2019-2020 Venues that Allow Outside Catering


It’s time for an update and re-posting of one of our most popular blog topics – venues where you can choose you own catering company.

A lot of brides have asked us if we could provide a list of venues that allow outside caterers.  We found lots of choices for you – from community spaces to elegant historic homesSome of these venues have catering company from which you choose, and others will allow you to choose your own.

If you book one of these venues, be sure to tell the venue that you found them through BrideStLouis.com.


  • Aeries Terrace, Grafton, Illinois
  • Arch, The
  • Barnett on Washington, St. Louis
  • Ballwin VFW Hall, Ballwin
  • Blanchette Park Memorial Hall, Charles
  • Boo Cat Club, St. Louis
  • Brookdale Farms, Eureka
  • Butterfly House (Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House )
  • Campbell House, St. Louis
  • City Hall Rotunda, St. Louis
  • City Museum, ST. Louis
  • COCA University City
  • Cultural Art Center, St. Peters, Missouri
  • Edge of Webster, Webster Groves, MO 63119
  • Fast Lane Cars, St. Charles
  • Firefighters of Eastern Missouri
  • Florissant Egan Center, Florissant, Missouri
  • Foundry Art Center, Charles, MO 63301
  • Gateway Classic Cars, Shiloh, Illinois
  • Harvester Lions Club, St. Charles
  • Hawken House, Webster Groves
  • Heights, The – Richmond Heights
  • Hive 44, Fenton
  • Jefferson Undergound
  • Jewel Box, St. Louis
  • Kuhs Estate and Farm, St. Louis, MO
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis
  • Limelight Events
  • Luminary, The
  • Lodge at Des Peres, Louis
  • Machinists Hall (District 9) Bridgeton
  • Mad Art Gallery. St. Louis
  • Mahler Ballroom
  • Magic Chef Mansion
  • Magic House, Kirkwood, MO
  • Mount Pleasant Estates
  • Museum of Transportation
  • NEO on Locus
  • Old Courthouse – Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri, St. Peters
  • Pour Vineyard
  • Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis, MO
  • Purser Center, Chesterfield
  • Quail Ridge Lodge (St. Charles County Parks), Wentzville
  • Randall Gallery, ST. Louis
  • Saint Louis Carousel at Faust Park, Chesterfield
  • Louis City Museum, St. Louis
  • Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis
  • St. Louis Artists Guild, Clayton, Missouri
  • St. Louis County Parks, St. Louis
  • St. Louis History Museum, St. Louis
  • St. Louis Jewish Community Center, St. Louis
  • Shrewsbury City Center, St. Louis
  • St. Louis City Hall, St. Louis
  • St. Louis Muny, St. Louis
  • Shelton Concert Hall, St. Louis
  • Soulard Preservation Hall, St. Louis
  • Third Degree Glass, St. Louis
  • Valley Farms, Foristell
  • Wild Carrot, St. Louis
  • Logan College – Purser Center, Chesterfield
  • White Owl, Wright City
  • St. World’s Fair Pavilion, St. Louis

Additional contact information can be found in our vendor section.  If you know of other venues that you would like us to add to the list, let us know, and we will check them out.  Send that to bride@bridestlouis.com.


20+ Ideas to Create a Wedding Reception that will Entertain and Wow!

Creative Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

What will guests most remember about your wedding?  While great food is always important,  it’s so much more than that.  Your reception is the biggest party that you will ever plan, and while it marks the importance of the fact that you just married the love of your life, your guests will look to you to be entertained.  They will remember a FUN experience.  Making your party personal and unique will keep them talking about the great night they had for a long time.

First there are some basic reception concepts to follow, like creating good seating arrangements.  A good seating arrangement creates good conversations among friends and people that have common interests.  Put college buddies together and teenagers together, etc. and don’t try to force strangers to struggle to make connections.

And, of course, food should be a big part of being a guest.   I love the new food options that can be introduced – like pasta stations, potato bars, and such.   If you choose to do several courses, you might arrange for some short entertainment between courses.  This is a good time for a quick toast from a favorite lifelong friend or a salute to your parents.  Do you know someone who sings or plays a musical instrument – now is a great time for a quick song.   And keep good food coming all night long!  Have a slider bar or serve toasted ravioli toward the mid part of the night to kept their energy up.  You might even consider hiring a food truck for late at night.

