With all the money being poured into the wedding industry, many couples are starting to look for ways to re-allocate some of their expenses toward organizations and charities that are doing more than creating a beautiful event, but are working to make a lasting difference in the community. If you are one of those people who desire to leverage their wedding day for a cause, here are 9 simple ideas to get your headed in the right direction.

1. Incorporate a charity into your showers or registry.

Ask guests to bring canned goods for a local food bank along with their gift for your shower. Or, add a charity to your registry to people can donate to a cause you care about while they’re shopping for your wedding gift. Idofoundation.org is a one-stop shop for couples, providing a number of resources for couples to raise donations for a charity via their wedding plans.

2. Rent a nonprofit’s space.

Support your local museums, historical sites or botanical garden by renting their space for your event.

3. Reuse your flowers and other décor.

Call your local nursing home or hospital and ask if you can donate your reception flowers after the event takes place. This way your flowers can continue to spread cheer for others rather than sitting in your maid of honor’s car for a couple weeks.

wedding flower ring chicago wedding bands

 4. Select favors with a purpose.

One way to do this is to forego guest favors altogether and use that money to make a donation to their favorite charity. Another way you can still show your guests your appreciation while also giving back is by choosing a favor that your guests will love that also supports a charity. One example is FeedYourSoulCookies.com. These sweet treats will be a highlight for your guests and will also support charities like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital!

5. Don’t waste the leftovers.

Arrange to have any extra food from your reception re-distributed to feed hungry people in your area. SecondHarvest.com is a good starting place to learn more about this and find food banks in your area.

6. Charge it.

With a Working Assets credit card, every purchase you make—whether its your dress, flowers, or any vendor bills—a percentage of it benefits the charity of your choice with no extra cost to you.  For more information, go to WorkingAssets.com

Wedding Table Food Give Back Decor Chicago Wedding

 7. Hire nonprofit entertainers

From cultural dance groups to community youth orchestras, there are a number of ways to support the arts in your community by booking local entertainment. Add some unique flair to your ceremony or reception music while also promoting the arts!

8. Donate your dresses

After the big event, many people have no more use for their wedding or bridesmaid dresses. Brides Against Breast Cancer (for wedding dresses) and GlassSlipperProject.org (for bridesmaid dresses) are two places that can donate your gowns to make a different in the lives of local girls and women around the world.

9. Use your wedding day to bring awareness to a cause you care about.

One popular cause right now is the fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. and abroad. One way to support this cause is by using vendors in your city from LoveGivesWay.com. This group of vendors give a part of their fee back to charities that are already working to end sex trafficking. This is a way for you to leverage your one wedding day in support of those who are fighting for this cause every day.

wedding dress give back flowers Chicago wedding band

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, consider a using just one aspect of your day to make a lasting difference in the world! For more information about the ideas and organizations listed here, as well as links to others, check out this article from BridalGuide.com.

Chicago wedding band leader Derrick ProcellChicago Groove Collective’s dynamic and multi-talented bandleader, Derrick Procell, will be performing from Noon to 1pm at the Summer Courtyard Concert in Waukegan on  July 11, 2014.  Sponsored by the Waukegan Public Library, Derrick will entertain the lunchtime crowd with his unique blend of Country, R&B and Rock & Roll.  You can check out more about Derrick by visiting his web site at http://www.derrickanamerican.com/

wedding band song

I am generally not a fan of new bands and when I say new, I mean bands that were formed after the year 2000.  One Republic is an exception to that rule, as are the Black Keys, but that is a post for another day.

One Republic got it’s start in 2003 according to Wikipedia, but they didn’t hit my radar until my daughter hit her teen years.The band’s recent hit “Counting Stars” has become a highly requested song at the weddings where the Stitely Orchestra performs.  I heard their latest single from their 2013 album Native called Love Runs Out.  That title doesn’t scream “wedding song”, but there is just something about it that makes me think it will be requested by more than one couple.

Dancing to a Chicago wedding band

Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and 312 Chicago all get a kick out of learning fun new songs for our clients.  What do you think?  Will Love Runs Out be the next big wedding hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE5WscjdNZs

I’ll bet when this bride was planning her beach wedding, she didn’t see this coming…

sea turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s actually pretty cool. Check out the full story here

 

This song has been everywhere since its release in October 2013. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams has been super successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and charts in 23 other countries. It started as the background music for the On Demand trailer of Despicable Me 2, and in 2014, the song was covered in the 100th episode of Glee. 

