Crafty Broads is Hiring!

(For real! Seriously.)

We need a part-time employee to be my wedding assistant. Duties generally include: attending/facilitating wedding rehearsals, setting up decorations, coordinating details and timelines with vendors, assisting wedding guests with whatever they need, and cleaning up things at the end of the party.

Train for 2-3 weddings in June and July, and then be a for-real assistant for a handful of weddings throughout the year. If you are awesome, you can be my assistant forever and ever.

Must be available weekends. Hours are typically all day (usually starting between 12pm-3pm and ending around 12am-1am or thereabouts) on Saturdays, occasional Fridays/Sundays, even more rarely a weekday.

Must be:

  • an excellent communicator with no qualms about talking to strangers
  • a nice person capable of interacting pleasantly and professionally with all kinds of people, even when they are under the influence of (lots of) alcohol
  • able to work independently and follow directions clearly
  • have a good eye for design and details
  • able to work long shifts, spending much of it on your feet, while also schlepping lots of stuff around
  • an unhealthy obsession with organization, spreadsheets, checklists, and nice pens is a plus
  • sense of humor and fluency in sarcasm are absolutely mandatory.

Pay is $13/hour for training and $15/hour when you become a full-fledged assistant.
Absolutely MUST be available Labor Day weekend – ALL DAY Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
A car is helpful but not required.

Interested parties should email a letter of interest to cindy at craftybroads dot com, and tell me why they would rock this job! Please also provide a list of relevant work experience (doesn’t have to be a formal resume but I’ll take that too) and anything else you think I should know.

Ask Crafty Broads: How To Stage Manage Your Wedding (in Six Easy Steps)

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

[This is a post I originally wrote for A Practical Wedding. It seems like the perfect wrap-up to this chunk of the series, so here it is again with a few edits/updates, in case you missed it the first time around.]

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© Timothy Whaley & Associates www.TWAphoto.com

Hi, My name is Cindy, and I am a Stage Manager. I’m addicted to paperwork, checklists, sharpies, and starting on time (which, I’ve learned, is a near-impossible task). If you’re like me, you probably don’t need to read this post. But if you’re currently keeping track of your guest list on the back of a greeting card (I recently met with a client to discuss her upcoming wedding, and she whipped this out of her purse and started counting check marks…), or you’d be hard-pressed to find your photographer’s phone number if she doesn’t show up on time, you may need my help.

1. Get Organized

This is the hardest and most important step.

You need to set up a system for yourself to keep track of the big picture and all the little details. Get a big binder and divide it into tabs for each big part of your wedding. Here are some you might want to start with and what’s likely to go in them. You can use this binder from the get-go and include inspirational pictures and ideas as well, if you want.

  • Important Info (for me, this is a couple sheets in page protectors before the other sections; it’s the stuff you’ll reference most often on/right before your wedding day)
    • Contact Sheet – Name, Cell Phone Number, & Email Address of everyone with a role in your wedding (vendors, wedding party, family members, officiant, anyone needed for pictures)
    • Timeline – Detailed breakdown of what happens, when it happens, where it happens, and who needs to be there – for the entire day, including getting ready & getting home or to the hotel after the party is over
    • Checklist – of everything that needs to be brought to the ceremony or reception, and who is responsible for bringing it; this should include detailed directions on decorations, seating assignments, signage, and other things that need to be setup
    • Shot list for your Photographer
  • Budget
  • Ceremony
    • Venue information, including floor/seating plans, and any needed setup
    • Copy of your ceremony text
    • Copies of any readings on separate sheets of paper (heavy cardstock is a good idea!)
    • List of your processional/recessional order and music to be played
    • Your marriage license, ready to be signed!
    • Anything else related to your ceremony
  • Reception
    • Venue information, including floor/seating plans, and any needed setup
    • Menu/Beverage List
    • Playlist for the DJ, with special songs (first dance, etc.) noted
    • List of who is giving toasts & list of people you want to remember to thank!
    • Anything else related to your reception
  • Guests
    • Guest List, including any dietary restrictions your guests may have, or meal choices if applicable
    • Seating Assignments, if you’re doing that
    • In addition to the guest list, you might also keep track of gifts received & thank you notes sent in this section.
  • Attire/Rings
    • Many of you may find this section optional. However, if you are coordinating dresses and/or suits for a large wedding party and/or parents, that could go here.
  • Décor/Floral/Photo/Video/Entertainment
    • Depending on your personal organizational style as well as what things you’ve opted to do for your wedding, you might put any of these in another section or exclude them entirely.
  • Vendor Contracts
    • All of them. You do have contracts, don’t you? (If you don’t, ask for them! At the very least get their commitments in writing via email, order, or invoice, and stick those in here.)

