What to Do a Month Before Your Wedding

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Planning + preparation are the keys to a stressful wedding day. Knowing you look + feel your best is the other most important factor.

Screen shot 2014 08 21 at 12.07.03 PM1 What to Do a Month Before Your Wedding

When you are a month out to the day of your wedding, it's time to finalize last minute details + get organized!

Four to six weeks before your wedding 

1. Get a physical or checkup ~ remember, this is preventative! 

2. See your dentist for a check-up and cleaning. Consider whitening your teeth to perfect your smile.

3. Get a haircut + color without doing anything drastic. Practice your wedding day hair with your hairdresser. If you opt for color, make an appointment for a touchup a week before your wedding. You don't want your hair to look like it's just been highlighted or colored in your wedding photos.

5. Have a facial + indulge yourself a little. After all, you deserve it!

6. Make it legal ~ apply for your marriage license.

7. Check with your bridal party to make sure they've gotten their attire ready. Answer any last minute questions about your wedding day timeline + wedding party arrival times.

8. Meet with vendors + make sure all of your final details are covered. Download a complete collection of Wedding Guide Chicago's The Book.  The Book is filled with handy checklists and timetables in one easy download that will make your life (and wedding day) much more organized.

A few days before your wedding

1. Get a massage + do something to relax. Consider planning + having a spa day with your mom, mom-to-be, and attendants. This is a great way to talk about the excitement of the big day + relax.

2. Get a mani + pedi. This is another great way to spend time with your bridesmaids before your wedding day. (Grooms + groomsmen can get in on the fun too!)

3. Assign duties to your bridal party. Follow the Who's in Charge checklist from The Book.  Details can be easily forgotten, but writing them down ahead of time can make remembering much easier.

4. Go to bed early (or semi-early) the night before your wedding. This may be hard to do with all of the excitement, but you will be happy you did it. Happy wedding!

Couple of the Week ((Maggie + Theron))

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"Stupidly in Love"

Moore Lalla Jenna Marie Photography JennaMariePhotographyEngagement06 low Couple of the Week ((Maggie + Theron))

Jenna Marie Photography introduced us to this adorable couple ~ ((Maggie + Theron)). Two peas in a pod since the beginning, ((Maggie + Theron)) met through their animals. "It all started at a dog park, when his dog started chasing my dog around!" ~ Maggie replied. 

Moore Lalla Jenna Marie Photography JennaMariePhotographyEngagement02 low Couple of the Week ((Maggie + Theron))

{Their Proposal Story}

For one year, ((Maggie + Theron)) were in a long distance relationship. During that time, Maggie started making a memory box for Theron filled with little pieces of paper that included memories of their relationship.

Fast forward three years later, Maggie came home one night and Theron had the memory box Maggie made. "Theron told me he wanted to add new memories and we took the time to read each other's papers that were going to put in the box. Then, he handed me a slip of paper that read, "The time we were adding memories to our memory box and I asked you to marry me."  ~ Maggie said.

Taken aback, Maggie looked up to say, "What? I don't remember that." Meanwhile, Theron was holding an engagement ring. 

maggie theron Couple of the Week ((Maggie + Theron))

Fun, quirky, and full of adventure, ((Maggie + Theron's)) favorite date night was when Maggie bought a bunch of Nerf Guns and the two spent the night chasing each other. "We laughed the entire time!" ~ Maggie said. 

((Maggie + Theron)) teamed up with Jenna Marie Photography on a cold spring day at North Avenue Beach to take their engagement photos.  Though the winds were chilly, their love warmed up Jenna Marie's camera.

((Maggie + Theron)) are looking forward to many more laughs together in the future.  They are currently planning a May 9, 2015 wedding! 

Moore Lalla Jenna Marie Photography JennaMariePhotographyEngagement22 low Couple of the Week ((Maggie + Theron))

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Interested in sharing your love story with us?  Follow the link to be featured!

((Tori + Vaughn’s)) Whimsical Wedding

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Think purple! One of the things we love about ((Tori + Vaughn's)) whimsical wedding is the touch of purple throughout their wedding decor. The lovebirds were able to find the perfect touch of contrast to add some pop especially since purple has always been Tori's favorite color. Tori told us, "I think that was the first thing I was certain of while planning. Well, besides the groom, of course." 

