There’s nothing we want more than a successful, upbeat wedding reception, so we put together a wedding planning checklist in Chicago. This reception starter checklist will help you get things rolling with planning the party of the year! Start here to create a list of goals so you can pace yourself and have a perfectly planned wedding reception that you can enjoy, too!
Wedding Planning Checklist in Chicago
Once you’re engaged, the questions start coming! When are you getting married? Which venue are you using? Will I be invited?! The first thing we suggest is to actually enjoy those first days or weeks of being engaged! Try to focus on what vision you see for you and your fiance on your wedding day. From a hotel reception to one near the beach, spend time with your partner discussing how you can mend each of your visions into one perfect celebration of your love!
Once you have a budget nailed down, you should pick when to have your wedding ceremony and reception. You’ll want to clear this with your wedding party and close families of course and make note of any large happenings in Chicago or near your ideal wedding location.
Along with picking the right date, finding the perfect venue is the other major cornerstone, and be prepared for top venues to have limited availability. Many times, your date will be dependent on what the venue has available unless you’re looking at background reception. Setting the date and venue early on will help you claim the season you’re wanting!
When it comes to wedding venues, review if you prefer an all-inclusive venue which typically is less work on your end or a location where you can bring in your own catering or rentals and have more flexibility in some of your vendor options.
With an elegant wedding reception, the theme doesn’t have to be as detailed as perhaps a theme around a tv show, movie, or other pop culture trends. The theme can help you and your vendors understand the mood and vibe you want for your event. For example, themes like a rustic farm, wild & whimsical, or luxurious glamour help begin painting the picture for your wedding vendors to understand your ultimate goal. Picking this overall theme early in the planning allows you to make decisions later on down the road. If you need some inspiration to get you started, Pinterest is full of ideas to get you started!
People make the party! Build your list to include your guests of honor and their loved ones, and everyone else you want to be there, but be sure you’re thinking about space limits and your budget. These should dictate the size of your guest list, and from there you can narrow down your list from “everyone!” to something more manageable.
Once a guest list is created, now you need to let them know about the big event! Are you designing something on your computer to print, hiring a designer, or even sending a paperless invite? Based on your budget and aesthetic, you’ll need to pick one then begin the process of creating an invitation that reflects the theme you’ve chosen, so your guests know what to expect. Make sure it includes everything your guests need to know — you can use the “5 Ws” here: Who, What, When, Where, Why! Make sure you send invitations well in advance, (6-8 weeks before the wedding) and include an RSVP card, stamped envelope, and due date.
Music and wedding receptions go hand in hand. Not all party playlists are created equal, and you want the best soundtrack to set the tone for your wedding reception. Hiring a DJ guarantees your event will be on point with the best tunes: even a smaller reception can benefit from having a professional there keeping the beats and the schedule of events that evening going. Sometimes the best idea will be hiring a DJ who can take care of all of those things for you. We’ll help you find the right playlist for your party — hear for yourself!
Complete Weddings + Events in Charleston
Creating your wedding planning checklist in Chicago is a big job, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By making a plan to start and then working one thing at a time, you will find yourself a master party planner in no time. Try our lists to get started right away! And for everything else you have questions about, Ask Complete Weddings + Events to get our expert help on wedding planning in Chicago!