Ballroom Dancing 101

by Jenny Bryde 1. July 2013 03:16

Do you have visions of you and your new spouse doing an amazing first dance a la Dancing with the Stars?  

This trend is getting hot, hot, HOT, and the good news is there are resources to help you get your groove on!  Are you a lessons kind of couple where you'd like to go and have a professional teach you step by step?  There are quite a few great dance companies locally who can help you make this happen.  Our favorite at is Addicted to Ballroom!  Check them out!!

Are you more of a DIY kind of couple where you'd rather learn steps from the comfort and privacy of your own home?  Here are a few charts to get you started.  






Here is another great sites with videos and descriptions of tons of different dance moves -

So get out your dancing shoes whether they are flip flops or spiked heels and get moving!  

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Entertainment | Jenny Bryde

Bridal Shower Games!!

by Jenny Bryde 31. January 2013 01:07

Yes they can be cheesy and embarassing, but games at your bridal shower will probably happen.  They make wonderful ice breakers and certainly take up attention away from you who, if you're like me, always feels funny opening gifts in front of people.



So here are a few of my favorite games:


  • Give everyone a large safety pin with five smaller pins attached to it.  They can each then attach the larger pin somewhere to them or just hold on to it.  The idea for the game is that no one can say the word "bride".  You have to come up with creative ways to get around saying that exact word.  If someone says the word "bride", the first person who says back "mine" (or some other word you come up with), gets the pin.  People will start losing pins left and right, and some people will get really good at trying to get people to say the word.  This game starts at the beginning of the shower once all the pins are out and goes on until the hostess decides to stop the game.  The person with the most pins at that point wins!
  • Ask everyone to make a photo copy (so that the original doesn't get ruined) of their own wedding picture if they have one and get it to the host ahead of time.  The host can then blur out or put a sticker on the faces of the brides and grooms.  The guests can then do a guess the picture game and try to figure out which wedding picture goes with which person.  The guests can record their answers on a form for the hostess to "grade".  The person with the most correct guesses wins!
  • Wedding Family Fued - look up some trivia questions revolving around weddings ahead of time.  Divide the guests into two teams, and let them play the classic game of trivia with steals and all.  Don't forget to say, "Survey Says!"  Lots of fun!
Below are a links with a huge number of other games to play at wedding showers!

So start sifitng through those games and figure out two or three that might work well for your crowd.  Whether you're silly or serious, social or shy, there's a game just for you!



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Entertainment | Jenny Bryde | Parties

How to Keep Your Guest Extra Happy with Activities

by Jenny Bryde 25. June 2010 11:24

I guess you could call me a people-pleaser personality.  I always want to receive praise for things I do, and I find contentment in knowing that people are happy.  No, I'm not a saint...I think this derives from my fear of disappointing people...really it's quite narcisistic. 

So what am I dwelling on today? 

Activities for my guests...entertainment...a little something extra.  Okay, so our guests will get to come to a lovely place, eat delicious food, dance to some great music, but beyond that I feel like I need to provide something to entertain people.  I have this blundering running list going on in my head that doesn't relieve my anxiety, and maybe if I get it down in this blog post I will start to calm down.

I'd like to start a running list of cute/sentimental/unique ideas that all of us could put together to entertain our guests.  I'll start off with a good baker's dozen on this list, but PLEASE post your ideas on the message board, and I will add them to this blog post with a credit to your amazing brains!

1)  Trivia Cards - 6-10 different facts about the couple with multiple choice answers that could be spread out on different tables throughout the reception area.  It could be a good ice breaker and discussion source for guests.

2)  Lottery tickets - Check out this awesome link where they show you how to make your own lottery tickets.  You could put things on there like one free pass to cut in line to dance with the bride, get an extra piece of cake, start the mambo, or other ideas like that. 

3)  Lawn games - I think it would be fun to have a set of croquet mallets ready to go....or that washer game that I see everyone playing at picnics....or hula hoops....or bag races!  Even if just the kids play, it will be entertaining for folks to watch and make for some great photo opps.  Can you imagine a bride standing on the washer game box throwing the washers? 

4)  Photo booth - I have waxed poetic on many occasions of how I think that a photo booth is an amazing amount of fun for a wedding reception.  I won't be a broken record.  DO IT!  :)

5)  Song selection - With their RSVPs have your guests write down a song suggestion for you to play at the wedding.  Each guest will recognize as "their" song comes on!

