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Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning’

Creating the Soundtrack for
Your Wedding


Sharing these awesome tips from MDM Entertainment:

Apr 2014

Creating the Soundtrack for

Your Wedding: Part One

There are many intricate details that go into planning a wedding here in the Windy City. Planning a wedding is half the fun of getting married but with so many details it can also be very stressful. To help you out MDM Entertainment has put together a two part blog to help you when creating the soundtrack for your wedding. Part One will cover finding the right company to provide the music. Part Two will cover selecting the right songs.

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Choosing the Right Wedding Entertainment

The right entertainment is crucial for a fun wedding. Your dress will be flawless, your flowers will be stunning and the venue will tie it all together, but without good music your wedding can become just a bunch of pretty pictures. Great music, creates great memories! The whole point of a wedding is to create memories with your future life partner and your friends and family. You want your guests to enjoy themselves just as much as you do on your wedding day.

Step one to creating the sound track for your wedding is choosing the right entertainment. Choosing the right band or DJ is like choosing the right Groom. You need someone that understands you, has your best interests at heart and is there for you every step of the way.

As bands are out of our area expertise we will stick to discussing DJ entertainment.

What Makes a Great DJ

Mixing music is an invaluable talent for a DJ, but at MDM Entertainment we believe a DJ is not truly great until they have mastered the art of bringing a couple’s vision of their wedding to life and reading a crowd.

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When reading a crowd, your DJ should be able to see what music the crowd is reacting to and run with it. Do the guests get more excited about Indie Rock, Top 40 or classic wedding tunes like “Twist and Shout?” Is it all of your young friends on the dance floor or are Grandma and Grandpa out there too? A great wedding DJ will be able to judge the music styles your crowd needs to get everyone out on the dance floor.

While reading the crowd is very important, ultimately you are the reason everyone has come together to celebrate. Your ideas should sit center stage. Having a DJ who is able to listen to and understand your vision for your big day is very important. With their understanding of your expectations, tastes and attitudes, a great wedding DJ will know their role and how to best deliver what you are looking for. A great wedding DJ will ask the right questions and listen to what you have to say.

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How Much Do You Charge?

The office gets asked this question a lot. The answer is how much detail do you want for your buck. A cheap wedding DJ is exactly what it sounds like, “cheap.” They most likely are new to the industry and may lack knowledge, experience and premium sound equipment. A quality wedding DJ will have the proper experience and training to be able to MC your wedding and ensure the entire reception flows smoothly all while playing great music.

Many brides and grooms don’t realize that the DJ is the spokesperson and coordinator for the event. You have to be able to trust that the wedding DJ you hire will be detail oriented, well spoken, and talented. Your job at your wedding is to have fun. The DJ’s job is to take care of all the details.

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When it comes to dancing, your DJ’s experience will allow them to “read the crowd” and play the right song at the right time to keep your dance floor full. You will pay a professional wedding DJ more but given their experience, training and talent, it will make all the difference.

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What Kind of DJ is For Me?

Your wedding DJ might be one of the hardest vendors to hire. As most will find out after making a few phone calls, DJ’s can be all over the spectrum in regards to style, pricing, experience, equipment, etc. Don’t worry! When you meet your DJ you just know. As stated earlier you should feel comfortable around your DJ and feel free to approach him or her with any concerns or questions.

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Now that you have heard our tips on choosing the right DJ, make sure to check back here to read part two of Creating the Soundtrack for Your Wedding to find out more about selecting the music for your big day.

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For more information on creating the soundtrack for your wedding and DJ services for your wedding contact MDM Entertainment today at 773.253.4986.

Wedding Day Vendors…more than just vendors


So I attended an open house at my wedding venue last weekend and it was fabulous. They had different areas of the property set up so you can see the different choices you have in terms of ceremony locations. Vendors were there (florists, linen companies, caterers, etc.). Being the organized person that I am (smile), I already booked my caterer, florist, day-of coordinator, etc. and they were all there.

