Planning a Wedding Budget with a Planner

Let’s talk budget because it’s a driving force behind any wedding. As a Chicago wedding planner, Big City Bride does not make up the cost of a Chicago wedding, but we certainly can help you know what costs to expect if you’re planning a wedding on a budget. Hiring a wedding planner from the beginning is the best way to create a realistic wedding budget and make decisions throughout the planning process that stay within your wedding budget.

The Knot did a recent study of wedding budgets to find the national average wedding cost and the average cost for your wedding reception venue, wedding band, wedding photographer, wedding ceremony site, wedding dress, room design, wedding floral, transportation, wedding invitations, and more! Look at what they found…but keep in mind that an average comes from many lows and many highs, and a city like Chicago hosts many incredible events with higher budgets, as everything in any city is more expensive and weddings are no exception.

It’s important to realize that this is a study of national weddings, big and small, from Hawaii to Maine and everywhere in between. Of course a country wedding is very different than a beach wedding and even a suburb wedding is very different than a city wedding. Everything in a major metropolitan area is much more expensive so of course that applies to weddings. Staying in a hotel, dining, shopping, and even sales tax is more expensive in a city.

Typically a wedding in a major metropolitan area such as Chicago costs twice as much as a wedding outside of a city. But, there are so many amazing benefits of a city wedding that so many couples find the added cost completely worth it. Close to an airport, full of hotel options, surrounded by tourist attractions for out of town guests, amazing restaurants, incredible views, and really unique Chicago wedding venues….Chicago is an incredible city to tie the knot in!

With a Chicago wedding planner, you can know the Chicago wedding costs and plan a Chicago wedding that fits your budget, your guest count, and your style. Big City Bride loves to plan weddings of every size and budget that show off the Chicago you love!

St. Teresa of Avila Church in Lincoln Park

The Big City Bride wedding planner search for the church continues! We love so many Chicago wedding churches and want to share with you options well known and lesser known.

St. Teresa of Avila is a lovely modern Catholic church in Lincoln Park and could be the perfect spot for your Chicago wedding ceremony! St. Teresa is located in a sleepy area with plentiful street parking and a parking lot so your guests won’t have any problem getting to your Chicago wedding!

Here is the view of the church and the entrance from the Kenmore Street side. St. Teresa of Avila Chicago church is located at 1037 W Armitage Ave.

Here is the view of the altar and aisle from the back of the church. Imagine yourself walking down the aisle towards your groom and being surrounded by close family and friends for an intimate Chicago church wedding.

So often the Chicago churches famous for Chicago wedding ceremonies have an overwhelming capacity. And although your guests can squeeze to the front in a big church, a church that your family and friends can fill makes for a really memorable wedding ceremony.


Courtney + Nate – Style Me Pretty

So excited to have a Big City Bride wedding featured on Style Me Pretty this week! The Style Me Pretty wedding blog is known for posting gorgeous and unique weddings… and whether you’re planning your wedding and looking for inspirtation, happily married and not ready to say goodbye to wedding fun, or a hopeful romantic secretly planning your Chicago wedding (once you find that perfect groom!) this wedding blog has a lot for you to love.

We love this Champaign Illinois wedding currently on Style Me Pretty! As Big City Bride we tend to share our Chicago wedding planning expertise in Chicago, but we love when we get to plan for a new location. We’ve planned internationally … we’ve planned tropically…and we’ve planned all over the Midwest!

Courtney and Nate had a stunning and romantic wedding in a Champaign country club and we’re so glad that Style Me Pretty featured it for everyone to see!

BHLDN Is Styling Support For Chicago Children’s Charities!

Chicago wedding planner, Big City Bride would like to introduce you to Anthropologie wedding line, BHLDN (try pronouncing it “Beholden.”) BHLDN has beautiful wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses in whatever styles you are looking for. Are you a bride who is searching for the perfect wedding reception dress for your Chicago wedding? BHLDN has a variety of gorgeous wedding reception dresses to choose from. Chicago brides are also raving about the wedding accessories that BHLDN sells including wedding shoes, wedding veils, wedding headpieces, wedding jewelery, wedding belts, wedding clutches, wedding gloves, and wedding lingerie.

Most importantly, BHLDN supports the Chicago Children’s Charities and their 9th annual Derby Party. The expert stylists at BHLDN have invited you to a complimentary Derby Days styling session on April 19th at their Chicago BHLDN location. The stylists will help you look chic and classy. RSVP today to and help support this important Chicago charity.  Don’t miss out on a fabulous opportunity!

Lollapalooza Schedule Released!

