Northern California Wedding Planner | 2018 In Review ~ The 530 Bride

If you would have told us this time last year that 2018 would fly by as fast as it has, we couldn’t have believed it! Being a part of each of these incredible celebrations was the biggest blessing, and we feel honored that our clients trusted our team to take the work off of their plates in order to bring all of the details together.

We will definitely be posting some individual blog stories about each of these events as we continue to receive images, but we thought it would be fun to share a little from each wedding all in one post!


Each of these couples had their own love story, their own vision for their day and each wedding had it’s own magical moments that we feel so honored to have witnessed. We’re seriously hooked on weddings, so we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

It goes without saying that a successful wedding requires teamwork and communication, so we want to thank all of the wedding pro’s who work so hard for their clients. Stay tuned for the full posts and for a vendor spotlight on the incredible friends we work alongside throughout the wedding season.

Happy New Years & Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Romantic Orchard Reception ~ Amanda & Emilio

As the saying goes, “when you know, you just know” and it couldn’t be more true for newlyweds Amanda & Emilio. Their excitement and passion for starting their new chapter together was so inspiring and you could feel this connection right away. Getting to see the photos from their day has brought it all back, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks again to Wild Native Photo for sharing these images!


Thanks to all of the amazing vendors who were a part of Amanda and Emilio’s day and to all of their friends and family who contributed to each element of transforming this working orchard to a magical celebration!

Photography: Wild Native Photo // Florals: North Bloom // Planning and Bar Service: The 530 Bride // Beauty: Mecca Salon Chico // Ceremony: St. Johns Baptist Church, Chico // Reception Venue: Private Home // Music Phil (Family Friend) // Catering: Javier Solis (Family Friend) // Place Setting Rentals: WeDo Designs // Tables and Chairs: Mac’s Hardware Gridley Restroom Rentals: New Hock Farms

Northern California Wedding Planner | Honey Run Covered Bridge Film - Ronni & Juan

Oh hello there! We are just over here in love with this incredible wedding highlight of Ronni & Juan's wedding at the Honey Run Covered Bridge; captured by Necrania Dream Art Studio.

There is an undeniable peace that comes over you when you watch two people so in love, and when you realize you are smiling the whole 3 minutes and 21 seconds of the wedding film .. you know its good!  If you haven't seen a wedding at the covered bridge in Chico before, I think this film gives you peek at some of the magic charm.  Enjoy!

Ronni and Juan it was so special to be a part of your day, thank you so much for trusting our team to handle the details so that you could enjoy the experience! 

Venue: Honey Run Covered Bridge // Videographer: Necrania Dream Art Studio // Rentals & Draping: WeDo Designs // Florals: Carrie Thengvall Floral Design // DJ: Brandon Walters Hotel:  Hotel Diamond // Planning: The 530 Bride // Photography: Gina DeWitt // Make-up: Powder Room //Hair: 808 & Co. ~ Julia Lynn Fox

Northern California Wedding Planner | Ceremony Planning Tips

To have and to hold..

Photo by Daffodilhill Photography 

Photo by Daffodilhill Photography 

So much planning goes into this day, from the people you invite to the details on the tables.  It is one day where you get to celebrate this amazing commitment you are about to make to the love of your life!

We know that the ceremony doesn't get as much glamour as the reception details but we've gotta say the weddings that emphasized the ceremony details are the ones who have really stuck out in our minds over the years.  Personalized vows and words from the heart gives your guests a glimpse into all the ways the universe brought you two together.  

Cambria and Tyler had their ceremony at Bidwell Presbyterian church and their pastors shared testimony of how amazing these two people are, and what amazing things they will do together in life.  There were beautiful hymns and prayers, and sitting in the pews surrounded by their loved ones was pretty powerful. 