We did a walk through of the open house and it then dawned on me, my vendors were more that just vendors. The day I put my deposit down, they became an intricate part of what is going to be one of the most important days of my life. During the vendor picking process, what was important to both me and my fiance was more that just services offered — we wanted to really connect with them.

settle Wedding Day Vendors...more than just vendorsI met vendors who were very cold and were like, here, these are our services – no follow up, nothing. There wasn’t a feeling of — I want to make your day great – how can I help bring that to life? So, in conclusion, my thought is, when looking for vendors, look for people/companies who really connect with you because that makes all the difference in the world!

Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis


As Director of Sales + Marketing at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center,
Katie Davis shares wedding expertise with her Top 5 Tips for the Big Day

Guests Come First
Understand the approximate number of guests you plan to invite before selecting a venue. This will ensure enough space for your special day. Chic is the style within the Grand Salon Ballroom at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center. Accommodating up to 150 guests for a reception,
The Grand Salon Ballroom offers spectacular views from floor to ceiling windows.
LeMeridien 1 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
Make Cuisine a Priority
Taste the unexpected at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center. Our focus is to stimulate our guests’ curiosity and palates. Our chef will collaborate with you on each element of your menu, to ensure it is not only unique and engaging, but also reflective of your personal tastes. Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center offers innovative flavors and creative presentations using the finest ingredients, all combined to maximize flavor and texture.
LeMeridien 4 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
Room Rates
Original and sophisticated, Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center offers wedding guests a preferred rate, a personalized booking web page and an engaging experience infused with high impact art and unique cuisine.
LeMeridien 3 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
Location, location, location
Le Meridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center is centrally located adjacent to Oakbrook Shopping Center, steps from luxury boutiques and a selection of chic restaurants. Our Grand Salon Ballroom, located on the 9th floor, captures breathtaking views of Downtown Chicago with floor to ceiling windows. We are also easily accessible to either airport.
LeMeridien 2 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
Discover your style
Are you planning a grand wedding celebration or an intimate ceremony? Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will cater to your every specific need and will organize your event from start to finish. From your bridal shower at the spa to your ceremony and reception, our wedding specialist will be there every step of the way.
LeMeridien 5 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
Set to open July 2014, Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will debut the 9th floor Grand Salon Ballroom, capturing breathtaking views of Downtown Chicago with floor to ceiling windows and gourmet cuisine infused with the freshest and finest ingredients – all combined to guarantee a memorable experience. Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center’s luxurious wedding package includes four hours of premium brand open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a four course dinner, custom designed wedding cake, deluxe overnight accommodations for the bride and groom, preferred room rates for guests, a menu tasting with the Chef and many more perks. The chic wedding venue also offers complimentary self-parking for all guests attending the special occasion. The prestigious hotel boasts 172 rooms and suites, including a presidential suite, two spa suites, and artwork that ignites creativity and sparks conversation throughout the hotel. Located at Oakbrook Center, Le Méridien is just steps away from the finest dining, shopping and entertainment in the Western suburbs.
LeMeridien 7 Expert Tips From Wedding Pro Katie Davis
For more information on Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center weddings, visit Le Méridien Chicago Oakbrook Center’s website.

Share Your Love and Win!


On Valentine’s Day, Wedding Guide Chicago launched their second annual Show Your Love engagement photo contest! So many couples have been sharing their engagement photos and stories with us. We’ve seen photos of cute, funny, happy, silly, romantic and everything in between!

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This year, we are doing things a little differently and we are picking four winners — two winners with the most votes, and two staff favorite photos.

The first place winner with the most votes will need to work hard to win prize package number one! Prize package number one is valued at $1590! It is filled with an engagement photo from Timothy Whaley Artistic Photographics, five free tuxedos from Black Tie Formalwear, a Pinstripes party for 10, and a $100 gift certificate from Andrew’s Garden!

The engagement session with Timothy Whaley & Associates consists of a 90 minute session that includes 1-2 locations of your choice within the Chicagoland area (or no more than 20 miles from Timothy Whaley locations). This includes 75-90 images to choose from at the locations you love! Maybe this is where you and the one you love first met, shared a first kiss or proposed. Maybe it’s where the first time you realized you were in love!

