Are you looking for a Distinctive Destination for your wedding?

Are you looking for a Distinctive Destination for your wedding?    Here are fourteen suggestions of great wedding venues that will set your wedding apart.   These are just a few of the great locations you can find at our sister site, VenuesofStLouis.com.

 

Garth Woodside Manion, Hannibal, Missouri  – www.garthmansion.com

Contact: Julie

Phone:  888-427-8409

Garth Woodside Mansion Distinctive Wedding Destination - VenuesofStLouis.com

Of the many wedding venues in Missouri, Garth Mansion is special as it offers their beautiful historical mansion and bed and breakfast experience.  Enjoy the manicured property and additional cottage space.  Their personalized planning services makes it stress free and easy.  The gardens and property features accentuate every aspect of the outdoor beauty one would want for their special day!

 

Cedar Creek, New Haven, Missouri –  www.cedarcreekcenter.com

Contact:  Jeni Grunzinger

Phone: 636-266-9975

A distinctive destination for your St. Louis wedding by VenuesofStLouis.com

Located just one hour west of St. Louis, in New Haven, Missouri, the natural beauty of Cedar Creek provides a romantic setting for your truly unforgettable wedding. Featuring on-site overnight accommodations for up to 125 guests, a salt water pool, a golf course and so much more. Popular areas for use include The Barn, The Lake, the Saloon and Town Hall, and our on-site restaurant located in our iconic Western Town. Why not turn your wedding day, into your wedding weekend? The possibilities are endless!

 

Defiance Ridge Vineyards, Defiance, MO – www.defianceridge.com

Contact: Michelle

Phone:  636-798- 2288

Distinctive Destination for Your Wedding - VenuesofStlouis.com

Defiance Ridge Vineyards is a beautiful facility located in Missouri Wine Country and provides a gorgeous setting to celebrate your special day.  Enjoy the vineyard, sparkling lake, and lush garden – offering great backdrops for your photos, and roaming area for your guests to explore. Your wedding at Defiance Ridge can tell your story and reflect your personality and vision.  With accommodations for a small or large gathering and full catering menu, they can help you craft the perfect event that guests will never forget.

 

 

Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO – www.foundryartcentre.org

Contact: Melanie, events@foundryartcentre.org

Phone:   636-255-0270

A Distinctive Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com.

The Foundry Art Centre in located alongside the Missouri River and Katy Trail in downtown St. Charles.  The beautifully redesigned interior of the old Foundry is where railroad cars were once produced and it is now a cultural center of national and international regional art.  Dramatic high ceilings, balconies above for viewing, combined with flowers, music and delicious food, makes The Foundry your special venue.  Truly one of a kind location.

 

 

Dodson Orchards, Fredericktown, MO – www.dodsonorchards.com

Phone:  573-561-3093

Dodson Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com

Experience the magic of your wedding inside the authentic 100+ year old barn, surrounded by your loved ones.  Dodson Orchards is located in the rolling hills of the Ozarks and is about an hour’s drive south from St. Louis County.   You will be the main attraction and because they are an all inclusive venue, you can relax knowing that everything will be just as you envisioned.  Plus, you have full access to their vast array of rustic chic décor and antique furniture pieces to use as accents and gift tables.

 

 

Hermann Hill, Hermann, MO – hermannmoweddings.com

Contact: Becky

Phone: 573-486-4455

Host a romantic, private wedding ceremony along the scenic Missouri River at Hermann Hill Weddings, a picturesque and popular wedding event venue nestled in a storybook setting in Hermann, Missouri.  The location is conveniently accessible to couples from St. Louis to Columbia via I-70.  The maximum number of guests you may host for an indoor ceremony is 225, while up to 300 guests may be served for an indoor reception or outdoor ceremony.  Hermann Hill offers various packages that can accommodate most budgets.  Included in some of the packages are use of a Bride and Groom’s room, use of pavilion for reception, use of chapel or gazebo.

 

 

Inn at Hermannhof, Herman, MO – www.innathermannhof.com

Contact: Samantha,  sales@innathermannhof.com

Phone: 573-486-5199

The Inn at Hermannhof is a perfect weekend getaway destination in the romantic Missouri Wine Country.  It is situated in the historic town of Hermann, Missouri – known for its German heritage and one of the oldest wine growing regions in the U.S.  If you are having out of town guests, this is a perfect spot as their bed and breakfast can accommodate your family and friends all in one great location.

