Creative Guest Book Ideas

It seems that this summer has been the season of "creativity" and "innovation" ...which we LOVE. One aspect of a wedding that our couple's are wanting to get creative with is their guest book. We want to share some of our favorites that we have seen and some that we would love to see in the future! Take a look at our list:

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  • Advice Coasters (shown above)- kill two birds with one stone creating a guest book & some new home decor!
  • Polaroids- hang a line of string with close-pins & guests can snap a quick photo and hang it up.
  • Message in a Bottle- re-use old wine bottles as centerpieces and have guests write a note & place it in the bottle.
  • Signed Christmas Ornaments (shown below)- this is perfect for a winter wedding! Katie from our team LOVES Christmas so we can count on her to have this at her wedding some day ;)
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  • Date Night Jar- guests write their date idea for the newlyweds & place them in a mason jar.
  • Recipe Book- each guest writes down their favorite recipe --> this will come in handy when you are out of ideas on what to cook for a date night in!
  • Custom Canvas- if you and your better half have a favorite city, stadium, piece of art, etc. have it painted on a canvas & set out for guests to sign for you to later hang in your home. Sam has a sweet spot for the "friendly confines" so given the choice, she'd have a canvas of Wrigley Field as her guest book.
  • Thumbprints (shown below)- this is a HUGE trend! At our Willow Harbor Vineyards destination this summer, S+B had a music note scroll & guests stamped their finger print like a music note & signed their name.

We'd love to hear some of your creative & innovative guest book ideas! Feel free to give us a shout and share some things you have seen this wedding season.


How to Prep for the Big Day

Good morning! We hope your day is looking as bright as this weather has been lately. It sure has been PERFECT wedding weather here which makes us very excited for our next couple of weddings this month!

With so many engagements happening all around us, we wanted to share a few tips on how to begin planning for your wedding day. Many couples ask us "where do I even begin?!" Here are a few of our suggestions on how to get the ball rolling on the wedding planning process.

  • Celebrate!- ok, this is a give-in. But seriously, cherish the moment with your significant other!
  • Set a budget- weddings add up FAST. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all that at some point you are designing a $10k wedding cake and inviting your cousin's, neighbor's, grandma's bingo friends. Both of these out of the ordinary things can be prevented if you create and stick to your budget.
  • Book a venue- venues can book up for years in advance. Research and find your top 3-5, visit them, and seal the deal!
  • Browse Pinterest- while you probably already have a "my wedding day" Pinterest board, take some time to clean it up. Narrowing down to a smaller selection of images you want to see your wedding day look like will really help your vendors create exactly what you are looking for.
  • Check out a bridal show- there are several bridal expos throughout the Chicago-land area this summer. We are actually going to check out the one at Chevy Chase tonight- hope to see some of you there :) Get your tickets here:
  • Hire a wedding planner- you may think we are just biased but honestly, it will take 100% of the stress off of you and ensure for a fabulous, flawless day. Check out our "services" tab to explore what options you have in hiring a planner with Willow Street Weddings!

For more tips on planning your wedding day, be sure to call your WSW gals and we would love to chat. Have a great rest of your week! XO

Top Summer Wedding MUST HAVES

Ah, summer is finally here! :) With that, summer wedding season has officially kicked off and we are loving all of the trends and new ideas we have seen so far. We have put together a little list of some things that are necessary (or just a little extra) to make your summer wedding the best of the best!

  • Lawn games
  • Fruit infused water- not only does it look pretty, its offers guests something to keep them hydrated.
  • Sun screen & bug spray
  • Sunglasses- turn these into party favors?!
  • Twinkle lights
  • Programs that double as fans- there is no better way to provide an agenda for your guests than on a fold-able fan to keep them cool during the ceremony. One of our client's this summer is utilizing this and we CANNOT wait to show you how cute they turn out.
  • Bright, floral centerpieces
  • Boozy popsicles at the dessert table
  • A basket of flip flops- walking around in heels is tough and even tougher when your ceremony or reception is outdoors. Spare these chicks and provide them with some inexpensive Old Navy flip flops!
  • Colorful candy buffet

Hope you are all having a LOVELY summer! XO

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Incorporating Greenery

One trend we have seen flourishing this year is the incorporation of greenery to various elements of both indoor and outdoor weddings. Adding some foliage can brighten things up or add that touch of extra detail you are looking for. 

We wanted to share a few of our favorite Instagram posts including this trend with you. Want to be featured on our Blog, Instagram or Facebook page? Reach out to us at and we will surely consider your photos!

Lava To Linen has an eye for design if we do say so ourselves. Check out this touch of herbage on the centerpieces on this place setting. See more of their beautiful work on Instagram: @lavatolinen.

Lava To Linen has an eye for design if we do say so ourselves. Check out this touch of herbage on the centerpieces on this place setting. See more of their beautiful work on Instagram: @lavatolinen.

If you want go bold with this trend, add it to the entrance of your reception. It Girl Weddings has nailed it with this garland draped entryway to the outdoor reception. Follow @itgirlweddings on Instagram for more inspiration.