You probably noticed a bunch of paperwork referenced in that list (Contact Sheet, Guest List, Timeline, Checklists, Playlist, etc.). I recommend you use an online document service (like Google Docs) for these things. That way you can access them quickly from just about anywhere when you think of something that needs to be added or edited, and you and your partner can collaborate easily.

2. Make Backup Plans

Ok, now that you’ve got everything in one place, there are probably some things for which you should have backup plans. Examples are: outdoor events, which should have an indoor location secured in case of inclement weather; flower girls/ring bearers who may be suddenly shy and unwilling to walk the aisle in front of all those people; your iPod playlist which should be copied onto someone else’s iPod too!

3. Find the Missing Details

Consult online checklists or friends who’ve gotten married, ask a planner – whatever. There is probably something you forgot (reserved signs for your family’s seats? someone to press play on the iPod? toasting glasses your grandmother sent you a month ago?), and if you take a little time now to check your list twice, you’ll figure it out before the big day arrives and thus avoid panic.

4. Hire a Wedding Stage Manager or Sweet Talk a Friend

A stage manager is not optional. Not because you need someone to plan your wedding for you, because, obviously you already did that in step 1. But because on your wedding day, you do not want to be setting up chairs and centerpieces before you run back to the hotel to get ready, wearing a watch to keep things happening on time, or talking to the catering manager every twenty minutes about what food to bring out and which tables go where.

Do you have to pay for this? No, you absolutely do not. But know that a professional has done weddings and events before yours and will help you with or even do all of the steps above for you. (Please go read this article on Offbeat Bride by the awesome Ang of Lowbrow Events about what a wedding coordinator does). If you go with a friend, choose wisely. This is not a job for the social butterfly who makes everyone feel welcome and gorgeous at the party just as soon as she shows up late and without her potluck dish…again. This is a job for that friend who sends out the evites with driving, parking, and public transit directions from three different starting points and can usually be found apologizing for being ten minutes early with an extra bottle of wine in hand.

5. Practice

I know everyone’s schedules are crazy and it’s hard to get people in the same place at the same time, but even if it’s fifteen minutes the morning of the wedding, try to schedule at least a quick walk through of your ceremony. Practice walking slowly, unless you want to be like me and beat your future spouse down the aisle.

6. Relax, Get Married

Hand over your binder, your watch, and your cell phone to that person you designated in Step 4 (preferably the day before) and simply be present. Soak up all the moments in the first day of the rest of your awesome married life.

(c) Emilia Jane Photography http://www.emiliajane.com

© Emilia Jane Photography http://www.emiliajane.com

 

Random Bits of Advice

  • Ask your baker how to cut that first slice of cake. They often place dowels and plates in and between layers so that it doesn’t slip or fall over; it’s better to cut around those, yes?
  • Make a shot list for your photographer. Even if you aren’t doing formal, posed photos, you know there are people you’d be sad about not getting a picture with. Write it down and check it off.
  • Decide in advance what you’re going to eat on your wedding day (before the reception) and the days before. Put someone else (great job for your best person) in charge of making sure you eat. And choose healthy stuff that you know won’t upset a nervous stomach.
  • If you’re having any kind of welcome party or rehearsal dinner in your home, especially if you live in a condo or apartment building, let your neighbors know ahead of time or be prepared for them to throw big hissy fits about it. (I speak from personal experience.)
  • Write your thank you notes as soon as you get gifts. I cannot stress this enough. (A friend has a rule that she cannot use a gift or deposit a check until the note is written – an excellent rule.)
  • If you’re getting married outside (or spending time outside right before your wedding) and you burn easily, for the love of all that is sacred, please wear sunscreen. Lest you have a big red blotchy area on your chest that is not in the shape of your gown’s neckline. (Yep, that’s me.)

