Friday, May 3, 2019

Writing the Perfect Maid of Honor Speech

Being asked to be the Maid of Honor in Your Best Friends Wedding is a Pretty Big Deal.
 The maid of honor has many responsibilities, one of which includes writing and delivering a speech. The maid of honor speech usually occurs during the wedding reception, you may even be asked to deliver it at the rehearsal dinner as well. If you’re comfortable with public speaking or have a background in theatre, the maid of honor speech should be a piece of (wedding) cake! However, public speaking is a very common fear for many people, so, it’s understandable that you may have some anxiety regarding the delivery of your speech - especially if it’s in front of hundreds of people. Figuring out exactly how to write a maid of honor speech can also cause some anxiety and frustrations as it is an important moment for both you and the bride. Obviously, you want to make it special and give the most heartwarming maid of honor speech she’s ever heard.
How to start writing your MOH speech?
When you start writing your speech you will want to give yourself as much preparation time as possible  — at least three weeks to a month before the wedding, even longer if you can. This may seem like a lot of time to write a short maid of honor speech, but the longer you wait, the more stressful it will become. Start by brainstorming some key ideas; Think of times you have been inspired by your friendship with the bride -  or them as a couple. If you’re feeling extra sentimental dig up some old pictures and find nostalgic memories you think the bride may have forgotten about. Don’t underestimate the power of a good brainstorm sesh - unleash all of your feelings and anecdotes about your bestie that come to mind. Write this all down so that you’ll be able to see all of your feelings and memories all together at once. From here, you're more likely to discover some inspiration within your memories and reflection.
Speech Intro - Where to Begin?
First, start by introducing yourself and your relationship to the bride or couple. Next, thank whomever you feel is important enough to mention — parents, other family members, wedding party members, etc. After you have the formalities out of the way, talk about the bride - make it personal. One story you might consider starting with is how you met the bride. Tell a quick story about the two of you which really exemplifies your friendship, or even talk about the moment when you knew you were going to be friends forever. Get creative, be sentimental, and most importantly- don’t be afraid to be funny.
Talking Points
In addition to talking about your friendship with the bride, including how you first met her hubby in the maid of honor speech. This gives a nice transition from talking about you and the bride to talking about the bride and her husband. If you don't particularly know your besties new husband, you can talk about them as a couple. You know your bestie well enough to know when she realized that he was the ONE. You may have witnessed first hand the evolution of their budding love - even if from afar, you could hear the excitement in your besties voice when she spoke of him. What did she tell you after they said "I love you," for the first time? Talk about how she has grown and changed for the better because of this new love and happiness. It's even better if you’ve known both of them for a long time and can speak to the growth and evolution of their relationship together. Maybe you were there on the night when they had their first date, and you witnessed her giddy excitement beforehand.

Topics to Avoid
You can be nostalgic, sweet, or sentimental — but not drunk. Wait until after your maid of honor speech before you start drinking.  A wedding is a family event so keep your speech PG (if there are no children within earshot PG-13). A good rule of thumb: Don’t talk about anything the bride wouldn’t mind her grandparents hearing. Do NOT mention divorce — even jokingly. It will not be well received. Show your support for their relationship - no matter how you truly feel, keep a happy face on.
 Keep it Short and Sweet.  
Because we tend to speak faster when we’re nervous, be aware of your pace and speak clearly. Be sure to practice your speech in advance — whether it’s in front of a mirror, your dog, a family member, or a friend. If you're worried about the duration your speech, set a timer to make sure the speech is an appropriate length. A maid of honor speech should only be about 2-3 minutes long. That’s just long enough to tell a few short stories about the couple and toast to their happily ever after. Guests will probably want to start dancing (and drinking - since most ‘open-bars’ are closed during speeches) so there’s no need to drag it on.
Speak from the Heart 💗
 Whatever you write your speech, the most important thing is that your words come from the heart. Speak with feeling and emotion talk directly to the couple, rather than focusing on the many other faces in the crowd. Your bestie loves you for a reason, so just be yourself. If humor isn’t your thing, you don't have to be funny - it doesn’t have to be a hilarious maid of honor speech. Remember the reasons why you two are besties. whatever it is-  focus on those good qualities. Your bestie may not remember your exact words during your maid of honor speech, but she’ll remember how it made her feel - and that's really all that matters.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Murphy Featured in Inspired Catering & Events’ Vendor Spotlight!

The Murphy is honored to have been recognized as one of Inspired Catering & Events’ favorite event venues to work with and was featured in their “Vendor Spotlight”!

Inspired Catering & Events is a catering services and event planning company based out of Chicago. They provide personalized menus, venue placement, and event design as part of their full range of catering services. No matter what type of event you’re hosting - Whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, party, picnic, or fundraiser - Inspired Catering & Events provides the guidance and professional expertise needed to make your event distinctive and one-of-a-kind!

