North Shore Weddings & Events
990 Green Bay Rd, Suite 2
Winnetka, IL 60093
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Phot by Julia Franzosa Photography

When people question the amount of time and money spent on weddings, I usually respond with the concept that we really only remember two things - Celebration and Trauma. While we are living through this stressful time of the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope we can look to the future to create positive memories that include celebration. When we get through this together, we are going to want to celebrate together! The exact dates of that celebration may be still too soon to determine, but one thing we know is that we are going to value the time we will have together and will be looking forward to those events with a new perspective. I encourage you to be excited about your future wedding plans and continue to move forward on creating your dream wedding. Here’s some ideas on how you can continue to plan your wedding from home during the Covid-19 pandemic and create a great celebration, in the upcoming months and year.

Hire a Wedding Planner

If anytime shows the value of a wedding planner, it is now. Wedding Planners are advocates for you. No matter what stage you are in planning your wedding, the assistance of a wedding planner will make the process easier and provide reassurance that you have support and experience behind your decisions.

Day-of or Month-of-Coordination has become an accepted “must have” for couples, but those services do not extend to the current issues of postponing weddings and understanding and negotiating contracts in a crisis. Having an experienced advocate to help lead you through these types of difficult decisions is well worth the investment. You can research wedding planners online and set up calls to discuss services from the comfort of your own home. This is a great first step to creating a celebration to remember.

Venue searching while the venues are closed

Engagement season just ended and couples are ready to pick a date and select a venue for their wedding day, but due to Covid-19, the venues are closed to the public. This presents a challenge to couples, especially as 2020 couples are moving their dates to later in the year and 2021 dates may be taken by postponements.

My advice would be to do research on the venues online. Look at images of previous weddings both on their websites and tagged Instagram pictures, but also on Pinterest and Google images. Most venues still have representatives working remotely, so contact them about available dates and ask them for virtual tours, pictures, menus and event floor plans, so you can imagine your wedding at that venue. Ask how long the venue can hold a date and set up a tentative site tour for a month or two from now. To get the most popular venues for the most popular dates, you may have to make a decision prior to seeing it in-person, but ask if they can have a lower initial deposit and make sure you understand their cancellation terms, in case you change your mind.

Book Vendors Remotely

After selecting a wedding date, ceremony location and reception location, it’s time to look at Bands, DJ’s, Film and Photographers. Luckily, thanks to the internet, there are plenty of resources for you to research these vendors at home. Many of my clients do not meet in-person with these vendors, if they come with my recommendation, and will simply do a call or facetime appointment to get to know them. Do some research on quality vendors by checking out their reviews online and asking friends for recommendations. Then you can set up a phone call with the vendor to discuss their philosophies, packages and pricing. Many people around the world select their vendors this way, so the Covid-19 pandemic does not need to hold up your planning for the future.

Tastings, event design appointments and many creative elements to the wedding may have to be held off until in-person appointments are available, but you can do a lot of great research online to share with all these companies and expedite the planning process. We love Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram to share images and sound bites for what you are looking for. All your guests are at home and it’s a great time to get their addresses for invitations. Register for gifts online and connect it to your website. Order Save the Dates or type up your Invitation wording to submit to the designer. It’s a great time to research and plan your honeymoon. If you have a Wedding Planner, they can provide you a list of tasks that you can accomplish over the next few weeks and schedule calls to check in with them. They will provide you reassurance and keep you on track.

The most important thing to remember is that even if your date is postponed, it doesn’t mean that everything has to stop. You can still enjoy this process and with trusted vendors you can continue to stay on track. We are all standing together, while apart and celebration is in our future!

Megan Estrada

Owner & Principal Event Planner

North Shore Weddings & Events

Photo by Eric Floberg Photography

Couples across the country are concerned about their upcoming weddings and how they will be affected by Covid-19. The wedding industry cares about you and your concerns and wants to help make this process as easy as possible. Although this is an emotional time for everyone, it’s important you make logical decisions regarding your wedding day to protect the time, effort and money you have invested already in your special day. Many people are affected by the decision to postpone a wedding and the best way to be respectful of your family, friends and your vendor partners is to be proactive and highly communicative. Therefore, I want to share some information and guidance for postponing your wedding day.


The wedding of your dreams is being affected by Covid-19, but it can still happen! You have spent hours planning the details of the wedding and we encourage you to stay optimistic and move the date to one that will not be affected by the current situation.


