7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

I’ve seen a fairly large number of weddings, and I can guarantee you that there has never been a perfect wedding.     Here are seven things you might want to put on your checklist when you are planning your big day.


  1. Don’t forget the marriage license.  Yes, it’s true.  It happens and it happens quite often. Make one of you responsible for bringing the license.
  2. Make the rehearsal dinner different from the reception.   The purpose of the rehearsal dinner is for close family and friends of the bride and groom to mingle and be at ease with one another.  If the rehearsal dinner was a great four course meal, dancing, and the works – the next night might seem like a “repeat” of the first, but with more guests.  A rehearsal dinner should leave the participants psyched up for the “big” event.  Create a rehearsal dinner that’s different – maybe an outdoor steak/hamburger grill, barbeque or a picnic style event with relaxed dress attire.
  3. Here’s the crazy thing about most weddings.  You and your partner will share very little time together on the most important day of your lives!  First, you get ready for the ceremony, then have the ceremony, and finally spent a lot of the reception dancing with parents and friends and thanking guests for coming.  I highly recommend that you PLAN some alone time for you and your spouse immediately after the ceremony.  Take a walk, go to a room alone, or just find some place where the two of you can really share time just with one another.
  4. Don’t try to do everything yourself!  The night before the wedding you don’t want to be making place cards, finishing centerpieces or arranging bouquets.  Delegate and use your family and friends.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen are there as well to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask them to take responsibility for a last minute task.
  5. Don’t invite too many wedding guests.  Sure, I’ve seen empty spaces at tables where guests have RSVP’d and then failed to arrive.  However, if you have invited 300 guests, received 290 “yes” responses, but the reception venue can only legally accommodate 275, you might have to turn 10 people away.  That’s really bad.  I’ve seen it happen.  And I think most couples don’t realize this.
  6. Don’t blow the budget!  Make a budget and keep track of your expenditures.  Don’t forget the hidden extras like tips and delivery fees.  I’ve heard of grooms who had to make a trip to the bank to get money to pay the DJ, or else there would be no music!   It costs a lot of money to have a wedding, so make sure you have all the major items budgeted for.
  7. Tension between families is inevitable.  Remember that this is a celebration of the beginning of your life together….and leave all the family issues at the door.  Don’t let issues ruin your day.


10 Local Wedding Trends for 2013

10 Local Wedding Trends for 2013

Over the last several months we have seem a number of trends emerge in our area.  Let us know if any of these new trends will be a part of your wedding.  What are you doing that is a departure from the traditional wedding?   From all the entries we receive we will draw one lucky bride to win a $25.00 gift certificate from Wine Town Designs.  Send your ideas to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Here are the latest trends:

  1. The economy continues to create a different type of wedding – a wedding that is less bling, wed-to-impress and a move toward a wedding that is more intimate, uncomplicated, and personal.
  2. Pastel Flowers.   Wow!  Softer shades of pink, blues and creams for a romantic look and feel.
  3. Custom Wedding Themes.  From Alice in Wonderland, Superheroes, and Lord of the Rings to the Roaring Twenties – any unique theme is back in style.   Brides are having a lot more fun these day.
  4. Groom participation.  More and more grooms are taking an active part in the planning of the wedding.  (Hurrah!)
  5. Food Choices – No longer just a formal sit down dinner.  Food Stations, Specialty Foods, Homemade Organic Food, and local farm supplied fresh ingredients.
  6. Wedding Dresses with pockets!  Finally!
  7. “After the Reception” Parties.  The After Party for close friends of the bride and groom.  Many times these are hosted in a casual, relax location where guests can play video games, billiards, and just hang out.
  8. Receptions with entertainment for the guests.  Entertainment includes Bagpipers, MOB dancing, and late night food bars.  Entertainment is more interactive with couples hiring magicians and live event artists.Bagpiper
  9. Virtual Live Streaming.  Uncle Joe and Aunt Hazel can now watch the wedding real time.  Technology allows couples to share their “I Dos” with friends and family worldwide.  Live-streaming of weddings will grow in popularity and will be a new type of service in demand.
  10. It’s about the couple.  We have seen a more minimalistic approach with décor and relaxed styling.  Couples keep décor much more simplistic.  It’s not about the details … it’s about them and having fun.

Tell us whatt you think.

R.S.V.P. (Respondez s’il vous plait)

For those who studied French we all know the meaning of R.S.V.P.  But more importantly then knowing what R.S.V.P. means (respond please) is understanding the importance of the R.S.V.P. as a part of the wedding planning process.   With your invitations you should always include an R.S.V.P.   Wedding etiquette generally includes a return card that should be mailed back.  You can also phrase your invitation with a “regrets only” which means the invitee only need to respond if they cannot attend.

