(December 19, 2019) — Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc., a publishing and events company, announces the addition of ChicagoStyle Weddings magazine to its portfolio of publications. Nei-Turner currently owns The Celebration Society Weddings and Parties magazines in the Chicago area and will be combining the wedding publications under one umbrella of ChicagoStyle Weddings.
By combining forces, the magazine will have increased customer service resources, as well as local editors and sales directors. The newly combined ChicagoStyle Weddings will be the only locally sourced magazine in the marketplace. “We are thrilled to be a part of Nei-Turner Media Group and The Celebration Society,” said Kelly Broz, former owner of ChicagoStyle Weddings, and now Sales Manager with Nei-Turner. “This merger gives us more opportunity to grow and will provide additional marketing resources for our clients’ business success.”
Clients and engaged couples alike will benefit from this powerful partnership, as ChicagoStyle Weddings will retain the style and sophistication that readers and advertisers have come to know and expect from the publication. ChicagoStyle Weddings will continue to reach engaged couples through availability on newsstands, at bridal shows and events and at local venues and vendors.
“We are excited to combine forces in the Chicago area and be the only locally produced wedding magazine for the region,” stated Barb Krause, Publisher of Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc. “We will be able to offer increased circulation and a stronger digital presence, which will help our clients reach even more Chicagoans.”
About The Celebration Society
The Celebration Society is a marketplace for reputable venues and vendors, and includes thecelebrationsociety.com and magazines in Georgia/Florida, Chicago and Arizona. The mission of The Celebration Society is to help connect celebrators to venues and vendors that they can trust to execute their visions and styles. With the focus of editorial on TheCelebrationSociety.com being both for weddings and parties, readers can use the magazine and website frequently to plan the next occasion they have on the calendar.
About Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc.
Nei-Turner Media Group, Inc. publishes high quality, regional guides and magazines, including At The Lake magazine, BRAVA magazine, Lakeshore Living, Experience Wisconsin and Wisconsin Meetings. The company also produces events including the Midwest Kids Expos, Madison (WI) Women’s Weekend and Madison Well Expo. Nei-Turner has offices in Lake Geneva and Madison, Wisconsin.
By Zach Thomas
In the midst of all the fun that comes with wedding planning, a bride ought to know a thing or two about those serious contracts she’s signing on the dotted line.
Why do I have to pay a deposit to vendors like photographers, DJs, planners, etc?
To discuss a deposit, it also becomes a discussion about contracts—they go hand-in- hand. The contract spells out the agreement (date, time and rate; and what you should expect from the vendor, what the vendor should expect from you) and the deposit is the force behind that agreement. The deposit allows the vendor to be confident in turning away other potential clients for the same date, and it allows the couple to feel confident their vendor will show up and perform their hired duties the day of the wedding.
Is a standard practice of wedding vendors to require a deposit?
Yes. If the vendor you are choosing to work with doesn’t require a contract and deposit, you should be concerned about what other things they are leaving out of their business (e.g. insurance, back-up equipment, or experience). If there isn’t a contract and deposit requirement, that is a red flag. Remember, a contract and deposit also protects the customer and adds peace of mind that a vendor will show up and do the job they are hired for.
How much money should I expect to put down for my deposit?
This amount varies, but 50% is fairly standard.
What if I have to cancel?
Read over any contract you are signing, and ask the vendor you are working with to explain anything you are unclear about. Weddings don’t happen for a number of reasons—break-ups, family disagreements, weather issues, and sometimes the couple get so overwhelmed planning they run off to Vegas to elope. If you need to cancel, notify the vendor immediately and just be open to having a conversation about what your contract may entitle you to. Many contracts have the flexibility to deal with the various reasons for cancellation. Sometimes if the vendor is able to book another client with a comparable package on the same day, the deposit or a portion is refundable no matter the reason.
What if I pay a deposit and the vendor has to cancel?
You should ask for your deposit to be promptly refunded.
What type of legal wording should I look for in a vendor contract specific to deposits?
You should make sure what is and what is not refundable is clearly articulated. Some vendors who work with multiple clients in a day may allow for a partial return of deposit, within a certain period of time before the event. Most photographers can’t do that because it’s much harder to fill the date, especially the closer you get to the event.
What if I cancel, and I feel like I deserve my deposit back?
The terms should be clearly spelled out in the contract. Weddings (and planning them!) are emotional, but when dealing with vendors a customer should always keep in mind that they are working with business owners.
Before you go all Pinterest crazy and the little green monster inside of you starts to take over, we want to give you a bit of guidance to make sure that during your wedding planning process, you stay true to you. We know on a regular basis we are plagued with an overwhelming urge to keep up with the Joneses and it can be especially difficult to fend off that urge when it comes to your wedding. Here, we’ve compiled some basic tips to help you identify your true style as a couple and arm you with the know-how you’ll need to pull it all together.
By Terry Smedley
Whether you prefer a towering six-tier confection or a simplistic couple’s cake, choose the dessert that’s best for your day.
Should I steer clear of any frostings or finishes if I’m hosting an outdoor reception?