((Tori + Vaughn)) also wanted to tie the knot in a location that had meaning to them, choosing to say "I do" at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Barrington surrounded by candelabras lining the aisle and soft, cozy lighting. "It was very meaningful for me because it is the church that I grew up in. My baptism, first communion and confirmation all took place at St. Michael's, so of course that is also where I always pictured my wedding" ~ Tori said. 

As the evening sun filtered through the trees, the party started at Bull Valley Golf Club. The couple found out about the venue when their friends had their wedding reception there two years prior. They knew Bull Valley Golf Club was perfect for them too.

Calm and relaxed throughout day, ((Tori + Vaughn)) appreciated spending time with their guests. Between getting ready in the morning with friends + family, greeting everyone at dinner, riding in the limo with their wedding party, listening to their best friends give speeches, and dancing the night away, "The whole day was wonderful" ~ Tori added. "But I mostly loved walking into my church and being instantly surrounded by all of the people I love, and ending up right next to the person that makes my life complete. The love in that room will stay with me for the rest of my life."

Celebrate the day with ((Tori + Vaughn)) by browsing photos of their big day from Lemon Twist Images ~ 

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"I have always loved anything with a vintage flair, so I suppose I stuck to that kind of style for the most part. I honestly just picked whatever I liked, and hoped that it would all come together"   ~ Tori 

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 ~ The Groom's Touch

"The pictures at our wedding reception were Vaughn's idea. We wanted a way to visually include our family members who have passed, especially since my Nana passed while we were engaged. We wanted a little visual reminder of their presence there that day. We also included their names listed in the program for the ceremony."

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"My something old was my mom's veil. When she wore it, it was attached to a little hat. She worked some magic, detached it from the hat, and sewed it onto a comb so it would be perfect for me." ~ Tori

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~ Advice for Couple's Planning ~

"Relax and don't rush it. We were engaged for almost a year and a half, and it was perfect for us. We were able to make one decision at a time without feeling overwhelmed, and we had time to enjoy our engagement as it's own milestone in our lives."

"Don't get caught up in the planning that you forget why you're doing it. We were also lucky that we picked such wonderful vendors. Every part of our wedding day went so smoothly because they took care of everything for us. Pick vendors that you get a good feeling from. Meet with them and make sure that you have good chemistry. You want to be able to trust your vendors to handle things for you since that's the reason you hire them."

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Poll Mueller Lemon Twist Images 62814858 low ((Tori + Vaughns)) Whimsical Wedding

 

xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo

Venue: Bull Valley Golf Club • Photographer: Lemon Twist Images • Florist: Petals n' Bloom • Bridal Shop/Salon: Shelley's Bridal • Grooms/Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Tux • Hair: Sarah Rodriguez • Makeup: Aaron Gomez • Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery • Videography: Flydidee Films • DJ: Toast & Jam

What to Wear to a Wedding {A Guy’s Guide}

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shutterstock 165808880 What to Wear to a Wedding {A Guys Guide}

Black tie, black tie optional, semi-casual, or casual can mean so many things. When it comes to wedding guest attire, guidelines are not necessarily black and white. It is important that you are comfortable in your outfit and ready to party the night away, but that you are not uncomfortable because you feel under or overdressed.

Standard dress for a guy at a wedding is a suit and tie or dress pants + tie + blazer. If you are expected to dress any fancier, the wedding invitation you received should say something like "black tie affair." Try to wear something that you already own, unless you need to buy something or want to buy something. Your shirt or pants of choice should be in good condition and washed or ironed. I have been to many weddings where it is obvious that a few gentlemen have pulled their brand new dress shirt out of a bag or back of the closet.

Think simple colors + limited patterns. Solid navy and gray are the safest colors to wear. If you don't have access to a suit, wear a nice blazer over a dress shirt or polo.

Dress shoes + a tie are most appropriate during this type of occasion. Once again, think simple colors and simple patterns such as pinstripes or dots. Avoid gaudy colors and out of this world patterns, such as dogs or tie-dye.

Weddings that occur during the day are often more informal than nighttime weddings. Daytime weddings can also lead to a more colorful wardrobe (think lighter colors / less informal / non black tie). Dressing for the season is a great guideline to follow. For example, pastels are big in the spring, bright colors are big in the summer, earth tones + browns for the fall, and deep colors of blue + green for the winter.

