Love Is…. Connections

Welcome to Events By Epic’s LOVE IS… blog series.  I know it’s so cliché to do a love series during the month of February, but you can NEVER talk about LOVE too much.  It is one of the most complex, overused, misunderstood, sometimes hurtful, very necessary four-letter word in any language.  And although it’s a word, it’s really a feeling that the use of the word tends to add to its complexity.  But even in all its complexity, it has the beauty of being one of the most universal feelings a person can ever experience.  You don’ t need words to experience the actions of love.  You don’t need to see or even hear to experience love.

LOVE is internal.  It’s that internal feeling that connects people, places, and things in ways that we could not imagine.  It’s the power of those internal connections that will “get us back to Real FACE Time” and focused on what really matters.

So here is the question of the day, “When was the last time you actually picked up the phone and talked to someone that you LOVED?”  You probably had to think about it for a minute.  Life often consumes us of those stop and connect moments because we are people on the go.  Constantly moving, changing lanes, and paces.  Driven by a schedule, a calendar, and deadlines.  Powered by smart devices, conveniences, instant and constant connections to “worldwide”.  Living for “social” connections on electronic platforms that encourage us to “book, like, chat, and be instant”.  Even with all the wonderful conveniences, nothing can replace TIME.  We can’t regain it, we can’t buy it, we can’t save it, and we can’t recreate it.  The only thing we can do is cherish it and make the most of every moment in TIME that we have.

Now you may be thinking, “well this topic doesn’t FEEL real loving.”  You have just exposed all the things that are wrong and nothing that’s loving.  Please know that as I am writing this I am boiling over with conviction because I have spent hours swiping up and down, liking, pinning, and recording all for the world to see while missing the engagement moments.  Capturing moments to “share” instead of just being in the moment and laughing, talking, and enjoying the connections with those around me.  But keep reading there is help for us.

In the article, “Social Connections Makes a better Brain” written by The Atlantic, they note that research has found that by nature we were made to have meaningful social interactions.  “Social connections are as important to our survival and flourishing as the need for food, safety, and shelter.  But over the last 50 years, while society has been growing more and more prosperous and individualistic, our social connections have been dissolving”.

OHHHHH, so that what’s wrong with us (Smile).  Is the “selfie, I, ME’ monsters going to take over the world? (SIGH).  Oh no my friends, we can conqueror this new world, and be the heroes of LOVE, CONNECTIONS and TIME.  We can take back the streets of the information highway by simply setting a new journey called, “The REAL FACETIME”.

I know, I know, I don’t understand what’s going on in your world.  There is not a lot of time in the day to stop and talk to people on a phone or spend time with them. It’s easier to text or comment on a post.  We have things to do, work to get finished, and agendas to conqueror.  But the reality is that we can’t afford not too.  We need social connections just as much as we need food to live.  So here are 8 suggestions for you to start your  “journey to Real FACE TIME”.

  1. Pick Up the Phone– Look through your phone and call one person that you have not talked to in the past 30 days
  2. Invite a Friend- Invite someone who you have been saying, “we need to get together”, to lunch or dinner this week.
  3. Set a “no technology day” in your home– This is the day that you as a family are connecting, either through games, fun dinner time questions, etc.  We do this in our home on Tuesday and Thursdays and it has been amazing.
  4. Schedule a date night with your spouse– If you don’t have a babysitter, maybe ask one of your child’s friends parents if they would watch the kids and then you offer to watch their kids as they go on a date night.  Now you have given someone else a “Real Face Time “moment which feels great, while also being intentional on connecting with you mate.
  5. Schedule one-on-one time with your children– Just like parents need individual time with one another, I believe children need the same with their parents.  It may not have to be a long time (teenagers may not be too happy with this, but again is so necessary to life) but even if it is just to tell your child something you LOVE about them or how proud you are of them.
  6. Make time for your parents- Call your parents or go to their home and just sit. You will truly cherish those moments later in life.
  7. Connect with a group of friends–  Do something fun, laugh, eat, have great conversation.   Your soul will thank you.
  8. Say I LOVE YOU-. Taken from the Stevie Wonder song, “these 3 words, sweet and simple”. I LOVE YOU when said sincerely can change lives forever.

So, you have a few items to jumps start your “Connections:  Getting back to Real FaceTime” journey.  This journey is not an easy one and will take work and commitment.  It may be confusing, frustrating and sometimes painful.  But by not taking the steps in the journey, could change the very essence of who we by nature were designed to be.

