Archive for the 'Weddings' Category


official opinions: crazy character-inspired wedding themes

Hey guys, check out this article we found on Today’s website about a true Disney wedding. Alfred Angelo may have released a line of dresses inspired by the Disney princesses, but this bride really goes all out! In light of this article, we’ve thought of some other character-inspired themes that could make for an interesting day.

Muppets – Give a nod to nostalgia with Fozzie Bear joke cards to keep guests amused during dinner, a jazz pianist to make even Rowlf proud, and plenty of Kermitinis.

Mario Brothers – This one’s for all the gamers out there. Consider a non-traditional Princess Peach-inspired gown, square pixel brownies for dessert, and a photobooth with plenty of cap and mustache accessories! Check out this cute interpretation!

Superhero – Is your groom a Clark Kent or a Bruce Wayne? Or perhaps Peter Parker? Channel your inner superhero to guide the color scheme and vibe of your celebration.

Harry Potter – I mean, how awesome would this be? A wedding on Hogwarts castle grounds, hippogriff taxis for guests who’ve had a little too much butterbeer, oh yeah and using MAGIC to do all of your planning and decorating (instead why not try out an awesome wedding planner!). Am I getting carried away with my imagination? You know you are too.


Official Opinions: Getting Your Groom to Dance

I get strange looks from my friends when I tell them that I am a terrible dancer. They respond, “but you were just GREAT in West Side Story when we saw it – and those are complicated dance moves.” I usually just chuckle and then go on to explain that, yes, with 6 months of intense training with a choreographer busting my hump, I can dance like in the movie West Side Story – I also tell them that when you go to a wedding or a club that people DO NOT dance like the Jets and Sharks. I mean, people would think I’m crazy if I started doing THIS in the middle of the dance floor. So how do I dance at parties, clubs and weddings… a little something like this

Yup, I flail around like a fish out of water… and I KNOW I’m not the only guy out there who is somewhat less than enthused about someday dancing in front of a room of family and friends only to been seen as a fool. Naturally of course I will do it for two reasons: 1) Because I will undoubtedly love my bride and nothing will stop us from having a good time (even if it is at my expense) and 2) Liquid courage.

Brides, if you have a groom that is like me then listen up because you’re about to get some rare insight into the male mind: guys like me need some encouragement. Essentially, to get me (and others like me) to dance and have fun doing it you need to do a few things:

  1. Gentle Reminders – Remind us every once and awhile how important it is to you that you look great dancing together. Don’t go the “you’ll look like an idiot if you don’t learn how to dance” route. It scares us off more. If it is important to you, it is important to us.
  2. Teach – Teach us a few steps we can use. We might groan and say we’d rather watch the game, but we’ll be thanking you after the reception. It could be fun!
  3. Laugh WITH me, not AT me – Again, I don’t like feeling like a fool, so if I mess up or am doing some ridiculous dance move don’t laugh at me – let me know that it’s goofy and laugh with me. Heck, join in so we look like fools together. Just don’t leave me hanging!

Basically, it just takes a lot for guys like me to get the cojones to get up and dance the night away, even at my wedding. So please, be encouraging above all else – who knows, with a little help, your groom may even find out he likes dancing!

Have fun!



official opinions: Go Green- tips for an excellent eco-friendly wedding

Looking to go green at your wedding? Check out our top six tips to throw a fun eco-friendly party while reducing your carbon footprint!

1. Paperless invitations

Since everything else is moving online, why not invitations too? You can keep the classic touch of traditional invitations by working with a designer but sending them via e-mail saves paper and trees. Greenvelope helps save trees by working with clients to create the perfect wedding e-vite that emulates the opening of a traditional printed invitation so you don’t lose that special touch.

If all weddings this year used paperless invitations, we could save about 50,000 trees!

2. Picking the right venue

Even picking a venue that has a green initiative can give your wedding the eco-friendly touch. Find an event space that has met the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System, which sets the standard for sustainable spaces. Learn what your venue does to be sustainable!

Venue Six10 is a great option because of its unique 6700-square-foot green roof that has special vegetation that keeps the building cool, helps with air pollution and much more.

3. Green wedding favors

Certain wedding favors can contribute to waste so give something memorable yet eco-friendly to give your guests. Plant a tree in your guest’s name or even give out trees for them to plant in your honor. For a more creative route, include sachets of herb or vegetable seeds so your guests can start their own eco-friendly, edible garden.