6)  Hire a band - Live music of any sort adds that extra punch of fun to the dance floor, and we have so many local talents that there is sure to be a band of your taste who could play at your wedding!

7)  Characature artists - Hire someone to set up a little table where guests can get a fun wacky pictage of themselves at the wedding!

8)  Wearable place cards - Instead of just a card or a poster telling your guests where to sit, why not give them a flower that they can each pin on as a boutinierre or a corsage?

9)  Crossword puzzle - Come up with a crossword puzzle full of clues about the couple that your guests need to solve in order to finish.

10)  Hire some dancers - Why not get some professional salsa dancers to get the dance floor warmed up!  Very Dirty Dancing! 

11)  Sparklers and/or Fireworks - I don't care if your wedding is in the dead of winter.  Everyone loves fire.  I can't explain why, but they do.  I think it has something to do with the cave man or woman living inside us all...  Give each guest a sparkler or hire a company to put on a private fireworks show for you.  Just be safe about this, folks.  If you do sparklers, be sure to have a bucket of water to douse the sparklers when people are through with them. 

12)  A message tree - Instead of a guest book, have each person write a note with a piece of advice or their favorite quote and tie them to a tree at your guest book table. 

13)  Butterfly releases - You can order live butterfly cocoons that you raise and then like put under a napkin so that a live butterfly emerges when the guests pick up their napkins.......buuuuuuuuuuut there's a little voice inside of my head that feels that it is slightly mean to the butterflies, plus what if the cocoons don't hatch?  ("Um thanks for coming to my wedding...her's a little brown nugget.  What does it fly? just lies there.")  But here is a link to where you can make your own paper butterflies that will actually fly.  How fun! 

Okay, ladies and gents!  I've started the list!  What else do you know of that we could add?  Spill it!  :)



A Photo Booth = Fun for All!

by Jenny Bryde 24. March 2010 01:11

Once upon a time (aka Thursday last week), I was writing a blog post on photo booths when along came a virus which crippled any and all programs and applications on my computer.  After sometime in the computer hospital, we are back in business, so it is with trepidation that I continue where I left off.  Hopefully it isn't the term "photo booth" that my computer hates...  From my's how the original post was written...

I'm not a brat.  I'm not really!  There are very few things that I dwell on, whine about, or am able to produce tears about wanting and not having.  The topic of photo booths has been a tumultuous one around this household, but I am holding out till the end.  I want a photo booth at our reception.  I need a photo booth at our reception.  You want our marriage to start off on the right foot with me happy, right?  (Picture me smiling with clenched fists.)

I just can't help myself.  There are so many great things about having a photo booth at a wedding reception.  Photo booth, how I love thee.  Let me count the ways...

1)  A photo booth can serve as your favor to your guests!  Not every one loves all the different things that we engaged couples come up with to give out at weddings.  I fear to name some of the more atrocious wedding favors that I've received for fear of stepping on someone's toes, but you all know what I'm talking about.  A photo booth, however, is awesome because everyone loves pictures!  

2)  A photo booth can serve as your guestbook!  Many times, the photo booth can be set up to print out two copies of each film strip; one is for your guests to take with them, and the other can be put into a guest book where people can pen a little message next to their wacky poses.  Fun!  That way in forty years when you are trying to remember which girlfriend your cousin Dave brought with him, you can flip on through your guest book and see Dave and Julia (what ever happened to her anyway) smiling right back atcha.

3)  A photo booth can set the tone of a really fun wedding!  A photo booth is like an open invitation that tells your guests to let loose, have fun, and that your wedding is for them to "experience" and not to "endure".  

My fiance has been hesitant to the idea of a photo booth so far.  Money is tight with everyone these days, so it's no doubt that a photo booth is something that could be trimmed from the budget (I suppose).  But I don't give up easily.  I am fully prepared to place all my valid points of this blog entry into a formal presentation complete with projector slides, diagrams, and a pointer stick.  Here are some pictures that will highlight my presentation:

picture via


photo via

photo via

I mean really, when you look at all things purchased, rented, invested in for a wedding, what IS realistic?  The truth is that everyone could save thousands of dollars by not buying the vast majority of items that are present on a wedding day, but we do it to a degree.  Come on, folks!  Back me up!

If you have gotten past your significant other in the battle of a photo booth, you are in luck!  We have Joe's Photo Booth company that rents photo booths for special occasions serving the Quad Cities Area!  Check out his website here!  If you're also foaming at the mouth, you can request information right on his website!  


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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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