Photo by Morgan Chantelle Photography

Photo by Morgan Chantelle Photography

Rose and Harry had seven friends each read a blessing or special words for the couple and it showed how they valued their core group who have cheered them on over the years while their relationship grew.  Their ceremony was officiated by a close friend who gave an emotional testimony about how this couple had already been demonstrating the commitment and unconditional love that marriage requires.  {Photo by Essence Photography via Instagram}

This past weekend at Highland Ranch Resort, Kristin and Greg had us in tears as they read aloud their vows.  It was as if they had invited us all into their thoughts and into their hearts to share all of the moments they felt throughout their relationship that "this was the one."  Greg shared notes that he had kept in a journal ever since he met Kristin, words that he had never told Kristin like how he felt after their first date and when he knew he was going to ask her to marry him.  It was special and so meaningful to see how much thought they had put into the ceremony. {Photo by Daffodilhill Photography via Instagram}

If you're working on your ceremony details and feel like there is no way you could share personalized vows while balling like a baby at the altar, consider writing some short notes that the officiant could read aloud.   Or consider reading your vows/letters to each other during your first look or newlywed photos with just your photographer/ about keepsake moments!

Stuck on how to plan your ceremony processional or what to say? Download our ceremony processional planner for more resources or shoot us a message to schedule a complimentary consultation! 
~ Happy Planning! ~


Northern California Wedding Planner | Patrick Ranch Wedding - Cambria & Tyler

Cambria & Tyler's winter wedding had us feeling all the warm and fuzzies! Not only was it a beautiful wedding day, but it was always so fun to meet with Cambria and Tyler and we loved all of our planning sessions with them along the way.  

It was really special to see the depth that Cambria and Tyler have in their relationship and with their pastors. It makes perfect sense for their first look to take place at Bidwell Presbyterian Church beneath the beautiful stained glass windows among the church pews.  The ceremony was light and happy, focusing on the true dedication and unconditional love that marriage is built upon, Tyler and Cambria's pastors had watched them grow into young adults and were proud to see them through such a big milestone in their lives.

For the reception at Patrick Ranch Museum, the tables were lined with wine bottle table numbers, mixed glassware, loose eucalyptus and linen runners with sprigs of greenery.  It was just the right elements to create the simple elegance that Cambria had described since the first time we spoke about what she envisioned for wedding decor.

We were so excited to work with Morgan Chantelle Photography, she has an effortless eye for the perfect shot and such an easy going energy.  Thank you so much Morgan for sharing these images with us, hope everyone enjoys!

The 530 Bride_patrick-ranch-wedding

We could go on and on with our favorite moments from this day and from our planning journey with Tyler and Cambria, it means the world to us to be able to work with such sweet couples who allow us to share in such a special time in their lives!

A huge thank you to all of the event partners who contributed to their day:

Photographer:  Morgan Chantelle Photography // Ceremony: Bidwell Presbyterian Church // Reception: Patrick Ranch // Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero // Catering: Roots // Rentals: Chico Party Rentals // Band: Pat Hull // DJ: Norcal Productions // Bartending: Chico Drinks Bartending // Planning:  The 530 Bride // Transportation: WTC 

Making it Official | Marriage License FAQ's

The run down on applying for a marriage license .. tips and frequently asked questions

The marriage license is what seals the deal folks! All of this time spent thinking about your timeline, photos, flowers and the buffet.. don't forget to schedule a time to go to your county clerk's office together and sign on the dotted line! 

A snapshot of an application for a marriage license, courtesy of Butte County Clerk Recorders Office

A snapshot of an application for a marriage license, courtesy of Butte County Clerk Recorders Office

Here are some questions that we get often: 

  • We are getting married in another county, do we apply in the county we live in or the county we are getting married in?  You will apply for the license in the county you live in, and the ceremony can be performed anywhere in California. 
  • Can we apply online? No, both of you will need to be present
  • What forms of ID are required?
    Typically, you will just need a photo ID such as your drivers license, passport or military ID
  • Is there a waiting period? No waiting period; the license may be used upon issuance
  • What happens if we forget our license on our wedding day? Hopefully we can send a runner to go get it, but if it is truly not available for the ceremony than you can choose to proceed as a "commitment ceremony" and the officiant will not be able to state that you are husband and wife.  Then most likely you would need to make an appointment with your officiant to sign the license..Unfortunately that document cannot be backdated. It has to be signed on the date is presented. (But hey, that's why you hired a wedding coordinator and you will have us to nag you about bringing that license with you!)
  • What if we make a mistake when we are signing our license after the ceremony? Speaking from experience (our officiant signed on the wrong times) You will have to have an addendum issued by the clerks office.  This just means instead of a one page marriage license yours will be two pages.  

