A Groom’s Perspective: Planning Your Wedding

 Photo: Being Joy Photography
Photo: Being Joy Photography

Often, the bride is the focus of the wedding. Wether it is the planning or the wedding day, all of the questions seem to go to the bride. What is the date? What are the colors? How many guests? Where is the venue? How did he propose? The list goes on and on. For the groom, he often gets overlooked and told to “just show up.” What terrible advice is that?!? “Just show up” tells him that his opinions and thoughts don’t really matter. “Just show up” says that he has no say in his most special day. In my mind, this is a terrible miscarriage of justice. The groom in my world is just as important if not more important in some cases. Without him asking a very important question, the bride might not betting married. 

 Photo: Being Joy Photography Hair: Flora Hair and Makeup Team Flowers: Wyld Blooms
Photo: Being Joy Photography Hair: Flora Hair and Makeup Team Flowers: Wyld Blooms

Perhaps the most important Groom I have ever had to deal with was my groom, Adrian! Being married to a wedding planner is not always easy. I work most weekends and evenings are spent meeting with clients. Having listened to me for years, Adrian has learned that floorpans can make or break a wedding and can accurately describe the difference between poly and lamour linens. He never ceases to amaze me! He even offers to help write blog posts! I certainly got very lucky! Adrian has agreed to give his perspective on the wedding planning process. Below are his responses. 

 This is Adrian. He is pretty great. 
This is Adrian. He is pretty great. 

What is it like being a groom trying to plan a wedding and what advice would you give to other grooms?

Lucky for me, I married a wedding planner, but I was her own worst nightmare! I was a groom Zila, OK maybe not a total Groom Zila But a very picky Groom.  We had 12 months to get everything set and planned for the killer bash that we had wanted in our heads. Like I said, I married a wedding planner so the timeline of events and the coordination of people and companies came quite easy for us.  We both wanted something spectacular. Our wedding was a blank slate and we had to start to create our vision. 

I didn’t even know weddings had themes.  We both agreed on the same colors right away which was good! Boom done! From there we had the food that had to be decided on and I know for the brides that this is important, but this is just as important for the guys. Food is very important for guys so don’t blow it off, go do the food tasting! Also, if you are at all like me you’ll want a late night snack. Just an idea but we did a bacon bar and fresh donuts made on site. They were a huge hit. 

The bar was another important factor for our wedding. You have to make a statement and make your guests feel comfortable. We had a giant ice sculpture alcohol fountain, i’m guessing this was the statement piece. I was also very specific in not having beer bottles given to people but wanted the beer to be poured into glasses. It was about the look and the experience. 

My suggestion get involved, this is your wedding too. One of the biggest time sucks and most difficult parts were the invitations and day of printing. It took us an entire weekend to get all of the invitations stuffed in the envelopes and mailed out.  Don’t think this is a quick process, as this was probably the hardest thing about the whole wedding.

I was given one task to handle on my own. I was in charge of the transportation. Ashley did not care or want to be involved in that process, so she let me handle the entire thing. I had to organize the transportation for the entire wedding party from the hotel to the church and then on to the venue. It’s not as simple as just renting a bus, you have to plan that timeline pretty much to the minute because everything relies on this bus and getting you to the church and to the venue at specific times. We also stopped at a few locations for photos in between. It is quite the logistical chess match. On the topic of transportation, food deliveries is just as important. You are going to be busy all day so you’ll want to get some sort of food delivered to the bus. Depending on your timeline, stopping for lunch might not be an option, so you can plan on having sandwiches for the bus because you and your bridal party will be starving. 

Here is my advice for the actual wedding day: While on the topic of food, consider having some bagels with juice and coffee delivered in the morning while you are getting ready. This is a very long day and you will not have time to stop anywhere. Having things come to you is always a better idea. It makes the day go much smoother. 

Best piece of advice that I can give you is while your guests are eating their salad you and your bride eat the main course. That way when everybody is eating you can go table to table and say hi and thank them for coming. It is very important to not skip a meal on the wedding day. Before I got married, people would say you won’t remember much about the day. I did not think this was possible. It is the best day of your life. How can you not remember it? I thought they were lying, but no, it is so true! The day passes by in a flash and this is why a really good photographer and videographer are such an important investment. You will be shocked at how much you forget. You begin to slowly piece the day back together when your photos and video come back. Getting your footage can take a few months! Time seems to erase memories sooner than you think. I cannot harp enough and how important both of those things are.


Adrian will be making other guest blog posts in the months to come. He has more experience than most guys in the wedding planning world, mainly because he has to listen to me talk about weddings all.day.long! I want to make sure that guys know that they are not alone and that their opinions matter too! So often, I see them get pushed to the back and told to smile and make sure they show up on time. The guy is just as important as the girl. I want to make sure their voice and opinion (as crazy as it might be) gets heard. 

