Why You Should Consider An Unplugged Wedding

A few years ago, this Facebook post about this poor groom who had to lean over to see his bride walking down the aisle, because of several guests standing in the aisle taking pictures with their phones made its rounds. I know, right?! OMG! There are few moments in life that are as sacred and precious as the moment you walk down the aisle to marry your best friend. And when that moment is an any way tainted or obstructed, it's totally acceptable and understandable to be upset about it! That's where unplugged weddings come in. Many couples (many of ours included!) have adopted this trend in recent years, and we’re all about it. If you're unfamiliar with an unplugged wedding, it means the bride and groom ask their guests to leave all phones and cameras put away through the ceremony and/or certain parts of the reception (first dance, cake cutting, etc.), or through the entire reception. Why should you consider an unplugged ceremony, and how can you politely ask your guests to keep their darn phones and cameras out of sight?

No one wants to get their wedding photos back and see swarms of guests standing in the aisle, with their phones or cameras up taking pictures of the ceremony. One of my favorite wedding photos would have been one that was taken during our wedding ceremony, from behind the ceremony site. In this photo, you can see us standing at the altar, our lovely guests, and our beautiful decor. Buuuut, one of our sweet guests (whose name I won't call out!) was standing in the aisle. She left her seat to walk up to the front of the aisle to take a picture of us. If only I had thought to politely ask our guests to leave their devices in their pockets or purses!

Couples want to see your beautiful face in their photos, not your phone or camera held in front of your face! Keep 'em down, pretty please.

When you're standing at the edge of the dance floor to take a photo of the bride and groom during their first dance, you may be in the way of the photographer. The couple has paid their photographer a lot of money to perfectly capture every big moment of their wedding. If you're standing where the photographer needs to be standing to get the shot, the perfect shot isn't going to happen. This also goes for every other big moment of the wedding!

And a really obvious reason: the bride and groom want to be able to see each other and truly enjoy the magical moment when the bride walks down the aisle to marry her man! 

  Tryston Hines Photography , from  Breanna + Bryan 's wedding at The Barn

Tryston Hines Photography, from Breanna + Bryan's wedding at The Barn

The bride and groom may not want any photos of their wedding on social media until their photographer posts a sneak peek from their wedding, or until they are able to upload one. If you take photos and post them without permission, you may be sort of stealing their spotlight!

How can you ask your guests to put their devices up in a polite way? Have a sign on the guestbook table that says something like, "We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off all cell phones and cameras." Have your officiant make an announcement. Send your flower girl or ring bearer down the aisle with a funny sign that says, "Please put away all phones and cameras. The bride means it." Your guests will (most likely, hopefully) be more than happy to oblige!

Ring Bearer Fashion

Last week, we shared some precious flower girls from weddings at The Barn and some of the most popular styles of flower girl dresses and accessories that we've seen over and over. Today let's talk about ring bearer fashion! As a boy mom, ring bearers totally melt my heart. Little boys may not be quite as into the whole wedding scene as little girls are, but my goodness, are they cute... and they're also often the life of the party -  you never know what those little stinkers may do while walking down the aisle, and they always have the best moves on the dance floor! There aren't many things more adorable than a little boy wearing a suit or a cute, vintage outfit complete with suspenders, carrying a sweet (or sometimes cheeky) sign down the aisle. SO precious, y'all. The three styles of ring bearer outfits we see the most are: traditional (a suit and tie or a tuxedo); vintage (slacks, a shirt, and suspenders are a popular vintage-inspired look); and country (jeans, boots and a dress shirt, for example). Just like flower girls, ring bearers also look super sweet when they're carrying some type of accessory during their walk down the aisle... a traditional ring pillow or ring box, a cute sign, or a pup on a leash! Here are some of the most heart-melting little ring bearers we've ever seen! Future ladies men right here, y'all. 

Classic

  Salt & Sky Studios , from Nikki + Scott's wedding

Salt & Sky Studios, from Nikki + Scott's wedding

Vintage

Country

  Southern Belle Snapshots , from  Erin + Scott 's wedding. This sweet boy just wanted to be close to his mama. And you can't see in this photo, but the badge on his shirt says "Ring Security." How cute!

Southern Belle Snapshots, from Erin + Scott's wedding. This sweet boy just wanted to be close to his mama. And you can't see in this photo, but the badge on his shirt says "Ring Security." How cute!

