It’s Not Too Late!!

I know we are getting deep into the wedding “season”, and I’m sure that a lot of you have considered a photo booth (hopefully ShutterBooth in particular!) for your occasion.  Unlike a lot of other vendors, i.e. photographer, DJ, florist, etc., we don’t necessarily book up quite as early in the process.  As an awesome add-on, we get that budgets are important, and we can probably accommodate you.  If that little sound in your brain has been making you think we are a great option, well, listen to it!  Never hesitate to reach out with questions…I’m sure I can help you out…hope to hear from you soon!

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Who Can Perform A Marriage In Michigan?

Have you ever seen a sit-com show or Hollywood film that has a random goofy character officiate a wedding? They usually come through right at the end of the movie and tell the other characters that they have the power to legally marry. Although this is convenient for cookie-cutter Hollywood scripts, what are the true legal qualifications to perform a marriage?

Each state has their specific type of rules and regulations on who can marry someone, hence the saying “with the power invested in me by the state of Michigan.” In Michigan, there are basic qualifications to perform a marriage but nobody can do it off the street. In a few states, like Florida, someone who has become a notary public can legally perform a marriage, but not so in Michigan.

In order for someone to perform a legal marriage between a man and a woman in the state of Michigan the person must be “an ordained minister, magistrate (a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law — Justice of the Peace), mayor of a Michigan city or a judge.”

Most people use an ordained minister to perform the ceremony. This means they must legally hold a position as some form of ministry member or be officially recognized by a church to officiate a wedding. The church doesn’t have to be filed with the State of Michigan as a charter for the marriage to be legal.

The other qualified persons to officiate a marriage are magistrates, judges, or a mayor of a Michigan city. While a majority of weddings are commenced by ministers, having a government official is also an efficient option to perform a marriage.

If someone wants to become an ordained minister to officiate a wedding, there are multiple ways to do it. One, actually become an official pastor or minister on staff at a church in Michigan or two, search for churches online that have applications available for becoming a recognized officiate. Either by the long traditional way or the fast and sketchy technological way, becoming an ordained minister is possible for practically anyone.

Of course, just because you know the official law of who can officiate doesn’t mean it’s easy to pick someone to do it. That’s for the bride and groom to figure out.

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Wedding Planning Survival Tips for the Groom

You’ve sat down and had an intense and emotional one-on-one conversation with her dad. You’ve shopped across the city for the perfect diamond for your best friend. You’ve planned the perfect place to ask her the question. You’ve given a heartwarming speech that she won’t remember because she’s so excited. Now you’re engaged. Time to start planning the wedding. For most grooms-to-be, wedding planning is a frightening journey of all things guys can’t stand: planning, talking, shopping, trying on clothes, arguing, crying, and looking fancy. But the engagement process shouldn’t be a nightmare for grooms, here are some easy tips to survive and thrive during the wedding planning phase.

Don’t Debate, but Have Opinions: It’s easy for guys to separate themselves from the wedding planning, especially when the fangs and claws come out about minute things like ribbon color. But don’t use that as an excuse to not have an opinion. Your fiancé wants to see you engaged and involved in the planning process. That doesn’t mean to openly debate about table placement with the mother of the bride, but you need to consistently voice your thoughts and opinions. This will make the bride feel valued and loved.

Be Supportive: In every step of the wedding planning you need to be supportive. Use words of affirmation and actions as a way to support your bride during the emotional roller coaster of planning a wedding. Many times this means you will have to step in and be the leader on decisions. “Saving the day” is important to establish early in the engagement. This usually happens when your future in-laws are using a planning decision as an emotional escape. No mother of the bride cares that much about the invitation font, it’s usually a symbol of coping with her daughter growing up.

Focus on the Important Things: After buying the ring and proposing, the groom can feel like his job is over but this is far from true. Although men probably won’t have to do a majority of the wedding planning, it’s important for them to focus on the important things leading to marriage. Continue to love and swoon your bride throughout the engagement period. Focus on your relationship and how you will live your future life together. Marriage counseling is required by many churches and religious denominations, but don’t leave the discussion to a couple one-hour sessions. Continue to mold and develop the relationship throughout the engagement to create a better marriage in the future.

Do Fun Things: The worst thing for an engaged couple is to only talk about the wedding when you’re together. Do fun things throughout your engagement. If necessary, do a “no wedding talk” clause before you take your fiancé out on a creative date. Helping her get away from the planning process will help your relationship and the planning as a whole.

Do Stuff with the Bros: This will be the last time you’re able to spend real guy time before you get married. Take a long weekend (aka a bachelor party) or make planned and regular “chill time” with your buddies. You’ll never be able to go back after your married, so take advantage of the time you have now. Plus, time with guys will help you remain sane throughout the planning process and remind how great your bride is.

Guest author Luke Berris is a groom to-be and a contributor to the website of The Gateways Inn, a wedding destination in Lenox, MA.

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A Wedding Planner’s Opinion Why You Should Have a Photo Booth At Your Wedding

As a quick intro, my name is Andrea Barnes, and I work as a wedding planner for Murski Homestead B&B, a wedding venue and bed and breakfast in Brenham, Texas. I’m a big fan of photo booths, and I wanted to share on this site just why I like them so much.

