What are YOUR Safety Plans for Your Wedding?

Bride St. Louis and Safety Plans for a Covid-19 Wedding

What are YOUR Safety Plans for Your Wedding?

We have been talking with a lot of brides about their upcoming wedding and a typical topic that surfaces is “What Safety Plans are you putting in place for your wedding.” Now that some weddings will be starting to occur, we wanted to share with you ideas of some brides-to-be and, of course, we would love to hear from you any suggestions you might have.

SCALE IT DOWN

Many of the brides have reduced the number of guests significantly, and some have limited it to just Family Members.

Some brides have “eloped” while rescheduling their “party” reception to a later date. Brides who have married say that it has reduced stress, and in many ways, made it more intimate. In addition, many loved the ideal that they would celebrate TWICE.

PROCEEDING WITH THEIR WEDDING – With Changes or Rescheduling the Date

Brides are asking photographers to keep their distance by using longer lenses.

Rather than talking directly to DJ’s about dance requests, they are asking guests to “TEXT” their request. Those with photo booths have eliminated props from the DJ company and asked guests to supply their own.

Those with buffet style dinners are changing to a plated dinner. Some are adding more tables – limiting seating at a table to just family members, or as few as 4 people. Some have requested that silverware be wrapped – not left open/displayed on the table.

Of course, many have added sanitizing stations, and provided masks for all guests.

To keep the dancing spread out, some plan to place hoola hoops on the floor to scatter guests.

Some have asked their venue to just keep doors open, or have someone stationed there to open the door for guests.

 

The most important part is GOOD COMMUNICATION by a wedding couple to the venue, the vendors, and their guests. Let everyone know that you care about their safety.

 

So – brides, what are your plans?

 

Send your ideas to Bride@BrideStLouis.com. One winner will receive 4 FREE TICKETS to our June 7, 2020 “SAFE DISTANCING” Bridal Show.

Beautiful Outdoor Locations for Romantic Weddings/Elopements – Low or NO Costs

With the weather turning nicer, many brides have requested information about LOW COST or NO COSTS locations where they can get married.   We put this list together some time ago, but I think it was a great idea to update it, as there are some new additions we wanted to include.

Did we miss something?  Do you know of a place that should be included on the list?  Let us know, and we definitely will spread the word.

 

Alton Gordon Moore Public Park

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

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 the Jewel Box (Outside).

The Muny in St. Louis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faust Park – By The 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 – Recently Updated.  (I miss the old waterfall there!)

Carondelet Park

The 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.

Oak Knoll Park in Clayton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee Tree Park in South County.

The City Garden has a nice waterfall

The Old Courthouse Steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tower Grove Park – Most everyone knows about the ruins, the lily pond, and the many, many gazebos.  There is also a “secret” private garden with water feature on the South side hided away.

Tower Grove Park at The Ruins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Why not on The Arch Grounds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lafayette Square & Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Queeny Park in Manchester

The New Chesterfield City Park

New Chesterfield City Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.)

Fort Zumwalt Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Busch Memorial Conservation Area – Lots of beautiful Open Space & Ponds.

Weldon Springs Clark Park – This park has awesome views.

Kister Park Gazebo – Great for Photos (That’s the gazebo in downtown St. Charles …and there are bathroom below!)

Why not on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (It’s beautiful) or at the St. Louis Art Museum.

 

I know there are many more great locations, so if there is something we missed, let us know and we will add it to the list.

 

 

 

Considering a Civil Ceremony?

Many large weddings this spring have been postponed due to the COVID 19 situation, but some couples are considering having a civil ceremony now and a larger wedding later.  Great!  Civil ceremonies can be presided over by a legal official such as a justice of the peace (right now, probably not) or any person who has become an officiant.

Bride St. Louis has a list of officiants that might be able to assist  (https://bridestlouis.com/listings/officiant). Check with Marry Me Cottage, 9036 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., O’Fallon, MO, 63366 or call them at 636-734-6077.  Tuscany Gallery is an incredibly special and intimate venue that’s designed for small elopements and weddings. They also have a special OUTDOOR package for the St. Charles County area (limited to under 10 people total) for just $350.00. You can reach them at weddings@TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com or call 636-345-1945.

Marry Me Cottage

Tuscany Gallery and Events

 

To get married you will need a marriage license. You can still get a marriage license at the following locations. With regard to getting a license, here

is the latest that we know:

 

St. Charles County Court House, Recorder of Deeds

Please complete the online application available at www.sccmo.org.  Go to the Administration Building at 201 N. Second Street, St. Charles, MO 63301. Currently hours are 8am to 4:30pm, except they are closed between 10am and 11am. When you go, stay on the first floor and go to the assessor’s window.

 

St. Louis City

We were unable to reach anyone to confirm details. (Probably closed)

 

Lincoln County Court House, Recorder of Deeds

You must CALL FIRST as doors are locked. Talk to JEAN at 636-462-7935. Address is 201 Main Street, Suite 203, Troy, Mo 63379.

