7 Reasons to use a Chicago Wedding Planner

I know what you’re thinking… “I don’t need a wedding planner, I can do everything myself”. Well that’s what I thought too.  And then I became a bride! I was the bride who wanted to be in control and know every little detail about everything that was going on while I was wedding planning. I even went as far as making a huge custom cutting order at the Paper Source because I wanted “Pocket” invitations, and I couldn’t find the ones I wanted anywhere.  So I scored, folded, and put together every single one…All 200 of them.  And then Jon helped me stamp our monogram on what felt like a million little squares.  This was just the beginning…lol.  Let my hindsight be your gain!

Today I’m going to share 7 Reasons to use a Chicago Wedding Planner:

7. You deserve everything to be fabulous on such an important day. Using a wedding planner alleviates you from dealing with an unexpected crisis… and there’s always at least one (Our trolley never showed up and my Dad had to deal with it).

6. A Wedding Planner has several local vendor connections.  The Chicago Wedding Industry in particular is a very supportive and close-knit group.  Using a planner will allow you to take advantage of their personal professional network of trusted vendors, all of whom have fabulous reputations.  Your wedding planner will have the perfect set of vendors to align with your wedding vision.

5. You have a vision for your wedding day and a planner will bring that vision to fruition.  We all have an idea of how we WANT something to look, but making it happen is another story. A great example of this is my website.  I FINALLY hired a designer to bring my vision to life because I was really having difficulty making it happen… and now I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

4. A wedding planner will help plan your timeline for the day, coordinate with the other vendors, and help keep things on schedule so the ceremony is on time, meals come out hot, there’s enough time for photos, and your guests aren’t kept waiting.

3. A wedding planner can offer their advice.  This isn’t their first rodeo.  They know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to weddings.

2. The dreaded budget… A planner will make sure you stick to it by tracking everything and they can often times negotiate deals with other vendors for their clients because of their relationships.

1. STRESS!!! Having a wedding planner makes the experience so much more enjoyable! My personal experience planning my wedding was super stressful because I was so into the details and completing so many projects on my own… it totally took over my life. Guest lists, table planning, favors, paper suites, linens, flowers, etc.  I had a hand in all these things.  It would have been SOOO nice to have a consultant help me bring the day to life rather than do so much myself. I also really relied on my mom and aunts a TON on the wedding day and it would have been really nice if they could have just enjoyed themselves.  Instead my aunt was trying to get the linens company to iron all the table clothes because they were so wrinkled, they looked like someone threw them in a ball on the floor.  She even went as far as ironing them herself.  I was very thankful for the help, but wish she wouldn’t have had to do all that. She was almost late for the ceremony because of it.

Investing in a wedding planner is one expense you won’t regret because of the many benefits you’ll receive!!  Know someone planning a wedding?  Share this post with them:)

Top 10 First Dance Songs for Weddings

Being a huge music fan, I always get excited when I hear a couple’s first dance song during the reception.  I especially love it when a unique song is chosen, one you wouldn’t expect.  And of course I get sappy when any of the “First Dance” songs happen to be the same as what Jon and I had at our wedding.

There are so many options out there and sometimes when you’re planning a wedding, making a decision just becomes difficult.  So today I’m happy to share my picks for “Top 10 First Dance Songs”.

  1. At Last- Etta James
  2. Into the Mystic- Van Morrison
  3. In my Life- The Beatles (Our wedding party danced to this) Thank God Brides aren’t making their wedding parties dance with their “partner” attendant anymore…Can we say AWKWARD…haha I once stood up in a wedding where the corresponding groomsman refused to dance with me because he didn’t want his girlfriend to get upset. I mean, come on people, we’re all adults here!
  4. Ho Hey- The Lumineers
  5. You’re My Best Friend- Queen (One of my favorite couples danced to this song at their wedding and I have warm memories every time I hear it.
  6. You & Me- Dave Matthews Band  (I’ve been obsessed with them since 8th grade)
  7. Such Great Heights- Iron & Wine & The Postal Service (From the movie Garden State…LOVE)
  8. I will Follow You into the Dark- Death Cab for Cutie (Might seem a little morbid to some but I think it’s completely romantic)
  9. I won’t give up- Jason Mraz or Christina Grimmie from the Voice.
  10. Fields of Gold- Sting (Jon and I danced to this song at our wedding so of course it made the list)

Have you chosen your first dance song yet?  Have a favorite you’d like to share?  Leave them in the comments.

