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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Wedding Trends for the St. Louis Bride

2020 Wedding Trends for the St. Louis Bride

We are soon to close the door on 2019, and before you know it, 2020 will be here.  So, I thought it might be a good time to talk about the wedding trend predictions for all you 2020 Brides.

  1. Today’s bride is focused less about choosing a church/chapel and more about finding a LOCATION that is special to them as a couple.  More venues are being selected that feature outdoor facilities where everything, including the ceremony, is all at one location.
  2. Wedding décor shifts away from the “traditional” look to something that feel fresh and more “personal.” Unique lighting is becoming a key focus with a mix of hanging pendants and chandeliers to set that romantic tone.   Beautiful lighting is a must.  Ceremony décor incorporates unique arches mixed with greenery and colorful flowers.  Living plants are added everywhere.  Foliage, like Eucalyptus is being draped on entries and head tables.  And small plants and succulents will be used for guest tables.  Vintage elements still remain important and reflects back to family connections.
  3. Some of the bridal shops predict that bridal gowns for 2020 will be more elegant with longer trains and beautiful lace detail. It’s a mix of long sleeves – some brides love them and others say no.  Brides want a more sophisticated, slim unfussy, elegant style over the big ballgowns.  Bohemian elegance is very popular.   Sexy, backless dresses are the rage and dresses with pockets are requested more.
  4. Couples tend to spend their budget more lavishly on smaller groups. Less focus on things like “favors” and more focus on experiences like late night snacks and special entertainment.
  5. You will see more prints in weddings, like stripes, and chevon. Many bridesmaid dresses will incorporate these elements, going away from the “traditional” same color dress to a blended mix of colors and shades.
  6. Makeup will be more classic glamour and hair will feature soft up-dos and loose hair that drapes down the neck and shoulders. Bold red lips and crystal brooches will be hot.
  7. Wedding cake is still the most popular choice over cupcakes. Unique flavors are requested.  Grazing and dessert tables are really “in.”
  8. Brides are choosing the newer photo booth options. Some like the Photo Booth Guest Book while others like photos connecting instantly to Social Media, and not actually having prints.
  9. Bridal bouquets are incorporating more greenery, wildflowers, and succulents. Brides are requesting large, loose unstructured bridal bouquets.   Brides want to go “BIG” and “BOLD.”
  10. And YES, more and more brides are finding BrideSTLouis.com to be their best source to plan their wedding! It’s “Everything Weddings!”

So – what are your plans for your wedding?  Share with us your ideas and one lucky bride will win a FREE Ticket for two to our Sept. 15, 2019 Wedding Planning seminar.

 

What Everyone Needs to Know When Planning a Wedding

I’ve seen a fairly large number of weddings, and I can guarantee you that there has never been a perfect wedding.   But here are seven things that are KEY to a GREAT WEDDING.

Here’s the crazy thing about most weddings.  You and your partner will share very little time together on the most important day of your lives!   First, you get ready for the ceremony, then have the ceremony, and finally spent a lot of the reception dancing with parents and friends and thanking guests for coming.  I highly recommend that you PLAN some alone time for you and your spouse immediately after the ceremony.  Take a walk, go to a room alone, or just some place where the two of you can really share time just with one another.  The Wedding Timeline should allow plenty of time for your together time and photos of just the two of you.

Don’t try to do everything yourself!  The night before the wedding you don’t want to be making place cards, finishing centerpieces or arranging bouquets.  In fact, you should have all your décor and decorations READY 30 days before the wedding!  Those last few days before your wedding you want to enjoy.  Delegate and use your family and friends.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen are there as well to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask them to take responsibility for a last-minute task.

Don’t invite too many wedding guests.  Sure, I’ve seen empty spaces at tables where guests have RSVP’d and then failed to arrive.  However, if you have invited 300 guests, received 290 “yes” responses, but the reception venue can only legally accommodate 275, you might have to turn 10 people away.  That’s really bad.  And I think most couples don’t realize this.  Keeping the guest list shorter also helps control the budget – that’s the easiest way to cut expenses.  And quite honestly, you want to be spending your day with those who TRULY care about YOU…not a second cousin removed that has only met you once!

Don’t blow the budget!  Make a budget and keep track of your expenditures.  Don’t forget the hidden extras like tips and delivery fees.  I’ve heard of grooms who had to make a trip to the bank to get money to pay the DJ, or else there would be no music!  It costs a lot of money to have a wedding, so make sure you have all the major items budgeted for.

Photography is one of the MOST IMPORTANT items on your budget.  Your photos will be your special “take away” from the day – and images that bring back memories of your special day are just really priceless!

 

Create some WOW at your reception.  Do you want your wedding reception something that family and friends will be talking about for years?  You don’t have to spend a fortune.  You just need to add some extra pizazz and show guests that you really appreciate them.  Little things can make a big difference.  For example, serve pre-ceremony cocktails or serve wine/sparkling grape juice during the ceremony, have an “after party”, or hire special entertain for the reception.  Perhaps a singer, bagpiper to make a grand entrance, or a piano player to play requests!

Your wedding day goes fast, so just go with the flow and enjoy your day.