Category Archives: Weddings

A permanent reminder of the cherished day

Your wedding day is just months away, and the time has come for you to select a photographer. You have spoken to several in the past weeks, and they all want to know what style of photography you are most interested in. You’re not up on the current trends in wedding photography and could use a brief review.

There are two basic approaches to wedding photography: portrait and photojournalistic. In the former, subjects pose for the pictures; in the latter, they don’t; the shots are more candid. Many brides and grooms opt for a combination of the two, often hiring a photographer familiar with both styles or separate photographers for each style.

Photojournalism has become quite popular in weddings in recent years. Couples want to see the story of their wedding unfold from what goes on behind the scenes in the dressing rooms to the connections made at the reception. Photographers work to capture all of the little moments—the flower girls’ mischievous grins as they chase each other in the dressing room, the look on the father’s face when he sees the bride for the first time, the mothers’ intensity as they light the unity candle.

In spite of the popularity of photojournalism, portrait wedding photography is not going away any time soon. The majority of couples still want the standard posed portraits. These days, however, many are choosing to have their wedding portraits taken with a high-end fashion approach.

A throwback to fashion magazine shoots, in-vogue wedding photography maximizes the glamour of the moment and makes the couple look their best, almost like celebrities, through digital image editing and manipulation. Shots are very artistic, and the editing is very skilled.

When it comes to the style of your wedding photos, it is your choice. You can stick to formal portraits or go for more candid shots. To ensure you get what you want, select a photographer with care. Interview each of the candidates on your list, find out what their interests are and review their portfolios. If they seem more familiar with portrait photography and you are interested in having portraits and candid shots, you may want to look for someone else.

For the best results, find a photographer who is comfortable with both styles and has some experience with the in-vogue trend if that’s what you’re after.

by Tresa Erickson, MultiAD Builder

Fortier, Snyder wed

Joseph and Barbara Fortier of Rockford, Mich., announce the marriage of their daughter, Jackelyn M. Fortier, to Kevin J. Snyder, son of Kelly and Pamela Snyder of Elburn. The ceremony took place at the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a reception following at the American Legion Hall in Rockford.

The maid of honor was Meg Stewart, a friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Autumn Poisson and Amanda Poisson, both cousins of the bride, and Jennifer Maxwell, a friend of the bride.

The best men were Eric and Brett Snyder, brothers of the groom. Groomsmen were Rick Fortier, brother of the bride, and Brian Maxwell, a friend. Ushers were Cameron and Chandler Cobb, both cousins of the groom.

The bride is a Rockford High School graduate, and a graduate of Grand Valley State University. The groom is a Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jan. 31 fashion show, bridal expo

Sandwich—For Brides Today and Best Western Timber Creek in Sandwich, Ill., invite the public to the annual Bridal Expo, to be held on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Best Western Timber Creek Inn and Suites and Convention Center, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brides can pre-register to attend for free at This event is free for brides and their families and friends.

The fashion show begins at 2 p.m., featuring the latest in bridal wear and is free to the public. In addition to bridal wear, the fashion show will feature a special segment of homecoming and prom dresses. All students and their families are welcome.

While at the expo, watch dance demonstrations, taste-test from local caterers, mini-martini tastings, tour the facility, meet and greet with wedding companies.

For more information, contact Hope McCombs at (630) 202-3620 or visit

Your wedding: Keeping it small

While some couples go all out and invite everyone they know to their wedding, others opt for a smaller, more intimate affair. Although they can be less costly, small weddings are not always easy to pull off. Whittling the guest list to a select few can be difficult and cause conflict among family members. If you would like to keep your wedding small, you need to be aware of the pitfalls and approach the initial planning with tact.

You must decide first just how small you want your wedding to be—10 people, 20 to 40 people, 100 people? The smaller your guest list, the more lightly you will have to tread. There will be people who expect to be invited to your wedding and they will be hurt and angry when they do not receive an invitation. You can accommodate for this by having a large bridal shower or post-wedding party and inviting everyone not invited to your wedding to that.