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The winner of most votes will also have five groomsmen decked out in dapper suites provided by Black Tie Formalwear! Black Tie Formalwear has several locations throughout the Chicagoland area and sets themselves apart from others in the formalwear industry with their superior quality, service, an selection.

 Share Your Love and Win!

After your suite fitting from Black Tie Formalwear, party with 10 of your favorite friends! Pinstripes is giving away a bachelor or bachelorette (or both!) party for ten! This includes bowling or boccee, heavy appetizers, and a round of drinks. Pinstripes offers a “winning combination” of Italian- American Cuisine. Bottoms up!

 Share Your Love and Win!

To wind up prize package one, the winner will receive an $100 gift card from Andrew’s Garden! Andrew’s Garden customizes every floral creation just for you. Striking a delicate balance between structure and nature, Andrew’s designs are exciting and evocative – much like a meandering walk through a beautiful garden.

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To enter the Show Your Love contest, click here. The contest ends March 8. Vote everyday and share your photo with your friends to win!


To Color or Not to Color


The dictionary defines color as: “The appearance of objects or light sources described in terms of the individual’s perception, involving hue, lightness and saturation for objects and hue brightness and saturation for light sources.

In simpler terms for our wedding couples, this means, do you want to see hues of blues, lightness of ivories and saturations of reds in your wedding floral/décor ensemble? Not only for that day, but every time you look at your wedding portrait, wedding album or your Facebook profile picture. This is a complex, unsettling decision for many of the wedding couples today.

Take a deep breath, sip your tea and realize … it’s not that complicated.

I am a florist, and many of us “professional florists” are passionate about the natural colors that occur in nature, hues of persimmon (really that’s orange), the complexities of wine (really that’s a dark red) and of course the “fifty shades of gray” (really that’s another blog for another day).

A professional opinion on whether to combine some deep, saturated plum lisianthus blooms (really it’s purple) with the faintest touch of lilac freesia blooms (really it’s lavender) with the jewel toned, dense color of an eggplant viburnum berry (really it’s dark blue) into your floral and décor ensemble?

Oh and btw our opinions are biased. Yes we should be, because of our extensive knowledge and experience on color and how it relates to each part of the overall design of your day.

However, it is your day. It is your moment and your memory! What are the rules? Is there a rule to follow? Should ivory flowers not be paired with white dresses? Is a mono-chromatic (all one color, combining shades, hues and saturation of that one color) color scheming the “safest” route to ensure overall satisfaction when mesmerized by your portraits for years down the road? Phew, that’s a lot to say in one sentence.

Here is our answer:

We say, we love color and admire and adore the brides that say “we trust you,” “what do you think,” “I want color,” and “touches of whimsy.”

Moreover, we equally love and admire the play on neutral tones of ivories, whites and champagnes and admire and adore the brides that say “we want simple, classic colors,” “shades of ivories,” or “neutral palettes.”

These are some images of bouquets we’ve done for our Chicago couples. Each couple has opted for a different vibe for their big day.

23 To Color or Not to Color

3 To Color or Not to Color

13 To Color or Not to Color

Ultimately, no matter who is pressing to change your mind, the decision is yours! In the end it’s what you want to see and we are here to guide you and ensure that you are going to admire and adore the vision we have created for each of you individually.

PollysPetals logo 30bff63c7cd052c51f17c4f8d855acb3 To Color or Not to ColorPolly Klein, proprietor and designer has been providing florals & event styling for over thirteen years. Polly believes your purpose plus her passion equals perfection. No matter what your resources are, Polly’s Petals & Particulars‘ talent lies within providing high quality, artistic design that lets her illustrate your personal expression.

be my bridesmaid?


Being a bridesmaid can be great. But, being totally candid here, it can also really suck. These times include but are in no way limited to:

  • The bride chooses $800 dresses and $1200 Manolos to match…there goes your rent.
  • The bachelorette party is in Vegas in June, the shower is in New York in July, and the wedding is in California in August…a half-packed suitcase becomes a perma-fixture in your bedroom.
  • The bridal shop is halfway across the country, so they order your bridesmaid dress a few sizes too big “just in case”…even alterations can’t keep it from giving you the illusion of a baby bump , so you become the champagne-guzzling, pregnant bridesmaid.
  • Your dress arrives in the mail, and it’s six sizes too small…goodbye pasta, hello water and celery.