Big City Bride loves when summer comes around. Not only is it Chicago wedding season but it is also is the start of some really fun and fantastic ways to spend your summer days in Chicago. One of the highlights of summer in Chicago is Lollapalooza, starting August 3rd and raging until August 5th. You can enjoy a three day Chicago music festival with over 100 bands for the complete musical experience. Of course, you want to know who is playing! And we don’t blame you!  Here is the 2012 Lollapalooza lineup which was just released to many happy fans:

Red Hot Chili Peppers •The Black Keys • Black Sabbath • Jack White• Florence + The Machine• At The Drive-In• Avicii • The Shins • Justice •Passion Pitn• Sigur Ros •The Weeknd• M83 • Miike Snow •The Afghan Whigs • Bloc Party • Franz Ferdinand • Frank Ocean • J. Cole •Childish Gambino • Delta Spirit • Metric • The Temper Trap • Wale • Die Antwoord • Dawes • tUnE-yArDs • The Head & The Heart • The Big Pink • Twin Shadow • The Tallest Man on Earth• Toro Y Moi • Dr. Dog • Alabama Shakes Of Monsters and Men • Gary Clark Jr. • The Gaslight Anthem • Amadou & Mariam • Band of Skulls • SBTRKT • Tame Impala • The Walkmen • JJ Grey & Mofro • FUN. • Neon Indian • Aloe Blacc  Dum Dum Girls • Washed Out • Trampled By Turtles • Chairlift •  Bear in Heaven • Blind Pilot • The Black Angels • Yellow Ostrich • GIVERS • Poliça • Bombay Bicycle Club • Sharon Van Etten • White Rabbits • Doomtree • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis • The Devil Makes Three • Oberhofer • The War on Drugs• Michael Kiwanuka• O Rappa• Bowerbirds • Orchard Lounge •    Mona • The Growlers • Hey Rosetta! • JEFF the Brotherhood • Anamanaguchi • First Aid Kit • Wax • FIDLAR • Milo Greene • JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound• Los Jaivas • Kopecky Family Band The Jezabels • LP • Yuna • Walk Off The Earth • Animal Kingdom Dev • The Sheepdogs • The Dunwells • DJ Mel • Empires • Kevin Devine • Dry The River • Helena • Haley Reinhart • Imaginary Cities • Overdoz • Ambassadors • DJ Zebo • Chancellor Warhol • Laura Warshauer • Red Oblivion • Bassnectar Kaskade • Calvin Harris • NERO • Santigold • Knife Party • Zeds Dead • Big Gigantic • Skream & Benga • Little Dragon • Porter Robinson • Sub Focus • Madeon • Zedd • Paper Diamond Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs • Star Slinger • Nadastrom • DJ Nihal • The White Panda • SALVA • Kid Color

If you want to get your fair share of great music this summer Lollapalooza is the time to do it! You can go to to get tickets and more information about the three day extravaganza! Not only is Lollapalooza a great way to enjoy your Chicago summer, it can be an even better way to add a little spunk into your Chicago wedding weekend!

Here at Big City Bride we love the idea of making your Chicago wedding weekend a getaway for those guests that are from out of town. Lollapalooza can be a really fun activity for your guests before or after your Chicago Wedding! Of course it also causes a few hurdles for the Chicago wedding planning process. Your Chicago wedding planner truly becomes important on busy weekends in the city. Big City Bride can make it easier for you to enjoy your Chicago Wedding by taking the stress of transportation, traffic, and hotels away from you and your wedding guests. Chicago Wedding Planners can assist you in finding a Chicago hotel, a Chicago wedding venue, getting you transportation to deal with the traffic, and managing Chicago wedding vendors during a hectic but very fun time in Chicago!

So it’s time to do plan fun during your summer! Check out Lollapalooza or let your music loving guests know to check out this famous Chicago music festival!

Big City Bride Wins Designers Challenge

What fun news! Big City Bride is totally honored to be the Chicago wedding planner behind the winning Designer’s Challenge for Chicago Style Weddings Magazine. Working together with a Chicago wedding florist and a Chicago wedding cake designer we were able to bring our inspiration to life. A Chicago stationer added some pizazz with a fancy boxed wedding invite and a Chicago wedding photographer from Gerber + Scarpelli Photography captured the design.

We were excited to create a glamorous and unexpected look that Chicago brides could really try to replicate for their Chicago wedding. Using an elegant framed mirror on our table top, Big City Bride would love to see this used in a room with gorgeous ceilings. What a fabulous way to play up detailed architecture in a Chicago wedding venue. The hot pink wedding color is nicely subdued by the pewters, silvers and muted lavenders also used. We had fun layering linens to create a custom “haute” linen. Overall…it was so fun to be a part of this! Check out the website for all the great designs.

