Throw a Killer Holiday Party with Jayne Weddings!

IGStory-1

It’s officially fall and that means it’s time to start thinking about your holiday parties! Getting an early start to your party planning is the key to throwing a killer party, whether it’s for your company, your family, or a group of your very best friends! We would love to help your party dreams come to life.

Throw family/friend holiday get togethers, corporate holiday parties + more! We’ll handle the decor and staging! Jayne Weddings LOVES the holidays and wants to help you fa-la-la-la-la stress free!

Katie_Jayne_Macys_047

If you just need a little help organizing or if you want us to take over from day one and do it all, we are here to support your needs!

BonusHoliday

 

Advertisements

Fabulous Fall Recipes

With fall creeping up on us, we wanted to make sure we refreshed our fall stash of delicious recipes! We’ve compiled a few old favorites and combined them with some new recipes we’re excited to try. There’s something for everyone, we’ve got recipes for meat lovers, vegetarian, vegan, an even something for our gluten-free friends out there. Have a go-to fall recipe of your own? We’d love to try it out!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds – 5 Ways

PumpkinSeeds

Who can say no to pumpkin seeds during the fall? Instead of throwing out your seeds during pumpkin carving, try any 1 of these 5 recipes for pumpkin seeds. From sweet to savory to spicy, there’s a flavor profile for everyone! After seasoning seeds with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss with one of the following combinations:

  • 1/2 tsp. each turmeric and chile powder

  • 1 tsp. Za’atar and 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorns

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

     

Harissa + Maple Roasted Carrots

RoastedCarrots

We LOVE carrots. We especially love maple roasted carrots. These carrots are the perfect side dish to bring to your fall potluck or just to make at home for yourself or your family. And such a delicious way to add in much-needed veggies into your diet.

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2½ pounds small rainbow carrots, scrubbed, tops trimmed to about ½”, halved
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

 

Farro + Tomato Salad

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 2.36.10 PM

For a salad with a little more ‘umph’ try this farro and tomato combination. Instead of lettuce, we have perfectly cooked farro with delish seasoning. You’ll forget that you’re even eating salad and that’s how you know this is a winner.

  • 1 1/2 c. farro
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp. small capers, patted dry
  • 2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. mixed colors grape + cherry tomatoes halved

 

Apple, Cranberry + Pecan Galette

AppleCranberryGalette

For those with a hefty sweet tooth like us, try this delightful galette! The combination of apple, cranberry, and pecan give this galette just the right amount of sweet and tart with delicious pecans for texture.

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tablespoon raw sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice water
  • medium cooking apples; peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar or granulated sugar
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • cup chopped pecans, toasted*
  • egg
  • tablespoon water
  • 1 -2 tablespoons raw sugar or granulated sugar

Garlic Sriracha Stir-Fry

StirFry

If you can stand a bit of heat, try this Sriracha stir-fry! A perfect alternative to that take-out chinese you’re alway ordering. Making your stir-fry at home gives you the opportunity to dress is up or down depending on your mood! Throw in some seafood or chicken instead of pork, or keep it vegetarian by adding in some tofu!

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • onion, sliced
  • eggplant, cut into half moons
  • red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. sriracha
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c. freshly chopped cilantro

 

Creamy Pumpkin Soup + Grilled Croutons

PumpkinSoup

Is it really fall yet if you haven’t stocked up on hearty soups? This creamy pumpkin soup is the perfect soup to kickstart the fall. This recipe even shows you how to make these grilled croutons at home—a skill you can carry with you every time you get your favorite soup craving.

  • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • slices white bread
  • slices gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

 

Cauliflower Roasted Almond + Pepper Dip

CauliflowerPepperDip

Looking for a way to spice up your cauliflower? Try dipping it in this Roasted Almond and Pepper Dip! With just the right amount of heat and sweet, this dip will have you forgetting you’re even eating vegetables.

  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup soft whole wheat or white bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jar (8 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Roasted Kabocha + Kale Salad

KabochaKaleSalad

For a salad with a big kick, try this kale salad with roasted squash. It’ll definitely hit the spot with those dried cranberries, red onion, and fresh lemon juice.

