Handmade and Personalized Wedding Décor

One of the easiest ways to personalize your wedding is to add some handmade personalized décor.  That can include anything from hand painted signs, unique table centerpieces or just lots of little details scatter around the reception area.

Handmade Decor - BrideStLouis.com

Mason jars can get a quick new look with paint – add some flowers and you’re done!  You can also use the Mason Jars as lanterns.  And Rope words are easy to do.  I love signs that direct and large displays of personal photos of both the bride and groom.

Handmade Decor - BrideStLouis.com

Just let your imagination flow.  Etsy is a great source of inspiration and ideas.  So, tell us – what are you planning to create for your wedding?

Handmade Decor - BrideStLouis.com

The Sand Ceremony

The Sand Ceremony has gained popularity with many brides and it is a simple, visually appealing ritual that leaves the newlyweds with a wonderful keepsake of their wedding day.  Plus, if there are children from one or both partners, they can also participate and feel as if they are part of the ceremony as well.

The Sand Ceremony involves a symbolic blending of two or more different colored sands into a single container.   Some brides use a glass bowl for the final container and other like the type of container that resembles a picture frame.


What this ritual means is that two (or more if there are children) different beings (families) combine into a single inseparable unit – the marriage – the joining of lives and families.    The physical end result is a glass container holding the beautiful, blended, mixed sand sculpture.

Another way to personalize this ceremony is to leave a bit of sand in each original vessel, symbolizing the fact that each person will maintain his or her individuality even as their lives are joined.

I have also known brides to use sand from favorite beaches or vacation spots as well.   The colors of the sand can match the colors of the bridal party, but these colored sands usually have to be ordered as most retail stores only stock the basic purple, aqua blue, white, and lilac colors.  One such place is www.sandsationalsparkle.com .  You will find delightful color selections such as Apple Green. Azalea, Bluebird, Burnt Orange, Cocoa, Cobalt, Cherry, Emerald, Fern, Jade, Magenta, Mango, Wisteria and many more!   In fact, I counted 97 different shades!


Fall Weddings in St. Louis

September and October are two of the most popular months of the year for weddings in our area.  If you are considering a fall wedding, this season is the perfect time of the year for an outdoor celebration.   An intimate ceremony under a pin oak tree with rustic leaves falling, and beautiful foliage in oranges, browns and yellows can make for the most splendid of events.

Be sure to add some pine cones, candles, and maple leaves to your décor.  You could even scatter leaves with the color of the autumn season along the bridal runner.  Spider mums and chrysanthemums are stunning.  Add stalks of corn and the husks for decorating doors and place holders.  Apples are perfect as a floating candle holder.  And talking about apples, why not serve carmel apples on a stick.  For your menu focus on the harvest of the fall season.

Be sure to schedule your VENUE and PHOTOGRAPHER now as most places and photographers book solid during that time of the year.

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Check out Cedar Creek in New Haven for your Country Wedding

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Are you looking for something a little different, but close to St. Louis? You might want to check out Cedar Creek in New Haven, Missouri. New Haven is just off Highway 100 between Hermann and Washington, Missouri. They have really put a new emphasis on weddings and it shows.

One of the very special offerings is Western Town which is an area with a brewery tasting room & restaurant. It was build back in the 1950’s using photos of old Hollywood movies sets. Recent renovations make it an assume backdrop for wedding photos! A beautiful lake is perfect for your ceremony and can accommodate up to 400, plus there is space behind town hall that can hold up to1000 guests. There is a patio and pergola plus a saloon.

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Cedar Creek has an exceptional on-site professional catering team that can be tailored to your specifications. And, if you are having out-of-town guests they offer overnight accommodations for up to 129 guests. Prices for your reception start at $65.00 per person. Minimum number of guests is just 10. Indoor ceremony space is limited to just a total of 130, however they are building a new event space which can accommodate up to 300 for receptions.

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The natural beauty of their venue is perfect for those wanting a more rustic, natural setting. Be sure to talk to Jeni at 636-266-9975 or email her at jeni.grunzinger@cedarcreekcenter.com for more detailed information and availability.


How to Have a Country Wedding

Getting married on a farm or family homestead?   Perhaps you have chosen a location such as Dodson Orchards, Overlook Farms or the Rocking J. Ranch.  Country chic is influenced by the nature that surrounds the area.    It’s time to beg, borrow, and buy items that appeal to your unique style.  Arrangements of sofas and comfortable sitting areas, along with lots of pillows add to the comfort.  Trunks, old doors, windows and lanterns (if permitted) can add jazz to the guest area.

For the reception area many brides like to use antique china of all different colors and patterns, old dollies, and perhaps burlap runners.  I also like the pink or green color glass serving pieces.  Table centerpieces can be made using various styles and types of vases or antique pitchers filled with natural groupings of wildflowers.  Another possibility is old mason jars as is, or the new trend – painted silver or gold.  Rustic décor can be found at resale and estate sales and there are two companies here in town that rent items as well:  Finch Vintage Rental (www.finchvintage.com) and Worn Vintage Rentals (www.wornvintagerental.com).  And finally, church rummage and basement sales can offer some great opportunities to find your décor at a bargain basement price.

Door Image from rusticweddingchic

Natural bouquets can be very stylish as well as save tons of money.  Sunflowers are a natural, and early in the year you can see bouquets made with peonies, roses,  bridal wreath, and other early spring flowers.  And best of all, you can make your bouquets yourself.


Other ideas might be hay bales for guests to sit on, boots for all those in the wedding party, burlap table runners and bows, and lots of outdoor lights or lanterns strung around the area.   Make available ice cold lemonade in a huge antique lemonade jar to keep your guests hydrated.  And one of my favorite idea, hire a horse drawn wagon to make your exit after you exchange your vows.  Then make it available for guests for a fun ride around the farm.

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The best part about country chic is that you can add your personality to the wedding and have a wedding that can be easy on the budget.  However, be sure to make adequate arrangements for inclement weather.    Are you planning a country wedding?  Share with us your ideas.

And be sure to check back tomorrow as we will review some of the more popular farm type venues in our area.

3 Things to Consider When Researching a Venue

NEO Banquet Center

When you begin planning your wedding, the very first thing that needs to be determined is the venue.   Everything else bounces off that date and the “look” of that reception site.  And it represents generally over 50% of the entire budget.  Here are three basic things that you need to ask before booking your venue.  Reviewing just these three things will keep you on track:

  • Location – Just like buying a house, location is key.  Is it close to the ceremony site, is it within driving distance, or is it too far to travel?  And check out parking – especially downtown.  Is the venue in a safe and comfortable location?  Is there enough complimentary parking?  Will guests feel uncomfortable having to leave this area late at night?
  • Size – Can this venue COMFORTABLY accommodate the size of your guest list and wedding party?
  • What’s included – Here’s the hardest part of comparing one to another – what’s included?  Assume nothing.  Do they have extra hidden charges, like charges for cutting the cake?  Are tips and gratitudes included in the price quoted?   Do they provide audio systems for toasts and speeches?   Is there a charge for break down and cleaning?  Do they include tables/chairs/linens and centerpieces.  When can you get in to beginning decorating – and are there restrictions?

Choosing the right venue can be overwhelming, but start with these three concepts and the job will be easier.