Chicago Cultural Center – A Closer Look Up

Big City Bride adores the Chicago wedding venue that features two Tiffany’s domes and lots of city history. Across the street from the famous Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center is a beloved Chicago wedding venue.

Chicago wedding photographer Edenhurst Studio took this gorgeous photo of the Chicago Cultural Center Tiffany dome in the Preston Bradley Hall. The details in the stained glass and the light are stunning. I loved this photo too much to not share it. Thank you Dana and Spencer for taking Chicago wedding photos that not only capture the beautiful bride and groom and their Chicago wedding, but making art from their day as well.

Free Tickets to The Lucky One Chicago Screening!

Big City Bride, Chicago’s favorite wedding planner … is more than excited to partner with Warner Brothers Pictures to give away 50 tickets to the screening of Nicholas Sparks’ newest adapted movie The Lucky One. Starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, this romantic drama has our hearts pitter pattering just watching the trailer! The Big City Bride wedding planners will be in attendance (a long with Nicholas Sparks himself!) so act fast and follow the link below to get two tickets for this Chicago event! The first 25 people will be The Lucky One(s)!

Be THE LUCKY ONE and get tickets HERE!

Important information to know: The exclusive Chicago movie screening will be Tuesday April 3rd, 2012 at 8PM at the Showplace ICON Chicago movie theater (150 West Roosevelt Street, Chicago). Nicholas Sparks’ novel The Lucky One will be sold at the event and the famous romance author will be there to sign books purchased at the Chicago event!

Get Lucky With Nicholas Sparks in Chicago!

Who’s going to be The Lucky One?! Big City Bride is the lucky Chicago wedding planner with some really fun romantic movie connections (Warner Brothers Pictures)…and we’re excited to pass our luck along to you! Nicholas Sparks’ new movie The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, hits Chicago movie theaters on April 20, 2012.

But…this Chicago wedding planner is excited to announce a few lucky blog readers will get the chance to attend The Lucky One movie screening in Chicago on April 3rd, 2012 at Showplace ICON (150 W. Roosevelt).

Not only will you get to see the early screening of the film … but Nicholas Sparks will be present to sign copies of the book sold that night! Starting at 6:30pm books can be purchased at the movie theater for Nicholas Sparks to sign. Famous for his romantic novels and the movies they inspire, Nicholas Sparks is a beloved author and an autographed book is always a nice addition to your collection.

Here is The Lucky One trailer to pull at your heart strings and get you excited for the opportunity to win! Big City Bride will be posting the link tomorrow, April 28th, at noon (Chicago time). If you’re one of the first 25 to follow the link you’ll be able to download up to two tickets for the movie screening!

Check back to tomorrow at noon!


Wedding Shoes To Dance All Night In

We’ll admit it. Everyone at Big City Bride has a pair of Toms. They are unbelievably comfortable and weigh close to nothing. One of our Chicago wedding planner secrets is packing an extra pair (or three) of shoes because we never stop and we never sit down! Big City Bride will be going on wedding day from the time the bride gets her make up done till the end of the night when we check the Chicago wedding venue for a lost camera or suit coat. Running between hotel suites, moving through the city from wedding hotel to the Chicago wedding church, setting up for the wedding reception and greeting guests means we don’t have a free moment to slow down. At that point your Chicago wedding planner is checking the food display, tidying the bathrooms, checking in on the bride and groom, organizing toasts and group photos, and making sure the wedding band stays on schedule. By the time the food is served and the guests are dancing the eyes are no longer on us and so if we’re lucky we can change from heels to flats.

If Toms are good enough for a Chicago wedding planner…they might be good enough for a Chicago bride! If this is at all your style we’ll vouch for their comfort. The new Toms Wedding Collection is where I found the photos of these fun options! If your dress will hide your feet all day and you want to think about your groom rather than your sore heel and wobbly ankles, maybe you want a pair! If you know your sexy shoes won’t make it into dancing perhaps you need a pair for your late night wedding celebration!

Whatever your style, be it crochet or grosgrain ribbon, burlap or sequins, flats or high heels…they probably have a pair you’ll enjoy. Make this your “something blue!” Gift your bridal party with a pair for dancing that fits each of their personalities…or your wedding colors! Your Chicago wedding planner can help hide them under your head table to surprise everyone with a late night treat for dancing! It just might help keep the party going all night long!

And don’t forget, Toms donates one pair of shoes for every pair purchased. That might be a “something new” for someone who doesn’t really know the meaning of “new” … and Big City Bride loves that added bonus!