Colleen’s Journey – Gift Registries and More – Part 5

Bride St. Louis Gift Registries

 

Welcome to part five of our wedding planning journey.   I am sad to report that I did not meet my goal of finding a photographer.  I had every intention of sitting down for a few hours and doing research, making a spreadsheet, and narrowing down my options.  However, my laziness got the best of me this week! The dreary cold weather was just screaming, “Go to bed early and binge Netflix!”  Next week I will resume my goal and hopefully finish this task that has been looming over my head!

As for this week’s post, I do have some exciting things to share with you!  My fiancé and I finally registered for shower/wedding gifts! Bed Bath & Beyond was hosting a “Rock Your Registry” event.  They had a few appetizers, desserts, soda, and I even went home with a small bag of freebies. They also had vendors from various companies around the store to talk about their products.  It was a great way to jump into the process of “registering”.

As I went into the night, I was definitely nervous about the process.  I was positive that this was definitely not going to be an easy task for someone like me who cannot make decisions.  How am I supposed to decide what sheet count to select? Towel colors? I have no idea! Don’t even get me started on the pots and pans!  Luckily, we just took on the store section by section. It might have taken us a few hours, but we did it! I would highly suggest looking into Bed Bath & Beyond’s future events!  If they have another event such as this in the near future, you should definitely take advantage of it. One of the things that I found really nice about this event is that there are SO many other couples there.  I didn’t feel silly walking through the store talking with my fiancé about which pillow to choose, because there were so many other couples there doing the exact same thing. I’ve also been to plenty of stores where there is not a soul in sight to help answer questions or give assistance.  However, I feel as though this location brought in extra workers for the night because at every turn there was someone asking me if I needed help. Even if I said I didn’t need help, I think they could tell that we did need help. They would politely insert their thoughts about certain brands.  It was so helpful to have a second opinion! Overall, this event was a great way to get our feet wet and start thinking about what products we would want to start our new life together!

I do have a question for all of you brides out there…how many places are you registered at?  We are definitely going to look at Target as well as Bed Bath & Beyond. I’ve also heard great things about Amazon as well, though!  Is three too many? Of course, my fiancé would also love to register at Lowe’s, but four might be pushing it! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and I’d also love to hear the item you are most excited to register for!

Colleen’s Journey – Part Four

Welcome back, brides! Now that you have heard my wedding dress saga, I have to share a little dress hack that I recently learned about.  How many of you have helped your friends use the bathroom on their wedding day? 🙋‍♀️ I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times now so I’ve gone through this experience quite a few times!  Well, if you want to relieve your bridesmaids of this duty (no pun intended), then use this little genius idea…First, you need one of those large, blue, Ikea bags. Next, cut the base out of the bag.  Now you will basically have a blue cylinder with straps. You can now step into the bag and as you pull the bag up, scoop your dress up at the same time in the bag. Place the straps of the bag on your shoulders so you can be hands-free!  You can always just leave the blue Ikea bag in the bathroom so you don’t have to walk out of the restroom with a giant blue bag!

Sorry for that little off track piece of advice, I just felt like I had to share!  On to the next step of my wedding planning process! Since I have the pleasure of working for Carol with Bride St. Louis, I have been to many bridal shows and I have recently been scoping out a great DJ for my reception.  I have to admit, there is something specific I have always wanted at my wedding.  I’ve always dreamed of having karaoke.  I love a good night out with friends and singing terribly at the top of my lungs.  I’m the first to admit I have absolutely no musical talent but that doesn’t stop me!  So as I was hunting down a decently priced DJ, I wanted to make sure karaoke would be an option that wouldn’t break the bank.  I also wanted to make sure karaoke wouldn’t be the only thing played at my reception.  I wanted a good mix of fun dance songs as well as singing with the mic!  I checked out about 4 different DJ options and ultimately went with the one that was able to offer the karaoke package at a reasonable price and without hesitation at my idea.  They were all for my idea and I can tell they will really make my vision come alive! I feel as though my decision for a DJ has been the easiest process so far. I didn’t ever really stress about this part of the wedding planning process because I knew there were always DJs out there and I would always have an option.  Don’t stress about this area! Take joy in the fact that this should be a painless part of the process.

My goal for next week is to have a photographer!  Now that is one area that is totally stressing me out!  By the time I share with you next week, it is my goal to have found a photographer.  I expect you to hold me to it! Have a great week!

