7 Color Themes for Your FALL Wedding

So many of us here in the St. Louis area absolutely love FALL – and as October is one of the busiest months in our industry, it’s obvious that our brides love Fall too!  Fall represents COLOR!  Find inspiration from the leaves changing and seasonality around you.  There are so many shades of autumn’s color that you can choose for your wedding that are stunning.  The cooler temperatures inspire autumnal shades and so we thought we would suggestion some of our favorite color combinations that are vibrant that can make your wedding spectacular.

 

Cranberry and Mustard Yellow

Yes, cranberry is a staple color for fall, but very few brides add mustard yellow as a secondary color.  Dried Yarrow or Dried Leaves can be used in floral arrangements and the contrast of colors is stunning.

Metallic Orange with Brown, Beige and Sage Green

Autumn is associated with orange, but make it brilliant with a “metallic” orange.  It’s a great combination for a rustic wedding and you can incorporate pumpkins, dried wheat arrangements, and orange/red mums.  For the sage color, succulents fit the bill.

Wine with Gold

Rich and Bold – a Merlot Color Wine pairs beautifully with Gold.  There is a wide range of seasonal flowers like wine color tinted calla lilies, dark red roses and hypericum berries that can create an elegant statement.  Gold charging plates on your reception table with the wine color floral décor speaks classy and refined.

Dark Emerald Green and Gold

If you are a red head – green is your color – and why not employ the power of that combination for your special day.

Dusty Blue, Sage Green and Navy

So elegant and romantic.    You can’t ever go wrong with these colors.  Your guys would look stunning in dark Navy Blue Suits and you can add that romantic touch to your bridal bouquet with the softness of the dusty blue and sage green.

Dusty Blue with Burnt Orange

Again – a great fall color combination.  Floral arrangements of seasonal dusty blue flowers coupled with orange and white flowers is perfect.

Cream, Tangerine, and Copper Brown

Once again you can steal from the fall palette to create a unique and noteworthy theme.  Tangerine is so vibrant!  Copper Brown allows you to add elements of antique copper table centerpieces, so unique and special.

20+ Ideas to Create a Wedding Reception that will Entertain and Wow!

Creative Ideas for Your Wedding ReceptionWhat will guests most remember about your wedding?  While great food is always important,  it’s so much more than that.  Your reception is the biggest party that you will ever plan, and while it marks the importance of the fact that you just married the love of your life, your guests will look to you to be entertained.  They will remember a FUN experience.  Making your party personal and unique will keep them talking about the great night they had for a long time.

First there are some basic reception concepts to follow, like creating good seating arrangements.  A good seating arrangement creates good conversations among friends and people that have common interests.  Put college buddies together and teenagers together, etc. and don’t try to force strangers to struggle to make connections.

And, of course, food should be a big part of being a guest.   I love the new food options that can be introduced – like pasta stations, potato bars, and such.   If you choose to do several courses, you might arrange for some short entertainment between courses.  This is a good time for a quick toast from a favorite lifelong friend or a salute to your parents.  Do you know someone who sings or plays a musical instrument – now is a great time for a quick song.   And keep good food coming all night long!  Have a slider bar or serve toasted ravioli toward the mid part of the night to kept their energy up.  You might even consider hiring a food truck for late at night.

After the food, comes great music and dancing!   Great music keeps the dance floor full, so be sure to arrange with your band or DJ music that everyone will like.  Play some of your favorites, but be sure to include some older tunes that everyone will enjoy.  This is the time that you and your wedding party should play an active part in getting everyone up to dance.

And for your unique sparkle, here are some additional ideas for your reception that could add a special twist:

Stage a Whiskey Tasting Bar or create an area to make your own special margaritas!

S’mores Stations, Chocolate Fountains with Fruit, Popcorn Bars, etc are yummy.

Specialty Coffee Bars with flavored syrups and toppings are popular.

Outdoor weddings might include country games like horseshoes, ring toss or croquet, or even a petting zoo.  You might also arrange a late night hay ride or, for a winter wedding, a sleigh ride.

Laser Light Shows or perhaps fireworks or a sparkler send off can be fun.  (Be sure to get the long 36 inch sparklers.)

