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8 tips to plan your perfect Illinois State wedding

Nichole and Michael Stratton

Illinois State alumni Nichole (Meisenheimer) and Michael Stratton met as students and later married. Read their story.

So you’ve found the one, fallen in love, and you’re ready to take the next step together. Congratulations, Redbird! If it’s time to gather inspiration for the wedding you’ve always dreamed of, look no further.

Kathleen (Rose) and Andrew Sampson shared their wedding with 50 Redbirds.

Kathleen (Rose) and Andrew Sampson shared their wedding with 50 Redbirds.

Whether your dreams include a grand, elaborate reception and ceremony, or a quietly sentimental, intimate affair, Illinois State would love to join in the celebration and help you and your Redbird sweetheart plan your special day.

As you begin planning, here are eight tips, in no particular order, on how to incorporate Illinois State into your wedding details, in both big and small ways.

Looking for more wedding inspiration? Visit our Pinterest board Weddings at ISU. Do you have photos of your #RedbirdWedding? Feel free to send them to us!

1. Say “I do” on campus

The venue is one of the biggest details in planning a wedding. Create the atmosphere you’re looking for by returning to Illinois State’s beautiful campus for the big day. The Bone Student Center, Ewing Cultural Center (in Bloomington), and the Hancock Stadium Club all offer locations to host your wedding. To reserve a date for your wedding day, contact Ewing Cultural Center at (309) 438-6333 or Bone scheduling office at (309) 438-2222 or visit BoneStudentCenter.IllinoisState.edu. Book Hancock Stadium Club by calling Leni Kuntz at (309) 438-0080.

2. Invite Reggie Redbird

What better way to complete your Redbird wedding than to invite the bird himself? Reggie loves weddings, and particularly enjoys flying out to the dance floor. If you’d like him to make an appearance, email Reggie@IllinoisState.edu.

3. Nail the campus proposal

Whether you’re going for something more intimate, like a proposal on Braden’s empty stage, or something flashy, like popping the question in front of thousands of cheering fans, a campus proposal is sure to impress.

Two ISU couples pose at the bench

Jennifer (Schone) and Ron Kuhlmann, both 1977 alums, married as undergraduates. At right are Rich Eckert and Ashley Kuhlmann, their daughter, posing for their June 2014 wedding photos.

4. Campus photoshoot

Since you’re tying the knot, this is the perfect opportunity to tie your and your sweetheart’s campus memories together through a campus photoshoot. Capture your special day for a lifetime with photos on the iconic “To Those Who Fell In Love at ISU” bench, under the Quad gazebo, in front of the campus building that felt like home, or in another special spot.

5. Big Red spells your name

Create a custom commemorative image for your new home together with the help of the Big Red Marching Machine! Big Red will spell your newly shared last name (or any name) across Hancock’s field, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the two of you. Contact Lydia Sheehan at (309) 438-2166 to reserve your name.

6. Ask Campus Dining to cater

Of course, a great wedding has great food. Campus Dining’s A Taste of Excellence Catering provides food service in University locations including the Bone Student Center, Alumni Center, Hancock Stadium Club, and Ewing Cultural Center. If you are interested in hosting an event in the Bone, call the scheduling office at (309) 438-2222. For events held on campus but outside of the Bone, contact Campus Dining Services Catering at (309) 438-2010 or Catering@IllinoisState.edu.

Redbird groom’s cake

A Redbird groom’s cake. (Pinterest)

7. Spread the red with accessories

Add a special touch of Illinois State by walking down the aisle in Redbird style. Complete your look with a pair of Redbird Socks or a piece of Redbird jewelry.

8. Add a Redbird cake and other finishing touches

There’s nothing quite like that oh, so good wedding cake. Complete yours with a Redbird cake topper or a custom groom’s cake. Add other finishing touches like an Illinois State wine glass for your sipping pleasure.

Contact STATEside’s editor at rmdenha@IllinoisState.edu.

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