 

Peace Tree Farms, Eolia, MO –  www.PeaceTreeFarms.com

Contact:  peacetreefarmsllc@gmail.com

Phone:  573-470-6777

Peace Tree Farms - Venue Review at VenuesofStLouis.com

 

Peace Tree Farms is dedicated to conservation, organics, preserving nature and the beauty of our Earth.  They specialize in Custom Weddings within their 150 Acres of Beautiful!  Choose your perfect ceremony and reception site – garden and main pavilions, lakeside, woodland, or orchard and meadow.  Coming Fall 2019 the new Garden Barn.  If you can dream it, Peace Tree Farms can make it happen.

 

Aeries Terrace Banquet Center, Grafton, IL – www.aeriesview.com

Contact:  Angie events@aeriesview.com

Phone:  618.786.8438

Aeries Wedding Venue - Venue Review by BrideStLouis.com

Memorable events deserve an unforgettable setting – someplace different.  Aeries is close to home, yet being there feels like an escape.  Awesome, natural beauty and adventure around every corner.  You wedding will be at the edge of a breathtaking panorama that is simply the best view in the Midwest.

 

Pour Vineyard, Red Bud, IL – www.thepourvineyard.com

Contact: Travis – thepourvineyard@gmail.com

Phone:  618-304-4516

 

The Pour Vineyard is located in Red Bud Illinois and is one of Illinois’ newest wedding destinations.  Pour Vineyard offers a rustic barn, large lake and over six acres of vineyards.  They offer many ceremony locations and they allow you to choose your own vendors.  About 200 can be accommodated for a barn ceremony and 224 for a vineyard or lake ceremony/reception.

 

Seven T Farms, Sullivan, MO – www.seventfarms.com

Contact:  Matt & Mia,  events@seventfarms.com

Phone: 573-915-6760

Seven T Farms - Review by VenuesofStLouis.com

Many say that Seven T Farms is the perfect backdrop to say “I DO”!  From modern to vintage, Seven T Farms offers a unique setting for your wedding or event.  Enjoy a 300 acre venue located one hour west of downtown St. Louis just outside Sullivan, Missouri.  They have several ceremony options, a large reception room with stage for a head table or DJ setup, and an additional room perfect for rehearsal dinners or cocktail hour.  The patio offers outdoor seating, an indoor/outdoor bar, stone fireplace and a stunning view overlooking the farm.  An on-location bridal suite accommodating up to 12 is also available for rent.

 

 

 

The White Owl, Wright City, MO – www.the-white-owl.com

Contact:  Janie – thewhiteowlinfo@gmail.com

Phone:  636-030-6005

Wedding Venue Review by VenuesofStLouis.com.

The White Owl is a private outdoor event venue that works hard to craft a personal, unique, and unforgettable event for its customers located in Wright City, MO. They believe events such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation, corporate celebration have the power to do more than celebrate a milestone; they create long-lasting impressions through social interactions, memorable moments, and custom personal touches. They also believe in enjoying what you do and doing it with the ones you love.

 

Noboleis Vineyard, Augusta, MO – www.noboleisvineyards.com

Contact:  Angie

Phone: 636-482-4500

Noboleis Vineyard by VenuesofStLouis.com

Looking for your dream wedding in a vineyard?  Noboleis Vineyards offers panoramic views of rolling hillsides while the surrounding vineyards offer the backdrop to an outdoor ceremony and/or a reception for up to 200+ people in a tented pavilion.  There’s a bride’s loft for getting ready, plus great photo spots in the vineyards and cellar.

 

The Larimore, St. Louis, MO – www.larimoreweddings.com

Contact:  Dena – info@larimoreweddings.com

Phone: 314-265-2531, 314-868-8009

The Larimore Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com

The Larimore is a private, historic estate established in 1858.  This venue boasts 6 acres of enchanting grounds, the charming Victorian mansion and an elegant banquet center.  This hidden gem is perfect for those searching for a spectacular event that is “unique” and offers plenty of “WOW” factor!

Help Your Photographer Capture YOUR Special Day

Every bride needs to know a few things about working with their wedding photographer to capture those amazing images that you absolutely love.  Here’s how to help your photographer capture your special day and get those images.

