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.

Free or Almost FREE – Outdoor Locations for Your Wedding

Venue Locations for Your Wedding by BrideStlouis.com

 

Recently we had a future bride ask about outdoor places with gazebos or gardens that could be used for wedding ceremonies.  (She was looking for FREE or almost free!)  So – I tossed together some locations that come to mind.

Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.   They have large and beautiful large trees.  Also, there is a sunken garden area that is available on the West side of the property.  And a plus, there are also outdoor restrooms available here too.

Alton Gordon Moore Public Park – Alton, Illinois

Forest Park – Waterfall off Lagoon Street, The Muny Entrance (Gazebo and beautiful lake in front of the Muny), General Grounds, the Basin area, and Old World’s Fair Pavilion are my favorites.  Don’t forget about locations within the zoo grounds as well.

Faust Park – By the old Village, Outside the Butterfly House, or at the Thornhill Mansion grounds that is behind the Butterfly House.

Missouri Botanical Garden – That’s not free, but it is beautiful.

Kiener Plaza They removed the beautiful waterfall, but it is still a fun location.

Carondelet Park

Water Tower off Grand

Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.   It’s $5.00 per person to enter, but it’s worth it!   They have a beautiful lake and in spring 1000 of daffodils.

Bee Tree Park in South County.

Klondike Park – Augusta, MO Off Highway 94

City Garden (Downtown) – It has a nice waterfall

Tower Grove Park – Most everyone knows about the ruins, the lily pond, and the many, many gazebos.

Castlewood State Park off Manchester Road in Ballwin

The J.C. Stage in St. Charles on the Riverfront.  It cost a little to rent, but it’s very nice.  They also have two other smaller pavilions.

St. Louis Arch Grounds – It’s beautifully renovated.

Ball Park Village is Fun

Bellevue Park – Belleville, Illinois.  It has a beautiful gazebo and a medium size lake.

Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton, Illinois

Lafayette Square & Park  – They have a nice gazebo and a beautiful bridge over a garden area.

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Queeny Park in Manchester – Try up in the garden area (Close to the closed Dog Museum) or down by the lake.

Chesterfield City Park – A beautiful water fall area, a lake, and the gazebo

St. Ferdinand Park in Florissant – Both Lake & Gazebo.

Various New Town Locations in St. Charles

Drace Park in Des Peres – not well known, but very nice.

Longview Farm off Clayton Road in Town & County.

Creve Coeur Lake Park

Kirkwood Trail Station – Get married inside the train station.  A great location when the weather is bad.  Kirkwood Community Center also has a nice lake and walking path.

Fort Zumwalt Park

We, of course, would love to hear any additional suggestions from you that we can share with our readers.

Reason #3 to come to the 2018 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show – Eat Lots of Cake!

 

There are 8 Great Reasons to come to the Cake and Champagne Tasting Event and Bridal Show which is being held on Thursday Evening, November 15th, 2018 at The Holiday Inn Airport West, 3400 Rider Trail South, Earth City, Missouri 63045.  Here is….

 

Reason #3:  Eat Lots of Cake!

 

Wedding Cakes have lots of old traditions.  Test your bridesmaids to see how much they know about these traditions.

 

  1. Saving the top layer

Lots of couples still freeze the top layer of their wedding cake and enjoy it together on their one-year anniversary. But couples didn’t originally save it for their anniversary — they’d save it for their first child’s christening.

In “the olden days,” married couples often had children much earlier than couples do today. It certainly wasn’t unusual to have a child within the first year of marriage. And as wedding cakes grew taller, the top layer was often left over. Religious newlyweds quickly recognized the leftover confection as a perfect dessert for the (undoubtedly upcoming) christening.

Of course, couples eventually started putting off having children, and that frozen layer only stays edible for so long. Now, the one-year mark is the more common occasion for devouring the sweets.

  1. Cutting the cake together

Well, obviously you have to cut the cake to serve it, but we’re talking about the big event of cutting wedding cake. This tradition hasn’t endured just because it’s an adorable photo op! Slicing the cake is the first task or activity the newlyweds do together, so it’s a special moment.

Historically, the cake was cut by the bride alone (as a symbol of losing her virginity…uh, awkward). But as cakes became bigger and more intricate, it became more difficult for the bride to do it alone, so she’d enlist the help of her new hubby. While we’re pretty sure a bride could totally manage to cut a cake on her own, most couples continue to cut the cake to carry on the sweet tradition.

Also, worth noting: The cake cutting is typically the last “event” of the night, so it gives your guests a cue that it’s OK to head out.

  1. Smashing cake in each other’s faces

Not everybody is into the idea of smearing frosting all over their partner’s face, but its silly nature has kept this tradition going! Turns out that messy food traditions have been in place for years.

