Get Outside and Play!

Get Outside and Play!

Photos by Charis Rowland Photography

We Heart Outdoor Weddings!

Let’s Talk About the Facts…

Planning an elegant or rustic outdoor wedding can be incredible! One misconception is that a backyard wedding is a money saver. While that is most often untrue, it can be worth every penny if it’s what your heart desires!

Do you want to celebrate in the barn that you played in as a child that holds so many memories? How about on your favorite beach? Both offer a canvas for you, the artist, to design…

or with the help of your talented wedding planner (yeah that was on purpose).

Let’s chat about what goes into one of these beautiful events.

POTTY TIME Let’s just get this one out of the way. If you don’t have the facilities, you’ll need to look into renting portable potties for your guests to use after their frequent trips to the bar.

ELECTRIC Will you have power brought from a building or will you need to use generators to power things like lights and the DJ? Some thought, planning, and knowledge of wattage needs to go into this decision.

RENTALS If you’re creating a venue, just about everything will need to be rented. This may include tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, even the dance floor.

BACK UP PLAN Yep, it’s the cold, wet truth about the Midwest. If you’re planning an outdoor event, you have to have a backup plan in place. Those anti-rain dances aren’t very reliable. This could be a second venue, having a tent on standby, or something else.

We could keep going, but it would be more fun to chat with you about your vision. Of course, we would love to help you bring all of this outdoor magic to life, so give us a call!

Thank you to all of the wonderful humans who made this outdoor magic happen:
Venue – Missouri Botanical Garden and Oak Knoll Park – St. Louis Community Foundation
Florals – An Affair To Remember
Rentals – Weinhardt Party Rentals and Premier Rentals
Hair and Make up – Metro Design Studio and Emily Miller Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist
Attire – Jos. A. Bank
Cake – Sugarbelle Cakery
Catering – Butler’s Pantry and Catering St. Louis
Stationary – Unique Moments and Service Bureau Fine Stationery & Gifts
Entertainment – Rosewood Ensemble and Millennium Productions
Favors – POPtions! Popcorn and 2 Chics and a Photobooth
Transportation – BEST Transportation
Photography & Cinema – Charis Rowland Photography

Malorie and Will

Malorie and Will

Photos by Kelly Park Photography

Malorie and Will

The sweethearts!

Malorie and Will. Will and Malorie. There will never be a more genuinely sweet and happy couple.
These two met over Halloween weekend at a football game in Michigan. After a night of losing their friends, missing cabs and a long long walk back, they decided the night couldn’t end and alas their relationship began.

After long distance for… Malorie received orders to move to Hawaii (she’s a dentist in the Air Force and the prettiest dentist you will ever meet) so island bound they went. Shortly after they called me.

We planned for 7 months with a 9 hour time difference before this happy couple graced St Louis with their sun kissed tans and oh-so-delighted grins. Meeting Malorie for the first time at her dress fitting was a moment I will cherish forever. I could have cried the minute she walked through the doors of Simply Elegant and we embraced like old friends.

The way Will and Malorie love each other is so touching. It’s a bond of true gratitude, appreciation and connection. To be around their energy is a gift and I couldn’t be more humbled that they shared their gift with me.

Family traveled in from all over (including Chester, Illinois because you know I love my 618 area code folks) to celebrate these two at their heart felt ceremony and reception at Windows on Washington.

After a fabulous meal prepared by WOW and the most decadent cake from Wedding Wonderland, the crowd danced all night to the Charles Glenn Group – literally danced all night. It was the most amazing day and night and it’s everything I could ever hope for a kind-hearted and truly happy couple.

Florals by my favorite Angie of Elegance in Bloom. Wine barrels and arbor rented my Renown Rentals- they have the coolest things!

These gals got gorgeous with Emily Miller Hair and Make Up, all dresses by Simply Elegant.

Our photo crew who I adore more than wedding cake was Kelly Park Photography and our cameraman of the year award goes to Uncle Jeff (because seriously he was there for it all)! And we can’t forget our bridal attendant Ella who not only greeted every guest enthusiastically but documented the entire weekend with a selfie stick. I told her she will always have a spot on the SSD team with that winning personality.

Mariah Design Agency created their invitations and programs and welcome letters.

Their first look was in the courtyard of Union Station DoubleTree.

These darling robes were custom made by the family of fabulous artisans at Local Lucy’s in Belleville, IL.

Here’s mama and papa bear reading their letters that Malorie wrote them.