Over the years, The Murphy has partnered with Inspired Catering & Events to create some of the most spectacular events and occasions. Together, with our knack for event production and design, we help bring our clients ideas to life, helping them create incredible memories that will last a lifetime. 

Inspired Catering & Events recently featured us in their “vendor spotlight” blog. They said they absolutely love hosting weddings at The Murphy. They commented on the unique, historical features of our venue, as it allows them to pair perfectly matched equipment, linen, and food to a stunning room. They also said that The Murphy is the place to go if you’re looking for an elegant and architecturally stunning venue for your next event!

The blog also features an interview with The Murphy’s manager, Cathy Carey, where she was asked a few questions about our venue and the types of events that we host.

In the interview, Cathy discusses not only what The Murphy has to offer in terms of its history, aesthetic, size, and location, but also what makes The Murphy stand out from other event venues in Chicago:

“Being a historical building, The Murphy reminds me of many beautiful building[s] in Europe. You really can’t appreciate the venue until you walk inside. While the outside is stunning, the interior is like none other in Chicago.”

In addition to answering questions about The Murphy itself, Cathy was also asked what her favorite type of event to host is. Cathy answered:

“I enjoy weddings a great deal with young and even mature couples starting their life together. It is so nice to experience first hand. I also love fashion shows and social events when the room is really turned into a different look. The Murphy’s 10th Anniversary was spectacular.”

Cathy was also asked what tips she has for couples or clients who are looking to host an event at The Murphy. Cathy said that they should first and foremost express their vision fully to The Murphy team, and to let our vendors and professionals help them every step of the way.

Thanks again to Inspired Catering & Events for the thoughtful shout out!

To check out the full interview and learn more about what Inspired Catering & Events has to say about The Murphy, click here

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How to Get Married in Chicago

When you’re planning a wedding in Chicago, your wedding ceremony and reception seem full of infinite possibilities. You instantly start visualizing which backdrops you want for your wedding photos: “The Sears Tower or the Chicago skyline overlooking Lake Michigan?” Or deciding which caterers and DJs you want at your favorite Chicago wedding venue in the heart of the city. However, before you can delve into planning for your big day in the windy city, you need to understand and consider the legal requirements for getting married in Chicago, as it’ll help you plan your wedding effectively.

How to Legally Get Married in Chicago:

In Illinois, not just anyone can get married. In order to get married in Illinois, you must obtain a marriage license from the Cook County Clerk’s office, which has certain eligibility requirements. Before you run on down to the Clerk’s office, you need to make sure that both you and your partner are:
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Aren’t legally married to someone else
  • Aren’t blood-related
Couples must appear together at one of the Clerk’s six locations. If only one of you show up, you will not be able to apply for a marriage license. Both of you must also be prepared to:
  • Provide a valid photo ID with proof of name
  • Fill out the marriage license application
  • Pay the marriage fee of $60
* If either of you have been divorced, you must provide the date the divorce was finalized. If divorce happened within the last six months, you must provide a certified copy of the divorce decree.

Timeline and Restrictions

  • Illinois marriage licenses are issued the day of and effective the following day (24 hours) after they’re issued
  • They are only effective in Chicago and suburban Cook County
  • They are only valid for 60 days
* If you are going to have a wedding ceremony in Chicago, you must bring your marriage license. The officiant, or person who is legally able to perform your wedding ceremony, will have to fill out a few remaining details on your marriage license and sign it once the ceremony has ended. The officiant (whether it be a judge, religious leader, or friend ordained for the day) is then responsible for returning the marriage license to the Clerk’s office. It’ll be easier if you include an addressed and stamped envelope so the officiant doesn’t have to return it in person. Therefore, since marriage licenses in Illinois are only valid for 60 days, it’s important that you plan your wedding ceremony within this time frame.

Your wedding license is technically like an application to be married. Once you’ve filled it out, had the ceremony, got it signed, and had your officiant turn it back to the county, you then receive your marriage certificate, which proves that you are married- wa la! After the wedding ceremony, you will need to request a copy of your official marriage certificate, which can be completed online.

Understanding what you need to do in order to legally get married in Chicago will help you in planning the Chicago wedding of your dreams. If you’re on the hunt for a premier Chicago wedding venue, look no further than The Murphy. The Murphy is a top choice for weddings due to its charming architectural design and ideal location. We are located right in the heart of downtown Chicago along the Magnificent Mile. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to host a plethora of gorgeous weddings, and aim to turn your special day into a cherished memory that will last a lifetime.

Click here to view our gallery to see some behind-the-scenes photos of the weddings we’ve held at our venue, and contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about our venue, scheduling a tour, or booking a wedding!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why Host your Wedding in Chicago?

