTANT: Before making your wedding welcome bags, reach out to your hotel and ask them the following:

·      What is the cost of wedding welcome bags?

·      Will they be delivered to the room or handed out at the front desk when guest arrives?

·      Are there any restrictions I should know about?

Your Chicago wedding planner will take care of all this for you, but if you are managing this yourself make sure to notify the hotel and finalize payment before dropping the bags off. The last thing you want the week of your wedding is scrambling to tie up loose ends. 

Although wedding welcome bags may seem like extra work, they are a fun and personal touch to add to your wedding weekend. Instead of putting all of this on you, the couple, ask your families for help! Make an evening out of it. They will feel honored you asked and love to give a helping hand. 
Photo Credit: Chicago Wedding Photographer Robyn Rachel Photography 
Our bride and her mother-in-law put together the cutest wedding welcome bags EVER! Not a detail was missed and our bride personalized everything. Guests felt so special opening their surprise!