The Ballroom at McKay Blog

Seasonal Trends

January 23rd, 2014


As the New Year commences with recently engaged couples, the latest wedding trends derive as well. Each wedding season, trends manage to alter to the social norm of today. This upcoming season, weddings are getting a major upgrade in their trend sector, from bridal gowns to floral designs to color schemes and more! While ushering in a new swoon-worthy wedding season this New Year, we will notify you on the latest and greatest prevalent wedding happenings.

The Ballroom at McKay will be posting a short series on expert’s thoughts, from the Grand Rapids area, on this year’s trends. It’s said to be a year of true romance and with the return of classic chivalry, there are bound to be some trend setting standards. As brides begin 2014, they are eager to delve deeper into planning mode, but stay tuned, as we will provide some beneficial incite surely to have your attention and consideration, as you can modify the season’s trends into your big day.


The Preferred Caterers

January 21st, 2014

When planning a Wedding Reception at the Ballroom, our couples have the option of choosing from five hand-selected professionals that represent the Ballroom’s Preferred Catering list. Each caterer offers delicious menu options, impeccable service standards and the utmost care in providing your event with the perfect experience.

During The Ballroom’s reinvention as an Event Space, caterers were selected amongst the most talented in Grand Rapids, to play host to our events – both Corporate/Social and Wedding. Consideration was taken not only for menu selection and overall taste, but also in to the operation of the staff, chefs and professionalism. Due to each caterer high standards in service, we thought that learning a bit more about each would serve helpful in making the decision of which to select for your upcoming event.

The Ballroom has reached out to each of our five caterers with a small questionnaire in hopes of helping our couples, and readers alike, become familiar with the benefits of each caterer, and how they may serve your event best. Over the next few weeks we will be posting once weekly on each of our Preferred Caterers. Stay tuned and cheers!





The Timeline

January 16th, 2014


Many of us have been imagining our wedding day since our younger years. Nowadays, planning the ultimate vision for your dream day is simple. With the avid use of Pinterest, women have “I Do” boards encompassing every aspect of a wedding celebration. From glistening diamond rings and beautiful proposal pictures, to bridesmaids dress designs and groomsmen ties, to save-the-dates and the perfect pair of soul mates, Pinterest is an ideal avenue to the wedding phenomenon of our time. While creating the aesthetic for your wedding is certainly most exciting, planning it may be somewhat overwhelming. With the many details to configure and coordinate, stress can oftentimes take away from the enjoyment of your engagement.

With many of The Ballroom’s Weddings coming forward at full tilt, most of our brides are heavily into the planning and creating process. To help with the many ‘To Do’s’ for a bride and groom, the Ballroom has a solution to some of your wedding stress! Set a budget and get inspired for your wedding style, theme and locations, then start your timeline planning process. The following gives a glimpse for a typical wedding planning timeline:

12 Months Before

  • Book The Ballroom for your Ceremony or Reception
  • Book high demand vendors – Photographer, Videographer, DJs or Bands.

10 Months Before

  • Determine your Bridal Party
  • Research and choose an officiant
  • Take Engagement Photos
  • Begin registering for gifts
  • Begin drafting your Guest List & Escort Spreadsheet
  • Begin your overall Stationery & Decor Designs

8 Months Before

  • Block Hotel Rooms for out-of-town guests
  • Cake Tasting + Cake Order
  • Begin Hair & Makeup Trials
  • Begin designing Save the Dates

6 Months Before

  • Send Save the Dates
  • Find the perfect dress & gowns for your bridesmaids
  • Book Honeymoon Destination
  • Begin preliminary designs for your wedding decor
  • Purchase Wedding Bands
  • Book additional wedding vendors

4 Months Before

  • Select Groomsmen Attire
  • Compile Spreadsheet for Guest’s attendance
  • Plan Rehearsal Dinner
  • Confirm Vendors
  • Decide on Hair & Makeup

 3 Months Before

  • Begin designing Day of stationery pieces – programs, menu, etc.
  • Confirm wording of Vows and run of Ceremony with Officiant
  • Assemble and send Invitations