Weddings that are booked for March, April or May 2020 should seriously consider postponing the date to later in the year or for 2021. If there are government mandates on event size, in your wedding location, then you will have no choice in postponing. Others may choose to postpone out of respect for their guests and the CDC recommendations.

Weddings in June 2020 and after should think about how Covid-19 could potentially affect their event, but we do not recommend postponement, at this time. The wedding industry is currently assisting their clients with the upcoming three months of postponements, so we also recommend that you do not currently contact your vendors unless your wedding is planned for March, April or May 2020.


- Take a deep breath! It will all be ok.

- Contact your venue representative about future available dates. If your wedding must be cancelled due to government mandates or closure of the venue, the venue should be reaching out to you.

- Due to availability at the venue, your wedding may have to fall on a Friday or Sunday. While you may have originally preferred a Saturday, try to keep in mind that what is most important is that you get to have the amazing wedding day that you have planned to share with your family and friends.

- Contact the most important vendors to confirm their availability for the new dates. You should prioritize your vendors by how much money you have invested in securing them. Talk to those vendors about their availability for the potential dates from the venue.

- Share the available dates with family and friends who are critical to the event happening, likely your immediate family and bridal party. Please keep in mind that you can’t make everyone happy with the new wedding date (just as with the original date!) and some people will not be able to attend. We are confident that people will still try to make an effort to attend – they know this is difficult for you!

- Ask the venue and vendors to create an addendum to your contracts or issue an updated contract for the postponement date, reflecting that all deposits will be forwarded to the new event date. If a vendor is already booked for a date, ask if they can find a substitution. When at all possible, try to still work with your existing vendors. Only events cancelled due to government mandates can be refunded. We are all in this together! Your vendor partners want to support and help you in this time of crisis.

Megan Estrada

Owner & Principal Event Planner

North Shore Weddings & Events

As we’re getting settled into the new year, here at NSWE we are getting more and more excited about the incredible weddings we have ahead of us for 2020. With all the new engagements, the new season, the new year, and the new decade, we’re on the edge of our seat to see all of these gorgeous weddings come to life. Looking ahead, there are already a few trends that are clearly taking over for 2020!

Photo by Riverbend Studio


More than ever, couples are embracing individuality in planning their big day (or big weekend!). At NSWE, we love learning about the couple’s identity and crafting their wedding around their personality, rather than using a cookie cutter formula. More and more brides are forgoing the bouquet toss in favor of making up their own tradition. Gone are the days when every bridesmaid had to be in the same dress in the shade of baby pink, as brides are embracing eclectic bridal party attire. Blue tux jackets are popping up as much as black ones! Whether you make the rules or break the rules, in 2020 it’s up to you.


While pampas grass had its moment in 2019, non-traditional flowers are making their way into 2020. Dried, bleached, painted or left natural, the non-traditional flower is something to explore this year. Couples are also trying out innovative floral arrangement styles- unique architectural vases dominate over the traditional crystal vase, and the big round balls of tight roses are nowhere to be found! Look for interesting and organic shapes with lots of texture.


We LOVE This trend! On top of how fun it is, it’s practical too; a “self-serve” or assisted refreshment station can help eliminate a bottleneck at the bar during your cocktail hour. For example, there’s a new company in Chicago that brings a small, vintage Prosecco truck to your reception venue that will have your guests talking all night. ( We have set up ice barrels of beer and craft beer dispensers. Event pour over cocktails at the bar are even making an appearance this year! Unique touches like these will impress your guests and create a fun and inviting atmosphere.


Lots of NSWE couples are embracing the non-traditional ceremonies for 2020. The traditional aisle is taking a backseat to ceremonies in the round for a more inclusive and dynamic experience for their guests. Contemporary music is hitting a high note for the bridal marches and exit songs. Overall, couples are choosing to create ceremonies that are more reflective of current cultures and inspired by mixing traditions to create their own.


While the all white classic wedding will never go out of style, this year couples are embracing color in a big way. From the invitation suites, flowers to the linens, we are having a blast brightening up our weddings this year. We love working with clients to incorporate color in a way that makes an impact but still remains timeless and elegant.

Whether you embrace the trends or forgo them completely, we can’t wait to work with you to design your wedding around your personal style and vision. We look forward to planning with you!

Alexandra Martin

Director of Marketing