  • 1/2 large unpeeled green or orange kabocha squash (about 5 lb.), cut into 12 (1/2-in.-thick) wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly vertically sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (7 1/2-oz.) bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and cut into 3/4-in.-wide strips

 

A Guide to Fall Floral

Jess+Rami_XOAzuree-146

When you think about what your ideal fall bouquet or arrangement will look like, a lot of times it includes “deep jewel colors, full of texture, lots of movement, etc.” We’re compiled a list of our favorite fall florals to help you achieve all of these elements. Do you have any other fall flowers you love to use in your bouquets, tell us!

 

Willow Eucalyptus

WillowEucalyptus

A beautiful alternative to your typical eucalyptus, this willow eucalyptus will give your fall floral arrangements light greenery and lots of movement!

 

Ranunculus

Ranunculus
Style Me Pretty

To give your fall bouquet that perfect textured element, add a deep, jewel bloom with a velvety finish. Ranunculus are the great for this!

 

Thistle

Thistle
FlowerMoxie

For even more texture and lots of interest, Thistle can be used to break up heavy arrangements to give more life and a bit of an edge.

 

Delphinium

Delphinium
Flower Monger

Add height to your arrangement with the addition of Delphinium (or its sister Larkspur). Most colors peak during the fall months.

 

Brunia Berry

BruniaBerry
FlowerMoxie

Adding Brunia Berry to your bouquets can be an unexpected element of texture. Not only is the texture of the actual stem and berry amazing, but the perfectly round berries will head break up your arrangement and give it some real interest!

 

 

 

Wedding Etiquette | Tipping Your Vendors

One of the most frequent questions we get from our couples is what to tip and who to tip on the day of the wedding. We’ll start off by saying that aside from your caterer, stylists, and a few other select vendors, most will not be expecting to receive a tip and you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty if you’re not able to provide every single of your vendors a hefty tip. If your budget is tight and you don’t think you’ll have enough to tip every vendor as much as you think they deserve, consider a non-monetary gift—they can go a long way too! A handwritten thank you note, a small, thoughtful gift, or a great online review are all ways you can show your vendors you appreciate their hard work. With that in mind, here are a few things you need to consider when determining what is an appropriate amount to tip your vendors.

Sean Cook Wedding Photography

Caterer

Sometimes gratuity is covered in the contract, so you’ll want to double check before double tipping. If you’re tipping, 15-20% of the cost of food/beverage is typical, otherwise $10-15 per server and $100-$200 for the lead coordinator. If it’s included in your contract, you can plan to put in your final payment about a week before your wedding. Otherwise, hand your day-of lead an envelope at the end of your reception.

Photographer

While photographers will not be expecting a formal tip, if you feel they did a great job or exceeded your expectation, you can definitely show your appreciation with a tip ranging anywhere from $50-200 depending on your budget. You can plan to give your photographer their tip when they depart for the evening.

 

Iron + Honey Photography

Stylists

This is one vendor that will be expecting a tip so you’ll want to make sure to budget for it. Similar to a visit to your salon, 15-20% is a good range to be in. If you felt your stylists went above and beyond, feel free to throw them a little extra! You’ll want to make sure you have their tip ready to go in the morning so you can give it to them when they finish up your hair and makeup services.

Band

Studio Finch

DJ or Musicians

Though not expected, typically a tip for your DJ or musicians is preferred. If you hired a group of musicians, plan to spend around $30-50 per person. If you went with a DJ, anywhere from $50-150 is acceptable. Plan to give this tip at the end of your reception!

 

unnamed
Janelle Elise Photography

Florists

Though not expected, providing your florist with a tip can show them a little extra appreciation! Anywhere from $30-$50 is standard all the way up to $100 depending on your budget.

Transportation

Whether you booked a shuttle to take you and your bridal party around for pictures or just a few shuttles for your guests at the end of the night, tipping your transportation is usually expected. Plan to spend around 15-20% of the total bill. Be sure to have this tip handy once the shuttle has made its last trip.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 2.28.31 PM

Julia Franzosa Photo

Wedding Planner

As planner, we never expect a tip and it’s always a pleasant surprise when we receive one! If you’re set on giving your planner a tip, anywhere in the 10-20% range (this usually comes out to around $100-200) is acceptable. Don’t forget that a thoughtful, detailed online review is sometimes worth more to your vendors than a monetary tip! Even if you tip all of your vendors, don’t neglect to share your positive experiences online or with your friends and family. Many wedding vendors work by word of mouth and referrals.