Chicago, AKA “The Windy City” is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason! Chicago is a bustling multicultural city that thrives on the diversity of its people and neighborhoods. With distinctive qualities like one-of-a-kind skyscrapers, infamous attractions, a dedicated sports fan base, and the best pizza around, Chicago rightfully earns its name as “the great American city”. 

There is a lot that Chicago has to offer, especially for wedding celebrations! Each year, thousands of brides and grooms celebrate their wedding day in Chicago. Aside from numerous skyscrapers and mouthwatering pizza, what makes Chicago the ideal location for hosting weddings? Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons to get married in Chicago!

What Makes Chicago Ideal for Weddings?

Gorgeous backdrops. One of the main reasons Chicago is a great city for weddings is because it is sprawling with gorgeous architecture, famous monuments, colorful districts, and picturesque surroundings, making the perfect backdrops for wedding photos. Known as having one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, many brides and grooms prefer the Chicago skyline overlooking Lake Michigan as their wedding backdrop of choice. You simply can’t beat Chicago’s breathtaking skyscrapers dazzled with bright, sparkling lights standing tall above the water. If you’re looking for more of a fun, eccentric backdrop for your wedding photos, Chicago’s art districts offer the perfect surroundings. Pose behind a giant mural or make your photos pop with a local artist’s sculpture. No matter what corner you turn, there are limitless options for wedding backdrops in Chicago.

Unique setting. Compared to other cities, Chicago offers a little bit of everything, for everyone. For those of you who wish to have a more classic, traditional wedding, Chicago’s older neighborhoods and quiet, serene parks can be just what you need to bring your vision to life. Old Town, one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods, is lined with victorian-era buildings, old brick alleyways, and tree-lined streets, and that’s only one of many! Chicago has a lot to offer people on the other end of the spectrum, as well. If you’re looking to switch things up and break the mold of traditional weddings, Chicago’s edgy, urban districts can provide a hip look and feel that will give your wedding a more urban flair. Neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Logan Square, Ukranian Village, and Pilsen are perfect examples.

Plenty to do. Chicago isn’t only one of the largest tourist destinations in the world because of its manifold and diverse neighborhoods, but also because there is so much to do, and so much to see! Museums, art exhibits, restaurants, bars, hotels, sports stadiums, shopping centers, music festivals, the list goes on and on. Places like Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, and Willis Tower are infamous to Chicago and are perfect destinations to visit on your wedding day. After all, what’s a wedding in Chicago without visiting The Bean!?

Easy transportation. Chicago’s public transportation system makes it so easy to get to and from places. Almost every business, shop, and neighborhood is accessible by train, taxi, subway, and even your feet! If you host a wedding in Chicago, you won’t have to worry about getting people to and from your celebration. 

At The Murphy, we have everything you need to give you the Chicago wedding of your dreams. Located in the heart of the city and just minutes from the Magnificent Mile, The Murphy is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Chicago. Hundreds of weddings have been held in our auditorium, each one bringing a different style and feel to the space. With gorgeous french-style architecture designed with precision, The Murphy can comfortably accommodate your guests, setting the stage for an unforgettable Chicago event.

If you’re planning a wedding in Chicago, look no further than The Murphy! Give us a call today!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

It’s Not Too Soon to Book Your 2019 Wedding Venue!

You finally announce to your friends and family you’re engaged! Not only do you get bombarded with well-wishes and congratulations, but you also get hit with the inevitable question- “Where are you going to have your wedding?!” While you may think you have all the time in the world to figure it out, booking a venue requires a lot more timing and planning than you may think.

According to the nation’s largest source for wedding news and inspiration, The Knot, people begin looking into wedding venues as early as one year to 9 months before the wedding date. So, although we just entered 2018, it’s not too soon to start looking at venues for your 2019 wedding!

Not sure where to even start? No worries! We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to booking a wedding venue.

How to Book a Wedding Venue

Start With the Basics

Before you begin your search, you’ll want to figure out a few basic things, including: your budget, your wedding date, and your wedding location. These pieces of information are among the most important and will help narrow your search, as you can rule-out the venues that aren’t available on your desired date or aren’t within your budget.

Be Aware of Popular Dates

It’s important to note that the more flexible you are with your dates, the easier it may be to find a venue. If you are planning to have your wedding around a major holiday, you’ll need to start making arrangements as soon as possible, as you’ll find yourself competing with company holiday parties and other events for those desired dates. Typically, the least popular time to get married is during the winter months, January-March. Whereas the most popular time to get married is during the summer months, June-September, which is often considered “wedding season”. So, if you have your heart set on having a romantic summer wedding, be sure to start looking early and book in advance!