With number in hand, you can turn your focus to whom to invite. Depending upon how small your target number is, you may have to make some hard decisions like excluding extended family or children from your guest list. Whatever your decision, be prepared for conflict. No doubt there will be some hurt feelings. There might also be pressure to change your mind and have a larger wedding. Don’t give in. It is your wedding. If you want it to be small, you should have it that way.

After you have completed your guest list, make a list of everyone you couldn’t invite and find a way to let them know why they weren’t invited. Send them a note, shoot them an e-mail or give them a call. If you intend to have a large bridal shower, you may be able to wait until then to let everyone know that you will be having a small wedding.

When letting others know of your decision, be tactful. Let them know that while you would have liked to invite everyone, you chose not to for personal, financial or other reasons. Reassure them that they are still very much a part of your life and thank them for everything they have done for you.

In spite of your best efforts, some people will not understand why they were not invited. They will be hurt, angry and disappointed, so much so that they may refuse to attend your bridal shower or post-wedding party. Try not to let it get to you. Give them time to cool off and focus on making your wedding the best that it can be.

Choosing to have a small wedding is easy; implementing the idea, on the other hand, takes work. Be prepared and forge ahead with a smile on your face.

Geneva Wedding Walk set for Sept. 20

GENEVA—Anticipating your perfect wedding is exhilarating. Getting to that dream day, however, can mean a lot of work and stress, unless you are working with the right people.

The 2009 Geneva Wedding Walk on Sunday, Sept. 20, provides those people all in one place, to lessen the stress and heighten the excitement.

The event is sponsored by Geneva Bride, a group of Geneva-area wedding boutiques committed to making a wedding everything the bride and groom imagine. Geneva Bride members include wedding planners, florists, decor designers, caterers, owners of unique venues and boutique dress shops, photographers, jewelers, salons, rental companies, hotels and providers of custom invitations, cakes and treats, and financial planning services, travel companies and more. There are multiples of nearly every kind of business, for a wealth of choices.

Admission is $25 for a bride and two guests, and includes a wedding planner, goodie bags, three wedding magazines, plus favors and handouts from vendors. Brides also will have the chance to win a honeymoon in Aruba or Cancun. To be eligible for the honeymoon trips, brides must stop at each vendor and have their tickets stamped.

“The Chicago area is a top destination for weddings,” said Elizabeth Wray, owner of Elizabeth Wray Design and co-chair of the event. “That makes it very difficult for a bride and groom to sort through the many options available to them. Geneva Bride brings together more than 40 experienced vendors, under a spectacular tent, all well-versed in what it takes to make the day everything everyone involved wants it to be. It eliminates some of the confusion and a lot of the stress.”

Registration for the Wedding Walk will be form 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees will then visit participating stores in the mall, and have their tickets checked. From 2 to 5 p.m., participants will visit in the Wedding Walk tent with the remaining participating vendors, receive giveaways and goodies, and watch continuing fashion shows.

The Geneva Wedding Walk sets itself apart from other expos, where vendors commonly are culled from a wide geographic area.

“Who wants to have a florist in the southern suburbs and a photographer from the North Shore?” Elizabeth Wray said. “This is one-stop shopping. A bride can have a dress fitting, then visit her wedding cake baker and wedding reception venue, all in the same afternoon.”

“We are showcasing Geneva and the unparalleled services Geneva has to offer brides, grooms and their friends and families,” said co-chair Anton Engelmann. “Even if the wedding itself isn’t here, it’s so convenient to have a number of your vendors—distinctive, established vendors—in one place. Brides love it. Mothers of brides appreciate it as well.”

Participating stores within the Geneva Commons outdoor lifestyle mall include Harry & David, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and annabella salonspa.

