Here are 5 steps Brent and I took to go into the wedding date and time of your selection clear-headed, which helped us mitigate the stress of event date holds and looking further into venues that just didn’t work for when we wanted to tie the knot. 

Step 1: What does life look like? Yes - your “non bride / groom” life!

Brent at the time of engagement owned and operated his own pharmacy which included 6 days a week of reverse commuting from Chicago to the Northshore suburbs. We knew he was hiring and come fall his schedule would lighten up. As a Wedding Planner, I knew I needed to focus on my current list of Clients with undivided attention; this meant that we would be either the very first or the very last of the weddings in our CJDE season. 

We got engaged in late October; spring was too early for us and then come April I was “Wedding Planner Christine.” Late fall gave us an entire calendar year while not stressing us out with work schedules. 

Step 2: What does that season look like? 

At this point you may still be between a few different locations for your wedding. Fall in Chicago looks very different from fall in the South. 

What time does the sun set that time of year? Being a November couple we accepted we were okay with the potential cold and the earlier sunset time; we knew we were going to see one another prior to the ceremony and I’ve always found winter shawls très chic! 

I have so many brides who tell me they run hot! Temperature hot that is, and I mean, who likes to sweat on their wedding day (unless on that dance floor). Pretty please, do not pick a Chicago July date if this is you - even if it’s the 1 date open. If you’re going to be miserable or stressed refreshing your weather app every hour, don’t do this to yourself! 

Step 3: Check with your VIP’s

Your parents, immediate family, friends who are family and Wedding Party. Find out if there are any “blackout dates” for strictly those guests who you literally can’t imagine having your wedding without them.

Notice I said strictly; dates are competitive. If a great aunt who you haven’t seen in years (who you haven’t spoken to in even longer) can’t make it on your dream date, pretty please remember this is YOUR day. 

Step 4: Don’t forget to check citywide conventions, entertainment and conferences!

We got married in the heart of Chicago, off of Michigan Avenue. If it was the Chicago Marathon or Lollapalooza, my oh my would our wedding have looked very different.

Same goes for a food festival or citywide convention. Your planner should know to check these dates; if it’s the one wide open date in June at a venue where every other possible date is booked…sigh. Sometimes it can be too good to be true. 

Step 5: Always check with hotels prior to booking your wedding date!

If I could tattoo this on some figurative Wedding Planning face I would! Even if all of your friends and family are local, chances are you all don’t live in a 10 mile radius of your venue - you will need hotel rooms. Check rates before you book your date - you never know if a sneaky oncology conference in Chicago is taking over the entire hotel room block circuit. Hint: The ASCO conference is a date you want to stay away from, Chicago couples. It’s always in June. 

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