If you are utterly confused, ask someone close to the couple getting married. They can give you direction of what they think is appropriate or is not appropriate. Don't wear blue jeans and a t-shit, unless that's what the couple tying the knot wants you to wear. Please note: any attire related to clubbing, golfing, or funerals is not appropriate.

Either way, this is about feeling comfortable and dressing for the occasion. Not everyone will be focused on your outfit, but it is important that you are not tugging at your clothing or hiding in a corner all night long. We also don't want you to look back years from now and think, "Why in the world did I wear that?" Happy wedding!

Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))

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"I love you." 

Hutson Kawula AE Stelzer Photography DarrenMarkESession125 low Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))

We were introduced to ((Darren + Mark)) through AE Stelzer Photography on Two Bright Lights.  As soon as we browsed through their adorable engagement photos, we knew there was something special about them. The love between ((Darren + Mark)) was evident from the first photo.  With bright smiles and genuine laughs, we knew we had to learn more about their story and find out the story behind their love.

Hutson Kawula AE Stelzer Photography DarrenMarkESession104 low Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))

((Darren + Mark))'s love story started online, but to avoid the stigma that comes with online dating, the couple used to invent stories of how they met. "One of my favorites was always telling people that we met in a library. I pulled my book off the shelf and his beautiful blue eyes were on the other side," ~ Darren said. ((Darren + Mark)) also told people they met through a mutual friend; often telling people it was on a blind date.  "It was true, in essence," ~ Darren said.

After a month or so of emails, texts, and late night conversations, Mark picked Darren up a block away from his apartment.  "I only gave him the cross streets in case he turned out to be crazy/fictional/or if I got cold feet," ~ Darren said. Mark ended up parking a few blocks away, thwarting Darren's plan. Darren said, "I was a bit out of breath when I got to him. My eyes had been scanning everyone around, looking for Mark. I had to call his phone to find him. He turned and smiled at me. I had butterflies the moment our eyes met."

darren mark Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))Hutson Kawula AE Stelzer Photography DarrenMarkESession109 low Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))

If you ask ((Darren + Mark)) their favorite date night together, both will give you a different story ~ 

Mark: Can we say the first date? Or how about the second date, where I got food poisoning? Either one, really. The first date was all about sharing and falling in love. When I first saw Darren, I was completely arrested in the moment. We had tapas and sangria. On our second date, Darren cooked for me! He made quite an impressive spread. Sadly, he stuffed some mushrooms, and they made me ill a few hours after dinner. I was still in Darren's apartment when it happened. I was embarrassed, but he was kind.

Darren: It sounds corny, but it's so hard to pick a best date night. Whether it was the Chinese Lantern Festival, a Broadway Show, or frozen pizza and Corona night, He's good company. Every night is pretty special when you are in love.

Hutson Kawula AE Stelzer Photography DarrenMarkESession116 low Couple of the Week ((Darren + Mark))

{Their Proposal Story} Mark proposed to Darren downtown on Grand + Michigan. After spending the day with a dear friend helping her find the perfect dress and shoes for her upcoming wedding, Mark walked with Darren as he listened to him talk about their busy day; everywhere they had been, who they saw, what she tried on, and how it looked. As Darren reached to hold Mark's hand, Mark pulled back from him. "He made me stop talking, for the first time ever," ~ Darren said.

"You should put this on first," ~ Mark replied, as he pulled out an iconic little blue box with a ring he and his neice had picked out from Tiffany & Co.

The couple said "I do" on May 3, 2014.  One hundred two days later ((Darren + Mark)) are enjoying this new chapter in their life together.  

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Interested in sharing your love story with us?  Follow the link to be featured!

What to Wear to a Wedding {A Girl’s Guide}

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shutterstock 146103860 What to Wear to a Wedding {A Girls Guide}

We all get stuck once in a while when deciding what to wear to a wedding. Is the traditional rule of not wearing white to a wedding still followed? Is a short dress or long dress more acceptable? Generally, there are several unwritten rules for wedding wear depending on the time of day the couple says "I do" as well as how formal or informal the wedding is going to be.

Usually, you'll want to wear a dress when attending a wedding as a guest. Unless you are attending a formal wedding, it doesn't need to be a full-length gown.  Looking at colors, you ask?  A white dress is always off limits.  Try to stay away from cream, too.  Afterall, you shouldn't be trying to compete with the bride. The rule may be super traditional, but there are plenty of other colors available. Don't worry about wearing the same colors as the bridesmaids or mothers either; besides white, there are so many colors. You won't match everyone in the wedding party.

