Beware of these 5 Major Budget Busters!

Having a wedding isn’t as simple as saying “I do” — and it can be expensive.  The average cost of a wedding in 2020 was over $20,000.  Figures are still out for 2021, but probably very close to that amount as well.

Having a Wedding Budget is critical to having a wedding without stress.  And even with a budget, these budget busters could happen if you are not careful!

  1. Exclusive Venues

While recommended vendors are great, having exclusive vendors is much different. This will lock you into their prices, services, and policies. If you find a venue with exclusive agreements, make sure you have pricing from all those vendors before signing your venue contract.


  1. Venues without Amenities

The venue that is just a building — maybe it has bathrooms (let’s hope) and a “caterer kitchen” (meaning sink, water, and refrigeration). The price is right, so you think you’ve scored. Take a breath — then sprint to your nearest rental service. and get estimates on everything else. Don’t let rentals be a budget buster just because you thought the venue was a good deal.


  1. The Outdoors

The everlasting trend of Midwest weddings! You throw up a white tent and invite your closest 100 friends and family. It won’t be more than a few grand, right? Wrong! You also need bathrooms, power generators, outdoor lighting, parking, parking lighting, transportation to and from parking, rain plan items, catering tent and equipment, ice and ice trailer, fans or A/C or heat, bug spray, landscaping — and that’s just naming the essential items.


  1. Unvoiced Parent Opinions

This is why you should include contributors in budget talks. At that meeting, encourage everyone to voice their full, specific opinions. Real-life story: A bride’s dad said steak and decent wine were a must. We got it accounted and budgeted for. Fast-forward a few months to the catering tasting. Dad ended up wanting filets and table service for everyone. As you can imagine, the price of a filet times 350 guests was much different than standard wedding steak. The budget was busted, and guess who it fell back on? The bride. And she ended up having to cut things she really wanted because of it.


  1. An Untracked Budget

Track every single thing that you and anyone else spends. If you don’t, you will end up going crazy in one of two ways. The first is when you go crazy saying, “I’m spending like a crazy person!” and think you’ve overspent — because when else in your life are you dropping $1,000 deposit checks every other day? The second is when you go crazy saying, “Everything is going to be fine!” and start rattling off those $1,000 checks like nothing. Then you go to add everything up and realize you busted your budget. Then you have to cut things like gifts to your wedding party, alterations, and even hair and makeup


Selecting Your Wedding Date in 2022


The joy of being engaged is an excitement like no other, but it can also be overwhelming, thinking about how to plan the wedding of your dreams.

One of the first questions you will be asked is, “Have you set a date?” The date you choose is key to your entire event. If you are on a tight budget there are some dates you will want to avoid and if you choose a date around a Holiday, you might find your favorite vendor already booked. 

To save money, go for a Friday or Sunday wedding as many vendors will offer a reduced price on those days.  We also listed the 3-day weekends – these are great for guests who need to travel.  In our area, October is a very busy wedding month. If fact, it ranks up with June as one of the most popular wedding months.



Winter Weddings


January 1st – It’s a Saturday this year. (Some of you might want to opt for a 12/31/21 end of year wedding. If so, you can file your taxes as a “married” couple which might save your money!”) Many companies will be celebrating a long weekend, so this could be a great time to say those “vows” especially if you have out of town guests invited.

January 8th & 9th – (Saturday & Sunday) Okay – it’s not a unique wedding date, but it is an important date to mark on your calendar. It’s our HUGE, 2 DAY BRIDAL EXPO. This is your opportunity to plan your entire wedding in one weekend. Look for more information on our web site at Buy your tickets early so you don’t miss out on some of the great, FREE, seminars that occur at this event. And with your ticket you enter our $10,000 Wedding Giveaway!  How great would it be to win $10,000 in wedding services and products!

January 16th – Sunday – Our Second Bridal & Wedding EXPO of the Year in COLUMBIA, MISSOURI. If you missed last week’s event, you still have a chance to meet a lot of vendors, see a great fashion runway show, and get your $10,000 Wedding Giveaway entry.

January 17th – It’s a Monday. A 3-day weekend for many to celebrate Martin Luther King’s Day.

February 2nd – A Novelty Date (Tuesday) 2/22/22

February 11th – Lincoln’s Day is a State Holiday in Illinois. It’s a Friday. (Could be a 3 Day Weekend for some.)

February 13th – Super Bowl – If your guy is a sports fan – forget about this date!

February 14th – Valentine’s Day (Monday). Florists will be super busy, and you might pay more for those red roses.

February 21th – President’s Day (Monday)

February 27th – Sunday – Bride St. Louis’ Bridal Show at The Christy Banquet Center

March 1st – Marti Gras (Tuesday)

March 2nd – Ash Wednesday (Catholics usually don’t marry in Lent.)

