The Scene Stealers; Children and Pets

Adobe Stock

Many lives are affected nearly every day by the presence of children and pets—some of which cannot be described.  Television shows depict and focus on how marriage is sometimes a blending of families and pets.  But how will they behave—or shall we say misbehave—at a momentous event such as a wedding?  We want to share with you some tips and professional advice from those who encounter this in the wedding industry.

The Decisions

There are some decisions concerning children, pets and your wedding.  1. Are you going to have them IN your wedding or 2. are you going to have them AT your wedding.  3. Or—both of the above.  You and your spouse-to-be—may or may not—see eye-to-eye about this subject.  Consulting with your venue about policies and your dog or cat’s temperament must be considered.  Part of the decision may focus on the unpredictability of these beloved members of your family.  And that unpredictability can sometimes be the most exciting part to include in your wedding.  Some couples opt for an “Adults Only” reception.

All Dressed Up and Ready to Cry

Adobe Stock

One of the most adorable aspects of having children and pets in or at a wedding, is dressing them up.  There are so many cute outfits available; but buyer beware.  There are some things to look for when choosing these outfits to help minimize discomfort.  First, children for the most part, are not accustomed to such clothing (unless they participate regularly in pageants or other formal events).  Some of it can be downright uncomfortable.  Before buying a little tuxedo or fancy dress, turn the outfit inside out and examine it.  If possible, take EVERY seam and rub them against the inside of your wrist.  Check the outside as well at points that may be bothersome.  If you’re being scratched, then so can your child.  Do the same for your pet’s wedding garb.  Just because your pet has hair or fur; it doesn’t mean they can’t experience irritation.  This is a time and money saving tip so that your dog or cat (unless you clothe them regularly) doesn’t tear your cute little outfit—to pieces.

If wedding clothing does seem capable of irritation, tack some soft materials such as felt or satin—on the inside.  Cut a small piece of your dog or cat’s favorite blanket or a piece of your old clothing you can spare and add it to the garment.  They will smell something familiar to them.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  If you like, consult a qualified seamstress or friend who sews—they can do it for you.

Dress hemlines and pant cuffs that are way too long (although cute) are a no-no.  Children tripping and getting hurt, can bring your wedding to a stand-still.  Some children and pets may “act out” simply because they are feeling itchy or being scratched.  Also, having non-staining treats available to nibble on before the wedding (or pictures) can help with hunger pangs and keeping that “best dressed” look.

A Fabulous Pet-Friendly Venue

Chris Holmes of Bridge Street Wedding Chapel (which he and his wife Mary have owned for 10 years) share their experiences:

Most wedding ceremonies will include a ring bearer and flower girl or girls depending on their ages and confidence level.  We’ve seen children who did great at rehearsal—only to have a meltdown on the day of the wedding.  We have seen the opposite as well with children doing horrible at rehearsal—only to shine at the wedding.  Children will either revel in their roles, or have stage fright which can be very scary and intimidating for them.  Once at the altar, we have some suggestions that we share with clients:

  1. Source: Holmes Photography Studio. This if the brides daughter and she had a great time
    Both parents held her at different parts of the ceremony, but she definitely enjoyed the attention!

    Depending on the age of the children, they need someone dedicated to helping them make it down the aisle.  If they do have stage fright, don’t force them.  Let them retreat to the “comfort zone” of whoever is helping them.  This should be a fun and enjoyable event for everyone—including the little ones and sometimes they just aren’t ready—and that’s okay.

  2. If they [children] make it all the way up to the wedding party on stage, that’s a plus of course.  Now you need to decide (if they are very young), will they be held by a wedding party member, stand up there on their own, or go to mom, dad, or another family member that is seated.  There is no “right” answer.  However, I do know that trying to control a child who has no interest in being controlled (on stage)—is a losing battle.  As long as there is no safety issue involved, I suggest that you let them roam around a be themselves—within reason.
  3. Cute and curious children make the ceremony even better.  If they are a complete distraction, they need to be moved to a seat by someone other than the wedding party.  If there is a flower girl or ring bearer (perhaps a bit older), sometimes it is better for them to hold the younger child during the ceremony which is touching and reinforcing.  The most important thing, is that it’s all okay and to relax.  A wedding is a “human” and family event that are all different and no one is perfect.  Unless you are part of the “royal family” and everything has to be perfect, then it’s okay for children to be children and do what children do.

