& Happy Hannukah! & Happy Kwanza!! & Happiest of Joy-filled Days to all!!
This time of year holds a special special place in SSD hearts – Katie celebrates her Best Day Ever in December & our Sam celebrates (one of) her Best Day Evers in January (oops, spoiler alert for our January blog!)
We have to talk about our Hallmark Movie-worthy weddings from Decembers Past!
Allison + Andy – 12.31.12
Alison + Andy were one of Ashlee’s last weddings at Four Points + it wasn’t easily one of the best ever! A New Year’s Eve wedding with snow, streamers, another sparkly costume change, and a countdown at midnight to a forever long kiss! Since their wedding 8 years ago, Ali has modeled in a few of our SSD shoots + is hanging on our office wall. New Year’s Eve weddings will always be a favorite – there’s just a bit more magic as we ring in the new year + also lots more glitter!
Danielle + Billy – 12.27.14
Oh our Danielle + Billy!! These two know how to partayyy!! Danielle started their day in a princess gown + kicked off their dance party looking like a mermaid princess in a sparkly blue number! + when we say “kicked off” I guess we probably should’ve been more clear – their dance floor had a full offensive line. So, football fans, did they “Hike” the dance party? Is that the word here?? Regardless!! It was a dream of a day + we still swoon over BOTH of Danielle’s dresses!!
Grace + Alex – 12.1.18
Oscar + Layla + Sally (their pups!) are getting a baby brother this summer!! How exciting!! We are so excited for the New Year we just had to talk about that first, but we also can’t help but reminisce about Grace + Alex’s day 2 short years ago! Grace looked absolutely stunning in her Stella York Moscato-colored gown as she waltzed down the aisle to her happily ever after + Alex was tickled blush + gold (like their colors!) to see her! We finished our evening with a private photoshoot with the new Mr + Mrs + biodegradable confetti!
Brianna + Dom 12.29.18
When we say that planning with Brianna was a party in itself, we are not kidding!! This gal was so detailed and organized that she barely needed us! But are we ever grateful that we still got to dance with these two! Bri is one tough cookie (she’s a helicopter nurse, you know!) – this gal stood outside for over an hour in St. Louis in December for pictures + did not complain one time. Not once!!
Katie + Cody 12.26.15
Totally not trying to steal the spotlight from our couples but I do have to brag about my hubby for 2 seconds! This man has put up with my glitter bombs for 5 years already! I still pinch myself on the weekly that I get to spend forever with him! Our wedding saw quite the rollercoaster – you know this broad spent HOURS folding individual tissues + tying them with a bow for all 300 guests not to mention my wedding dress was ruined 2 weeks before our day, on wedding morning I was abandoned at the hair salon + Minnesota brought a giant snowstorm the night before – but every day since has been full of love and joy! Happy Anniversary, my love!!
Mama D. + Papa 12.30.50
Okay, last one! My grandparents are celebrating 70 years of love this month!! 70 years!! Papa had the most romantic honeymoon planned for them for the week after their wedding, but Mama D just wasn’t ready to leave her mom so poor Papa went on the honeymoon alone while Mama D moved back in with her mom! But she had her bags all packed after 3 days because she missed her new hubby so much + was ready to start their lives together!
Wanna know Mama D’s new favorite wedding trend?? The mismatching bridesmaids’ dresses! She had to borrow her wedding dress + the attendants dresses from a friend, but they could only find 2 matching dresses. She had her sister + Papa’s oldest sister stand with her, but if she could have had a 3rd bridesmaid, it would have been her best friend + cousin Eileen.
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
The Main Street Abbey inspired this shoot with its pristine white walls and archways above the original stained glass windows. Coupled with Megan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding this spring and the abundance of tv series portraying the history of royalty, we knew we had to bring our own royal wedding to life in this rehabbed church!
The color palate was an easy one as we wanted to include fresh fruits, desserts and the charcuterie spread as table decoration just like in early modern European feasting tables. Gold vessels of overflowing greenery and white peonies danced along the walls and table accented by citrus and handpainted blue place settings (also mimicked in the gorgeous cake)!
And what royal wedding is complete without a crown and sparkler party?!?
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.
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!
We love that so many of our couples choose to write their own vows for their ceremony!
But why does it feel so hard to write them? Probably because you want it to be perfect! Because you will be standing in front of 100 + of your nearest + dearest. Because this is your best friend + while you can be 100% yourself with that person, it’s the one person you want to do right by.
My husband Jason and I wrote our vows for our wedding + it made our ceremony so memorable! But truth be told it took me weeks because nothing ever felt good enough! Eventually I scrapped my first 3 drafts + opted for speaking the silliness from my heart + the things that felt so authentically us! Jason on the other hand, wrote his right before the ceremony … typical. But what was so annoying is that they were perfect! Some folks just have those skills. For those of us who don’t, here’s a little inspiration to get the juices flowing.
First things first: Clear your head. Deep breath.
You can’t get this wrong!
Speak directly from your heart.
So you are marrying your best friend. What does that feel like?
Remember the first time you met. Your first kiss. Your first “I love you.”
The moment you knew he or she was “the one'”
How did you feel during the proposal?
What is your favorite thing about him or her?
What is your least favorite thing about him or her?
What does he or she do that makes you laugh?
What is your nick name for each other and why?
What is the your favorite memory?
What do you think about when you wake up next to him or her? Go to bed next to him or her?
What do you feel when you come home to him or her?
You’ve been planning this day for so long how does it feel?