To coincide with the single release, 24hoursofhappy.com was launched to broadcast “the world’s first 24 hour music video.” The four-minute song is repeated with people dancing around Los Angeles and miming along.

Williams himself appears 24 times on the hour, and there are a number of celebrity cameos including Kelly Osbourne, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx, Ana Ortiz, and JoJo, along with the minions from Despicable Me 2.

The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance along with the song, like this one from Paris.

I’m thinking we’re going to be getting a good amount of requests for this song at weddings. I hope so! What an amazing message for one of the happiest days of a person’s life.

Check out the official music video below, and clap along!

We are totally loving this song!

Pompeii

Bastille are an English rock band formed in 2010 in London.  The four-piece consists of members; Dan Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. The name of the band comes from Bastille Day, which occurs on the same day as Smith’s birthday, July 14th.

In December 2010, Bastille signed a record contract with Virgin Records, and started gaining steam. Their debut single, “Overjoyed” was  released in April 2012. Their second single followed in August 2012, and shares the name as the band’s first studio album: “Bad Blood.” That song gained moderate success in the UK, charting at ninety. “Flaws,” the third song from Bad Blood, debuted at number twenty-one.

That brings us to this killer song, “Pompeii.” This jam was released to huge demand in February 2013.  It charted at number two in the UK and number five in the US.  The band has been nominated for four Brit Awards in 2014, including for British Breakthrough Act, British Group, British Single of the Year and won British Album of the Year. As of February 2014, Bastille have sold over 2.07 million records in the UK alone.

I first noticed them when they performed on Saturday Night Live on January 25, 2014. Kill City.

Check out the official video:

The future is here: tech-savvy couples are live video streaming their nuptials online.

In this age of destination weddings, and when brides and grooms hail from different parts of the country, it’s a way for friends and family who can’t attend the event to watch from afar. Also, it’s a heck of a lot less expensive to watch from the comfort of your couch in your jammies, than spend the average $539.00 it costs to attend a wedding. But…

… What about the loss of intimacy, excitement, and enjoyment that guests experience by being present at the wedding? Hugging and congratulating the bride and groom, dancing alongside them, eating the cake!!! Are these moments that should be experienced firsthand?

What do you think? Would you live stream your wedding?

11_09-24 Binney-Saari_0545 -TIMOTHY WHALEY

Not into sports? Really into sports? Either way, this sounds like fun.

For the third year in a row, Billboard.com is asking pop fans to vote for their favorite songs on a bracket that looks pretty familiar…

march-madness-2014-990

Visit the website HERE to get started. Let the games begin!

Singer and Impressionist Christina Bianco has done it again. The YouTube sensation has posted another video, the Academy Award Winning Song “Let It Go,” from the Academy Award Winning Disney Animated Film “Frozen.” Since it was posted on February 13th, it has received over 2.5 million views.

Christina Bianco

In the song, she does impressions of  Idina Menzel (or Adele Dazeem, as John Travolta calls her), Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Kristin Chenoweth, Adele, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Liza Minnelli and as herself – which ain’t too shabby.

Ms. Bianco has been killing it for awhile. She starred in the off-Broadway shows Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab and Newsical. She also originated the role of Dora in the national tour of Dora the Explorer Live, and was a contestant on Season 6 of America’s Got Talent. In August 2013, her rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” in which she does impressions of 19 different singers, led to an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Here’s her take on “Total Eclipse of the Heart,”

 

Most people can’t imagine celebrating their most special day without loved ones by their side. For some animals lovers, that includes the family pet. You can definitely include your animals in your wedding day, but make sure to take the following into account before sending Rover his invitation.

Get permission

Make sure your vendors, the venue, and the officiant are cool with it. You don’t want to find out it’s not OK when your pooch is walking down the aisle with your rings.

Get a baby-sitter

Assign a person who the pet is already acquainted with your animal to keep an eye on him. Make sure he isn’t chewing on anything belonging to the venue, or on anything poisonous like plants. Instruct them on what he can and cannot eat, so guests don’t feed him toxic foods. A wedding feast is a veritable smorgasbord of bone-in meats, alcohol, and chocolate, and those are just a few treats that don’t sit well with Fido.

Get his hair did

You have spent so much time preparing to look your best. Don’t detract from all your efforts by standing next to a mangy mutt. Take Spot to the groomer so he looks and smells like a dapper gentleman, also minimizing shedding all over your beautiful dress. And don’t make him wear that adorable tux jacket for too long! He’ll be very creative about getting back at you – I’m thinking something in the Chewing Your Shoes department.