Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of 2014 Dejanae Events Style (Day #31)

I'm so thankful for the wonderful 2014 wedding and event season!!!  I have worked with some of the most amazing Chicago and national vendors.  Now having been in business 14 1/2 years, I'd like to say I've seen and done almost everything, but that wouldn't be the case because every couple leaves me open to learning more. 

I am so honored to have been asked by newspapers, blogs and magazines for articles, quotes and even to bring my Partyscape vision to life.  I'm honored to have worked with Diann Valentine for 6-weeks of the summer as the Lead Event Producer on one of her fabulous weddings and to be the Transportation and Logistics Manager of Nike's World Basketball Festival.  I am so honored to now hold Best of Weddings by The Knot in the wedding coordinator category for 6 years and to be apart of their Hall of Fame.  Wow!  And last I'm honored to have the most amazing team of professionals who have had my back.

To my past and 2014 my vendor friends...and to my amazing family, I toast to you as this year and series of blog post comes to an end.  The year 2014 was great BUT 2015 will be EPIC!!!

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Table Number Misconception (Day #30)

Honestly, in my opinion, it is not an option to opt out of having tables numbers on your reception tables.  They are soooooooooo important for the organization and seating of your wedding guests.  But every now and then, I get the very creative couples that want to name their wedding tables in place of using actual numbers.  Now although the idea truly adds a signature style to your wedding theme, it does make it a little difficult for your wedding planner, caterer and sometimes even your guests to locate their seats.

Picture this...the reception room is dimly lit with candles and/or up lighting and you have 100+ guests trying to find a table name written in a fancy font.  It's going to take a bit longer than if you used a number.  Plus numbers are what the caterers see most often so it makes the service run smoother.  But should you desire a table name, consider adding a number just below (or above) the name to avoid any confusion.

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit -; table number by

Monday, December 29, 2014

An Untouched Ceremony Aisle (Day #29)

I'm big on not allowing wedding guests to walk down the ceremony aisle as they enter the venue.  There isn't a steadfast rule about the aisle, I just find it to set the stage for the wedding party and I feel it should be untouched prior to the start of the ceremony.  And that is especially the case should the aisle runner be pre-laid, if there is elaborate decor or candles positioned down the center aisle.

That is why I will rope off or ribbon off the center aisle and have the hostesses and/or ushers to ask guests to use the side aisles for seating.  Then I will remove the "barrier" just a few moments before the start of the ceremony.  Again, this is just my opinion and please know this entire blog post will be mute if their is no center aisle at the ceremony venue :)
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit -

Sunday, December 28, 2014

To Receiving Line Or Not (Day #28)

Is the "receiving line" a dinosaur??? My personal opinion is YES!  It's rare to see the newly married couple, their bridal party and parents in front of the church quickly greeting guests as they make their way through the line.  Not saying you shouldn't have one, but understand the receiving line does take a long time and can cut into your photography time and reception time if not planned properly.  So what are some alternatives to replace the receiving line:

  • Actually schedule ample time for photographs between the ceremony and reception, approximately 2-3 hours. This will then allow you to be apart of your cocktail hour and greet guests at the reception venue.
  • Have the DJ make an announcement that the couple will walk around to each table and greet guests individually.
  • Plan with the photographer to walk around to each individual table and take photos with you and your guests.
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit -

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lounge Furniture 101 (Day #27)

I love the addition of lounge furniture to the reception space.  Typically done around the dance floor, in a corner sectioned off in the venue, or a separate room, this look can give the most traditional reception ballroom a splash of contemporary flair.  But as you know, it could certainly be an expensive addition to your already tapped budget. Consider the following ideas to get that look you've dreamt about.

Speak with the venue about using their "waiting" furniture, especially if you are the only event in the space. See if they will allow you to move the furniture into the ballroom or rearrange it's placement in the foyer. And don't forget to tip the "movers" because this would be an additional job for the reception location.

Create your color palette with the furniture on location by adding some pillows in your color scheme to the chairs and couches. Or add a throw for a big punch of color to the unsightly furniture (or stain) to make it blend with your idea.

Should you not be able to rent furniture, consider renting tables and ottoman's. They are not as heavy and would be less expensive the move. Then you could blend them or place them within the furniture that is already at the reception venue.