Have more questions? Make sure to visit your local county clerk recorder's website for specific instructions and feel free to leave us a comment or shoot an email to 

~ Happy Planning! ~


The 530 Bride Anniversaries | Celebrating our 2015 Couples

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest..well it may not always be easy but a successful and healthy marriage takes commitment and communication but it doesn't have to be "hard."  We get to experience all of the planning milestones with our couples from their engagement excitement to bigger decisions and the "busyness" of life while planning their wedding.  When their big day comes and they sign the marriage license, it's real! They are finally hitched. 

After the wedding as life returns to the new normal, there are often big changes like a new home, new jobs or just adjusting to married life.  We wanted to take a moment to celebrate more than just the beautiful dress, decor, and the glow of their magical day. We want to acknowledge the commitment they have made to each other by celebrating their first year of marriage! 

You are my today and all of my tomorrows.
— Leo Christopher
Cate & Chris | 4.2.15 - Photo by  Julia Lukash Photography  

Cate & Chris | 4.2.15 - Photo by Julia Lukash Photography 

Merrit & Eric | 5.2.15 - Photo:  Katelyn Owens Photography

Merrit & Eric | 5.2.15 - Photo: Katelyn Owens Photography

Teresa & Jason | 7.25.15 - Photo by  Wurzbach Fisher Photography

Teresa & Jason | 7.25.15 - Photo by Wurzbach Fisher Photography

Erin & Seth | 8.29.15 - Photo by  Artpix Portrait Studio , See more photos of their day  here

Erin & Seth | 8.29.15 - Photo by Artpix Portrait Studio, See more photos of their day here

8.29 - Erin & Seth's First Anniversary | The 530 Bride

Planning a wedding all on your own can be an overwhelming task, so when Erin reached out to us and we started talking about everything on her plate, we were more than happy to jump on board.  Erin and Seth had a long distance relationship, not a few hours apart but across seas.  Both of them had demanding jobs and weren't able to devote a lot of time to planning their wedding but that didn't mean they weren't hands on with the details.  Erin found meaning in the small things, no detail left to chance because her wedding and her marriage to Seth had incredible meaning.  

When we sought out venues, we looked for locations that had history and substance as well as industrial or masculine aspects to represent Seth as well.  When we found Miners Foundry, everything fell into place.  Grass Valley and Nevada City are both considered small towns but there were no shortage of creative artists and wedding professionals to choose from!  

Here we are a year later, and still just in awe of how magical their wedding day was.  Life settles back in and a new chapter unfolds in your first year of marriage.  In this case, Erin and Seth welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world this spring and have many more amazing chapters to come.  Here are some of our favorite shots from their wedding captured by Artpix Portrait Studio! 

Her incredible gown and cathedral veil, Miosa Bridal Sacramento 

Her incredible gown and cathedral veil, Miosa Bridal Sacramento 

Make-up by Danae Marie's Salon & Boutique

Make-up by Danae Marie's Salon & Boutique

Bridal Bouquet by Cambray Rose Florist 

Bridal Bouquet by Cambray Rose Florist 

Draping by TinRoof Farmhouse 

Draping by TinRoof Farmhouse 

Aisle Decor by ArtinBloom Floral Design 

Aisle Decor by ArtinBloom Floral Design 


Erin & Seth's wedding weekend was romantic and so special, it was truly just about them as it should be.  These two have had many miles between them for much of their relationship but as husband and wife they will never part.  

Congratulations on your first year of marriage! 

The 530 Bride

Venue: Miners Foundry / Catering: Antonio Ayasteran Catering / Photography: Artpix Portrait Studio / Ceremony Draping: TinRoof Farmhouse / Florists: Art in Bloom of Grass Valley and Cambray Rose Florist, Chico CA / Hair and Make-up: Danae Marie's Salon and Boutique / Bridal Gown: Miosa Bridal Sacramento / Rentals Celebrations Party Rentals, Roseville 

6.25.16 - Ashley & Jarrett | Rustic Country Wedding Colusa CA

There was the most relaxed vibe on Ashley & Jarrett's wedding day, like everything had fallen into place just as it should.  These high school sweethearts were ready to make it official!  

