Do y’all remember that old Green Day song “Wake Me Up When September Ends?” Well, could someone have woken me up when August ended?! Because oh my goodness these couples + their anniversaries are so important to us!!
September in St. Louis brings beautiful weather (evidently Midwest states are the only ones that believe that a sweatshirt can be paired with shorts!), changing leaves, and the most perfect backdrop to Fall Weddings!
+ in true SSD fashion, we can’t help but reminisce on our past SSD couples, their best day evers, + the special places they each hold in our hearts!
Jessica + Ryan 9.1.18
Our beautiful Jessica married Ryan on Labor Day Weekend in 2018 St. Louis Elizabeth Lloyd captured every magical detail – especially these outdoor pics of the bouquet made by our gals at An Affair to Remember! We loved Jessica’s organization during the planning process and her never-ending smile for her whole wedding day!
Gena + Brad 9.19.2015
These two had the most gorgeous fall wedding at Pere Marquette in Grafton, IL. They are also celebrating 5 years this year! An Affair to Remember transformed the lodge with long family style tables, olive leaves + loose blooms, candles of course, + the prettiest chargers. It was the perfect fall day + complete with a golden sun! We adore this family. So much so that we coordinated her sister’s wedding two years ago + can’t till it’s Kat’s turn!
Amanda + Matt 9.4.16
Can you say FAIRYTALE pic?! Amanda + Matt look like they’re ready to ride off into the sunset like they are straight out of The Princess Bride! + you have to believe us when we say that their entire outdoor wildflower event was equally as magical as this pic!!
Natalie + Brice 9.7.19
Speaking of wildflower magic!! Our Natalie + Brice were married on the Terrace of The Caramel Room surrounded by wildflowers grown locally by our Urban Buds! + Jennifer at The Lonesome Traveler found the perfect fabric for the gentlemen’s ties to match!
Brittany + Scott 9.1.13
This was our VERY first Signed Sealed Delivered Events wedding! OMG! That was seven years ago! We instantly clicked with the queen of the Sparkle Kitchen + the Name Tag Guy Name Tag Guy + had a wonderful time planning their Forest Park ceremony at the Muny + glitter coated reception at The Artist’s Guild. To this day Scottany (their nick name) performed MY very favorite first dance! (Click here to watch) Which I captured with my Zach Morris style flip phone.
Abbie + Craig 9.7.19
Oh Abbie + her Mamabear Glenda will always bring a giant smile to our faces! Their big hearts, pure excitement, and overwhelming joy will always have a special place in our hearts!! Grimm + Gorly made every one of their flower dreams come true at Mainstreet Abbey!
Katie + Brian 9.15.18
Gosh, our September MOBs are true gems! Katie’s Mama Lois was so excited to party but that didn’t stop her from truly experiencing every perfect moment of Katie + Brian’s day. They had a First Touch captured by Dreaming Tree Photography that captured our hearts forever!! + can we all just take a moment to swoon at the way Brian is looking at Katie here?!
Tori + Ben 9.18.15
Tori and Ben hosted one of the first weddings at the Magnolia Hotel! Tori + her mom DIY’d nearly all the decor. Her sister did her hair + make up. And her pupper Louie came by for kisses of course. Tori + Ben are celebrating 5 years this year! Every Christmas, I look forward to getting a card in the mail from these babes!
Katy + JB 9.16.17
We are still giggling thinking of Katy + JB! These two just welcomed their baby girl into the world! Not sure if you’re following along on our Insta Stories as we talk about What Wedding Planners Do, (if not, skip over there right now!) but we talk about how our clients become family. Katy, JB + their MamaBears have truly become a big part of our SSD family + we cannot wait to plan baby Juliet’s wedding! (don’t worry, JB, we can wait 20+ years!!)
Kari + John 9.21.14
Are you smiling, yet?? If not, you will be after this adorable pic of Kari + John sharing a special moment together on their wedding day captured by Brooke G Images! Fun story, I’ve known Kari since kindergarten, she was my neighbor up until college. Some of my fave childhood memories are of us riding our bikes (reminds me of the movie Now + Then)! She + John met working at Best Buy in high school + have been lovebirds ever since. They celebrate 6 years (+ two precious baby girls later) this year! My fave part of their wedding is when John surprised Kari + sang to her at the reception.
Caitlin + Michael 9.5.15
It’s the big 5 years for Caitlin + Michael too! We loved the classic black bridesmaids gown paired with fluffy pink peonies! After the ceremony, they rode down to the arch for photos + back to party their tail feathers off! We worked with our favorite Dreaming Tree Photography that day! We love Amanda + she has continued to document their lives! One of my favorite things when a couple grows with their photographer! They have two of the most darling babes.
