Posted October 5, 2020

10 Must Do’s Before You Say “I Do”


When a guest blogger writes for Life is Suite, we get as excited as a blushing bride. That’s especially true of our latest post by Suzanne Halperin, who heads up Kimpton weddings in her role of Director of Operations – Catering. Starting today, Suzanne will occasionally sit down with us to talk about stylish nuptials and other memorable events.

Take it away, Suzanne!

Wedding pro Suzanne Halperin gets in the spirit

First comes love. Then comes marriage. And between the two lots of exciting wedding planning!

The steps you take before walking down the aisle can be full of surprises (who else laugh-cringed while watching the movie Bridesmaids?). But you can handle everything in stride by simply staying focused. Here to help are myself and Kimpton’s Chicago weddings experts: Kerry Craig at the Hotel Palomar Chicago, KT Thompson at Hotel Allegro and Alyssa Miller at Hotel Monaco Chicago. We put our lovebird-loving heads together and came up with 10 must-do’s before you say “I do.”

1.     Spread the word.
When the question’s been popped, your first instinct might be to Facebook about it, racking up a Wall of comments and congrats. Totally acceptable! E-mail works, too. Just don’t forget about time-tested correspondence, like mailed engagement announcements (perfect for the great aunt who doesn’t have Internet service) or even a classified announcement in your local paper. The point is letting the people you love get the news from you and not through the grapevine.

2.     Create a budget.
Self-explanatory, right? Yes! As long as you keep in mind another cardinal rule: Make it appropriate for your pocketbook.

3.     Stick to your checklist.
Keep track of your to-do’s on your BlackBerry, iPhone … even on a wash-and-wipe board stuck to the fridge. There are so many moving parts and details that you don’t want anything to slip by, causing you to scramble last-minute.

4.     Be flexible on dates.
Popular venues book up fast, so have alternate dates in mind to avoid disappointment.

5.     Send save-the-date cards.
When you’re expecting a lot of out-of-towners who need to plan ahead, give them the head’s-up right after you book your venue. (E-mail also works if you prefer casual correspondence or are on budget constraints.)

6.     Seek inspiration.
Flip through bridal magazines and websites in search of ideas that reflect your sensibility and spirit. It’s also good to see as many things as you can in person, especially the ever important dress. At trunk shows, you can get a gorgeous gown for a deal. If you’re heading to the upscale bridal boutiques, remember that appointments are generally required.

7.     Shop feet first.
Well, actually second – the bridal dress is first of course. But soon after you choose your gown, start shoe shopping. It might not occur to you to tackle your tootsies so early on, but your feet will thank you later. Think comfort! And buy shoes early and wear them around your house to get used to the feel.

8.     Prioritize photographers and videographers.
These memory preservers are some of your most important vendors. That’s because when all is said and done, you’ll still have the video and photos. Because they are capturing your most important moment for a lifetime, this is one area you won’t want to skimp. Go with those people that have great testimonials and breathtaking samples.

9.     Test-run your hair and makeup.
Before you decide on “the one” for your hair and makeup, book a trial run. If you like your glam squad’s job, book them and take pictures so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel on your wedding day. When the day finally rolls around, save yourself a trip to the salon and let your hair and makeup artists come to you.

10.  Have perspective.
Don’t lose sight about what the day is truly about: your love, and celebrating it with the people nearest and dearest to you. Enjoy every minute and soak it all in.  The day will fly by.

Best wishes ~ and congrats!

Suzanne Halperin

Want to get married this winter in Chicago? Book the Bundled Wedding Bliss package, a start-to-finish customized reception at Hotel Palomar Chicago, Hotel Allegro or Hotel Monaco Chicago. Available for $19,000 (normally $31,600) if you book by November 1. For details, click here.


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  1. Richard Marx says:

    Great post, love them all!

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