 

Bright Wedding + Decor Inspiration

BrightWedding

If you’ve been following Team Jayne for a while you probably know that color is our specialty. We LOVE color. We put color anywhere and everywhere and we wholeheartedly believe that there needs to be more color in the world. Which is why we want to give each of you some color inspiration for your wedding, event, or even just to infuse into your home decor.

 

Choose your Color Style

When choosing what colors to add into your decor, think about just how bright you want to go. Whether it’s full on neon or more subdued jewel tones, there’s no wrong answer, it’s about finding your personal color style. And the best part? You can totally mix and match! Throw a pop of neon pink in with your jewel toned blue and purple for an unexpected accent.

BrightWedding6
Julia Franzosa Photography

 

Choose Where to Add Color

Knowing where to add color and where to keep things neutral is a delicate balance. For your wedding, keep your tablecloth neutral but really brighten up your floral for that subtle pop. If that’s not quite enough color, try adding in a custom table runner with some patterned color. Take a look at this tablescape we put together for Allison + David which does just that!

young_we-0670
Pen Carlson Photography

 

Do the Unexpected!

When infusing color into your life, keep it exciting and add color to the unexpected. We added streamers to the aisle of one of our wedding couples who appreciates color as much as we do and it really helped to liven up the ceremony space. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try something new.

aa5e4418c9510d3d22240316170d1eaa
Julia Franzosa Photography

 

 

Make a Statement with Color!

Color will always be impactful, so don’t be afraid to play it up into something totally mind blowing. For Indie Wed a couple years ago, we created over 900ft of tissue paper fringe to drape throughout the space and we have to say, it definitely had that WOW factor. Don’t be afraid to go over the top and do something crazy—that’s the point!

 

Tuan B & Co

Back to School with Macy’s

Team Jayne partnered up with our friends over at Macy’s again for a super fun back-to-school event! We put together a total of 3 backdrops for them. We love our weddings but there’s something about corporate installations that we really enjoy. The quicker turnaround time keeps us on our feet and the variety of different styles we get to play with is what makes our job so exciting!

The first backdrop we put together for Macy’s back-to-school event in Schaumburg was this orange on orange boomerang station. We styled it to appear as a teenagers monochromatic bedroom. The orange on orange really made a statement and we even had a basket of feathers nearby so you could stage a fake pillow fight for your boomerang. Macy’s always strives for interaction with their events, so this boomerang station was perfect to get everyone involved.

IMG_0112BTS GIF.gif

And we couldn’t have done it without our team, Rachel + Caroline! Here they are testing out our boomerang station before the event officially began. It was a total hit!

IMG_6611

Macy’s also wanted to have a drink and treat station during this event so they asked us to create a blue-hued backdrop for both of these. For drinks, we used blue bottles to double as vases for orange flowers (a great tie-in to our all orange station!). Oh, and Flowers for Dreams provided the most amazing floral (not that we’re surprised, Flowers for Dreams kills every event they’re a part of!).

IMG_1716

 

For Macy’s treats wall, we wanted something streamlined and delicious. We went with sparkly silver rods and sugar-coated blue marshmallows to match Macy’s dessert pick: XO Marshmallow. If you haven’t been to XO Marshmallow yet, you should stop what you’re doing and go right now. It’s located up in Rogers Park and is the cutest little shop. Pastel colors, cute decor, and all your favorite marshmallowy treats!

IMG_0120

 

Event Design: Jayne Weddings
Floral: Flowers for Dreams
Dessert: XO Marshmallow

Boozy Cocktails to Say Goodbye to Summer + Hello to Fall

Making the switch from sweet & fruity summer cocktails to dark and stormy (and boozy) fall cocktails can be bittersweet. We want to make sure your switch goes without a hitch so take a look at our summer/fall cocktail hybrids. These cocktails will give you those summer nostalgia feels while the deeper flavors will ease you into those fall vibes.