Cheers to the wonderful vendors who made this all happen:
Venue – Windows on Washington
Beauty – Emily Miller Make Up Artist and Hair Stylist
Bride and Bridesmaids Fashion – Simply Elegant Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Fashion – Men’s Wearhouse
Cake – Wedding Wonderland Cake Shop
Florals – Elegance in Bloom
Rentals & Decor – Renown Rentals
Stationary – Mariah Design Agency
Entertainment – Contemporary Productions
Transportation – BEST Transportation
Photography – Kelly Park Photography

2020 Wedding Trends Coming Your Way

2020 Wedding Trends Coming Your Way

Photos by Chosen Photography

2020 Wedding Trends Coming Your Way

We were admittedly kinda sad about saying goodbye to 2019 because it was such a good year!!! Amiright!!???!! Just reminiscing on the fun trends that showed up – helllloooo llamas (You’ve most likely seen these at The Venue at Maison du lac), ceiling installments on head tables (like ones that the incredible talent as Roses + Mint produces), customized neon lights, embroidered jackets (have you checked out the Daily Disco?) + the earthy texture of pampas grass! But rest assured friends, these trends will be around for while. 

We were thrilled to see classic blue as the 2020 Pantone Color of the year and while something blue usually makes an appearance somewhere on wedding days like getting ready robes, shoes + the groomsmen tuxes, we know blue will be more front + center this year!

Think glass goblets, dresses, silk ribbons … the whole 9 yards …. of luxurious suede linen. Can you just feel it now?

Other trends coming down the pipeline are dried florals incorporated with real flowers. Say what??? True story, designers like Ashley McDonald Florals + Agape are combining the two for some super unique looks + textures + we are here for it!

And you thought you’d never see the day, but we ditched the mason jars + gave baby’s breath a more updated modern look + feel.  You will see it in centerpiece hedges, ceiling installations + ceremony statement pieces, just like our girl Mandy Moore rocked at her wedding!

Loads of color! And bold at that! You will see color as a neutral that sets the tone! You know we love the classic white gold + blush look but pops of vibrant color have us giddy for this year’s wedding seasons! Plus color brings a whole new element of personalization!

We will start seeing more nontraditional wedding attire- think contemporary, playful, cropped, jumpsuits, capes + skirts (oh my)! And I’m talking maids too!

Speaking of non-traditional, we also anticipate seeing more couples hiring their favorite local restaurant chefs to add another level of personalization + interaction! Last fall we had Pastaria pizza truck come to one of our weddings + chefs made stone oven pizzas + signature salads! It was a huge hit + dish delish!

One trend that will never go out of style is YOU! Bringing in nods to your relationship makes your event that much more memorable!

Ruthie the rescue dog loves her parents sooooo much!

Our winter styled shoot at Verde on Cherokee, an urban green house, was featured in the newest issue of Perfect Wedding Guide!

Thank you to all of our vendor friends who helped bring in these 2020 trends:
Photographer – Chosen Photography
Beauty – Emily Miller Makeup + Hair Stylist
Bridal Attire + Hair Accessories + Earrings – Signature Bridal
Groom Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Cake + Desserts – Cake House Design 
Paper + Calligraphy – Seven Cranes Calligraphy  
Floral – Grimm + Gorly Flowers 
Rentals (linen + place settings + vessels)  – An Affair To Remember
Rentals (chandeliers + lanterns) – Grand Rental Station Fairview Heights
Snow Machine – CJ’s Disc Jockey Service
Venue – Verde on Cherokee 
Real life couple – Leshay + Colby
Puppy – Ruthie Reed

Aren’t these green walls + upcycled door frames the bomb.com?
Because hanging desserts are a must if you ask Lyndsay of Cake House Design!
Gorgeous hand lettering by Seven Cranes Calligraphy.
Stunning beauty by Emily Miller Makeup + Hair team + show stopping florals by the one + only Grimm + Gorly!
An Affair to Remember has THE best inventory of linen in town! Not to mention loads of other amazing goodies like these slate chargers, black plates + flatware, dripless candles, marble vessels + blue goblets.
As much as we don’t like to cover the amazing sparkly details of a wedding gown, when snow is in the air, a fancy fur is always a good idea!
Speaking of snow, CJ of CJ’s Disc Jockey Entertainment can bring this lifelike snow to any event + we are obsessed!!!
Real life couple Leshay + Colby were so here for this modeling gig. It only took a year of asking/begging Colby.
xo
Bridget and Blake

Bridget and Blake

Photos by Shadow & Light Photography

Bridget and Blake

Dripping in Glitter and Love

My first conversation with mama bear Karen,  went a little something like this:
I’m interviewing several planners for my daughter’s wedding … We are moving and she and her fiancé are juniors in college and expecting their first baby … I picked you because you love animals and so do we …. Bridget loves sparkle and shoes and so do you (all these deets she picked off my website) … And well are you available for our date??