You hopefully hired a professional photographer that has done this many times.  So, trust your photographer to get those basic, must have moments like the first kiss or the walk down the aisle but also give your photographer the time and freedom to capture your day and your special moments.  You don’t need to create a basic “shot” list of the day’s events.   Don’t work harder then you have too – after all, you hired a professional who knows what to capture.   Make just a “short” list of five or six formal groups, besides the basic (bride, groom, bride and groom, wedding party, bride groom and family) that you will want.  No one wants to waste an hour of this special day posing for photos.  It’s a wedding – not a family reunion.

 

BE ORIGINAL

Don’t make the day all about recreating Pinterest photos that have been done over and over.  Those shots are no longer original, and those shots can “date” your image.  Keep your images “TRUE” to the day.

Share with your photographer details such as any plans to open a special keepsake that you will wear or give, or the fact that a special family member that has made the trip just for you.    For example of a detail shared – one bride had embroidered in her husband’s suit, their wedding date.

FREEDOM

Enjoy your day and let your photographer capture the natural emotions of the day.  The best images are not planned and capture feelings and shared time with others.  It’s the little things – the touch of a hand, the embrace of your Dad just before you walk down the aisle, that a good photographer will capture for you.  And these are photos that you will love forever.  They will always have a special meaning to you.

ALLOCATE ENOUGH TIME:

The TIME part also means that you need to dedicate a portion of the day for just the two of you to share time and let the photographer capture the essence of your love and emotion naturally.  That might mean taking a 15-minute walk or just going outside to the courtyard with each other.  Ask the wedding party and family members for a few moments of private time.  After all, it’s your wedding day and the most important thing is to share these moments with the man you just married and the man who is the love of your life.  Even if you choose not to do a “first look” take some time alone with one another.

Many brides like to get photos “out and about” on their wedding day.  Downtown by the Arch, by the Old Courthouse, Forest Park or other parks, downtown St. Charles, etc.  Some choose to go to their favorite bars or places where they had their first date.   Great shots many times include the front of the church where they got married.  It’s always fun when a couple includes hobbies and interest that they share as well.   You need to plan ENOUGH TIME between the ceremony and the reception to capture these shots.  Consider time to travel to the location (and potential traffic), time to get everyone arranged, and then time to get back to the reception.   Limit your choices to one or two locations that are most important to you.  It’s going to take more time than you realize, so talk to your photographer and let him/her guide you.

Wedding photography is important because those images keep your memories alive!  The images are the essence of the emotion of the day.  At the end of the day, it will be your story that is told.    Most photographers love to blend into the background and let all the moments come naturally.  And most photographers I know want to make sure that couples enjoy the experience as much as possible.

CLICK HERE for a complimentary booklet that will go into more detail about Planning Photography for Your Wedding Day.

Mermaid, Trumpet or Fit & Flare – Wedding Gown Styles and Silhouettes

Over the next few posts we will introduce you to some basic information about wedding gown styles and silhouettes.

We will start with details about the Trumpet, Mermaid, and Fit and Flare.  For the brides who is just starting to look at wedding gowns, they can appear very much alike.

A trumpet wedding dress fits similar to a mermaid gown. It hugs the body in all the right places and gradually flares outward. The key difference between mermaid and trumpet wedding gowns is where the flare begins, which in the case of the trumpet style is mid-thigh.

A mermaid dress is a style of evening gown that fits closely to the body through the torso and hips, then “fishtails” out in a flare to the floor. (This is why it’s also known as a fishtail dress.)  Thanks to the dramatic cut, a mermaid style dress can highlight a curvy figure or even add curves where there are none, making it one of the best dress styles for hourglass figures. For a high-fashion, sexy silhouette, this is an ideal choice, and can make more impact for a bride who wants a wow-factor dress. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the tight fit can restrict movement and dancing, so if you’re thinking about a mermaid gown, it’s important to try on your chosen style and practice walking and sitting in it.