Little Phrases from Theatre that May Help You

Finally, a couple of my favorite phrases from theatre that may help you keep perspective and/or sanity:

  • The 6 Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Productions. Or weddings in this case.
  • There is a very fine line between “The show must go on!” and “This is stupid, I’m going home.” If something about your wedding seems like way more trouble than it’s worth… it probably is. Cut it without guilt, and move on.
  • “It’s just a show, it’s just a show, it’s just a show…” This is my mantra when people are being pains in my butt or I’ve just messed up a cue and I’m beating myself up about it. It happens. Point being, it’s not life or death (unless it is, in which case your stage manager will be calling 911, administering first aid, and otherwise handling it) so let it go and refocus on what’s ahead.

→ Got more stage managing questions? Need some spreadsheet templates for your wedding? Please feel free to email me – cindy AT craftybroads DOT com. We also offer wedding coordination in Chicago and beyond. Schedule a meeting time here.

Julia’s Custom Veil with Heirloom Lace Amulets

Julia's Custom Wedding Veil with Heirloom Lace Amulets

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Julia brought us 39 exquisite lace amulets that were made by women in a Guatemalan village in 1946 for her grandmother’s wedding. She wanted them to be an integral part of the design of a custom, elbow-length ivory veil, but also needed them to be easily removable for future generations to incorporate into their own weddings one day.

We decided to use their circular shape to create a scallop edging around the bottom and lower sides of the veil. The veil itself was made from soft and ethereal ivory silk chiffon. We think it turned out pretty well!

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I’m sort of at a loss for what else to say about this project. We LOVE period garments, as you know doubt are aware, and working with these little pieces of history was delightful. I am certain they will look as lovely on each woman in Julia’s family who dons them one day as they did on her.

Congratulations Julia and Jon!

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All photos were taken by Ashley Therese Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Wedding Planning: How Do We Choose Wedding Vendors?

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

Ok, so you’ve got your wedding mission statement, and you’ve got your budget, and now you need to figure out who to hire. The only problem is you have no idea how to find those people who will make your wedding awesome, give you great service, and not rip you off. How do you find them?

Ask! If you hired a wedding planner, that is a great place to begin. She or he will be able to give you a general idea of how much things cost in your region as well as suggest some vendors in your price range. If you didn’t hire a wedding planner, start talking to anyone you know who has recently planned a wedding; they will certainly have opinions to share. You can also use our favorite tool – the internet. Search for the kind of vendors you need, check out their reviews (make sure you look at public review sites, not just the hand-picked testimonials on their own websites), and ask around on the various wedding community boards for suggestions.

Once you start contacting vendors, make sure you can afford them before you fall in love with them! If they don’t have at least some general pricing on their websites, send an email or call and ask for an average (be sure to include how many guests you expect, as this can make a big difference in some categories).

Found a few that fit your budget? Awesome! Interview them!! Please don’t skip this step. You should use and trust your gut instincts when you meet with vendors. If they don’t communicate in a timely fashion now, they are unlikely to do so once you book them. If they are awesome and go out of their way to customize a proposal for you or accommodate your budget, they are more likely to be great to work with throughout the process.

Got it narrowed down to one or two? You are almost there! Ask to see a sample contract, review it and make sure you understand everything in it. Find out what their payment schedule is. Ask any question you may have about their services and pricing now, before you sign anything. Still want to hire them? Go for it!

Once you have everything booked, get organized! We’ll talk more about this soon, but go ahead and start a spreadsheet with all you vendor contact information now, and mark payment due dates in your calendar (with reminders!) so you don’t miss them.

That’s it! Now, go relax until the wedding! =)

→ Need more help? We can help you find the right vendors, negotiate contracts, and keep track of payments for you.d

Lisa and Bill’s Family-Centered Wedding at the Morton Arboretum – Lisle, IL

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Lisa found us through the Offbeat Bride Tribe. (Side note: we are becoming an official Offbeat Bride sponsor in February!) We hit it off instantly when we met up at the Morton Arboretum on a very cold day last winter. She told me about her wedding plans: a morning ceremony surrounded by thirty of their nearest and dearest, including a gaggle of kids; photos in the Fragrance Garden afterwards; a brunch of comfort foods and bellinis; and lots of crafty details.

Best Buddies.

Best Buddies. With matching bow ties.

What I loved most about Lisa and Bill’s wedding was the love you could feel between all of their family members and guests. Bill’s son served as the “Best Buddy” and their collection of nieces and nephews made up the wedding party, referred to throughout as The Minions. They are a rambunctious, happy bunch to be around, and their energy made the day both festive and relaxed. It’s pretty damn near impossible to be worried about anything when you’re in the midst of a bubble-blowing fest and skirt-twirling contest!