Provide party gear like glow sticks, sunglasses, beads and fun trinkets.

Create a Stunning Unexpected First Dance or have a MOB performance.

Rent a Dry Ice Machine and dance in the fog!

Balloon drops on the dance floor can really get the party hopping as well.

Have Unique Entertainers – live art painting, belly dancers, caricature artists, or professional ballroom dancers.

For a different twist hire singing groups like an a capella group, country banjo players, etc.

Bring in Specialty Artisans – For example, hire someone to demonstrate how to make hand rolled cigars, or bring in a barista for special lattes.

Having kids?  Create a special kid’s area with entertainment just for them.

Bring in the new photobooths – fish eye, slow motion, video, and many more options are available today.

 

The possibilities are endless.  Keeping your guests surprised and entertained all night long will make for a reception that will be the talk of your friends and family.

Free or Almost FREE – Outdoor Locations for Your Wedding

Venue Locations for Your Wedding by BrideStlouis.com

 

Recently we had a future bride ask about outdoor places with gazebos or gardens that could be used for wedding ceremonies.  (She was looking for FREE or almost free!)  So – I tossed together some locations that come to mind.

Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.   They have large and beautiful large trees.  Also, there is a sunken garden area that is available on the West side of the property.  And a plus, there are also outdoor restrooms available here too.

Alton Gordon Moore Public Park – Alton, Illinois

Forest Park – Waterfall off Lagoon Street, The Muny Entrance (Gazebo and beautiful lake in front of the Muny), General Grounds, the Basin area, and Old World’s Fair Pavilion are my favorites.  Don’t forget about locations within the zoo grounds as well.

Faust Park – By the old Village, Outside the Butterfly House, or at the Thornhill Mansion grounds that is behind the Butterfly House.

Missouri Botanical Garden – That’s not free, but it is beautiful.

Kiener Plaza They removed the beautiful waterfall, but it is still a fun location.

Carondelet Park

Water Tower off Grand

Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.   It’s $5.00 per person to enter, but it’s worth it!   They have a beautiful lake and in spring 1000 of daffodils.

Bee Tree Park in South County.

Klondike Park – Augusta, MO Off Highway 94

City Garden (Downtown) – It has a nice waterfall

Tower Grove Park – Most everyone knows about the ruins, the lily pond, and the many, many gazebos.

Castlewood State Park off Manchester Road in Ballwin

The J.C. Stage in St. Charles on the Riverfront.  It cost a little to rent, but it’s very nice.  They also have two other smaller pavilions.

St. Louis Arch Grounds – It’s beautifully renovated.

Ball Park Village is Fun

Bellevue Park – Belleville, Illinois.  It has a beautiful gazebo and a medium size lake.

Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton, Illinois

Lafayette Square & Park  – They have a nice gazebo and a beautiful bridge over a garden area.

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Queeny Park in Manchester – Try up in the garden area (Close to the closed Dog Museum) or down by the lake.

Chesterfield City Park – A beautiful water fall area, a lake, and the gazebo

St. Ferdinand Park in Florissant – Both Lake & Gazebo.

Various New Town Locations in St. Charles

Drace Park in Des Peres – not well known, but very nice.

Longview Farm off Clayton Road in Town & County.

Creve Coeur Lake Park

Kirkwood Trail Station – Get married inside the train station.  A great location when the weather is bad.  Kirkwood Community Center also has a nice lake and walking path.

Fort Zumwalt Park

We, of course, would love to hear any additional suggestions from you that we can share with our readers.

Are you looking for a Distinctive Destination for your wedding?

Are you looking for a Distinctive Destination for your wedding?    Here are fourteen suggestions of great wedding venues that will set your wedding apart.   These are just a few of the great locations you can find at our sister site, VenuesofStLouis.com.

 

Garth Woodside Manion, Hannibal, Missouri  – www.garthmansion.com

Contact: Julie

Phone:  888-427-8409

Garth Woodside Mansion Distinctive Wedding Destination - VenuesofStLouis.com

Of the many wedding venues in Missouri, Garth Mansion is special as it offers their beautiful historical mansion and bed and breakfast experience.  Enjoy the manicured property and additional cottage space.  Their personalized planning services makes it stress free and easy.  The gardens and property features accentuate every aspect of the outdoor beauty one would want for their special day!

