Wedding dresses come in all shapes, sizes, styles. That pretty much goes without saying. No matter the price, color, fabric, or length, the thing that every wedding dress tends to have in common is that after wearing it for oh, 10 or so hours, once you take it off you almost never have any reason to put it back on. Can anything be done about this? Here are 4 ideas for you to maximize usage of the most beautiful dress you will ever wear.
Store it for next generation
Okay, so this is like the common go to thing to do with the dress. But, it still is a viable option and is the most popular way to go for a reason. However, instead of saving it for when your daughters for their wedding day, why not let them play dress up with it when they’re younger? I’m not saying it needs to become a staple in the dress up chest and end up smeared with PB&J and mac and cheese. But what if for one super special day that your kids are playing wedding dress up, which all kids inevitably do, why not pull the dress out and let the “bride” fashion her gown out of yours? Get the camera ready and poised to take as many pictures as you can…because someday when she is planning her wedding, whether she wears your dress again or not, those playtime dress up pictures will be pure gold. read more
Okay, so speaking completely stereotypically, there is this idea floating out in the world that girls start planning their wedding when they are about…oh…8 years old. It’s assumed and accepted the bride will do the bulk of the planning for the festivities of the wedding. But, it’s not just about HER (I’m so sorry to anyone who thinks that), but the only reason she gets to be planning a wedding is because she has a HIM. Ladies don’t forget about your man! In 2013 David’s Bridal did a survey that found that 83% of grooms are actively involved in the decision making process of planning the nuptials. Guys want to have their ideas heard; don’t forget, this is most likely the most important day of their lives so far too. But, whether or not you guy wants to be involved or is perfectly dandy taking a step back and letting you do your thing, here are 5 ideas you can do to make sure your groom feels super-extra special when he says, “I do.” read more
Have you considered having your wedding on Halloween? Does having Halloween nuptials mean you have to dress up? Well, unless you are looking to have a mid-week Halloween wedding, the next time this ghoulish holiday falls on a Saturday is 2020. So for those of you planning ahead, here are some tips for those brides who don’t necessarily want to dress up as anything other than a bride on your wedding day.
White linen or orange and black accents, black linen with orange accents, you could even do orange linen with black and white accents if you wanted to rent specialty linen…while orange and black are traditionally considered Halloween colors, they are both pretty standard fall colors too. And all combinations look stunning in the ballroom. read more
In the world of cocktails there is an endless variety of news liqueurs, mixers, and ideas that create new potions of deliciousness. It’s not just standard faire gin and tonics or margaritas on the rocks with salt anymore. Nowadays there are vodkas infused with flavors like bacon, grass, fruit loops, and so many more. The sky’s the limit for what recipes people are coming up with to tantalize the taste buds. In the wedding world, signature cocktails are quickly gaining popularity and a super easy and fun way for couples to add their own personal stamp on cocktail hour. Cheyenne and I love, love, love anything food and beverage related and getting creative with cocktail options. Here are some of our favorite signature cocktails we’ve seen so far…but keep the creative juices flowing! We are constantly looking for new ideas and inspirations! read more
Ever wonder what that building below the bluff with the living roof and circular structure is? It’s none other than The Silver Beach Center. The Center is home to three non-profit organizations: The Silver Beach Carousel, The Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone, and The Shadowland Ballroom. This family friendly building opened in 2010 and has allowed thousands of families from across the globe to make cherished memories. The Center is also home to Michigan’s largest Kaleidoscope that spins beautiful patterns that young and old alike love to watch. But what makes each of the non-profits unique? read more
In the midst of all your pinning, fittings, tastings, and general planning, don’t forget arguably the most important part of your day…making it legal! Having a big party to celebrate your new life as husband and wife doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if all the I’s aren’t dotted and T’s not crossed. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind while planning your St. Joseph wedding for all you non-residents out there.
- Wherever you apply for your marriage license, you must have your ceremony in that county…so if you are getting married in places like St. Joseph, Stevensville, Benton Harbor, Niles, New Buffalo, Bridgman, Berrien Springs, Coloma, Union Pier, Baroda, Three Oaks, or Buchanan apply in Berrien County either at the Administration Building in St. Joseph or the courthouse in Niles.
- Both you and spouse-to-be must be 18 years of age or older. If you are 16 or 17, then you have to have more paperwork signed by your parent or guardian to say they okay the marriage. There’s a lot more involved if you are under 18 so make sure to call the office before applying to make sure all your ducks are in a row.
