12 Great Tips from Previous Brides about their Big Day

Wedding Planning by BrideStLouis

 

We recently had a wonderful opportunity to speak with brides who not long ago tied the knot, and we asked them what they recommend (as well as not recommend) the day of the wedding or just a few days before the wedding. Here are some of their suggestions:

Watch what you eat. If you know that certain foods can cause stomach upset, avoid those the day before the wedding. There is nothing worse than getting sick on your wedding day.

Don’t get a sunburn! Plan a relaxing day – but stay out of the sun if you tend to burn. All your photos will have you looking like a lobster!

Don’t party or drink too much! Get good rest before your big day. There is nothing worse than having a hangover the next day and trying to be happy.

Be sure to enjoy some “quiet time” right before your wedding. This is a big day and it’s nice to have time to reflect on the importance of this day. This includes not greeting people right before the wedding – there will be plenty of time after the ceremony.

Don’t worry about the choices you have made – it’s done. Go with the flow. You selected your hair, dress, and all the details because they looked good! You will look great! Smile – and enjoy the day!

DO drink WATER. Lots of water. It’s great for your complexion.

Remember that all things might not go as planned. No wedding is perfect. (Last year, I attended a wedding where the officiant forgot to do the ring exchange!)

The biggest surprise for many brides is that they do not have much time to sit and eat at their reception. Many brides and grooms ordered room service later just because they didn’t really get to eat.

The wedding day will fly by fast. No matter how many people tell you this, most brides tell us that they can’t believe how fast the day went. Really relax and enjoy every moment of the day and truly soak in the wonderful feeling of your day.

Spend more time with your new hubby. I spent the morning with my mom, the day with my bridesmaids, and really didn’t spend enough time with my husband during the reception. It was “our” day, but looking back, it really wasn’t.

Have a plan for the end of the reception. Designate someone to take home all your gifts, card box, and other mementos. If you are changing out of your gown before going to the hotel, have someone take it home for you.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and embrace the moments.

Personalizing Your Vows

Wedding Planning by BrideStLouis.com

 

Wedding vows today no longer necessarily follow the standard “love, honor, cherish…” verbiage.  Couples use their vows to express their feelings and commitments to one another.

Here are some examples:

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

I (name), take you (name) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee to be my husband/wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife). I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.

I, [name], choose you [name] to be my [husband/wife], to respect you in your successes and in your failures, to care for you in sickness and in health, to nurture you, and to grow with you throughout the seasons of life.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my partner, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the (man/woman) you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.

And some addition readings might include:

Today we come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to acknowledge and strengthen a bond that already exists.  Marriage is a commitment to the best that (name) and (name) can find and develop within each offer.   It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.  A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.

Marriage is the ongoing process of shaping and reshaping your lives together. It is the commitment to always listen to each other, to respect and value the other as your equal, to be honest with each other and to treat each other with kindness and thoughtfulness.

When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.  Marriage is a promise which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Today, as I give myself to you, my commitment is strong and forever.  All that I am and all that I have, I offer you in love and joy.  Because of you, I laugh, I smile, and I dare to dream.  Today I fully and unconditionally give you my all.  To be by your side through thick and thin.  I vow to hold you when we go to sleep and kiss you when we wake up.  As I give you my hand to hold so I give you my life to keep.

Work with your officiant as he or she may have specific words that you cannot deviate from for a religious ceremony of he/she may have additional samples of vows.  Feel free to add your own embellishments, loving words, and inside jokes.

READ THIS FIRST – BEFORE you buy your Wedding Dress

 

All women want to look their very best on their wedding day – beautiful, confident and radiant!  Here are some tips to ensure that you make a GREAT choice when it comes to your choice of bridal gown.

  1. Start NOW to find your dress. If you plan to order a designer gown it can take up to six months to arrive after it is ordered.  Plus – every gown will need some alterations to fit perfectly.
  2. Don’t let anyone persuade you into purchasing a particular dress – not your mother, your fashionista friend, or an opinionated maid of honor. Choose the dress YOU LOVE and the dress that makes you feel beautiful.
  3. We all love to get a great deal. But this is one time you don’t want to make a decision purely on price.  Find dresses that are within your budget and choose from those selections.
  4. Believe me when I tell you, make sure your dress is comfortable! Can you sit, dance, and relax in your dress?  Good undergarments and a dress that fits right is so essential.  At 8 o’clock when it’s time to party you will be glad that you followed this tip.
  5. Locate a reliable, reputable and well-respected shop instead of shopping online. Good service and advice is worth a lot more than saving a few dollars.  I went to a wedding last year where the bride wore a “pink” dress– it was a bright, hot pink!  She ordered it online, and it arrived just a few days before the wedding.  The online photos showed this dress as a “very, light delicate baby pink. NOT! It was a hot pink and the bride had no choice but to wear it
  6. Don’t buy your dress based on your street clothes size. Bridal gowns don’t run true to your typical dress size.  Don’t buy a smaller gown because you are planning to lose weight before your wedding day.  Remember, it’s easier to have a dress taken in if you lose the weight than trying to find an extra inch to let out.
  7. Need help finding a good Bridal Shop. Here is a link to all the great Bridal Shops in our area. I’ve been to many of them and they will treat you right.    http://www.bridestlouis.com/listings/bridal-fashions