So, I challenge you this week to try some of the things above or create your own meaningful connections in person, by phone (and not texting), or maybe even in writing, yep I said it writing, a letter, you know with paper, pin, envelope, and stamp. 😊  You will be amazed at how that connection will not only fulfill you but also to one that will be on the receiving in.

I would love to hear from you as you are on this journey.  Share your connections moments with us below, or on social media (yep I’m asking you to do that thing that I said don’t do, but this is only AFTER you had the connection moment) at eventsbyepic1 on Facebook or Instagram or by email at  Use the hashtag #justconnect.

Stay tuned for next weeks discussion on LOVE IS …. Relational.


“Calling all Fashionistas”- Celebrating You pt.2

Summer fashions

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same- Coco Chanel”.  Each year there is a new “fashion trend” that tells us what we should or shouldn’t wear, what colors are in “season” and what we have to have in our closets.   Only for us to look up 6 months later and we have all this “fashionable” stuff in our closets that we scratch our head and ask, ”why did I buy that” or you realize you paid a lot of money for this piece that was so “IN” at the time and now is so “out” and you only wore it 2 times and you didn’t nearly get your money’s worth. UGHHHHH!!!!

To help us get a handle on the ever changing world of fashion and move towards being a “classy trendsetting fashionista, I reached out to fashion blogger and You Tube host of “A Better Day with Julie, Julie Hightower, and fashion stylist, Stacey Whitehead of “Steppin in 2 Style”, to ask for their expert advice on how to make our closets stylish and classic, instead of flashy and fashionable.

LaTanya: What are this spring season’s must haves in fashion?

Julie: The Spring 2016 must haves in fashion are, Florals, Fringes, and Wraparound Tie Laces.

LaTanya:  What trends are you seeing in the world of fashion?

Julie:  The 70s are back!!!! It’s time to Get your Fringe and Wedges!!!

LaTanya:  What colors will be hot this season?

Julie:  What you will see this spring and summer season are bright colors and florals.

LaTanya:  What is one fashion guilty pleasure every woman should have in her closet?

Julie: One fashion guilty pleasure everyone should have in her closet is a great pair of designer High End Shoe (My favorite Christian Louboutin (Red Bottoms) or Gucci). The shoe changes the entire statement of the look!!!

LaTanya:  What are a few staple items that every woman should have in her closet?

Stacey:  Every woman should have a red blazer, trouser jeans and nice pair of black pumps

LaTanya:  What are some simple tips a women can do to update her wardrobe?

Stacey: Tip #1  Instead of buying new black pumps every year, just take them to a shoe repair and have them replace the taps and polish them up to extend the life of the shoes and your pocket.  Tip #2 I believe in buying one trendy piece for the season but, I make sure that it’s timeless and that I can mix & match it with what I have already in my closet.

LaTanya:  What are 2 things that are essential in a closet make over?

Stacey: First, make sure you crave enough time out to finish the makeover all the way through. Second, I would have to say you have to be mentally prepared to let go and move on from some items that maybe out dated and hold some type of memory.

These 2 fabulous contributors have given us some great tips to get our wardrobe spring and summer ready.  Julie and Stacey will be our special guest at the “Celebrating YOU- Girls Night Out Experience” on this Friday, May 20, 2016 at Northern Illinois University Conference Center at 7:00pm.  Join us to get more of their awesome fashion tips.  To register go to


Celebrating You2.FINAL

“Celebrating You”


Tanya's Hair.Milli Hair Salon

Spring will officially be here in a few short weeks with summer soon to follow.  What better way to get prepared for both than learning what’s hot and trending in fashion, hair and skin care. The next few blogs are designed to celebrate all things that make you a Phenomenal Woman. We have gathered experts in each area to share what’s trending and to get you ready to “Celebrate You” this spring and summer.

Today’s topic… “It’s a hair thing.”   Women and hair can be a never ending topic.  We are inundated daily with new potions, lotions, and shampoos to help us maintain that “straight from the salon look”.  As I sit in the hair salon, I watch as women transform into a new women as they being to see their hair shape into something beautiful.  Hair stylists take that “bad hair day” and make it fabulous.  I believe sometimes when women walk out the salon, there “inner Beyoncé” comes out and the fans begin to blow and we strike a posse as if the whole world is cheering our name. When our hair is right it affects our attitude, it motivates our clothes choices and could really become what sets the stage for a great day.

