8 Things to Look for in a Wedding Planner in Chicago

Monday, March 28, 2022

If you’re newly engaged and getting started on planning your own wedding in Chicago, you probably have realized just how much work is involved. You may be contemplating on hiring a Chicago wedding planner. Especially if you’re seeing lots of stunning brides looking relaxed and stress-free on social media or in a Chicago wedding magazine, thinking about how you’re ever going to be able to tackle that long to-do list can feel gloomy and overwhelming. 

Check out our last article: 7 Things to Know before Hiring a Chicago Wedding Planner >>

If this sounds like how you’re feeling, we’ve got good news - a wedding planner in Chicago can help share the load, and hiring one to help you doesn’t need to add any stress to your - let’s be real, already very full - plate. 

Chicago Weddings:

Did you know that 2.3 million couples get married every year in the United States? According to this article, the average couple invites 178 guests to their wedding. While globally, Istanbul is host to the most weddings annually, Chicago is right up at the top for weddings in America, sitting at #5 for cities in the US. 

Chicago celebrated the weddings of 27,777 couples in 2020. That’s a lot, especially since only about 30% of couples kept their 2020 wedding date (read more here and here). Although average wedding costs fell from around $31K in 2016-2019 to $25.8K in 2020,  it’s likely that larger gatherings and celebrations will continue to resume, increasing average costs as guest counts grow. 

And though the thought that the average cost of weddings is going up, this article points out that this actually means the return of wedding celebrations - and that’s good news for couples in the midst of wedding planning. 

Weddings in Chicago are all shapes and sizes. On September 25, 2021, 50 couples said their “I do’s” right off Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago as part of the Wrigley Building’s celebration of 100 years. It was a day they’ll never forget, and didn’t involve any worries about wedding planning or hosting amidst the pandemic. 

Hiring a high-caliber wedding planner in Chicago to help with the planning and design efforts for their 150-person September 2021 wedding, celebrity couple Uchechi Nicole Nwosu and Clinton Osborn Moxam tied the knot at Chicago’s historic Palmer House. The couple had met on the MTV dating show "Are You The One?" and it sure appears that they are! See their wedding.

Here's a video on some of the top Chicago Venues:

Why Hire a Wedding Planner in Chicago?

Whether you’re looking to hold a Chicago micro wedding or a luxurious ballroom event, a wedding planner will apply their professional experience and skills to the task. It’s their job to work with couples so that each wedding day - and all the preparation that takes place in the weeks and months leading up to it - is as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

As you may already know, planning a wedding takes a lot of time! It can feel like a full-time job, and, for planners, it is! Working with top event planners in Chicago means that your free time won’t be spent worrying about the shuttle bus service not calling you back, tracking down the custom napkin rings that were sent to the wrong city, or wondering what you’re forgetting to do. It means that you’re more likely to spend the weeks leading up to your wedding enjoying the excitement and preparation, instead of worrying about what might go wrong and how to keep things running smoothly.

Along with the logistics and planning assistance that a Chicago wedding planner provides, there are a lot of additional benefits for couples that hire top wedding planners in the US. These include helping to determine and stay true to a wedding vision that reflects you as a couple, and honors the aspects of your celebration that are most important to you. 

If your big day features the blending of cultures and traditions, this outside perspective and advice can prove invaluable. Before hiring party planners in Chicago, we recommend asking if they have experience in both cultural and non-cultural weddings because you will get more options when it comes to venues and wedding vendors for your cultural wedding. If so, your planner will likely have more resources when working with you.

Since weddings are generally costly and emotional events, opinions - especially from family, friends, and soon-to-be in-laws can become overwhelming. Working with one of the best wedding planners in Chicago can relieve some of these tensions by providing a listener and a voice of reason. 

Should a conflict arise or your plans change, wedding planners will work with you to adjust the event accordingly. Whether this looks like moving your Chicago beach wedding to an industrial event center or hotel ballroom, the planner will assist with communications, contracts, and logistics. 

When to Hire Your Chicago Wedding Planner?

Typically if you want to work with a Chicago wedding planner on their "Full Wedding Planning Package" you should definitely secure your wedding planner 12 - 18 months prior to your wedding date. The more time you have, the more wiggle room you get to finalize your wedding vision. Wedding planners in Chicago are normally fully booked during the wedding season (especially if they are onsite on the day of your wedding). After all, there is only 1 planner that you are hiring, and if she's any good, you can expect her to be fully booked 8-12 month prior. You will also get your ideal wedding venue and other vendors if you book early. If you book everyone early enough, you will get the lowest possible price as your wedding planner will have more leverage when it comes to securing the best price for what you need. You will also have additional time to review and agree on a contract with each of the vendors you book.

Remember, there are a lot of decisions you will be making along your wedding planning journey, so the more time you have the better it is for your mental health and the end result!