Spend Smart for Your Dream Wedding

It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement of planning your Dream Wedding.  But spending too much could turn your “happily ever after” into agony afterward.  Money is one of the number one reasons couples fight, so it is important to communicate with one another about how much you have to spend and where you want to spend it.   The small stuff adds up, so spend your dollars toward items that will have the biggest impact and that are most important to you. 

Let’s talk about how to plan a wedding that fits your style AND your budget.

IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES

Sit with your spouse-to-be and together decide which details are most important to you.   What do you want to splurge on, such as a high-end venue or a DJ who provides lots of bells and whistles to keep the wedding party going.  Spend the money where it has the most value to you, and scale everything around those two or three priority things.  Don’t skimp on good food.  No one remembers that you had chair covers, but they will remember a cheap meal.  Personally, I recommend the best photographer you can afford – a good photographer will capture all those special moments and emotions that bring back memories every time you look at your photos.   Those photos will last a lifetime.  In fact, I have a bride’s mom call me today, her daughter had a fire and they lost everything – however, the photographer had backup copies of all their wedding photos!   She was so glad they hired a professional!

AFFORDABLE VENUES

We are so fortunate to live in the St. Louis area where we have many great venues that can fit almost any budget.  Forest Park, Quail Ridge in St. Charles, Art Galleries and other community centers.  A great resource to find your venue is our new VenuesofStLouis.com which lists over 300 venues that you can search by location, by price, and by type of venue. 

TRIM YOUR GUESTS LIST

Celebrate your day with the ones that mean the most to you.  So much of the expense is calculated per person, so keep your guest list small.

FEEDING YOUR GUESTS

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable.  Be creative – hire a food truck, have stations where people can make their own meal, such as a pasta bar, potato bar, etc.  Have an afternoon wedding and serve sandwiches.  Host a small Sunday wedding with Cake & Cocktails.   I love one bride who had a “brunch” on Sunday after the ceremony, and then invite only the immediate family to an up-scale dinner at a local restaurant that evening.

HIRE PROFESSIONALS

Don’t make the ones you care about have to work at your event.   Hire a florist and choose in-season blooms to save money.  Pass on the photo booth.  Professional vendors will deliver the SERVICE and product that will make your day special.   There is nothing worse than handling issues on your wedding day.

 

Need more help?  Email us and we will send you our new 2019 eBook “Wedding Planning for the St. Louis/St. Charles and Southern Illinois Bride.

Help with Wedding Planning

Today we are listing and linking some of our most popular blog posts for you.  As you begin your wedding planning, these are some of our bride’s favorite articles from past years.  Need more help?  We have almost 500 blog posts that you can search by category on our site that can help you with just about everything!

Do you know anyone that just got ENGAGED?   Forward this information to them to help them discover all the helpful wedding services and inspirations offered at BrideStLouis.com.

 

Topic:  ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

What to Wear for Your Engagement Session

What to Wear for Your Engagement Session

 

Topic:  WEDDING DRESS

7 Points to Consider as You Shop for Your Wedding Dress

7 Points to Consider as You Shop for Your Wedding Dress

13 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Gown Shopping

13 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Gown Shopping

 

Topic:    WEDDING PLANNING

 

Choosing a Theme or Color for Your Wedding

Choosing a Theme or Color for Your Wedding

3 Ways You Can Help Your Photographer Capture YOUR Memorable Moments

3 Ways You Can Help Your Photographer Capture YOUR Memorable Moments

7 Tips to Make Your Wedding Day Stress Free

7 Tips to Make Your Wedding Day Stress Free

10 Tips to Stay on Budget for Your Wedding

10 Tips to Stay on Budget for Your Wedding

20 WOW Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding

20+ WOW Ideas to Personalize YOUR Wedding

How to Keep Formal Portraits Stress Free at Your Wedding

How to Keep Formal Portraits Stress Free at Your Wedding

Outdoor Places for Low Cost Ceremonies

Outdoor Places for Low Cost Ceremonies

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Venue

7 Things to Consider When Choosing A Wedding Venue

 

Topic:  GETTING MARRIED

The Marriage License

The Marriage License

14 Snippets of Ideas When Writing Your Own Vows

14 Snippets of Ideas to Help When You are Writing Your Own Vows.

First Look or Not?

First Look or Not?

Music to Walk Down the Aisle

Music to Walk Down the Aisle

Miss, Ms to Mrs. – The Name Change Checklist

Miss, Ms to Mrs. – The Name Change Checklist

 

 

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.