Yes my sweet mother of the bride, I am available and I would be honored to be your wedding planner.

Three days later I received an email from Bridget and from that moment on we talked nearly every day all things wedding (and not necessarily hers) so you will find it no surprise that she interned at SSD this spring and is currently working for a fabulous planner in Kansas City.

We did the majority of our planning over the phone and via email since they were all out of town.

Our on their first trip with Olivia (their most darling babe) to St. Louis, we decided to sneak in a quick planning meeting.
It was a cold rainy day and as new parents maneuvered the diaper bag, pumpkin seat and umbrella while trying to read the parking meter all the while keeping the rain from Olivia and each other… How could you not fall in love? I sat in the coffee shop window watching with tears welled up in my eyes. I knew this family was officially a part of my heart at that moment.

In the next 18 months we celebrated Olivia’s first birthday, college graduation, several job interviews, Liv’s first tooth and first words, first Halloween and first Christmas, buying a house …

And then moving to KC. My heart ached when they announced the move but I was stoked for their new beginning.

And the wedding, the reason you are all here, so let’s dive right in to the gorgeous details of the day.

The day was incredible. And I wish wish wish I could have seen every reaction and every moment in real life, but I didn’t. You see, a wedding planner’s worst nightmare came true on the Friday morning before their wedding. I developed the flu. For the next 36 hours, my time line and I lived in a bathroom while managing the day via texts, photos and phone calls.

Thank you to my awesome assistant, Megan and our amazing vendor team, and of course a bride who lives and breathes weddings that tried to convince me “Ash, I got this,” a bride who was more concerned that her wedding planner was ok than what time it was.

When I say my work has blessed me with the best clients who have become my friends and extended family, it’s an understatement.

Bridget is a classic bride- all sparkle all romance. This girl after my own heart had a love for Leonardo Dicaprio which flourished into a gold dipped feather Art Deco theme.

Bridget’s dear friend and college roommate, Taylor, who also has an affinity for wedding planning, created this handmade guestbook. It was perfect. So thoughtful and sentimental.

These gorgeous linens from An Affair to Remember were the most splendid addition to the equally amazing centerpieces she created. It pulled in the Art Deco theme with the sequined blush patterned underneath candlelit feather and floral decor.

Blake’s parents built this beautiful arbor that now has a home in the newlywed’s back yard. We originally planned to have the ceremony outside but a quickly approaching a storm had our bomb.com vendor crew racing to reset the ceremony inside just in time.

Custom designed cake designed by the sweet Sugarbelle Cakery.

The crew got ready at the Magnolia Hotel – famous for its breathtaking chandeliers from the original Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas and the Cary Grant suite (did you know Cary Grant started the trend of putting chocolates on pillows?).

And our former pageant queen bride had her favorite hair stylist fly in for this classic updo! Emily Miller Hair and MakeUp Artist did Bridget’s make up as well as the hair and makeup for the gals in the bridal party.

And a first dance with your daddy? Of course!

And what wedding night is complete without a confetti grand exit?

And if these stunning photos by talented Amy Meyerott of Shadow + Light Photography don’t satisfy your every need then definitely watch this video by her stud muffin husband Andrew who documented the day … And I’m still crying. Song choice = perfect. Can’t wait for the vow renewal.

Their wedding was featured on The Inspired Bride

Beauty – Emily Miller Hair + Make Up and Rouge Beauty Bar
Dress – Couture Bride Las Vegas
Tuxes – Jos. A. Bank
Location- The Caramel Room
Cake – Sugarbelle Cakery
Florals + Rentals – An Affair to Remember 
DJ- Sounds Fun
Transportation – Best Transportation
Hotel – Magnolia Hotel
Officiant – Pastor Shay, The Crossing 
Invitations – Unique Moments 

Bridget + Blake are still in KC building their own house for their two beautiful daughters + their pup Hogan! And we are still connected at the hip. On their 2nd wedding anniversary, Bridget planned a surprise dinner for 2 on the Caramel Room Terrace and I SURPRISED them by serving that dinner!