How to Choose your Wedding Photographer

The photographs from your wedding day will be a timeless memento of a truly special day. Wedding photographers can be very expensive, focus on a number of different styles, and offer a variety of levels of service. All the bridal magazines say to look at some basics like does the photographer work more classic style with a shot list or more in a photojournalistic style where they take just a few posed pictures, trying to tell the story of your wedding in a normal naturalistic style.   About 90% of the photographers today, do the more photojournalistic approach….so there needs to be more than just that to make your decision.

The PPA (Professional’s Photographer Association) recommends that you interview several photographers.  Look at samples – complete weddings if possible.  Do they specialize in a specific style – more artsy, more funk, more black & white?  Do they have a variety of shots – far away, full body shots, close ups; do they provide just basic “typical” shots like cutting the cake or do they also shoot special moments and emotions?

Do you feel comfortable with that photographer?  They will be spending most of the day with you and you want to develop good communication skills and feel comfortable with them.

One note – photography and videography are two distinctly different fields, both requiring extensive training to produce high-quality results.  Depending on your budget, you may want both photo and video coverage of your wedding – totally separate services.

So – here’s my question to you past brides and current future brides.  How much of your decision is based on price, reputation, or experience?  How did you find your photographer?  Family, friends, google search?   If you hired your photographer for your upcoming wedding or if your wedding has occurred, why did you hire him/her as a photographer?   Share with us your thought and ideas.  Send to

Some things to consider before you say “I Do”


Before you get married……


If you want to live together “happily ever after” there are a few things you should know about each other before you tie the knot.

First – Know Who You Are

Know who you are and what you want from life before getting married.  If you want to focus on a career, have kids, travel a lot….be sure to talk about these things prior to getting married.  You don’t have to agree on everything.  You just need to understand what each of you want and expect in a marriage.

Second – Know that you can’t change him (her)

The truth is what you see is what you get.  People will change, but only if THEY want to.

What’s his financial status?

Sharing space has its own challenges.  Sharing expenses can lead to hurt feelings and bad relationships.   Be sure to discuss together how you plan to handle finances together.   This is where total honesty is important.  Don’t hide your credit problems from each other.  Additionally you will want to have a clear picture of what each person desires – a nice home, a new car, etc.  Are you a saver?  Does he spend like crazy?  Be sure to acknowledge your partner’s goals and bad habits when it comes to making and spending money.

Knowing your partner’s priorities can help eliminate squabbles after you are married and lead to a long term, loving, and caring for each other relationship.  Having someone to cuddle up and knowing there’s someone who loves you no matter what is what marriage is all about.

Third –

A good marriage must be created.

In marriage the “little” things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner


Brides – Submit your Most Disliked Cheesy, Pinterest Type Posed Wedding Photos

Over the years I have talked to many wedding professional photographers who hate shooting those “cheesy” Pinterest type photos.  The new trend is more candid and storytelling images, but that doesn’t mean these “posed” shots have disappeared.   Perhaps it’s the bridal party running down a hill, or it’s the bridal party jumping in the air.   What’s your most disliked photo?  Submit your photos to and we will share them with you in the next few weeks.  We will take the top ten and allow you to VOTE for your most disliked at our April 23, 2017 BRIDAL SHOW, My Dream Wedding – Illinois, at the Gateway Classic Car Expo Center in O’Fallon, ILLINOIS.

What Does Love Mean to You?

February is all about LOVE, with Valentine’s Day and all.  So, I thought I would post the lyrics to Weird Al Yankovic’s  “If That Isn’t Love” for romantic inspiration.  Send us your comments and photos and tell us “What does Love Mean to You”.  The best responses and photos will be posted here and on our Facebook page  So, what does “Love Mean to You?”

