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Every bride deserves to be celebrated in way that is unique to them. Here are my tips for 5 ways to level up your bridal brunch.

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Choose a Theme or Color Pallette 

This is the first step since everything else like food, florals, and decor are based off of that! Ultimately the goal here is to find something that mimics the bride’s taste, since her opinion matters the most!

Some common bridal shower themes:

  • Love is sweet
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Disney
  • PJ party
  • Tea party
  • Beachy/Nautical theme
  • The final fiesta

If you don’t have a theme in mind, pick a fun color palette and go from there! Not every bridal shower needs a theme, but a central idea/color is a great way to level up your bridal brunch.

For this bridal brunch styled shoot, we stuck with bright, vibrant colors like dark green, varying shades of pink, and gold. This created a super feminine and bold vibe for the decor!

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What to wear?

Along with the colors and theme, decide what the dress code of the bridal shower will be! As the host/planner of the bridal shower, you set the tone here. Most likely, your guests will be wondering what to wear!

Will everyone dress up? Is this a casual yet cute event? Should guests all wear a certain color? If it’s going to be outside, make sure everyone knows so they can plan for the weather. 

Bottom line: only the bride wears white!

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Unique Snacks

Every party needs some snacks! To make it memorable for the bride, find something personalized and unique. You can never go wrong with cookies & cupcakes, especially when they’re from Kat’s Confections

For Kansas City bridal showers, look into Go Go Candy Co! This is Kansas City’s one and only candy truck. This made our styled shoot sooo unique, fun, and YUMMY.

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Cute Bridal Shower Decor

Decorating your bridal shower venue ensures that it’s photo-ready and super personalized for the bride! Being intentional with the glassware, signage, florals, and other decor really helps set a fun vibe and draw attention to the theme or color palette. 

Centerpieces are an easy and gorgeous way to level up the area. These flowers are from The Little Clover and I’m obsesseddd with how they turned out. 

While you’re planning the bridal shower decor, keep the bride’s chair in mind. This is where she’ll sit to open gifts. Decorate it BIG like with a balloon arch to really make her feel like a queen! This is more than a chair, it’s a throne. 

Balloon arch courtesy of Dolli’s Design’s 

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Bridal Shower Games

During the bridal brunch, your guests will be mingling and eating and chatting with the bride about her upcoming wedding. It’s always fun to gather people with a bridal-themed game!

Keep these short and completely personalized to your guest of honor. The questions can be about the bride, her relationship with her partner, or about the partner! It’s always fun for everyone to learn more about them. 

Playing bridal shower games is the perfect way to break the ice, get everyone laughing, and make the bride feel special. 

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Kansas City Wedding Vendor Credit

Allllll the credit to these amazing Kansas City wedding vendors for their help at this styled shoot!

Venue: The Firehouse

Planner: Cake & Champagne Event Planning

Photographer: Natalie Nichole Photography (hey, that’s me!)

Videography: Isbell Creative

Rentals: Supply Event Rentals

Balloon Decor: Dolli’s Design’s 

Florals: The Little Clover

Candy Truck: Go Go Candy Co

Cookies + Cupcakes: Kat’s Confections

Hair + Makeup: Lumiere Aesthetics Center

Inspo: Planning the Perfect Bridal Shower

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5 Ways to Level Up Your Bridal Brunch

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This year I asked my past brides to share their advice for future brides. All of the lovely ladies planning their weddings can take tips from brides that recently planned their own weddings. They all learned what is most important when it comes to wedding planning and making sure you enjoy your day of. Whether you’re planning a big wedding or an elopement these words of wisdom will be useful for you.

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Advice from Hannah

“I think my day went so perfectly because I didn’t freak out about small things. I didn’t even freak out about big things. I kept thinking, at the end of the day I will be married to my best friend, and whatever happens today is what was meant to be! I think having an easy going attitude during the whole thing helped a lot.”

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Loren’s advice on eloping

“Do what you want and do not plan too much! You should have a simple idea and schedule of the day, but planning it to the T takes away the fun of it! What worked for us was the simplicity of it all. We stayed at our hotel to prepare, the hotel was extremely close to the elopement location, we allowed the scenery and skyline to be our decorations, trusted in our pastor for the vows and ceremony, and focused on us. This was a decision that we would absolutely choose again and would recommend others to do as well!”

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McKenna’s Suggestion

“It [the wedding day] really does go by so quickly and it’s over and done before you know it. Hire a day-of coordinator so you can leave all the details and worries to them and really soak in every moment of the day!”