 

Cedar Creek, New Haven, Missouri –  www.cedarcreekcenter.com

Contact:  Jeni Grunzinger

Phone: 636-266-9975

A distinctive destination for your St. Louis wedding by VenuesofStLouis.com

Located just one hour west of St. Louis, in New Haven, Missouri, the natural beauty of Cedar Creek provides a romantic setting for your truly unforgettable wedding. Featuring on-site overnight accommodations for up to 125 guests, a salt water pool, a golf course and so much more. Popular areas for use include The Barn, The Lake, the Saloon and Town Hall, and our on-site restaurant located in our iconic Western Town. Why not turn your wedding day, into your wedding weekend? The possibilities are endless!

 

Defiance Ridge Vineyards, Defiance, MO – www.defianceridge.com

Contact: Michelle

Phone:  636-798- 2288

Distinctive Destination for Your Wedding - VenuesofStlouis.com

Defiance Ridge Vineyards is a beautiful facility located in Missouri Wine Country and provides a gorgeous setting to celebrate your special day.  Enjoy the vineyard, sparkling lake, and lush garden – offering great backdrops for your photos, and roaming area for your guests to explore. Your wedding at Defiance Ridge can tell your story and reflect your personality and vision.  With accommodations for a small or large gathering and full catering menu, they can help you craft the perfect event that guests will never forget.

 

 

Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO – www.foundryartcentre.org

Contact: Melanie, events@foundryartcentre.org

Phone:   636-255-0270

A Distinctive Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com.

The Foundry Art Centre in located alongside the Missouri River and Katy Trail in downtown St. Charles.  The beautifully redesigned interior of the old Foundry is where railroad cars were once produced and it is now a cultural center of national and international regional art.  Dramatic high ceilings, balconies above for viewing, combined with flowers, music and delicious food, makes The Foundry your special venue.  Truly one of a kind location.

 

 

Dodson Orchards, Fredericktown, MO – www.dodsonorchards.com

Phone:  573-561-3093

Dodson Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com

Experience the magic of your wedding inside the authentic 100+ year old barn, surrounded by your loved ones.  Dodson Orchards is located in the rolling hills of the Ozarks and is about an hour’s drive south from St. Louis County.   You will be the main attraction and because they are an all inclusive venue, you can relax knowing that everything will be just as you envisioned.  Plus, you have full access to their vast array of rustic chic décor and antique furniture pieces to use as accents and gift tables.

 

 

Hermann Hill, Hermann, MO – hermannmoweddings.com

Contact: Becky

Phone: 573-486-4455

Host a romantic, private wedding ceremony along the scenic Missouri River at Hermann Hill Weddings, a picturesque and popular wedding event venue nestled in a storybook setting in Hermann, Missouri.  The location is conveniently accessible to couples from St. Louis to Columbia via I-70.  The maximum number of guests you may host for an indoor ceremony is 225, while up to 300 guests may be served for an indoor reception or outdoor ceremony.  Hermann Hill offers various packages that can accommodate most budgets.  Included in some of the packages are use of a Bride and Groom’s room, use of pavilion for reception, use of chapel or gazebo.

 

 

Inn at Hermannhof, Herman, MO – www.innathermannhof.com

Contact: Samantha,  sales@innathermannhof.com

Phone: 573-486-5199

The Inn at Hermannhof is a perfect weekend getaway destination in the romantic Missouri Wine Country.  It is situated in the historic town of Hermann, Missouri – known for its German heritage and one of the oldest wine growing regions in the U.S.  If you are having out of town guests, this is a perfect spot as their bed and breakfast can accommodate your family and friends all in one great location.

 

Peace Tree Farms, Eolia, MO –  www.PeaceTreeFarms.com

Contact:  peacetreefarmsllc@gmail.com

Phone:  573-470-6777

Peace Tree Farms - Venue Review at VenuesofStLouis.com

 

Peace Tree Farms is dedicated to conservation, organics, preserving nature and the beauty of our Earth.  They specialize in Custom Weddings within their 150 Acres of Beautiful!  Choose your perfect ceremony and reception site – garden and main pavilions, lakeside, woodland, or orchard and meadow.  Coming Fall 2019 the new Garden Barn.  If you can dream it, Peace Tree Farms can make it happen.

