The Ballroom at McKay Blog

The Bridesmaid Detail

April 1st, 2014


No one wants to force their friends and bridesmaids into buying a dress they simply do not like. Although the wedding is about you and your special day, you also want to make the most important women in your life feel beautiful as well. It is fundamental to find bridesmaid dresses that complement your wedding gown, by finding a style that evokes the same feel as your dress. However, not every dress will compliment every body type, nor will every color flatter each ladies particular skin tone. After pinpointing the style and theme to your wedding, it will be easier to picture the perfect bridesmaid dresses for your gals—have fun and be creative with it!

You may find that some types of dresses are timeless while others are trendy. Regardless, picking the perfect bridesmaid dresses is a particularly hard task. As spring is quickly approaching and the planning process is in full swing, it is never too early to consider some of the trendy spring bridesmaid dresses as we forecast some spring styles.

The Lace Dress


Photo courtesy of The Knot

This just may be the perfect dress to compliment the bride at the alter, because of it’s feminine, classic and chic look. While lace is gaining popularity on the runways and red carpets, brides are swooning over this gorgeous fashion craze. All brides are most likely familiar with The Knot and if you aren’t – you should be! It’s an incredible resource for couples planning their Michigan wedding.

Illusion Necklines


Photo courtesy of J. Crew

If you want a classic yet elegant style for your bridesmaids, the illusion neckline provides just that. We have seen this look on bridal gowns, but now bridesmaids are wearing these sleeveless dresses, having more coverage in complimentary lace or sheer varieties. J. Crew has emerged in the past few years as a great resource for their bridal department!

Mix-Matched Color Palettes


Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty

With the common dilemma of everyone in the bridal party being different shapes and sizes, this trend is the best resolution. Whether the dresses are similar colors, yet dissimilar styles and vice versa, this fad is flaunting around altars everywhere. Style Me Pretty is always an incredible source for beautiful weddings and inspiration!

Hint of Sparkle for Subtle Shimmer

sparklePhoto courtesy of June Bug

If your wedding is more formal than casual, this bridesmaid dress style may spice things up from the more simple dresses. The subtle touches of shimmer enhance the glamour and beauty of your gals. We love this set that we found at the ever-sweet June Bug.

Highlighting your Maid of Honor in an Accent Dress

Most likely, your Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor has been a leading lady in your life, what better way to appreciate her than highlighting her in an accent dress? Setting her apart from the rest of the crowd will add a fun new dimension to your bridesmaid assemblage.

These are just a few of the many trends popping up for Spring and Summer weddings, hope you enjoy these beautiful styles that are just waiting to be implemented into your special day!

Simply Spring Centerpieces

March 27th, 2014


For weddings, centerpieces are essential. They establish the wedding theme for the reception part of the venue. Since centerpieces are the focal point of a room, it is necessary that you choose the ideal piece to set the perfect tone for your big day. All while keeping in mind that it should be as equally elegant as the event. Your wedding centerpieces may be the center of your guests’ consideration as they take in every detail that came out of your precise planning.

Spring is right around the corner and with every new season comes a new inspiration for your wedding theme. When dreaming of the days filled with sunshine and the bountiful flowers finally blossoming, the inspiration of color palettes and tablescape centerpieces may incorporate soft creams, blush pinks, minty greens and perhaps even some warm coral tones.

The current trend for spring centerpieces includes pastel flower palettes. This palette is the perfect subtle spring theme. Pastel colors included in your flower bouquets are mint, blush, powder blue, pale pink, light yellow, peach and lavender. While these pale, understated pieces make for a beautiful focal point of the table, bright colors are making a comeback. Weddings are white… weddings are cream and pale pink. A bright pop of color is just what some of these – dare I say – bland weddings need! Bright yellows, hot pinks and rich, brilliant purples and blues serve as the perfect addition to a neutral color scheme.

You may be pondering what types of flowers are in this coming spring season to integrate with these palettes. Hydrangeas, peonies, baby’s breath, and lilies are all excellent choices for centerpieces, as they exemplify the beauty, the freshness and the elegance of springtime. Spring is the time when everything is coming into blossom, and beauty can be found just outside your doorstep. Bring this beauty inside for your guests’ viewing pleasure! With the tower marble and vastly elegant space, the Ballroom is the perfect backdrop to Springtime floral selection.


Floral: Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood, Photography: Jen Kroll Photography, Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning and Design


Floral: Field of Flowers Farm, Photography: Jen Kroll Photography, Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning and Design

spring group

Floral: Field of Flowers Farm, Photography: Left: Jen Kroll Photography, Right: Jeremy Harwell Photography,
Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning and Design

The Caterers: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

March 18th, 2014


Last but deliciously not lease; ending our short series on our Preferred Caterers is The Amway Grand Plaza Catering. Built in 1913 and located just around the corner from The Ballroom, The Amway Grand Plaza has shared a historic spot in the downtown Grand Rapids area. The service of the staff and quality of their catering is not one to be missed! Continue reading to learn more about our final, fabulous caterer!