We started planning Ashley & Jarrett's wedding and instantly fell in love with their love! A classic high school sweetheart story always tugs at our heart strings but it was the way that Ashley seemed to be always be smiling when she talked about Jarrett that sealed the deal.  We had never planned a wedding on a pig farm before, but Ashley had every base covered like a pro and she made our job easy by choosing amazing vendors to help every detail come together.  We couldn't be happier to have been a part of their wedding day, and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

Thank you to Bill Payne Photography for sending us some of the highlights of Ashley & Jarrett's wedding day and we are excited to finally share them on our blog! 

Ashley & Jarrett Wedding Day_Bill Payne Photography
Bridal Party_Bill Payne Photography
Groomsmen_Bill Payne Photography
ceremony_Bill Payne Photography
Mr. and Mrs. Ottenwalter_Bill Payne Photography
Bride & Groom _ Bill Payne Photography

Can we talk about this bouquet for a minute? The Country Florist brought Ashley's vision to reality and we were in love with all of her florals. Just breathtaking!


Yes, it was a large wedding party and yes it was so worth it! These folks had a blast and helped make Ashley & Jarrett's wedding day so special!


Ashley & Jarrett's wedding monogram was used throughout her wedding, so it was only fitting to have their monogram be the staple of the evening and up in lights on the giant hay bale wall! The Wedding DJ was amazing with all of the lighting used, it transformed the ranch into a magical place! The moral of the story, is that a couple's love is what make's the wedding oh and don't underestimate a pig farm! 

Venue: Private Family Ranch, Colusa | Photographer: Bill Payne Photography | Videography: Eventide Visuals | Florals: The Country Florist | Catering: Special Times Catering | Cake: Cinful Desserts | DJ: The Wedding DJ | Rentals: Party Dog Rentals | Draping: WeDo Designs | Photo booth: New Vision Media 

~ Happy Planning ~ 

Northern California wedding planner | the palms Pavilion ~ Melissa & G

Friends forever and good times for life! 
beck-wedding dress

Melissa & Gregorio (affectionately called "G") have a chemistry and a coolness about them that only two people who are completely made for each other could have.  Their friends and family are a tight knit group who really keep the party going just about anywhere they go.  We knew this wedding would be fun, laid back and an event her guests would definitely enjoy.

We loved coordinating Melissa & G's wedding and glad that we didn't miss this party. 

Thanks to Justin Buettner Photography for sending us the highlights! 

lovely-bride-beck wedding
handsome-groom-beck wedding
pink roses bouquet-the530bride

Venue: The Palms Pavilion // Rentals: WeDo Designs // Florist: Cambray Rose Florist // Caterer: Norcal Catering // Photographer: Justin Buettner Photography // Cake: Lovely Layers // DJ: The Wedding DJ // Coordination: The 530 Bride 

2.20.16 Cassie + Jaime | Lakeside Pavilion Wedding

Cassie & Jaime's day was filled with so much love and appreciation for their families support, it was beautiful to see how influential their parents were in their lives.  These two chose details that were classy and meaningful to them such as the hanging banners and Mexican wedding cookies, and they weren't afraid to have fun!  

Be Authentic Photography captured so many beautiful moments from their day, here are some of the highlights. Be sure to check out their full blog post here! 

It was an honor being a part of Cassie & Jaime's wedding day, and a big thanks to all of the vendors who made it so special for them!

Venue: Lakeside Pavilion // Photographer: Be Authentic Photography // Caterer: Special Times Catering // Florist: Cambray Rose // Rentals: Party Dogs // Specialty Linens: WeDo Designs // Coordination: The 530 Bride 

Connect with The 530 Bride on Instagram, here's our latest post: 

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TBT | Bella Swan Got Hitched

The most talked about vampire wedding ever!

Okay so this might be the first vampire wedding we have ever talked about, but on this throwback thursday we are looking back at the Twilight Saga wedding and how it has influenced the wedding world!  From the vintage style ring, to that lace gown team Jacob fans cried as these two walked down the aisle!

The Ring 


The Dress

Since the rumor of the wedding in the Breaking Dawn movie surfaced, the internet went crazy over what the dress would look like.  It is safe to say this dressed sparked the revival of the lace, vintage movement and that is fine with us!  There have been countless replicas of the gown, not to mention extensive media coverage and press covering Bella Swan's look.  