- Good news! Now Michigan doesn’t require blood tests before getting married! Yippee! No needles for you! They do give you some nice pamphlets on staying healthy and what not. Also not required by the state anymore is premarital counseling…but don’t get too excited yet, you may have to go through some sort of counseling as a requirement for whoever is going to marry you.
- For the application you will need a valid ID (either driver’s license or state ID) for each of the parties applying and your social security numbers. You can apply in person or online, but if you apply online, both parties will need to be present to pick up the license and confirm all the documents are valid. Also, (and this is a biggie) make sure the address on your ID matches the address you put down on your application. If they don’t then you can’t get married! Just kidding…but if they don’t match then there could be delays in getting your license all squared away and who needs that added stress?
- After applying (which can take about 30 minutes to finish the whole process) you can pick up your shiny new license 3 business days after applying.
- Keep in mind, your marriage license is only valid 33 days from the day you apply, so don’t get it too early.
- For non-residents the fee to get the license is $30 ($20 for Michigan residents)
- Just because you have your license doesn’t mean things are all legal quite yet. Keep your license close on your wedding day. Your officiant will have to fill in a bunch of details and sign it and then you and your better half and your witnesses will have to sign it too. Typically the officiant would then take it back to the county clerk to get it processed, but make sure that is the case. Again, you don’t want to be working on your suntan on your fabulous honeymoon and be worrying about things like your marriage license not getting filed correctly. Because here’s the kicker…your marriage is only official after the license gets filed after your ceremony. So, don’t let that great dress and big party go to waste, make sure all your legal ducks are in a row and everyone knows their part in getting things legally on the up and up.
So, that’s a little crash course for getting married in St. Joseph…for more information don’t hesitate to look online at: read more
Your big day is finally here! After months of build up and planning it’s finally time to tie the knot. But oh no! That fabulous manicure you got yesterday just chipped…and it’s of course your left ring finger that will be featured in numerous pictures after the nuptials. Thankfully your BFF maid of honor thought ahead and packed an emergency kit just for a mishap like this. What else did she pack away? Keep this list handy so you can be prepared for anything that could go wrong from before walking down the aisle to boogying into the night. read more
Shadowland staff had an amazing opportunity last month to travel to Las Vegas for the Wedding Merchants Business Academy (WMBA). Executive Director Nicole Beltz and Event Coordinator Cheyenne Galbraith spent the week there attending classes and furiously taking notes to better improve our couples’ experience at Shadowland. After sitting down with them and reviewing the highlights of the conference here are some things we learned to advance our brand and be better equipped to give our couples the day of their dreams! read more
OMG! You are about one month away from your wedding day and the RSVP cut off is here! Now comes one of the biggest stresses couples can find themselves dealing with…assigning seats and creating escort cards. There are many components to this headache…matching up the right 8 people to sit together at a table, keeping track of meal choices, and just when you think you have it right, cousin so-and-so calls and says they got the day off work so can you please count them as a yes? This process is enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out. While Shadowland can’t magically make this process disappear, we do have some tips to keep in mind when creating these cards.*Note, most of these tips apply to those either doing assigned seating and/or a plated meal with guest choices. read more
Liz and Ken got married at Shadowland on Friday, June 19, 2015. The happy couple have quite the history together, meeting when they were in 8th grade, sharing milestones like driver’s ed, and then after losing touch for awhile, rekindled their friendship that grew to love as adults. These two are quite the lovebirds and couldn’t have had a more beautiful day.
Liz and Ken opted to have both their ceremony and reception at Shadowland. Something that was unique about this set up was the addition of the family Chuppah, a special canopy used in traditional Jewish ceremonies. One of the most treasured family heirlooms covered the Chuppah- a quilt with pictures of every couple that had been married under the Chuppah, and now Ken and Liz get to add themselves to the family history. Another tradition that made its way to the ceremony was when Ken and Liz signed the Ketubah. Only family and a few close friends were witnesses to this. The Ketubah is a piece of art with special writing in Hebrew and English, akin to a marriage contract. A very important detail in the ceremony itself was expressing the couples’ views on marriage equality. Liz’ Dad wrote a heartfelt poem about this matter and a friend of the bride, Rachel, recited it. Another fun thing that Liz and Ken decided to do was rent out The Discovery Zone Children’s Museum and brought in their own babysitters to corral the youngsters into a kid-friendly area while the parents could enjoy the ceremony. read more
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