Also, check out your local stores like Target and Walmart around "Back-to-School" season. College dorm furniture and tables have that simple look that could be easily decorated with some fabric touches and pillows. But the best benefit, it's on sale ;)

Last, ask the venue if they have any older furniture on location that they'd be willing to bring out of storage...or course for a fee :)

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit -

Friday, December 26, 2014

Reception Bar Basics (Day #26)

Although many venues offer a bar package with your meal service, should you be planning your wedding reception at a location that will allow you to stock the bar, how much of "everything" would you need?  Well below are some useful suggestions from Clever Parties that might help in determining quantities:

On average, expect guests to drink 2 beverages, alcoholic or non-alcoholic during the reception and possibly more during warmer months.  If you are serving wine during dinner, plan 1 bottle for every 3-4 guests (standard size) and 1 bottle for every 6-8 guests (larger size).
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - Ven Sherrod Photography)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays!!! (Day #25)

My your holiday be filled with joyful noises!!!  From me and the DE Team...Merry Christmas! xo

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Designed by

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Out-Of-State Wedding Party (Day #24)

I was just recently asked by one of my out-of-state clients, "How do we handle ordering the wedding parties attire when many of live in different locations?"

Then when it comes to ordering attire, the easiest thing to do is order gowns and tuxedos from a chain of wedding attire stores like David's Bridal and Men's Wearhouse.  That way your bridesmaids and groomsmen can try on the exact garment they will be purchasing and/or renting.  But when that is not possible, make sure the wedding party knows the price and payment plan of the store and when the garment has to be ordered.  Then inform them about visiting a cleaners or tailor to get their exact measurements to provide the store when they call in with their order.  The biggest factor to understand and stay on your wedding party about, gowns and suits will not be ordered until ALL of your wedding party members have placed their order.  

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit - Rush Event Photography and Video Productions)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'Pick A Seat' Ceremony (Day #23)

I love when couples do not "force" there wedding guests to pick a side during the ceremony, hence bride's side to the left and groom's side to the right.  On several occasions I have had a very populated side with only 10-15 guests on the opposite side.  That truly makes for awkward photos.

Consider leaving a message at the entrance of the ceremony or inside the wedding program for your guests to "Pick a seat. Not a side".  I mean is the purpose of the wedding day to bring two groups of family and friends together in happiness and fellowship.

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wedding Morning Formula (Day #22)

The night before the wedding, most couples are not together but always too excited to get an ample amount of sleep.  Below are a few suggestions on how to feel awake and refreshed wedding morning before all the festivities begin:

Have a good and nutritious breakfast in the morning and drink plenty of water.

Take a bath and relax for at least 30 minutes before starting your wedding day beauty regiment.

Although it sounds good, do not get a facial or massage on wedding day.  Plan for those activities at least a few days before the wedding.

If at all possible, have your hair stylist and make-up artist come to where you are dressing.

Avoid having negative people in your space. It's a happy day!!!

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit - Rush Event Photography and Videography)

How to Handle Wedding Programs (Day #21)

I have met several couples over my career that do not have ushers or hostesses to pass out wedding programs prior to the start of the ceremony.  They are always left with that dreaded question, what to do with those wedding programs?  Now understand, having a program ISN'T a "must have", but when they are not available, you'll find some guests questioning or walking around looking for one.  So how might you resolve this problem without laying the wedding programs on a non-descript table?
  • Place a decorative basket near the ceremony entryway and place the programs in there
  • Place a program on each chair or every other chair prior to the start of the ceremony
  • Create one large program and have it positioned on an easel near the ceremony entryway
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Name Change Game (Day #20)

You've planned your fabulous wedding day, returned from your honeymoon and now it's time to change your last name to your groom's or partner's.  I know the question is...where the heck do I begin??!?!  Well there are companies out there like Miss Now Miss that will assist you in the name change process for what I consider to be a very low fee.  But should you want to take the leap yourself, below are some major areas that require the name change:

  • Social security card
  • Driver’s license
  • Banking information
  • Checks
  • Credit Cards
  • Passport
  • Health insurance
  • Insurance cards (auto, home etc)
  • Utility companies
  • Payroll – Talk to HR
  • Business cards
  • Email signature
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit -

Friday, December 19, 2014

Easy Holiday Gift for Newlyweds (Day #19)

With only a few days left before Christmas, and not really wanting to blog about the Christmas trees, I was thinking of ways wedding guests can record well-wishes for the couple.

I stumbled upon a company called Write A Wish Ornament a few years ago and thought this would be the perfect keepsake for the newlyweds! Using your wedding colors or theme, create small pieces of paper with the following statement at the top...

"This is my wish for you"

...and leave a blank line underneath so that the guests can write a meaningful statement. Once you get back from your honeymoon, place the UNREAD pieces of paper into the ornament(s), hang on your holiday tree, and on Christmas morning, open together as a couple and read. It will certainly give you clarity about the season and allow you to reflect once again on your very special wedding day!