Banquet Hall

Some of the recent weddings I’ve attended have had extra tables and place settings with no guests.  Every extra seat or plate cost.  If you are expecting 200 guests, and order food for 200 guests, then you pay for 200 guests, even if only 150 attend.  When you prepare your invitations take care how your address them – Friend and Guest (2 places), Friend and Family (??? Places).  If your invitation is addressed to “Mr. & Mrs.” and not “Mr. & Mrs. and children”, then children are not invited.  Leave a space on the response card so that the guest’s name can be added.  I also recommend a date by which to respond.  A detailed list is critically for accuracy.  For most brides, paring down the invitation list is stressful because it is difficult to maintain a balance between staying with your budget and trying to make sure nobody’s feelings are hurt.

When the wedding is more informal and the invitation is via email or Facebook, it is okay to respond is kind.

Do away with the formal sit down dinner!

Are you the kind of bride that wants to see your guests and friends having a great time and mingling at your reception?  A reception is a party and creating a party atmosphere can be easily accomplished with food stations.  From a carving station to a pasta station, guests can enjoy a night to remember that is truly special.  Here are some ideas of different food stations that you might consider:

Carving Station – Smoked Turkey, Honey Ham, Prime Rib

Mashed Potato Bar – Provide toppings such as cheese, bacon, spices, blue cheese, sour cream, onions, green peppers, etc.    Add seasonings for French fries and sweet potato fries.  How about some homemade potato chips.  The possibilities are endless.


Pasta station – mostaccioli, macaroni and cheese, chicken with bow tie pasta, etc.

Barbeque Station – Ribs, Pork Steaks, and Brats to name a few.

Nachos Station – Build your favor nachos with Mexican toppings.  Add a pitcher of margaritas for more fun.

Hot Dog Station – Wow!  I love this.  Include a variety of sausages as well.  Put toppings in clear glass jars.  Provide a variety of homemade pickles, pepper rings, sauerkraut.  Maybe have a selection of local microbrew beers.

Bread Station – What about lots of different breads, rolls, jellies, peanut butter, almond butter, honey butter.

Popcorn Station – Yes, lots and lots of great choices here.  Be sure to check out Poptions in Kirkwood for a wonderful selection including Gooey Butter, Chocolate Pecan Praline (my favorite), Aged White Vermont Cheddar and many, many more.  Poptions is located at The Village at Schneithorst’s, 1580 S. Lindbergh Blvd.  See more information at www.Poptions.com,

I think you get the idea.  It is lots of fun.  Guests love it.  Be sure to forego the ordinary and try to think of fun ways to serve everything!  Vintage dishes can be used for many of the stations.

These mini buffets are scattered throughout your reception area and are the perfect solution for non-traditional reception spaces.  Don’t be afraid to implement your own ideas.  Have fun.

Why choose a Destination Wedding?

(Note:  we will post more bridal boquets in a few days.)

Are you aware that almost one in four brides plans a destination wedding?   It’s a trend that has been growing for the past 15 years, and probably will continue to get bigger.  Couples plan a destination wedding not necessarily to keep the budget down, but to spend money on the people that matter the most to them.  When you have only 80 guests rather than 300 guests, you can afford the extras that would be impossible with a larger group.   A destination wedding can cost more than a local wedding as there are additional expenses to consider, so if you’re thinking this is a way to save money, you might want to reconsider that decision.

If you have guests that are traveling some distance already to attend the wedding, why not make it a location that you truly love.  Cold winter months and hot summers in St. Louis can be really miserable, and a location that has more favorable weather could be worth the extra planning and expense.

It’s important to understand that it’s not for people who plan their wedding down to the tiniest detail.  Since you probably won’t be able to view your location ahead of time, you will spend lots of time via computer and phone to make arrangements for catering, cake, flowers, and more.  You will need to depend on local recommendations for many of your vendors.    And depending on a local photographer is never a good idea.  Your relationship with a photographer is a key element of the wedding day, and the potential of having poor quality photography, definitely necessitates hiring a photographer that you know and trust.  So, there will be travel expenses that will be required for him or her.  And finally, some destination locations make all the choices for you, and is that something you can live with?

You will also need to commit extra time to check out the rules and regulations of your destination as these can vary from country to country.  Are there activities for family and friends to enjoy between planned events?  Is there a coordinator on site.

So, don’t rush to buy those plane tickets until you considered all the pros and cons.

The Perfect Wedding – NOT

Sorensen_Wed-237There is no such thing as the perfect wedding.  However, if you plan your wedding right you will be able to really enjoy the day.  What’s your heart’s desire? – a big church wedding, a beautiful sunset wedding, a fabulous banquet to dance the night away?   Don’t listen to your parents, your friends, or co-workers who just got married.  How do YOU want to celebrate your day?   It is what you want that will make it right and make it perfect.

Secondly, to all of our brides, and anyone planning to become a bride, you really need to read this…


That article really says it all!   Yes – beautiful dress, beautiful flowers, a great location, but more importantly your wedding day memories celebrated in photos for years to come.  It may not be fashion star “perfect” but it will be special to you, and you need to be sure to capture those TRUE feelings, emotions and people that shared your love on this ever special day.    Yes, it will be a perfect wedding for you.