Spiced Rum Fig Kombucha

SpicedRumCocktail

We’re loving this mix of unconventional flavors! Who would have thought to add fig and orange juice to kombucha? Depending on your taste buds, you could jazz this drink up even more by choosing your favorite kombucha flavor.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 3 teaspoons fig simple syrup (see below)
  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Whole ice and crushed ice
  • Kombucha (original unflavor recommended)
  • for serving: fresh fig, quartered

Strawberry, Basil + Pink Peppercorn Negroni

StarberryNegroni

This cocktail is for when you want that summer refresher, but you also want a little bite. The pink peppercorn give this drink just the right amount of zing to get you ready for those boozy fall cocktails.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 3 ounces (2 shot glasses) of sweet vermouth
  • 3 ounces (2 shot glasses) of campari
  • 4 strawberries, muddled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink pepper corn, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons basil syrup (recipe below)
  • top off drinks with chilled prosecco

Stonefruit, Sweet Tea, Blackberry Sangria

Sangria

We are all about the iced tea during the summer, but when fall comes sometime we like to spice it up a bit. By throwing in some blackberry and stone fruit, we take our average iced tea to the next level!

Ingredients (makes pitcher):

  • bottle of chilled rosé wine
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • cups sweet tea (I used the Green Tea Lemonade from Trader Joes, but feel free to sub in your favorite kind of sweetened tea)
  • 6-8 pieces of stone fruit (I used peaches, nectarines & plums)
  • cup blackberries
  • lemon, sliced
  • Sparkling water, to top

Apricot + Rosemary Mimosa

Mimosa

If you’re bored of your regular old orange juice mimosas, try using apricot and rosemary to give your palette and taste of sophistication. We can’t get enough of these and wish our fave bottomless mimosa spot would serve these on Sunday afternoons.

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 ripe apricots, cut in half
  • 1 bottle Prosecco (or more)

 

Frozen Dark + Stormy

1461708652-dark-stormy

This frozen cocktail is the perfect consistency for summer but the perfect flavor for fall. Great for those humid nights in the fall. The freshness of the lime mixed with the ginger beer brings your favorite Moscow Mule into slushy form.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • can ginger beer
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 c. ice
  • 4 oz. dark rum

 

Honey Buzz Milk Punch

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 4.06.26 PM

“It’s a little spiced, creamy, breakfast treat, tastes like grown-up cereal milk.” This cocktail is great any time of day—and year! Kick up your nostalgia and go for this adult cereal milk cocktail.

Ingredients (serves 1):

1.5 oz cherrio-infused rum
.75 oz honet syrup
2 oz whole milk
2 dashed El Guapo Holiday Bitters
Cheerios, crushed for rim, plus extra for skewer
Cinnamon and sugar, for rim

End the Summer with a Bang!

Looks like summer is coming to and end once again, but you still have time to soak in those last sun rays and check out those last summer food festivals! We’re here to tell you exactly how you should fill the rest of your summer, sun-filled days while they’re still here. Since Team Jayne is now split between Chicago and Southern California, we’re including our favorite events from each area! Without ado, here are some amazing events we hope to see you at in the next few weeks!

 

Chicago

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 10.51.27 AM

Chicago Gourmet – Sept 28-30

“Chicago Gourmet, presented by world-renowned Bon Appétit, grips foodies and the food world with excitement each fall.” This event is perfect for those aspiring chefs. Celebrity chefs will do demos on stages throughout this event and you know there’ll be amazing spirits and beer to go along with all the incredible food.

 

Eflyer-Final-Chicago-September

Renegade Craft Fair – Sept 8-9

One of our favorite craft fairs of them all has to be Renegade. The sheer amount of talented artists and artisans will blow you away. This will be the fairs 16th year and over the years it has grown and grown due to the popularity. The fair will be filled with delicious food trucks, perfect cocktails, and even some live music. Will we see you there?!

 

AnitaDee

Labor Day Sunset Cocktail Cruise – Aug 31-Sept 4

Still looking for a way to spend your Labor Day weekend? Why not spend it on a sunset cocktail cruise overlooking Chicago’s beautiful skyline? Grab you tickets quick because they’re on sale and going to be gone before you know it! Grab a few friends and celebrate the holiday with great drinks, great friends, and great views.

 

NorthCoast

North Coast Music Fest – Aug 31-Sept 2

If music festivals are more your speed, you have to check out the North Coast Music Fest. This year the lineup is nuts and filled with plenty of artists you won’t want to miss. If Lolla didn’t happen for you this year, or if it’s a bit too much for you, North Coast Fest is the way to go. Get your music fest fix before the season comes to a close!