Lately scouring the internet for information I think would be useful to my clients has become my favorite past time. I’m a total read-a-holic and always do this for myself and my business but thought it would be a good idea to start sharing the knowledge I often stumble upon! I guess I wouldn’t exactly say that I stumble upon the info because I’m actively looking, but hopefully you’re picking up what I’m laying down and benefitting from it too.

0 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive while Wedding Planning

Since I first wrote the “8 Useful Free Apps for Wedding Planning Post“, I’ve really been using Flipboard a TON to curate some of the content that I find useful for my couples and the blog.  And can I just say that I’m totally obsessed with this app?? I totally love it!  I also found another web based app called Feedly (they also have an iPad app), that can be used similarly.  This app is a little easier to set up initially but doesn’t have as much functionality.  It also doesn’t look as slick…BUT; If technology is not your friend, it might be perfect for you!

Anyhow, I think I’ve totally gotten off track here… On to talking about 10 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive while Wedding Planning. I found this super sweet and useful article on Loverly that gives 10 good ideas for just that!

One of my favorite tips was this:

2. Go old school. Look back through your texts, Instagrams, and gushy emails to friends from those early dating days and relive some of your best moments—and date nights—all over again. (Bonus points for actually showing your partner those aforementioned gushy text messages!)”

I think the stress (and excitement) of wedding planning can often make us forget why we fell in love and are getting married in the first place. I know this was particularly true for me.  I think it’s easier to get caught up in the hoopla and forget what’s most important: that you’ve found the person you want to spend forever with and you’re building a marriage and future together.

So in favor of remembering, hop on over to read the article and learn 9 more ways to keep that romance churning.  It could also be good to read this article in 5 years….lol.  I think I’m going to try and take some of the advice from it too;)

What’s your advice for keeping the romance alive while wedding planning? Be sure to leave it in the comments.


10 Unique and Gorgeous Wedding Dresses

Are you sick of seeing the same strapless wedding gown over and over again?  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my timeless strapless silk-satin Monique Lhuillier wedding gown.  It had a sweetheart neckline, silk sash, and silk covered buttons down the chapel length train.  Many people agreed that the dress didn’t look that incredible on the hanger, but that it transformed when I put it on.  I wore the dress, it didn’t wear me.  And that’s totally what I wanted.  I decided to get a little dramatic with a cathedral length veil.  My friend Kari wore a cathedral length lace-trimmed veil and it was absolutely stunning.  When I saw her all dressed, I was like “Wow, you look amazing.  I’m totally stealing your look”.

But if I could do it all over, I might have picked a gown a little more vintage, maybe with some gorgeous lace… Or maybe I wouldn’t have.  The best and worst thing available to us as brides are “options”… And lots of them:)

Beautiful Lace Wedding Gown

The image above was taken of my bride Cara’s wedding gown.  Totally unique, totally her! Adorned with cowboy boots underneath.  I loved her look.

I came across an awesome post on Style me Pretty that highlights 10 Unique and Gorgeous Wedding Dresses.  I think you’ll really enjoy the images of these dresses.  Some of them are right up my alley, like the first image of the slideshow…A tea-length cream dress with an all lace back?! Yes, Please.

Head over and check it out, you won’t be sorry!

What is your bridal style? Are you a classic, edgy, or vintage?  Or maybe you’re just laid back and wouldn’t classify your style with a name. And that’s perfectly awesome.