Geneva Bride grew out of the first Geneva Wedding Walk, held in January 2008 in downtown Geneva. That event attracted brides from throughout the Chicago area and beyond, and was so well-received it has become a semi-annual event.

Geneva Commons is on Randall Road in Geneva, between Williamsburg Avenue and Bricher Road.

Visit to register and see the participating boutiques and venues. Space is limited for the Geneva Wedding Walk event.

My best man is my best friend

Regional—Many pet owners consider their pets a part of the family. If you are among this group, when you get married you want your family to be a part of your memorable day, right? What better way to do so than to have your pet be a member of the wedding party. But how can you be sure your pet will behave? You can’t, so hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. Above all, keep your sense of humor.

Many churches or other institutions may not allow pets on the premises. Check with the location where you are planning to hold the ceremony before making your pet a part of it.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow if you wish to include your pet in the ceremony:
• Be reasonable about your pet’s participation in the ceremony. Dogs are the most likely to be included in a wedding—just make sure they are well trained. They can serve as best man, maid of honor, ringbearer, usher or doorman (just make sure guests have an adequate supply of treats as a reward). Cats are less predictable and can be harder to control in a crowd, so their role might be best as an observer. Since they tend to flee quickly when they get spooked or enticed, it is best to secure them in a carrier or on a leash.
• Include your pets in the rehearsal activities. You may appear differently to your pet in a tuxedo or dress and spook them. So wear your tux or dress at least once in their presence before the ceremony.
• Choose appropriate attire for your pet. Getting a tux for your dog is not as hard as you might think. Websites like www.doggyduds .com can provide a custom fit within a week by mail. If you are going to have your pets dressed in costumes, try it on before the ceremony to see how they will react to wearing them. Do they try to take it off or gnaw on them? Maybe it would be best to just go with something simple like a bowtie collar.
• Have someone familiar with your pets be their chaperone. They can watch for signs of bad behavior and make sure your pets do not overindulge in people food. There is nothing wrong with your pets having their own food at the reception.
• Make sure your pets have been walked and given the chance to relieve themselves.

The bond between a human and their pet can be as strong as any human bond. Some even compare it to that of a parent and child. So it goes without saying that pets should be allowed to participate in the wedding ceremony and celebration of their masters.
by Ronda Addy, MultiAd Builder

Basic wedding etiquette guidelines

Regional—There are dozens of books on the market about wedding etiquette. Each has its own version of what is acceptable and what is not. Depending on how closely you choose to follow etiquette, here are some basics.

Bachelor and bachelorette party rules no longer require the sexes to have separate events. There is no reason, as long as both sides agree, why one party for the whole wedding party cannot be arranged. In this case, all those attending would pitch in an equal amount to cover costs.

Send wedding invitations to both sets of parents as a keepsake, as well as to the officiate. Send one to all members of the wedding party. If you don’t want children at the wedding, either print “Adult Reception” on the card or use word-of-mouth to spread the word. All invites should include a “Reply by” date. Call guests who have not replied one week after that date. You can estimate that about 85 percent of the guests you invite will attend. Make sure your RSVP cards include postage.

Everyone who is involved in the ceremony needs to be at the wedding rehearsal, including musicians, parents of the bride and groom, and all attendants, whether groomsmen or bridesmaids. A rehearsal dinner usually follows the ceremony practice but does not include spouses or significant others of those in the wedding party unless specifically invited by the hosts, which in most cases are the groom’s parents. Practicing the music at the rehearsal is essential. We take many of our cues from the music at the ceremony and one little mistake can throw everyone off balance.

For the ceremony seating, the parents of the bride and groom should sit in the front rows respectively. In the case of divorced parents who don’t get along, the mother sits in the front row and the father sits in the second row. If everyone is friendly, they may sit in the front row together. Don’t arrive late to the wedding or you can consider it missed. Once the mother of the bride is seated, a signal that the ceremony has begun, formal and informal seating is complete. No guest should ever enter the ceremony once it has started under any circumstances.

