How to make the most of a Bridal Show

Wed-65I don’t know about you, but I need something – anything – to help warm my soul.  You, too?  Well, why not stay warm by attending one of the many wedding expos.  To find the next wedding show, just check the “Events and Shows” tab listed on the home page. Wedding shows can be fun and exciting, as you put together the pieces of your wedding day.  And they are indoors…where it’s warm!  So you can warm your body and excite your spirit.

Many brides tell me that they are thoroughly overwhelmed the first time they attend a bridal fair, so I thought it might be good to lay out a few guidelines to help you make the most of your time.

Before you go – print several sheets of adhesive address labels with your name, contact information, AND wedding date.  Quickly peel off a label and stick it on an inquiry sheet at any booth that you would like to receive additional information.

Bring your checkbook – you just might want to book or hold a date.  High demand dates can go quickly.

Bring family or friends you trust, and whose opinion matters.  But be careful of the size of your group.  Too many opinions – and you could be overwhelmed with indecision.

Invite your groom – but take him only if he wants to have a voice in this part of the wedding planning.  If this is not his thing, don’t torture him!

Know what you are looking for and what’s your budget.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Be ready with phrases such as, “I’ll think about that.”  And always give yourself a set amount of time and make a decision.  One of the biggest causes of stress in wedding planning is not making decisions on a timely basis…and then things start to really back up and you’ll find yourself in a spin trying to finalize decisions.

Whether your wedding is a few months away or an entire year, a bridal show will help you pull everything together.

What are the proper social conventions when addressing invitations?

Today’s different social lifestyles can add lots of complication.  Are you confused about how to properly address your invitations?

Use these social conventions when addressing your wedding invitations:

Wedding doves








Ms. Jane Doe

When addressing a woman who has been divorced, it is customary to honor whatever name she goes by, using the prefix Ms.



Example:  Mrs. Jane Doe

When addressing a widow, user her full married name.




Mr. David Day

Ms. Jane Doe

If there are two unmarried people who live together, list their names on two separate lines alphabetically.



Example:  Dr. Mary Anderson & Mr. Richard Evans

Whichever of the married couple is a doctor, he or she is listed first.


Married Doctors:

Example:  The Doctors Jackson



Dr. Amy Jackson

Dr. Jason Jackson

If the couple happens to both be doctors you can choose between either example.  You can list them as The Doctors Jackson or on two separate lines alphabetically by first name.
Couples of the Same Sex:

Example:  Ms. Betty Black & Ms. Linda White



Ms. Betty Black

Ms. Linda White

In the case of a same sex couple, list both names on one line, or, if they don’t fit, on separate lines, alphabetically by first name.

The Marriage License

Marriage License PhotoThe Number One Priority in the wedding process is getting the marriage license – without the license there can be no wedding! In Missouri the wedding license is issued by the Recorder of Deeds and this license is only valid in Missouri. Both parties must appear before the Recorder of Deed and provide valid identification containing date of birth along with a social security card.

All parties must be at least 18 years of age, and if younger than that they must have custodial parent or guardian approval. All parties under the age of 15 must apply for a circuit court order.

Applicants for a license must not be married already and may not be related by blood (through and including First Cousins).

This license must be obtained prior to the wedding ceremony, and the officiant must have the license prior to the ceremony. If there is no marriage within 30 days, the license is voided. After the marriage, the officiant returns the license to the Recorder of Deeds.

Following are the address and location of the various counties around this area:

License SigningST. LOUIS CITY Recorder of Deeds, Sharon Quigley Carpenter, City Hall, 1200 Market St., Rm. 126, St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 622-4393

ST. LOUIS COUNTY Recorder of Deeds*, Janice M. Hammonds, Lawrence K. Roos County Government Center, 41 S. Central Ave., Fourth Fl., Clayton, MO 63105 (314) 615-7178

ST. CHARLES COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Barbara J. Hall, County Administration Bldg., 201 N. Second St., Ste. 338, St. Charles, MO 63301 (636) 949-7505

FRANKLIN COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Sharon L. Birkman Franklin County Administration Bldg., 400 E. Locust, Rm. 102, Union, MO 63084 (636) 583-6367; FAX (636) 583-7330

JEFFERSON COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Marlene Castle, Jefferson County Administration Center, PO Box 100, 729 Maple St., Hillsboro, MO 63050 (636) 797-5414; FAX (636) 797-6310

LINCOLN COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Dottie D. Crenshaw Lincoln County Courthouse, 201 Main St., Troy, MO 63379 (636) 528-6300 249

WARREN COUNTY Clerk Circuit Court and ex officio Recorder of Deeds, Jerri Jordan 104 W. Main St., Warrenton, MO 63383 (636) 456-3363; FAX (636) 456-2422

BOONE COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Bettie Johnson Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut, Rm. 132, Columbia, MO 65201 (573) 886-4345; FAX (573) 886-4359