You get the picture. Because it can be such a time-consuming / expensive / unflattering / demanding / whatever experience, I wanted to do something a little more special than a “yo biatch – be mah maid!” phone call for my prospective bridesmaids. I wanted them to know how much I value their friendship and how much I appreciate them standing by my side on the most important day of my life.

 be my bridesmaid?

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 be my bridesmaid?

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For each girl, I took a black photo storage box, lined the lid with fancy paper, and spelled out “Be My Bridesmaid” in sticker letters. I filled the box with a mini bottle of rosé Pop champs, a champagne glass with their initial (bedazzled, obvi), black tissue paper, essential wedding deets on shimmery paper, and a crapton of colorful confetti. I topped off the lid with some wedding-themed stickers and tied it up with a pink ribbon. Obsessed.

Essential deets:

  • Your Responsibilities - First and foremost, tell her why you want her to be your bridesmaid. Secondly, include any required duties. If you expect her to be at the bachelorette party and the shower(s), tell her that. If attending these events is not required, feel free to tell her that too. No one likes a Bridezilla.
  • The Dreaded Dresses – A loose description of what their dresses will look like. If you already have the dress choices nailed down, include the brand, style, and how to go about ordering. Also, pictures are worth a thousand words!
  • The Wedding Party – A who’s who of the bridal party. This will answer all “who are the other bridesmaids” questions and can also be used to identify any cute, single groomsmen!
  • The Big Day – Probably the most important piece of information…the where and the when! Doesn’t need to be super detailed…more of a “you need to be in x city on xyz date so mark your calendar and book your flight!”

This project was somewhat time-consuming and, after supplies, champs, and shipping, a little pricey, but I’m really happy with how it turned out, and all my girls absolutely loved it!

Happy crafting!



the green monster.


Sup, lovahs?

Dunno bout you, but I’m SUHglad it’s effing Friday. I’m seriously so ready for a glass Big Joe of chardonnay. BUT FIRST. Before you go stuffing your bod full of sugar (wine=sugar, genius) and then greasy hangover food (not that i’m condoning this…just being a realist), do something good for yourself!

Leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula, collards, swiss chard, etc) are for realz badass. I’m not gonna bore you with the health benefits, but if you’re really that interested, you can read about them herehere, and here. They give so much bang for their caloric buck that your bod basically pays you to eat them. Rad, right?

greens the green monster.

I know what you’re probably thinking…more salads?! Gag me. A sistah can only eat so many bland bowls of veggies before her tastebuds will run for the border. Or the nearest Taco Bell.

Solution: Drink yo’ greens! One option is a sexy little dimepiece I came up with a few weeks ago. Like the Hulk, this bad boy is a kale-colored powerhouse.



  • 2 monster (pun very much intended, thankyouverymuch) handfuls of leafy greens
  • 3/4 scoop vanilla protein powder*
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 pinch flaxseeds or chia seeds
  • Water to desired consistency

 the green monster.

Throw it all in a NutriBullet, Vitamix, plain ol’ blender, whatever and blend until smooth! And then blend a little more…nobody likes Popeye sized chunks of leaf in their drank.

 the green monster.

The color is a bit daunting, but the protein powder has enough sweetness to cut through the bitterness of greens. DUH-lish. Super pinky promise!



*I recently stumbled upon some really nasty info about soy protein isolate. Once I deplete my generic Target purchased protein powder, I’m going vegan. Just for protein powder though, obvi. I’ve heard good, non-cancer causing things about this and this.

Indie Wed Wedding Show & Market


The 5th Annual Winter Indie Wed Wedding Show & Market is coming back to the Windy City! Inspired by an era where Vaudeville shows and carnivals provided entertainment and glamour, the event is a mix of romance and a whimsy of a vintage circus!

2014 4x6postcardfront Indie Wed Wedding Show & Market <br> Returns!