If you want go bold with this trend, add it to the entrance of your reception. It Girl Weddings has nailed it with this garland draped entryway to the outdoor reception. Follow @itgirlweddings on Instagram for more inspiration.

How about dressing up the dessert table a little bit?! Weave in a string of mini lights and you have taken this table of sweets from one level to the next. @bkstylingandevents, WE APPROVE!

How about dressing up the dessert table a little bit?! Weave in a string of mini lights and you have taken this table of sweets from one level to the next. @bkstylingandevents, WE APPROVE!

Including Your Fur Babies Into Your Special Day

In today's day and age, our pets are basically like children to us. We want to include them in everything we do from walking to Starbucks to a family vacation to California. Many couples are even looking to include their pets in their wedding ceremonies because they have such a special bond.

We love the idea of having pets act as the ring bearer or flower girls, especially if the couple does not have any youngins in mind to carry out these duties. While it may come as a surprise, many churches and venues are open to allowing fully trained dogs in to walk down the aisle upon the couples' request.

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While we are big fans of this idea, a few things to keep in mind before deciding on including your pet in your ceremony/reception:

  • Pictures: is your fur baby capable of sitting still for the paparazzi?
  • Bathroom Breaks: be sure no one is crossing their legs before the processional begins. ;)
  • Lunch/Dinner: along with your guests, your pet will surely develop an appetite throughout. Be sure you have food and treats packed.

We wanted to leave you with one final thought on collaborating dogs and weddings, check out this tear jerker of a video:


Top 3 Trends of 2017

Trend #1: Metallic

Whether it be adding metallic tea light holders to the head table, including a layer of metallic icing on the cake, or spicing up the wedding party attire with some metallic jewelry, all things metallic will surely make an appearance this year. 

Trend #2: Flower Crowns

While non-traditional, flower crowns will be replacing several veils in 2017. This is one trend we do not want to see go out of style as it is such a soft touch that really vamps up the look up the bride and/or bridesmaids. How gorgeous do they look on this group of bridesmaids?!

Trend #3: Unique Invitations

Invitations are not only used as a way to invite your guests to the big day, but are often hung up on fridges, scrap booked and saved forever as a memory. This year, couples are getting real creative with their invitations. Some are creating a mockery passport for their destination weddings while others are getting creative with shapes, colors, fonts and 3-D figures.

There Is Always Room For Dessert...

It is no secret that the ladies of Willow Street have a sweet tooth. :) We sure love to have our cake, and eat it too. Over the years, we have seen some beautiful wedding cakes as well as some new and creative ways to display a variety of desserts at some of our most recent events. 

You cannot go wrong with the traditional, 3-tier wedding cake. Typically a chocolate or vanilla cake with chocolate ganache and butter cream frosting will please a majority of your guests. Not only is a traditional cake a safe bet when catering to your guests, it also looks tasteful in pictures for years to come.

Over the last few years, couples have been itching to stand out and leave a lasting impression on their guests- that being done so with dessert. One of our very own clients will be having an entire cake table at their reception this summer consisting of 10-12 cakes, most of which are going to be baked by family members. We love this idea as it allows your guests to choose what they want to cure that sweet tooth and at the same time brings a sentimental vibe to the evening as family is incorporated. We are so excited to see this come together this summer!

One trend forcasted for 2017 is the delight-some candy bar. Setting up some canisters filled with the couples favorite sweets allows your guests to enjoy some candy (and even take some home for the road if you turn this into a party favor). From M&Ms to rock candy sticks to gummy bears, a candy bar can be created for the biggest and even smallest events. Whether you want to stick to just the candy, or expand the table and incorporate cake pops, donuts and cookies, the women at Willow Street Weddings can put together the candy bar of your dreams!


The DOs and DON'Ts of Wedding Dress Selection

When it comes to selecting a gown for the biggest day of your life, it can be stressful and very hard to make a decision. With mom wanting you to wear something conservative or traditional and your bridesmaids encouraging you to go for what's trendy, it can become exhausting and stressful for you. Since this is a crucial part of the wedding planning process, we have broken down the DO's and DON'Ts to consider when you are shopping for your dress in hopes of finding the perfect one (all while having a little fun)!


  • Bring your closest gals (mom, grandma, aunt, maid of honor, sister) for a second opinion.
  • Be open to all styles and lengths within your budget.
  • Wear proper undergarments and have your hair and make-up done similar to how you wan it on the big day.
  • Add accessories!
  • Ask your consultant a lot of questions- Can this be altered? Can we add/remove certain beading? Are there any less expensive options in this style?
  • Pop the bubbly! Dress shopping should be fun and well celebrated.


  • Go shopping with tunnel vision.
  • Bring too many people. The more opinions you have, the longer and harder this will be.
  • Forget about your budget- there is surely a fabulous dress that does fit within your budget!
  • Settle. Your dream gown is out there, it may just take time to find it.
  • Hold back your opinion. Be honest!
  • Buy a dress just because it's trendy. Let's be real- what your parents wore to their wedding is probably not on your vision board for your wedding.