Do Plenty of Research

There are many different ways to go about researching venues. Websites like WeddingWire allow you to search for spaces based on your location. People also rely on word of mouth or recommendations from friends and family. Before the research even begins, you may already have an idea of what type of wedding venue you’re looking for. For example, if you know you want an outdoor wedding, that already narrows down your search. However, you may fall in love with a venue you’ve never even heard of before during your research and decide on the spot you just have to get married there. Since you’ll come across many different venues with many different styles, accommodations, and perks, it’s important you narrow it down to your favorites. Browse their websites, read their reviews, and check them out on social media to get a better sense of their personality. Hint: Our social media sites are linked below, in case you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look!

Reach Out and Ask Questions

Once you have a few venues in mind, it’s time to reach out to the venue personally! Reaching out will allow you to ask all the additional questions you need to figure out if this is the perfect wedding venue for you. There are many questions to ask your event venue before you book. Is the space available for your desired date? What furniture/equipment comes with the venue? How much is the deposit? Do they have a liquor license? The list goes on! Don’t be afraid to dig deep. After all, it’s your big day!

If you already know you’d like to book The Murphy Auditorium for your Chicago wedding, now is the time! Our staff at The Murphy wants to ensure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Our historic Chicago wedding venue offers the perfect, romantic setting for your 2019 wedding. However, we book up fast, so don’t wait until last minute to get the ball rolling! We’re here to answer any questions and offer assistance to make the process easier.

To figure out if The Murphy is the perfect spot to host your 2019 wedding, check out our user’s guide and feel free to contact us directly with any and all questions! And feel free to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to see some of our recent weddings!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vendor Spotlight: Jewell Events Catering

Photo Courtesy of Daniela Cardili Photography

As one of Chicago’s top event venues, The Murphy is proud to work with several vendors around the area who help make the events we hold at The Murphy truly unforgettable! Our approved vendors help with everything from catering, to music, to decor and floral arrangements. The weddings and special events celebrated at our venue wouldn’t be made possible without their help, hard work, and dedication.

One of the vendors we consistently work side-by-side with is event management and catering company, Jewell Events Catering. Jewell Events Catering is one of our preferred vendors, as they have over 100 years of combined experience, bringing extensive knowledge and dedication to their work. They are the caterer of choice for many, and know everything there is to know about events! Their team of specialists work together on event planning and menu creation to provide impeccable cuisine and catering services for events big or small. They’ve also served several U.S. presidents, Queen Sophia of Sweden, and other notable guests - earning them their prestigious reputation.

Jewell Events Catering has provided their catering services for many events and weddings at The Murphy, including the Pop-Up Dinner that was hosted last summer in June. This one night only Pop-Up Dinner featured 4 of Jewell Events Catering’s top chefs who collaborated on a mouth-watering menu with contemporary twists on Chicago’s classic cuisine! We were also fortunate enough to collaborate with them on Red Haute Nights, our combined celebration of our 10th anniversary and the launch of Chicago Style Weddings Magazine. Both events were nights to remember, and they wouldn’t have been possible without Jewell Events Catering.

Jewell Events Catering is also the go-to caterer for many of the brides and grooms who celebrate their weddings with us, including couples Carolyn & Brian and Mike & Denise, who celebrated their summer weddings with us.

We wanted to take a moment to thank Jewell Events Catering for partnering with us to produce some of the most memorable events and special occasions for our clients. They’re an incredible company to work with, and their passion and commitment truly shines through each and every time we partner with them.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Carolyn and Brian's Summer Wedding at The Murphy!


Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to host hundreds of magical weddings and wedding receptions at The Murphy. We pride ourselves on establishing relationships with the couples who choose to celebrate one of the most important days of their lives with us, and often receive incredible feedback from brides who love to share and get the word out about their unforgettable time at our venue! We recently heard from a bride who was more than happy to share her Murphy wedding experience with us.

Carolyn and Brian’s summer wedding at The Murphy was a day to remember. Their photographer, Spoon and Design, recently wrote a blog about their wedding ceremony and reception - both held at The Murphy last summer! Spoon and Design (AKA Michelle Greenspoon) has known the couple for quite some time now, and was chosen by them to capture some amazing photos of their big day. Michelle captured everything from their heart-felt engagement session, to their beautiful wedding cake made by Elysia Root Cakes, to the moment they said “I Do”!

Carolyn and Brian’s wedding was carefully planned, with beautiful white and gold-themed decor. Our space was transformed to fit their vision, and of course our Tiffany doors made for a gorgeous backdrop for their wedding photos!

As always, weddings held at The Murphy wouldn’t be made possible without the help of our vendors. Companies we partnered with to make Carolyn and Brian’s wedding day one to remember included:

Browse the photos below for a behind-the-scenes look at Carolyn and Brian’s wedding!