 

Aeries Terrace Banquet Center, Grafton, IL – www.aeriesview.com

Contact:  Angie events@aeriesview.com

Phone:  618.786.8438

Aeries Wedding Venue - Venue Review by BrideStLouis.com

Memorable events deserve an unforgettable setting – someplace different.  Aeries is close to home, yet being there feels like an escape.  Awesome, natural beauty and adventure around every corner.  You wedding will be at the edge of a breathtaking panorama that is simply the best view in the Midwest.

 

Pour Vineyard, Red Bud, IL – www.thepourvineyard.com

Contact: Travis – thepourvineyard@gmail.com

Phone:  618-304-4516

 

The Pour Vineyard is located in Red Bud Illinois and is one of Illinois’ newest wedding destinations.  Pour Vineyard offers a rustic barn, large lake and over six acres of vineyards.  They offer many ceremony locations and they allow you to choose your own vendors.  About 200 can be accommodated for a barn ceremony and 224 for a vineyard or lake ceremony/reception.

 

Seven T Farms, Sullivan, MO – www.seventfarms.com

Contact:  Matt & Mia,  events@seventfarms.com

Phone: 573-915-6760

Seven T Farms - Review by VenuesofStLouis.com

Many say that Seven T Farms is the perfect backdrop to say “I DO”!  From modern to vintage, Seven T Farms offers a unique setting for your wedding or event.  Enjoy a 300 acre venue located one hour west of downtown St. Louis just outside Sullivan, Missouri.  They have several ceremony options, a large reception room with stage for a head table or DJ setup, and an additional room perfect for rehearsal dinners or cocktail hour.  The patio offers outdoor seating, an indoor/outdoor bar, stone fireplace and a stunning view overlooking the farm.  An on-location bridal suite accommodating up to 12 is also available for rent.

 

 

 

The White Owl, Wright City, MO – www.the-white-owl.com

Contact:  Janie – thewhiteowlinfo@gmail.com

Phone:  636-030-6005

Wedding Venue Review by VenuesofStLouis.com.

The White Owl is a private outdoor event venue that works hard to craft a personal, unique, and unforgettable event for its customers located in Wright City, MO. They believe events such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation, corporate celebration have the power to do more than celebrate a milestone; they create long-lasting impressions through social interactions, memorable moments, and custom personal touches. They also believe in enjoying what you do and doing it with the ones you love.

 

Noboleis Vineyard, Augusta, MO – www.noboleisvineyards.com

Contact:  Angie

Phone: 636-482-4500

Noboleis Vineyard by VenuesofStLouis.com

Looking for your dream wedding in a vineyard?  Noboleis Vineyards offers panoramic views of rolling hillsides while the surrounding vineyards offer the backdrop to an outdoor ceremony and/or a reception for up to 200+ people in a tented pavilion.  There’s a bride’s loft for getting ready, plus great photo spots in the vineyards and cellar.

 

The Larimore, St. Louis, MO – www.larimoreweddings.com

Contact:  Dena – info@larimoreweddings.com

Phone: 314-265-2531, 314-868-8009

The Larimore Wedding Venue by VenuesofStLouis.com

The Larimore is a private, historic estate established in 1858.  This venue boasts 6 acres of enchanting grounds, the charming Victorian mansion and an elegant banquet center.  This hidden gem is perfect for those searching for a spectacular event that is “unique” and offers plenty of “WOW” factor!

100 Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

 

 

Everything Wedding by BrideStLouis.com

Your wedding budget should not be something you are paying off for the next 5 years! There is a lot of pressure from family and friends to spend lots of money and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to! Make your budget something you are comfortable with and not what your family and friends tell you. Choose what’s important to you – and cut back on the less important items.