 

MoviesinthePark

Movies in the Park

You can find the full lineup on their website, but all movies start at dusk! Featuring everything from classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood and retro childhood favorites, to the best family-friendly box office favorites from recent years. Take the night off and enjoy your last summer evenings with a movie in the park!

 

Southern California

 

SandSculpting

Sand Sculpting & Art Epxo – Aug 31-Sept 3

This Art Expo and Sand Sculpting festival is in the Top 20 “Must See” seaside festivals! As if that doesn’t convince you enough, each year Port of San Diego will dump over 300 tons of sand on the pier of San Diego’s Big Bay. This even is happening Labor Day weekend and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend it!

uniquemarketsla

Unique Markets – LA – Sept. 15-16

We are totally obsessed with Unique Market so we just had to share it with you. This two-day shopping event features amazing local designers, artists and new brands. If you can believe it, it’s the largest indoor popup shopping in the country, including a careful selection of 300+ participants selling art, decor, furniture, beauty products, and more!

 

NightMarket

626 Night Market – Aug 31-Sept2

If you love your local farmer’s market, this Night Market may be the thing for you. Featuring everything you’d find at your typical farmer’s market, only it’s at night! Going through 1am Friday and Saturday (midnight on Sundays!), this market will have over 150 Asian street food options, alcoholic beverages, live music, art, films, and even more. Stop by Santa Anita Park’s front Paddock Gardens for one of America’s largest Asian food markets.

 

 

carlsbad-brewfest

Carlsbad Brewfest – Sept 8

With beers from over 34 San Diego & national breweries, this event is perfect for the beer snob in your life (or maybe it’s you!). Not only will you have more beer than your heart desires, there will also be music, live entertainment, and plenty of food vendors.

 

SilverLakeShow

Silver Lake Picture Show – Aug 30

If you’re looking for a great way to spend a Thursday night, try a movie in the park! This months movie pick is Get Out but what’s amazing about Silver Lake is that they feature a local filmmaker before the main event. This is such a great way to support local artists and learn about exciting, upcoming filmmakers. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your favorite snacks!

 

NocturnalWonderland

Nocturnal Wonderland

Stop what you’re doing and mark this event in your calendar right now! This festival is basically what Alice in Wonderland would be if it was an event. Whimsical decor, lighting, glow sticks, and a carnival-like atmosphere is enough to have you feeling like a kid again. There are even music stages that double as art installations—with names like Upside-Down Room and The Temple of Om, these stages are anything big ordinary. Musical appearances by Kill the Noise, Liquid Stranger, Flux Pavilion, AC Slater and more!

 

 

Let’s Talk Money! | Budgeting for your Wedding

You’re engaged! Now what? One of the first tasks as a newly engage couple (besides shouting your engagement news from the rooftops) is determining your budget. This comes before any other decisions are made regarding the wedding. It can feel daunting to put a price tag to one of the most important days of your life. It comes down to planning, prioritizing, and being realistic with yourself, and we’re here to break it all down into specific steps that will ensure your wedding budget is the perfect combination of saving and splurging.

young_we-0133Pen Carlson Photography

Who’s paying for what?

Whether you’re paying for wedding yourself or you have help from family/friends, determining who’s contributing what is a great first step to figure out a ballpark estimate of your total budget. Many times the parents will help cover the costs of the rehearsal dinner or morning after brunch, but it’s always good to check with all contributors before making any big decisions regarding the wedding.

MaryHugh-BridesmaidsStudio Finch

Crunch the numbers

Before you put an actual value to your budget, think about your wedding day. What do you envision? An elaborate, luxurious wedding or a backyard bbq? Obviously one of those options is less pressure on your wallet, but if having a larger, more expensive wedding is something that you want, start thinking about the number of guests you’d like, if you want an open bar, a buffet vs. plated dinner, etc. Thinking about these details will help give you a realistic look at your minimum budget.