CALLAWAY COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Ken Dillon CallawayCounty Courthouse, 10 E. Fifth St., PO Box 406, Fulton, MO 65251 (573) 642-0787

CAMDEN COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Donnie Snelling 1 Court Circle NW, Ste. 5, Camdenton, MO 65020 (573) 317-3880; FAX (573) 346-8367

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Janet Fenimore Robert Cape Girardeau County Administration Bldg., 1 Barton Sq. PO Box 248, Jackson, MO 63755 (573) 243-8123; FAX (573) 204-2477

COLE COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Larry D. Rademan Cole County Courthouse Annex, 311 E. High St., PO Box 353, Jefferson City 65101; (573) 634-9115; FAX (573) 634-4631

GASCONADE COUNTY Clerk Circuit Court and ex officio Recorder of Deeds, Joyce Gabathuler Gasconade County Courthouse, 119 E. First St., Ste. 6, Hermann, MO 65041 (573) 486-2632; FAX (573) 486-5812

PIKE COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, Sherry McCarty Pike County Courthouse, 115 W. Main, Bowling Green, MO 63334 (573) 324-5567

ST. GENEVIEVE COUNTY Recorder of Deeds, David Gegg Ste. Genevieve County Courthouse, 55 S.Third, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670 (573) 883-2706; FAX (573) 883-5312 recorder63670@yahoo.Com

It is suggested that YOU CALL to confirm hours of service, because some offices require licenses to be picked up by 3PM.

Creative Cake Toppers

Cake Topper  Cake Topper
One great way to express your personality is to choose an unusual wedding topper.   Conventional toppers are rapidly disappearing.  One couple recently crafted a “bride and groom” out of Lego’s and used some matching material from her wedding dress.  She carried that theme to the head table with name card “Lego” people.

Cake Topper

Are you into Super Heros?  There are plenty of Hero figures that can be purchased for the top of your cake.  You can also have an acrylic cutout made of the two of you for the top of the cake.  A favorite passion or pastime also makes it fun.  And finally, you can always add flowers, bows or votive candles as well.

As they say, “Express Yourself.”  Pick a topper that fits your wedding theme.


Cake TopperCake TopperCake TopperCake Topper


Top Wedding Locations for Photos

Ferreira-442Do you have a favorite location in mind for your wedding photos?  Yes, we all know about the Arch and the Stadium, but what about something a little different?  Do you have a beautiful overview or street location?   Write to us at and let us know what you think.  We will composite your ideas and share those with you in the next few weeks.

Wedding Planning – Important Dates for 2013 to keep in mind

Let’s talk a little about scheduling your wedding and potential booking dates.

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!  And then there are some dates that could be just fun.  Let’s take a look at the calendar.

December 31st (2012) and/orJanuary 1st

  • New Year’s Eve/Day
  • This can be a fun date – and it’s one that’s easy to remember.

January 18th, 19th, 20, 21st

  • Martin Luther King Day Weekend
  • A wedding on Friday or Sunday gives your guest an extra travel day.

February 14th

  • Valentine’s Day – Thursday
  • Great for the romantic.  However, florist are super busy that day, and you might pay more for those red roses.

February 15th, 16th, 17th 18th

  • President’s Day
  • Here’s another long weekend potential.

March 30th & 31st

  • Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday
  • Many churches will not perform weddings on these busy days.

May 11th and May 12th

  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • It’s a beautiful time of the year, not too hot yet.
  • You might want to check this out with your Mom’s first.

May 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th

  • Memorial Day Weekend.
  • This is a BIG wedding weekend.
  • These dates book FAST – sometimes 2 years in advance.
  • Vendors know that they can book these dates – so don’t look for price deals.

June Weekends

  • Very Busy – This month ties with October as the most popular month.

June 15th and June 16th

  • Father’s Day Weekend

July 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th

  • Independence Day and Weekend
  •  This is another big weekend.
  • It’s generally HOT so indoor weddings are a must.
  • Great weekend if you have lots of out-of-town guests.

August 31st, Sept. 1st & Sept. 2nd

  • Labor Day Weekend
  • Another great weekend if you have lots of out-of-town guests.

September & October Weekends

  • Extremely popular in the St. Louis Area
  • Great time for those Wine Vineyard Weddings
  • Ties with June as most popular month

October 12th, 13th and 14th

  • Columbus Day Weekend
  • Generally great weather – mild days & cooler nights.

October 31st

  • Halloween – Thursday

November 9, 10th and 11th

  • Veterans’ Day Weekend
  • Many to-be-brides forget about this great weekend.
  • We generally still have some color outdoors for photos.

November 28th, 29th and 30th and December 1st

  • Thanksgiving Day Weekend
  • These dates usually book fast.

December 31st –

  • New Year’s Eve

Also, be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkha, Yom Kippur, Christmas, 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 4/13/13, 7/13/13, 9/13/13, 10/13/13 and 12/13/13.