See? Love! Heaps and heaps of it.

See? Love! Heaps and heaps of it.

Lisa and Bill had a short and sweet ceremony, officiated by a dear friend, and then braved the chilly early-April temperatures to take photos outside. Inside, the room was filled with lots of handmade details – Lisa spent months folding paper flowers for the bouquets and the centerpieces (they look great, don’t they??) as well as making flower corsages for each of their guests. A family member made crocheted headbands for the girl minions; the boys each had a special flower corsage.

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But maybe my most favorite part? After feeding each other the first bite of cake, the kiddos all lined up and each got a turn being fed a bit too!

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To sum it up: this was a super fun and relaxed wedding full of people who genuinely love each other and their families a lot – and that is kinda the best thing ever. I loved being part of this day.

Congratulations Lisa and Bill!

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VENDORS
Venue: The Founders Room at the Morton Arboretum
Officiant: Friend of the couple
Photographer: Timothy Whaley
Catering: Classic Fare (in-house caterer for the Arboretum)
Cake: The Cakery
Flowers: Made by the bride

All photos were taken by Timothy Whaley Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Ask Crafty Broads: The Guest List

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

So here’s the one thing where you are more or less on your own – the guest list. Figuring out who to invite or not is possibly the most difficult part of planning your wedding. Unfortunately, it’s the part where no one else can really help much, because ultimately it’s up to you to decide who you want to be there.

Here’s the advice I can give:

  • Make your guest list first, before you decide anything else except maybe your budget. The size of your party will guide a lot of your decisions, especially your venue and food selections. Balancing budget and guest list is a giant challenge, I’m not gonna lie, but I truly believe you should decide who you want at your wedding before you decide what your wedding will look like. You may need to make cuts and compromises to other things in order to invite everyone you want to; believe me when I say that you will remember WHO you spent your day with far more than the food, fancy clothes, and flowers.
  • If there are people who you know will not be able to attend, but you would definitely invite them if they could, invite them anyway. They will appreciate it, and undoubtedly celebrate it with you in their own way – and that’s really the point, isn’t it? To celebrate with the people you love most.
  • Be warned: Parents may expect to be able to invite a bunch of their friends too, so discuss this upfront, and make sure you know how many guests they anticipate will come.
  • Don’t forget your wedding mission statement! Was it to have an intimate gathering? Then stick to your guns and only invite those people who you just can’t get married without. Or is your goal a big, fun party? Then maybe you need to forego fancy centerpieces so you can feed them all.
  • Keep track of it! I recommend a spreadsheet with columns for name, mailing address, email address, phone number, meal selection (if applicable), and their RSVP status at minimum. Optionally, you may want to track guests by household, in which case you’ll want to add columns for the number of adults and children as well. This is a good spot to keep track of gifts and note when you’ve sent a thank you card as well.

…And yeah, that’s really all I’ve got for guest list advice. Hopefully knowing that it’s just as hard for everyone else will help you get through it!

→ Need more help? We can create a custom guest list spreadsheet with online access, track RSVPs and meal choices for you, address and mail invitations, and more. Schedule a consultation time here.

Ask Crafty Broads: Do We Need A Wedding Planner?

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

Today, I am going to talk about what I do, and why you might (or might not) want someone like me to be on your wedding planning team.

First, let me answer the title question: Do you need a wedding planner?
No! You absolutely do not NEED a wedding planner. But there are many reasons why you might want one:

  • If you have never planned a large event before. A wedding planner can help you figure out where to start, how to make the best use of your budget, source vendors, negotiate contracts, make a realistic wedding day timeline, and generally guide you on all the details and decisions that need to be made for a large event.
  • If you are too busy! The average couple spends about 100 hours planning their wedding. Hiring a wedding planner can drastically reduce the amount of time you have to sacrifice to planning. Many of our clients are simply too busy living their lives to find time for all the research and phone calls and emails and site visits that make a wedding happen.
  • If planning a wedding doesn’t interest you. Maybe you think planning a wedding sounds like a terrible way to spend 2-10 hours a week for the better part of a year. Totally understandable. Me? I think planning events is fun. I like researching caterers and reading fine print. (Seriously, I do.) I LOVE brainstorming decor ideas and looking at venues.
  • If you are stuck on a particular aspect of the wedding. A lot of our clients fall into the “partial planning” category – that is, they are doing most of the planning on their own, but need help with something specific, such as finding a caterer that can meet their budget, or visiting venues on their behalf because they live out-of-town.
  • If you want peace of mind. Day-of-Coordination, or wedding stage management as we like to call it, is the most popular thing we are hired for. Many couples enjoy planning their wedding festivities, but don’t want to worry about all the little details on their big day. Hiring a wedding planner to run the day can really ease your stress and ensure that you have a good plan going in, as well as that anything which might go wrong will be swiftly taken care of. This is also a great option for couples who can’t afford full-planning, but still want a bit of professional help.
Wrangling people for photos - definitely part of my job.