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Ann Marie’s tip

“There are so many things to figure out, but if you can find the right vendors, who you feel you work well with and whose vision meshes with yours, it is a game changer.  Don’t be afraid to ask vendors for advice on other aspects of your big day.  Keep in mind they have typically done this many times and have likely seen things go right or not so right.  A little professional advice never hurts.”

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Destiney’s Adivce

“Don’t stress it will all work out in the end. Just go with the flow and expect little bumps in the road.”

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Amanda’s tips if you have to change your wedding plans

“If anything, wedding planning during a pandemic taught me to be much more go with the flow and embrace everything with a sense of humor. It allowed me to just say “whatever happens, happens.” I know it sounds cliche but what they say is true. Once you are up there with the love of your life, nothing else matters. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and just lean on each other, your families, and if you luck out like us, your amazing vendors. Take in every single moment standing up there. This is it, it’s here, you made it.”

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These brides wanted to share their advice to soon-to-be brides to inspire them and give them the opportunity to learn from their experiences. Overall they all express the importance of not stressing over things you can’t control. Let whatever happens, happen. Just focus on enjoying your day to the fullest.

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For more wedding inspo check out other wedding day blog posts.

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6 Past Brides Share Their Advice for New Brides

You can choose any music genre for your first dance song. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old school classic, a new pop song, some homegrown country, or a little alternative. What matters most is that you feel a special connection to the song. If you close your eyes while the song is playing you immediately see your partner. The rhythm should bind your hearts together, the lyrics should remind you of each other.

Here are my top picks of perfect songs from every genre for your first dance

couple dances their first dance at wedding

Classic

  1. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley (sooooo many good remakes of this song as well!)
  2. This Will Be [An Everlasting Love] – Natalie Cole
  3. At Last – Etta James
  4. My Girl – The Temptations
  5. This Magic Moment – The Drifters

Pop

  1. Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  2. All of Me – John Legend
  3. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  4. Give Me All Your Love – Brighton
  5. I Am Yours – Andy Grammer

Country

  1. Holding On to You – Miranda Lambert
  2. You Had Me at Hello – A Day To Remember
  3. Amazed – Lonestar
  4. My Best Friend – Tim McGraw
  5. I Want to Dance with You – George Strait

Indie/Alternative

  1. Love You For A Long Time – Maggie Roger
  2. Nothing Matters When We Dance – The Magnetic Fields
  3. All My Love – George Ezra
  4. I’m With You – Vance Joy
  5. Someone To You – BANNERS
choose any genre for your first dance at your wedding

Honorable Mentions

  1. Aquaman – Walk The Moon
  2. Overwhelmed – Tim McMorris
  3. Dreams – The Cranberries
  4. Yours to Keep – Jordan Mackampa
  5. Incredible – James TW
  6. Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede

For my fellow How I Met Your Mother fans: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers

check out my full playlist of first dance songs here I’ll be adding to it constantly so go ahead and “follow” if you’d like.

genre for first dance
outdoors first dance at wedding

Before you pick your first dance, make sure your wedding day timeline is set- here’s how to plan the perfect wedding day timeline

The Perfect Songs from Every Genre for your First Dance

a simple wedding in kansas city

If a big wedding ceremony isn’t your thing, you might consider having a smaller ceremony or an intimate elopement. Here is how to have a simple wedding in Kansas City.

a simple wedding in kansas city

The key to making your marriage legal – Your Marriage License

In the state of Kansas (Johnson County)

You’ll have to go to the County Clerk’s office twice. Remember your IDs

Clerk of the District Court:
100 N Kansas Ave
Olathe, KS 66061
Hours: Monday- Friday 8am-5pm

-Apply for your marriage license

The application portion is a sworn affidavit. You’ll give basic info about both of you; name, age, city you live in. Then you’ll go under oath that you’re not related to each other, neither of you are currently already married, and that you don’t know of any other reason you shouldn’t get married.

-Wait three days

The state of Kansas requires applicants to wait three days for their marriage license to be processed.

-Return to pick up your license

Hot Tip: Technically only one of you needs to go to the Clerk’s office to apply, but going to get your marriage license together is a memorable moment I recommend you share together.

In the state of Missouri (Jackson County)

You can go to the Jackson County Courthouse, Historic Truman Courthouse, or you can apply online. If you go in person be sure to remember your IDs.