I’m super stoked about sharing this Vendor Spotlight with you! I first met Loreen at a Thursday Therapy meet-up doing what she does best (besides creating)…networking.  Since that time, we’ve become friends and she even paid me a visit here in Ireland back in February.

One the of the things I always explain to my clients is that photos from the big day will be all that remains after the celebration is over.

When I first learned about Modern Bouquet Preservation in Chicago and what Reenie Rose does, I thought it was so awesome that her custom oil paintings added something tangible that will be preserved from a wedding forever, just like a photograph does!


Photo Credit: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? Reenie Rose provides a modern alternative to traditional bridal bouquet preservation by creating a custom oil painting on canvas of the flowers as they were on a wedding day.  Basically, I paint flowers that are pretty meaningful to my clients.

Modern Bouquet Preservation in Chicago_Reenie Rose 2

How did you get started? Like many entrepreneurial businesses, Reenie Rose started as more of a happenstance than a drawn out desire to start my own business.  A family friend that had purchased artwork from me in the past wanted me to paint something for her niece as a wedding gift.  After brainstorming a bit, we decided that I would paint the bride’s bouquet since I had always gravitated towards painting natural objects.  Upon completion of the painting, we both stood back from it and realized that this painting was more than just a painting….it was an idea (and not one that many had discovered).  So, I did my research and found this great niche in the wedding industry.  The options for bouquet preservation were terribly out of date.  The idea of something creative, timeless and modern was wonderfully embraced by my wedding industry peers as an option for couples looking to remember their wedding day through a piece of artwork.  I love that I can combine art and weddings into one business!

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? I truly love the people I get to work with in the wedding industry.  The entrepreneurial spirit we share definitely gives us a common ground that we can all relate to and work together to support each other’s businesses.  Since I work by myself at home, it is so important for me to get out and network with others.  For some, networking is like getting a tooth pulled, but for me it is just another night with amazing people…whom have really become my friends.

How would you describe your business’ style? Hmm….I guess I would say that I’m very laid back and casual (after all, I am an artist), but still professional.  My clients will receive a contract from me, but I also love grabbing a coffee or inviting them over to my studio to reveal a painting and get to know them on a friendship level.


How far in advance should clients book your services? I usually tell clients that a painting takes 6-12 weeks to complete from the day they approve the composition (so tack on some extra time for receiving the contract, retrieving photos and putting together compositions).  During the peak of wedding season, more time should definitely be allowed.  More time is always better.

Where does your inspiration come from? From whatever my clients have chosen as their bouquet.  I work with what I am given, and it’s usually pretty great.  Has anyone ever come across an ugly flower?  I think not.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? Catching up with all my good friends, enjoying the city and traveling.  Put me on a plane to anywhere and I would be a happy girl.


What is one piece of advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? Booking my services before their wedding will always produce the best painting.  If I’m booked ahead of time, it allows myself or the photographer to get sufficient photos of the bouquet rather than trying to make do with the images I am given post wedding.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? There are so many different facets to Reenie Rose right now!  With my paintings, I also provide prints and notecards of my work and have produced a calendar in the past that contains a different painting for each month.

Heather Cook Elliott

Photo Credit: Heather Cook Elliott

Besides painting, I have also taken on any creative service you can think of that is connected to the wedding industry….hand-painted aisle runners, diy projects, creative consulting and styling and (most popular lately) chalkboard and mirror artwork and signage (think seating charts and welcome signs for the wedding).

In addition, I also now split my work time with Clementine Custom Events as one of their senior event consultants and have guided many couples through their wedding day.

How can clients connect with you?

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/reenierose

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/reenie_rose

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/loreen_rose

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/loreenh

Website:  www.ReenieRose.com


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  • Jenn Gaudreau - What a fantastic feature on one of my favorite gals! xoxo to you and Loreen!October 8, 2014 – 4:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Jeannine Kearney - Love seeing your success!October 3, 2014 – 1:06 amReplyCancel