To help us understand “this hair thing”, we reached out to our contributing writer for this blog Kelly Montgomery, Hair Stylist, from Milili Hair Salon in Romeoville, IL. We asked Kelly to share what’s hot in hair for the spring and summer months and to provide us with some tips on how to maintain our “manes” when we are not able to make it to the salon.

LaTanya:  “Kelly, spring and summer is coming and some of our readers may be looking for a new look.  What do you recommend to wake up their hair life?

Kelly:  “Color is a great way to add some spice to your spring and summer hair styles.  But if you are considering getting color, I recommend you seek a professional consultation.  Your hair care professional can help you evaluate what type of products would be best for your type of hair and your life style.  Your stylist can also make sure you get the best results out of your color without damaging your hair.  Leave the DIY hair coloring to the professionals.  If you want to look professional with your hair color, seek a professional.”

LaTanya: ” What’s trending in hair styles this year?”

Kelly:  “What’s trending in hair styles this year are Pixi Cuts, Natural Hair, Crochet braids and Bob haircuts (with hair extensions).  For ladies who want the short haircut, the Pixi Cut is very versatile and easy to maintain.  For those ladies who rock their natural hair, styles which include twist and color are truly hot this season.  For ladies who enjoy new looks on a regular basis the Crochet Braid hair method is a hot option. Lastly, for the ladies who enjoy hair extensions, the Bob Hair Cut is taking hair extension stylist by storm.  One of the keys to having that “rocking bob” is finding the right stylist who specializes in hair cutting.  You want to maintain the style even after you leave the salon.  The second key would be to make sure your hair stylist applies your hair extensions properly.  This cuts down on hair loss.  Bad application equals, major hair and edge loss.  Let a professionally trained and licensed hair stylist help make your hair extension experience a great one.”

LaTanya:  “What suggestions would you give to maintain healthy hair at home?”

Kelly:  “I would suggest you reevaluate your pillowcase.  Cotton pillowcases pull at your hair. A satin pillowcase is your hair’s best friend. Also, adding other hair protective measures such as a silk scarf or wrap to you bedtime routine can help to maintain healthy hair.  Lastly, the number one thing you should do for healthy hair is to stay away from the heat.  Daily curling or blow drying is the worst thing you can do to your hair.  Overall important thing to remember is to know your hair.  What works for one person may not work for you.”

For more tips from Kelly, join us at the” Celebrating You:  The Girls Night Out Experience” sponsored by Events By Epic on Friday, May 20, 2016 7:00pm at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville.  For more information go to

10 Stress-Free Tips to Hosting a Holiday Party

Relax…you really can handle this!  Hosting an event can be quite stressful, especially if it is not something that you do on a regular basis.  The details of the event can be overwhelming.  That’s why we, at Events By Epic, wanted to offer you a few tips to minimize your anxiety when preparing to host your holiday party!

Time for Family Showing Love And Romantic Home

#1 – Remember WHY you are hosting the Party! Being too consumed by the details of the day can cause you to forget why you are having it to begin with…to connect with family and friends. This approach could cause conflict and/or hinder a relationship with a family member.  Although important, the time shared and memories created is matters more than compliments received about how beautifully decorated and well coordinated the holiday party was.

If you find this to be too difficult for you, consider hiring an event planner who can focus on the details of the event while you connect with family and friends.


#2 – How Much will this Cost? Determining how much you have to spend is always the best place to start.  Married couples should be sure to discuss this step together.  Holiday parties often bring up other unexpected expenses that are not technically associated with the event itself.  However, you do not want a leaky toilet, broken hand rail or porch step, when you have guest coming over.  Considering all cost will help you determine how many people and who you invite.

Tip: To share the cost burden of the event, ask others to contribute.  Have a potluck!  It will take a bit more coordination, but it prevents you from scaling back the event.

Girl Wondering What To Do About A Problem

#3 – Who’s on the Guest List?  I know that you would prefer to have one epic event (no pun intended…well sorta), but you may have to consider having 2-3 smaller ones if you do not think your guest will mesh well.  When those who attend the event simply appreciate the fact that you invited them, they often make the event better and enjoyable for all.

