What’s The Buzz?

Getting your guests to follow the rules!

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As strange as it may sound, rules are actually kind of a tricky thing. Of course, making rules is one thing; however, trying to follow them without being a damper is another whole story. You’re throwing the party of the century, and, understandably, want it to be the greatest event that your guests have ever attended, but you don’t want to make a giant announcement of the dos and don’ts of the venue and kill the entire vibe.  So, even though you’ve studied the rules inside and out and are following them to the T, how do you make your guests do the same? Well, luckily for you, we have already thought of four ways to (sneakily) get your guests to follow the rules, without becoming a dictator of the entire evening. Read More

Wedding Transportation

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Limos, trolleys, and party busses oh my! These days there are more options than just a stretch limo for transporting the bridal party from point A to point B. Now it’s a growing trend to provide transportation not just for the bridal party for pictures, but for the guests as well. This blog will talk about the pros and cons of providing transportation and some tips to keep in mind when booking your wheels for your big day.

Pros:

  1. If you have a lot of guests at one hotel, or have room blocks at a couple places, it helps guarantee guests getting to the ceremony and reception on time.
  2. If guests are from out-of-town or not as familiar with the area, it cuts down on people getting lost and driving around aimlessly.
  3. Providing transportation cuts down on the number of parking spaces required at a venue. (Shadowland has roughly 80 available spots so for larger parties, transportation around the area helps with the flow of traffic)
  4. There is less worry about guests over-indulging in drinks and then driving afterwards
  5. Depending on the type of transportation you go with, there could be some great photo opportunities with the vehicle
  6. Using it to tote you and your bridal party around helps keep everyone together and arriving at the same time, which will help stay on your wedding timeline for the day.

 

Cons (but really more like just things to think about while coordinating transportation):

  1. Even though there will be a designated driver, Shadowland bartenders will still adhere to MLCC guidelines and not serve overly intoxicated guests
  2. Transportation is an added line item in the budget for the couple to consider
  3. Guests who use the service may not be able to arrive or leave when they choose
  4. When does your contract time end with the service? Are they picking up/dropping off at certain hotels at certain times? Will they be doing a continuous loop between the venue and hotels until all guests have been accounted for? If the vehicle contract is over before your reception is over, you may run the risk of a lot of guests leaving before the party is over.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind:

  1. It’s recommended to start looking and booking about 6 or more months ahead of time; especially if you are getting married in a high volume wedding month, the earlier the better to book and reserve a vehicle.
  2. Like with all your other vendor contracts, read it over carefully to catch things like mileage requirements, damage charges, food and beverage policies, any service charges and such before locking in.
  3. Keep in mind packing up at the end of the night. You will have some gifts, you may have décor if friends and family are handling tearing the room down… in any event, you will have more to take out than you probably brought in at the beginning of the day. It’s good to have one or two larger vehicles on site to handle the bigger things at the end of the night.
  4. Make it known to guests a transportation service will be available and what times it will be running so they can plan to use it!

Providing wedding transportation is a nice service the couple can provide for the bridal party and guests. While it is an added investment in the day, it will most likely pay for itself when everyone arrives on time and gets a safe ride home at the end of the evening. Read More

Erica and Kyle 5.24.15

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Kyle Decker and Erica (Weidner) Decker wed Sunday May 24, 2015 at Dunes Pavilion on Silver Beach with reception at Shadowland Ballroom. Their story all started on a wintery December night in Angola, IN; where they happened to meet when they were out with mutual friends listening to live music. After talking and dancing a bit, they decided to stay in touch. As multiple days passed, talking, texting, and chatting on Facebook were frequent, but it was a little over a month before they were able to have our first date. The rest as they say is history. 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

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

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 Black

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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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

Expect the Unexpected

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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.

  • Hair pins
  • Hairspray
  • Lotion
  • Mini first aid kit (Pain reliever of choice), Epi Pen if needed, other medications you may need, band aids, antibiotic ointment)
  • Double Sided Tape/Garment Tape
  • Tic tacs/mouthwash/gum/breath mint of choice
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail care kit (Clear nail polish, nail polish matching your mani/pedi, nail file, nail polish remover, nail clippers)
  • Extra set of contacts and contact cleaner
  • Extra pantyhose
  • Tweezers
  • Tampons
  • Comb and/or brush
  • Q-tips
  • Extra make-up
  • Make-up remover
  • Needle and thread
  • Chapstick
  • Stain pen
  • Snacks (Granola bars, pretzels, chocolate, etc…)
  • Water
  • Lint Roller
  • Tissues
  • Super glue

This list is not all inclusive; some things may need to be added or taken away depending on the set up of your wedding day, but be prepared so a mini catastrophe doesn’t take away from the focus of your big day. Some couples also make up a small basket of some of these things and stick it in the bathrooms in case their guests need to freshen up a bit or has a mishap of their own. With a little forethought and planning nothing will slow you down as you marry the partner of your dreams! Read More

Shadowland Takes Vegas

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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!

What was the purpose of this conference and who was invited? Read More