Alternate Sites

Outdoor Reception

When a bride asks about ideas for a non traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is an alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. Don't let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.  Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured Plan A and Plan B. other plans and decisions will flow more easily.  Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made.

It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration that you have in mind.  Give me a call at 815-979-7214 or email at



Music to Celebrate


Selecting the music for a wedding ceremony and reception is an important consideration.  Music should frame the ceremony – not dominate it.  Picking the music should be an important aspect of the planning process. Make an early meeting with the officiator a must.  Churches tend to have constraints imposed on the kind of music allowed.  It is good to have that information early in the planning process.  Some churches limit the options by presenting the bride a list of music from which she must choose.  Others may opt to screen her choices.

If the bride wants a certain music that is important to her and/or the groom, and the church can’t /won’t play it, she has the option of diplomatically asking if she can bring in her own musicians.  More and more brides are requesting instruments instead of the “old” organ.  Some brides want to be lead up or down the aisle by bagpipes.  Others prefer the sounds of a string quartet.  Allowing sufficient lead time to clarify any issues around music is a smart move.

Brides must remember that music needs to be selected for the prelude, the processional, the ceremony and for the reception.  Musicians need to be chosen and booked early in the process.

Many budget conscious brides are opting to use MP3 players or other electronic media for their cocktail hour or as background music during dinner.

The bride should spend time researching her music.  Screen pieces, listen to CD’s and take advice from musicians you know.   Audition any musicians before hiring them.  Check references.  Volumes of advice and suggestions are available online.  Think about your personal preferences and music that matters to you both as a couple as you assemble your “must play list”.

Many couples are creating a CD of their favorite music and making it available as a thank you gift to their guests.

For other ideas about the role of music in your wedding, please feel free to contact us for assistance.