Sunday Funday..Wedding Style

We are glad to see that so many couples are prepared to take advantage of the Bridal Show for all of their wedding needs, making sure to pre-register and save money at the door is just one of the smart moves they are making. If you pre-registered you will receive your personalized mailing labels with your contact information pre-printed so that you can use them to enter to win countless prizes. If you missed the pre-registration, you can still make your own labels ahead of time and print them from home.

As always we will give a few tips for getting the most from your bridal show experience:

1. Check Your List Be aware of your needs so that can make sure to collect information from exhibitors offering the services you have not yet booked.  For example, if you do not yet have a venue or a wedding coordinator you should be sure to make that a priority.  Take advantage of discounts and special offers, and pay special attention to the expiration (if any) of the offer.

2. Attire Your wedding will give you time to shine, but the bridal show isn't the best place for those new heels you bought.  Your feet will thank us, just be comfortable!  Bring a bag that you will be comfortable holding so that you can easily store flyers and business cards from the exhibitors.

3. Entourage Make a day of it, bring your bridal party as back up just in case you need someone to help you decide which catering sample rocked your world, or to help you cover more ground and listen for your name on the prize announcements overhead.

4. Enjoy This day is about you, and all of the possibilities out there to help shape your big day into the celebration you always dreamed of.  So go ahead, have another cupcake on us!

Three Tips To Successfully Creating Your Guest List

Posted by: Alisha Rouland, Event Coordinator Creating a guest list can be a daunting and confusing task! Should you invite all 500 of your facebook friends, your parent's college friend whom you've never met, or your favorite middle school teacher? Usually the size of the guest list is determined on your wedding budget. It is also helpful to consider the size of your wedding venue - a backyard wedding may not accommodate your 400 person guest list. Below are three tips to assist you in creating your wedding guest list.

1. Compile an initial guest list

Traditionally, half of the guest list goes to the bride's family, and half to the groom's family. Ask that each family create their own list of guests. Think of groups of friends or clubs of which you belong (example: church, co-workers, recreation leagues, etc.) Finally, go through your address books to make sure you did not forget anyone. Once you have your initial list compiled, the hard part begins...

2. Separate names into categories

With the help of your groom and family, begin to place people into three categories. Placing guests into categories, as terrible as it sounds, will be very helpful in getting your guest list count to an acceptable budget-friendly number. Let's say your wedding budget allows for 200 guests, and in your Group A and Group B you have 200 guests to invite, and 50 in your Group C. Typically 70-80% of guests invited attend, so as you receive a "No" RSVP from someone on the A or B list, you can send someone from your Group C an invitation.

1. Group A (Definite Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be those involved in the wedding (parents and bridal party for example) or immediate family members (grandparents and siblings.)

2. Group B (Probable Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be other family members and close friends.

3. Group C (Optional Invites): Examples of guests on this list might include friends you haven't seen in years, work acquaintances, distant relatives or children. While it is appreciated by single guests, if your guest list is overflowing, it is not necessary to invite all single guests to have a plus one.

3. Check your list for any duplications

Double check your list to eliminate any overlap that may have been caused during the formation of your guest list. It would be unfortunate to invite the same person twice and eliminate another potential guest.

Special Note: If you haven't already, consider sending RSVP Cards along with your invitations. Caterers and bakers require an accurate head count to make sure there is sufficient food for your guests. It would be a shame to run out of food before all guests are served or be costly if you have an overabundance of food. In addition, having an accurate list of guests helps when creating the seating arrangements. If this sounds overwhelming, remember that the Event Coordinators at The 530 Bride can help!

Happy Planning!

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 (

Game Time!

While there are 100's of Bridal Shower games out there, we have selected a few that should not only break the ice at the party but really entertain! What's In the Bag Before hand, have the host of the bridal shower make up a list of items that any women would have in her purse. Such as lip stick, cell phone, pens, pictures of family, etc. Assign each item a point value. The person with the most points wins the game. For larger parties, break everyone up into groups, and the group with the most points wins the game.

Hanging Out to Dry Each visitor is given a clothespin upon arrival to shower. They are told of two words they can not mention (i.e. "wedding", and the groom's name). If they do, they lose their clothespin(s) to the one who caught them mentioning the forbidden words. The one who has the most clothespins at the end of the day, wins the prize!

How Well Do You Know The Bride and Groom? Ask the bride and groom 20 or so facts about them before the shower.  Print the questions out on a sheet of paper and pass them out to the guests. The guests will have to read the questions and facts and determine if they are about the bride or the groom.  Example "they graduated highschool in 1995" "the bride or the groom has had 4 speeding tickets" "the bride or the groom is allergic to cats" etc. Make the facts funny but also facts that friends and family would know about them, chances are even the parents will get some of them wrong.  Who ever guesses the most right wins.

Bridal Bingo Make "Bingo Cards" with 25 empty spaces (5 across, 5 down).  Have the guests write in the gifts that they think the bride-to-be will receive. As she opens her presents, mark off any of the presents written down.  Or instead you can use household items that the guests think the bride will need.  As soon as someone has "5 in a row," shout "BINGO!

Scrambled Words Make a list of several words associated with weddings (i.e. marriage, husband, wife, bridesmaid, groom, bride, honeymoon) and then scramble them. Give the guests 2-3 minutes to try to figure them out. The guest that figures out the most correctly win the prize.

The Apron Game Buy an apron and have the bridal party buy lots of utensils to pin on the apron. Make them practical and a couple of things they would never think of buying until they need them. Pin all of the items on the apron. Have the bride wear the apron in front of all of the guests. Have her walk around the room for about 2 minutes. Then have the bride go into another room and have the guests try to list as many things as they can remember seeing pinned to the brides apron. The person with the most wins! Then tell the bride she gets to keep the apron!!

Make the Bouquet Take paper plates and simple things like tissue paper-toilet paper-construction paper - anything that you can "simply" decorate with and tell the guest to make her bouquet for her wedding by sticking everthing on the plate together (which is usually a mess). They only have one minute to complete their masterpieces. It's funny. Then, have the bouquets "judged" and the one that wins is thrown by the bride, and the one that catches it is the "next one to be married" and wins the prize. It is a lot of fun to see what people can create in one minute.

What is your favorite bridal shower game? Email us at