A Guide to the Ultimate Hipster Wedding

Since the dawn of suburbia, recent generations have been doomed to embrace the hipster culture. There are many ways that people define being a hipster ranging from wearing pastel colored fedoras to hating any type of music that most other people would agree is good. However, there is actually quite a lot of diversity among hipsters and they also follow many of the same traditions that the rest of America does. For instance, when two hipsters fall in love, they go through the same process of getting engaged and having a wedding that almost everyone else on the planet does. With that said, most hipsters don’t follow the normal wedding traditions that have been set forth by previous generations and enjoy putting their own spin on things. As a hipster, I have put together the ultimate guide to planning your wedding in true millennial style.

Wedding Rings

Traditionally, a gentleman would give his gal a nice diamond band that will interlock with another wedding band when the big day finally arrives. Since hipsters aren’t so trite and archaic in their practices, many couples seek out and find creative alternatives for their wedding rings. This can be anything from hand-forged rings purchased at your local renaissance fair to rings that you make yourself from duct tape or even wood. One of the most popular choices available commercially are rings that are made from recycled milk jugs because of the low carbon footprint, and I’ve even seen digital rings that are exchanged via smartphones. Whatever it is that makes your ring exchange uniquely yours, embrace it.

Wedding Theme

Historically, many hipsters are also what many people would consider nerds. I myself have a bad addiction to science fiction and fantasy such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For our wedding, we’re actually planning a Game of Thrones theme complete with costumes, gaudy goblets for wine, and of course large turkey drumsticks. It may not be for everyone, but it will be a hipster wedding fit for a Targaryen.

Wedding Decorations

Depending on your wedding theme, your wedding decorations are going to vary quite a bit based on personal taste. One of the most important things to remember is that you need to have as many DIY projects throughout your wedding as possible, and also you should try to keep a minimalist attitude. The benchmark you should use when deciding if an item should be included in your wedding decorations is whether or not it will improve your guest’s experience or if it is purely aesthetic. You’re still going to want to have sparklers for your wedding reception but hanging ribbons or cray paper from the ceiling is both a waste of time and completely wasteful.

Replacing the Photographer

Since many hipsters love to embrace new technology, replacing your wedding photographer with your guest’s smartphone cameras is a popular choice. Sharing photos with all of the guests couldn’t be easier with the aid of any one of a hundred different photo sharing apps that are completely free, plus you can save a boatload of cash by cutting the expense from your wedding budget. Many hipsters will still decide to hire a professional, but in my opinion that goes against everything that makes us hipster unique from the rest of the world.

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Charity Wedding Registries

For a certain type of couple, the idea of asking other people to buy them presents is a little off-putting. Wedding registries are useful for your wedding guests–they may not know you well enough to get something you truly want or need, but want to help you celebrate your special day. If you really don’t want to receive gifts, you can still help your guests channel their goodwill by registering for charitable donations. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Changing the Present

You can create a charitable wedding registry on Changing the Present, then send out a notification to everyone on your email guest list to let them know how to give. The donations you receive are all logged so you can send out thank-you notes, and the organizations get the same amount of funds that they would get if your guests donated straight to their individual websites. Changing the Present also issues receipts for their donations, which are tax-deductible.

Crowdrise

Wedding juggernaut The Knot created Crowdrise, which is a site that combines crowdfunding with charitable donations to make it easier for nonprofits to raise money. Their wedding registry allows you to create a charitable giving goal your guests can give to meet. Then it displays the progress made so far, much like Kickstarter or Indiegogo does. It adds an aspirational hook to keep guests giving to push the numbers over-the-top.

The I Do Foundation

One of the founding members of the charity registry movement, the I Do Foundation still has some of the best functionality and ease-of-use. You can create a custom registry with multiple organizations your guests can donate to, along with a note explaining your choices. The I Do Foundation also can display a traditional registry on your wedding website alongside the charitable one, so your guests can decide how they’d like to honor you. You can even find out where to buy the best sparklers for a wedding so that the guests that choose a charity option can have some special recognition during your wedding reception.

Tisbest

If you’re not sure which charities you would like your guests to donate to, consider pointing them at Tisbest. They issue “charity gift cards” which the recipient can redeem to support one of over 300 charities who have registered with the site. You can split the gift cards between charities in over a dozen categories.

Zankyou.com

Zankyou is an all-in-one solution for wedding registries: you can create a traditional registry, set up a fund for your honeymoon or home down payment, and have charitable donation options as well. They allow transfers from your wedding fund into a number of charitable organizations, so you can use cash gifts from your guests for charitable giving as well.