“If That Isn’t Love”

ooh yeah
i’m your shelter from the storm
you’ll know I’ll always have your back
I’ll even let you warm your freezing hands inside my butt crack
I never get out my leaf blower when Oprah is on
and when you’re telling me about your feelings I try not to yawn
and when we’re at parties I don’t talk about your spastic bladder
when you’re cleaning the gutters on the roof I hold the ladder

and if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love
i don’t know what love is
nanananananana nanananano i guess i don’t know
ahhhh listen now

there’s a microscopic bit of milk left in the refrigerator
i coulda finished it off but i quit in case you want a tiny little sip for later
and if you cut the cheese then maybe i’ll wink and say the dog’s to blame
and i’ll make sure to call you baby everytime i forget your name
i’ll even tell you girl when you start looking fat
‘cuz all your so-called friends will probably neglect to mention that

and if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love 
i don’t know what love is
nanananananana nananana well then I don’t know
oh no
even though you make me sit through Mamma Mia!
well I still adore you
i’ll kiss you even if you have omelettes for breakfast
and i can’t stand omelettes
after I take a bath
if its still warm i’ll leave the water in there for you
i’ll give you my word
you’re so beautiful you make a glorious sunset look like a big fat turd
everytime I see you trying to lift some really heavy thing
you can always count on me to help by saying something encouraging
if you get drunk and pass out i’ll never sharpie up your face
and I don’t wipe my nose on your couch even though that’s a super convenient place
i totally support every idiotic thing you do
and i almost never pretend you’re someone else when i’m making out with you
and if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love
if that isn’t love
i don’t know what love is
nanananananana no i don’t know what love is
nanananananana well I don’t know what love is
I don’t know what love is

Results of the American Wedding Study 2016 – Some Interesting Findings

Wedding Study 2016 presented by

I thought it would be good to share with you the results of the American Wedding Study 2016 published by Conde Nast.  They have been conducting this American Wedding Study for over 20 years.

Their study shows that today’s couples are spending more of their own money to have the wedding they want and they are seeking ideas and inspiration at a greater scale than ever before.  Couples prioritize personalizing their wedding as they are choosing to spend more in details that demonstrate their style.  The average price of “the dress” is now $1517, up from $1380 in 2014.  Couples are scaling back in other areas such as the number of guests – down to 135 from 142 in 2014.

In addition, 73% or paying for or contributing to the cost and since couples are investing their money, they have the freedom to spend it how they want without as much pressure from parents and traditions.  Couples are also taking the honeymoon and mini-moon and sometime putting their own twist on it by inviting family and friends on the vacation for a “buddymoon”.  The practice of including a “man of honor” is also on the rise.

And something we have noticed, couples are not adhering to the traditional “marriage first, children second” timeline.  By the time they marry 33% already have children.

Here are their findings on Key Expenses:

Average Wedding Cost is $26,522.

Average Reception price tag is $11,380.

Engagement Rings $5135

Photography $2099

Video $1533

Reception Music $1508

Wedding Bands $1725

Wedding Cake $417

Additional – the majority of couples set a wedding budget but 35% spend more than intended.  To save money on their dream wedding more couples choose Friday and Sunday dates.

70% use social media (Like BrideStLouis) to find wedding inspiration and their wedding style.

So – what do you think?   Tell us how you are prioritizing your wedding and what is important to you.

Do you have a secret desire to be a SuperHero?

Are you a fun, crazy, and some-what offbeat couple looking to have a FUN wedding – something that’s different – something that you?   Do you have that secret craving to be a Super Hero?  Batman?  Wonder Woman?  The Hulk?   Well, express your style and have a comic book themed wedding.  From Star Wars to Spiderman create your personal style wedding with unique invitations, cakes, flowers, and costumes.  There are a plethora of ideas you can find with a quick google search.

Getting married to your special someone is a momentous occasion in your life.  Let your groomsmen be Stormtroppers, or make a grand entrance to your reception in your favorite intergalactic costume. We have posted some images to get you brain thinking, and then we would love if you share with our readers any ideas you are planning.   Please submit your ideas to by August 15, 2016.  The team at BrideStLouis will review your entries and provide a $10.00 Gift Certificate to the best ideas of the bunch.




Cat Norman Photography

Photo Credit Cat Norman Photography

Superheros! Patrick Pope Photography