Tip: Consider having smaller gatherings; one for family, one for friends, and another for co-workers.  Perhaps meet your co-workers at a restaurant and everyone pays for themselves.

To Do List Clipboard For Organizing Tasks

#4 – Make a List and Check it Twice!  The details and “to-do’s” are typically not what causes you to go from 0 to 60 on the anxiety charts.  It’s the unknown that is stressful.  “What or Who am I forgetting?” Before doing anything, take some time to make a list of your “to-do’s”.

Tip: There are many cool apps that you can add to your phone or tablet so that you can add to the list while on the go.  Evernote, Trello, and Podio are a few apps that we use to to stay on task.

christmas decoration

#5 – Decor & Space Planning  You know how many people your home will hold for dinner.  Need more space?  A well decorated folding table is an inexpensive way to extend the dinning room table.  Minimize decor on the tables to allow room for food.  Rearrange furniture to improve the flow.

Tip: Be sure to consider space for entertaining before and after dinner.  In a smaller space?  Its ok.  If you are planning to play games or need room for dancing, remember to ask a few people to help you turn the room, prior to the party.  This ensures that they are prepared to do this quickly without much interruption.


#6 – Set The Mood!  The right music and lighting is always a pleasant addition to any event.  Spend some time creating a playlist prior to the day.  Think about the amount of time people will be over and add enough music to last the entire time.  To change the mood, you may need multiple playlist to use before and after dinner.  Manage the volume so that it allows for conversation.

Tips: Pandora and Spotify are great apps to use if you do not have time to create playlist. Consider turning off the overhead lights and infuse lamps with varying color bulbs. Hours prior, open windows to allow fresh air in. Be sure to reset the temperature prior to guest arriving.

Preparing A Plate Of Sashimi In A Japanese Restaurant

#7 – Prepare Ahead of Time. Prepare and cook as much as possible before hand.  Prepare plenty of snacks, drinks, and appetizers in a different room (if possible) from where you will have dinner.  This will allow your guest to snack just in case something takes longer than anticipated.  When you are organized and prepared, this allows for you to spend more time with your guest.

Tips: Assign someone to restock the goodie bar (an older son or daughter, niece, nephew, etc.) so that you do not have to stop preparing dinner or welcoming and connecting with guest.


#8 – Dinner is Served!  A buffet is the most efficient way to serve lots of people.  Oven-to-table servingware is a great option to increase efficiency.  They help keep the food warm and present much better.  Consider labeling where you will place each dish.  This ensures that those who are assisting you place items where you intended.

Tip: Be sure that they table is away from the wall to allow access to all sides of the table.  This will keep the line moving and prevent longer wait times.  Consider making the plates and serving those who are “wiser” (some may call then older) prior to opening the buffet.  This allows them to get their plate and get a seat before the rush begins.

Fingers Family and christmas

#9 – Make it Memorable! Traditions are cherished and remembered.  Add a special touch to your day by incorporating a tradition that your family has held onto for years.  If you do no have any, there is no greater time than the present!  Create one!

Tips: Do a family craft, such as making personalized ornaments, Sing songs together, tell favorite stories, play your favorite game, no matter what you decide, the experience of it is what matters most.

Welcome mat

#10 – Prepare for Guest  From the time your doorbell rings the first time, your role is to welcome them and make them feel comfortable and at home.  Make essential items accessible so that they do not have to ask or search for them, such as extra toliet paper, plunger, paper towel, socks, etc.

Tip: Consider renting a coat rack for about $20.  They usually come with hangers. It beats piling coats on a bed and allows for access if they need to run out or leave early.

Washing Plates As Part Of The Daily Chores

Bonus: “You don’t have to go home, but its time for you to leave here.”  It’s has been a GREAT, but long day and you are getting sleepy.  You don’t want to be rude and ask your guest to leave. There are subtle things you can do to signal that the party is over.  First, put an end time on the invite (You did send invites, right?).   Lower the music or turn up a main light, mood changes in the room can send the appropriate signal.

Tip: Purchase ‘to-go’ containers and put them out at the end of the party.

Tidy Up a Bit: Leave the heavy cleaning for the morning. However, you can do a few things to minimize your workload.  1) Create a tub of soapy water and place dishes inside of the tub, 2) check floor and furniture for stains so that you can treat them immediately, 3) Take of the trash and recycle to minimize those smells consuming the house.