Wrangling people for photos – definitely part of my job.

 

And now, I’d like to answer a couple questions sent in by readers:
When Should You Call a Wedding Planner?
Short answer? Now. Even if you are only planning to hire us for day-of-coordination, we are super helpful to have on board all along. I can’t speak for other planner, but when you hire us, you get access to us via email and phone from the time you put down the deposit. We can offer vendor recommendations and general advice regardless of what specific service we’re providing to you. And perhaps most importantly, booking sooner rather than later makes it much more likely that we’ll be available on your wedding day!

Why Do Some Weddings Require an Assistant for Day-of-Coordination?
The most general answer is that there are some weddings which simply cannot be well-executed without a little more help. In that case, I bring an assistant with me to make sure that everything is set up on time and going as planned. The biggest reasons I usually need an assistant are:

  • Ceremony and Reception in separate locations – I can’t be in two places at once! If there is plenty of time for setup at both venues before the ceremony begins or a big gap of time between them, I may be able to do it on my own, but this is often not the case.
  • One venue, but everything needs to be reset between ceremony and reception – This doesn’t happen too often, but if your venue is small compared to your guest list, someone will have to rearrange chairs, adult tables, place centerpieces, and light candles between your ceremony and reception. Often catering staff will do the bulk of this work, but sometimes that’s my job, and I might need help!
  • Short setup time – Sometimes we don’t have access to the venue(s) early enough for one person to get everything set up before guests arrive.

I will always try to determine whether an assistant is needed at your initial consultation so there are no surprises down the road.

Got more planning questions? Fire away in the comments.

→ Need more help? We offer the full spectrum of wedding planning services, from hourly consultation to day-of-coorditnation to vendor sourcing all the way to full-on, start-to-finish planning. We are based in Chicago, but will happily travel anywhere! Schedule a consultation time here.

The Chopping Block: Joanne’s Wedding Dress Transformation, with Custom Wedding Veil and Silk Tie for the Groom

Joanne came to us with a lovely full-length-with-train lace gown that she’d found at the Brides Against Breast Cancer sale. She definitely needed a hem, as well as to have it taken in a bit, and she thought, perhaps, the style wasn’t quite… her.

The lovely dress before we made any changes.

The lovely dress before we made any changes.

As we were talking, we found out that she didn’t want the train at all, and that she was thinking about maybe shortening the dress. She also didn’t love the generic straps that came on the dress. We thought turning it into a little knee-length number would look fantastic on her. And we also suggested using some of the lace we cut off the bottom to make some nicer straps that would look a little more cohesive with the style of the dress.

The Dress, after all our changes.

The Dress, after all our changes.

And then we talked some more and Joanne showed us the fantastic red shoes she was planning to wear with it. And we suggested that maybe a red silk dupioni sash would look nice.

Fabulous Red Shoes!

Fabulous Red Shoes!

And after that was all done, Joanne was kinda wanting a veil. And since we had that whole lace train we’d mercilessly chopped off… we did that too.

Joanne's dress and veil in action

Joanne’s dress and veil in action.

And then Joanne asked if we could make a tie for her husband-to-be in the same red silk as her sash. Which we did.

The tie!

The tie!

Turns out, silk ties are really, really nice. So nice, in fact, that we kinda wanted to make ties for ourselves, but we’re not really tie-wearing kind of girls… anyway. This was a really fun bundle of projects to work on, as well as a great example of the drastic changes you can make to a dress with a little creative thought.

All photos were taken by Matthew Kuehl Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Ask Crafty Broads: How Do We Make A Wedding Budget?

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

Why yes, we do keep our rainy day savings in a Kool-Aid man jar from 1987.

Why yes, we do keep our rainy day savings in a Kool-Aid man jar from 1987.

There are two parts of planning a wedding that can reduce even the toughest couple to tears, fighting, and pricing flights to Vegas: the Budget and the Guest List. We’re going to try to tackle that first beast today.