4. Go organic!

Have healthy alternatives during your wedding dinner such as free-range chicken or fresh, wild salmon. Work with your caterer and learn where your food is coming from and if it is eco-friendly. For dessert, include free trade coffee for your guests. Remember going organic doesn’t have to substitute for taste!

5. Charitable donations to eco-friendly non-profit

In lieu of gifts, you can raise money for a charitable organization. Choose one that has a special meaning for you or find one online that shares your same values. Your guests will appreciate the gesture and will love knowing that their gift is going somewhere meaningful.

6. Do your research

Remember that going green doesn’t have to cost you more green! Take some time to see what options you have. If paperless invitations aren’t for you, you can always find some other way to be eco-friendly. The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is a great resource for all of your green wedding needs including approved green vendors, caterers, florists and more.

If you want a more literal green wedding, however, check out The Knot’s wedding ideas for using all shades of the color green! Or you can take an even more literal attempt from singer, Kelis by having an all-green wedding dress! Now, that girl knows how to go green!


Guest Star: The Doctors Durkin know how to party

On June 16, 2012 we were honored to play for Doctors Julianne Ruppel and Michael Durkin’s wedding at the elegant Drake Hotel. After the couple and their guests celebrated the ceremony and cocktail hour, the Stitely Orchestra welcomed the newlyweds into their east-coast celebration with “Just What I Needed” by the Cars, before transitioning into their first dance, “La Vie en Rose.” Once the guests had taken their seats, the Stitely Orchestra serenaded the Drake Hotel staff’s champagne parade with their signature mashup of the “Colonel Bogey March” and “The Night They Invented Champagne.”

Tara Moser of LOLA Event Productions did a great job coordinating the details of an evening filled with special toasts, speeches, and of course dancing throughout! After cutting the cake to “It Had To Be You”, boogie-ing down to a few songs, a sweet speech from the Bride and Groom, and enjoying some post-dinner coffee and cake, we kept dancing going with the special dances. Julie danced with her dad to “My Girl,” Mike danced with his mother to Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World,” and the couple celebrated the longest-married couple in attendance with an anniversary dance set to “In My Life” by the Beatles.

Guests enjoyed photo booth snapshots thanks to Photo Booth Express, and rocked out to lots of Motown, 80s dance hits, and Classic Rock right up until the last dance, “Don’t Stop Believin’”. But the party didn’t end there; DJ Vincent shook things up and took this party into the early hours of the morning! Kudos to Bill McCluskey at the Drake Hotel, Stephanie at Anthony Gowder Design for her beautiful work, and to Dennis Lee for capturing some great photographic memories that will last this loving couple a lifetime!


Official opinions: Fun and festive holiday wedding ideas

Year after year, holiday weddings prove to be unique and memorable, and not just because of all that Chicago snow.  Check out some fun holiday wedding themes that are sure to make your wedding stand out.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland:  Perhaps it’s the enchanting atmosphere that makes this theme so popular among smitten couples.  To get a wintery look try incorporating silver, shades of blue and white into the color scheme. Snowflakes can hang from artificial white trees surrounded by a dusting of “snow” on the ground. Clear white Christmas lights draped around the venue will add the final touch for this theme. But don’t forget the music! Stitely offers several variations of string combos that will be the perfect match for cocktails and dinner at this sophisticated wedding.

Christmas Delight: Weddings are already hectic without adding the holidays to the mix.  However, having a “Christmas Delight” theme is a great way to highlight the more relaxing aspects of season. While ruby reds and emerald greens are the most prevalent Christmas colors we don’t want your wedding being confused with the office holiday party. Instead, try choosing only one of these staple colors and pair it with gold. Imagine your bridesmaids floating down the aisle in elegant red dresses with gold stars twinkling above them- what a great backdrop for your special day! Another alternative is to have a treat table that includes all of your holiday favorites: gingerbread men (or ginger brides with white frosting), candy canes and, of course, your Aunt Milly’s apple pie. Finally, this wedding’s not complete without a dazzling white Christmas tree decorated with red or green ornaments.

Rustic Holiday: A favorite holiday pastime is cozying up with the family to a warm fire complete with hot chocolate in hand. While this “Rustic Holiday” theme has the least amount of guidance, it has the most potential for a romantic and intimate atmosphere. Find a rustic venue such as an old church, cabin or barn and incorporate earth tones and deep reds into the color scheme. Keep the lights dimmed while dancing to Stitely’s top wedding bands or DJs, and for dessert treat guests to hot chocolate next to flickering candles and poinsettia centerpieces. This theme is sure to create a cozy and tender celebration.