See…YOU DID IT!!! | | 630.492.0077

DIY Brides: 5 Tips to Planning a Wedding with less than 6 Months to Go.

 Images By Marc Anthony

Traditionally, June is one of the most popular months to get married.  We know that there are many DIY Brides (and Grooms) out there, who decided to “take the bull by the horns” and started to plan your own wedding.

If your wedding is in the summer of 2015, you should have at least done the following by now:

  • Picked a Date
  • Set a Budget (Overall and Itemized)
  • Picked Venues (Ceremony & Reception)
  • Hired a Wedding Planner (if not, Go to
  • Selected and meet your Officiant
  • Started Guest List

With about 6 months to go, this is crunch time!  6 months may seem like a long time, but it will go by really fast.  You are looking at your to-do list and thinking “that’s not so much” but not considering the 10 steps it will take to do each of the 10 “To-Do’s”.

Progress in the next 2 months will significantly impact your stress level in April.  Spend the next 30 days finalizing the following and it put you in a position to walk into the end zone when it matters:

Update Your Budget

By now, you will have a more realistic view of how much you have to spend. Prioritize and balance the budget based on need.  Do not overlook the value of a photographer and videographer.  Hire Them Now!  The good ones book quickly!  You may think that flowers are more important, because you want the ceremony to look beautiful.  There are creative and less expensive ways to decorate.  However, if you have a poor photographer / videographer who does not properly capture the key moments, has poor editing skills, or even worse, you cut them from your budget all together, you may regret not having the memory of grandma walking down the aisle, or a dance with mom or dad, which years later you realize that is what made your day most important to begin with.

Finalize Wedding Party

They don’t just stand there and look pretty (or handsome).  Pick a team who is committed and able to support you in the days and months leading up to your big day.  There is a difference between willing and able.  It takes time, money, and effort (and sometimes talent).  Do not be afraid to set expectations up front.  Most people do not really know what they are saying yes to when they agree to stand with you.

Click Here Bridal Guide did a great job in providing an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the wedding party.

What will you Wear?

Brides…I know you may be holding out for the perfect dress, but this is the time to narrow your choices and make a final selection.  As you know, the style of your dress impacts your decision when selecting your head piece, veil, shoes, lingerie, and accessories…all of which, you should be buying now as well.  There is no greater stress than wondering what you will wear.

Grooms…Consider the colors.  Will you where a tuxedo or a tailored suit? Vest? Bow tie? Begin to research stores or fabric to determine ship time on custom pieces.  Starting this early will give you options.  If you find what you really like, finalize it.  Usually, you can wait until 4-5 months out, but it is better to get what you want than to look for it later and can not find it.

Finger Licking Good

Schedule an appointment with your cater to taste the food.  If you do not like it, this gives you “a little” time to make other arrangements.

 Remember the Marriage

Most importantly, sign up for pre-martial counseling.  Some of you may think you know everything about who you are engaged to, and that may be true.  However, pre-marital counseling helps you ask and answer the tough questions to prepare you for better or worse.  It is better to know the plays and your role (and what others expect you to do) before getting into the game.

Shameless Plug…this is why we advocate hiring a wedding planner.  Allow them to focus on the details of your wedding, while you focus on the details of your marriage.  

Discuss Honeymoon Destinations.  This is not just a vacation, but a time for the two of you to get away to get to know one another even more and for the first time as husband and wife.

Let’s Get To It!

This is the first post of a series that will help you think through and prepare for your Epic Day!

If you have any questions, please let us know. | | 630.492.0077

#OurDayNotYours #WeddingsUplugged

Unplugged Wedding

Even Real Time is almost too late. Technology and social media has enabled us to expand our reach and it has it’s advantages.  However, when it is not used properly and with permission, it could turn what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your lives, into a nightmare.

Being proactive and making a decision about if you will allow guest to use cell phones and social media during your wedding ceremony has now become a norm to manage when planning a wedding.  It seems like no big deal, until the Maid of Honor posts a picture of the Bride in her wedding dress before the wedding…while the Groom is a few rooms away passing time on social media and sees the picture that she posted.  That’s a No-No!