If you have to second guess yourself and ask yourself if the outfit you want to wear is appropriate, it probably isn't. Anything in the same category as clubwear doesn't belong at a wedding. Trust us, the awkward feeling is not worth it. 

Dressing casual for a wedding, or even semi-casual can mean many things. Casual can mean wearing a pretty sundress, but does not mean wearing jeans or shorts is appropriate. A pastel suit or soft dress for the daytime, or a little black dress for evening (think after 6 p.m.) are two essential items and will take you almost anywhere.

Here are a few guidelines to follow ~

Informal Daytime: Short dress or suit (business attire is okay for morning weddings)

Informal Evening: Cocktail dress (or any dressier dress, for example, consider wearing a little black dress that is not full-length or a simple cocktail dress with a little something to dress it up.)

Semi-Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit

Semi-Formal Evening: Cocktail dress

Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit

Formal Evening or Black-Tie: Long or dressy short cocktail (think intricate beading, sparkly + glam accessories, and a wrap or shawl to keep warm for those cool nights)  

Ultra-formal or White Tie: Long gown with extra glitz + sparkle (think about wearing bold costume jewelry, faux diamonds and maybe a fur or fur shawl.)

When you open your closet + look at the colors in your wardrobe, it's important to think about colors! Think about the colors of the season, what you feel comfortable wearing and go from there. Happy wedding!

Couple of the Week ((Elyse + Don))

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"Laughter to us means ~ I love you."

Reynolds Sungkapan Michael Novo Photography 0063ElyseReynoldsDonSungkapane0021t low Couple of the Week ((Elyse + Don))

((Elyse + Don)) are a true Chicago couple.  The pair met on a dating website, where Don created a magical first date.  Little did Elyse know, that date would be re-created during their proposal! Don took Elyse to Navy Pier, where the couple ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp.  Then, Don took her to the spot of their first kiss ~ a bench over looking Lake Michigan. 

"That's where Don down on one knee! He was so nervous, he accidently asked me to promise him to make him happy instead of promising to make me happy (which he quickly fixed)" ~ Elyse said.  Afterwards, ((Elyse + Don)) went on a boat tour of the city and on their way home, called all of their friends to get together at Brixie's Bar & Grill, in the outskirts of the city, for celebratory beers.

Brixie's Bar is ((Elyse + Don's)) favorite date night.  "I love going to the bar, playing cards, and talking for hours" ~ Elyse said. This is one of the many reasons why ((Elyse + Don)) chose to have their engagement photos by Michael Novo Photography at Brixies.  The spot has a direct meaning to the couple. 

Michael Novo Photography set out to make the bar look just as fun as classic engagement photos at a park or of the Chicago skyline.

Bringing lots of personality to the engagement session, ((Elyse + Don's)) love shined through these photos. See their love shine + help us wish them good luck as they plan a December 6, 2014 wedding!

Reynolds Sungkapan Michael Novo Photography 0127ElyseReynoldsDonSungkapane0021t low Couple of the Week ((Elyse + Don))

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Interested in sharing your love story with us?  Follow the link to be featured!

Tips on Tackling Your Wedding Registry

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10525620 10152495311834870 3997416078222502524 n Tips on Tackling Your Wedding RegistryPhoto by Timothy Whaley & Associates

We did it! Last night, my fiancé and I completed our wedding registry. After months (months!) of working on it, we can finally put a checkmark next to "Register" on our pre-nuptial to-do list. While most wedding websites will provide you with ideas for items to add to your registry, as a Sassy Chicago Bride, I'm here to provide you with useful advice on how to complete your registry the "fun" way. Don't let the thought of our registry taking months (months!) to complete scare you – once we buckled down and focused on the following tips, registering was a breeze!

  1. Make a list to determine what you DO NOT need to add to a registry. I know, I know. You need another list like you need a hole in your head. But this list will be one of the most helpful. Take inventory of what both you and your fiancé are bringing to the table as you make your new home. Assess whether or not those items need updating, and decide to add (or refrain from adding) it to your list. For example, I have a new (1-2 years old) toaster oven and he has a rice cooker and a George Foreman Grill in excellent condition. We also both have dinner plates, but we would like a nice, matching set. So, on our list, we have toaster oven, rice cooker, and George Foreman Grill, and we do not need to add those items to a registry. 