Choosing a Wedding Gown by BrideStLouis

Fit and Flare Style Wedding Dress is one of the most flattering “silhouettes” for all body types. This type of dress hugs the body and flares off just below the hips, accentuating the waist, or just above the knees beautifully showing off your curvaceous body. Fit and flare is the term that encompasses several styles including mermaid gowns and trumpet styles. Ideal for the pear and hourglass shape, this glamorous style is perfect for highlighting your best features. Despite the common misconception, petite brides can also wear a fit-and-flare dress, as long as they get the dress altered to fit their proportions perfectly. Sometimes all you have to do is raise the skirt’s starting point just a bit higher in order to create length in the torso and legs. For maximum elongation, the dress should be fitted through your hips and flare out just above the knee and not below.

Strapless wedding dresses are considered a classic. Bare shoulders can look beautifully paired with a dramatic flair of the skirt. A sweetheart neckline accentuates décolletage, and is perfect for the bride who wants to either enhance or create the illusion of curves. It also lengthens the neck and adds balance to the overall silhouette. To put a modern twist on your bridal gown, look for plunging styles, lace-embellished bodices, and delicate floral appliqués.

Wedding dresses in lace are super feminine and utterly romantic. They are as timeless and elegant as they are versatile. Lace fits perfectly in the elegant and romantic wedding theme, as much as in the free-spirited summer beach ceremony.   A fully hand beaded gown is super glamorous and a fabulous way to celebrate your wedding, Hollywood star style.

Choosing a wedding dress is probably the most exciting moment of planning a wedding for any bride. But it can also be very stressful and you can feel that you are expected to know all these different styles of gowns and know which one you want– not to mention all the different varieties of necklines, hemlines and backs.

At the Run for the Dress in July you will be able to try on various styles and silhouettes to find your perfect dress.  There will be bridal shop attendants there to assist you, dressing rooms, and support staff including alterations staff to advise on any modifications or adjustments that might be necessary.  Almost all wedding dresses need to be altered to fit properly so keep that in mind as you select your dress.

5 Points to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Venue

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning your wedding is where to have it.  Because there are over 350+ Venues, your decision can be difficult.   Here are some basic concepts to consider when deciding on your wedding venue.

BUDGET

This is the most important factor.  The reception cost is generally about 50% of your entire budget.  If you are on a tight budget and the venue you want is beyond your price range, think about having a brunch or cocktail reception at the venue instead of a full dinner.   Look at what’s included.  If you have to rent additional items, that may impact your total costs.  And things like cake cutting costs, extra charges for dance floors, and extra charges for glassware can all add up.  It’s the final price that counts.

SIZE

Consider the number of guests you anticipated inviting.  If you are having a small wedding you might feel dwarfed in a venue that is too large.  Conversely, if you are having a large number of guests, you want to make sure that you don’t feel cramped.

FEEL

Did you always dream of an outdoor wedding?  Do you like the ideal of a grand ballroom?  Be true to your feelings, and make it meaningful for you.  Bear in mind, with an outdoor wedding you might be at the mercy of the elements, so have a Plan B in place.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Do you have a lot of out of town guests invited?  Close proximity to the airport might be something to consider, or perhaps being close to certain activities like downtown for the Blues or our Cardinals.  Do many of your guests have limitations with regard to steps and walking?  Consider a location that is easy for them to navigate.  Do you want iconic photos at a certain location – like Forest Bar, a favorite hangout, close to work?  Choose a venue that is close to minimize travel time on the day of your wedding.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Finally, be flexible with the day of the week.  Fridays & Sundays are generally less expensive and more available.  Popular places can book up over a year in advance, so start your search for a venue early.  June and October in our area are always two of the most popular months and book fast.  If you are having a small wedding, consider a Thursday night.  You can negotiate better rates for other services like photography for example, because wedding professionals generally book only one event on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday – you will pay their going rate for a “full, larger” wedding on those days.

VenuesofStLouis.com allows you to search by location, by price, and by type of venue.  And, as this new site grows you will be able to gather complete information on the venues that you think might be the right one for you making your job to compare venues easy and saving you a huge amount of time.

Wedding Gratuity Guide

Wedding Reception at Hermann Hill by BrideStLouis.com

 

Tipping vendors and wedding providers isn’t always mandatory, but I can guarantee that they always appreciated it when you do tip.  Many vendors put their heart and soul into making your day the very best possible.  If they have done a good job for you and the service was exceptional, just do it.   To keep your day running smoothly pass the tipping duties to someone such as your best man, friend or parents.

Also appreciated is a quick personal note thanking them for their service.