Shannyn + Mitchell 9.24.16
Back to our September MamaBear love!! We are on Wedding #3 with Shannyn’s mama Debbie! The Rudawsky family might have to become the RudawSSD family! Ok, that was a little cheesy but we just can’t help it when talking about them! Shannyn + Mitchell are celebrating year 4 of their Happily Ever After this month + we just cannot pick a favorite pic from their day because Shadow + Light gave us so many options (+ these families are just so beautiful inside + out!) From overlooking Forest Park at the World’s Fair Pavilion to greeting their guests with a champagne toast to their sparkler sendoff, every moment was magic. Truly magic!
Christine + Doug 9.26.15
Christine + Doug also danced their wedding night away at Union Station! Their First Look gives us all of the happy feels even 5 years later! Look at their faces!! They’re so happy to spend the rest of their lives together!! (can you tell we really love this job?!)
Courtney + Russell 9.26.15
Courtney + Russell hosted their wedding at the Fox Theater! Their band came in from Texas + was quite possibly the most fun reception we’ve ever seen! They ended their reception with a second line parade of sparklers. Honestly it doesn’t get any more magical than that! Courtney + Russell’s little girl Harper just celebrated her first birthday this summer.
Megan + Josh 9.29.18
Speaking of dancing the night away – Megan + Josh had one of the BIGGEST dance floors we’ve ever had on a room diagram!! + Bountiful Blossoms + Grand Rental Station transformed the Hecker Dome into a wonderland of florals + blushes! + we of course have to give our Arndt Photo + Cinema a giant shoutout for capturing this show stopping pic of the new Mr + Mrs
Krystyna and Paul had my dream winter wedding. Fur, snowflakes, sparkle, twinkle lights… Everything about it is comparable to Kenny Rogers singing “A few of my Favorite Things.”You all know my love for Kenny and Dolly so need to go there or talk about how often I listen to their Christmas album through out the year. Cue the flannel jams, hot cocoa and baking because truly those are some of the most joyful simple pleasures.
On our first phone call we spent the majority of the time talking about our dogs and then another hour after about photography, decor, and everything under the sun. Two days later I received a card in the mail that said they were so excited to meet me. It’s stuff like this that warms my heart.
My favorite part about this wedding was the very thought out homemade items. Krystyna and Paul picked pine from their own backyard to make the garland that decorated the aisle. They made fake snow … If you knew how heavy fake snow in tubs was…. They raided after Christmas sales for twinkle lights and gathered as many tall green trees from tree lots so that their first dance was amongst the forest.
All the children who played a role in the wedding were kids Krystyna had nannied. She had grown so close and loved this family so much like they were her own.
Krystyna and Paul kept us involved for several decisions but one that sticks out in my mind was what shoes to wear with her wedding dress? After she sent me several options we decided the best one suited for her big day would be the blush ones covered in tiny crystals. Reminded us of cotton candy dreams and since then thats what we called them: the cotton candy dream shoes. We got so much joy throughout the planning process talking about those pretty pink shoes.
It’s no secret when you start scrolling through these pictures that these two are a fan of penguins. Allow me to elaborate. Their very first date was to see March of the Penguins and from then on Paul called Krystyna his ducky and she called him her penguin. Their first dance song was titled You’re My Penguin by Christina Perry. I bet you haven’t heard that one. But it is great + listening to the words will give you goosebumps. Their engagement pictures were taken at The zoo so you guessed it, they could include the penguins. Every guest that came to the wedding received a porcelain penguin figurine.
Their reception held at Ces and Judy’s Le Chateau was a beautiful and intimate affair with gorgeous linens from BBJ. Icy green centerpieces and fluffy white blooms by An Affair to Remember.
plus this screen shotCAPTION FOR CEREMONY – Paul and Krystyna made the greenery on the mantle from the trees in their backyard!
Another very cool thing was that their photographer was June Hallowell. I worked my very first wedding with June and several after. She’s incredibly talented, super fun and I was so excited the minute Krystyna and Paul said we haven’t booked anything yet except our photographer because I just had to have her. That speaks volumes about somebody’s work.
August 2020 brings Ashlee + me (oh heyyyy it’s Katie!) so many memories!
Most importantly, getting to meet GFunk finally!
Speaking of, last year at this time Ashlee was on her maternity leave + she entrusted her first baby – SSD – to me for a few weeks! (well, days to be more exact!)
But for those of you who don’t own your own business (like me!), we can’t even imagine the amount of letting go + trust that Ashlee was experiencing – especially with the whole new baby thing!
For me, it was the most fun, most stressful, biggest adrenaline rush of my whole life (+ I’ve gone bungee jumping!)