  1. Keep your guest list small. This is one of the best ways to save on your wedding costs. If you are having 50 guests or less, there are places like Tuscany Gallery (www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com) that can host your wedding ceremony & reception for a very modest price, and it’s beautiful.
  2. Consider a different time of day for your wedding, such as morning or afternoon.
  3. Consider a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated meal. You can also opt for a cocktail hour with appetizers rather than a formal dinner.
  4. Stick with flowers that are in season. Or buy flowers from wholesale places like Sam’s and make a casual arrangement yourself. Today’s silk flowers are beautiful and look very real.
  5. Consider getting married during off-peak wedding season. June and October tend to be the most popular month for weddings here in our area.
  6. Print your own invitations at home.
  7. Purchase handmade items directly from the designer on places like Etsy and cut out the middle man.
  8. Consider a wedding location that isn’t a traditional “wedding” location, such as a park, municipal building or school.
  9. Have less formal food options. Everyone loves comfort food and snacks! A new trend is to bring in a food truck. Also consider food stations, such as a hot dog station, taco bar, or salad station where guests can create and choose what appeals to them.
  10. Consider a wedding dress that is not from a traditional bridal store. Browse a major retailer or online store for white dresses at a good price. SIGN UP NOW for the 3nd “Annual Run for the Dress” event being held on July 28th, 2019 at the Trigg Banquet Center, where thousands of dresses are sold here in St. Louis for 50% to 70% off the retail price. (CLICK HERE to register for the RUN for the Dress.) Just need more information? Go to www.RunfortheDress.com or www.Facebook.com/RunfortheDress.
  11. Think about saving money for your maids. Bridesmaid dresses can also be found at a discount store or outlet or have your bridal party wear something they already own all in the same color. Bridesmaids, Mothers and Flower Girl dresses are also available at the Run for the Dress event on July 28, 2019.
  12. Shop sample sales or go dress shopping while there are sales. This could mean shopping way ahead of time to get a good price.
  13. Consider doing your own hair or makeup. Or go to a makeup store and have a professional teach you how to apply a good look.
  14. Instead of buying something, consider renting it, with things such as a tuxedo. Or, consider a more relaxed look like casual dressy attire.
  15. Add a line on your RSVPs for your guests to request a song, that way you will play some songs your guests want to hear and you can keep the dance floor busy. Consider making your own playlist with these songs, get a speaker system and do away with a DJ. Hire a harpist for the ceremony.
  16. Consider not having favors to cut down on costs or limit them to one per couple instead of one per person.
  17. Helium Balloons make for wonderful décor to add color to any basic banquet room.
  18. Use coupons to find deals on craft items, wedding supplies and accessories. Michaels many times has 40% off coupons. You might have to make multiple purchases over several trips to get everything, but it’s a great way to save a lot.
  19. Ask friends to help out with anything they can contribute. Maybe one of them could even officiate the wedding. But don’t ask friends/family to be your photographer. You really want GOOD photography because those photos will be keepsakes forever.
  20. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to the wedding budget. The last thing you want is for him to go and splurge on something he wanted while you promised to make cutbacks on things you wanted. Marriage is all about compromise,
  21. Make the candy buffet yourself – buy wholesale candy and collect containers from friends.
  22. Buy your own alcohol for the reception.
  23. Local, seasonal food options are usually always cheaper for dinner.
  24. A small indulgence can be included for a modest amount. Splurge on a new perfume to capture the day’s memories. Your mind will be brought back to your wedding every time you smell the fragrance.
  25. Ask a cake baker who is just starting out to make your cake instead of a large bakery.26.Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.
  26. Think about hiring a music student or someone early in their career for live music.Consider cupcakes or small desserts instead of cake.
  1. Depending on your views, you could choose not to serve alcohol or limit the number of bar hours.
  2. Although the up-front costs of a wedding planner may seem high, they are often great at scoring deals and working with vendors.
  3. Search out antique stores for unique décor items.
  4. If you’re paying for things for the wedding on a credit card, make sure you’re getting something back in return with a cash-back rebates or loyalty points.
  5. Fill your centerpieces and bouquets with greenery or fresh flowers from local wholesale places.
  6. Skip the champagne and opt for white wine or sparkling wine instead.
  7. Simplify your invitations and keep them down to one page instead of a fold-out with ribbon, to save on postage.