 

Here are some guidelines:

Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist – 15% to 20%, 30% if done on site.

Ceremony Musician – $15 to $20 per person.

DeeJay – $50 – $150.

On-Site Coordinator – 15 to 20% of the event fee.   (However, – sometimes this is automatically added to your final bill.

Wait Staff/Bartenders – $10 to $20 per person if not included in your total price.

Photographer – $50 – $100.

Officiant – $50-$100

Rental Delivery People – $5 to $10 per person (leave with site manager the day before).

Wedding Planner – 10% to 20% of the total service cost.

100 Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

 

 

Everything Wedding by BrideStLouis.com

Your wedding budget should not be something you are paying off for the next 5 years! There is a lot of pressure from family and friends to spend lots of money and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to! Make your budget something you are comfortable with and not what your family and friends tell you. Choose what’s important to you – and cut back on the less important items.

  1. Keep your guest list small. This is one of the best ways to save on your wedding costs. If you are having 50 guests or less, there are places like Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com) that can host your wedding ceremony & reception for a very modest price, and it’s beautiful.
  2. Consider a different time of day for your wedding, such as morning or afternoon.
  3. Consider a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated meal. You can also opt for a cocktail hour with appetizers rather than a formal dinner.
  4. Stick with flowers that are in season. Or buy flowers from wholesale places like Sam’s and make a casual arrangement yourself. Today’s silk flowers are beautiful and look very real.
  5. Consider getting married during off-peak wedding season. June and October tend to be the most popular month for weddings here in our area.
  6. Print your own invitations at home.
  7. Purchase handmade items directly from the designer on places like Etsy and cut out the middle man.
  8. Consider a wedding location that isn’t a traditional “wedding” location, such as a park, municipal building or school.
  9. Have less formal food options. Everyone loves comfort food and snacks! A new trend is to bring in a food truck. Also consider food stations, such as a hot dog station, taco bar, or salad station where guests can create and choose what appeals to them.
  10. Consider a wedding dress that is not from a traditional bridal store. Browse a major retailer or online store for white dresses at a good price. SIGN UP NOW for the 3nd “Annual Run for the Dress” event being held on July 28th, 2019 at the Trigg Banquet Center, where thousands of dresses are sold here in St. Louis for 50% to 70% off the retail price. (CLICK HERE to register for the RUN for the Dress.) Just need more information? Go to www.RunfortheDress.com or www.Facebook.com/RunfortheDress.
  11. Think about saving money for your maids. Bridesmaid dresses can also be found at a discount store or outlet or have your bridal party wear something they already own all in the same color. Bridesmaids, Mothers and Flower Girl dresses are also available at the Run for the Dress event on July 28, 2019.
  12. Shop sample sales or go dress shopping while there are sales. This could mean shopping way ahead of time to get a good price.
  13. Consider doing your own hair or makeup. Or go to a makeup store and have a professional teach you how to apply a good look.
  14. Instead of buying something, consider renting it, with things such as a tuxedo. Or, consider a more relaxed look like casual dressy attire.
  15. Add a line on your RSVPs for your guests to request a song, that way you will play some songs your guests want to hear and you can keep the dance floor busy. Consider making your own playlist with these songs, get a speaker system and do away with a DJ. Hire a harpist for the ceremony.
  16. Consider not having favors to cut down on costs or limit them to one per couple instead of one per person.
  17. Helium Balloons make for wonderful décor to add color to any basic banquet room.
  18. Use coupons to find deals on craft items, wedding supplies and accessories. Michaels many times has 40% off coupons. You might have to make multiple purchases over several trips to get everything, but it’s a great way to save a lot.
  19. Ask friends to help out with anything they can contribute. Maybe one of them could even officiate the wedding. But don’t ask friends/family to be your photographer. You really want GOOD photography because those photos will be keepsakes forever.
  20. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to the wedding budget. The last thing you want is for him to go and splurge on something he wanted while you promised to make cutbacks on things you wanted. Marriage is all about compromise,
  21. Make the candy buffet yourself – buy wholesale candy and collect containers from friends.
  22. Buy your own alcohol for the reception.
  23. Local, seasonal food options are usually always cheaper for dinner.
  24. A small indulgence can be included for a modest amount. Splurge on a new perfume to capture the day’s memories. Your mind will be brought back to your wedding every time you smell the fragrance.