For example, in Yorkshire, the bride would eat a small piece of bride’s cake (which was more of a pastry than the cakes we think of today). Then, she’d throw the rest of the cake over her head to ensure a life of wanting nothing (and to ensure a huge mess to clean up). In even older times, the groom would break bead over the bride’s head and guests would pick up the crumbs.

It’s not totally clear how we got from picking up crumbs and throwing cake to smearing frosting across someone’s face, but one thing’s for sure — brides and grooms have always played with their food!

  1. Serving a creative groom’s cake

Grooms got a little jealous of the bride’s cake, so by the 17th century, the desserts were made in pairs — a bride’s cake and a groom’s cake, which was typically a small fruitcake. But instead of being served at the reception, the groom’s cake was cut up, packaged and given to guests as favors.

The tradition of groom’s cakes actually died out in the U.K. after a while, but resurged in the U.S. more recently. Of course, groom’s cakes now aren’t fruitcakes but more creative creations.

  1. White wedding cakes

These days, white frosting and cake are far from required for weddings, but white was the norm for quite a while.

There’s the whole white symbolizing virginity and innocence thing, but the real reason was more for practicality than tradition or symbolism. Icing is made of sugar…and sugar is white. But as time went on, a whiter-than-white frosting became a status symbol — a more refined (and expensive) sugar resulted in a purer white.

Another fun tidbit: “Royal icing” got its name from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s cake in 1804, which was decorated in white.

  1. Lots of tiers

While we love small wedding cakes (one or two tiers can be adorable), traditionally, wedding cakes had up to seven tiers.

That’s a tradition that likely stems from a different baked good. In medieval times, spiced buns were stacked as high as possible in a giant pile. If the newlyweds could kiss over the tower of pastries, they’d be in for a lifetime of prosperity. As wedding sweets moved from buns to cake, chances are that nobody wanted to do away with the towering display of dessert.

Who knew that dessert could be so symbolic? Of course, some of the symbolism has worn off over the years, so if any of the weird roots make you uncomfortable, just know that most people won’t relate the tradition to its unusual origins. And like all wedding traditions, none of these is mandatory! Want a purple cake? Go for it!

Source:  Kirstin Doherty

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PLEASE JOIN US!

Save $3.00 NOW by purchasing your ticket in advance at www.BrideStLouis.com for just $5.00. At the door tickets available the day of our event for $8.00.  Brides get a FREE COMPLIMENTARY TICKET when you register on line – apply the promo code “2marry”!

 

This is an event not to miss!

Thursday Evening – November 15th, 2018

Time:  6pm to 8:30pm

Place:  Holiday Inn Airport West

3400 Rider Trail South, Earth City, MO 63045

(Located just off Highway 70 at the Earth City Expressway)

 (You can register right on the HOME PAGE)

Our Thanks & Appreciation

12246971_10153252812973450_7797677576449912606_nThanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect back on the past year. We’d like to take this time to sincerely give our thanks and appreciation to you!

Elopements and Small Weddings right here are the trend!

 

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Did you know that every Wednesday at the St. Louis County courthouse you can get married by a judge?

I had the chance to observe brides and grooms lining the hallways waiting their turn to be called before the judge.  As many as 28 couples waited their turn and then were called to the front of the court room with their two witnesses.  In front of all these strangers they committed to loving one another forever.   Five minutes and done.  I doubt that any of those couples every thought of this ceremony as the wedding of their dreams.  And sometimes couples are turn away because there is not enough time!

Sometimes couples decide that the larger, formal wedding just doesn’t work for them.  They instead decide to “elope”.  (You don’t have to leave town to elope.)  This decision might be precipitated by military deployment, family issues, or just because they want to forgo the expense and time consuming traditional wedding.  

Getting married is a very important step in your life and even If you are considering such an “elopement” there are better options.  Perfect Elopements (www.PerfectElopements.com), a consortium of wedding professionals, is a company that brings everything together for you to have a beautiful wedding ceremony without the huge expense and you can schedule your wedding with just a few days, or sometimes, hours notice.  Flowers, cupcakes, photographer, and an officiant starting at just $395.00.  Just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful.  You show up with your rings and your license.  That’s it! 

Andrea and Lee

 

There are several packages from which you can choose – some include more extensive photography, music, and sand ceremonies.   There are lots of additional options you can add such as dove or butterfly releases.  But most importantly it’s a beautiful, sentimental, ceremony that is romantic.  And best of all, every package include a professional photographer to capture the wonderful memories of this day.

And now Perfect Elopements has completed their own venue JUST for small elopements and weddings called The Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com).  It resembles a small Italian Courtyard at night with a garden like feel – but indoors!  Perfect for winter ceremonies.   They offer two elopement package and three small wedding packages, that can include a small reception as well.  

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If you know anyone wanting to get married, share this information with them.  Help them have a day full or wonderful memories.