It felt strangely similar to going to the hospital + getting to hold G for the first time + realizing how much trust these 2 new parents have in me to let me hold their little bundle of love + know I won’t drop him or squeeze him too tightly or fail to respond to this email for more than 48 hours.
Okay, the last one had more to do with SSD than G:)
Enough about ME – let’s talk about our COUPLES!!
Because these 3 couples that I got to skip with through their wedding weeks were SO. MUCH. FUN!
+ their joy has continued to grace our SSD lives!!
First up!Our Claire + David!!
Yes! They had a Dino First Look!
+ they had their puppies – Teddy + Buck – join them! (Shoutout to our Nicole at WedPets!)
When I say I literally can’t pick a favorite part of their day, I’m NOT exaggerating! Every moment brought a smile from Claire + an even bigger smile from David!
Their joy was contagious + the brilliant Sparked Media Collective + Elizabeth Lloyd Photography managed to capture every giggle!
Even their colorful blooms from Ashley Macdonald Floral Design + the incredible dessert display from Kaked by Katie brought their joy to life!
The .Zack rooftop was the perfect backdrop to their perfect beginning (+ we’re def not complaining about the food from Ces + Judy’s either!!)!
2 weeks later, our Ali + Dusty tied the knot!!
Their transformation of The Breese Legion started on Thursday morning with Exclusive Events bringing in drapery, twinkle lights, lounge furniture + chandeliers.
Grand Rental joined in on Friday with tables, chairs + linens (oh my!)
Saturday was an early morning for Ali + her girls (+ our team) + the day just flew from there!!
I truly can’t decide if my favorite moment of the day was the moment my heart skipped a beat with surprise + excitement as I walked into the brilliantly transformed Legion after the Ceremony to help Tara finish lighting candles or if my favorite moment was Dusty’s pure, unbridled happiness when Deacon Linus announced them “Husband + Wife!”
Regardless! The day was full of favorites – especially the bouquet Ahner Florist created for Cora our flower girl!
+ the dance party McLovin’ led all night long!
+ Pancho + his team didn’t miss a moment behind the camera!!
Ali + Dusty are expecting their first baby in October + we just know that Dirck is gonna be the best big fur brother in the whole world!! Just look at that smile!
1 week later, we celebrated Abbie + Craig!!
(+ 3 days after that, Ashlee took me for a pedi because my toes were so worn out from the partying!)
Chris Johnson highlighted their entire evening with beautiful anecdotes about their 8 years of love!
+ when we say 8 years of love, we cannot stress #DestinedToBeDrennan ENOUGH!!
Craig was so excited to propose, that Abbie still had a towel on her head after her shower! He just couldn’t wait to be engaged!
+ let me tell you, that excitement was a driving force for their whole day!
In fact! Abbie + Craig weren’t going to do a first look but when Wedding Day arrived, they simply couldn’t wait to see each other!
So our team brought the bouquets + bouts (brilliantly crafted by Grimm + Gorly!) to Craig’s family’s home + they got a million photos with Jessica Lauren Photography in the golden light of the backyard!
Our MOB Glenda (heart heart!!) wanted a magical, fairytale day for her daughter + that is exactly what was delivered!
Main Street Abbey + Ces + Judy’s didn’t skip a beat when it came to the seamless room flip + dinner service.
Grimm + Gorly brought in so many florals, MSA probably STILL smells like Abbie + Craig’s day!
+ Uncle Gonnie had us all in stitches + tears + stitches again during the ceremony.
I’ll never forget Glenda’s reaction as she walked into the Main Street Abbey after the flip. She + I spent so many hours on the phone together talking about Abbie’s day + making sure there wasn’t a candle out of place (I say candle because Grimm + Gorly brought in over 100 pillar candles)! Her happiness still brings a smile to my face!
But that’s why we do this job.
Because I haven’t stopped smiling since I started writing this blog about our couples.
Because the amount of sleep I lost leading up to + during Ashlee’s maternity leave creating checklists, double checking the checklists, refreshing my email inbox, double checking my email inbox to make sure I didn’t miss an email + charging my phone so I didn’t miss a text or a phone call was worth it.
Hello friends! With the rise of intimate weddings comes the rise of at home weddings.
I have to tell you, we had my sister’s wedding (11 years ago …. holy cow time flies) in my parents back yard + it was not only dreamy but so so so sweet. I’ll admit I’m a sentimental sap but walking down an aisle where you used to play ring around the rosey as kids gives me all the feels.
We had family gather about an hour before the ceremony for cocktails + hors d’oeuvres. And when the time was right, we processed to an arbor my dad made followed by our family pug who sat promptly on my sister’s train. God bless him. The last person out the door didn’t latch it all the way, so he marched his nearly blind self right into the center of it all. It was all too fitting that he sat next to me during the rest of the ceremony, like a proud brother.