At a wedding of more than 75 guests, you may want to limit the receiving line to bride and groom, mother of the bride and groom, and maid of honor/best man. For smaller numbers of guests, the whole wedding party and fathers may be in attendance. Technically a receiving line should take place at the reception upon entrance of the first guests but since many couples schedule post-wedding photographs to be taken immediately following the ceremony, it is acceptable to hold the receiving line outside the church.

At the reception, plan on feeding the band or DJ when making catering arrangements. Don’t do the money dance—it’s tacky. Head-table seating is up for grabs these days, so any combination of the wedding party, parents, grandparents and significant others is fine. Assign seating if having more than 30 guests at the reception. You don’t have to name each person to a seat; just put the names on tables. For example, seat the Miller family and the O’Brian family together at one table. The parents of the wedding couple should sit at a reserved table if they are not already seated at the head table. Don’t bring gifts to the reception. Gifts should always be sent to the bride’s residence prior to the wedding.

At the reception, the bride and groom should have the first dance prior to a sit-down dinner. The bride should dance with the groom’s father and the groom with the bride’s mother. Etiquette also calls for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to dance together regardless of marital status. The garter toss, while a long-standing traditional event, has recently fallen out of favor. The bouquet toss, another long-standing event, can be omitted if desired, but is acceptable if kept low-key.

If the wedding is called off, you should return the gifts unused. Make sure you keep a list of who sent what. Engraved gifts may be kept. Cancel travel plans immediately and inform guests who planned to travel to your wedding first.

Keep in mind that these are just some basic wedding etiquette guidelines. Ultimately, it is your day and you need to bring to it your unique outlook so it will be much more memorable to you.
by Doris A. Black, MultiAd Builder

Campbell, Eigenberger wed

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Campbell of Maple Park announce the marriage of their daughter, Kelly Joanna Campbell, to Brian Robert Eigenberger, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Eigenberger of Dubuque, Iowa.

The couple married Aug. 9, 2008, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Dubuque, Iowa, with a reception following at Bittersweet on the Bluff in East Dubuque, Ill.

The maid of honor was Amanda Martin of Ames, Iowa, a friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Jolene Gruenke of Naperville, Ill., a friend of the bride; Melissa Dean of Naperville, a friend of the bride; Samantha Espinosa of Morton Grove, Ill., a friend of the bride; Sarah McGreer of Cortland, a cousin of the bride; Stephanie Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a sister of the groom; and Jenny Stiefel of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the bride.

The flower girl was Abigail Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a niece of the groom. The bride’s personal attendant was Becky Robbennolt of Elgin, Ill., a friend of the bride.

The best man was of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom. The groomsmen were Nick Wagner of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Dan Budden of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Steve Campbell of Maple Park, brother of the bride; Grant Calease of Cedar Falls, Iowa, a friend of the groom; Ryan Chatfield of Dubuque, Iowa, a friend of the groom; and Brian Placke of Manchester, Iowa, brother-in-law of the groom. Ushers were Jeremiah Christensen of Dubuque, Iowa, friend of the groom; and Jason Tuthill of Dubuque, Iowa, friend of the groom. The ring bearer was Garrett Placke of Manchester, Iowa, a nephew of the groom.

The bride is a graduate of Kaneland High School in Maple Park, and received a bachelor’s degree from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. She is employed as a special education teacher in the Dubuque Community School District.

The groom is currently attending Northeast Iowa Community College and is a member of the Iowa Army National Guard.

The couple honeymooned in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and is residing in Dubuque, Iowa.

Setting the stage

By Tresa Erickson
MultiAd Builder

After months of wedding planning, you’re finally in the home stretch. You’ve selected your wedding party, chosen attire, found a venue, lined up all of the right professionals and more. Now you’re working on the decorations for your reception, and boy, could you use some help. Here are some ideas.