It took designer Carolina Herrera, and four seamstresses, over six months to make and was custom-made specifically for Stewart to wear in her on-screen wedding to her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen. Made using crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, the dress features 152 buttons on the back and 17 on each sleeve.
— Vogue

The Details

Image Courtesy of  BridalGuide

Image Courtesy of BridalGuide


In Bridal Guide's interview with Tammy Polatsek, the creative genius behind this fantastic wedding she says that the wedding scene took 4 weeks to create and would have cost around $300,000.  Where did Polatsek get her inspiration for the scene? She says “Since the wedding took place in a forest, we wanted to mimic the life that a forest can give you,” she said. “We drew inspiration from the surrounding trees, stones, ferns, and everything else that grows in a forest.” 

The cascading wisteria was hung by a group of 20 people, and due to the weather some of the flowers had to be replaced hourly! Yikes! Polatsek said, "The centerpieces used delphiniums, viburnums, white lilacs, ranunculus, and sweet pea, plus stones, ferns, and moss. “We didn’t want the typical rose/hydrangea combination." - 

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

We'll never tell, but either team you were on it just goes to show you how even a fictional wedding can shape the fashions & trends all over the world!

 ~ Happy Planning ~ 

Ceremony Alter Design Inspirations

Ceremony altars come in many different shapes and sizes, textures and styles. When you think of walking down the aisle, what type of altar do you envision? Here are a few altar inspirations to get your creative juices flowing!

Desert Wedding
Desert Wedding

The 530 Bride's wedding planning services can help you create the wedding of your dreams by helping you craft the details and the atmosphere that will not only set the tone for your event but make a lasting memory for you and your guests.   Learn more on our services page. 

Wedding Planning Tip: Transportation

Post by: Alisha Rouland, Event Coordinator Depending on the logistics of your wedding, your ceremony and reception sites may differ. Many couples choose to offer a shuttle type of transportation from point A to point B (and sometimes even to point C.) Providing transportation for your guests will most likely be a welcomed service. However, to prevent delays in your wedding timeline, consider the following:

  • The number of guests that can safely ride in one limousine or shuttle.
    • For example, if one trip can accommodate 15 guests, and your guest list has 100 persons, you are looking at a minimum of 7 trips. This may or may not include a separate shuttle for the groom, groomsmen, the bride, her bridesmaids, and mothers.
  • The estimated time for round trip transportation, from location A to location B.
    • For example, for  a 4:30 p.m. ceremony, with a 15-minute round trip shuttle carrying 15 guests at a time from your 100 person guest list, you should begin shuttling guests a minimum of 1 hour and 15 minutes before the start of your ceremony.
  • The scheduling of other events, such as concerts, fairs, or graduation. Check local event calendars to see if  there are any large events that may affect your pre-determined travel time. Also consider day of the week and the time of day - weekday weddings during rush hour may pose a delay to your start time. Arming yourself with this knowledge will help you choose the best route, with the least amount of outside interference.
  • The age and mobility of your guests. For example, parents with young children may need to use an extra seat for a stroller or other baby items, while some elderly guests may require extra space for special need items (walkers, wheel chairs, etc.)
  • Give yourself some leeway in your travel time. Trying to coral all of your guests may take longer than you think, giving yourself a few extra minutes can help ease your mind, and ensure proper flow of your wedding day timeline.
  • Once you have figured out the transportation to your site, consider returning your guests. You may want to offer an early shuttle (for those with young children for example), and then a later shuttle to accommodate those who wish to stay until the end.

Happy Planning!

Wedding films and happy tears

By Christina Rafael

Much like my love for all things Nicholas Sparks and Adele, I love a good cry.

Though my fiance makes fun of my ability to shed tears at the start of a sad song (or really good Google commercial), wedding films are the icing on the cake to my cry sessions.

Something about the combination of music to the happiness of vows, change of family dynamics and new beginnings always guarantees a lunge for the tissue box.

So grab a Kleenex and take a look at my top 3 favorite wedding films:

Wiley & Mallory -

I mean, come on…this man's vows win every award! The way he looks at her during her vow reading, the soft "baby" as she finishes and that crying break at 1:27 had me in tears immediately.

