Outdoor Places for Low Cost Ceremonies

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.

Alton Gordon Moore Public Park

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

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.

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Faust Park – By The 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 – The old Kiener Plaza was a beautiful setting.  The new one is a bit busy all the time.

Carondelet Park

The 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 they have 1000s of daffodils.

Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.   There is a sunken garden area to the West of the building and also a small lake.

Bee Tree Park in South County.

The City Garden has a nice waterfall

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

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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.

The Arch Grounds.

Lafayette Square & Park

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Laumeier Sculpture Park

Queeny Park in Manchester

Chesterfield City Center Park

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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.)

Fort Zumwalt Park

Quail Ridge Park in St. Charles County

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At some of these locations you can reserve a shelter.  For almost all locations I recommend you check with the various authorities for any permits that may be required.

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

Smart Spending for Your Wedding

 

It’s easy to get excited about your dream wedding, but your fairytale wedding could turn into a less joyful situation if you go into debt.   Even before creating your budget, you and your partner need to decide which details are important for both of you.  It’s funny – no one will remember the little details, like the color/type flowers you might have opted for, but they will remember if they had a good time.  Don’t skimp on food and entertainment as these elements have a huge impact on your guests’ enjoyment.

However, food doesn’t have to be expensive.   You could choose to have a cocktail wedding or perhaps hire a food truck.  A few weeks back we published a list of venues that allow you to bring your own outside catering companies – many independent catering companies would love to be of service and can provide a competitively priced menu.  Secondly, trim your guest list.  That’s one of the biggest ways to save money.  Ask yourself, “Would you take this person out to an expensive dinner at any other time?”  If the answer is “No”, scratch them from the list.   How well do you know that person?  If you hardly remember their name or recognize them, scratch them from the list.

One thing I don’t recommend is to try to tackle everything yourself – like preparing your own food or baking your own cake!  Hire a professional!  They know how to do the job and you really don’t need that stress.  Hire a florist but choose in-season blooms.  Do hire a professional photographer.  Don’t depend on family or friends for your photos.  So many brides have cried the blues when their photos didn’t turn out to be what they expected.  Photos are the only thing you will have after the day is over.

Our new Wedding Planning for the St. Louis/St. Charles and Southern Illinois Bride is now available!  Request your FREE copy today by sending your request to bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Your Wedding Planning Timeline

Planning a Wedding, Wedding timeline

 

Here is an easy to follow Wedding Planning Schedule that you might wish to print out and keep handy.  The secret to a stress-free wedding is being prepared and handling the scheduled tasks on a timely basis.  You should work with your partner on many of these tasks as it is his wedding too!  Most importantly, decide on a budget and stick to it.  If you follow these few steps, you will be able to enjoy a fantastic wedding!

 

10 months before wedding

□  Pick wedding theme/style, color

□  Plan budget, start a wedding folder or binder.

□  Make tentative guest list

□  Set wedding date & time

□  Book ceremony & reception location

□  Select members of wedding party

 

9 months before wedding

□  Pick DJ/Band & ceremony musicians

□  Book wedding day transportation

□  Book photographer and videographer and consult with photographer on scheduling your day to allow sufficient time for all photos.  Allow a minimum of one hour for photos of just the two of you.

□  Book florist

□  Meet with ceremony officiant

 

8 months before wedding

□  Order your bridal gown and Select Bridesmaids’ dresses

□  Send Your Save the Dates

 

6 months before wedding

□  Register gift choices

□  Finalize guest list

□  Order wedding invitations

□  Plan hotel and transportation for out-of-town guests

□  Order wedding cake

 

5 months before wedding

□  Wedding-night hotel suite for bride and groom

□  Plan honeymoon

□  Select and order wedding favors

 

4 months before wedding

□  Order groom’s attire

□  Select groomsmen’s attire

□  Send out-of-town guests invitations

□  Select wedding bands

 

3 months before wedding

□  Send out invitations to in-town guests

□  Finalize and book menu for rehearsal dinner

□  Finalize menu and drinks for reception

 

2 months before wedding

□  Purchase gifts for wedding party & parents

□  Plan reception seating

□  Plan itinerary for out-of-town guests

□  Finalize arrangements with DJ/Band, Ceremony Musicians, Florist, Cake Baker, Photographer and Videographer

□  Schedule Hair & Makeup Trials and Create a Wedding Emergency Kit

 

1 month before wedding

□  Get final fitting of your wedding gown

□  Get marriage license

□  Get name-change forms (if changing your name)

□  Confirm all hotel accommodations

 

1-2 weeks before wedding

□  Have rehearsal & dinner

□  Have bridesmaid’s lunch

□  Have groomsmen’s’ day out

□  Confirm wedding day transportation

□  Confirm guest count with caterer

□  Confirm time and location with Officiant, Florist, Cake baker, Photographer, DJ/Band, and Videographer

 

Congratulations!  It’s your Wedding Day!  Turn over all wedding planning activities to a close friend who you trust to handle any issues and just enjoy your day!!!

Choosing a Theme or Color for Your Wedding

Color Combinations for Weddings, BrideStLouis Wedding PlanningCongratulations to many of you that are newly engaged.  It’s an exciting time in your life and we want you not to stress over the task of planning your wedding.  While it is probably the biggest event that you ever orchestrated, just take it step by step like we discussed last week.

Remember that BrideStLouis.com can help guide and support you through your wedding planning journey with our easy wedding directory featuring thousands of premier wedding and bridal businesses.  In fact, we have over 2000 vendors listed in over 62 different categories.  In addition, our blog posts are always original, timely, and plentiful!  You can review over 450 blog posts that cover every detail of weddings by various categories as well.