Coleen’s Journey – Saying “Yes” to the dress! (Part 3)

I said YES…to the dress!  A wedding dress can take anywhere from 5-6 months to come in (not including alterations) and with my wedding coming up in less than 6 months, I knew what I had to do next!  As much as I dreaded dress shopping, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected.

I had a few ideas of the dress I envisioned myself in.  So, I went on Pinterest and found a few I liked and added them to my wedding board.  This way, when consultants asked what I was envisioning, I could just hold up my phone and I wouldn’t have to try and explain the hundreds of ideas swirling around in my head.  The main aspect to my original vision was long sleeves. I’ve always loved the idea of wearing long sleeves on my wedding day. Partly because I am self-conscious about my arms (ridiculous, I know) and partly because I think long sleeve dresses are elegant.

Once I had a few dresses pinned and ready to show, (I may have done this on the car ride to the dress shop #procrastinationatitsfinest) we made an appointment at a bridal store that was close to home and that I had heard about through some friends.  My mom and dad were the only ones I wanted to come with me on this first go around. Remember how I said I’m very indecisive? I wasn’t sure what I really wanted so I didn’t want to make my friends endure a long day of trial and error. I might not know what I want, but I definitely know what I don’t want.  I knew I could go to this appointment with my parents and send back any dress I wasn’t “feeling” and they would totally understand!  I wanted to get a feel for what I liked before I asked some friends to come along.

The first appointment went just as I expected.  I tried on a few dresses I thought I would like and ultimately, I wasn’t impressed.  It was a great first appointment though to feel out a few styles and now I felt like I was ready for my second attempt!  After we left the first appointment, there was a bridal store down the road that luckily allowed walk-ins! I went into my second appointment with a little more confidence.  I told my consultant my “vision” for long sleeves and I tried on a few options both with and without the sleeves. But yet again, nothing I really loved.

I went ahead and called a third and final place and I also randomly called a few friends to join me.  And I’m glad I did because, like they say, the third times the charm! The one thing that I loved about this shop that the other two shops were lacking was the organization.  The dresses were organized by style which helped me see all the long sleeve dresses they had available. I was also able to look in their “lace” section as well, which was the second best option in my vision.  I tried on exactly what I had thought I would love and had always pictured wearing.  As you can guess, I didn’t love it. It just didn’t feel right for my venue, body style, and time of year (I realized long sleeves in July would be pretty toasty).  If you try on a dress that isn’t feeling quite right, go with your gut and keep searching!

I ended up branching out and realizing that a trumpet style gown WITHOUT sleeves was more my style!  I ended up saying YES to a lace, ivory, spaghetti strap gown with a nude underlay. Completely different than what I had planned!  The moral of my long drawn out dress saga is to keep an open mind!  I know you probably hear this all the time and roll your eyes (just like I did), but it’s the truth!  I can’t wait to tell you more about my wedding planning journey next week!

Need some help choosing your style.  Check out this previous blog post:  https://bridestlouis.com/mermaid-trumpet-or-fit-flare-whats-the-difference/

Need some help selecting the right dress for your body:  https://bridestlouis.com/selecting-the-best-wedding-dress-for-your-body-style/

And one more helpful article about purchasing a wedding dress – the basics:  https://bridestlouis.com/everything-need-know-buying-wedding-dress/

Bridal Show Tips to Make the Most of Your Time

Bridal Show Jan 26 2020

 

Bridal Shows can be fun and exciting, as you put together the pieces of your wedding day.  And they are indoors…where it’s warm!  So you can warm your body and excite your spirit.

Many brides tell me that they are thoroughly overwhelmed the first time they attend a bridal show, so I thought it might be good to lay out a few guidelines to help you make the most of your time.

Before you go – print several sheets of adhesive address labels with your name, contact information, AND wedding date.  Quickly peel off a label and stick it on an inquiry sheet at any booth that you would like to receive additional information.

Bring your checkbook – you just might want to book or hold a date.  High demand dates can go quickly.  Is your wedding date in May, June or September, October? (These are high demand months.)   If you find a vendor you like, and they are available, you better book it now.  Photographers book sometimes a year out, and so do venues.  They can only host one event on any one day, so don’t take a chance and find them booked next time you inquire.

Bring family or friends you trust, and whose opinion matters.

Invite your groom – but take him only if he wants a voice in this part of the wedding planning.  If this is not his thing, don’t torture him!

Know what you are looking for and what’s your budget.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Many vendors will have SHOW specials.  This is a great time to take advantage of these deals to help stretch the budget.  Be sure to ask questions about their service. Service is what the top professional vendors provide – that’s what puts them in demand.  Weddings are a very personal service, and without GOOD service, you might have problems.  Not a way to remember a wedding.