Concerning PETS At the Bridge Street Wedding Chapel:

  1. We are HUGE pet fans.  So for us it is absolutely natural and fun for people to involve their pets in their big day and after all—they are part of the family.  When I say pets, I am mainly referring to dogs.  I don’t believe we have ever had any other animals in ceremonies at the chapel.  Cats tend to not like walking anywhere on a leash—much less down an aisle with a bunch of strangers looking at them.  Pets have a calming effect for many people in general and they add an element of fun to the ceremony.  For many young couples, this is their “first child.”
  2. As with children in a ceremony, there needs to be at least one person who is charge of the pet(s)—NOT the bride and groom if at all possible.  The decision of whether the pet will remain up with the wedding party on stage or be tended to as a guest—should be made BEFORE the ceremony.  Understandably, that could change depending on how cooperative the pet is on the day of the wedding.  We suggest that it’s ok if they [pets] are struggling to get off stage or walk around.  Go with it and let them—as long as they are not a complete distraction.
  3. Before and after the ceremony, the pet(s) need to be taken care of as far as their traditional (potty) needs.  This includes walking outside before the ceremony to prevent accidents.  Have water available (earlier in the day if possible to prevent accidents) and bring materials to pick up after them should an accident happen—or they can use the outside area before or after the ceremony.  After the ceremony (or even before)—if they are only there for pre-wedding photos, someone needs to be in charge of taking them home and making sure they are cared for.  This is especially helpful so that the wedding couple can enjoy their day knowing their loved one is comfortable and they don’t need to worry about them.

Source: Holmes Photography

Source: Holmes Photography

Mr. Holmes summarizes:

The question of whether to involve children or pets is strictly a personal one for the wedding party and their families.  It will set the tone of the day.  For some, children and pets may be distracting and they just want to enjoy a day with other adults.  That’s definitely okay.

For others, pets and children are such an important part of their lives; they can’t imagine the day without them!  And for those looking for a pet-friendly venue; we are happy to oblige!

Written by Cheryl Jiminez

Co-authored by Chris and Mary Holmes – Bridge Street Wedding Chapel & Holmes Photography Studio

Choose Excellence! Choose the Lansing Bridal Association for all your wedding needs!

Are you planning to have children and/or pets in your wedding?  Let us know!

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Wedding Dresses Gone Rogue

“Weight” For Me!


bride with dumbbellIt can be very rewarding and fun to try on wedding dresses, but the weight of them can leave a bride-to-be exhausted and bewildered.

The average wedding dress with a chapel length train (trailing up to five feet) can weigh 8-10 pounds or more. So where does all this surprising weight come from? A wedding dress is really two complete dresses (and sometimes three). The actual outside and the underlining(s). Additional weight may come from embellishment. Pearls, sequins, crystals, and other beads that add to the exquisite beauty of the design—may make the dress heavy.

Consider what you wear on everyday basis or your “go to” outfits. They may be light, comfy, and full of stretch. Wedding dresses may be stiff and heavy in places to hold its beautiful design shape. Don’t be discouraged. The good news is—your body will adjust to the weight of your dream gown while you are wearing it, but there are some ways to help you feel more comfortable. Attaching a supportive longline brassiere to the dress (if possible) can help shift some of the weight—especially if shoulder straps are bearing most of it. Also, expert fitting at the waistline of the gown can help the gown slipping downward. Some gowns may already come with supportive straps sewn inside the bodice. Properly executed bustles (as we talked about in our last newsletter) can help redistribute weight also.

$$ Can We Talk About Cost $$

A wedding dress may be the most expensive garment you ever purchase. It is a merging of unique materials and workmanship. The average wedding gown cost can start at around $900 dollars. Some manufacturers assemble their wedding dresses with labor intensive beadwork and costly fabrics such as silk and imported lace. Depending on who designed your dress, you may see a visible difference in the workmanship. There is an old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Remember, the dress may have boning and other specialized materials and finishes—and when shipping and other fees are added—the price goes up.

