Etiquette for Wedding Guests

We've got a whole bunch of fall weddings coming up, and this post is for those of you who are attending one of them! :) Have a great weekend!

***

Let's talk about something that's kind of boring, yet extremely important: etiquette! We get a lot of questions about invitation etiquette and bar etiquette, but there's another etiquette topic that needs to be addressed. If you're attending an upcoming wedding and you need to brush up on your wedding guest etiquette, this post is for you! I understand that wedding etiquette is kind of tricky, especially because every couple, venue and wedding is different. Whether the wedding you attend ends up being totally relaxed or really fancy, here are a few good rules of thumb to follow! 

Stephanie Parsley Photography, from Amber + Matt's wedding at The Barn. Notice that there are no cameras or phones being held up in this photo... Thumbs up to that! 

Stephanie Parsley Photography, from Amber + Matt's wedding at The Barn. Notice that there are no cameras or phones being held up in this photo... Thumbs up to that! 

Be respectful with your phone and/or camera. Unless the bride and groom are extremely laid-back, they probably don't want every single detail from their wedding posted on social media until their professional photographer posts them. Even if they don't specify that they're having an unplugged ceremony (which means that no cameras or phones are allowed during the ceremony or certain parts of the reception, like the first dance or cake cutting), you should stay out of the way if you're going to take photos. No one wants to see someone standing in the middle of the aisle taking photos during their reception, or a bunch of phones blocking the photographer's perfect shot during their first dance. Trust me. (Some couples create hashtags for their big day, which means that you're free to post photos on Facebook, Instagram or other social media and tag it with their hashtag. But it's always better to leave some things to the imagination! Don't post 500 photos from your friend or family member's big day... Leave that up to the photographer. ;)

Shingleur Photography, from Cassie + Kyle's wedding at The Barn. Kids having fun and behaving... this is what we like to see! ;)

Shingleur Photography, from Cassie + Kyle's wedding at The Barn. Kids having fun and behaving... this is what we like to see! ;)

Watch your kids! At The Barn, our team doesn't enforce this rule to be mean or uptight. I mean, have you seen this venue and our weddings?! The Barn and everything around it is beautiful, and every wedding and reception of ours is detailed and absolutely gorgeous. Please keep an eye on your kids... We want them to have a great time, too, but we also don't want a damper put on a couple's big day because something pretty got knocked over or destroyed! Sorry not sorry, y'all. 

Martin's Photography, from Monica + Luis's wedding at The Barn

Martin's Photography, from Monica + Luis's wedding at The Barn

Don't show up three hours early. This has seriously been a problem lately. Once again, we are not trying to be rude. But our team is still making every detail perfect three hours before a wedding begins, and the bride probably doesn't want you seeing her in her wedding dress before the ceremony! Our couples often schedule first looks for a couple of hours before the ceremony, and that's a very private time for them... Having an audience sort of ruins the moment! Not to mention, you're probably going to be bored, because our team is going to be too busy to make sure you're enjoying yourself! 

Melissa McCrotty Photography, from Bayley + Lucas's wedding at The Barn

Melissa McCrotty Photography, from Bayley + Lucas's wedding at The Barn

Please, please, please RSVP. Here's how most weddings work: you've got to get your final headcount to your venue and caterer at least a couple of weeks ahead of time to ensure that there are enough tables (complete with decor, of course), seating at the ceremony and reception, food and cocktails. Also, if you say you're coming, show up unless you absolutely can't! And if you say you're not coming, stick to that response unless you make sure the bride and groom are okay with it. Another thing: unless the bride and groom have specifically stated on your invitation that you can bring a plus one or your children, just don't! (If you're a bride or groom and you're not sure how to deal with guests who don't RSVP, don't worry, because I already wrote a post about that!) 

Danielle Davis Art/Photography, from Emily + Blake's wedding at The Barn

Danielle Davis Art/Photography, from Emily + Blake's wedding at The Barn

And just a few more common sense, self-explanatory rules that any good wedding guest should follow: Don't get obnoxiously drunk. Turn your phone on silent. Dress according to the invitationDon't talk to the bride and groom forever... they've got lots of other people to visit with! Never outshine the bride and groom. Stay out of the photographer's way... we know you want photos, but that's what the photographer is there for! Show up on time. Take your favor... the bride and groom have put time and effort into them. Don't wear white. Have a good time! 

Follow these rules, and you'll be the best wedding guest ever. :)

xoxo,
Kelsi

Fall at The Barn: 2011 Styled Shoot

Even though it's officially fall, the weather in Arkansas is at that awkward stage where it's chilly enough in the mornings for a sweater, but by noon, you're needing flip flops and a t-shirt! We can't WAIT for colorful, crunchy leaves, boot and flannel weather, and chilly nights out at The Barn! This styled shoot was The Barn's very first, and it's still one of our most popular! Every single rustic detail from this shoot was soooo pretty!

*** 

I don't know about in your neck of the woods, but in Arkansas, we are beginning to see the first signs of fall. The leaves are beginning to change, there is a crispness in the air (but then the next day, it's like 90 degrees... #ArkansasProblems), and every girl in front of me in the Starbucks line just ordered a pumpkin spice latte. 

