Grand Rapids Ballroom Wedding: The Wedding Guest Experience

Written by Brittany P.


Attending Abigail’s and Grant’s romantic ballroom wedding in Grand Rapids, Michigan was every bit as elegant as it was stunning. The gorgeous ceremony and reception were held in buildings steeped in local history.

Their wedding day was a beautiful blend of contemporary details and classic romance, and I was fortunate to witness their milestone moment. Join me for a peek into their big day!


Wedding Guest DO’s + DON’Ts

DO: RSVP on Time

Always RSVP on time! My cousin, Abigail, and her partner were engaged in September, they sent out wedding invites in November, and they wed in February! Their time frame required timely RSVPs. It allows vendors to get a final headcount before the big date to make sure there’s enough food and seating available. The seating chart can sometimes be a real puzzle, so the more time that they have to solve it… the better.

DON’T: Bring Your Own Plus-One

This might seem like a no-brainer, but don’t bring your own wedding guest. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to assume whoever the letter is addressed to, is who is invited to the wedding!

When I received the invitation in the mail, my name was the only name that appeared on it. If my partner had been invited to the wedding the letter would have been addressed to “Ms. Brittany P. and Guest.” However, that was not the case in this instance. I immediately understood that to mean I did not receive a plus-one.

DO: Arrive on Time

Making the entrance after the bride is not acceptable, so we planned to be at the ceremony 30 minutes before it began. That way we could find parking downtown Grand Rapids, hang up our coats, say some hellos, and find our seats with plenty of time to spare.

DON’T: Ruin Professional Photography

Don’t be the relative sticking your iPad into the aisle obstructing the first couple’s kiss. Phones can ruin wedding photos. The last thing we want to do is ruin an important photo by sticking our cell phones into the aisles at the ceremonies. Try to steer clear while the professionals work their magic.


Hair Style + Dress

On the day of the event, I lucked out by securing a hair appointment with my favorite hairstylist in the Greater Grand Rapids area. I received a highlight, haircut, and style for the wedding. It was perfect! I highly recommend scheduling your hair appointments around events if you can. It made getting ready for the wedding that much easier!

For the dress, I was on the hunt for a stylish winter wedding guest dress that wouldn’t leave me shivering! That’s no small task considering winter weather in Grand Rapids, MI can be chilly. Ultimately, I decided on a midi-length, velvet, floral, emerald-green dress.


The Couple

My cousin, Abigail, and her (now) husband Grant. Their home state is Michigan.

The Wedding Invitations

How cute are these wedding invitations? Florals are always a classic motif for any season. This botanical print was enhanced with some watercolor-looking illustrations. I also appreciated how the fonts stayed consistent and coordinated with the signage at the wedding as well (signs, name tags, and table labels). The theme colors on the invitations (dusty rose and velvety burgundy) corresponded with the bridesmaid dresses. It was the perfect stationery to announce their nuptials!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was held in my cousin’s childhood church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The church is a beautiful building that has been a fixture of the Heartside neighborhood since its inception in 1887 and rebuilt in 1960. Now it is a beautiful mid-century modern design, with a light brick façade, dramatic steeple, and slender spire.

The Wedding Reception

The wedding reception was held in the ballroom of an enormous, historical building dating back to the 1920s.

The beautiful colonnade, coffered ceiling really set an ambiance for the evening! There was a gorgeous grand staircase, marble floors, and ornate woodwork.

The Décor

The garland appeared to be ruscus, which was accented by beautiful roses. The little lights created a cozy element of warmth.

It is sometimes difficult to get florals and other décor elements that grow in warmer months. This wedding was styled elegantly, but there are always options of utilizing dried florals, branches, pinecones, or other winter-friendly options.

The Food + Desserts

Winter is the perfect time to serve your favorite hardy dishes. Cold temps called for roasted veggies, redskin potatoes, chicken, and brisket. It was perfect!

They offered 3 types of cupcakes: red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate.


This classically romantic wedding was a day of pure magic for the happy couple, and I was overjoyed to be a part of the celebration of their marriage. Hope you enjoyed seeing some parts of their big day and it gives you inspiration for yours!

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