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1. NOT asking your friends for recommendations. Whether we're talking about a friend who's wedding party you were in, or one of your close coworkers- anyone you know who was recently married in the Chicago area and has a similar style to yours can be an amazing resource! Here's a few great questions you can ask them; What were your best decisions when wedding planning? Do you have any regrets (for example, some people will tell you that they wish they hired a videographer, etc.)? Who were your favorite vendors? Asking these can result in an abundance of valuable insight that you may not get from simply reading reviews.




2. Getting stuck in analysis paralysis by researching too many vendor categories at once. Wedding planning can be so exciting, and also so overwhelming. It's actually rather common that couples get into the research process and then life happens, and decision making becomes stressful and they end up taking a break from planning for 1-3 months. Trust me, you don't want to be the person who reaches back out to your favorite vendor(s) when you're ready to book to find out that they are no longer available... especially when you've previously asked all the questions and had the deep conversations with those vendors. I recommend researching just 1-2 vendor categories at a time and stay focused in those categories until you've made your choice and locked them in. Then you can move on to the next category.




3. Taking breaks at a less than ideal time. This one kind of good hand in hand with the previous tip. Unless you have a short engagement, you will be able to take some breaks- you won't need to be wedding planning as a second job for the next year. As you work through your vendor categories, booking each one- make sure that you are aware of the next steps in each category and if the vendor will be reaching out to you, or if there's any homework you need to do. Then you can make yourself a reminder in your calendar so any important tasks are handled on time. Additionally, I recommend getting yourself through the initial phase of securing all of your vendors before you take a break. It's a good feeling to know that you'll be working with a full vendor team that your trust.



I hope you found these tips helpful.


Happy Wedding Planning!

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  • Writer's pictureAnn Krause

With the 2023 wedding season officially coming to a close, it's only fitting that I share a tribute to our lovely clients and show off their stunning wedding day looks! You may already know that this is one of my favorite blog topics, and especially over the holidays I just love taking a step back and reflecting on the year (not to mention feeling grateful for all of the amazing people we are fortunate to work with).

So grab your hot chocolate, sit by the tree and enjoy some beauty inspo from our real brides!


Kara

Photos by Victoria Saint Martin







Elisabeth

Photos by Ariele Photography







Rachel

Photos by Kenny Kim






Tricia

Photos by Sally ODonnell Photo






Kim

John Rodriguez Photos






Christine

Zachera Photo





Emily

Photos by Kyle Flubacker






Shannon

Teresa Williams Photography






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  • Writer's pictureAnn Krause

To start off this topic, I should explain that I don't specifically mean summer weddings.

What we're talking about here is all of you who are doing your wedding planning right now, in the summer months (for a wedding day anytime in the year).

You may not realize it, until you really get into it- but this time of year is unique.

Compared to the other popular engagement time of the year (Winter), your potential wedding vendors are not only receiving inquiries from lots of couples, but they're also working with a booked calendar helping all of their current clients bring their wedding day visions to life while also working closely with couples getting married over the next few months to make sure that everything is in place for a smooth wedding day.

I sometimes hear feedback that clients are frustrated with other vendors who are taking a long time to respond to them. I don't necessarily know if this was something experienced in general or just during this time of the year. Although, it's worth mentioning that if you're experiencing a delay in response times during busy season (and your wedding is 3 + months away) it's probably not cause for concern.

To share a little insight, most of the wedding vendors you will be working with are local small business owners. Some of us have some admin help, while with others, the person you are working with on the wedding day is also the person responding to all of the emails and holding all of the other rolls in the business.

Personally speaking, I don't leave a client hanging, but occasionally I'll have someone ask for something (like a trial run or a detailed wedding itinerary) months ahead of our timeline that I am simply unable to work into my schedule at that moment. In this case I like to remind our clients of our process and assure them that they will hear from me on a specific date to handle it.

Similarly, if you're requesting an in-person meeting of any sort prior to booking (when this isn't typical) you might find unfortunately, that you have to wait awhile for that to be available. In our business, a client will occasionally request to have a trial run session prior to booking and this is the time of the year when that gets a little tricky. Through early fall, our trial run schedule is quite booked with our clients who are getting married in the coming months, so it's typical that there may not be availability for a little while.


Read on for my 3 Pro Tips!

Tip #1. Focus on one - two vendor categories at a time. Find a few options to connect with and learn more about their processes and then close out each task by finalizing your booking. While you can expect response times to be a bit slower than in the winter, if a vendor takes a week or more to get back to you during this phase you might want to take that as a sign. I would.

Bonus tip; Request a phone/video call rather than in person meeting when possible. This will be much easier to coordinate much sooner. I know that I can always offer options for a phone conversation within the current week, while coordinating a hair and makeup session during busy season might take 3-8 weeks.


Tip #2. Make sure you're aware of the next steps with each vendor, if they involve any action on your part, and then make note of them in your calendar. This one is HUGE. This prevents you from worrying because you haven't heard anything from your vendors in August through November (or sending multiple check in emails) when your next steps aren't actually happening until March. I recommend using Google calendar and entering each item like this "Wedding Task- work on hair & makeup inspo". Then you can always search "Wedding Task" to see everything at a glance.

Tip #3. Enjoy all the lovely current work your vendors are producing. Once you've completed 1 & 2, it's your opportunity to relax, enjoy the rest of the summer and be sure to follow all of your vendors on Instagram so you can see the newest work they are creating. This may even help you with your wedding day vision!


I hope you found this helpful!


Happy Wedding Planning,

Ann

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