If you are having an outdoor reception during the hot months, try to steer clear of buttercreams that contain ingredients that can’t take the heat like cream cheese.
What’s the key to making a naked-style cake wedding worthy?
Most people who select naked cakes do so not because of the look of the cake (although most do love the simplicity), but because they aren’t a fan of frosting. They love that they can have more cake, less frosting and with the addition of floral or some decorative elements have a beautiful cake that tastes good.
My future husband and I aren’t really fans of cake. Do we still need to have one? What are my other options?
Oh heavens no, there are no hard and fast rules! Dessert buffets are hot right now. They are a fabulous alternative to cake or to supplement cake for your guests. The benefit of a dessert buffet is your guests get a variety of choices for their desserts, and can be designed to coordinate with and complement your reception.
What information should I have ready for our cake consultations?
Do your homework! Before you book a consultation, ensure the company provides the type of cake you are looking for. A baker may specialize in old fashioned cakes or naked cakes, so don’t ask them to create a cake style they don’t generally offer. Be prepared to leave a photo of your inspiration cake with the baker after your consultation.
Cake toppers: are they a thing of the past?
Cake toppers are making a comeback, but not necessarily the traditional bride and groom. More often you may see custom laser cut toppers that express the sentiments of the couple, such as “To the Moon and Back” or “Mr. and Mrs.” or clever custom cake toppers showcasing the couple and their interests.
I love the look of real flowers on a cake. Are they really safe to include?
Many flowers are in fact edible. Check with your florist to ensure that whatever they are providing for your cake is safe and organic. While all flowers are a treat to see, some ought to come with a warning label. The most common poisonous wedding flowers include lily of the valley, hydrangeas, stargazer lilies, angels trumpet, oleander and delphinium. If your preferred florals appear on this list, fret not. Consider adding faux tiers to the cake. These tiers blend with the design of the rest of the cake, often covered in identical fondant or completely in flowers.
What are the hot trends?
We’re seeing personalization of cakes. Taking on themes from hot TV shows, to sports teams and comic book heroes. Flavor pairings are also trending. Creative options include Nutella, tequila and lime, orange and champagne, peaches and cream, caramel apple and almond amaretto just to name a few.
By Meghan Bishop
If there’s one gray area in the wedding world, it’s paying gratuities. Long-standing etiquette says ones thing and modern trend says another. We say: if you loved your service—show it with a tip.
Whether your vendor owns their business or is an hourly employee matters little. Gratuity says “I’m so thankful for the extra care you showed to me,” and giving shouldn’t be determined by who the boss is. It’s determined by the quality of service. Here’s a list of the vendors you should plan to tip because of their onsite expertise at the end of your very long, very fabulous big day.
Traditionally, it has been thought that you don’t need to give your wedding planner anything for a tip. But, considering they’re the one vendor who has done the bulk of the work on your wedding—we say, why not? Did he/she knock your socks off by pulling off your wedding flawlessly? Was there a ton of extra work involved that wasn’t discussed when pricing was set? Whatever the case may be, you can feel comfortable giving between $100 to 10% of their fees in cash or a gift in the same amount to show your gratitude.
TIP: $100 to 10% of fees
In our opinion, your photographer and videographer will be the most important vendors you choose. Each photographer on the day of your wedding should be tipped $100- 200, and second shooters $50-75.
TIP: $50-200 per person
Not sure what to give the string trio that played your wedding march? What about the choir that sang as you lit your unity candle? If it was a professional group, 10% of the entire amount charged to be split amongst the musicians. If it’s a civic or church group and they didn’t charge, give a donation either to the group or the church—just as you would a religious officiant.
TIP: 10% of fee to be split among musicians
Every guest was on the dance floor and your party was non-stop all night! You should tip $25-50, per musician. For the DJ—he/she is the one person responsible for the entire flow and energy of your event. We think they deserve a whole lotta love for guaranteeing a good time. MUSICIAN TIP: $25-50 per person
DJ TIP: $100-200
Your dad’s friend is a judge, your neighbor got registered online, your junior high school pastor, or your pastor now that you are an adult has accepted the job of conducting your service— etiquette says no cash should be given. Instead, give a thank you card and a gift card or a donation to the house of worship if affiliated.
TIP: A donation and thank you note will do.
This varies depending on the region of the country you are in. In the Midwest, a 20 to 22% service charge is usually added to the catering contract. But if you are super happy with the service, you can give the catering manager a lump sum to distribute among the wait staff. You can get the anticipated number of wait staff from the caterer beforehand to help you prepare.
TIP: $20-50 per person (and check your contract)
Your bartender will deal with a bunch of guest craziness the evening of your wedding (i.e. “There is tooooooo much coke in my Jack”). Bartenders who work on a catering staff team make a higher hourly wage than what you’d expect in a restaurant so you can tip them the same as the other catering staff. No need to go above and beyond, unless you really want to.
TIP: $20-50 like the other catering event staff
Your driver will wait outside for 30 minutes as you say your goodbyes to your friends and family and make sure your take-away plate is in the car for your midnight snack before he drives clear across town to your desired place! Proper tip is 15-20% presented after arrival.