 

St. Louis COUNTRY Court House

We were unable to reach anyone to confirm details. (Probably Closed)

 

This information is current as of today, March 23, 2020 and the situation could change.

I would suggest you call first to confirm.

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/

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.

 

11 Things to Know BEFORE you talk to any Wedding Vendor

As couples begin planning for their wedding most are in completely new territory. Hiring a venue, photographer, bakery, caterer, florist, and all the other services that make for a wedding isn’t something they do regularly. As a result, most couples have no idea what questions to ask potential vendors. Then, armed with limited and often conflicting answers to what may not have been the right questions in the first place, they then try to compare between several and make the best choice. It’s very stressful.

Let’s make sure you’re armed with the right knowledge so you can make an informed choice that’s right for you.

  1. Know your budget. Create your budget and know where your money is coming from BEFORE you even start talking to vendors. Agree on an amount for each type of service you need. Base that decision on what’s important to you.
  1. Know your priorities. Maybe you care more about the music and dancing than running around town for photos in a lot of locations. In that case, spend more on a top-notch DJ or a live band and cut out the party bus. Be very honest about what’s important to you and what will make your day special and weigh the budget in favor of those things.

  1. Set a definite location and date up front. If you come into a cake shop for a tasting to “just peruse” and you don’t have a place and a time set yet, you’re wasting both your time and the vendor’s time. That cake shop might already have ten weddings booked and can take no more. Photographers and videographers, for example, will usually want to know that information right from the beginning as they may already be booked for your date.
  1. Trust the professionals. Wedding pros have experience gained over countless weddings, so listen to their advice and don’t try to second guess them. If a photographer tells you that ten minutes is just not enough time to take twenty family poses after the ceremony, believe it. In the end, however, vendors want your day to be the best it can be and they may have a plan you haven’t even thought of so you don’t have to give up your wedding dreams.

  1. “What does it cost” should not be your one and only question.It’s important to have a general idea of what price range each vendor serves and if they are within your budget. However, price is not the only important thing to consider and you should make it clear when you first contact them that other things are equally important. Let’s be very honest here, wedding professionals are people that are very passionate about what they do. Many are true artists that put their heart and soul into their products and services. When the only question is “what does it cost” many feel it belittles the care and talent that they put into their profession. Instead of getting off on the wrong foot, a better way to approach a vendor is to have a list of three or four questions, in addition to price, that shows you really care about and value what they offer.
  1. Don’t send one big mass email to every single vendor.Narrow down your list to your top choices and then send them inquiries. Be short and INFORMATIVE. Provide them with your wedding date, your venue, and a little bit about the kind of wedding you’re wanting to have.

  1. Always be honest and upfront when talking with a vendor especially as it relates to your expectations and your budget. Give them a heads-up about any “unique” circumstance so that there are no surprises on your wedding day.
  1. Be realistic. While negotiating with service professionals is acceptable, you need to respect their offerings and be reasonable about what you can afford. A vendor’s pricing often reflects their experience, skill level and the hard and soft costs of doing business. You’ll be wasting your time and the vendor’s time if you seek out luxury wedding professionals when you’re on a DIY wedding budget. In most cases, negotiations will be more successful if you’re willing to make certain sacrifices to your vision to get the pricing down. Instead of requesting a discount, ask if there’s anything that can be removed from the quote to reduce the price. Alternatively, seek out off-season deals. You may have a better chance at negotiating lower rates on various services in a non-demand season.
  1. Know who you can negotiate with. Don’t expect to bargain with an in-demand wedding professional during peak wedding season. Talented vendors who are just starting their business may be more likely to negotiate in order to fill their calendars and build their portfolios. Also keep in mind the type of service being provided. For example, a florist has to order new flowers for each event, making it hard to reduce service expenses.
  1. Watch out for hidden fees!Tax is one of life’s inevitable truths, so you need to be prepared for that up front. However, some vendors have fees that most couples don’t know to look out for. Many venues, for example, have a non-negotiable service fee and a gratuity added on top of the listed price. It doesn’t mean they’re dishonest, it simply means you need to ask about any additional fees up front so that you don’t get hit with any surprises.

  1. Be true to yourself and your desires.As you progress down the path of planning, a lot of people will be giving you opinions! You’ll make a decision, confident in your choice, and then a future sister-in-law or neighbor will suggest something totally different. Trust me when I tell you a lot of people will be giving you “their” advice, and then it makes you question your decisions creating utter chaos. You will never be able to please everybody. It’s your wedding! Once you make a decision – it’s done.

+1 More – Be courteous. Even if you’ve decided to go with someone else, please respond back to all vendors and let them know where they stand. If you are just looking for a price, its best to be open about it. It’s hard to receive an inquiry from a client who raves about your work and says you’re exactly what they’re looking for only to never hear back from them again. It’s good to remember that the person you’re talking to is human and they put a lot of time and effort into their response and their business.

Wedding planning does not have to be so stressful. Learning to ask the right questions will help ensure your wedding comes off without a hitch!