Here are some photos from our Fall 2011 Photo Shoot, before The Barn had even been built. Things have changed so much since then, but one thing remains the same: fall at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch just can't be beat.

Photography: Melissa McCrotty Photography
Styling: The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch
Attire: Formal Affairs
Hair: Meagan Ford of Short Cuts Salon
Makeup: Susann Crowell of Skin Renew
Cake and desserts: TheCakePlace

barn1.jpg

Nothing says fall like a bride in plaid!

That puppy! Be still, my heart.

Pie is the perfect dessert or favor for fall weddings!

See what I mean?! Fall at The Barn is the absolute best. 

And there it is, y'all... the first ever photo shoot at The Barn! Come back here tomorrow to see another one of our 2012 weddings. Y'all won't want to miss this one!

xoxo,
Kelsi

I do... I don't!

So, uh, this is probably the most awkward post you'll ever read on The Barn Blog. It's a topic that kinda stinks, but it has to be addressed. What happens if I get cold feet before my wedding day? Trust us, it happens. Let me tell you a little story...

Recently, one of our grooms called off his engagement just eight days prior to the wedding. Eek! By that point, everything for a wedding has been ordered and paid for, so unfortunately, it's non-refundable. So the groom's family decided to make lemonade out of lemons and have a big ol' party, without the whole marriage part. It was awkward, yes... But you know what would have been even worse? That poor bride and groom marrying each other even though they were unhappy together, and then getting a divorce a few months or years down the road! Weddings are expensive, y'all... But getting a divorce is even more pricey! 

Our best advice for what to do if you get cold feet (most uncomfortable topic I've given advice about on this blog!):
*Think it through. Don't make any impulse decisions. If you truly, REALLLLYYYY don't want to marry the person you're engaged to, the right thing to do is call it off. It will be messy and painful. Be as kind as you can. And have the decency to let them know before you tell anyone else. 
*Call your venue and vendors! Nothing like your photographer showing up to find out your wedding has been cancelled. Yikes!
*If your wedding details are non-refundable, consider going ahead with an awkward-but-unforgettable party... One last hoorah before you go your separate ways. It'd be uncomfortable, but at least you didn't totally waste thousands of dollars! 
*Let your guests know that there won't be a wedding. Can you imagine the painful awkwardness when a guest shows up to your venue, all dressed up and ready for a romantic ceremony and reception, only to find out that it's been called off?! I'm cringing. Fill them in, pleeeease!
*For the love of all things good and holy, puh-lease don't wait until you're at the altar to decide you can't go through with it. That would be the most mortifying thing EVER, for you, the person you decide not to marry, your officiant, your guests, and everyone who hears the tragic, horrific story!!! (Because you know all your guests are gonna talk about it for years to come.)

In short, yes, it's embarrassing to get cold feet and cancel your wedding at the last minute. It can cost you a lot of money, too. But what's more awkward, embarrassing and expensive is getting a divorce. Calling off a wedding is humiliating and unpleasant, but divorce is much more traumatic!  (We're looking at you, Brangelina. Whyyyy?!)

We hope none of you ever feel the need to cancel your wedding, but if you do, there are ways to make this sucky situation as painless as possible!

Wedding Inspiration: Palm Springs Details

Palm Springs has been the It vacation destination lately... It seems like everyone I follow on Instagram has been there recently, and I can see why it's become so popular! Its hotels and restaurants are full of fun colors, quirky decor, desert vibes, and the most swoon-worthy mid-century modern details. Palm Springs = unique hotels (it's worth planning a trip to PS just to stay in a fun hotel!), great food, relaxation and loads of pool time. Basically, it is the perfect place to visit! 

Palm Springs is also a great place to draw inspiration from for weddings and parties. If you're into rich colors, desert chic (cacti galore!), and quirky, laid-back details, this may be a great theme for an upcoming party or even your wedding! Here are my very favorite Palm Springs-inspired details! I alllllmost feel like I'm poolside at the Saguaro. ;) 
Amorology. This wedding was everything! Sooo many FUN details, like these cactus table decorations and a Cards Against Humanity themed escort card display (omg!!!). Other highlights: fun, colorful, geometric details, and a "so hot we melt your popsicle" sign. Yessss!

Amorology. This wedding was everything! Sooo many FUN details, like these cactus table decorations and a Cards Against Humanity themed escort card display (omg!!!). Other highlights: fun, colorful, geometric details, and a "so hot we melt your popsicle" sign. Yessss!

11 Grooms Seeing Their Beautiful Brides for the First Time

One of the most memorable, sweetest moments of any wedding day: the bride and groom's first look! Whether they schedule a pre-ceremony first look or wait until the bride walks down the aisle to see each other, that moment is always SO full of emotion, anticipation and excitement. Every groom's reaction is a little different: some laugh with excitement, others gasp and are completely speechless, some can't keep their hands off their bride, some step back to admire their bride's dress, and a few just begin to weep! We NEVER get tired of seeing the photos of those precious, priceless moments! Here are a few of our favorite reactions from grooms as they see their beautiful bride for the first time on their wedding day! Grab a tissue for this one! ;)