TIP: 15-20% of fees
This one is optional. Rental drop off delivery people sometimes get $20-50 per person depending on how much they are bringing in and having to set up. Most of the time you have a team of 2-4 depending on the size of the order and they will be the last ones out of the space at the end of the night.
TIP: $20-50 per person
As important as pictures are, your hair and makeup professional will help ensure you look the best! Hair and make-up professionals should get 15-20% of the total bill.
TIP: 15-20% of services
Some vendors may have gratuity included in their contract–if this is the case, no tip is necessary. Read your contract to be certain. Also, if a vendor does not fulfill what was expected, don’t feel obligated. And if you want to reward a vendor that you didn’t get a chance to see or interact with, don’t underestimate the power of a sincere thank you card with a little token of your appreciation inside. Tipping is something you should be prepared to do (a lot of) on your wedding day.
The caliber of the professionals you hire will determine the amount of tips you should budget for.
By Leah Economos
Many brides are surprised that most vendors insist on knowing their budget before providing a detailed proposal. Truth is, this saves you both time and prevents miscommunication, sticker shock and getting attached to an idea you just can’t afford.
Because you’re a busy bride with limited spare time, you’ll want this process to be as efficient as possible. Also, the vendors you’re interviewing respect your time and aim to make the proposal process as simple and straightforward as possible. With knowledge of your budget, each vendor will be able to provide a proposal in the price range you have specified.
A proposal with no budget guideline has several dangers. The first one is sticker shock. Many brides are truly shocked by the cost of wedding elements. Being surprised by your proposal price is not only unpleasant, but it may cause you to eliminate a wedding vendor from consideration who is truly capable of supplying a fantastic alternative for half the price—they just had no idea how much you wanted to spend!
Beyond the sticker shock, there’s another danger: attachment! You’re likely to become attached to all of the beautiful options conjured up in that initial proposal—and they’re way out of your price range. This will only create disappointment down the road as you find it impossible to be satisfied with more budget friendly alternatives.
Your style, taste, and personal preferences are equally as important as your budget. But, if you start out with a proposal that’s above your budget, trimming it down will be the only solution. That will mean parting with some elements you may love, and it also will delay arriving at your “budget happy place” while your salesperson revises your proposal. To avoid this dilemma, simply share your budget with vendors in your first conversation.
There’s a possibility that your vision and budget aren’t a match for a particular vendor, and that’s okay! If they aren’t able to offer the service or product you’re looking for within the amount you’re willing to pay, don’t be shy about telling them your budget is firm and you’ll have to look elsewhere.
If you consult several reputable vendors and continue to hear your vision can’t be accomplished within the amount you want to pay, it’s probably an indication your budget
isn’t reasonable. Consider shifting money from another category within your overall budget, or open your mind to more budget friendly options that still allow you to have a great event.
Great vendors will do their best to offer an alternative to suit your budget, whether it’s a fabulous short rib small plate station instead of filet mignon, or ranunculus for your bouquet instead of peonies.
Occasionally, brides can get stuck in what is referred to as ‘proposal la-la land.’ This is what happens when you continue to swoon over Pinterest pictures and celebrity weddings featuring ideas far outside your budget range. Remember, the goal is to arrive at a proposal you’re happy with and can afford.
Some couples say they don’t feel comfortable sharing their actual budget with vendors they’re interviewing, for fear that they will
“use up all the money,” and I want to offer some insight on that topic. Any vendor you’re considering hiring should make you feel comfortable and cared for as a customer. If at any point you feel pressured in a used-car- salesman-fashion, you’re in the wrong place.
When it comes to budget, remember: you’re in charge. Your florist or caterer isn’t going to reach into your wallet and take your money. When you agree on a price, make sure you’re comfortable with the amount you’re spending.
You’ll make your planning process easier, avoid disappointment and sticker shock and develop a great relationship with your vendor team by sharing your budget from the beginning.
In Chicago, the average cost of a 150-person wedding is approximately $42,000 with downtown weddings costing more ($51,000) and suburban weddings costing less ($33,000). When you start planning your wedding, one of the very first things you’ll need to create is a budget. The most helpful approach for you, your partner, and your respective families will be to openly discuss how much everyone will be able to contribute. Today, it is not uncommon for the bride and groom to foot the entire bill, or for the families to share the expenses. When discussing your expenses with your loved ones, be sure to remain courteous and realistic.
RECEPTIONS: 40-45% (Reception venue, food, beverages & rentals)
PHOTO & VIDEO: 10-20% (Photo & video)
ATTIRE & WEDDING BANDS: 8-12% (Bride and groom attire & wedding bands)
FLOWERS: 8-12% (Flowers & décor)
MUSIC: 5-10% (Ceremony & reception music)
PLANNING: 0-10% (Planner or coordinator)
CAKES: 3-6% (Cakes & sweet tables)
OVER SPEND: 5% (Overspend Fund)
CEREMONY: 2-4% (Ceremony)
INVITES: 3-6% (Stationery)
TRANSPORTATION AND GIFTS: .2-4% (Gifts & transportation)
BEAUTY: 2-3% (Hair, makeup & pampering)