20+ WOW Ideas to Personalize YOUR Wedding

 Decor Ideas for Your Wedding by BrideStLouis
I am going to start you off with 20+ ideas to personalize your wedding, and by the time you get to the bottom of this list, you will have probably thought of several things as well. Here we go:
  • Dress doors and entrances with flower garlands and fabric swags.
  • Have a garden wedding and hang lanterns lit by candles from sturdy branches. At night keep guests warm by setting up ceramic chimineas (small outdoor firepots) or bring in a fire pit.
  • Food Stations – South Sea Island Menu & Drinks, Mexican Station, Sushi Bar, Mashed Potato Bar, Salad Bar, Pasta Bar — anything goes.
  • Order your own wedding Converse shoes as dancing shoes for the reception.
  • Don’t number the reception tables – name them after your favorite places, pets, travel destinations, movies, songs, etc.
  • Add a line to your RSVP cards for a DJ song request.
  • Brand your wedding with a logo or monogrammed initials that are displayed everywhere – napkins, favors, etc.
  • Pick wedding colors that mean something to you. Cardinal Fan – it’s definitely Red. Missouri Tiger fan – go for that Black and Gold. You get the idea.
  • Why not choose a getaway vehicle to compliment your theme – Humvee limo, antique Rolls Royce, Motorcycle & Side Car, any 30s – 40s or 50s car, London style double decker bus, or just an old yellow school bus. If you are getting married by the water, think about a boat for your getaway.
  • Choose a venue that fits your theme – Moto Museum in downtown St. Louis has over 50 antique motorbikes  Like animals? Check out the Zoo. If you like to garden – there are lots of choices like Missouri Botanical Garden, the Lily Pond at Tower Grove Park, or the Jewel Box. Barns? Check our new sister site, www.VenuesofStLouis.com and search the barn category. In fact, if you don’t have your venue that the best place to start looking.
  • Pick an unconventional start time – like 5:12 – the exact time that you first meet, or when he proposed.
  • Create a signature drink. Check out www.stirrings.com to find drinks that match your wedding’s theme and color.  Have bartenders rim guests’ glasses with salt or sugar in your wedding colors. Want to conjure us some glamour…add a fountain that gushes champagne or your speciality drink.
  • Love vintage. Rent vintage china, linen and décor. Choose flowers that reflect the period like lavender, jasmine, etc. Mix and match seating options using couches and chairs with pillows.
  • Bottle your own wine complete with romantic custom labels. Serve at the reception or give as gifts.
  • For a great departure, provide sparkers for guests.
  • Love to dance? Jitterswing the night away. Be sure to pick a band that plays your favorite 50s, 60s, 70s tunes.
  • Elegant invitations are appropriate for elegant weddings. But if your wedding theme is designed around a theme that shouts “YOU”, make the invitation appropriate to the theme. For example, if you both love western movies and horses, and plan to have a barn wedding – send something more appropriate to the theme.  Perhaps send a red bandanna and invite your guest to dress appropriately. Ask your guest to wear their favorite boots and western hat.
  • Put a guest book next to the photo booth. Ask guests to make an additional photo to paste in the guest book.  They can add their personal message on that page as well.
  • Serve up decadent chocolate truffles, custard from Ted Drewes, or popsicles spiked with liquor.
  • Ask your videographer to set up a stationary camera and let guests record messages – a video guest book.
  • Hire specialty musical performers for a brief performance at the reception – conga players, banjo, and even a bagpiper.  It adds a lot of excitement to the evening.
  • Let everyone have a good time – set up blackjack and casino card game tables.
  • Give guests the words to your first dance and let the guests serenade you as you dance.
  • And finally, serve the super popular, tiny white castle hamburgers at 11pm before your guests leave.

Wow, the ideas are endless. So, we want to know what you are planning to make your wedding special. Send us your ideas now, and we will be posting them during the month on our Facebook page.  Everyone who submits their ideas will receive 2 complimentary tickets to our January 27th, 2019 bridal show at The Christy Banquet Center. Send to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Outdoor Weddings – What YOU Need to Know

 

 

Today, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about concerns that you need to take into consideration when planning an Outdoor Wedding.    Outdoor weddings must be planned with thoughts about the weather and the light conditions.

  • You need to have adequate lighting for your guests’ departure.  Display lanterns or luminaries help indicate where guests exit.
  • Guest Name Cards will fly away if there is wind.  Display these name cards tied to branches or tucked into a decorative display base filled with sand.
  • The Ceremony area many times is out in the open, so give so consideration to positioning that event space in a shaded area.  Our hot sun makes for a very uncomfortable experience during an afternoon ceremony.
  • Of course, provide plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages for guests to grab. Flip flops for ladies are nice if you are using a gravel or sandy area.  (Think lake front or beach!)
  • Additional things to have on hand and very useful include – bug spray, suntan lotion, flashlights, garbage bags, and paper towels.
  • Always have a Plan B for inclement weather.  What will you do if it is raining all day long?  Tent rentals are always in demand during the summer and one might not be available if you wait unit the week before to try to rent one.  And renting a tent is not a “cheap” affair.  They are expensive and may times exceed the cost of a regular indoor venue.
We would love to hear from past brides who have had an outdoor wedding. What worked? What were some of the problems you encountered? What advice do you have for our 2018 brides? Please share with our reads your thoughts and suggestions.  Send your comments to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.
One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you.   Be prepared to keep your guests comfortable, and you will shine as the perfect host on your day.

Evaluating Your Relationship for the Long Term – Is he really the one?