Wedding Planning Packages in Chicago:

Many Chicago wedding planners and venues provide their couples with exclusive packages that include access to highly desirable vendors in Chicago, sought-after venue dates, and high-end designers. B Weddings, our boutique Illinois wedding planner business, is no exception. 

Our wedding planner packages range from our Day of Love package, which includes day-of coordination and final details, as well as ceremony and reception management, to our Months to Go package, which provides assistance for brides who wish for just a bit more help hiring vendors, to our Planner Plus package, which is full wedding planning, and includes help with all of the decision-making and planning for the entire process. Please reach out to us if you are interested in planning a micro wedding!

Some Chicago venues also provide wedding packages for couples, and your planner can work with you to incorporate these packages into your celebration. The Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and Topaz packages at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, like many venues’ packages, offer varying levels of service, bundling catering, bartending, and reception costs so that couples can select the best fit for their big day. 

Top Questions to Ask Your Chicago Wedding Planner:

When hiring a Chicago wedding planner, it’s important to ask questions to ensure a great fit. You should be able to communicate comfortably and be yourself with this person - they’re there to help you with one of the biggest days in your life! What kinds of questions should you ask? 

Does hiring a Chicago wedding planner save you money?

We have spoken about this in numerous blog posts but this is a great question to ask your Chicago wedding planner. There are good wedding planners and there are great ones. The key to to find the great ones that are still within your budget. But what if a great wedding planner can save you money and ensure that your wedding spend is contained within your overall wedding budget? Ask your wedding planner how they have helped their previous wedding clients save money and costs.

My wedding venue already has an event coordinator. Why do I need a Chicago wedding planner?

A venue coordinator has the venue's best interest and most of the time is not aware of all the details you have planned, while your Chicago wedding planner will have your back no matter what, will know all the aspects of your wedding and will be by your side every step of the way.

Will you be present on my wedding day? 

This one is important, because you should be able to rely on your wedding planner to mitigate any issues or complications that unexpectedly arise. Whether it’s a torn seam on your dress, a last-minute rain call, or a vendor problem, you want to know that your wedding planner and/or their wedding planner helper is there to support you and manage the issue. This applies to all of our wedding packages including our Micro wedding planning package.

What kinds of Chicago weddings have you planned

It’s helpful to know what kinds of weddings your potential planner has worked on in the past. Do they have a particular style or size experience or speciality, such as microwedding packages Chicago for their event planning in Chicago? Are they a destination wedding wedding planner? Did they plan a wedding in your chosen venue? etc.

Do they specialize in cultural ceremonies, such as Polish weddings in Chicago or are they a indian wedding planner in Chicago? If so, they’ll be well outfitted to provide you with ideas for Chicago Indian wedding venues.

For more FAQs please refer or our FAQ page Questions to ask your wedding planner

Wedding Planning Horror Stories:

Working with a Chicago wedding planner, whether you’re planning a large celebration or an intimate elopement is among the most dependable ways to reduce stress throughout the whole process, save money in the long run, and enjoy the process more than if you were responsible for all of the planning. 

It can also keep wedding horror stories, like these ones, from happening. Makeup allergy disaster? Drunken uncle? Melting wedding cake? A top-quality wedding planner will be able to divert attention, provide a backup vendor contact, usher the uncle away from the dance floor, and do whatever it takes to remedy unexpected situations that arise.

As we mentioned in this Chicago wedding planning blog, we want to note that having a wedding planner is not always a necessity. Many weddings are successful that don’t have a wedding planner involved. Especially if you’re planning a small wedding or elopement, you may decide that hiring a wedding planner isn’t for you. 

While the positive aspect of this decision, which is likely the upfront financial savings of the wedding planner Chicago cost, may feel significant, the potential cons (including increased stress, higher financial burdens if unexpected issues arise, lack of access to a vendor network, and being more “on your own” to deal with challenges) can be substantial. 

Here's a great story on a bride going over their wedding planning budget (Your Wedding Planner will give you a great estimate, no surprises!):


For couples who have limited time, envision a cultural wedding, are new to Chicago, or are planning a destination wedding, working with a wedding planner is a likely way to ensure a smooth process, capped off with a joyful celebration. With numerous wedding planner packages to choose from, from day of wedding coordinators in Chicago to full-service planners, there’s a perfect fit for every couple. 

As we’ve mentioned above, the best wedding planners in Chicago provide access to top-notch vendors in Chicago and venues, manage tricky timelines and logistics, coordinate contracts and permits, and they’ll  make sure that if any plans change, the wedding vendors are kept in communication. Beyond that, many brides enjoy the friendly support and honest feedback that the best Chicago wedding planners can provide, and they’ll never pressure you, ensuring that the event reflects you as a couple.

Additional Reading:

5 Types of Weddings in Chicago You Need To Know About >>

7 Things to Know Before Hiring a Chicago Wedding Planner >>

5 Tips by Top Chicago Wedding Planners and Vendors >>

Wedding Planner Chicago >>