Q Avenue Photo // www.qavenuephoto.comBrad & Jen Photography

Be Realistic

You don’t want to overexert your finances, but you also don’t want to have too high of expectations for your budget. When you set your budget, be realistic with your expectations and understand what you can and can’t achieve with it. If you’re wanting an open bar, plated dinner, passed apps, a photobooth, a mountain of flowers, and your dream photographer, but only set your budget to realistically include half of that, you’ll end up disappointed on your special day.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 12.30.48 PMAmanda Naylor Photo

Prioritize what’s important

A great way to be realistic with your budget is to start prioritizing. What is the most important aspect of your wedding day? The venue? Flowers? Photography? Depending on your answer, you can allocate more of your funds to important items and take away funds from items that you could do without or scale back on.

I_0911
Jeremy Lawson Photography

 

Keep yourself accountable

Once you’ve decided on a budget, make a spreadsheet! We use Google Docs because it’s super easy to share and manage with multiple users viewing/making edits. We’ve found this is the BEST way to keep everyone accountable and in the loop about what the budget is and where funds are being allocated. Once you make your spreadsheet…STICK TO IT! It can be extremely difficult to stick to your original budget, so it’s ok to plan for some small fluctuation. What’s most important to keeping track of your expenses and not making any large decisions without first consulting the budget.

 

 

A Guide to Wedding Gifts

Chicago Art Documentary Photography; Christian Wilson Photography
Christian Wilson Photography

As a soon-to-be-married couple, there’s a ton on your plate regarding planning your wedding, arranging pre and post-wedding activities, but one question we get over and over from couples is what appropriate gifts would be for the numerous important people in your life. Your parents, each other, your bridal party, even your bridal shower hostess! We’ve put together a guide to help you through this gift-giving process and hopefully give you a little inspiration.

Parents

Brad & Jen Photo | Codrean Photography | Pen Carlson Photography

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your parents to show them how much their love and support means to you but are coming up short, remember that sometimes something simple and personal is better than elaborate, expensive gifts. Many parents would be touched by a thoughtful, handwritten note. If you want an actual item, consider an embroidered hankerchief for mom to dry her tears during the ceremony, a photo book after the wedding will all your favorite photos from the day, or even a special charm for her charm bracelet. For Dad, think Father’s Day 2.0. Cigar, embroidered cigar cutter, or even new cuff links and a tie clip.

 

Each other

Amanda Naylor Photo

Many couples struggle with gifts for each other on the day of their wedding. If you’re drawing a blank, again, simplicity and thoughtfulness is key! A handwritten note alongside your gift will go a long way in showing your partner love. Similar to dad’s gift, consider special cuff links, or pick out a new perfume/cologne for your SO to wear that day. Every time they wear it, they’ll be reminded of the day they said yes to forever! If you’re more about actions than gifts, your gift could be a combination of small actions/gifts throughout the day. Think a surprise coffee in the morning, sweets to snack on, short texts throughout the day, hidden notes, etc. This is a wonderful opportunity to be creative and show your other half you just can’t wait to spend your life with them.

 

Groomsmen

Codrean Photography

For your groomsmen, think to spend around 10-25% of whatever you asked them to spend on your wedding (travel, suits, etc. all included). This will help you narrow down your gift options. A lot of grooms opt to provide something that is used/worn on the wedding day, like socks, ties, or cuff links. Another route you can take is anything leather—leather tote, travel accessories, leather bound embroidered journal. But no matter you choose, your groomsmen will be thrilled you took the time to give them something special to say thanks for being a part of such a special day.

 

Bridesmaids

Let’s Frolic Together

Similar to the groomsmen, bridesmaids also appreciate gifts that can be used or worn on the day of the wedding. It gives the gift even more special memories. Many brides pick out morning-of outfits—kimonos, pj sets, robes, etc. Another great option is anything sparkly—bracelets, necklaces, earrings, hair comb, etc. If you want to think a little bit outside the box, consider a wine subscription or an embroidered gift tote full of smaller items—lipstick, candles, bottle of wine, favorite snack, or really anything that has a personal touch.

 

Shower Hostess

Genevieve Lauren Photography

When buying for your shower hostess, gifts you would buy for anyone hosting a party at their home are all fair game here! Household goodies are always a winner—candles, a great cookbook, bath scrubs or fizzy items, nice bottle of their favorite liquor, or even a cute cocktail mixer set.

 

Do you have any other creative gift ideas or have you ever received a gift that totally blew you away? We’d love to hear about it!