No one will judge you for having a traditional wedding registry. It’s your day, after all, and one of the few times in your adult life where you can rightfully expect to be showered in gifts. But if you’re inclined against wedding registries, these websites can make it easy for your guests to give on your behalf. Instead of returning toasters and blenders after your wedding, you’ll enjoy the feeling that you’ve put your guests’ goodwill to good use in the world.

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Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

wedding dress shopping

Every bride wants to make a statement on their wedding day, regardless of their budget. The important thing to keep in mind is that even if you feel you have the perfect wedding dress in mind (many women have dreamed about their wedding dress for years), there are a lot of additional bridal gown aspects to consider. We’ve put together a list of tips that will help your wedding dress shopping experience a successful one.

Shop Early
First and foremost, shop early, especially if you plan on having the dress made or want to get married during the popular wedding months (June and September). If possible, start shopping for your wedding dress 8 to 12 months prior to your wedding day, giving yourself plenty of time to order your dress and get any necessary fittings. If you wait until the last minute to shop, you won’t have the time to be flexible with your choices and definitely won’t be able to have your dress custom made.

Ask for Recommendation
There’s nothing like a good recommendation, no matter what you’re considering buying but this is particularly helpful when it comes to shopping for a wedding dress. Whether you’re looking for a great bridal salon, an online retail store or even a bridal consignment store, word of mouth referrals are always helpful. If you can’t get a referral, do some research online, reading third party reviews, both positive and negative.

Brides on a Budget
For brides to be on a budget, trunk shows and bridal outlets are great options for shopping for a wedding dress. Consider checking out bridal outlets as well because they stock a wide variety of bridal gowns that are out of season but still fashionable. You should also look at wedding dresses created by designers that are lesser known but still extremely talented. Another consideration is checking out the consignment wedding gown shops. You can save a lot of money by purchasing a pre-owned wedding dress and they’re basically like new – after all they’re usually only worn once unless they were passed down. This is a great way to find a vintage dress if that’s what appeals to you.

Before You Start Shopping
Before you start shopping, take the time to educate yourself about bridal gown terminology. Find out all you can about the different parts of bridal dresses, including necklines, sleeve designs, train styles and have a good idea about the available overall shapes like sheath, A-line dresses, trumpet or mermaid, just to name a few.. You’ll also want to have an idea of the style dress you want, options like formal “princess” style dresses, something more casual for a beachside wedding or perhaps something “vintage”. To help decide, pick up some bridal magazines or browse through online wedding or social media sites like Pinterest to get some ideas before you hit the stores. Come prepared with style numbers, designer names, magazine tear outs or have your smartphone ready with pictures and your favorite websites at easy access. The farther you are along the decision making process the easier it will be to make the right choice.

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5 Wedding Guestbook Ideas

The basic wedding guestbook provides a record of the people who attended your wedding, sure. But it’s not much more than a list of names. It’ll sit on a bookshelf and collect dust after the wedding. If you’d like to go beyond a boring guestbook, there are plenty of opportunities to make it something more; a living document of your special day that you’ll visit again and again. Here are some ways to make your guestbook a work of art.

Fingerprint Tree

You can let your wedding guests help you create a painting you’ll be proud to hang on your wall. Instead of a list of names, your guests’ fingerprints turn into the leaves of a tree. It makes a striking visual statement–you can match the inks to your wedding colors or let the guests pick their own colors. Just make sure to provide some alcohol wipes for getting the ink off of guest’s hands before it gets on their formal wear.

Paper Chain

Here’s a fun one that will give you a little boost of love after your honeymoon. Cut strips of colored paper and have your guests write a sentence or two of advice, a happy memory, or a wish for the future. Then they can use a dot of glue or piece of tape to add the strip to a paper chain. After your honeymoon, open one link of the chain a day and read what your guests have written.

River Rocks

For a more enduring display, pick out a selection of smooth, shiny river rocks for your guests to sign. Either gather the rocks at a location that’s meaningful to you as a couple (assuming a river of some sort plays a prominent part in your relationship) or head down to your local hardware/craft store to get them. Gold and silver Sharpies work well for making sure the signatures don’t fade over time. You can also buy some sparklers for weddings so that once your guests have signed their rocks; they can grab a few as they add the rocks to the collection to be displayed in a glass vase or water feature.

Margin Notes

You can still have your guest book be an actual book; if that’s the way you want to go. But take it to the next level by making it a coffee-table book instead of a regular guest book. Make it a lavishly-illustrated book that relates to you and your partner’s interests. Guests can sign in the margins, so when you’re leafing through the book you’ll see their well-wishes. It’s kind of like a grown-up version of your high school yearbook.