Photo Credit: Rich Hawman, Elan Images

What makes for a great date and a great time may not be all you need for a long term great marriage. Check out these factors to see if your relationship has all the right stuff:

HUMOR

Does your guy make you laugh and lift your spirits?  A sense of humor can help you through some tough times and difficulties. 

CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK and VICE VERSA

Does he really listen to you and consider your feelings?  Do you feel comfortable talking to him about problems that you have.  Can you trust him in difficult situations?  Does he show empathy, sincerity, and caring?   Good communication skills goes both ways.  Can you discuss your differences without becoming defensive or sarcastic?  Do you work together to find a solution?

BALANCE

Being together 100% of the time is not necessarily a good thing.  It’s important for each party in the relationship to participate at their own interests, sports, and hobbies.  It’s all about proper balance – a zealous personal interest might result in too much separation and less focus on your relationship. 

SHARING

And now just the opposite.  Do you share interests and hobbies?  Do you both like to travel, bike, read…whatever?  While opposites attractive, you need some type of “common interests” to keep the relationship alive and interesting.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY

Are you both ready to take responsibility in this new relationship to make it the best it can be?  Maturity in a relationship calls for modesty, some humility, and a balance self ego.  It’s now about “we” rather than “me”.    

If you scored a 5 – say “YES” march down that aisle!!!  You found a winner!

 

How are You Going to Purchase Your Wedding Dress?

 

Today let’s talk about how you are going to purchase your wedding dress.    Why are dresses so much pricier when they’re meant for walking down the aisle?    Buying a wedding dress is not like buying a pair of boots or that new phone.  It’s an emotional purchase – after all, all eyes will be on you – you’re the star of the day.

So now that you have your ring, have you started the process of finding “the dress”?  Have you visited any of our great local bridal shops and tried on dresses?  Do you love the experience of sipping champagne, having your best friends and family with you, as you are trying on dresses?   Shopping for a wedding dress can be equal parts amazing and totally stressful.  And, trying on several dresses for a few weekends can wear you out.  Designer dresses are expensive so do you feel that going that route is stretching your budget?  After all, it’s just one day and there are other expenses like setting up a household that might need your funds.

And then, are you considering an “online” purchase.  Places like online retailers, Ebay, Craig’s List all have dresses that start even below $100.  You need to be very careful when shopping online, to make sure you don’t get ripped off.  That’s not to say every online store/contact is a scam, but you do need to be careful.  Plus, almost all wedding dresses need to be altered to fit correctly, and you will need to line up a good experienced seamstress.   If you have ordered your dress and received it, was it to your satisfaction?

So, we really want to hear from you how it’s going in your search for your wedding dress even if you have already purchased it.  Tell us what you have done, has it worked for you, and give us some feedback as to the pros and cons in your situation.  Even if you have not yet purchased your gown, tell us your concerns.   We want to share with our readers your knowledge and experience.  All comments will be posted and all people who send us their comments will receive a FREE Ticket to the Harvest Bridal Show.  Help us help you.  Send all replies to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.

How to Choose your Wedding Photographer

The photographs from your wedding day will be a timeless memento of a truly special day. Wedding photographers can be very expensive, focus on a number of different styles, and offer a variety of levels of service. All the bridal magazines say to look at some basics like does the photographer work more classic style with a shot list or more in a photojournalistic style where they take just a few posed pictures, trying to tell the story of your wedding in a normal naturalistic style.   About 90% of the photographers today, do the more photojournalistic approach….so there needs to be more than just that to make your decision.

The PPA (Professional’s Photographer Association) recommends that you interview several photographers.  Look at samples – complete weddings if possible.  Do they specialize in a specific style – more artsy, more funk, more black & white?  Do they have a variety of shots – far away, full body shots, close ups; do they provide just basic “typical” shots like cutting the cake or do they also shoot special moments and emotions?

Do you feel comfortable with that photographer?  They will be spending most of the day with you and you want to develop good communication skills and feel comfortable with them.

One note – photography and videography are two distinctly different fields, both requiring extensive training to produce high-quality results.  Depending on your budget, you may want both photo and video coverage of your wedding – totally separate services.

So – here’s my question to you past brides and current future brides.  How much of your decision is based on price, reputation, or experience?  How did you find your photographer?  Family, friends, google search?   If you hired your photographer for your upcoming wedding or if your wedding has occurred, why did you hire him/her as a photographer?   Share with us your thought and ideas.  Send to bride@bridestlouis.com.

Some things to consider before you say “I Do”

 

Before you get married……

 

If you want to live together “happily ever after” there are a few things you should know about each other before you tie the knot.

First – Know Who You Are

Know who you are and what you want from life before getting married.  If you want to focus on a career, have kids, travel a lot….be sure to talk about these things prior to getting married.  You don’t have to agree on everything.  You just need to understand what each of you want and expect in a marriage.

Second – Know that you can’t change him (her)

The truth is what you see is what you get.  People will change, but only if THEY want to.

What’s his financial status?

Sharing space has its own challenges.  Sharing expenses can lead to hurt feelings and bad relationships.   Be sure to discuss together how you plan to handle finances together.   This is where total honesty is important.  Don’t hide your credit problems from each other.  Additionally you will want to have a clear picture of what each person desires – a nice home, a new car, etc.  Are you a saver?  Does he spend like crazy?  Be sure to acknowledge your partner’s goals and bad habits when it comes to making and spending money.

Knowing your partner’s priorities can help eliminate squabbles after you are married and lead to a long term, loving, and caring for each other relationship.  Having someone to cuddle up and knowing there’s someone who loves you no matter what is what marriage is all about.

Third –

A good marriage must be created.

In marriage the “little” things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner