The Photo that Tells the Story

Cowboy Smile Groom with Ring on Finger Baby Smiling Boy on Tractor Bride and guest Bridesmaid Smiling Fake Smile Friends and Smiles Girl laughing Groom with Big Smile Guy getting kiss Guy laughing Wedding Party having Fun Fisheye Wedding PartyWhat’s the Story?  The first bride that tells us the correct answer gets a nice gift from Take Notes.

Tie the Knot for Less

Many couples cannot afford the luxury of a $20,000+ wedding.  It is possible to have a beautiful wedding for about $5,000.  Yes, it can be done!  There are certain things that are non-negotiable – the dress, the photographer, the rings, but there are a lot of ways to cut the expense and still have a beautiful wedding.  Here are a few ideas that I would like to share with you.

  1. Skip the Save-the-Date postcards and use email, Facebook, and your phone to spread the word to family and friends, especially out of town guests.
  2. Make your own Wedding Announcements.  You can purchase pre-designed invitations, and then have them personalized with your information.  That saves a bundle.  There is a local store in town called Take Note that can help you do just that.  They are located in the Chesterfield Valley and you can find them in our Vendor listings under “Invitations.”
  3. Keep the list of guests to must haves.  Forget all the friends you haven’t seen since grade school.
  4. Do the same with the bridal party.  The less people in the party, the fewer gifts you need to buy.
  5. In one of our past blogs we talk about cost-effective, beautiful locations for weddings: Quail Ridge, Jaycee Stage, Sue Bee Park.  There are more and we will share those with you in future blogs.  You don’t need a fancy Hotel or Elegant Banquet Hall.
  6. Perhaps skip the formal dinner and serve a brunch or a dessert buffet.  If you must serve a meal, check out the new caterers just starting out.  They are eager for the business and will bend over backwards to do a great job.  We already discussed alcohol in previous blogs.  If drinking isn’t that important to you, skip it.
  7. Forget the party favors.  Add a small candy or popcorn station that you do yourself.
  8. Cupcakes can be fun, but if you really want a “wedding cake” get a two tier cake rather than a three or four tier.  Keep it small and fill in with a sheet cake that you cut for guests.

You can tie the knot and do it for less.  While this is not for everyone, many couples who are paying the bills themselves find that they can still have a very nice wedding without going broke.  Share with us your wedding plans.  Are you putting off that wedding because you feel that it is too expensive?


Smalll One Layer Wedding Cake


Simple Wedding Bouquet



Writing your own Wedding Vows

Reading vows











Not too many years ago the wedding couple traditionally said nothing more than “I do.”    Today, many couples choose to write their own vows and it can be very touching, memorable and dramatic.   It’s a more personal message between the bride and groom especially when they share their emotions and feelings with each other.

If you are considering going this route, and I hope you do, make sure to clear it with your officiate and discuss it with your future spouse to make sure everyone is on board with the idea.  Some religions may require you to use traditional wording and/or certain phrases.   You can choose to write your vows that you will say together as a couple, or you can choose to each write your own vows.

As you draft some ideas think about what is the single greatest thing about the person you are going to marry.  What do you want to promise to your marriage partner?  Some start with, “You are my best friend, the one I want to spend my life with.  I promise (or vow) to love and respect you, laugh with you, cry with you, and support you in all your endeavors.”   Feel free to quote from poetry, or books and even romantic movies.  Jot down words and phrases that capture your feelings.

Keep your vows short but full of meaning.  Finally, practice them before the big day.  While there is no rule again reading your vows, a heartfelt delivery will have an emotional impact on your partner and people witnessing the ceremony.

Your wedding vows are one of the most important parts of the ceremony, so take some time to speak your heart.

Rainy Day Weddings

Did you know that rain on your wedding day means good luck?  Take the weather in stride and add a bold, fun umbrella and make it a fashion statement.  I recently came across these fabulous umbrellas at a local store called Pure by Jen located in Wildwood.  And while you’re at it, if it’s extremely soggy, add a pair of cute, fun rain boots.  Being prepared never looked so fashionable.

Umbrella Fashion BSL














Another benefit of a rainy day is that your photographer might catch some very subtle alluring photos in the soft light of an overcast day.  The sky may be dark and ominous, but it can make for a dreamy look much more than a bright and beautiful day.

Thanks and welcome!

Guest at Wedding Show at Wildwood HotelA quick shout out to all the to-be brides who stopped by our booth at The Wedding Show at the Wildwood Hotel and a big “Welcome” to our family of Bride St. Louis subscribers and wedding professionals.   We really enjoyed visiting with you.  It was great to here that you love our site, and that you are delighted to find one source for all your wedding planning needs.  We encourage your participation in our “chime in” blogs and always listen to what you need and want.

One of our brides was looking for an “elegant barn wedding venue” in the west county area.   Unfortunately we are not aware of that type of facility ourselves, so if any of you know of such a venue, please let us know.  In fact, you are welcome to share with us any special requests or needs and we will do our best to assist you in your endeavor.  We really want to know more about what you are looking for and want for your wedding.

Wedding Favors that your guest will love!

I’m not a big fan of the standard little wedding favors such as the box of colored M&Ms or mints in a tin.  Um…I’ve seen them many times.  Boring.   I think the bride today who uses a little imagination can add a lot of fun and flair to the party.  I’m not talking about breaking the bank with elaborate favors…just something a little different that your guest will appreciate and remember.

For instance, at one wedding the couple gave out small oak tree saplings.  The guest could take them home and plant them.   And even if you’re not a domestic type, it’s easy to make your own jam or chutney …put them into little jars with the message, “Spread the Love” and, of course, the date of your wedding.  It’s all in the presentation.   Another nice touch is sweet smelling soaps.   Why not some homemade soap, wrap with a little twine.   And what about this for a country wedding – small brown burlap bags filled with coffee beans, and a tag that says, “The Perfect Blend”.    So, I think you get my drift.

What are you planning to use for your wedding?  Send you inspirations and ideas and we’ll share the love with all our brides who would love to hear more.