Guest Quilt

If you’ve got a friend or relative with some strong sewing skills, you can turn your guestbook into a useful item for cold winter nights. Have guests sign squares of fabric using fabric paint, and then have them sewn together into a blanket you can hang on the wall or cuddle in with your spouse.

Your wedding guest book doesn’t have to be a dull slab that you never look at again after the big day. With these ideas, it can be something you’ll revisit over and over again, evoking strong memories of your special day.

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Tips for shopping for an engagement ring

Choosing engagement rings can be difficult. It’s a ring you’ll end up wearing for the rest of your life. It symbolizes love, affection and a lifelong relationship with your partner.

You should take your time while choosing diamond engagement rings. Find one that fits your style – something you can truly love. Most importantly, be sure to find one you can afford within your budget. There are quite a few different styles available to choose from. Even 100% custom made rings can be made specifically for you, although these can sky rocket in price to $10,000 or more.

If shopping online, be sure to order the correct ring size. Making a small mistake of ordering the wrong ring size will obviously cause issues with your order. Ring sizes are standard. It’s not like comparing to different types of shirts labeled as medium, but they fit differently. A size 7 ring compared to another size 7 ring should fit the same.

The average diamond color grade of H and I will give you a near colorless diamond and an average clarity of SI2 will give you slight imperfections – a diamond that sparkles brilliantly.

Most buyers of engagement rings do fall into this category of color and  clarity. Please understand that a 1 carat, flawless diamond is valued and sold for well over $100,000. And that’s simply the diamond by itself. If you have the money or the credit, by all means, do what your heart desires and go flawless.

Sterling Silver’s Jewelry offers a variety of 100% authentic, high valued engagement rings for all budgets at the guaranteed lowest prices we can offer them for. We also offer a full-line of silver, gemstone, gold, diamond and other jewelry pieces – bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, toe rings, anklets, bangles and more.

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What makes an Indian wedding a standout affair?

A wedding is Mecca of human emotions. The spiritual connection that the bride and the groom experience, emotional investment that their families make during the whole ceremony and the joyous times that people involved in this pristine ceremony relish, wedding day is indeed an event that is etch in the memories of everyone for years to come.

Then what is so special about an Indian wedding you ask? Well, in an Indian wedding this grand celebration turns into a colossal convivial delight.

5DDD0702IT IS ALL ABOUT THE FRILLS!

Indian ethos and linage lay down the A to Z of a wedding setup. Wedding ceremonies reflect the religious and cultures aspects of the particular community. Days and sometimes months are devoted to gear up for a perfect big wedding day. Gregarious gathering which is signaled by “henna drawing” and ending with “Bidia” make quite a spectacle. It won’t be wrong to state that an Indian wedding, in totality, is nothing less than a festivity.

Exquisite and elaborate decoration, which is a cornucopia of traditional beliefs and in-vogue elements, makes the wedding extra special not just for spouses, but for everyone present at the event.

NEXT IN LINE IS THE MAN BEHIND THE LENS!

5DDD1145To capture and preserve cherished moments during a wedding, a professional Indian wedding photographer proves to be an icing on the cake. Thanks to his tenacious talent of reproducing the cultural and emotional essence of the wedding on pieces of paper, he is able to make your wedding album a truly memorable one.

His discerning eyes and a well-versed mind in cultural aspects of different religions in India, be it Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, moulds him to be patience during those long hours of traditional ceremonies. Also his knowledge of importance of various customs let him earmark the photographs with his personal touch turning them into a well-balanced blend of contemporary styles with retro-effects.

So larger-than-life decoration and perfect lens work checked! But the most important aspect of an Indian wedding is yet to be unveiled.

GASTRONOMIC SATISFACTION-SCRUMMY FOOD!

5DDD0857It is being said, particularity with respect to an Indian wedding, everything fades in the realms of the memories but the food that one partake of at a wedding sticks with the person for years to come. And this statement is followed with all heart and soul more often than you can think of! A real Indian wedding does not have the mainstream traditional dinner! It is all about making whoop and binge eating your way through the night when it comes to the food spread, be it the lunch, cocktail party or the dinner.

A slew of traditional recipes to placate the taste buds of hundred of guests, modern dishes to subject one’s palate to a burst of flavours… you get the drift!

This was just a sneak-peek into what an Indian wedding is all about and why it is so different from weddings in other cultures. Maybe someday you should visit (or crash! )one to bask in the excitement and glory of it!

