Why is GOOD PERSONAL service important?

Okay, I’m going to sound off on a pet peeve.  I made several calls today to bridal shops, and one of the larger chains here in town has a Voice System.  The voice mail gave me four options, call for directions & hours – didn’t need that, call for alterations – didn’t need that, call to schedule an appointment – didn’t need that, and operator for all other calls.  I selected “Operator” and after many rings and no person responding, the voice mail recorder stated that “No one was available to answer my call, please call back”.  I got to say, I definitely wouldn’t do business with a firm that does not respect my time.  Obviously they are not interested in more business.

So brides beware of who you are dealing with.  In a time of emergency, that’s the last thing you want to hear from a store.   What if there was a major problem, and your wedding was hours away?  There’s nothing better than GOOD personal service.  Remember that when you are choosing your vendors.

Consider a First Look

For those of you who have not been involved in the wedding scene recently, many brides today decide to do a First Look.  The First Look, which occurs just prior to the wedding, is where the bride and groom see each other.  It gives them a private time to share their feelings, perhaps cry, and just share the joy of the day.   You can give a hug, enjoy small talk, kiss, and just react to each other without restrictions.  Rather than just standing next to each other after you walk down the aisle, you are able to be yourself completely.  It’s not the traditional thing to do, but it sure is a moment that can be very, very special.

Couple 3

Photographers generally accompany you during this time to capture some awesome images of these most emotional moments of your day.  In addition, many couples also choose to do the formal portraits at that time so that they can enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests.

Couple 2

There are lots of good reasons to consider a First Look.  Some brides have shared with me that they had considered the First Look but ended up doing the traditional thing and regretted their decision.  Just be informed and do what is right for you.

Couple 1

Outdoor Weddings

Do you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding?  While I personally love a beautiful outdoor wedding there are many considerations that need to be made before moving forward with that event.

DeMenil Mansion

First and foremost, you need to consider the weather.  Will it be hot?  What about the possibility of rain?

What other elements could cause distractions for your guests and your ceremony?  In spring the St. Louis area can have many rainy days, in summer – even as early as the first week of June – there is humidity, and later in summer, the heat of hot summer days.  Whenever you choose to get married outdoors it is imperative that there is a weather option in place.

Aside from the weather you need to consider bugs and flying insects – especially if you are near water.  Consider having bug zappers or electric insect repellents, and/or citronella candles.  And then there is the wind.  I bet you didn’t think of that.  Unity candles will go out in a heartbeat, flowers and décor can go flying

Finally, music and sounds systems will need speakers and amplifiers.

If you are considering a beach wedding, aisle runners are a hazard on sand.  Beach gowns, tan slacks, short sleeve tropical shirts or white shirts, and sandals (or barefoot) are appropriate and fun.  Keep plenty of water available for guest especially on those hot, hot days.  And if you want a sunset wedding ceremony – timing is everything as the sun will set whether you’re ready or not.

Many brides-to-be have asked about locations in our area for an outdoor event.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Piper Palm House – The Water Lilly Garden area
  • Various Golf Courses – out on the course
  • Family Farms
  • Old World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park
  • The Missouri Botanical Garden
  • DeMenil Mansion
  • Various County Parks

If you have some additional ideas yourself, we’d love to hear from you.  Tell us more about them, and what makes then special.  Even send us photos if you have them.

Piper Palm House

Wedding Day Checklist

You’ve been planning for months – maybe years?  That day is soon here.  Below is a checklist that should cover most of the items that you must be sure you have for the day to go smoothly.