Our new 2018 Free E-book “Wedding Planning for the 2018 Bride!” will be ready in just a few days.  Let us know if you would like to receive a copy by emailing us at bride@bridestlouis.com.

So, one of the first steps besides the budget is to choose a theme or color that best represents you – the bride and groom – as a couple.  There are many ways of doing this, like choosing a shared interest, favorite hobby or leisure time activity.  I’ve seen Lego Weddings, Book Theme weddings based for favorite books, Movie Themes, Country Weddings – you name it!  Some couples love to dance and they base their reception on that.

Some couples just choose a style – like Old World Elegance, Fairytale & Romance, or perhaps Seasonal Themes depicting their favorite time of year…a Winter Wonderland or a Fall Harvest Wedding.   A Harry Potter theme has happened as well as The Great Gatsby.

And then there is color.  Color can reflect your style and personality as well.

White – Purity, Innocence and Fresh Beginnings

Yellow – Wisdom, Happiness, Intellectual Energy

Pink – Love, Beauty, Fun Personality

Red – Strength, Health, Vitality

Blue – Youth, Peace, Tranquility

Green – Harmony, Balance, Flexible & Unique

Silver – Calmness, Elegance

Gold – Wealth, Power, Tending to Extravagance

Black – Sophisticated, Controlling, Perfectionist, Dominant

So – what’s your color and theme?  Be sure to share with us your ideas and we will post our favorite on Facebook next week.  Our favorite as voted by our staff will win four FREE tickets to our next bridal show at The Foundry Art Centre on February 18th, 2018.  Send you comments to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.

Welcome to 2018!

Welcome to 2018!

Congratulations to everyone who recently received an engagement ring, and to those who have started to plan their wedding.  We thought it would be a good time to post this survey we did last Fall with previous couples who were married about a year ago – discussing what was good and what they would do differently.

We call this the “REAL truth about Weddings in Retrospect” by couples looking back after their first year.

We’ve talked to 12 couples who were married about a year ago and asked them, in hindsight, what they thought about their wedding, what they would do differently, and what was their biggest disappointment.  Some of the weddings were large, elaborate affairs while others were smaller, more family oriented weddings.

Because most couples who are planning a wedding have no experience about planning and paying for a wedding, the number one answer that was the biggest concern for all couples was the actual cost of their wedding.  Eleven of the twelve couples said that it ended up being way more expensive than what they anticipated.    Most of them said that as their wedding day approached there was a lot of anxiety about having enough money to pay for everything as planned.  There were always extra expenses that were not anticipated.   Nine of the 12 couples said that if they had it to do over again, they would scale down the wedding about 50%.  One of the couples is still paying off the debt from the wedding – it’s a sore point as they want to save for a house.  Two of the couples felt that, while it was expensive, it was a once in a lifetime event which they would do over again in a heartbeat.   One of the brides loved every minute and expensive detail of her wedding at the time of the wedding, but now regrets spending so much of her parent’s money, as it caused a hardship on her family.    Had she and her parents talked more openly and truthful about the costs, she could now look back with better feelings about her wedding.  In hindsight, she feels that she was “selfish and overbearing” asking and getting everything no matter what it cost.

When asked about specific details on expenses, many mistakenly assumed they had to, for example, have a LIVE Band, or they HAD to have the Tall Centerpiece displays.  It was the expectations from others that lead them to spending MORE money than they needed to on certain items.   Interesting.  One couple that had a very simple wedding, did what they wanted and not what others felt they should do.  It was fun, and they enjoyed planning and working out all the details for a small, intimate wedding with about 50 guests.   They then had money left over for a fabulous honeymoon.   That’s a trend that’s really smart.

Other than concerns over money, most couples agreed that their wedding was the best day of their life.  Yes, they would change some things and focus more on what matter to them.

One thing they all agreed upon – they all thought the day passed by so quickly!

So, what does this all mean to you?  As you are planning your wedding, make sure to communicate and discuss your ideas, budgets, and desires.  We are a firm believer in making your wedding YOUR best day ever – being the kind of wedding that’s right for you.  Let’s us know how we can help you achieve your goals.  We love hearing from you.  Write to us at bride@BrideSTLouis.com.

2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show

Cake 6 - 2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show

A delicious wedding cake is the sweetest ending to a perfect wedding celebration.  Collect inspiration at the 2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show on Thursday night, September 22, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Airport West located in Earth City just off Highway 70 from 6pm to 8:30pm. Whether you style is modern and trendy, traditional, or vintage you can not only see a large selection of beautiful cakes, but you will also get to TASTE the cakes.

When you arrive you will receive a ballot to vote for your favorite cake.  Cakes will be plated and numbered and you will vote by number – so it’s a blind taste test.  We will also vote for the best, most artistic looking cake as well.   Vote results will be announced at 8:15pm.

Enjoy champagne, appetizers and a fun evening.   There will be 35 to 40 professional wedding vendors there as well so it’s a great time to start planning your special day.  Be sure to bring your wedding party, friends, family, and yes, the groom too.

You could be the winner of the $200.00 GRAND PRIZE from BrideStLouis.  Additional prizes will be awarded during the night as well.

What’s not to love – great music, good fun, and cake, of course!

To register now and save $3.00 go to www.BrideStLouis.com and you will find a link on the home page of our web site.    The first 100 brides to register will receive a FREE gift as well.  Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $8.00 at the door.

Cake 6 - 2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show

Cake 6 - 2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show

 

Cake 6 - 2016 Cake & Champagne Tasting Event & Bridal Show