 Photo: Mary Rose Photography Venue: The Haight
Photo: Mary Rose Photography Venue: The Haight

Vendor Spotlight: The Haight

 Photo Credit: Love & Ink Photogrpahy 
Photo Credit: Love & Ink Photogrpahy 

Every once in awhile, I find a venue that welcomes me like family. As a wedding planner, connections are so important. I call my encounter with the hottest venue in the burbs an incredible chance of luck and even happier accident. Late one night, instead of sleeping, I was killing time, while surfing Facebook…doesn’t everyone do that these days!?! I answered a status request for a possible wedding assistant at a venue I have never heard of, The Haight. Pronounced HATE.  As a boutique wedding planner, I book a handful of event each year. I work a lot of weekends but typically not every weekend. I figured, why not!? It would be some extra cash, I get to see a new space and it will keep me involved in the wedding industry even when they are not “my” clients. I figured I would try it for awhile and then leave after the busy season. Two full wedding seasons, I am still here and loving every minute. My roles have changed and the Haight family has been so incredibly generous to me  and all of the staff they have acquired over the past few years. It is really hard running your own business. (girl speaking from 40+ years of family run businesses) but this family has opened it arms and is making the very best of what they have to offer to brides in suburban Elgin.

I am happy to introduce you to two venue managers who I am also happy to call my friends! Briana and Lauren.

 Briana is on the Left, Lauren is on the Right
Briana is on the Left, Lauren is on the Right

1. Tell me how you (the venue manager)  got started in the wedding business.

B: I did events throughout my university and loved it! I got an internship with a national events company once I graduated and then found a job as a wedding planner once that internship ended. I just love planning events so much and weddings were definitely my niche!

L: I got started in the wedding business by a happy accident.  I had been working in a management position in the service industry and was thinking about moving on when I ran into an old acquaintance, whose wife just happens to be one of the owners at The Haight. He let me know they were looking for someone and a few emails and an interview later I became a part of the Haight family and the wedding business.

2. How did your Venue come to be? Are there any interesting facts about the space? What was the space before it became a wedding venue?

B: The Haight family had owned it since the 80’s and John Haight Sr. rented it out to companies that used it as a factory or warehouse. It wasn’t until Doree, his daughter, got engaged and they decided to renovate it for her own wedding! Obviously, the space is gorgeous so everyone kept telling them they just HAD to make it a business and so they did! Everyone always asks “Why The Haight?” since it’s just a unique name, especially for a wedding venue, but it was named after John Haight Sr. who passed away before Doree’s wedding. I’m sure he would be extremely proud at what they’ve accomplished today with his old warehouse building in downtown Elgin. Who knew?

L: Everything Briana said, but in addition, our building is over 100 years old and the cocktail area once housed horses!  The building has a long history, it began as the Elgin Storage and Transfer Company, then it became a warehouse for Ludwig Dairy, and was home to a chalkboard factory as well.

– The Haight – Chicago Wedding Venue from Newlyweds Cinema on Vimeo.

3. How long have you been at The Haight?

B: I have been here 2 years and 7 months!
L: I have been working at The Haight since August of 2016.

4. How many people does the space fit for a cocktail reception? Sit down dinner? Can you accommodate Ceremonies as well?

B: We can do up to 400 for a cocktail reception, 300 or 250 with a dance floor for a sit down dinner and up to 200 max for a ceremony.

5. What do you love about the job?

B: Working with our amazing couples and getting coordinate the best day of their lives. I love creating friendships with my couples and thank social media for allowing me to stay connected with them even after their wedding is over.

L: I love that we get to work with so many different couple for their big day.  Every event might take place in the same location but no two are the same.  I love to see how each client changes the space to match their style and their vision.  It is so much fun to be a part of the big day and help make it come to life.

6. What is something you wish all couples looking at The Haight considered or asked when booking a venue?  

B: Compare apples to apples!! Almost all venues are priced differently so take into consideration the ALL-IN pricing, not just the venue pricing! Just because X venue is a cheaper price does not mean your catering or bar will be! We had a couple almost go to a different venue because they were $1,000 less than us, but factoring in our bar prices vs. the other venues, they would be SAVING $300 by booking us! It’s not easy, but it is worth it in the long run if you’re in-between 2 venues and price is a determining factor.

L: This isn’t just for our venue or our line of work, but ask the professionals you are working with what works best.  We know what works best in our space because we are here for a wedding or other event every weekend.  Chances are if we suggest something different then what you had in mind it is because it didn’t work well in the past for someone else.

7. Besides your venue (obviously!), what other venues do you respect or refer clients to if you are booked? Why?

B: We like referring Firehouse Chicago because their venue works well for a smaller wedding. We don’t do many weddings under 100 guests due to our size, and Firehouse is such a cool space.

L: We are always happy to give suggestions for other venues when our space is not the right fit for someone or we don’t have a date available.  We see so many great places when networking it is hard to pick one!

8. What is your favorite wedding trend for 2017 or 2018?

B: Velvet (suits, dresses, an table runners) SWOON!!!
L: I am loving hanging florals!

The Haight offers a beautiful bridal suite which is ideal for getting ready prior to the ceremony. The guys even have their own space fully equipped with Nintendo to ease those wedding nerves! Contact the Haight today to see if your wedding date is available! Click HERE to see their calendar of availability! 

Photo credit can be found on the Haight’s full website.