March 13th – Sunday – Daylight savings time begins. (Longer Days)

March 17th – For You Irish Lads. (It’s a Thursday. Wear those kilts!)

March 20th – First Day of Spring – Vernal equinox. (Sunday)



April 3rd – Sunday – Ramadan begins

April 15nd – Good Friday

April 16th – Saturday – Passover

April 17th – Easter Sunday. Most couples avoid that date. Many churches will not perform weddings the Saturday before Easter – April 16rd

May 1st – It’s Bride St. Louis’ SPRING Bridal Show – Check our website for location and time.

May 8th – Mother’s Day. (Be sure to check with your Mom about that weekend.)

May 27-28-20-30 – Big Wedding Weekend – Memorial Day Weekend. If you are thinking about one of those dates, you need to get your contracts signed NOW. Photographers and favorite venues may already be booked. Vendors know that they can book these dates – so don’t look for price deals.

June 19th – Father’s Day.



July 2-3-4 – (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) This could be a busy time for many places so get your reservations in early. If you have folks who need to travel this could be an ideal time for them to come. It’s generally HOT so consider an indoor wedding.

August 21st – It’s Bride St. Louis’ SUMMER Bridal Show – Check our website for location and time.

(July and August can be very hot in St. Louis. It is best to plan for an “indoor” ceremony/venue.

September 3-4-5 – Labor Day Weekend. Book quickly if you want this date. Good again for those with out-of-town guests.

Sept. 12th – It’s our SUMMER Bridal Show in Columbia, MO. – Check our website for location and time.

September 23rd – Autumn Equinox (Friday)

September 26 – Monday – Rosh Hashana

September & October Weekends

Extremely popular in the St. Louis area.

Great time for those Wine Vineyard Weddings.

Ties with June as the most popular month. Book EARLY for weekends in these months.


Winter Bride - BrideSTLouis.comOctober, November, December

October 8-9-10 – Columbus Day Weekend. Another good long weekend.

October 31st – Monday – Halloween.

Nov. 6th –  Cake & Champagne Bridal Show (Check Details on our Website) – Daylight Savings Ends

November 11th – Veterans Day (Friday) – Many in the military choose this day.

November 24-25-26-27 – Thanksgiving Weekend. These dates book fast.

December 18 – Sunday – Hanukkah begins

December 21 – December Solstice (Wednesday)

December 23-24-25-26th – Christmas Holiday Weekends (Fri., Sat., Sun, Monday)

December 31st – January 1st, 2022 – End the year married! (Saturday & Sunday)


Also, be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Christmas, and Kwanzaa) when planning your wedding. There may be restrictions at your house of worship.

And if your family is deeply involved in sports – avoid weekends with the Super Bowl, Final Four March Madness, and perhaps some local college games as well.

And finally, for number “13” fans – you have (on weekends): February 13th (Sunday), March 13th (Sunday), May 13th (Friday), August 13th (Saturday), and November 13th (Sunday).





The 2021-2022 Bride St. Louis Calendar of Bridal Shows and Wedding Expos

Fall Wedding Colors – What’s HOT for 2021

Fall 2021 Hot Wedding Colors

FALL WEDDINGS for 2021 – Hot Color Choices

As Fall approaches, it’s a good time to start planning your 2022 Fall Weddings.  Take a look at the colors of autumn and consider some of the perfect fall color palette options that will reflect the season for you.

Cream, Red Crimson, Golden Amber:

This is a classic color combination that versatile enough for a traditional or country affair.  Splashes of deep red crimson are gorgeous in bouquets and boutonnieres.


Eggplant, Sage, and Gold

The deep color of eggplant makes a stunning statement in fall.  Mix that with greens and metallic gold for a wonderful combination of color and excitement.


Terracotta, Beige and Chocolate Brown

Terracotta is HOT in weddings and is such a flattering color.  Pair these with other earthy tones to add a bit of depth.

Looking for Unique Ways to Personalize Your Wedding?

Looking for a unique way to personalize your wedding? You may want to consider a Monogram Wedding – one where you and your future husband’s names are intertwined to create your own custom monogram.  Starting with the invitations and carrying through to thank you cards, your monogram will be prominently displayed and will be truly unique to your celebration. There are a number of ways to decorate using your monogram theme – you can display the last initial only or a combination of the last initial, the bride’s first initial and the groom’s first initial. When creating your 3-letter custom monogram, it is tradition for the bride to be listed first, the last initial to be the large central letter, and the groom’s initial to follow.  Explore additional ways to flaunt your monogram: Add them to personalize napkins, have your groom add your monogram on the cuffs of his shirt, and so many more ways.
Monogram Wedding - Make Your Wedding Unique

Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a Backyard Wedding

Ultimate Guide to Backyard Weddings

Getting married is a major life event that you’ll never forget. If you’re planning to walk down the aisle with that special someone, a backyard wedding could be a great way to say your vows and tie the knot.  However – it may not be as “budget” friendly as you might think.  So, be sure to read on.