This a very special day in your life which may explain the tendency to spend the extra money on a dream dress. Bridal shops in the Lansing Bridal Association can offer expert guidance. Also, tell your bridal consultant about your budget preferences if you want—instead of setting yourself up for a disappointing trip when dress shopping.

Wayward Beads, Sequins and Other Little Irritations

Each wedding dress designer has their own size chart and dresses tend to run small. Many wedding gowns will need some type of alteration; however, bridal shops try to minimize this as much as possible. But in the process of obtaining a proper fit, your dress may be irritating to your body in some places. Sometimes beadwork and sequins may have to be replaced, rearranged, or removed in places such as the underarm area (especially with strapless dresses). Soft materials may be added to the inside of your dress to increase wearability. Don’t be alarmed with loose threads and beads that fall off because your dress is being handled more. Shipping odor is also a natural occurrence.

Happy Endings

Once you near the final fitting of your dress and have a bustle if you need one, you are very familiar with the weight of your dress, how much mobility you have, and how comfortable it is. Loose threads and beads are tended to by your seamstress and/or presser. Bridal salons carefully prepare your dress for pick up. Some brides (lightly) mist the inside (underlinings) of their with their wedding day perfume at to give it a heady scent. Heirloom trinkets, charms, and ribbons can be sewn to the inside of a wedding dress or on a separate crinoline slip. This is sometimes done to honor the Grandmother or Mother-of-the-bride, traditions, and the memory of loved ones.

Although there may be some concerns with your wedding dress, it is important to ask questions and be informed—to be the the most happy, beautiful, and comfortable bride you can be!

Written by Cheryl Jiminez
Assistant to the Lansing Bridal Association
Former Bridal Seamstress

From the venue, to the tiniest detail, choose excellence—choose the Lansing Bridal Association!

Will You Leave Your Train Behind?

The entrance of the bride to a wedding is a time-honored tradition.  Many eyes are focused on—for many—the first glimpse of the wedding dress.  Tears sometimes flow and faces brighten.  But when the bride advances closer to the groom, heads and eyes drop down to the what is flowing in back of the dress; the wedding gown train.

Where Did All This Extra Fabric Come From?

Traditionally, a train signifies how formal a wedding dress is.  The longer the train; the more formal it is.  It seems to date back to distinguishing a bride from her bridesmaid(s).  Also, many brides who are marrying again may choose a short train or none at all.  But nowadays; anything goes and trains are simply a matter of preference.  From just a brush on the floor to a trailing of many yards, they can strongly influence the choice of dress for a bride.  

Here are some tips and information to make your train follow smoothly

bride with train on dock

• Consider Your Location

You may want to seriously consider what your gown train has to go through.  Narrow aisles, grass, obstacles, or near water—can take a toll.  Keep this in mind when you choose your gown.  If you have your heart set on a particular dress—but know the train may be tricky to navigate (even with help) at your wedding; consider having it shortened.  Detachable trains that can be removed when you want or need to—can be a choice as well.   

• Shall You Dance

A train of any length should be properly put up for dancing and being comfortable at your reception.  Your groom and guests hug and press against you at your wedding.  Stepping on the train can lead to tripping and excessive soiling.  (Unless your train is detachable), something called a bustle can be added to the back your dress.  It can consist of a combination of snaps, buttons, or ribbons to tuck your train in—up—and out of the way.  Sometimes, they have the added feature of seeming like you have changed into another dress (because they

train bustle

change the look of the back).  Holding your train on your arm for your entire wedding (depending on the length) can be tiring, so bustles are a desirable option.  The Lansing Bridal Association has bridal apparel vendors who have expert seamstresses to do this.  If you are concerned with the whereabouts of your train at your wedding; ask for advice.