  8. Cut down on photographer costs by only having one photographer instead of a second or third shooters.
  9. Alternatively, ask the photography company if an assistant or associate could be your main photographer instead. They may charge a lower rate.
  10. Attend a bridal show or wedding fair to score deals on vendors. At our August 4, 2019 Bridal Show “Love is in the Air” you can save over $2500.00 on your wedding with vendors who have put together amazing deals.  Plus, you might win a fabulous Hot Air Balloon Ride. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now and save on your entry fee.
  11. If you’re going to splurge, make sure it’s on something you and your guests will enjoy, such as food or photography.
  12. Go for a single type of flower or a less expensive flower (exotics come with a price) for your bouquet.
  13. Your guests still need to be fed, but don’t overdo it on the food. More than three courses for a sit down meal might be excessive for some people.
  14. Have a small display cake as your wedding cake and a larger sheet cake in the back that can be switched out when the cake is cut. No one will know the difference!
  15. Plan things like the cake cutting and first dance earlier in the night, so you can limit the hours of photography needed.
  16. The same thing goes for DJ services. Have an iPod hooked up for the ceremony and cocktail hour and have the DJ work the reception only to cut back on hours.
  17. Use decorations that you already have at home instead of buying, such as candles, lanterns or frames.
  18. Cocktails and shots usually cost more with bar service, so have beer and wine only for the bar.
  19. Opt for the house wines instead of a specialty brand.
  20. Having larger tables instead of many smaller ones means less centerpieces and decorations.
  21. Consider emailing save-the-dates instead of mailing them.
  22. Design a centerpiece that doesn’t use flowers, such as something with lanterns, candles or jars.
  23. Purchase an umbrella that matches your wedding colors or style just in case it rains. Umbrellas can make for some pretty great photos if it does end up raining. (And rain is considered Good Luck!)
  24. An elopement or small destination wedding may be a less expensive option than a traditional reception. You don’t have to leave town to elope.
  25. Not having a wedding party, ring bearer or flower girl means less costs for outfits, gifts and flowers.
  26. A smaller wedding party also equals less cost–and sometimes less hassle. Again, less costs for gifts and flowers.
  27. Do you know someone else having a wedding? See if you can purchase some of their decorations and centerpieces.
  28. Avoid using the word “wedding” when talking to some vendors unless it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes, “wedding” costs come with a premium.
  29. Only invite people to your wedding you are close to, you know well or who you have seen in the last five years.
  30. Buy wedding items in bulk instead of smaller sizes. For example, some vendors may give you a lower price for each item once you buy more than 50.
  31. Save money on rehearsal dinner, bachelorette or bridal shower food, by opting for an at-home celebration instead of going to a restaurant. Tuscany Gallery also hosts Bridal Shows.
  32. Have the servers serve the wine instead of leaving it on the table, so the wine consumption is staggered throughout the night.
  33. Factor additional costs, such as shipping, taxes, fees and tips when you create your budget, so you make sure to stay in budget.
  34. Buttercream icing is usually a cheaper choice for cakes than fondant. Better yet, a naked cake looks just as nice.
  35. Browse online marketplaces for used wedding items or search a bridal swap listing service. Search for wedding resale sites on Facebook.
  36. Once you are done with your wedding items, sell them to make some extra cash.
  37. Limit the meal options to one option with a vegetarian option instead of three or four different–and more expensive choices. More choices equal more money.
  38. Ask your photographer if they will add videography to your package instead of hiring an additional videographer.
  39. When considering your guest list, make a rule about whether people can bring plus ones or not. Otherwise, costs can add up for additional guests.
  40. When deciding whether to allow kids or not, remember that kids’ meals are often cheaper. Or, you can choose a no-children wedding.
  41. Borrow wedding items from a friend or family member or use family heirlooms in your accessories instead of buying.
  42. We’re not saying you should haggle for wedding contracts, but in some situations, it might be wise to ask if there is a way to lower the price.
  43. Do your research and shop around for vendors and wedding items before you buy. The lower price is not always the best deal. Personal service always trumps a slightly lower cost.
  44. Read contracts carefully before you sign, in case you run into any hairy situations where a vendor drops out, doesn’t deliver or overcharges you.
  45. Have your photographer and videographer only cover the ceremony.
  46. Less is more, so cut out things you don’t think you necessarily need. Try a wedding venue that already has decorative elements or doesn’t need many decorations.