  25. Ask a cake baker who is just starting out to make your cake instead of a large bakery.26.Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.
  26. Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.Consider cupcakes or small desserts instead of cake.
  1. Depending on your views, you could choose not to serve alcohol or limit the number of bar hours.
  2. Although the up-front costs of a wedding planner may seem high, they are often great at scoring deals and working with vendors.
  3. Search out antique stores for unique décor items.
  4. If you’re paying for things for the wedding on a credit card, make sure you’re getting something back in return with a cash-back rebates or loyalty points.
  5. Fill your centerpieces and bouquets with greenery or fresh flowers from local wholesale places.
  6. Skip the champagne and opt for white wine or sparkling wine instead.
  7. Simplify your invitations and keep them down to one page instead of a fold-out with ribbon, to save on postage.
  8. Cut down on photographer costs by only having one photographer instead of a second or third shooters.
  9. Alternatively, ask the photography company if an assistant or associate could be your main photographer instead. They may charge a lower rate.
  10. Attend a bridal show or wedding fair to score deals on vendors. At our August 4, 2019 Bridal Show “Love is in the Air” you can save over $2500.00 on your wedding with vendors who have put together amazing deals.  Plus, you might win a fabulous Hot Air Balloon Ride. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now and save on your entry fee.
  11. If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s on something you and your guests will enjoy, such as food or photography.
  12. Go for a single type of flower or a less expensive flower (exotics come with a price) for your bouquet.
  13. Your guests still need to be fed, but don’t overdo it on the food. More than three courses for a sit down meal might be excessive for some people.
  14. Have a small display cake as your wedding cake and a larger sheet cake in the back that can be switched out when the cake is cut. No one will know the difference!
  15. Plan things like the cake cutting and first dance earlier in the night, so you can limit the hours of photography needed.
  16. The same thing goes for DJ services. Have an iPod hooked up for the ceremony and cocktail hour and have the DJ work the reception only to cut back on hours.
  17. Use decorations that you already have at home instead of buying, such as candles, lanterns or frames.
  18. Cocktails and shots usually cost more with bar service, so have beer and wine only for the bar.
  19. Opt for the house wines instead of a specialty brand.
  20. Having larger tables instead of many smaller ones means less centerpieces and decorations.
  21. Consider emailing save-the-dates instead of mailing them.
  22. Design a centerpiece that doesn’t use flowers, such as something with lanterns, candles or jars.
  23. Purchase an umbrella that matches your wedding colors or style just in case it rains. Umbrellas can make for some pretty great photos if it does end up raining. (And rain is considered Good Luck!)
  24. An elopement or small destination wedding may be a less expensive option than a traditional reception. You don’t have to leave town to elope.
  25. Not having a wedding party, ring bearer or flower girl means less costs for outfits, gifts and flowers.
  26. A smaller wedding party also equals less cost–and sometimes less hassle. Again, less costs for gifts and flowers.
  27. Do you know someone else having a wedding? See if you can purchase some of their decorations and centerpieces.
  28. Avoid using the word “wedding” when talking to some vendors unless it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes, “wedding” costs come with a premium.
  29. Only invite people to your wedding you are close to, you know well or who you have seen in the last five years.
  30. Buy wedding items in bulk instead of smaller sizes. For example, some vendors may give you a lower price for each item once you buy more than 50.
  31. Save money on rehearsal dinner, bachelorette or bridal shower food, by opting for an at-home celebration instead of going to a restaurant. Tuscany Gallery also hosts Bridal Shows.
  32. Have the servers serve the wine instead of leaving it on the table, so the wine consumption is staggered throughout the night.
  33. Factor additional costs, such as shipping, taxes, fees and tips when you create your budget, so you make sure to stay in budget.
  34. Buttercream icing is usually a cheaper choice for cakes than fondant. Better yet, a naked cake looks just as nice.
  35. Browse online marketplaces for used wedding items or search a bridal swap listing service. Search for wedding resale sites on Facebook.
  36. Once you are done with your wedding items, sell them to make some extra cash.
  37. Limit the meal options to one option with a vegetarian option instead of three or four different–and more expensive choices. More choices equal more money.
  38. Ask your photographer if they will add videography to your package instead of hiring an additional videographer.