Until next tomorrow...WEDologize!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dancing With Your Sweetheart (Day #18)

The first dance is that amazing moment during the reception when you get to show off your skills on the dance floor as your family and friends cheer you on.  I get asked time and time again from our couples for a list of songs.  My first suggestion is to always think of a song that reminds you of your relationship, but should nothing come to mind, consider this short list of popular first dance songs:

All of Me - John Legend
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
Here and Now - Luther Vandross
At Last - Etta James
Marry Me - Train
What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Marry You - Bruno Mars
Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
God Gave Me You - Blake Shelton
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
Let's Stay Together - Al Green
Unforgettable - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
You -Tony Terry
Always and Forever - Heatwave
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
By Your Side - Sade

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(Photo credit -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do Not Eliminate a Gift Registry (Day #17)

I have couples a lot of the time that only want to receive monetary gifts from guests for their wedding...the "Wishing Well Syndrome" is what I've named it.  Couples are merging two households or have been living with one another for a while before the wedding date, so why register for gifts "when we have everything".  But if you add registering to your wedding to-do list and register thoughtfully, you will thank yourself in the months and years to come.  Plus take into consideration the guests who just want to give a gift or have credit cards to use instead of cash.

I have listed a few registry tips to help you with this process:
  • Register early in the planning process so you won't find it to be a tedious task later down the line
  • At minimum, choose two stores to ensure your guests have various price ranges
  • Choose stores that will have your registry posted online and the website is user-friendly
  • Remember, registry information should not be included inside your wedding invitations. Word-of-mouth and wedding websites are the best options for spreading the word to those who want to purchase a gift or gift card.
  • And have fun with it! Your registry is a wish list of items you want to enhance your home as Mr. & Mrs.
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - Wasio Photography)
Repost from June 2010

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

RSVP and Food Allergies (Day #16)

As a wedding planner, I assist my clients with the wording of their wedding invitations.  I wrote a blog in 2013 on what should be included on the RSVP card, but more recently I've been asked, how do you handle wedding guests with food allergies?

It's fine to add a line at the bottom that read "Specify dietary restrictions or Note dietary restrictions". Then once you have collected the information on what your guest's needs are, work with your caterer to create and entree they can enjoy.  And on wedding day, especially if you have had several requests, you can also add a small line to table menus that reads "Please let your server know if you have requested a special meal due to dietary restrictions."  

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - Wedding Bee)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Frosting Your Wedding Cake (Day #15)

When you finally decide to visit a cake designer to create the most photographed item at your reception, the wedding cake, there are some cake frosting/icing terms that you should know:

Whipped Cream.
Cake Designed by BomBon Cake Gallery

Buttercream - a smooth, creamy icing that stays so its easy to cut. Can be used as a filling or for decorations.
Fondant - a sweet, elastic icing that's rolled with a rolling pin and draped over a cake forming a smooth, firm base for decorations.
Whipped Cream - a heavy cream that is sometimes used as a filling. If used as an icing, it's not recommended for hot weather.
Royal Icing -  is a thick paste made from egg whites and sifted icing sugar. This is the icing that is used to create beading, latticework, flowers and other creations that need to stay firm.

Cake Designed by Karen Scobbie Cakes
Buttercream and crystallized sugar.
Cake Designed by Dessert Menu
Fondant and Royal Icing.
Cake Designed by Delish Cakes
Until tomorrow...WEDologize

(photo credits -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Color of the Year 2015 (Day #14)

Pantone has announce The Color of the Year for 2015 and I'm elated that jewel-tones are back!!!  MARSALA is a stunning color that can be paired beautifully with pastel colors like apricot or a soft green, or stand next to a strong blue or rich gold!

Pantone says it perfectly - "Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."

All right brides, let's make this color come to life on wedding day!

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Taking Care of Your Jewelry (Day #13)

Below are some GREAT tips on preserving and taking care of your jewelry and precious stones.  Thanks to Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company for this wonderful information.

Unexpected things happen.  Make sure your jewelry is protected.  Here are few tips to get started:
  • Visit your jeweler once a year to have your precious stones inspected and cleaned to detect any potential problems.
  • Salt water and jewelry do not mix.  Ocean water can damage some stones and metals.
  • Always take time to place jewelry in a secure place...not in a pocket, on the counter or in a public area
  • Remove your rings before swimming.  Fingers can constrict in water making rings more likely to fall off.  
  • When traveling, keep your valuable jewelry at home of store in the hotel safe NOT the room safe.
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Friday, December 12, 2014

Toasting The Happy Couple (Day #12)

At some point during the wedding reception, toasts are going to happen.  The greatest piece of advice I could offer is keep them short, sweet and do not open the floor up for all your guests to start extending their well-wishes.  And this happens to be the perfect opportunity for the bride and groom to say a few words of thanks to family and friends for celebrating the day with them.  But before the guests of honor take the mic, the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor should be the ones to welcome the guests and say a few sentimental words of remembrance, encouragement and love to the newlyweds.

