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A Ballroom Wedding

A Ballroom Wedding

Have you dreamed about a fairy tale wedding since you were young? A ballroom wedding is probably the exact wedding venue you’ve imagined. Especially after the last few years of smaller weddings, we expect a big return to large celebrations, perfect for a ballroom! If you’re looking for a wedding fit for a queen, here some ballroom wedding elements sure to wow!

Wedding Flowers

When planning such a formal wedding you want to think tall and grand when it comes to just about everything, but especially flowers. The grand centerpieces really help fill a large room. Tall centerpieces also add an extra touch of formality to any wedding. You can also add a beautiful floral arch at the entryway to the reception venue for some extra beauty.

Tall Centerpiece

Photography: Amy Arrington Photography, Flowers: Mollie Cushing

Ballgown Wedding Dress

While brides can wear any wedding dress they love in a ballroom, a ballgown is obviously the most popular option. That being said, if a ballgown isn’t for you, think formal and grand! Your jewelry and accessories can definitely help with this too! Think sparkly, statement pieces sure to catch the light in a ballroom. You can even add a sparkling tiara or comb in your hair to feel like a royal bride!

Wedding Cake and Desserts

When weddings are in a ballroom, often the wedding cake or desserts are the centerpiece for the room. Because of this, it’s important your wedding dessert makes a statement. The taller or larger your cake is, the better. Another option is to have an eye catching dessert or champagne display that is both functional and beautiful. Though usually the last meal of the night, it is often the highlight for guests and newlyweds alike, so think big!

Wedding Guest Attire

A ballroom wedding definitely needs a formal or black tie wedding formality.  This is the perfect formality when your bridal/groom attire is also very formal. It is also fun for your guests to get to dress up. If you are planning large group photos it is always good to communicate the dress code clearly in advance so no one is uncomfortable or sticks out in your photos.




For more wedding planning tips and inspiration check out the Chicago Wedding Blog posts below! Happy planning, and don’t forget to tag us in your wedding photos! We can’t wait to see your ballroom inspired wedding photos!

Wedding Formality

Wedding Formality Options

Wedding Formality Options

Once you get engaged your next step is to establish what type of wedding you want to have. Wedding formality options are a great place to start. The options range from back yard casual to white tie formal. It’s important before you choose your venue you think about how formal you want your wedding to be. To make your decision easier, here are some wedding formality options you can choose from.

White Tie Formal

White tie formal is typically the most formal of weddings. Think attire from “The Princess Diaries” ball. For women, wear a floor length, formal gown. Specifically, you should wear a ballgown with long, maybe with white gloves. It is, however, important to remember to not outshine the bride, don’t go too eye catching. For the men, plan on wearing a white bow tie and a long, black tailcoat with white gloves.

Black Tie Formal

A black tie formal wedding is a small step down in wedding formality from a white tie formal wedding. Black tie formal typically means women wear sleek, floor length gowns, no ballgown necessary. For the men black tie formal typically means a black bow tie and black tuxedo, no tailcoat necessary.

Formal/Black Tie Optional

Another step down in wedding formality from the black tie formal wedding is the formal/black tie optional wedding. In this case, women can wear a formal cocktail or T-length dress. Men can choose to wear either a tuxedo or a suit with their tie of choice. Remember, while this wedding is less formal than the white or black tie affairs, suits and dresses are still recommended.

Cocktail Attire

For a cocktail attire wedding, think going out for a date in the city. For women, a cocktail dress or skirt and formal top are great options. Another great option for women is the ever popular jumpsuit! For a cocktail attire wedding men can wear a suit with, or without, a tie. Feel free to leave the bow tie at home.

Semi-Formal

For a semi formal wedding there are multiple options for both men and women. Women can wear either a nice, but practical dress, nice skirt and top, or nice formal pants and formal top. For the men, plan on wearing suit, or dress pants, and a dress shirt or sweater are a great option. Preferably do not wear khaki pants. There is much room for interpretation with semi-formal weddings, but it is always better to err more on the formal side just incase.

Casual Wedding

For a casual wedding you can keep the formal clothes such as dresses and suits at home. Preferably, you would not wear sweats to a casual wedding. However; cute jeans and a nice top, or a casual sun, or maxi, dress are a great options for women. For men plan on wearing nice jeans or comfortable khakis with a polo shirt or whatever shirt feels nice, but not barbecue to you.

Back Yard Casual

Speaking of barbecues, at a backyard casual wedding you can wear anything you would hang out at a barbecue wearing. That being said, it is still a wedding. For women, jeans and a cute top work well. For men jeans and a nice t-shirt are a good option. Think what you would wear to hang out with your friends if they invited you over for dinner. This will help you avoid looking too informal but also not too formal.

Which wedding formality option did you choose? How did you make your decision? Did it make choosing your venue and wedding attire a lot easier? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

A Casual Affair

A Casual Affair

A Casual Affair

Maybe you’re not very traditional. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of money to contribute to your wedding. Or, maybe you just want a low-key, intimate affair to celebrate your big day. Whatever your reason may be, opting for a less “stuffy” method of celebrating sounds mighty appealing to some.

Make sure to tell your guests that you are opting for a more subdued approach and less “pomp and circumstance.” Surely, you don’t want your guests to overdress or misinterpret your style. Setting the tone is muy importante in regards such as invitations, décor, and even the setting.

The look and language of your invitations is typically the indication of the formality of these events. For example, engraved invitations speak to elegant and traditional-type weddings. While, casual weddings may utilize handmade papers, textured ribbons, snazzy monograms, etc. Less fancy and more unique.

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A Casual AffairStyle My Corntoss

If you want to get married in a forest preserve overlooking a lake, a Vera Wang princess blush ballgown is probably not the best option. If you can imagine bean bag toss, Frisbee tossing, and a general laid-back backyard feel to your day, then you might want to dress accordingly.

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A Casual AffairWish Lantern

Wedding stylists and planners will often suggest their clients close their eyes and tell them exactly how it looks, feels, smells, etc on their big day. If you envision Chinese lanterns swaying in the wind under a starry sky and a buffet of homemade foods and desserts, then this is your best option. If you imagine a country club adorned with ice sculptures, white glove service, and displays of shellfish…this is definitely not your cup of tea.

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A Casual AffairImagine That Wedding

Setting the table in a communal farm table is a really nice way to get everyone mingling and blissfully enjoy an unstructured reception dinner. Displaying and serving in-season fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and rustic loaves of bread are simple ways to make this a casually-elegant day. Think finger foods and comfort foods. They are big crowd pleasers and are very minimalist in presentation and palette.

Just remember, your wedding is not an all-night event, note that your caterers or band may slap you with some giant fees if you go over on time. This is meant to be an easy-going evening not to be interpreted as a rave or frat party.