Budgeting can be broken down into two parts:

  1. How much money do we have?
  2. How should we spend it?

STEP ONE: I’d like you to note the absence of “How much does a wedding cost?” above. Because here is the thing – a wedding costs whatever amount you spend on it. YOU. Not everyone else that ever got married in the history of ever. It’s critically important to remember that. You have what you have, and you can have an excellent wedding using whatever dollar amount that is (provided it is at least enough to buy your marriage license.) So the first thing you have to do is figure out what that magic number is. Many of you may be paying for your entire wedding yourselves, and so it’s easy to figure this out, if only because you know exactly how little money you have. Some of you may have enough money available that you want to research costs of venues and caterers and photographers before you settle on a total (you should check out our Real Wedding Budget series). Others will need to (tactfully) find out if parents plan to contribute. About that – get a firm dollar amount from your generous relations. Do not accept “as long as it’s reasonable” or “not too much” because those are totally subjective things that only the person holding the cash can actually decide. Keep in mind that the person who says “I’ll pay for the cake/dress/band/flowers/etc.” may have no idea what those things cost. Also, find out if there are any strings attached. Do they expect to be part of decisions made with that money? To have input on the guest list? If so, you may need to decide whether or not want to accept a gift with limitations on how you spend it.

STEP TWO (the hard one): Armed with your wedding mission statement and a total dollar amount, you can prioritize what are your real must-haves and what you can ruthlessly just say no to in order to stick to your budget. There are all manner of breakdowns on wedding websites telling you to spend x percent of your budget on this and y percent on that; those guidelines can be helpful, but you shouldn’t be afraid to change them! Maybe your priority is a really good meal; your reception might cost 70% of your budget instead of the recommended 50%, and you may cut back on flowers or use an iPod playlist instead of a DJ in order to make it work. When in doubt, go back to that list of priorities you made and ask yourselves: does this fit with our wedding priorities? If not, scale it back, go with the cheapest option, or cut it out completely.

Questions? Fire away in the comments. Next up: wedding planners – do you really need one?

→ Need more help? We offer a 90-minute budget strategy session, where we go through your wedding budget line-by-line with you, and figure out how to make what you want happen with the money you have. After the session, you’ll have online access to an awesome budget spreadsheet we create just for you. We can do it in person in the Chicago area, over the phone, or online. Schedule a consultation time here.

Caitlin and Mike’s University of Chicago Wedding – Bond Chapel and The Quad Club – Chicago, IL

Let’s go way back to April as I attempt to catch up on blogging this year’s weddings and projects…

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Caitlin and Mike found me through APW and hired me to coordinate their wedding at the University of Chicago. Where Mike was finishing up his PhD roughly one week prior to the wedding. After which they were planning a cross-country move for a new job. I am tired just thinking about all that, never mind planning a wedding in the middle of it! However, they took it in stride and planned a lovely April wedding.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

The Bond Chapel (which you may remember from Liz & James’ wedding) is a gorgeous historical building, and made a beautiful spot for their ceremony. One of the things I loved most was the blessing they included – they asked several friends, each of different cultures, to say a prayer in their language (Irish, Indian, Hebrew, and Greek) for the marriage – I am a foreign language nerd so I really loved this part.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Cocktail hour featured the Parkwest Strings, who at Caitlin’s request, learned the Downton Abbey theme song. If you love that show as much as I do, you know how thrilled I was to hear that familiar tune.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

The reception was fantastic, in no small part because they hired the Matt Stedman Band to play for the party. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a wedding band – they had a good mix of musical genres and kept the dance floor full all night. When it came time for cake cutting, they’d chosen a comically large meat cleaver to hack their first married cupcake in half.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Finally, I have to mention the favors they made – they took square floor tiles and put pictures of each of the four states they’d lived in one them, turning them into unique coasters for each guest to take home.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Caitlin and Mike – I hope you have settled into your new home and are enjoying married life to the fullest on the west coast! CONGRATULATIONS!

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago
Reception Venue: Quadrangle Club at the University of Chicago
Photographer: Matthew Kuehl Photography
Florist: A New Leaf
Officiant: Elizabeth Harding, Midwest Ceremonies
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musicians: Parkwest Strings
Reception Band: The Matt Stedman Band
Chair Rental: Tablescapes

All photos were taken by Matthew Kuehl Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.