Unplugged: Disadvantages of Using Technology & Social Media at Your Wedding

  1. Be Present!: Your guest are so distracted trying to record the moment that they miss actually “being presence” for it. Don’t feel guilty. Be excited about them not being distracted, but able to clap, laugh, cry, and simply share in the moment, instead of clicking and posting.  You can also include a note in the ceremony program that reads something like this:

    Thank you for taking the time to be witnesses of our vows and the beginning of our marriage. We invite you to be truly present at our ceremony, and respectfully request that all cameras and phones be turned off. Please feel free to share photos at our reception only. Please use hashtag #Mr&MrsPowerCouple

  2. Excuse Me: Everyone wants the best angel.  If they have it, then that means that your grandmother missed it, because they were blocking her view.
  3. Money Shot: You pay a professional to get the money shots!  Empower them to ask your guest to be seated if they get in the way.  You would hate to have the back for cousin Pete’s head in the middle of “you may now kiss your bride!”

Plug In & Turn Up: Advantages and Ways to Maximize the Use of Technology & Social Media

  1. #HashTag!  Go all out!  From the save-the-date announcement through the honeymoon, create a hash tag and ask your guest to use it every time the post something.  This will allow you to search and remember the day while relaxing on the beach or by the pool on your honeymoon.
  2. Talk About It!  Communicate the rules desires to your guest prior to the wedding.    Talk about it on your wedding website, Put it in the program, have the Hostess announce it as people come arrive, and even have the Officiant make a brief announcement.
  3. They Were There?: The day will go by so fast! We used to use disposable camera for this reason, but now everyone has a high definition camera in their pockets.  Allowing your guest to talk pictures and post them, provides a perspective that you would not have experienced otherwise.

Whichever works for you, with a little planning and communication, you can incorporate technology into your #EpicDay or request that your guest to remove all distractions to be present for one of the most intimate moments of your life.

Epic Logo.FINAL | | 630.492.0077

Top 4 Reasons to Hire an Event Planner

Epic Weddings Postcard.5.10.14.web
A good event planner is really worth their weight in gold. It is common to say ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’, but that is so far from the truth when it comes to having a good event planner.

Here are the top 4 reasons to hire an event planner:

#4 – Value over Cost

Most people focus on the bottom line or the amount of money that an event planner will add to the cost of your event. The planner is typically one of the first items to be cut from the budget in an effort to get other items that will be more aesthetically pleasing or better eatin’! However, I urge you to strongly reconsider the family member who thinks that they can handle this responsibility simply because they enjoy it.

Event planning is not only a skill, but an art. I hope that you would not place $30,000 (average cost of a wedding) in the hands of a relative and trust that they would invest it wisely, when you know they don’t possess the knowledge, skills, or abilities to invest properly. Then why would your wedding (or event) be handled any differently?

Proper budgeting is very important, but you must also consider the value that each item adds to the wedding or event. Event planners can provide cost effective suggestions to help you save in multiple areas of your budget so that you do not have to completely eliminate something that you have always dreamed of. Event Planners are also able to leverage relationships with vendors to get you greater deals, which can add up to significant savings.

#3 – Time is Money

As we all know, “time is money”! Planning an event takes a great deal of time, especially when you are not experienced. An event planner allows you to focus on making money and being most productive on your day job or own business…which enables you to possibly earn more while your event planner tends to the details of your epic event.

#2 – Knowledge is Power!

You may have been dreaming of this day since you were a little girl (or boy) and you want it to be exactly how you envisioned it. An event planner can equip you with the latest trends, best color combinations, newest venue, cost-savings, and other best practices that could enhance your big day and transform your dreams into a reality!

#1 – No Worries…We Have Your Back!

In the world of event planning, experience really is the best teacher. Crisis management is inevitable! We are relying on people to execute our “perfect plans” and it does not always go according to plan!

Having an event planner by your side to coach you through critical decisions or even take ownership of the situation is key. Especially on the day of the event, if and when a hiccup arises, your focus should be on building relationships and making lasting memories instead of putting out fires. Having a capable event planner will allow you to relax, knowing that you and your guests can continue to enjoy yourselves. Elsewhere, behind the scenes, your “fire marshal” (event planner) ensures that everything does not crash and burn.

After all, on your special day, it should be all about you and your guests. Hiring the right event planner allows you to mingle with your family and friends and enjoy yourself while your event planner handles the details. The value that an event planner adds is truly priceless. or call 630.492.0077

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30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For

Sticking to your budget is one of the trickiest parts of planning a wedding — especially because there are so many hidden costs.

