This week we bring a blog entry from our very own Client Services Manager for Special Events, Drea Holland! Drea is Chicago born and raised, so she’s a pro at knowing what extra special local flavor is available for a client’s celebration, be it food highlighting regional flavors, guests accommodations at a singularly new-Chicago hotel, or flowers benefiting local charities. She also is super mindful when it comes to engaged couples planning their wedding who also need to stay within budget. Here Drea has four important reminders for couples who are seeing their price projections skyrocket.

Hands making a heart shape

Engagement season is well underway! Let’s be real: over the holiday season, it’s hard not to encounter some sort of proposal occurring naturally in the wild. They happen everywhere.

Folks are unwrapping engagement rings while surrounded by extended family on Christmas Eve… Proposers are popping the question amidst NYE revelers at the stroke of midnight… A light snow falls on winter-weekend ice skaters at Millenium Park, and I’m guessing in that rink some be-skated lover is wobbily getting down on one knee before their beloved at least once hourly!

Did you see a proposal happen? …Perhaps YOU proposed or were proposed to!

Well if you are one of the lucky couples that got to pop the question and get your “Yes!”, then you are probably trying to figure out the next steps. (And congratulations, of course!)

If you are one of the lucky couples that got to pop the question and get your “yes!”, then you are probably trying to figure out the next steps.

Often couples can be so wrapped up in the excitement of their engagement that they don’t think about the time and money that goes into planning the wedding of their dreams. Before this can turn into a nightmare, here are some things to consider when planning for the big day.

Post-it Note saying "Priority!"1. Know Your Must Haves

Let’s be honest, weddings are big business, and can be very expensive. Not everyone has bags of money to throw elaborate weddings, so knowing your must haves for the wedding is crucial. You should have a list of things that are the most important to have at your wedding. Those are the things that you will pay top dollar for, everything else can either be done at a less costly price, or be eliminated altogether.



Unconventional Wedding couple2. Be Open to Nontraditional Weddings

Wedding season is roughly April/May through October/November depending on who you ask. This is when your venue will be the most expensive. How do you combat the high cost of renting a venue? Consider nontraditional days of the week, or times of day. Fridays and Sundays are less expensive than Saturday nights, and brunch food is less expensive than dinner.


keep calm and pin on

3. DIY Weddings Are Cool!

Ok, so we’re kind of crazy about Pinterest! (We have a page, go check it out and follow us!) It’s great for getting all sorts of ideas for decorations, food, games, the possibilities are endless!





4. Most Important- STICK TO YOUR PLAN!

It’s ok; we all get sidetracked about something. Don’t forget to think about the overall experience you want to have for your wedding. It’s not about having the most lavish items, but making sure that you are creating memories for both you and your guests. Bucking from the trend or standard for weddings makes your day stand out even more against the backdrop of weddings you and your friends will attend.


At the end of the day, you want your special day to reflect you both as a couple. But you also don’t want to be continuing to pay off your wedding long after it’s over. Strategize with your partner to see what your absolutes are when it comes to your wedding. You may be surprised at how much you can get done while not breaking the bank!



Click here for more information on having your wedding at Catalyst Ranch!