Picture Perfect

Wedding gown trains have long been a focal point for photographers in wedding photos.  Some tumble down stairwells with intricate details, swirl beautifully in front of a wedding party, or are carried so tenderly by children or other family members.  They can add drama even if they aren’t many yards long.  Amber Johnston, LBA member and owner of Amber J Photography—gives some insight:

“Typically, I will have the maid of honor help adjust the train. This makes it easier for me to stand back and direct how I would like it to look. If the maid of honor isn’t around, or we are off photographing just the bride and groom, I will have my assistant (Allen) adjust the train. He has also helped carry the train as we walk from location to location. We have even had brides joke that he is a stand-in Maid/Matron of honor. Keep in mind, if you are planning on having pictures taken outside, your train will likely be dragging on the ground and getting dirty at some point. I would suggest talking to your seamstress/tailor and ask about a wrist strap for your train. This will help keep it off the ground and make it easier to carry as we change locations.”

long veil with train

• When Your Veil is Your Train

Some brides opt for a longer veil instead of the sometimes heavier weight of fabric attached to the back of the dress.  It is especially desirable if your ceremony is somewhere that a very long train can be navigated.  It can be removed from the headpiece.  This can be a lovely look, but be aware—tulle is fragile and can rip easily.  Veils made of chiffon are a bit more durable, but a tulle veil is more common.  Veiling substituted for a train can be subject to blowing wind, so keep this in mind when choosing this lightweight option and for pictures.

Whatever train options you choose, let the Lansing Bridal Association help you with all your wedding apparel needs.  They will guide you to a comfortable and beautiful look for your wedding location.  

Written by Cheryl Jiminez

Assistant to the Lansing Bridal Association and formal bridal seamstress

The 2017 Color Report

Your color scheme may be the most expressive guest at your wedding.  It also plays an important part in setting the overall mood and tone of the event.  It also can be dictated by everything from:

  • the location of your wedding
  • availability of what you choose
  • memories you want to create
  • celebrity weddings past and present
  • the season in which you are in
  • and other personal influences

Color can reflect our personalities and sometimes what we choose can be unconventional—with some brides preferring to “raise eyebrows” and “turn heads.”

fantastic finds

Image courtesy of
Fantastic Finds

2017 bridal runways appear to be trending towards tributes to color in many ways.  A beautiful lace gown can now gently move away from time honored tradition.  It can feature an under-layer of color to enhance the intricate patterns of the fabric.  Sue Rosenberger owner of Fantastic Finds in Lansing MI, and Lansing Bridal Association member—says that she sees the Ivory color and lace still having importance with Champagne or blush underneath.  She also predicts the emergence of blue and silver as subtle color combinations as well.

The spring runways are showcasing a flowery wedding gown forecast from bright and bold with a multicolored combination.  This can provoke some brides to break tradition and have some color fun.  These can easily translate to the groom’s tie, tux, or suit.

Rosenberger also mentions that she sees blush, light blue, and deep wine as notable choices.  Also, the deeper colors of royal blue and (also) metallic can be seen on attendants at 2017 weddings.

blue tux

Adobe Stock Image

And What About Black?

While you may not see this color much at a beach wedding, it may certainly be seen in other venues.  While it can be worn alone, many times it is combined with an unexpected “pop” of color.  Black is not being seen as a color of  understatement,  but rather a rich boldness that some brides may choose for themselves or their bridesmaids.

Some other 2017 surprises may include matching hair colors to the wedding dress or theme.

Florists, photographers, and wedding planners are experts at incorporating your wedding colors into fanciful visuals.  They can help you add accent colors to complete a look that flows through your entire wedding and reception.

wine bridal

Image courtesy of
Fantastic Finds

Whether you color your wedding: daring, subtle, or somewhere in between; let the wedding professionals of the Lansing Bridal Association help you create your wedding “color pallet” that is uniquely you.


Author Bio:
Cheryl Jiminez, LBA Intern, is a former bridal seamstress and consultant.  She recently graduated from Lansing Community College where she majored in Writing and General Studies.



Fall 2016 Lansing Bridal Show Winners!!!

Did you enter the door prize drawing at the Lansing Bridal Show? Check for your name below to see if you won a prize!

