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Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker July 10, 2019

Begyle Brewing Tropical DIY Wedding

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What is your favorite wedding day memory?

My favorite wedding day memory was the moment in the evening when all of the scheduled events we planned for the big day. brunch, getting ready, photos, ceremony, dance, food, dessert photos, more photos…. were over and we could just dance the night away and enjoy the time with our family and friends! Our Day-of-Coordinator cleaned up everything at the end of the night, brought all of our stuff back to our apartment, and then met us at the after party for a drink – it was the best feeling being able to let loose after all of the planning and just enjoy everything without having to think about managing those details.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Here are some of our DIY details: Invites – I designed them on Minted, but used three different designs to avoid having a set. Signage – I used mid-century inspired graphics and font to craft the signs. Music – Ben made all of the playlists building off his experience DJ-ing parties in college! Plants – Potted our own plants to use as decor {they are now used as decor in our apartment!} I also did my own hair and make-up!

Also, for our venue, we chose our favorite local brewery, Begyle Brewing. They have a “community supported beer” program {think: a CSA for beer!} that we have been a part of since we started dating, so it felt meaningful to have our wedding there. Also they were a breeze to work with and were really open to all of my ideas!

Did you have a something old, new, borrowed or blue?

Nope. We tried to be intentional about each aspect of our wedding, and not just do things because “that’s what people do.” We chose traditions that felt meaningful for us {traditional language for the “I dos”, the first dance, parents walking me down the aisle}, but then also freed ourselves to get creative and do things in our own way {Hawaiian shirts and choose-your-own-dress for the wedding party, Ben walked down the aisle as well, incorporated our speeches into the ceremony instead of having readings/poems/songs, sealed our vows with a Malort toast before walking down the aisle, no wedding favors}. The response from our guests was really positive – I think they really appreciated how personal everything was.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

So much advice! Don’t feel like you have to have an Instagram-perfect wedding, or do “all the things” just because you see them on Pinterest. I have 5+ years of event planning experience and have served as a Day-of-Wedding coordinator here in Chicago. The first thing I always ask when I meet with clients is what their goals are for their event or wedding. It’s a difficult question for most couples, but it really helps me to understand what is most important to them so I can focus my energy on those things day of because not everything is going to be 100% perfect! Thus my advice would be to talk with your fiance and 1) agree on a budget and 2) agree on a short list of “goals”, or things that are most important to you about your wedding. Then as you are making decisions and cruising Pinterest – ask yourself if this stuff is essential to achieving your goals. If not, don’t feel bad about letting go and refocusing on what is most important to you. This will also help to make sure that your budget is being spent on the things that are most important to you, not all of the unessential things.

Also with respect to budgeting – you should do your research and start getting quotes before you finalize your budget or book anything big like venue or photographer! You will be very surprised at how quickly everything adds up, and you don’t want to feel like you are forced into going over budget because your budget was not in line with the kind of wedding that you wanted.

Instead of starting with searching for “wedding venues” online, start hitting the pavement and think creatively about turning your favorite park, brewery, restaurant, art gallery, etc into your perfect venue. Chances are you will have more freedom to bring in your own vendors and you may save quite a bit of money.

You can also save a lot of money by considering drop catering instead of a more traditional catering service. If you have a Day-of-Coordinator to help with set up and break down, you can save thousands and your guests probably won’t know the difference. Plus, it is fun to have food from your favorite restaurant, where you had your first date, etc. -Carla, the Bride

Event Credits

Photographer: Emma Mullins Photography // Venue: Begyle Brewing // Florist: Details in Bloom // Catering: Big Star Chicago // Dessert: Doughnut Vault // Invitations: Minted // Officiant: Adam P. Blais // Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth // Bride's Attire: BHLDN // Bride's Shoes: Sam Edelman // Groomsmen's Shirts: Reyn Spooner // Tiki Statues: Tiki Master

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