Whether your wedding is a few months away or an entire year, a bridal show will help you pull everything together.

Come visit our Bridal Show on Sunday.  What a great way to start the new year and get ready for your wedding!

St. Louis Bridal Show Jan 5 20120

 

DATE:  January 26, 2020

LOCATION:  The Christy Banquet Center, 9000 Veterans Memorial Drive, O’Fallon, MO 63366

TIME:  12 noon to 3:30pm

FASHION SHOW:  3 PM

Additional tickets available at the door for $10.00.

All Children under 10 are free.

 

One last point – be sure to sign your married name on our “Welcome Signature Board” when you arrive.

We are so excited to have you join us for the perfect wedding experience.

Bride St. Louis donates to ReFresh

 

Refresh Visit by Bride St. Louis

This week Bride St. Louis made a stop at ReFresh in Brentwood to donate dresses that remained from our 2019 Run for the Dress.  Re-Fresh is not your typical resale store.  The only thing that can top fashionable clothes at reasonable prices is shopping in the name of a great cause.

ReFresh is run by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, a St. Louis non-profit that finds forever families for area children in foster care.  Not only do the store’s proceeds benefit the Coalition’s important work, but ReFresh also provides deep discounts to children in foster care.  Shopping at ReFresh truly makes both your heart and wallet feel good!

Join them for their first ever Bridal Event January 4th thru January 31st.  Come shop their collection, which includes over 200 new wedding dresses generously donated by a local bridal store.  They have a vast array of sizes and on-trend styles starting at $100, with many dresses on sale for 30 to 50% off the ticket price.  Be sure to tell them Bride St. Louis sent you.

Colleen’s Journey – Wedding Planning – Part 2 “Choosing a Venue”

Bride St. Louis

 

Welcome back, St. Louis brides!  The next step in your wedding planning process definitely requires a glass (or three) of wine!  It’s time to think about your venue!  This was definitely the most stressful part of wedding planning that I’ve experienced so far.  Yet, once it’s over you can breathe a HUGE sigh of relief.

Picking a venue has so many challenges that come with the task.  There are so many things that you have to take into consideration that I didn’t even know I would ever worry about.  Not only do you have to worry about the price per person for food and drinks, you also have the room rental to consider, the ceremony and the ceremony fee, the space for guests, etc.  After emailing and calling so many places, I started to lose track of you who I had and had not talked to!  I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet!  It was very simple and basic since I knew eventually I will have chosen a place and I wouldn’t need it.  My spreadsheet included the location, the price per person, venue rental, ceremony fee, and the person I was in contact with.

Next step…calling and emailing and emailing and emailing.  So many emails!  The most important thing to consider when you are considering your venue is what type of reception you are wanting.  I was interested in a “party” vibe.  I want my guests to just eat and drink to their heart’s desire and of course, have a blast!  I wanted a place where I could put out some games like giant Jenga, cornhole, etc.  I knew I needed more of a barn or brewery type of vibe!  So, I could immediately rule out some of the places I talked to that were more industrial and seemed “cold” to me.  Distance was also a huge factor!  Which set of family and friends was going to have to drive a distance and which set were going to have a short commute?  Were there hotels nearby?  What about a fun restaurant or bar that guests might be able to get a drink at after the reception? (Can you tell yet that I really just want my guests to have fun?)

Another way to narrow down your search is by thinking about what is absolutely too far for guests to travel.  If you’re on the fence about a place, I suggest taking a “drive-by” before you schedule an official visit.  I drove by a location that I was unsure about and by just driving to the location, I immediately ruled it out.  It just wasn’t what I was looking for and through this approach, I didn’t have to spend my Saturday at an appointment at a spot that I knew wasn’t going to work.

After taking all of these aspects into consideration, I was able to narrow my search down to two places!  I booked an appointment with one of the places and the next day I toured the location.  I didn’t even call my second option for an appointment because I fell in love with the first one!  It has the room and ability to play games, it has a great price for food and drinks, a beautiful area for a ceremony, and it’s the perfect distance for so many of our guests.  I can finally breathe!  The hardest part is over.  Like my fiancé said, “When you know, you know.  Just like when I saw you.” Aww, sappy I know 😊.  More to come next week!

 

NOTE:  Bride St. Louis has a sister site called VenuesofStLouis.com.  There you will find over 300 Venues Listed with detailed information.  That site is searchable by location, price, and type.