I think what I like most about this film is that the love these two have for one another is apparent in every action captured. Their story wasn't convenient and lacked storybook effortlessness but the couple worked hard to stay together, despite all odds, and had their happy ending. His vows were the structure this film needs to pull the best kinds of heart strings.

Jake & Jordan -

I think what really gets me in this film is the family dynamics. From the family members featured on her bouquet to the dad/ bride moment, it's all Hallmark gold. I also loved the idea of writing a letter to your bride/ groom to be read before you see each other and might steal it. ;)

As Jordan reads the lines referencing "the mother to my children" and "the grandmother to my grandchildren" I can't help but wipe away some happy tears. What a sweet idea, great groom and amazing words to capture.

Brandon & Stacey -

I'm a bit partial when it comes to this one because it hits so close to home. From the smile she has when she talks about her groom to cry-heavy vows she uses, it's a mirror image of myself. It also doesn't help that this couple's film was shot by a videographer team from Chico (who just got married, congrats Stephen & Chelsey!).

I lose my cool when she tells her groom that when he told her she was beautiful, she finally believed it. It's such an honest sentiment to spill in a vow and really lets the viewer in on their relationship dynamic. The groom's vows are also highlighted when he reveals the best decision he's made: her.

Book a Videographer If you can swing it budget wise, having a wedding film is definitely something to consider for any couple. In addition to being unique each time, a videographer can capture fast-paced wedding day details and emotions in first-person way, so you (and family members who could or could not attend) can revisit your special day as if it was happening again.

Though was highlighted, there are many more local options to explore.

Research online or book us for an hourly consultation to find the best videographer for your special day!


Tips To Keep Young Children Occupied At A Wedding

Children attending a wedding can be a touchy subject. You may be planning a formal event, your venue may or may not allow kids, or your budget may not allow room to pay for a child's attendance. Or perhaps you just prefer that your weddings be kid free - an evening where adult family and friends can come together and celebrate - which I totally respect and understand. There are no words to describe how much I love my daughter, but I would much prefer to attend a wedding sans baby - giving myself and hot date (my husband of course!) a night free of graham cracker smears and adult conversation - and dancing! Some other attendees may feel differently: cousin Jane R.S.V.P'd five people (two adults, and three kids), when clearly the invitation was addressed only to Mr. and Mrs. John & Jane Doe; or your friend Stacy's babysitter cancelled last minute; or perhaps you invited the entire Smith Family intentionally (2 parents and 4 kids!) There are many reasons children attend weddings - hopefully, it is because you requested their presence, but circumstances arise that may be our of your control. Fortunately, you have 530 Bride Event Coordinators to help you navigate the child attendance dilemma.

Below are some ideas to help  you control the uncontrollable, and maintain your desired atmosphere by providing some entertainment to keep your little guests occupied and well-behaved.

1. Designate a separate kid-friendly space!

Look to see if your venue has a separate room or outdoor space that would be available to act as a 'childcare' setting. Hire a babysitter(s) and pay them an hourly wage. Make sure you have an appropriate babysitter to child ratio, and sitters who are CPR trained. Parents will want to make sure that their child is sufficiently cared for. For kids who are relatively young, make sure your space is child-proofed. For example, cover electrical outlets, make sure stairs are blocked off with a gate, and breakable items are stored out of reach. Bring in books, movies, coloring books, or other craft items to keep children occupied.

2. Offer a kid-friendly menu and dining table!

Designate a "kids table" where kids can eat unbreakable dinner wear (paper plates and plastic cups for example.) If you feel up to it, provide a more kid friendly main dish (chicken strips, hamburgers, carrot sticks, 100% fruit juice, cheese sticks, etc.) You may opt to avoid foods like spaghetti that may end up staining a young boy's clean white shirt. Cover the kids table with a paper 'tablecloth' and allow kids to draw silly versions of the bride and groom.

3. Provide alternate activities!

  • Provide kid-friendly (quiet) activities. For example: coloring books, crayons, quiet toys (foam blocks, bubbles (kids love bubbles!), balloons), puppet show, hop scotch or other crafts. Avoid providing kids with balls, bats, swords, or other fun toys turned weapons. A fun game of wiffle ball or tag would be fine if there was a space away from your reception area.
  • If it fits within your theme (and budget), you could hire outside entertainment (like a magic show!)
  • Show a "drive-in" movie. Lay some blankets on the ground, pop some popcorn, hang a sheet, and feature a popular Disney movie.
  • Give kids some glow sticks, and let them have their own dance party.
  • Get a polaroid camera and some photo booth props (mustaches, boas, hats, sunglasses, dry erase board with markers, etc.) and allow the kids to create and enjoy their own photo booth.