Jackson County Courthouse- Recorder of Deeds Department
415 East 12th Street
Room 104
Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Historic Truman Courthouse
112 W Lexington
Suite 30
Independence, Missouri 64050

apply for your marriage license

You’ll give basic info about both of you; name, age, city you live in.

-Pick up your marriage license

If you apply in person you can get it right then but if you apply online you’ll need to both go to pick it up.

a simple wedding in kansas city

The Fun Part -Your Ceremony

Both Johnson County and Jackson County will happily give you a list of judges that can perform your ceremony, you will need to reach out them and decide on a location. Your officiant can also be a religious official; a minister, a priest, a rabbi, etc. Nowadays you can have a friend or relative become a temporary officiant or become ordained which can add a personal touch to your ceremony.

Location Ideas:
Possibly in the court house (they don’t seem to be offering this very much)
Your backyard
A local park (check with each park about their fees and required permits)

Kansas (Johnson County)

Your ceremony will have to take place within 6 months after you receive your marriage license. All you will need for a ceremony is someone to officiant and two witnesses. Your officiant must turn in the license within 10 days of the ceremony.

Missouri (Jackson County)

Your ceremony will have to take place within 30 days. You’ll need an officiant and two witnesses. Your officiant must turn in the license to the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds Department within 15 days of the ceremony.

Hot Tip: Your wedding ceremony must take place in the State that you got your marriage license.

courthouse wedding

How much will it cost to have a simple wedding in Kansas City?

-License
Kansas $85.50 (additional $4.95 if you pay with a card)
Missouri $50.00

-officiant most likely between $100-200 (maybe free if your friend or relative is offering!)

-Venue will depend on where you choose! There are plenty of free options

courthouse wedding
backyard wedding in kansas city

How much will it cost to have a photographer at our simple wedding?

*quotes for Natalie Nichole Photography for a simple ceremony within 20 miles of Kansas City*

Week Day ceremonies = $500
-an hour of coverage
-sneak peek photos the same day
-50+ final images delivered 3-5 weeks after your wedding

Weekend ceremonies (Nov-Feb) =$700
-two hours of coverage
-sneak peek photos the same day
-50+ final images delivered 3-5 weeks after your wedding

Additional hours can be added to packages

a simple wedding in kansas city

Love KC? Have a simple wedding in Kansas City on a rooftop. The skyline makes for the perfect backdrop.

How To Have A Simple Wedding In Kansas City

There are many benefits of a first look on your wedding day. If you’re planning your wedding, having a first look is definitely something to consider. But really, what are the benefits of a first look?!

More Time with Your Fiancé

One benefit of a first look is of course -more time with your fiancé. If you are having an evening ceremony but not a first look, you won’t be able to see your partner for the entire day before you walk down the aisle. This isn’t just a regular day…. this is your wedding day. This day is one of the most important days of your relationship. Let’s fill your entire day with love instead of just a couple of hours.

Cure any butterflies

Wedding days are notorious for being a little chaotic. Wether you’re feeling nervous, excited, or overwhelmed there are a lot of emotions happening at once, but the best way to calm any butterflies is to look into your partner’s eyes. The minute you see the love of your life on your wedding day, your jitters float away. It’s a minute of calmness before the natural chaos of the day. Sometimes the first look is one of the only moments you’ll have alone throughout the entire day. A quiet moment all to yourselves to just be together.

Flexibility in Your Timeline

First looks give you the opportunity to slow the day down a little, you don’t have to rush everything in the short little window of time between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. First looks early on in the day allow most of your photos to be taken before the ceremony even starts. Then after the ceremony you’ll only need time for a few more family photos and a couple portraits of the two of you as the newly married couple but then it’s time for the reception! You’ll actually get to go to your cocktail hour and enjoy it. You’ll be excited to welcome guests and celebrate with everyone because you’ve been able to relax throughout the entire day and have had your love by your side.

Overall first looks benefit the day by taking a way some of the stress. They save a little time in the timeline because you can get so much done early on in the day without having to stay hidden from each other. They also give you an intimate moment alone to be yourselves without the feeling of being in front of a crowd.

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Courtney and Mason’s intimate garden first look
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regardless of if you choose to have a first look or not your wedding day is going to take your breath away. You’ll marry the love of your life and celebrate with allllllll of your friends and family that support you.

learn how to plan the perfect wedding day timeline (with or without a first look) here

Benefits of a First Look