Start with the Logistics

Before you pick out favors and décor, start with the logistics. How successful your wedding is will depend on where you live, the time of year, and the weather. Try to nail down a date where you feel confident the weather will offer you a glorious day.  (Hint:  Summer can be way too hot in our area!  Think “Fall” and always have a “Plan B” for rain!)

You’ll also want to find out how to get the right amount of power for music, lighting, and more. An extension cord might do the trick but be aware that it also poses a trip hazard. And you might need multiple power lines – so make sure your line can handle the demand. Determine how much equipment will be needed for the wedding so you can get the proper power source set up. You’ll likely need a generator to create power for things like speakers and catering equipment.

Now is the time to clean up your yard and get it ready for the big day. Get rid of old dead plants, tree branches, and weeds to create a clean slate for your ceremony and reception. Come up with a layout for seating so it will be easier when it’s time to set everything up. Another crucial thing to keep in mind is wedding insurance. You might not think you need it in your own backyard, but it’s good to see what’s covered in case a guest gets injured on your property. Other things to consider include parking and notifying your neighbors in advance.

Once you’ve listed all of the logistics, the fun part begins. Think about the special features you’ll want to include in your backyard wedding. From a specific theme to your flowers, write down a list of ideas and tweak them as you go. Do you want an outdoor dance floor? How about separate tables and chairs for the reception? If your backyard is extremely sunny, you might want to plan to rent a tent.  Brainstorm several different features you’d like to see so you can start planning ahead as early as possible.

Your Ultimate Guide to Backyard Weddings


Benefits of a Backyard Wedding

While a formal venue is always nice, there are plenty of awesome benefits to getting married in your backyard. First and foremost, you’ll save a ton of money on the cost to rent a venue which can run you into the thousands of dollars. That fact alone makes considering a backyard wedding worth the effort! Aside from saving money, here are some other benefits and tips of hosting a backyard wedding:

  • If your pets are part of the family, you can enjoy their company at the wedding.
  • Aside from the wedding itself, you can also host a backyard rehearsal dinner. Have casual food like barbecue catered in, or just cook some food on the grill for your wedding party to enjoy.
  • Since your backyard probably has limited space, that means you can keep your guest list small, too. The fewer guests you have, the less money you’ll need to spend on things like food and entertainment.
  • Backyard weddings give you the flexibility to choose any date you want to get married. Instead of planning around the “wedding season” to find an open slot, you can pick any day you like when you host your own backyard wedding.
  • You might be nervous about getting married but doing it in a familiar place is a great way to calm those nerves and help you feel more relaxed and at home.

Tents & Planning Guide for Ourdoor Weddings

Your Actual Cost May be MORE Expensive

You will most likely need to rent chairs, tables, a tent, and a dance floor.  Tent rentals are always in demand, so don’t wait unit the week before to try to rent one.  And renting a tent is not a “cheap” affair.  They are expensive any many times exceed the cost of a regular indoor venue.

You still need a photographer, cake, officiant and a DJ.  And then you will need to hire a catering company.  Check to make sure they provide all the flatware, dinnerware, etc., or you may also need to rent those items as well.  The flowers and décor that you choose will also play a significant part of your expense.  And finally, you need to consider the alcoholic drinks.  There are specific liquor companies you can hire to serve or you will have to plan to purchase an amble supply along with ICE.   Lots and lots of ice!  And containers for the iced refreshments too!  Have plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages for guests to grab.

You need to have adequate lighting for your guests’ departure.  Display lanterns or luminaries help indicate where guests exit.  Additional things to have on hand and very useful include bug spray, suntan lotion, flashlights, garbage bags, and paper towels.

Don’t forget about help putting everything out and together.  It’s a BIG job.  You need someone to put up the table, tablecloths, centerpieces and other décor, plus line up the chairs from the ceremony area and then back to the reception, and organize the refreshments.

Consider renting a Portable Bathroom.  Do you really want 75 people in and out of your one bathroom in the house?


Have A Plan B in Place

There’s no way you can predict the weather to a T, so be sure you have an alternate “Plan B” in place just in case the storms roll in. Weather can change in an instant which means you might end up dealing with unexpectedly cold temperatures or a dangerous rainstorm. Draft up a reasonable Plan B where you can move everyone inside your home. If you’re insistent on keeping the celebration outside, rent a tent that you can use in case of an emergency. Ensure that the sides of the tent are covered to protect everyone from the rain. If the weather happens to be unseasonably hot, have plenty of fans available to keep the air circulation. If it’s cold, stock up on outdoor heaters. Having these safeguards in place will keep your stress level low and the wedding moving along.


