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.

 

Colleen’s Journey To Her Dream Wedding – Introduction

Hello St. Louis Brides!

We are introducing a new “feature.”  Colleen, one of our very own team mates is getting married this year, and we’ve asked her to share with you her journey as she prepares for her wedding this coming July.  Witness her decisions, frustrations, and joy as she journeys to her “Dream Wedding”.


First of all, congratulations!  You’re getting married!  Can you believe it? If not, don’t worry. I couldn’t either, and I still can’t!  Second of all, I’m here to let you know that we are in this together! From the hundreds of emails that are flooding your inbox to the millions of calls you are making to venues, photographers, florists, DJs, and more. Just know that we are all going through this together and we will make it out alive!  I promise.

In the blog posts that I will be writing over the next couple of months, I am going to walk you through the plans I have been making and the tips and tricks I have come across. But first, let me begin by introducing myself! My name is Colleen, I am 29 years old, and I was born and raised in St. Louis.  I am a full-time teacher and lover of hiking, dogs, and trying new breweries. When I am not teaching, I love spending time working for Bride St. Louis under the direction of Carol Pope. She is a bridal show guru and she knows all the ins and outs of the bridal industry! I have been working with Carol for around 3 years now and I have learned so much from her.  As a teacher and a bridal show consultant, I have come to realize my love for organization, planning, and being prepared. As you will read in the next few months, you will notice that I like to stay ahead of schedule and make sure everything is organized. So, if I worry you with how quickly I move forward when booking a venue, finding a dress, etc., don’t stress! That is just because I am a type-A personality that finds anxiety in being behind schedule.  Therefore, I am here to help you keep track of what you might need to start thinking about doing next!

The first thing I knew I needed to do was book my venue and date!  Oh, my goodness that is stressful. My fiancé and I have only been engaged for three weeks now but it feels like I’ve aged three years in that time.  Since I am a teacher, I’ve always known I wanted to get married in the summertime and since I’m an organized planner, I felt like I could make this summer work!  Seven-month engagement? I got this!  I decided to let the engagement sink in for a few days and really feel all the feels instead of jumping right into planning.  I highly suggest you take this time as well! However, once a week passed, this anxiety-filled planner started to stress and realized it was “go time”.  But please, take more than a week. Take a few weeks, take a month. You do you! 

The first thing I downloaded after getting engaged was The Knot app.  This app is amazing!  You can take a style quiz to determine what kind of wedding you are looking for if you don’t already know.  This app will then give you some suggested venues in your area or surrounding area that fit your style. Along with being extremely organized and in control, I am also insanely indecisive.  I can never make a decision without thinking about it for hours (wedding dress shopping should be fun). With that being said, The Knot helped me make a vision for our wedding and narrow down some venues that fit with my style.  My indecisive qualities loved this feature! Speaking of “narrowing down some venues”, next week I am going to go through all of the planning, phone calls, and meetings that it took to book our perfect venue!  In the meantime, don’t stress about all of those little details that are keeping you up at night, everything will get figured out in time and it will turn out perfectly! Oh, and make sure to download that app, it’s a lifesaver 🙂

That’s it for this week…..I’ll be back with more news next week.

 

 

 

 

 

Engagement Ring Care Tips for New Brides-To-Be

Congratulations to all your newly engaged brides-to-be. We thought this would be an excellent time to share with you some tips on how to care for that newly acquire ring. Wedding rings will last a lifetime, and maybe longer if you pass it down to future generations, so extend the shine and sparkle and keep your stones safely in their settings.

Clean your wedding jewelry at home with warm water and a baby soft tooth brush. Stay away from sinks and drains. Lotions, powders, soaps – even the natural oils from you skin will create a film and reduce their brilliance. You can use a small bowl of warm suds containing a mild household liquid detergent, but don’t use any cleaners containing chlorine. Paper towels can scratch the ring so use a cotton towel or let it air dry. Be sure to rinse and avoid touching the diamond with your fingers. There are also ultrasonic cleaners available that you may purchase, and there are some liquid jewelry cleaners that you can buy as well. If you are wearing your diamond ring every day in situations where it’s likely to get dirty, give your ring a quick and gentle scrubbing once every two weeks. Opt for a more thorough cleaning once a month.

Store your rings in a separate soft compartment, fabric lined case or box with dividers to avoid scratches. Be careful when using ring holders or jewelry dishes as these tend to stack rings on top of each other which can cause damage.

As tempting as it may be to keep that sparkler on all the time, there are a number of everyday scenarios that can damage your new jewelry. Exercising, showering, cooking, cleaning, and applying makeup are all risky activities for your ring. .Avoid wearing your diamonds while doing housework, yard work or other kind of rough work. Even though a diamond is extremely durable, a hard blow could chip it. Don’t take your ring off to wash your hands in public bathrooms — there are many tories of women leaving rings being.

Insure them! Get comprehensive coverage against loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, an engagement ring can typically be protected by simply adding a rider to the policy. As an alternative, there are also independent companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. A jeweler or appraiser will have to determine the value of your ring for insurance purposes. In most cases, an expert at the store where the ring was purchased should be able to help. It’s also a good idea to have your ring re-appraised every year since values often change over time.

Once a year take your engagement ring and wedding bands to a jeweler for inspection and cleaning. They will check for loose settings, any worn prongs and other potential problems. However if you see a loose stone or prong between your annual checkup, immediately take your piece to the jeweler.