Ring Bearer Signs + Accessories

 J. Millwood Photography, from  Kaleena + Spencer 's wedding

J. Millwood Photography, from Kaleena + Spencer's wedding

10 Reasons to Elope at The Barn

Our spring season has been full of elopements, and I can’t wait to share them all with you! One of the most popular topics readers of The Barn Blog ask me about is our elopement collection. I think a lot of our couples and readers are torn on whether or not eloping is a good idea, and even if they truly want to elope, they have a "real" wedding and reception instead. Eloping is definitely not for everyone, but there are a few reasons you may want to consider eloping! Many people think elopements are only for pregnant brides or couples that have been in previous marriages. That is so not the case, y'all! Elopements are romantic, intimate, and at The Barn, they are just as stunning and amazing as other weddings! Here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider eloping. 

  Sterling Imageworks , from  Morgan + Wager 's completely ridiculously amazing elopement. They brought their pup, Mabel, along to watch them say I do... we loved it!

Sterling Imageworks, from Morgan + Wager's completely ridiculously amazing elopement. They brought their pup, Mabel, along to watch them say I do... we loved it!

1. You want a beautiful wedding, but without having to plan anything yourself. With elopements, we ask our couples to give us an overall color palette and theme that they love, and then we get creative and come up with a unique, beautiful masterpiece! Elopements are even less hands-on for our couples than our weddings... Which is pretty crazy, because even our most over-the-top weddings require very little effort from the bride and groom! If you want to do literally NO work in coming up with decor ideas, an elopement may be for you! You can literally show up in your dress, marry your love, take a bunch of photos, cut the cake and GO!

2. You want gorgeous wedding photos, but without everything that goes along with a big wedding. Some couples just aren't into everything that goes along with a big wedding, but it's also important to them to have stunning photos to look back on for their entire lives. This is where elopements come in! Your photos will be gorgeous, guaranteed (if you choose a professional photographer, that is!). 

  Sterling Imageworks , from  Pam + Scott 's purple & turquoise elopement

Sterling Imageworks, from Pam + Scott's purple & turquoise elopement

3. You're super romantic. There is nothing as romantic as running away to get married and then surprising all your family and friends with the big news! Morgan + Wager posted a "just eloped" photo to Facebook after their elopement to share their news... How fun is that!

4. Your family is crazy. Some of us just have totally cray-cray families who may or may not make a wedding a little (or a lot!) stressful, dramatic or awkward. Lord love 'em. Families can make weddings SUPER insane (we've seen it... eek!). If you're pretty sure your family is going to put a damper on your big day, an elopement miiiight be the way to go. 

5. You want to get married, like NOW. We can plan elopements super fast. As long as we've got time to get the flowers and cake in, we've got time to plan an unforgettable elopement! We planned one of our most gorgeous (in my opinion) elopements in FOUR days. If you just can't wait any longer to tie the knot, call us up! 

  Elmer Escobar , from  Amanda + Brad 's shabby chic elopement

Elmer Escobar, from Amanda + Brad's shabby chic elopement

6. You want a fairy tale wedding, but you're low on funds. Elopements are less expensive than weddings, obviously, because there are fewer guests and only a cake cutting instead of a full-on reception. It is not realistic for everyone to be able to spend tons of money on their wedding day. The Barn's elopements are proof that you can have an utterly stunning wedding on a budget! (I just want to add that ALL of our all-inclusive wedding collections are lower than national and state wedding cost averages. You can read more about that here.)

7. You don't like having all the attention on you. Elopements are simple and intimate, and that's perfect if one of you is super shy... It can be just the two of you (plus your officiant and photographer), or you can invite up to 25 guests. Way less overwhelming than the amount of guests at a traditional wedding! If the thought of saying your I do's and sharing your first dance in front of loads of people terrified you, consider eloping!

  Lela & Lyla , from  Jamie + Mitch 's sweet, intimate elopement

Lela & Lyla, from Jamie + Mitch's sweet, intimate elopement

8. Your honeymoon is equally (or more) important to you as your wedding. Weddings are expensive. Honeymoons are expensive. If you want to have an amazing wedding, but you also want to go on the trip of a lifetime, an elopement could be your answer. Our elopement packages are inexpensive, but gorgeous... You're not sacrificing style when you elope! And you're also not spending so much that you can't afford to go on a killer honeymoon. It's a win-win situation!

9. You want to be surrounded by your closest friends and family in an intimate, low key setting. If your mom is pressuring you into inviting 80 people you don't even know, tell her you've decided to elope and are keeping the guest list under 25. She'll be thrilled. ;) Sharing your best day ever with only those closest to you is SO intimate and romantic and meaningful. It's also totally chic and trendy!

