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Wedding Inspiration

Bridal Shower Ideas

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So your best friend just got engaged, and appointed you as the maid of honor, congrats! This title comes with a lot of responsibility. Now you have two parties to plan, a bridal shower, and a bachelorette party. So let’s focus on the bridal shower. Coming up with different ideas is difficult, and you want to plan the perfect party that’s not your typical everyday bridal shower.garden party by Sidney Bensimon

Wine tasting can be a fun idea, and most of the guests will love it. You can either choose a winery to host it at, or have the winery come to you for a private tasting. Customizing the tastings ahead of time can be a good idea that way you can pair food with the different tastings. When it comes to decorating for the party all you need are some empty wine bottles and some flowers. All you have to do is keep it simple. read more

First Look?

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A growing trend in the industry is the couple having a “First Look” before walking down the aisle. For you traditionalists out there, you may be panicking at the thought of bringing bad luck to the already stressful day and be looking for the nearest salt shaker to throw over your left shoulder, so this route may not be for you. But for those wanting to be a little trendier, or may just be in a time crunch and need to move things along quicker, a first look may be for you.

Summer Jean Photography

Why all the buzz about bad luck? read more

Candles Do’s and Don’ts

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True PhotographyA lot of our couples have questions about the use of candles in the ballroom. Follow these simple do’s and don’ts when mapping out your décor for the big day:

Do:

Use real flame

It looks absolutely beautiful in the ballroom to dim the lights and rely on candle light to light the room later in the evening.

Contain them!

Having wax drip on linens, the floor, and walls is a big no-no. While we love candles, we love them being contained in some sort of vessel more.

Put them in the windows in the sunset room read more

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

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In today’s age of social media, proposals are being shared every day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram…the pressure is on to come up with unique and fun ways to pop the question. No longer limited to just the couple getting engaged, brides are even getting in on the action when choosing their bridal party. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing to inspire some festive proposals for the ladies closest in your life:

Bridesmaid Boxes

Trending now are these personalized bridesmaid’s boxes of goodies. A fun weekend DIY project, most of the supplies can be found at your local craft store and you can fill them with whatever seems most appropriate for your girls. Jewelry, nail polish, mini champagne (or the alcohol of choice) bottles, candy, duties of the bridesmaids (be nice…don’t be a bridezilla right off the bat 🙂 )…the possibilities are endless when it comes to filling these boxes. A nice thing to keep in mind if you are having a large bridal party who may not know each other very well, would be to include the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all in the bridal party so everyone can plan together and be on the same page. read more

Guest Books Galore

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There are few things that put a smile on my face faster than books. I can’t get enough of books and anything that has to do with them. Because of me Barnes and Noble will always be in business. When it comes to weddings, sometimes a traditional book is the way to go. Sometimes couples are looking for other ways to personalize the day  There are so many creative and personal touches that can come into play with the guest book area. Here are some of our favorite ideas that have come into Shadowland: read more

Recycling the Dress

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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

NICOLE BAKER PHOTOGRAPHYOkay, 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

Take Care of Your Man!

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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

Trick or Treat: Is a Halloween Wedding for You?

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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.

Incorporate Orange and BlackOrange and black Collage

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

Shaken, Stirred, The Choice is Yours!

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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

How To: Get Married in Berrien County

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Marriage license app

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