By: Kristen O’Gorman Klein (Bridal Guide)

To help you out, we checked in with wedding vendors and financial experts across the country to uncover the top items that couples forget to think about when allocating their wedding finances. Read More

What’s your love language?

Love is in the air this season!!! Every commercial,  store you enter and conversation thst you have during the month of February has to do with four little letters LOVE.  Those four letters  together are some of the most powerful letters in the English language,  beter yet in any language.   The lack of love destroys dreams, confidence,  hope and the belief in who you were designed to be.  But when you experience love,  Oh Boy!!!! It’s a game changer for your life.   The very presence of love makes the impossible seem possible,  it makes you smile when you think about it.   It can literally mean life or death for some.   LOVE, LOVE,  LOVE……… It just sounds good,  feels good,  its just great.

Just recently I took the 5 love languages quiz.   If you don’t know about “The 5 love languages” by Gary Chapman,  I encourage you to discover him.  There are 5 languages that Mr. Chapman say we all speak when it comes to love.  Those languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service,  quality time,  physical touch and receiving gifts.  My language is acts of service. When my husband or anyone does something for me I take it as a great honor because people don’t have to do anything for you.  It means the world to me. 

So if you are currently married,  engaged or just thinking about getting married I encourage everyone to read the book, ” 5 love languages” with you mate,  then take the quiz.    This will help you understand your self better and your mate.   Which will help you to love in a healthy way.

Check out the website below.

Bridal Guide: 101 Best Wedding Budget Tips


Don’t break the bank! Follow our guide to all things financially savvy.

1. Create a comparison chart to track what’s included in the price for each venue you’re considering. One company may not include linens and the cake, for example, while another company does.

2. Many public spaces, like parks or the local village green, may be available to rent at a low fee. However, if the space is not equipped to handle events, you’ll have to rent everything from napkins to tables and chairs. Make sure you come out ahead!

3. Choose an unusual venue, such as an aquarium, a zoo, a gallery or an historical site. Site fees are not high and you’ll save on decor because the venue already supplies ambience. But the same caveat goes as for public spaces: Figure in what you’ll have to spend on rentals.

4. Hold your ceremony and your reception in the same place. You’ll save yourselves multiple site fees as well as transportation from one location to the other.

5. If you belong to a community organization or to the military, you may have access, at low cost, to a venue belonging to them.

6. Don’t forget your alma mater—these usually rent for a few hundred dollars.

7. Depending on your venue, you may not need to decorate extensively. If you marry outdoors at a winery, for example, there’s not much you’ll need to add to the gorgeous vineyard backdrop.

8. Rent a vacation home. Even if the owners charge you a week’s worth of rent for the day, it may still be equal to or less than renting a traditional reception venue.

9. If a family member has a scenic property, find out if you can hold your wedding there. One couple held their wedding on the Wyoming ranch where the groom had grown up. Unique and cost-conscious!

10. If you’re a city-dweller, leave town for your wedding. One Boston bride saved more than $50 per person by holding her wedding in Burlington, Vermont.

11. For a garden wedding, look into renting an historic mansion; many of these have gardens that are included in the deal. You may find, as did one couple, that the mansion they rented had no time limit, and the fee was less than half a hall rental.

12. Look for reception packages. Holding your event at a venue that provides catering and food-service items will save you quite a bit of money on rentals.

13. Save on your rehearsal dinner site by throwing a backyard barbecue or a picnic in a local park—both of which will cost you less than a dinner in a restaurant. (These may be more fun too!)

14. Accept a post-wedding brunch at a relative’s home as a wedding gift. You may find that in lieu of a gift, a friend or relative will be thrilled to host this event in their home.

15. Trim the length of your reception. Even doing three hours instead of four or five will save you money. Trust us, everyone will enjoy themselves just as much.

16. Determine early on what you can spend and stick to it. One rule of thumb: Food, beverage and venue should come to half of your budget.

17. Most venues charge a premium for Saturday night. Hold your reception on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday night. An afternoon wedding will cost less than an evening one, as will a Sunday brunch.

18. Consider the season— you’re likely to get a better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June.

19. What about a destination wedding? Because the guest list will be smaller, a wedding away may cost less than a traditional event held in your hometown.

20. Think small. Check into bed and breakfast venues in your area and place firm limits on your guest list.

21. When you’re deciding between an indoor or outdoor space, figure in the cost of a tent rental—if it rains, a tent is worth every penny.