When it comes to reception decor, almost anything goes. You can coordinate everything for a harmonious look, or you can mix and match items to create more visual interest.

Depending upon the venue, you may already have a basic setup in place. If you have rented a banquet hall, for example, the table and chairs may already be in place and you will have to work with what you have. If you are renting tables and chairs, you don’t have to go with the traditional round tables. You can use square or rectangular tables or mix shapes and sizes. If you wish, you can disband with the traditional head table and seat yourself and the groom at your own table near the front.

Once you have the seating arrangements worked out, you can start thinking about decorating them. If the finish on the tables is nice, you can leave them as is. If not, you can cover them with crisp white linens for a traditional feel, or you can mix it up and use linens in the same shade as your wedding colors. To create further interest, you might want to select varying shades of your wedding colors for your linens and layer them. You could even use beaded or embroidered linens with sheer overlays. While you’re at it, don’t forget the chairs. Common decorations for chairs include fabric overlays, floral swags and ribbons.

With the tables and chairs in place, you can work on the centerpieces. These can run the gamut from floral arrangements to candles.

Many a bride has used a variety of pillar, taper and floating candles to dress up her reception tables. Strew some artificial rose petals or confections across the table, and voila, you have created instant drama and romance.

Centerpieces can also serve as favors. Cut flowers in breakaway vases, for example, make great centerpieces that guests can take home.

Want to add a splash of color to your reception tables and ensure your guests sweet dreams? Create a candy buffet centerpiece for each of your tables. Select a variety of sweet treats, place them in glass containers with silver spoons, put a few of the containers in the center of each table and provide small boxes or bags for guests to fill up before they go home.

Depending upon what you are serving, you may need to set the tables. As with the linens, you can go with the traditional white tableware, or you can mix it up and use colored plates and glasses in various sizes and shapes.

You will also want to decorate the rest of the room, including the cake table, gift table and any other surfaces. Candles and lanterns work well for windowsills leading into the reception venue. Floral garlands or artificial ivy interspersed with white lights make great choices for banisters and windows. Balloons are another popular choice. Some brides personalize their decorations, placing wedding portraits of family members around the room, along with childhood photos of themselves and the groom.

The decorations you choose for your reception can be as traditional or non-traditional as you wish. You can stick to the old tried and true, or you can break out of the box. The choice is yours, and you will find hundreds of books, magazines and online articles to inspire you.

Boehm, Jahns wed Aug. 31, 2008

Matthew and Kara Jahns
Matthew and Kara Jahns
Ken Boehm Jr. of Plainfield and Deana Boehm of Downers Grove announce the marriage of their daughter, Kara Boehm, to Matthew Jahns, son of Monty and Chris Jahns of Sugar Grove, on Aug. 31, 2008.

The ceremony took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Ill. A reception followed at Seven Bridges Golf Course in Woodridge, Ill.

The maid of honor was Krysta Boehm, sister of the bride. Bridemaids were Alison Pipkalejs, Rachel Sineni and Nicole Gervasio all friends of the bride; Mallory Gigl, cousin of the groom, and Kyla Stazak, cousin of the bride. Flower girls were Molly Osman, cousin of the groom, and Ashley Parks, cousin of the bride.

The best man was Quinn Jahns, brother of the groom. Groomsmen were Dan Neely, Kevin Rogers, Shearson McClain and Andrew Pipkalejs, all friends of the groom, and Christopher Gigl, cousin of the groom. Ushers were John Haracz and Mike Stryczula, both friends of the groom. Ring bearer was Will Parks, cousin of the bride.

The bride is a Lemont High School graduate and manager at X-Sport Fitness. The groom is a graduate of Kaneland High School and the Illinois School of Broadcasting, and is employed at Greco’s at the Promenade in Bolingbrook, Ill.

Following a honeymoon in Captiva Island, Fla., the couple will reside in Lisle, Ill.