After the food, comes great music and dancing!   Great music keeps the dance floor full, so be sure to arrange with your band or DJ music that everyone will like.  Play some of your favorites, but be sure to include some older tunes that everyone will enjoy.  This is the time that you and your wedding party should play an active part in getting everyone up to dance.

And for your unique sparkle, here are some additional ideas for your reception that could add a special twist:

Stage a Whiskey Tasting Bar or create an area to make your own special margaritas!

S’mores Stations, Chocolate Fountains with Fruit, Popcorn Bars, etc are yummy.

Specialty Coffee Bars with flavored syrups and toppings are popular.

Outdoor weddings might include country games like horseshoes, ring toss or croquet, or even a petting zoo.  You might also arrange a late night hay ride or, for a winter wedding, a sleigh ride.

Laser Light Shows or perhaps fireworks or a sparkler send off can be fun.  (Be sure to get the long 36 inch sparklers.)

Provide party gear like glow sticks, sunglasses, beads and fun trinkets.

Create a Stunning Unexpected First Dance or have a MOB performance.

Rent a Dry Ice Machine and dance in the fog!

Balloon drops on the dance floor can really get the party hopping as well.

Have Unique Entertainers – live art painting, belly dancers, caricature artists, or professional ballroom dancers.

For a different twist hire singing groups like an acapella group, country banjo players, etc.

Bring in Specialty Artisans – For example, hire someone to demonstrate how to make hand rolled cigars, or bring in a barista for special lattes.

Having kids?  Create a special kid’s area with entertainment just for them.

Bring in the new photobooths – fish eye, slow motion, video, and many more options are available today.


The possibilities are endless.  Keeping your guests surprised and entertained all night long will make for a reception that will be the talk of your friends and family.

Refreshing Summer Cocktail for Your Reception

Looking for a refreshing summer cocktail that’s easy to do?  It’s super easy to make in large batches and so great looking too!

Tropical DrinkWeb


  • Champagne
  • Raspberry Liquor
  • Fresh Lemonade
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Fresh Raspberries & Lime Slice for Garnish

To Make:  Fill one cocktail glass half full with champagne, add a splash of the raspberry liquor and pineapple juice, and then fill with lemonade!  That’s it.  Add a few fresh raspberries to your drink and top with a garnish of lime.



3 Ways to Spot a Wedding Crasher

Wedding Reception 2


Yes – it really does happen!  Wedding Crashers!  I know this because I’ve seen it.  In fact, as you review your photos after the wedding and if you find one or two people who keep showing up in your reception photos who you can’t account for, you probably had a crasher!   Who would dare do this?  How can you spot them?  Let me give you some clues:


  1.  Most wedding crashers are men in their mid 20s to 30s.  Almost always there will be at least two people, but sometimes you will see a group of four or five.  Rarely is it a woman or a group of women.
  2. Attire is a give away.  Most will be wearing jeans or very casual wear.  Watch for backpacks, large “camera” or other bags.  If you see these “guests” hanging around the gift table, it’s okay to check them out.  Questions like, “Are you a friend of the bride or groom and how did you meet them?” will usually spook them.  Gifts have been known to be stolen.  Most times they are just there to dance, have some fun, and because they have nothing else to do.   It’s an opportunity to enjoy free food, and cheap or free alcohol.  Some crashers are “uninvited” friends who are spiffed at not being invited, and they are just there to take a stand.
  3. Open doors to your reception kind of say, “Come on in”.  Keep it closed.  If they don’t see what is happening, they are less inclined to enter.  Receptions tend to be large, loud, and generally don’t require a written invitation in hand.

Most wedding crashers don’t know the couple getting married and if they get drunk or belligerent it can be an embarrassment for you.

Have any of you experienced this situation?  Let us know.  While movies tend to make it a barrel of laughs when this occurs, it’s best to avoid this situation.