For those in the midst of wedding planning, Indie Wed offers a one stop shop featuring the best wedding artisans and professionals from around the country. Indie Wed is the longest running independent bridal fair in the U.S. and THE alternative to traditional wedding expos. All of the vendors are committed to being eco-friendly both professionally and personally.

The event will take place Saturday, February 1st from 10am to 4pm at the Ravenswood Event Center, 4043 N. Ravenswood Avenue in Chicago.

The 2014 show will feature:
*100+ amazing vendors from the Midwest and beyond
*two full floors of vendors
*food tastings
*musical performances
*wandering models featuring spectacular bridal fashions

and The Cirque de l’Amour Wedding Lounge where the entire 3rd floor of the Ravenswood Event Center is being transformed for attendees to relax in between visits with vendors. Imagine relaxing under the big top of twinkling cafe lights and ruffled parasols or cozying up with a craft cocktail on a vintage settee. Sample circus themed bites and decadent sweets before puckering up in a handmade kissing booth.

If you are attending Indie Wed, plenty of free parking is available along Ravenswood Avenue. The venue is also about a 1/2 block north of Irving Park Brown line station.

Tickets are on sale NOW! Use discount code WEDDINGGUIDE20 for 20 percent off!

Wedding Guide Chicago is also giving away five pairs of tickets for this amazing show! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter these next few weeks to find out how you can win!




Happy Health and Fitness Friday!

A few years ago, I was working out three days a week with a trainer at Equinox, Jake the Snake. He got me into the best shape of my life through TRX, kettleballs, and boxing (which I absolutely LOVED), and our personalities really meshed, so I actually had a great time at the gym. Not to toot my own horn, but I was RIPPED, and I looked (and felt) fantastic. I became truly passionate about fitness and legitimately enjoyed the time I spent working out, even when I was just there for a workout on my own.

Since then, I’ve gone through a series of gym switches due to a new job and various moves to new apartments. The gym I belong to right now is “meh”…it’s not great, and there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but I’ve totally lost that passion that I had a few years ago. The gym has become a chore. It’s something that I have to do and something that I dread. And I HATE feeling like that.

A fancy new gym, Lakeshore Sport and Fitness, just opened next door to my office, and I was planning on going to take a tour yesterday after work. I got a phone call from my fiance around 4:30, saying that our basement was flooded (thanks, Chiberia!), so I cancelled my gym plans and hustled home to deal with the mess.

l passion

Flash forward to today. A couple hours ago, I was on my way over to my current gym for my daily lunchtime slog on the elliptical, when someone stopped me and informed me that it flooded and therefore was closed for the day. Flooding seems to be a common theme this week… Since I was already decked out in my workout clothes and out of the office, I decided to swing by LSSF for a tour and omg RAN SMACK INTO NONE OTHER THAN JAKE THE SNAKE. We started chatting as he showed me around the different sections of the gym, training area, track, group fitness studios, and future boxing gym (!!!!), and with every stop of the tour, I could feel that old passion starting to spark up again. I’m starting to get excited about fitness again, and I couldn’t be more excited about that feeling.

I’m not encouraging you to go out and join the most expensive gym you can find because, well, that’s fiscally irresponsible. I’m encouraging you to find your passion. Find a workout that you love, and if you’re anything like me, the rest of your workouts will become less like work. I personally recommend (and totes swoon over) boxing. It’ll give you some totally badass arms and relieve more stress than a glass (or bottle) of wine. And the pink boxing gloves…SUHcute.




Photos from an NYE Wedding at Alpine Banquets!


June is often the most popular month to get married, but I’ve been thinking that New Year’s Eve should be the second runner up! With champagne bottles poppin’ at midnight, confetti, sparklers, and glamorous over-the-top decor, NYE is the perfect time to get married.

Jennifer and Neil tied the knot at Alpine Banquets on December 31. Take a peek into a few photos from their rockin’ affair!

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Look at that amazing spread! ^

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An NYE wedding is the perfect way to incorporate black, silver, and gold.

1546288 10153669100185156 1825223592 n Photos from an NYE Wedding at Alpine Banquets!For more information on Alpine Banquets,

pixel Photos from an NYE Wedding at Alpine Banquets!
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