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Should you invest in a wedding planner or do it yourself?

Wedding planning is notoriously complicated. There are a lot of things that need to get done, and depending on how far out your wedding date is, not a lot of time to do it. Even if you’ve given yourself a few years to plan, the time is going to pass quickly, and you’re going to find yourself wanting more time. It’s a (not really) scientific fact. The easy way out seems to be hiring a wedding planner. Before you make the jump, you might want to think about each side of the coin.

Yes, a wedding planner can help you plan your wedding and take care of the little details, but at what cost? You don’t just pay a little bit of money to a wedding planner; it’s actually a decent amount of money. Plus, you still pay for the vendors, favors, catering, etc. Some people seem to think that a wedding caterer is like going to a wholesale store, you get a great deal on a bulk package. While it’s true that a wedding planner has access to some lesser priced vendors, you still have to pay. So why not just do it yourself?

On the other hand, having a DIY wedding you are responsible for your budget. When you go with a wedding planner, you can give them your budget up front and they’ll work meticulously to stay within it. As mentioned, a planner does have access to a large amount of vendors that you may not have known about. They may also have special rates since they deal with vendors so often. When you plan your wedding on your own, it’s like having an additional full time job, only you don’t get paid to do it. In fact, YOU pay to do it.

What it really comes down to is how much control you want and how much time you have available to put into the planning of your wedding. There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not. For more wedding ideas visit WeddingBing.com

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Coordinating a Perfect Wedding

Those who have been in the planning process of a wedding know that there is a lot more to it than just saying “I do”. There’s food, music, invitations… we could go on for quite a while.

Having a wedding is like baking a cake from scratch – there are a lot of different ingredients that you need to make it work. Not only that, but if you miss even a single one, then there’s a pretty good chance that your cake won’t taste so good. And, on the day of baking your cake, you need to make sure that you mix all of the ingredients at the right time in the right amounts, or else, again, it might just not taste so good.

Unless you’re a professional baker, baking a cake from scratch is hard. Even though it’s more expensive to go to a bakery and get a cake from them, it’ll probably taste better than if you baked it yourself. I mean, after all, they’re professionals. It’ll also be way less stressful for you – a drive into town is a lot easier than struggling in the kitchen for a couple of hours.

DIY or Hire Someone?

Some choose to go the route of doing the wedding themselves – and that’s fine. For a smaller wedding, you might be able to get by with some home-cooked food, simple invitations, and simple décor.

But for the larger weddings – anything over the bare minimum of closest friends and family – you’re going to want to consider hiring professional wedding vendors to complete a perfect wedding day. Doing it yourself is just too stressful and will take away from the joy of your special event.

Wedding vendors are like professional cake bakers. You hire & work with them to build a vision of what you want your wedding to be like. For example, if you go to a catering company and give them some general guidelines, they’ll then use their expertise to plan a multi-course, mouth-watering meal after the ceremony. You can go to a photography company and tell them who you want shots of and when – they’ll take them (without being intrusive) and you’ll have professional-grade photos to remember your wedding with for the rest of your life.

It’s just easier.

Wedding Vendors are Good at What They Do

Wedding vendors also work together with each other to output the specific vibe or theme that you’re going for. If you want to have a stress-free day but still have a simple wedding, any good wedding vendor should be able to accommodate you. We should mention here that we have some of the best wedding vendors available in Chicagoland listed at Wedding Guide Chicago.

That being said, they are professionals. They do this all of the time. If you want something extravagant and mind-blowing, they’ll be able to execute even the wildest of ideas.

Overall, weddings without wedding vendors are doable – but they’re not ideal. It puts a lot of pressure on you – the one who’s getting married. With wedding vendors, you won’t have to run around or stress – they’ll take care of everything so that you can enjoy your special day with family and friends.

Find the help you need in planning your fabulous day! Check out many of the beautiful weddings planned, coordinated & executed by several of the best wedding vendors you can find in Chicago!

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When and How Should I Get Married?

Talk to a few married couples and their stories will all be completely different.

Some will have dated for years and then planned an extravagant wedding months in advance, whereas others will have known each other for just a couple of months and decided to get married one night on a whim.

The perfect time to get married is…

…when you feel it’s right.

Think about the act of getting married in general. Is there a certain formula to know when you love your partner enough to make the leap? No, there really isn’t.

Love is unique in that we understand almost nothing about it. It can’t be measured quantitatively, and anyone who tries to misses out on the true, captivating emotion of it.