2 Months Before

  • Track RSVPs in Escort Board Spreadsheet
  • Confirm wording of Vows and run of Ceremony with Officiant

6 Weeks

  • Apply for Marriage License
  • Confirm any additional print materials (programs, menus, escort cards, etc.)
  • Confirm Guest Spreadsheet with attendees and those not to attend

1 Month

  • Décor assembly if DIY is your style
  • Submit final guest numbers for vendors
  • Hair & Makeup Trial

2 Weeks

  • Final Dress Fitting
  • Give Shot List to Photographer
  • Review Music with DJ/Band

 1 Week

  • Confirm seating chart with final guest list
  • Review guest names for escort cards/chart
  • Follow up with Vendors for any changes

48 Hours

  • Bride to pamper! (get a tan, have nails done, etc.)
  • Confirm any last minute questions with Vendors

Day Before

  • Ceremony Rehearsal
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Distribute Bridal Party Gifts

Day Of

  • Relax, enjoy and take it all in!

Bridal Show Bliss

January 9th, 2014


Grand Rapids is a flourishing city and a desirable wedding destination that any urban bride would simply admire. Each year, brides-to-be anticipate the Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan. They bring their fiancés, bridesmaids, family members and friends to experience together the ultimate bridal show, perfect for planning their dream day. This spring, the show will take place downtown Grand Rapids at DeVos Place, on March 15-16. Pencil in the date on your calendar or bridal planner, and enjoy an event tailored to perfecting your ideal wedding!

Not only is this a grand opportunity for eager engaged couples to broaden their awareness of the wedding planning and coordinating process, but correspondingly it has a positive impact on the exhibitors and vendors involved with the show. By exposing upcoming and trendy products and services in the industry, to the visitors in person, demand of products and services presented, will rise. In addition, exhibitors meet with potential customers and arrange appointments with interested attendees outside of the event. Bridal shows are incredible opportunities to experience a sampling of vendors in the area all in one setting!

The value of attending a bridal show event is beneficial for your pocketbook as well. There are special deals and discounts that will be applicable to the members that attend. As Grand Rapids bestows its premier bridal vendors, unique ideas for planning your wedding, local wedding resources and much more, you will walk away from the show feeling better prepared for your special day!

Furthermore, we are thrilled that The Ballroom at McKay will be partaking in this Kohler Expo’s Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan event in two short months. The admission for the event is only nine dollars per attendee and the general public is invited. We look forward to participating and seeing such a fascinating bridal show coming to Grand Rapids, this spring.

Tickets will be available at the door, or you can purchase them online.

The Ballroom at McKay is so very excited to see everyone’s bridal bliss!

A New Year

January 7th, 2014

Happy New Year

As the bustle of the Holiday Season slowly fades away, inspiration fills us all with the fresh start of a New Year. The promise of spring is all around us, even if our homes still waft with the sweet scent of holly and sugar cookies. Alongside celebrating family during the Holidays, so is the celebration of growing families. Engagements spring up, one by one, and the promise of an amazing Wedding Season grows. One very exciting announcement also occurs over the Holidays Season that effects many upcoming brides – the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year.

Brides keep up with many yearly trends such as gowns, floral and decor, and being that color is one of the most impactful portions of a wedding, it is not to be left out! You may have noted a spike in stunning emerald weddings last year and it wasn’t without reason – Pantone had selected Emerald as the color of the year that spring. This year’s color: Radiant Orchid. This beautiful slight but charming purple is a soft nod to the warmth summer glow reflected in wildflower fields.


Each selected color serves as a symbol of inspiration for the year. Emerald served as growth, renewal and prosperity, whereas Radiant Orchid will serve as a symbol of expression, creativity and embrace. It’s a lovely shade that compliments most skin tones, that pops brilliant colors and pairs with subdued floral.

We look forward to a year full of creativity and expression, alongside the warm embrace of the new season. Congratulations to our couples of 2014 who will be celebrating their nuptials at the Ballroom. We look forward to hosting the start of your new adventure together.

Color information and Pantone Color of the Year from Pantone