Believe me, you’re not the only bride or groom who has asked this question when planning a wedding. When the budget is limited and the costs of making your event especially unforgettable are skyrocketing, having a photo booth seems like a frivolous idea. Besides, there’s a photographer (and maybe even a videographer) to take care of the wedding album. Would having a photo booth be too cheesy and a waste of money? Would it be truly worth it? Here are reasons how a photo booth plays a necessary role at your wedding.

You can have photo prints as wedding favors

Opt out of traditional favors that your guests will just throw away, and go for photo prints that your guests can share online, frame, and most importantly, save somewhere. You won’t throw away a picture that has your face in it, right? There’s so much you can do with the photos too! Order them as photo magnets to give away, or stick them into the guestbook and let the guests write notes.

Your guests will enjoy the photo opportunity

Some brides are worried about the guests not using the photo booth. Would they be too shy? Would they rather go dancing than wait for their turn to the booth? To give you an easy answer—they will love it! Ask the DJ to make an announcement to visit the booth (as long as it’s not during the first dance and the toast). Place some cute poems on the tables or on the way to the bar to tell guests about it. After the night is over, you’ll be surprised by the hilarious and wacky photos your families and friends have come up with. Who can resist a photo opportunity when everyone’s looking their best?

You give the guests a reason to socialize

Big or small weddings, there’s always a need to break the ice especially during cocktails or the gap between the ceremony and the reception. Photo booths are a great way for people to gather around, talk, interact, and laugh together! Friends call other friends for a group photo; kids and parents pose together for a picture. From choosing the perfect frame to swapping wigs, guests get a chance to joke around with friends and strangers!

Photo booths give life to the party

Beyond the usual open bars and musical bands, weddings can become so much more eventful because of photo booths. They make your party stand out from other parties that people have been to as you offer something new to the table. And the experience will always be a novelty to everyone no matter how many times they’ve been to a wedding with a booth.

They’re a different breed of photographers

Photographers may have the latest and greatest camera lens for shooting every scene at the wedding. But people behave differently when they know that no one is behind that photo booth taking their picture. They can be more playful and have better control of how they want to pose, which can make the atmosphere more fun and creative. Furthermore, renting a photo booth should be much cheaper than a photographer, and you can have as many prints as you want.

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Unique Ways to Add a Personal Touch to Your Wedding

If you ask any bride, or female in general, she will tell you how magical Pinterest is, especially when it comes to wedding planning. Many future brides will admit to scouring the virtual corkboard site looking for ideas that will make their dream wedding a reality. While Pinterest is valuable for general ideas, the little details are what will make your wedding special. So if you don’t want your guests to constantly say, “Oh I saw that on Pinterest,” be sure to add some personal touches to make your wedding unique. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Skip the Flowers

Not a big fan of flowers? Then don’t use them for the bouquet or boutonniere. Instead, use something that shows off the personal interests of the bride and groom. For example, a groom that likes to fish may prefer a fishing lure instead of a flower, or an outdoor wedding could incorporate seashells or feathers into a bouquet.

Make your own Beer or Wine

It may be time consuming, but how often do you sip on beer or wine at a wedding that was made by the bride and groom? If you want to take the personalization one step further, create labels that match your wedding invitations or wedding theme.

Name the Reception Tables

Instead of simply using numbers for the tables at your reception, use significant restaurants, places or dates from your relationship. Start by making ‘Table 1’ the location of your first date or the place you met, then work your way through the tables until you get to where you got engaged, and use your wedding site for the last table.

Photos, Photos, and More Photos

Photos are usually a staple at any wedding, but how they are displayed is what makes them unique. Skip a slideshow and use the photos as decoration. If you’re having an outdoor reception, take advantage of trees by nailing photos to their trunks or using string to dangle photos from branches.

Diversify Dessert

One of the special moments the bride and groom share during the wedding is cutting the cake, but if you want to make the moment more personal then cut into something that has sentimental value. Did you go to a coffee shop for your first date? Then cut into a scone from there. Have a favorite dessert that you like to share? Use it instead of cake. Doing this also allows you to have a dessert table for guests to choose from instead of only offering cake.

About the Author: Lexie is a guest blogger from The Perfect Card Box, providers of locking wedding card boxes that put your engagement photos on display.

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June is here!

Wedding season is in full swing and we kicked off June 1st in the best way we know how – celebrating at receptions with newlyweds!!  Sending out a big congrats to all of our couples from last weekend who are truly kicking off a summer of love! – Here’s just a taste of the fun!


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Special Spring ShutterBooth Savings!


Don’t wait to reserve your date!
Reach out today to learn more about these awesome Spring Savings!


Exclusive to ShutterBooth of West&Northern Michigan

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Happy Planning!

We’re wishing all of our brides the best of luck as they continue to plan for the upcoming wedding season!  Did you know that we are a proud member of TheKnot??  Check out or profile and get in touch! – We’d love to build a ShutterBooth Experience specific to your special day.

Contact our Event Specialist, Melissa, at 616-608-3017 or, anytime!



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New Bridal Show Specials Are Almost Here!

We are beyond excited to roll out our newest bridal specials for the 2013 bridal show season!  Come see us at the Bunny Tuxedo Bridal Show January 11th and 12th at DeVos Place to be the first to know!!

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Make-A-Wish Mich!

We are thrilled to be a part of Make-A-Wish Michigan’s celebration of
‘Wish Mich’ families next week here in Grand Rapids!!

Find out how you can get involved with this great foundation at

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