Wedding Blog


Thoughts From a Bride-to-Be: Cousin Brides

Exciting things are happening for my family here in the coming year! Not only do we have mine and Jason’s winter 2019 wedding to look forward to, but now an August 2018 wedding is also in the works! My cousin Lindsey and her fiancé Brian are planned to be married August 4th in Lake Geneva, WI. — home to our family cabin…

Lindsey and I have always been best friends. She is my “baby” cousin (really by only about a year and a half, but she’s still the baby to me), and we have created countless memories throughout the years. We live about 2 hours apart, but we’ve always made it a point to spend time to together and experience those moments that family should…


I am certainly not going to sit here and say that Lindsey and I are the type of girls that have had the entirety of our weddings figured out by the time we were little enough to even think about it, but let’s be real, it’s definitely something we’ve talked about over a wine night or two (or three, or four, or five. Hell, who’s even counting!). Anyways, the time has come for both of us, and it is exciting as ever because we’re now “cousin brides”. I couldn’t be happier. Lindsey and I will share moments of stress, we will have a DIY night or two, we will share experiences, we will offer suggestions to each other, we will have some cries, we will have some laughs, and there will be a TON of love along the way.

So, what’s the significance of this “cousin brides” blog post for you, you ask? Well, I asked Lindsey about a few things that are stressing her out over wedding planning — I think that sharing another real life bridal experience with all of you will be very helpful. I asked Lindsey to share three things that are stressing her the heck out, and then I went ahead and found a solution to why she should be fearless over these stresses. Here goes…

1. Concern: The Guest List. “We want a smaller, more intimate wedding (less than 100), but Brian’s extended family is very large. My biggest fear is that we will hurt feelings of those who may not be invited”.

HAVE NO FEAR, LINDSEY… Jennifer, The Pavilion’s Property Manager AND a past bride explains, “First and foremost you have to remember it is your wedding day and you have to plan for an event that will make you and your fiancé most comfortable so you can enjoy your big day. From the get go, my husband and I knew we did not want a big wedding because we desired a more intimate party. We only wanted close family and even closer friends to attend our wedding, but with my husband being the youngest of ten siblings we knew this would be a challenge. So what did we do?!… We got the heck out of dodge and hosted our wedding in Montana, a destination wedding! With a destination wedding you are almost guaranteed a smaller affair. We checked with our families first to see if they would be willing to make the trek and once everyone was on board it was full speed ahead. We knew that the closest of our family and friends would be willing to make a voyage to attend our special day. On the flip side though, you can’t be hurt if a family/friend is not able to attend a destination wedding due to scheduling or financial reasons.

In the end, we had about 80 guests attend our wedding and it was prefect for us. If you are looking for an intimate wedding without hurting peoples’ feelings, try a destination wedding!”

Wedding Chairs

2. Concern: The DJ. “We want everyone to have a great time and my fear is that only two people will be on the dance floor. The pressure to pick a good DJ and playlist is real!”

HAVE NO FEAR, LINDSEY… Jordan, owner of Luxe Productions, explains, “I hear this question/ concern a lot!  And, it’s a valid one!  Why are some weddings big dance parties and then others seem like no one even shakes a leg?  I truly believe that there is not one specific reason, but let’s dig into a few influencers of dance floor success…

The Rapport:  I’ve always thought it was important to get to know your couple before the wedding day.  I think the more comfortable you are with each other the smoother the day will go.  Also, you will have a much better understanding of what the dance floor expectation is.

The DJ:  A good DJ will know how to read a crowd and take them on a musical journey.  He can pick music that will keep them engaged.  A professional DJ spends lots of time perfecting his craft.  He knows how people respond to certain music and if guests are disengaged, can use certain songs to hook them back in.

Music:  This is an important factor for epic dance parties.  We work with clients often that will request music that is not ideal for dancing.  They often say “well, this is the music I really like to listen too.”  While I don’t doubt that, and even support their musical taste, you have to be realistic about what you can dance to! If the type of music that you love is not danceable, find other times to incorporate your music into the wedding like during dinner or cocktail hour. Think of the guests who are coming and if they are dancers or not.  What type of music would they dance to?  Typically playing music that has a wide appeal and is popular is always better than more obscure or non-popular music.  People like to dance to what they know.

The Bride and Groom:  I’ve noticed an overwhelming parallel at successful dance parties with brides and grooms actually dancing.  As the bride and groom you are the “celebrities” of the night and everyone wants to spend time with you and celebrate with you… As they should!  But, if you spend your time at the bar, talking with people, or outside, so will your friends. On the contrary, if your time is spent tearing it up on the dance floor, so will your friends!  It’s natural for your guests to want to be near you.  So, think about your evening and where you should spend your time.  If dancing is important to you then you need to be on the dance floor.  Your guests will gravitate to you.”


3. Concern: The Budget. “How am I suppose to create a memorable/ different wedding without blowing the bank?!”

HAVE NO FEAR, LINDSEY… I personally can best answer this by simply stating, “Focus on the details that are going to make an impact on your guests (food, music, location and maybe just one strong decor focal point such as the head table). Don’t stress over the small details that may get overlooked — for example, there is strong possibility that your Aunt Nancy may not remember the little things such as custom bar napkins you would spend hours designing and a good old chunk of change on. Just saying. Here’s the bottom line: know what’s most important to you and stick to the monies you’ve allotted for the wedding…. you’ll thank yourself later”

See. We’ve answered these major stresses for Lindsey quite simply. And, the good news, it should be that easy for EVERY bride.

Until next time,

Future Mrs. Vandiver <3

Posted by kbenjamin
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