Below I've given a few suggestions on how to make this memorable moment happen as stress-free as possible:
  • First, before you take the mic, always have your glass of champagne or wine in hand before speaking.  It is a toast, remember.  And end the toast with, "Please raise your glass..."
  • The Best Man should lead the toasts with the Maid/Matron of Honor following.
  • Have a toast prepared in advance.  You have known for months that you were going to be asked to give a toast when you accepted the position.
  • Speak from the heart and know that it's okay if your toast is written on paper or a note card so you don't forget.
  • Remember, it's not a speech and please keep it tactful.  Speaking about negative past events and ex's is a total no-no.  
  • Last, keep the toast less than 2 minutes.  Toasts are typically going to happen after the bridal party has been announced in or before the entree, so keep it short and sweet so that guests can eat!
Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit -
repost from 8/28/13

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The First Look (Day #11)

This idea is not for everyone, but I simply LOVE when couples don't mind seeing each other BEFORE the wedding!  The concept is called..."The First Look"!

Now please understand, at least from the couples I've spoken with, it doesn't take away from that moment when you walk down the aisle and you see each other at the altar.  The photographer and wedding planner set-up this moment to be unique and memorable for the couple.  Rather it's in the hotel lobby, on site at the venue or in a park, the "First Look" should take place at least a couple hours before the wedding ceremony.  The moment usually takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes and then the rest of the time is used to take wedding party and family photos at various location.

Last the BIGGEST benefit of a "First Look" is it allows the couple to spend more time with their wedding guests, especially during the cocktail hour, instead of rushing to take photos immediately after the ceremony.

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Mirrored Effect Partyscape (Day #10)

I'm so very excited to share what I consider to be my BEST partyscape to date...The Mirrored seen in Wedding Guide Chicago's Winter/Spring 2015 magazine!!!  Take a look as I celebrate the ahhhhhhhhhhhmazing team of vendors who assisted me in bringing this design to life.

A special a HUGE thank you to the team of vendors
for working with me to bring my vision to life:
Location - Meson Sabika
Photography - Robyn Photography
Floral Design - Floral Expressions
Cake and Sweets - Delish Cakes
Stationery and Mirrors - CT Designs, Inc.
Videography - Wedding Connections

Until tomorrow...WEDologize

(Photo credits - Robyn Photography)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It Is All In The Menu (Day #9)

Placing a menu card at each wedding guest's place setting not only gives details about the meal they will be eating, but it adds decor to the reception table.  There are so many fun shapes and fonts to chose from to create a unique design that your guests will notice.  And when you are trying to decrease costs and use the venues standard white or ivory linens, adding a colored menu card that resembles your actual wedding invitation will always create that finishing touch.  Take a look a the ideas below:

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - and

Monday, December 8, 2014

Father of the Groom and Wedding Planning (Day #8)

The Father of the Groom is the one wedding party member that tends to be forgotten and no one really knows what he's to do other than be the dad of the groom.  Well below are a few tasks to make the FOG feel included:
  • Host an engagement party with the Mother of the Groom for the groom's side of the family.  The bride's parents host the 1st engagement party of the couple.
  • Assist with the wedding planning and attend appointments when asked.
  • Assist with planning the rehearsal dinner.
  • Escort the groom's mother down the aisle and is seated in the 1st row on the right side, if it's a Christian ceremony.
  • Greet guests at the ceremony and reception locations.
  • Offer a toast to the newly married couple during the reception.
  • Dance with his new daughter-in-law at least once during the night.
  • BUT the biggest task of the day is to support his son...the groom.

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - 
repost from March 2013 )

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Alone Time on Wedding Day (Day #7)

So should you want a little private time with your new spouse, consider doing the following...or planning this time into the wedding day schedule:

  • Right after you have exited the ceremony, dash off to one of the dressing rooms for about 10-15 minutes instead of staying with your bridal party. While the ushers are exiting guests out of the church, you and your spouse can share a tender moment and talk about when you first looked into each other's eyes during the ceremony.

  • During cocktails, make a brief exit and walk around the grounds of the reception venue or stand out on the balcony absorbing the day.

  • And after you have greeted your guests at their tables, when it's time to freshen up, ask your spouse to come along...I'm sure he'd enjoy helping.

Until tomorrow...WEDologize

(photo credit -

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Right Before You Walk (Day #6)

I love being the last person, outside of the bride's escort, that gets to say a few words before she makes her grand entrance and walks down to aisle.  As a planner, I make sure her train and veil are perfectly placed and that her bouquet is positioned near her navel.  Then once the music starts and has played at least 30 seconds (I must create anticipation) I whisper to her,
"Walk when you are ready. He's waiting on you...".

Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - Rush Photography and Videography)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Photographing Wedding Rings (Day #5)

Check out this blog for a little inspiration on how to capture photos of your wedding rings:


Until tomorrow...WEDologize!

(photo credit - All photos via and


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