4. Include them!

Depending on their age, you can always include them by give them jobs, such as manning the guest book table, helping guests find their seats, or passing out wedding programs.

5. Don't be afraid to designate a person to monitor out-of-control behavior!

However you decide to provide entertainment to children - or not provide alternative activities - ideally, a parent or guardian should be responsible for their children's behavior. It is your big day, which entitles you to whatever type of ceremony and reception atmosphere you and your groom desire. However, sometimes our hopes do not turned out as planned - in extreme circumstances, be prepared to have an individual that can nip chaotic behavior before it ruins the atmosphere and vibe of your wedding.

We'd love to hear our 530 Brides thoughts and ideas on innovative ways to include children in your wedding!

Posted by 530 Bride Event Coordinator, Alisha Rouland (

Breaking with Tradition: Writing your Ceremony from Scratch

Over the last century, cultural loyalty to tradition "for the sake of tradition" has gone to the wayside. Weddings in particular have gone from mountains of "unquestionable" etiquette and protocol, to now using tradition as more of a guideline while personalizing anything and everything. One of the most common paths to personalizing your wedding is the vows, or in some cases, the entire ceremony. If you decide to do the latter, you'll find that building a ceremony from scratch is a daunting task. Personally, I begun to question why I was even trying to do it. But if you are one of those brave and creative souls that has your heart set on a ceremony that is unlike any other, here are a few tips.

1. Check with your local government to determine what your ceremony absolutely must include in order for it to be legal. For the most part, all you need is "an oral expression of consent to marry", and the signatures of your officiant witnesses, and of course yourselves, on the license to back up that this indeed did occur.

2. Determine a style that will match your relationship. If you are a rather romantic couple, use your favorite poems, or if you are a different type of serious, say lovers of logic, incorporate quotes about love from scientists or philosophers. If you are a goofy pair, be goofs! It's a celebration of *your* relationship, and if too much seriousness won't reflect you properly, throw the whole notion out.

3. If you aren't a born writer, craft a ceremony built from famous writings. A few places to look for inspiration include books, movies, songs, poetry, and even legal writings. You might be surprised to find how many people incorporate the refreshing simplicity of love in children's books like Dr. Suess and The Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.

4. If you have no idea what direction to begin in formatting your ceremony, it's not a betrayal of your creativity to use the skeleton  of your average ceremony. Here's a sample outline:

Welcome of Guests (This is where someone, usually your officiant, lets everyone know you're about to begin, and to please be seated, turn off your phones, etc)

 Processional (This is the part where you and your gang all make your way down the aisle)

Gathering Words (This part is rare, and is used to thank parents or specific loved one who contributed greatly to helping pull the wedding together. You can choose to do this during your toast instead.)

Declaration of Intention (This is the real beginning of the ceremony, the traditional, "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today..."; the officiant talks about you both and your relationship, perhaps your story, how long you've been together, and what they personally have witnessed.)

Definition of Marriage (This part describes the "seriousness of the actions you are about to take", including the personal and cultural  importance of marriage. A popular choice for couples is to quote Goodridge Vs. Department of Health)

Vows (This is where you make promises to one another, list your reasons for deciding to marry, or just talk about your love!)

Ring Exchange (It can be as simple as giving each other the rings, or poetizing the moment with something like Richard III Act 1 Scene 2)

Pronouncement (This is the part of "You are now married; Kiss please!")

Recessional (Cue music as you and your party head back down the aisle under a shower of birdseed, petals, bubbles, or ribbon wands)

Readings usually go after the Definition of Marriage, and before the Pronouncement, so there's a lot of freedom there. If you want to add in a unity ceremony, that usually comes just before or after the vows.

No matter what you decide to do with your ceremony wording, just remember, it's *your* wedding, and it should feel like it!

Happy Planning!

Posted by Kendall Arelleis, Event Coordinator with The 530 Bride