10. You want a sweet, meaningful vow renewal with your spouse. You can have an "elopement" at The Barn even if you're already married! Our elopement collection is perfect for vow renewals. That's totally my plan for in a few years, if I can get my sweet husband on board!

There are sooooo many other wonderful, totally legit reasons to elope! Elopements at The Barn  = No stress. Gorgeous wedding. Beautiful florals and other details. Tons of romance. Delicious cake. What could be better?  You can read more about what our elopement collection includes here

Flower Girl Outfits & Accessories

The most talked about, most swooned over, and most photographed dress at any wedding is, of course, the bride's gown. But another dress that guests love to ooh and ahh over is the flower girl's! Being a flower girl feels like such a BIG deal to little girls, and we believe their outfits should be extra special! Barn Brides always choose the most precious dresses for their flower girls, and we've seen every style imaginable - from classic to bohemian and from vintage to fluffy tutus fit for a princess. We love them ALL, and we think they're even sweeter when paired with a really cute accessory... flower crowns, flower wands and baskets are all adorable accessories for flower girls! It's always interesting to see what brides pick for them to "do" as they walk down the aisle, whether its throwing flower petals, carrying a cute sign, walking a dog, or simply carrying a bouquet. The options for these little ladies are endless, and no matter what outfit or accessory you choose for your flower girls, we know they're gonna be the cutest people at your wedding! Here are some flower girl dresses and accessories that are still melting our hearts! 

Tutus

  The Jame , from  Rachel + Johnnie 's wedding

The Jame, from Rachel + Johnnie's wedding

The Sweetest Accessories

Ruffles & Lace

Classic

 Elizabeth Leighton Photography, from  Mae + Mike 's wedding

Elizabeth Leighton Photography, from Mae + Mike's wedding

 Vanda Crank Photography, from  Ashley + Trent 's wedding

Vanda Crank Photography, from Ashley + Trent's wedding

How To Deal With Guests Who Don't RSVP

One of our couples' most common questions is what to do if their guests don't RSVP. Since I know our upcoming brides will soon be looking for their RSVPs in the mail, it's time to address this topic again. There really is no perfect way to deal with this problem (and trust me - it can be a BIG problem), but here are my suggestions for how to deal with guests who don't RSVP!

*** 

Remember last month when I did a mini-series on invitations? (You can read all three posts here.) We talked about choosing a design, invitation etiquette and how to save big on your invitations. Today, I want to address a common question that many of our brides at The Barn have. How do I deal with guests who don't RSVP?

  Erika Dotson Photography , from  Anita + Wesley 's elegant turquoise and coral wedding

Erika Dotson Photography, from Anita + Wesley's elegant turquoise and coral wedding

My best advice is to give the guests you haven't heard from a phone call about a week before your final head count is due to ask whether or not they're coming. If they haven't decided, allow them a couple of days to decide. Make sure they understand why you need to know whether or not they're coming: because you need to know how much food to order, how many seats you will need, and how to arrange your seating chart. 

  The Barn's Instagram , from  Amanda + Tyler 's stunning wedding

The Barn's Instagram, from Amanda + Tyler's stunning wedding

Still, you may not hear back from everyone. In that case:

If your wedding is more on the formal side, with assigned seating at the reception, unexpected guests could cause a huge amount of stress. One idea to deal with unexpected guests is to have someone at the reception let them know that they're welcome to have a seat and eat dinner if some of your guests who did RSVP don't show up. They can hang out at the bar until after dinner and then join in for the rest of the festivities. Another option is to have an extra table with no assigned seating and order extra food. 

If your wedding is informal (with a buffet, or without assigned seating), it is always a good idea to overestimate by a little bit. Etiquette experts say to provide 25% more food than what you think you will need, in case any extra guests show up unexpectedly. Same goes with seating; you should have several more seats available than you expect to need.

  Shingleur Photography , from  Brittany + Jacob 's gorgeous blue and coral wedding

Shingleur Photography, from Brittany + Jacob's gorgeous blue and coral wedding

A note to those who have been invited to an upcoming wedding: Please, please, please RSVP. I know firsthand how stressful it is to deal with guests who don't send back RSVP cards (or return your phone calls). When you send your RSVP back, stay with your answer! If you say you're coming, show up. And if you say you're not coming, don't come (unless, of course, you speak with the bride and groom and they say it's fine for you to come). 

  Cottonwood Studios Worldwide , from  Ally + Tyler' s beautiful blue and pink wedding

Cottonwood Studios Worldwide, from Ally + Tyler's beautiful blue and pink wedding


xoxo,
Kelsi