Marriage can be spontaneous, or it can be calculated and thought out with extreme detail. It’s all about what type of person you are. Don’t let others in your life dictate when you should pop – or answer – the question. Just do what feels right.

The date is set: big or small?

When trying to determine how big your wedding will be, it’s important to remember who the wedding is for. The wedding isn’t for your family, it’s not for your friends; it’s for you and your spouse.

If you want it to be a day that’s permanently engrained in the memories of your guests, then a big wedding might be right for you. Grandiose food, decorations, and entertainment can match the feeling that you and your spouse have when thinking about marriage.

Maria & Nick are a great example of a real wedding couple who went big. Their wedding at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church had a whopping 350 guests. Read more at Wedding Guide Chicago.

Some people aren’t into big events. In fact, for some people, the thought of talking to distant acquaintances on their big day isn’t appealing in the slightest.

Jan & Claude went this route. Their wedding was classy and memorable, but it only had 20 guests – for every 17 people at Maria & Nick’s, there was only one at Jan & Claude’s. It took place in a small garden with a tight-knit group of people who had known both of them for years. Read more about their wedding or other Chicago wedding couples at our blog.

Different weddings for different types of people. Who would’ve thought?

Really, don’t sweat it

There’s no right or wrong answer to when or how you should get married. The day is about you, and you should do whatever makes you the happiest.

Some couples choose massive, expensive weddings with hundreds of people. Some go the opposite route – in fact, we’ve seen plenty of couples who decided one day to get a marriage certificate and skip the wedding entirely.

Remember – no matter what you do, you’re getting married! The day will be magical no matter what happens. We invite you to read more about the different types of weddings each couple below experienced by taking a peek at our wedding website now.

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6 Late Night Reception Snacks

If your reception runs into the wee hours of the morning, make sure the party doesn’t peter out because your guests are out of fuel. Keep them going with some well-timed, high-energy refreshments that will fill them up without slowing them down. Here are some ideas for late-night snacks that will keep the dance floor full.

S’mores

If your reception is outdoors, or has a patio with a fire pit, a S’more’s bar is a great way to provide a sugar rush for your guests. If you’re feeling especially into Pinterest, make your own marshmallows, flavored with cooking extracts, and go for chocolate graham crackers instead of messing with drippy melted chocolate. Your guests will appreciate the reminder of childhood camping trips and the extra jolt of energy. Just make sure to provide some wet-naps for cleanup.

Mini Corn Dogs

You’ve already had your fancy dinner, so why not go more lowbrow and carnival-fun with some mini corn dogs? You can go full miniature and get the corn dog bites, but we prefer little 4” breaded corn dogs on sticks. Food on a stick is always a decent idea for wedding snacks, since everyone’s already a tad tipsy and wearing formal wear. Provide some ketchup and mustard for dipping, and you’ll have a nice greasy, salty treat that provides energy without the sugar crash.

Soft Pretzels

In keeping with the carnival/movie theater vibe, soft pretzels are another good way to fill up your guest without getting too messy. Don’t forget the bright orange “cheese” to dip them in, and they’re a perfect portion size for a late-night pick-me-up.

Caprese Skewers

If you want to go a little more upscale, but still stay handheld, take the best parts of a caprese salad and make them to-go finger foods. Each bite of goodness consists of a cherry tomato, slice of mozzarella cheese, and a basil leaf skewered on a toothpick, with the whole tray of them drenched in tangy balsamic vinegar. It’s got a little healthy kick, a little cheese to make it filling, and a whole lot of flavor.

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

You’ve already stuffed our guests with wedding cake, but these little dessert bites are a good deal lighter and far more portable. They’re pretty simple–just alternated layers of strawberries, whipped cream, and shortcake, stuck on a shish kebab and presented for consumption. It’s got the refreshing taste of strawberry, plenty of sugar, and a little bit of carb to provide a perfect pick-me-up. There are even companies that sell sparklers for weddings that can be safely used with food so you could plunge one into each kabob and use them like a glorified birthday candle.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cups

You can always count on Paula Deen for filling, country-style snacks, and her mac ‘n’ cheese cups certainly fit the bill. Their Ritz-cracker crust makes them portable and easy to eat. They also have that built-in portion control that works so well for late-night snacks. And there are no utensils or plates involved–your guests can grab one, scarf it down, and be back on the dance floor in less than ten minutes.

Not all weddings go for the late-night snacks, but whenever they do make an appearance, the food’s always a hit with the guests. If you’re asking your guests to stay up past their bedtime dancing, make sure you’re providing the fuel to keep them going.

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