The ceremony was followed by more cocktails (what can I say, my family likes to celebrate) + photos in our orchard + then on the swing set of our grade school. The principal at that school (also one of our teachers) still has that photo in her office.
The nostalgia of it all makes my eyes sweat, especially since we recently sold our family home. Those memories will live in my heart forever.
At home weddings seem easy breezy but if you’ve ever hosted a big party at your home, you know it’s a lot of work… now imagine adding the details of a wedding.
A wedding which is a huge moment in your family’s life with lots of moving parts. A wedding that you want to be flawless + perfect + everything you imagined it to be because you only have one shot, one opportunity to get it right (Yes, we quote Eminem on occasion).
We’ve chatted with a lot of couples lately about having backyard celebrations. There is a tiny (sometimes large) misconception that hosting a wedding at home is cheaper + less work. Your friendly neighborhood planners are here to tell you, that’s not always the case.
Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about bringing your wedding home.
Noise ordinances – make sure you research this in your city/county
Permit – do you need one? 👆🏻 again get in contact with your local govt.
Approval from an HOA or running it by your neighbors? Even if you don’t need a permit or have an HOA, be courteous + let your neighbors know your plans
Treating your yard for bugs/pests (no one likes those pesky mosquitos).
Landscaping – some folks use at home weddings as an excuse for a Beyonce upgrade + listen we totally get it!
Parking + transporting guests. Is there a nearby lot where you can shuttle guests to + from? Be sure to ask permission. Or perhaps valet might be a smarter plan.
Additional restrooms + sanitation stations because you probably don’t want everyone going in + out of your house.
Rain plan – listen friends, I know it’s not gonna rain on your wedding day, but you have to have a back up plan.
Rentals: a few things to consider are a tent or two (depending on set up, your caterer may need one), tables, chairs, linens, heating + cooling, place settings, etc.
Guest flow: you will want greeters + signage directing your guests from parking to the actual location of the party on your property.
Power. Do you have enough for the caterer, DJ or band, heating + cooling systems?
Have an on site point person/team for all the vendors (like us) so you can be a guest at your own wedding!
Budget – be realistic. Write down your wish lists + get quotes. Decide what are your priorities. And again, you know we can totally help with that!
But don’t let this long list discourage you because like we said, we love at home weddings + we would love to guide you through the planning process to make sure you can enjoy every ounce of this magic.
Holler atcha girls, we are ready to get this dream wedding at home planning party started!
All of these gorgeous images are from a wedding we coordinated in about 10 days this past June. Huge props to An Affair to Remember + The Social Affair for working around the clock that week to create such an incredible celebration for Tyler + Bri!
Sure there is always two people committing to one another (or 3 if you’ve seen the Tiger King) + someone to marry them.
Usually refreshments of some sort + loads of happiness.
But there is plenty of opportunity to make your day be a reflection of your love story!
What are your fave foods?
What is your cultural background?
What do you like to do for fun?
We loved that Elena + Patrick opted for a Sunday afternoon wedding followed by fancy mocktails + Puertorican themed appetizers (complete with appetizer flags)! Elena’s father is Puertorican so representing their culture was something we knew we had to do! 23 City Blocks worked with us to create a mouthwatering menu to include tostones + empanadas.
But it didn’t end there…
There were countless things that made this wedding personal.
Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to start). Elena got ready at home where she grew up surrounded by family heirlooms while mama + papa bear laughed with the bride squad.
She had her first look with her dad there + read a beautiful letter from Patty that had us all in tears.
The bride + groom opted for the traditional route of not seeing the bride till the minute she walks down the aisle which we love!
Even the recessional song had meaning: You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall + Oates! Elena listened to this on her way home after hanging out with Patrick for the first time!
Once you entered the doors of Lumen, this guest experience was wow from every angle.
Not only was the decor STUNNING!!! Hello look at those flowers! But the delicious food + presentation by 23 City Blocks blew us all away (per usual)!
Since bingo was one of Elena + Patrick’s favorite things to do in college, we had bingo cards at each seat with winning baskets full of their favorite hobbies like movie night, game night + baking!
After dinner, Carlos with Mambo Revolution taught salsa lessons to our guests! This was probably my favorite thing we have ever done at a wedding!
And this wouldn’t be a blog post without me telling you how much I adored my mama + papa bear! Michele + David were such a delight to work with + I loved that from the very beginning David said: whatever makes my girls happy. I am pretty sure his girls were happy! Look at that face!
At the end of the evening the Sobrino men shared cigars with the newest member of the family: Patrick!
Every minute of this wedding so thoughtful!
You know that is part of the SSD Events planning experience: helping our clients imagine events that standout because they represent the couple. We are all about the creativity + special nods to their love story.