  47. Some venue packages may be a good deal, but some require you to use their vendors exclusively, which may come at a price. Check to see if you can use your own. Check our blog page, http://www.bridestlouis.com/category/catering, for venues that allow you to hire your own catering companies.
  48. Create an easy wedding website and online RSVPs instead of traditional paper invitations.
  49. Serve the meal family style. Not only can you save money by serving food this way, but the interactive nature of family style eating will also encourage a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for your guests.
  50. Don’t get married on Saturday, the most popular and expensive day of the week for weddings.
  51. Cut down the passed appetizers to 1-2 a person per hour instead of 3-4. Or set out a few nibbles on the tables instead. Keep in mind, caterers may try to up-sell you.
  52. It is alright to say no or “we don’t need that” when discussing contracts. Don’t feel pushed into something you don’t actually want.
  53. Having a farm or country wedding, roast a pig and bring in the sides yourself.
  54. Carefully evaluate wedding trends. Popular items may cost more because everyone else wants them.
  55. It is important to thank your wedding party, however an expensive gift for each person adds up. A hand written note or personal thank you may be enough. Or perhaps buy them something affordable they can use every day.
  56. Create handwritten place cards and escort cards instead of having them professionally printed.
  57. Go through each budget item and see how you can trim each item down to the bare necessity. Really think about how necessary some of the costs are.
  58. Guests coming in from out of town? Make them a list of activities and locations they may enjoy. Create a personal welcome basket yourself with some snacks and other goodies.
  59. Keep receipts of everything you buy for the wedding and track each item, so you know how much you are spending.
  60. Have a signature drink. Having a signature cocktail passed around to guests during the cocktail hour is a nice way to personalize your wedding and save on alcohol costs. Guests will appreciate the gesture, you’ll be able to stick to your booze budget, and you’ll be on trend.
  61. Consider a wedding location that is not in a major city. Some downtown costs may be more expensive for you and your guests.
  62. Instead of response cards with your invitations, ask guests to email or phone you with their RSVP.
  63. Take advantage of free printables for your wedding stationery.
  64. We know shoes are a big deal. If you’re wearing a long dress, chances are people won’t really see them anyway. So why break the budget on them?
  65. Borrow a nice car or truck from a friend instead of renting a limo.
  66. Take your honeymoon at a time when you can get a better vacation deal instead of right after the wedding.
  67. Find a dress that fits instead of a size off the rack to cut down on alteration costs.
  68. Buying a smaller dress you hope to fit into by the wedding is never a good idea. If you do need alterations, making a dress fit smaller is cheaper than making the dress bigger.
  69. Enter wedding blog giveaways and contests for a chance to win free wedding things.
  70. Having a shorter time to plan a wedding means you will be more ruthless when it comes to things you need vs. want.
  71. Buy flowers, food items and candy at the grocery store or a bulk food store instead of a specialty store.
  72. Leave an empty vase on the head table and use your bridal bouquet as a centerpiece.
  73. Ask a hotel for a discounted rate for booking a block of rooms.
  74. Have the ceremony and reception at one place to cut down on costs of transportation, rentals and decorations.

 

So – what are your ideas? Send us details about what you are doing to stretch the budget and photos too (if you have them).  If we publish your ideas on our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BrideStLouis) we will send you 2 FREE tickets to our August 4th Bridal Show.  Send to bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Making the Most of a Bridal Show

Wedding Planning and Bridal Shows by BrideStLouis

 

Bridal 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 show, 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.  Is your wedding date in May, June or September, October? If you find a vendor you like, and they are available, you better book it now.  Photographers book sometimes a year out, and so do venues.  They can only host one event on any one day, so don’t take a chance and find them booked next time you inquire.

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 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.

Many vendors will have special SHOW specials.  This is a great time to take advantage of these show specials to help stretch the budget.  Be sure to ask questions about their service.  And service is what the top professional vendors provide – that’s what puts them in demand.  Weddings are a very personal service, and without GOOD service, you could have problems.  Not a way to remember a wedding.

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