Summer Wedding Photos

August 29th, 2016

I just worked on a very nice wedding a couple of weeks ago, and I want to share some of my photos with you.  The wedding was at the Kenilworth Club (one of my all-time favorite venues); Catered By Design provided the food and service; flowers were by Four Finches (another favorite of mine); Martini Lunch provided the dance music; and the cake was from Bittersweet Bakery.  I hope to have the professional photos from Studio Finch to share with you in the future.

place cards floral centerpiece entrance flowers cheese tray card lantern bouquets reception hall reception table sweetheart table table flowers table map wedding cake

DIY Weddings: Officiants

August 22nd, 2016
A professional at work.   Photo courtesy of

A professional at work. Photo courtesy of

There are plenty of elements of weddings that are suitable for Do-It-Yourself projects, and some that are totally unsuitable.  When it comes to officiants, you can’t really do it yourself:  Another person is required to sign your marriage license, at least in Illinois.  The real question at hand is whether you should hire a professional or ask your cousin to get ordained at the Church of the Latter-Day Dude.  I have to say that I have been at weddings with both kinds of officiants, and there are advantages both ways.

Professional wedding officiants, clergy, and wedding celebrants all have some training in the art of ritual, which is one of the keys to a good wedding ceremony.  They can also elicit from you what you want in a wedding ceremony, and then follow through.  They are generally very polished public speakers, who won’t mumble and “um” their way through your ceremony.  Many of them are also trained counselors who can do pre-marital counseling, if you wish.

The advantage to having a friend or family member officiate at your wedding is that that person already knows you, will instinctively know what kind of ceremony you want, and will be able to add all sorts of personal touches because of your relationship.  If you want a more relaxed feel to your ceremony, having a non-professional officiate might be the way to go.

And, of course, some people are lucky enough to have clergy in the family so that you can get the best of both worlds.  If you do, be sure to ask them to officiate at your wedding.  They will likely be more than happy to do so.

Happy Anniversary to Me!

August 15th, 2016

I just looked at the calendar and realized that it has been ten years since I booked my very first wedding.  It has been a long and interesting road since those days.  I can say with some confidence that ten years of planning and managing weddings has given me insight into the process that I didn’t have in the beginning.  So, here’s a journey in pictures through the last ten years of weddings.  Some of my favorites:

table centerpiece

Photo courtesy of Artisan Events, Inc.

cutting the cake

Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

bride and turnstile

bridal party

Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

tea ceremony

Photo courtesy of

table setting

Photo by hannahelaine photography (

bridesmaid bouquets

Photo by Peter Coombs.

lakeside ceremony

Courtesy of

vintage bride and groom

Photo by Allison Williams Photography.


bridal party flowers

Photo by Agnes Malory Photography.

Vendors I Know: Van Galder Bus Company

August 8th, 2016
Too bad you can't see the Van Galder bus fighting through traffic in this skyline view!  Courtesy of

Too bad you can’t see the Van Galder bus fighting through traffic in this skyline view! Courtesy of

One of the types of vendors I help clients with the most is transportation vendors.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching various options for buses, limos, trolleys, and other ways to travel.  One of my favorites is the otherwise unexciting bus company called Van Galder.

This is the company I recommend and hire when clients need to move a lot of people and need reliable transportation.  While the company is based in Janesville, WI, they do a lot of business in Chicago.

One of my favorite things about Van Galder is that they don’t mark up their prices for weddings.  It’s the same price whether it’s a convention or a wedding.  (See my recent post about which vendors are more likely to mark up their services.)  You get clean, reliable buses either way.

They also tend to have nice, friendly bus drivers, which is a bonus!