Names are in alphabetical order. Contact the vendor who’s prize you won for information on how to claim your prize!

bridal show winner
lugnuts logo

Grand Prize Winner!!!

Congratulations to Jennifer Lower

You win the Luxury Owner’s Suite for you and 31 of your friends to any 2017 Lansing Lugnuts baseball game of your choice.
(Some Restrictions apply)




Adame, Alyssa The Northfork Estate $500 off Wedding Package
Arbour, Ashley It Works Fitness drink package
Caryl, Katie Light Rx Free iLIPO or VENUS FREEZE Treatment
Clements, Rachel Herbal Life Fitness package
Cruz, Alaina Pure Romance $25 gift certificate
Dean, Elizabeth America’s Bride $50 gift certificate
Douglas, Hannah Smith Floral Fall Gift Basket
Dredge, Lauren The Hall in Charlotte Nursery Organizer
Fay, Jessica Hotbeats Romantic Movie Night Package
Green, Hayley University Club of MSU Sparkling juice basket with glasses, $25 gift card
Hays. Trish Socially Yours Free iPhone Screen Repair (MacMen)
Hendrix, Adrienne Causeway Bay Lansing Hotel Free Presidential Parlor
Hollenbeck, Casey Rodan & Fields Bronzing Package
Hubble, Jennifer Faucett Photography Free Engagement Photo Session (prize not here)
Irvine, Belinda A Taste of Heaven Catering Bath Package
Johnson, Marissa Costco Flowers
Jurman, Cecily Walnut Hills Free Room Rental up to $500 value
Keck, Lauren Bashes by Barbie Day-Of Wedding Coordination, Bachelorette Party & Jewelry
Kessler, Margit Bake N Cakes Free Wedding Cake
Lugo, Danielle Be Mouthy Lip color, moisturizer & samples
McDuffie, Sade D’Mar Banquet & Conference Center His & Hers Champaign Gift Set
McGlew, Kate Serabella Salon Haircare Package
McPartlin, Lauren Pink Zebra’s Photo Booths Free Save the Date Photo Session
Meaney, Marissa IQ Fit 30 day platinum membership
Perilla, Diana Dyras Dental Sonicare Toothbrush
Perrone, Jessica Country Creek Free table linens at CC reception hall
Roe, Julie Hawkins Photography Free 2-hour session, all photos provided digitally
Salinas, Raquel Becker’s Bridal Free Wedding Gown Preservation
Schon, Amelia Herbal Life Fitness package
Sienkiewicz, Sarah Ironwood Golf Free golf or Lunch
Sparks, Valentina Jamberry Application kit & Sheet of wraps
Terpstra, Michele Pure Romance $25 gift certificate
Wilkie, Bailey Barb’s Designs Basket

The Lansing Bridal Show

Come to the Lansing Bridal Show on September 18, 2016 at The Lansing Center! Doors open at NOON! Be sure to pre-register for the door prizes over on our Bridal Show page.

Bridal Show 101

When you walk into the Lansing Bridal Association’s September 2016 Bridal show, you will see:

Over 300 days of careful preparation
The result of numerous meetings and planning sessions
The culmination of thousands of emails, texts, and other information sharing
This is just a sampling of what it takes to present you with a rich and helpful bridal show experience.

But how do you navigate through all of this planned wedding brilliance without getting overwhelmed?

Here are some Bridal Show 101 tips we have assembled for you:

checkmark-small  Create an email address before the show just for wedding registration etc; one that you will regularly check.  “This will keep planning    more organized and you can delete the address after your wedding,” says Chase Nobis—Executive Director of the Lansing Bridal Association (LBA).

checkmark-small  At the show, look for things on your pre-made list if possible.  If you’re short on time, just get business cards (or flyers) to check out vendors at a later time.

checkmark-small  Don’t be afraid to ask for a vendor’s contract or where you can find it.

checkmark-small  Some booths will have free—take-home bags. Be on the lookout for other giveaways you can stash in those bags.

checkmark-small  Ask if you can take pictures of products offered or displays.  Vendors must adhere to copyright policies.