What is most important to you as a caterer?

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel has always prided itself with impeccable service and product.  We carry this mission to all of our events within the Hotel and outside the Hotel.  With that said, the most important goal we have as a company to ensure that our guests are happy and receive an even better experience than they expected.

Do your dishes and recipes vary per season, and if yes, how so?

It certainly can.  We encourage our guests to work with us on customizing their menus to allow for uniqueness and the freshest of ingredients.  Our most popular dishes listed on our menus are handled by our award-winning culinary staff with utmost care in selecting the freshest ingredients and it’s presentation.

What would you say is your best: Appetizer, Entrée and Dessert?

We couldn’t just pick one.  Based on both personal and professional experiences with our food items, they are truly works of art.  Each food category excels, but not more than the other.  We have guests who are not sweet lovers, yet, fall in love with our cakes and desserts.  Then we have guests who are skeptical with banquet food, yet they have expressed how wonderful the food has been and how it exceeded all of their expectations.

What is your most popular selection for:

Corporate Events: Herb Roasted French-Cut Chicken with our own Hotel Kitchen® Cherry Chutney.

Weddings: Filet of Beef and French-Cut Chicken as a duo plate.

What is your best advice for couples planning their wedding menus?

Customizing your menus doesn’t mean to completely veer off the menu items listed.  It could be as simple as a sauce substitution or even presentation.  Our Chefs love to be creative and that’s really important.

Do you find that most Corporate Events request heavy appetizers, entrees or both?

Most of our corporate events decide on a full 3-course dinner with lighter appetizers and beverage service.

Could you describe a situation where one of your entrees has been significantly altered for a client:

Because the Amway performs so many custom menus, there hasn’t really been one group or one entrée that we completely changed from its original state.  Most of the time, if the client asks for suggestions for other items that are not listed, the Amway puts together items based on if the client wants two entrees versus one, then we build on that. 





 Photos courtesy of The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel


The Caterers: The Catering Co.

March 4th, 2014


Today’s featured caterer is The Catering Company! Providing exceptional service, The Catering Company is a great consideration for your upcoming event – whether classic, contemporary, a wedding or corporate event.

What is most important to you as a caterer?

Our most important attribute is service.  While high quality, well prepared and beautifully presented menu selections are important, it’s the service we provide form our initial contact with and client through completion of event that sets us apart.

Do your dishes and recipes vary per season, and if yes, how so?

The Catering Company works with each of its clients to customize a menu specific to their event needs, whether seasonal, specialty theme, international cuisine or other unique event circumstances.

What would you say is your best:

Chili rubbed braised beef short rib – presented on a Pablano pepper and corn guacamole garnished with red pepper.
Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Dates  – Sweet California dates filled with Mexican chorizo sausage wrapped with cherry wood bacon with a spicy sweet Thai glaze.

Chicken Florentine – Seasoned and grilled chicken breast crowned with a blend of freshly sautéed spinach cream and cheese. Set atop rich dauphinoise potatoes.
Beef Tenderloin – Our chef cut tenderloin steak is lightly seasoned with sea salt and cracked peppercorns then grilled to medium rare and completed with our distinctive Fig & Cabernet Sauce.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart  – 62% bittersweet Peruvian chocolate combined with toasted pecans and rich caramel baked in a vanilla shell.
Chocolate Decadence A classic flourless chocolate cake made with Peruvian and Venezuelan chocolate, creamy, smooth and melt in your mouth texture.


What is your best advice for couples planning their wedding menus?

Our advice is to recently engaged couples is to really understand what you would like for your day.  Talk about the must haves for your reception and even the items you prefer not to have.  Communication is very important for planning your special day.   

Do you find that most Corporate Events request heavy appetizers, entrees or both?

Corporate events vary based on specific event formats.  Social gathering such as galas or fundraisers tend to lean towards hors d’oeuvres stations while events with a “meeting” format prefer a plated entrée with hors d’oeuvres during gathering time.

Could you describe a situation where one of your entrees has been significantly altered for a client:

When clients ask us to design menus for their event we like to have a feel for what they are trying to attain with the menu.  If our menu items are not good fits for their theme or the direction they would like to go, we find that designing a menu from scratch work well as we can be more specific with needs to each guest’s menu.  






Photos courtesy of The Catering Co.


Keri + Owen

February 27th, 2014


On October 12, Keri and Owen shared their beautiful wedding reception, with their friends and family, within The Ballroom at McKay. We wanted to share a few of the images from their momentous evening, thanks to Karyn May’s beautiful photography.













Photos courtesy of Karyn May Photography

Floral – Modern Day Floral, Catering – The Gilmore Collection,
Cake – Mirabella Confections, Music – The Groove Party Band, Photography – Karyn May Photography