Church 1


1.   Gown & Veil

2.   Shoes, Hosiery, Undergarments

3.   Something Old, Borrowed, New and Blue

4.   Make-up & Perfume

5.   Nail Polish & Remover, Manicure Kit

7.   Beverages & Snacks for the Wedding Party

8.   Gifts for the Wedding Party – Bride’s Side

9.   Emergency Kit – aspirin, needle & thread, deodorant, toothpaste, scissors

10. Hair Items – Curling Iron, Hair Pins, Hair Spray, etc.



1.   Groom’s Attire (Tux, Shoes, Ties, Socks, Undergarments)

2.   Grooming Kit (Hair products, deodorant, essentials)

3.  Gifts for the Wedding Party – Groom’s Side

4.   Beverages & Snacks for the Wedding Party

5.   Hankerchief



1.   Marriage License

2.  Guest Book & Pen

3.  Copy of any written vows/readings

4.   Unity candles/Sand Vases

5.   Written Toasts

6.   Wedding Rings

7.   Ring Bearer’s Pillow

8.   Flower Girl Basket

9.   Printed Schedule

10. Bubbles/Rice/Sparklers



1.   Travel Ticket & Passports

2.   Suitcases packed & ready to go

3.   Change of clothes after reception

The After Party – (either after the ceremony or after the reception)

Most weddings consist of ceremony, picture taking, and reception.  However, a new trend which is quickly catching on is the After Party.

Many couples are choosing to continue to celebrate the special day with an After Party.  And this After Party many times ends up being one of their favorite parts of the day.  It could be a BBQ on the family terrace, a get-together at a local, favorite bar hangout, or just good times in a familiar setting.  Many of the formalities of the reception – greeting your guests, the formal dinner, the toast, are all social functions of the reception in contrast to the After Party which is more of a let’s crash, hang-out together, do whatever you want.   It’s an opportunity for the couple to really relax and just enjoy their close friends and one another.  There’s no formality, no special functions, just time together.

Playing Pool

Rather than dragging the wedding party from one photo location to another, the couple generally chooses one spot for photography, and then proceeds to their After Party location, until it’s time for the reception to begin.   Everybody is having fun.  And spontaneous photos of the wedding party are caught in natural moments of whatever their doing.  It’s an opportunity for true fun and laughter.  Not, okay let’s go to…., and smile at the camera.

Playing Video Games

Sometimes these After Parties are after the formal reception, if time doesn’t permit between the ceremony and reception.  Either way, it’s something that is starting to happen much more frequently and this might be something you might want to consider for your day as well.

Having Fun at the After Party

7 Wedding Stress Relievers

Snacks for the Wedding Party

Every bride needs some practical advice for relieving wedding stress.   You won’t feel overwhelmed if you follow these simply seven steps:

  1. Lists are your best friends!  This is the biggest party that you probably will ever plan so there will be hundreds of details, and more details.   The beauty of lists, spreadsheets, budgets, and timelines is that they will keep your life organized.   Stress is many times caused by that feeling that you have no idea of what’s going on.  And being organized and on top of things definitely keeps you in control and minimizes that stress.
  2. Delegate!  Your maid of honor and bridesmaids are there for a purpose.  Also just ask friends when you need some additional help.  You will be surprised how eager everyone will be to be a part of your big day.
  3. Appoint a Wedding Day Contact:  On your big day you really don’t want to be dealing with last minute details, like which tables get which centerpieces, etc.  Choose a reliable person who knows your like and your dislikes, and make them the go-to person for last minute coordination.
  4. Eat small meals throughout the day.   We all get cranky when we are not full, as the commercial says, so eat lightly throughout the day.  At this point, that sandwich is not going to make a difference about how you’re going to look in your dress.
  5. Take a deep breath.  If you find yourself overwhelmed, take several deep breaths.  Stop.  Relax.  Think about all the things about the groom that you love.  Think about the time you first met.   It’s amazing how that will transform you.
  6. Schedule Time to Relax & Rejuvenate.  Okay, you’re getting married and I tell you to rest and maybe even try to get more sleep.  Impossible!  I understand.   Take that day before the wedding and pamper yourself, visit a spa near you, or just relax at home with a favorite movie.   Keep the alcohol in check, because a hangover is no way to start your big day.  There will be plenty of time to party on your big day.
  7. SMILE.  You’re there.  This is your wedding day!  Just have a wonderful time.  You worked hard for this day, so let happen what may be, and just enjoy the day.