  2. Register from the comfort of your home. I cannot stress this enough. Sure, looking in the store was fun. Shooting the registry gun was comical. If you really, truly want to experience that – go for it. We spent most of our engagement living far apart, so we were I was insistent on registering in-person. But, if you're planning a wedding (as I'm sure you are), you know like I know that finding a few hours on a Saturday for you and your fiancé to hit up a Crate & Barrel is like winning the lottery: highly unlikely. Make a date night out of creating your registry! We enjoyed sipping wine and going through pages of bedding and towels on our designated registry sites. It took the stress out of making a decision and it even offered us more variety (most stores usually have more product online than they do on shelves). If you take just a little bit of time for a handful of nights, your registry will be complete* in less than 10 days.

  3. Narrow it down for your fiancé. My guy is the sweetest and gave me pretty much free rein on our registry (it's pretty hard not to agree with anything I say anyways, LOL). That being said, I wanted our registry to be about US and not just ME. So, I narrowed it down to a few options in different categories for us to pick together. Bedding is a good example where this came into play – I curated a list of 10 bedding options from various stores, and, without telling my fiancé, I ranked the options. He ranked his top choices and in cross comparing the two lists, we were able to make a compromise. This tip goes both ways; let your fiancé pick a category and narrow it down for you so you're not the one doing all the registry research.​

  4. Forget what anyone tells you about number of registries. Instead, focus on quantity at each location. Don't go crazy – 2 to 5 places is a safe bet. If you don't like the dishes that Store A offers, register for those at Store B. If neither A nor B offer bedding to your liking, then go with Store C. Make sure your registries are listed somewhere online (try Amazing Registry) so as to keep everything succinct and easily accessible for your wedding guests. 

​​What are some tips and tricks that you swear by when it comes to creating your wedding registry? Leave a comment below and share your registry prowess!

*One of the best tips I can offer is that a registry should be kept up to date . Be active with it – update your registry up to a month before your wedding with things you may have forgotten to include (or with something that caught your eye that you and your fiancé can get some use out of as a married couple). Don't forget to adjust your registry for items that may have been purchased elsewhere so as to avoid doubling up on some items. 

120.thumbnail Tips on Tackling Your Wedding Registry

About SassyMK

I'm a 25-year-old Chicagoan representing the South Loop neighborhood. When I'm not playing the part of Wonder Woman Wedding Planner, I like riding my bike around the city with my fiance, reading, and going to concerts. When it comes to planning my wedding, my advice is to keep a bottle of wine handy at all times.

The Wedding Movie Quiz

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the wedding planner The Wedding Movie QuizThere are so many wedding movies out there, it's hard to pick a favorite! How many have you seen? How many can you remember?

Take our quiz and test your memory on all things wedding. Try not to cheat!

{Styled Shoot} Surrealism at Willow Harbor Vineyards, Michigan

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Melissa Jordan Photography sent us this editorial shoot inpired by Frida Kahlo, a Mexican Surrealist Artist. Kahlo typically painted self-portraits using vibrant colors in a style that was often influenced by the Mexican culture and European Surrealism. 

After seeing the self-portraits, Melissa Jordan Photography teamed up with Grace from Whalen Creative Group to capture bold colors as well as natural and earth elements in Kahlo's paintings.  Bold and beautiful, but not over-the-top, Grace was drawn to subtle and natural linen colors with wood accents in the chargers and vases.  "I wanted the details to make a big impact, for instance, colorfully dipped mini-churros, Mexican sodas and tequila shots on display and a cigar bar for guests to enjoy during the reception" ~ Grace said.

We love the bride's vibrant jewelry from Chapman Jewelers, as well as the painted canvas guestbook. A guestbook on canvas is perfect for the new couple to hang in their new home as husband and wife.

Be inspired to go vibrant as you browse through the photos of this outdoor vineyard style shoot!

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^^ A moden twist on a traditional wedding ~ first look photos! ^^

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^^ We can't help but fall for this bride's look! ^^

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Venue: Willow Harbors Vineyard • Event Planner: Whalen Creative Group • Photography: Melissa Jordan Photography • Bridal Shop: One Fine Day Bridal and Gown Boutique • Makeup Artist: GabGlam Tuxedo: Male Fashions  Invitations: The Lucky Marble  Jewelry: Chapman Jewelers • Models: Emily Laraine + Josh Knox

 
 

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