  39. When considering your guest list, make a rule about whether people can bring plus ones or not. Otherwise, costs can add up for additional guests.
  40. When deciding whether to allow kids or not, remember that kids’ meals are often cheaper. Or, you can choose a no-children wedding.
  41. Borrow wedding items from a friend or family member or use family heirlooms in your accessories instead of buying.
  42. We’re not saying you should haggle for wedding contracts, but in some situations, it might be wise to ask if there is a way to lower the price.
  43. Do your research and shop around for vendors and wedding items before you buy. The lower price is not always the best deal. Personal service always trumps a slightly lower cost.
  44. Read contracts carefully before you sign, in case you run into any hairy situations where a vendor drops out, doesn’t deliver or overcharges you.
  45. Have your photographer and videographer only cover the ceremony.
  46. Less is more, so cut out things you don’t think you necessarily need. Try a wedding venue that already has decorative elements or doesn’t need many decorations.
  47. Some venue packages may be a good deal, but some require you to use their vendors exclusively, which may come at a price. Check to see if you can use your own. Check our blog page, http://www.bridestlouis.com/category/catering, for venues that allow you to hire your own catering companies.
  48. Create an easy wedding website and online RSVPs instead of traditional paper invitations.
  49. Serve the meal family style. Not only can you save money by serving food this way, but the interactive nature of family style eating will also encourage a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for your guests.
  50. Don’t get married on Saturday, the most popular and expensive day of the week for weddings.
  51. Cut down the passed appetizers to 1-2 a person per hour instead of 3-4. Or set out a few nibbles on the tables instead. Keep in mind, caterers may try to up-sell you.
  52. It is alright to say no or “we don’t need that” when discussing contracts. Don’t feel pushed into something you don’t actually want.
  53. Having a farm or country wedding, roast a pig and bring in the sides yourself.
  54. Carefully evaluate wedding trends. Popular items may cost more because everyone else wants them.
  55. It is important to thank your wedding party, however an expensive gift for each person adds up. A hand written note or personal thank you may be enough. Or perhaps buy them something affordable they can use every day.
  56. Create handwritten place cards and escort cards instead of having them professionally printed.
  57. Go through each budget item and see how you can trim each item down to the bare necessity. Really think about how necessary some of the costs are.
  58. Guests coming in from out of town? Make them a list of activities and locations they may enjoy. Create a personal welcome basket yourself with some snacks and other goodies.
  59. Keep receipts of everything you buy for the wedding and track each item, so you know how much you are spending.
  60. Have a signature drink. Having a signature cocktail passed around to guests during the cocktail hour is a nice way to personalize your wedding and save on alcohol costs. Guests will appreciate the gesture, you’ll be able to stick to your booze budget, and you’ll be on trend.
  61. Consider a wedding location that is not in a major city. Some downtown costs may be more expensive for you and your guests.
  62. Instead of response cards with your invitations, ask guests to email or phone you with their RSVP.
  63. Take advantage of free printables for your wedding stationery.
  64. We know shoes are a big deal. If you’re wearing a long dress, chances are people won’t really see them anyway. So why break the budget on them?
  65. Borrow a nice car or truck from a friend instead of renting a limo.
  66. Take your honeymoon at a time when you can get a better vacation deal instead of right after the wedding.
  67. Find a dress that fits instead of a size off the rack to cut down on alteration costs.
  68. Buying a smaller dress you hope to fit into by the wedding is never a good idea. If you do need alterations, making a dress fit smaller is cheaper than making the dress bigger.
  69. Enter wedding blog giveaways and contests for a chance to win free wedding things.
  70. Having a shorter time to plan a wedding means you will be more ruthless when it comes to things you need vs. want.
  71. Buy flowers, food items and candy at the grocery store or a bulk food store instead of a specialty store.
  72. Leave an empty vase on the head table and use your bridal bouquet as a centerpiece.
  73. Ask a hotel for a discounted rate for booking a block of rooms.
  74. Have the ceremony and reception at one place to cut down on costs of transportation, rentals and decorations.

 

So – what are your ideas? Send us details about what you are doing to stretch the budget and photos too (if you have them).  If we publish your ideas on our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BrideStLouis) we will send you 2 FREE tickets to our August 4th Bridal Show.  Send to bride@BrideStLouis.com.