Colleen’s Journey – Part Four

Welcome back, brides! Now that you have heard my wedding dress saga, I have to share a little dress hack that I recently learned about.  How many of you have helped your friends use the bathroom on their wedding day? 🙋‍♀️ I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times now so I’ve gone through this experience quite a few times!  Well, if you want to relieve your bridesmaids of this duty (no pun intended), then use this little genius idea…First, you need one of those large, blue, Ikea bags. Next, cut the base out of the bag.  Now you will basically have a blue cylinder with straps. You can now step into the bag and as you pull the bag up, scoop your dress up at the same time in the bag. Place the straps of the bag on your shoulders so you can be hands-free!  You can always just leave the blue Ikea bag in the bathroom so you don’t have to walk out of the restroom with a giant blue bag!

Sorry for that little off track piece of advice, I just felt like I had to share!  On to the next step of my wedding planning process! Since I have the pleasure of working for Carol with Bride St. Louis, I have been to many bridal shows and I have recently been scoping out a great DJ for my reception.  I have to admit, there is something specific I have always wanted at my wedding.  I’ve always dreamed of having karaoke.  I love a good night out with friends and singing terribly at the top of my lungs.  I’m the first to admit I have absolutely no musical talent but that doesn’t stop me!  So as I was hunting down a decently priced DJ, I wanted to make sure karaoke would be an option that wouldn’t break the bank.  I also wanted to make sure karaoke wouldn’t be the only thing played at my reception.  I wanted a good mix of fun dance songs as well as singing with the mic!  I checked out about 4 different DJ options and ultimately went with the one that was able to offer the karaoke package at a reasonable price and without hesitation at my idea.  They were all for my idea and I can tell they will really make my vision come alive! I feel as though my decision for a DJ has been the easiest process so far. I didn’t ever really stress about this part of the wedding planning process because I knew there were always DJs out there and I would always have an option.  Don’t stress about this area! Take joy in the fact that this should be a painless part of the process.

My goal for next week is to have a photographer!  Now that is one area that is totally stressing me out!  By the time I share with you next week, it is my goal to have found a photographer.  I expect you to hold me to it! Have a great week!

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.

 

8 Steps to Enjoy Your Wedding!

Wombacher_sm-642

Every bride needs some practical advice for relieving wedding stress so that you can ENJOY the day.   You won’t feel overwhelmed if you follow these simple eight steps:

  1. Lists are your best friends! This is the biggest party that you probably will ever plan so there will be hundreds of details, and more details.   The beauty of lists, spreadsheets, budgets, and timelines is that they will keep your life organized.   Stress is many times caused by that feeling that you have no idea of what’s going on.  And being organized and on top of things definitely keeps you in control and minimizes that stress.
  2. Delegate! Your maid of honor and bridesmaids are there for a purpose.  Also just ask friends when you need some additional help.  You will be surprised how eager everyone will be to be a part of your big day.
  3. Appoint a Wedding Day Contact: On your big day you really don’t want to be dealing with last minute details, like which tables get which centerpieces, etc.  Choose a reliable person who knows your like and your dislikes, and make them the go-to person for last minute coordination.
  4. Eat small meals throughout the day. We all get cranky when we are not full, as the commercial says, so eat lightly throughout the day.  At this point, that sandwich is not going to make a difference about how you’re going to look in your dress.
  5. Take a deep breath. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take several deep breaths.    Relax.  Think about all the things about the groom that you love.  Think about the time you first met.   It’s amazing how that will transform you.
  6. Schedule Time to Relax & Rejuvenate. Okay, you’re getting married and I tell you to rest and maybe even try to get more sleep.  Impossible!  I understand.   Take that day before the wedding and pamper yourself, visit a spa near you, or just relax at home with a favorite movie.   Keep the alcohol in check, because a hangover is no way to start your big day.  There will be plenty of time to party on your big day.
  7. Be prepared for emergencies: For Red Wine Spills – use stain removal wipes. For a Ripped Hem – double sided fabric tape will come to the rescue.  A Tide stain removal pen is a must.  Also pack needle, thread and buttons!  See our complete list on emergency items in this blog post:   https://bridestlouis.com/emergency-bridal-kit/
  8. SMILE. You’re there.  This is your wedding day!  Just have a wonderful time.  You worked hard for this day, so let happen what may be, and just enjoy the day.

Messy Getting Ready Rooms and 5 Tips for getting “INTO” the dress.

Messy Room

I love the fun and excitement of getting ready that occurs in the girl’s getting ready room.  There are lots of special moments that unfold that beg to be captured by your photographer.  Perhaps it is your sister’s special hug or gift, or your best friend’s “something old” that she has given you – all these moments are so very special.

Here is what I hate – bags, shoes, underwear, empty food containers, water bottles and a complete mess all around the room!  Your photographer will do their best to capture the events, but honestly, let’s have your girls pick up as they go – and a firm reminder from you, goes a long way.  The benefit is that your photos will not have the distractions of the messy environment, and those photos will emphasis the event and the emotion.  Remember you will be looking at these photos years from now!

And now for putting on the dress.

  • Tip #1:  Always go potty BEFORE you put on your dress.
  • Tip #2:  Be sure your photographer is there to capture the moment.  Don’t put on the dress before he/she arrives.
  • Tip #3:  Putting on your wedding dress can be an incredibly beautiful, fun and captivating moment.  Most photographers recommend that you pick one person to assist you, sometimes your mother or your maid of honor.  Having less people will make the moment more relaxed, let you enjoy it, and allow your photographer to capture more of you and your dress, rather than a sea of people.
  • Tip #4:  To keep your hair and makeup fresh, if you are putting the dress on over your head, raise your arms up and out to protect your hair and makeup.
  • Tip #5:  Put on your own jewelry.  A sea of people – adjusting your dress, adding your bracelet, one adding a necklace – just way to much going on at one time.  I see people looking like they are dressing a Barbie Doll, and the bride just trying to accommodate everyone!  It’s crazy.   Put on most of your own jewelry, but if you have one piece that’s important to you (or hard to get on) have ONE person help you with this.  Shoes do require help – who can see their feet in those big fluffy or tight dresses.

And one last, little thing.  Why do all girls hold onto their boobs?  Really?  Once the dress is on, let go!    Do you want all your photos to show you holding up your boobs?

Putting on Dress

 

Putting on Jewelry