Official Opinions: Weird Wedding Rituals: Part Deux

Welcome back to the world of weird wedding rituals! We looked high and low for some international wedding traditions that, to our western eyes, are truly bizarre. Here are two rituals from opposite ends of the globe that are totally out of this world!

China – Crying Marriage
Tears of joy or tears of sorrow? The Chinese tradition of the Zuo Tang requires a bride to cry for at least an hour a day, every day, in the month leading up to her wedding. But this super fun ritual isn’t just for the bride; ten days after she starts her mother must join in, followed by grandmother and other female members of her family. By the time the wedding rolls around everyone is crying.


Guys, Seriously. It’s just not a good time.

The tradition is said to originate from the story of a princess who was married off to become queen sometime around 475-221 B.C. While the bride herself didn’t cry, her mother certainly did. Falling to her daughter’s feet, the mother sobbed and asked her to return home as soon as possible. So what was originally a gesture of love eventually transformed into a rite where the bride cries her eyes out for at least a month. Traditionally, the bridal tears ceased after some choice cursing at the matchmaker who arranged her marriage, which to us, seems like a great way to vent after a month of crying.

This tradition was practiced regularly in the southwest Sichuan province up till the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). While not as popular as it used to be, this tradition lives on today since every Tujia bride is required to perform this marriage rite.

France – La Soupe

In France, after a long day of celebration the bride and groom are rushed to their room while the guests stick around to clean up. As they clean the trash that is left over from the party, the guests prepare a little something special for the couple. Any leftovers, be it cake, vegetables, appetizers, champagne, chocolates, or wine, all get poured into a toilet. Yes, a toilet. In the olden days of non-indoor plumbing it was a chamber pot, so we bet French brides are really thankful for modern conveniences. The toilet gruel that is created from these leftovers is called “La soupe.”

After the last crusty tart is thrown into the mix, La Soupe is then proudly presented to the couple already relaxing in their bridal suite.  Then the guests won’t leave until the bride and groom drink the sloppy offering! It’s a sign of love I suppose. God-awful disgusting I-will-never-forgive-you Love.

You know she's not happy

You can tell she secretly hates every part of this

The good news is that the tradition is changing and is now mostly made of chocolate and champagne. However, it is still served out of a toilet. So not as bad, but still pretty horrible. Traditions like these make you really thankful that the worst thing you might have to do at your wedding is the Chicken Dance! (To avoid this dreadful fate be sure to book a professional and popular Chicago wedding band like the Stitely Orchestra.)


Official Opinions: Weird Wedding Rituals

Some traditional wedding events couples partake in include such classics as a first dance, bouquet toss, bridal shower and so forth. Here at Stitely we’ve run across some not-so familiar traditions out in the rest of the world that made us ask, “why!?”and we thought we’d share some of the fun with you!

Romania -Bride-Napping

This article is what started our interest into these wedding traditions and we couldn’t stop from there. In the middle of your big day how would you like to be whisked away and held for ransom until your knight in shining armor can take you back? In Romania’s capital, Bucharest, this game of ransom is gaining popularity and has become a scheduled part of the wedding day. In the middle of the reception the bride gets taken away by family and friends in a mock abduction until the groom can win her back. The family and friends set what the groom must do in order to get her back. The ransom can be anything from bottles of alcohol, to serenading his love to his bride or sometimes cold hard cash.

This tradition adds some heroic action to the nuptials and is a great story to retell later in life. Oh, did we mention for some kidnapped brides she gets a photo shoot with her kidnappers who have fake guns on hand?

Best. Day. Ever.

Scotland – Blackening the Bride

Best family ever

What is that?

On her wedding day a bride is perfect, she’s the diamond in the room. In Scotland before that lovely lady walks down the aisle a bride gets treated a little differently.

Blackening the Bride is a pre-wedding tradition where family and friends decide a day of their choosing to throw anything they find god-awful and disgusting on the bride. The substances can be things like garbage, spoiled food, mud, and other equally attractive semi-liquids. After being covered head to toe in this concoction family and friends parade the bride around town clanging pots and pans to announce the wedding.

Why the public humiliation and ruined clothes? The Scots believe that this act of public humiliation will prepare the bride to face all future difficulties and humiliations with ease since nothing could come close to this level of  embarrassment. In an odd way, that makes sense, but we still wouldn’t want to be blackened any time soon.

That’s the two for today, check in later for more weird wedding traditions in an upcoming post!

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