checkmark-small  If you can, wear a shoe similar to your wedding shoe style and height (and bring a spare if needed); encourage your bridal party to do so as well. If those feet don’t hold up; “You’re welcome.” 🙂

checkmark-small  Attend the fashion show.  This makes wedding apparel come “alive” by seeing the garments on models.

checkmark-small  Bring friends whose opinions you can trust to help you choose wisely if needed.

checkmark-small  It’s a long (and sometimes tiring) day for vendors and bridal show helpers as well.  Most will meet and talk to hundreds of brides and their parties.  Remember, on your wedding day—a vendors’ focus will be on you.

checkmark-small  Waterproof makeup can help if you, or anyone with you, joyfully wants to “get their cry on.”

checkmark-small  Don’t forget to register for amazing door prizes!

The Lansing Bridal Association was founded in 2009 by Mr. Chase Nobis.  He takes pride in bridal industry excellence and only promotes vendors with high standards.  He and his team work tirelessly to provide you with wedding choices and helpful information you can trust.

Written By: Cheryl Jiminez, Intern
Lansing Bridal Association

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Using the Internet to Plan Your Wedding (and Keeping Your Sanity)

internet wedding planning

The internet can help you with your wedding—from finding a few pictures—to a beginning-to-end plan.  But what happens when you type “wedding planning” into your search box and “gazillions” of results pop up?  There are some ways to narrow down the information to get what you need and help you keep you stay sane.

First, you may want to visit the website homes of popular wedding publications such as: Grace Ormonde Wedding Style (, and Brides Magazine (  Besides showcasing wonderful wedding attire, these sites have real weddings from around the world.  This can give you tips from actual couples who made their wedding choices.  You can also get advice about wedding dilemmas and insight on how to stay focused (even at work) and living your everyday life.

Joining a bride-to-bride group can be especially useful.  Lansing Area Brides—run by the Lansing Bridal Association—is a great place where you can start a discussion about your wedding and find vendors to service all of your wedding needs.  A Bride-to-be (or former bride) who joins Lansing Area Brides can buy, sell, and trade on various wedding-related items too!  Since many are checking Facebook, and other social media sites regularly; you can keep in touch easily.  This is great if your time and/or distance away from friends and family does not allow you to meet personally.  Some words of caution though; social media can present other issues to deal with concerning [photo] copyrights and privacy.  Unfortunately, there may be those who are not so happy for you.  Overly-critical—poorly-worded opinions could dampen your excitement and cause unnecessary online skirmishes. has an article worth reading on this subject.

Downloading wedding apps can assist in your wedding planning, but also can be a bit daunting.  Weddingwire is an app to guide you if you don’t know where to begin.  And for brides who need to know where (all of) their cash flows, there is an app called Mint.  There are others that specialize in the area of planning where you need help the most.
Check online to see if your chosen wedding vendors have a collaboration with a group such as the Lansing Bridal Association (LBA).

wedding app planning

The LBA features a coveted gathering of wedding professionals presenting exciting bridal shows.  At the shows, your wedding party, family, and friends can meet with vendors face-to-face (even if you have already).  You can see actual bridal fashions displayed on a runway and hands-on presentations.  There may be vendors there that offer other information such as: financial soundness and home improvement.  This can be an immensely fun event to see, taste, and touch wedding selections—(and discover new ones)!  You may even win a valuable door prize!

“Something Borrowed, Some Blue, Something Burned-Out—Don’t let it be you.”

Cheryl Jiminez

Intern, Lansing Bridal Association

Finally, for those who are not “internet savvy,” or “computer inclined,”—there is the option of hiring a professional wedding planner.  You can use the internet to gather pictures and other ideas, or perhaps create a “vision board” on a piece of poster paper (or another medium).  Then you can present it to the planner who will bring all of your wonderful ideas together.

Whatever you choose, the internet can help a little or a lot.


Author Bio:
Cheryl Jiminez, LBA Intern, is a former bridal seamstress and consultant.  She recently graduated from Lansing Community College where she majored in Writing and General Studies.