Illinois Wedding Officiant
Illinois Wedding Officiant
Chicago Wedding Minister
Chicago Wedding Minister
Chicago Wedding Officiant
Chicago Wedding Officiant
Chicago Northshore Wedding Officiant
Chicago Northshore Wedding Officiant
Chicago North Shore Wedding Officiant
Chicago North Shore Wedding Officiant

More couples plan their weddings together

When my husband and I were planning our, he had one task: find the officiant.  The internet was new and the wedding industry hadn’t gone online yet.  He got a list of retired judges from the Cook County courthouse, chose one and brushed off his hands.  He was done with his part of the wedding.  Meanwhile, I found an artisan typesetter to print the invitations, located a woman in Chicago to bake our cake, communicated with the florist, choose a string trio for the ceremony, and found dresses for my daughter and me.  There was no wedding party, so I didn’t need to choose bridesmaids’ dresses, we decided we didn’t need programs, and the dinner menu for the reception was


Ground rules for conflict resolution 

Let’s face it; arguments are an inevitable part of relationships.  You’ve heard “Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff,” but it’s the small stuff that gets under our skin and makes us crazy.  It takes great self-control to not snap the one hundredth time you hear your partner tell an anecdote that you didn’t think was all that amusing or interesting the first time. Here are some guidelines for handling those inescapable moments. Wait until you’re calm to discuss the problem. Telling your partner what he or she did to bug you (this time) while your knickers are in a twist will only exacerbate the situation and will most likely make the other person feel defensive.  Walk


Wedding programs

Some couples like to have a program for their wedding ceremony and I’ve seen some creative ones.  The best are programs that double as fans for outdoor weddings in the summer, either a piece of card stock mounted to a tongue depressor or five collapsible petals joined with a rivet that pull out to create a fan. All of the programs act as an order of service, telling the guests what ceremony elements will be included.  Many also list the wedding party and parents of the couple.  Some, like my sister’s, serve as elaborate thank-you notes, expressing gratitude to the guests for coming, the families for nurturing, and friends for their love and companionship.  A program can also list the


Happily ever after

We all realize (most of us, anyway) that fairy tales are just that.  We are not damsels in distress, we can take care of our own problems (again, most of us, anyway). Prince Charming won’t swoop in to rescue us.  We may have an Evil Stepmother (or boss or neighbor), but we have the power to change unpleasant situations. And yet most movies and books about relationships have a happy ending. Opposites finally find common ground, the star-crossed lovers are united at last, the One That Got Away comes back and true love reigns forever and ever.  It’s easy to believe that the same will happen for us. I officiated a wedding years ago with a princess theme.  The bride


Extravagant weddings may increase your chance of divorce

I always say that your wedding is the biggest party you will ever host (hopefully).  But how lavish should it be?  The average wedding in the United States costs close to $30,000 according to The Knot.  Research shows that the more you spend on your wedding, the likelier your marriage will end in divorce.  Spending more than $20,000 increases your risk of divorce 1.6 times as compared to spending between $5000 and $10,000.  Even an expensive engagement ring increases your probability of divorce.  A $2000 to $4000 ring ups your divorce risk 1.3 times compared to a $500 to $2000 ring. (Research done by Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon at Emory University who studied 3151 couples.) The couples who had


Combining finances after the wedding

One question I ask couples during premarital counseling is how they are currently handling their money and when they plan to change it.  While dating, and even while engaged, couples tend to maintain separate checking accounts, each paying their separate bills.  If they live together, they tend to split the rent down the middle, the way roommates do. I point out to them that they are not roommates.  They are partners.  Splitting the rent and household costs 50/50 no longer makes sense.  They should consider paying an equitable percentage of their income toward expenses with an eye to eventually pooling all their money.  For young couples, having a mine/yours mentality can keep them from cementing their relationship and will cause


Catering your own wedding after-party and brunch

When my husband and I were dating, I lived in the Milwaukee area and he lived in Chicago.  Most of my friends and family lived in Wisconsin and the majority of his kith and kin were in Chicago, with other relatives coming in from Manhattan.  Since we were buying a house just outside of Chicago and moving into it a month before our wedding, we booked a venue in Chicago thinking that would make things easier to plan and implement. Like most couples, we had many expenses to try to balance: new house, moving expenses, wedding and reception, and honeymoon.  We also had a lot of out-of-town guests to entertain.  We booked a mid-level venue for our ceremony and reception


Are you getting cold feet?

It’s the week—or day or hour—before your wedding and you’re getting cold feet.  Should you call it off? Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions you will make.  Ever.  You know not to treat it lightly, but how seriously should you treat those cold feet? When your fiancé proposed to you, you were probably caught up in the excitement of the moment.  Of course you said yes!  Then you started planning—setting the date, finding the venue, selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen, creating wedding hairstyle and floral bouquet boards on Pinterest.  The week (or day or hour) before your ceremony may be the first chance you’ve had to think this through. We typically put many days, if not weeks,


Why do some marriages fail?

The American divorce rate is falling and that may be good news for your marriage.  It is now around 35 to 40%.  One factor that has contributed to the decreasing rate is the feminist movement of the 1970s, which has helped reduce gender roles within households and helped women (and men) to feel more satisfied with their lives and marriages.  Another factor has been people marrying later in life compared to the 1950s and 60s.  People who are more mature know themselves better, make better decisions and are more able to work out their differences.  They may also not feel that their marriages are holding them back, keeping them from having fulfilling lives because they are finishing their education and establishing


Why not have a winter wedding!

Did you get engaged this holiday season?  If so, congratulations!  The next step will be to choose a date for your wedding.  Some couples like a date that’s easy to remember.  Others choose one that seems lucky or auspicious, such as 7/7/07 or 12/13/14.  Most couples will decide on the time of year they’d like to get married and work around that.  May, June, September and October are the most popular months, but why not consider a winter wedding? They average engagement period in the United States is thirteen to eighteen months.  If you are recently engaged, there’s plenty of time to plan a wedding for next January or February.  One of the advantages to having a winter wedding include