Wedding planners are experts at creating the perfect timeline. If you’re doing everything on your own, it’s crucial to make sure you create a timeline that works. Do your best to schedule the ceremony somewhat early so the skies don’t get dark before you’ve said your vows. Try to avoid too much downtime between the ceremony and reception since the guests won’t need to travel between venues.   Consider a few fun backyard games or activities to keep everyone entertained while formal photos are taken. Finally, remember to be mindful of your neighbors and try to agree on an official time when the reception is over. You can always move the party to a local bar or another hot spot later in the night.

DIY Décor and Inspiration

If you’re planning a backyard wedding, you’re likely already working on other DIY ideas when it comes to themes and décor. Doing everything yourself gives you the freedom to create almost any style decor using any theme imaginable. Here are some suggestions to inspire you and prompt you to create a memorable theme with beautiful décor that’s all done DIY:

  • Hang outdoor string lights throughout your backyard to create a warm, magical glow when the sun goes down.
  • For autumn weddings, focus on beautiful colors like orange, red, and gold for décor, flowers, and bridesmaid dresses.
  • Place non-breakable containers on each table and fill them with freshly cut flowers you picked from your own yard.  Avoid GLASS – wind can topple them over and crash to the floor.
  • Laminate some of your favorite photos of you and your better half to protect them from the weather, then display them on rope or string and hang them from a tree or around a fence line.
  • Get creative with seating and place a few vintage sofas and chairs outside. You can also use some hay bales as seating if you’re aiming for a wedding with a rustic or farmhouse theme.

Amazing Outdoor Weddings


One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you.   Be prepared to keep your guests comfortable, and you will shine as the perfect host on your day.


Brides – Don’t Make These Mistakes

Brides - Don't Make These Mistakes

As you are preparing for your wedding day, you might want to refer back to this blog post to remind yourself exactly what a wedding is about – getting married to the one person who’s the love of your life.  The Wedding Day Ceremony and Reception is a celebration of your love and commitment to one another.  Enjoy the pre-wedding day functions and planning, but don’t make the following mistakes along the way:


Buy your wedding gown before choosing a venue.  The wedding venue or destination will be the single biggest choice that sets the tone of your wedding.  Consider the level of formality.  Is your wedding outdoors or a ballroom oozing Old World elegance?  If your wedding is in a grassy meadow or sandy beach, a long train that’s meant to sweep across the ground might not be ideal considering dirt and potential snags.  However, that look would work splendidly in a church ceremony.

Invite non wedding guests to pre wedding parties.

Forget about hidden costs.  10 Unexpected Expenses:

  1. Sales Tax
  2. Gratuities and Tips
  3. Gifts for the Wedding Party (Average gift $50 a person and 14 people = $700!)
  4. Delivery Fees
  5. Postage ($1.00 per invitation plus, and return stamps.
  6. Overtime Fees
  7. Bar Setup Fees/Uncorking Fee – if you provide your own liquor.
  8. Expanding Guest List.
  9. Cake Cutting Fee (some venues do charge for this).

Crash Diet.  Every woman wants to look her best on her wedding day, but few brides-to-be stop to consider how to get trim and toned the healthy way.  In the days prior to your wedding, don’t skip dinner and indulge in just soup or rice, because by starving yourself you are depriving your body of essential nutrients and you will be tired and irritable.  Severely restricting fat and carb intake can result in tired and baggy eyes.  And bottom line – you will regain all that weight quickly.

Skimp on bridal party gifts.  These friends are here for you and have spent hard earned money to participate in your special day.  Treat them like your friends and show your appreciation.

Schedule a long time between ceremony and reception.  Guests may skip the ceremony or reception if they have long periods in-between with nothing to do.  If you do need to schedule a long stretch between events, make sure your guests know well in advance that they will be on their own for a few hours before your reception begins.  Provide them with recommendations for nearby activities and entertainment, including lunch spots and your favorite place for a drink.

Control your photographer.  He/She knows how to capture the best shots that tell the story of your day.  A professional photographer will not need a “shot list”.   Do let him/her know of any special activity or person that you would like to capture.

Forget to eat on your wedding day.

Overdo DIY – especially last minute.  Have everything ready 30 days prior.

Forget, if you have kids, to hire someone to watch them ALL day.

Ignore your guests – make sure they have a good time.  Add some fun for them for the day like a hot chocolate bar, singing waiters, belly dancer, or perhaps hire a string quartet or live band.  Some country weddings have a petting zoo brought in and provide lawn games and an ice cream truck for mid-day treats. A Grazing Table is a new trend that provides an awesome array of food choices and treats.

Grazing Table by Bride St. Louis

Have such a crazy busy day that doesn’t allow personal time with your new husband.

Ignore your folks on your wedding day.

Allow roasts by inebriated guests.

Forget to have FUN!!!


Photo Credit:  Courtland Photography