Today's bride Wendy dealt with vendors quitting, delivery mix-ups, and rain on her wedding day. We are so impressed with her organization, gorgeous photos, and upbeat attitude that allowed her day to be nothing shy of perfect. Get inspired by her real life experience and amazing tips to avoid stressful situations.
All of the shots by Under Grace Photo prove this wedding day was a success!
What were the top three priorities for you when planning your wedding?
The top three priorities for us were that the wedding was fun for everyone, unique, and personalized/meaningful to us.
Did you have a wedding theme/idea/colors etc. in mind before you starting planning?
I always knew that I wanted a Saint Louis themed wedding, and luckily for me, Patrick loved the idea too. The colors we chose were black, white, silver, and blush. I thought that those colors really complemented each other and worked well with both our outdoor, vintage themed ceremony and our more modern, nighttime sky, reception.
When shopping for your wedding dress, how did you know you found “the one”? What was it like?
I've always been curvy so to speak, and shopping for a wedding dress was not something I was looking forward to. I'm not a person who wears a lot of dresses, and I never wear white. I was convinced that I was looking for a dress that looked acceptable, but I definitely didn't think I'd find anything that I felt made me look good.
I decided to shop at David's Bridal only because they had the most variety of larger sizes in stock. I ended up finding a dress that really accentuated my body, and I felt confident instead of embarrassed.
Did you have a bridal shower or bachelorette party?
I had the most amazing 50's Housewife themed shower thrown by my sister. It was held in a real 50's themed diner and everyone dressed up in full 50's regalia. It was the best shower ever, and my sister is still getting compliments on how amazing it was.
My sister also threw my bachelorette party. We took a train to Hermann Missouri, a town well know for their wineries. We went winery hopping and stayed overnight in the center of town. It was a great opportunity to spend time with my bridesmaids.
Throughout your wedding planning did anything surprise, irritate, or bum you out?
The small details were frustrating at times. I remember being overwhelmed trying to figure out how to get all of the decorations ready at the ceremony site, how to get everyone from point A to point B, and planning the schedules for the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, families, flower girls and ring bearers.
At times I wanted to give up because it felt like it was impossible. I ended up doing things in spurts to keep from going crazy, but that last month or so was all wedding all the time!
Did you have a wedding planner? If so, what was your experience with them?
I didn't have a wedding planner. I had a very specific vision of how I wanted the day to be, and I was too Type A to trust those details with anyone else. I found that staying organized was essential. I had a huge binder that was divided into sections. Every contract, appointment, and address was filed away inside. It was my lifeline!
I also had a separate email account created just for wedding stuff, and I had a folder set up for each vendors email to go into. I also utilized lists that had to be completed each month – that really helped keep us on track!
Did you do a first look? Would you recommend it to future brides?
We did do a first look. I would recommend it to anyone who is comfortable breaking with tradition. It made everything so much easier because I didn't have to arrange separate transportation and a place to wait before the ceremony. I found it calming to spend time with Patrick before the ceremony, and our awesome photographer, Michelle from Under Grace Photo was able to get some great pictures of us before the ceremony. We were even able to have an adorable first look with Patrick and our daughter Mollie.
Throughout your wedding day, did you have anything go wrong or a “Bummed Bride” moment? If so, how did you handle it?
Well, the hair and makeup didn't go as planned. I ended up having a different makeup artist do my makeup than I had at the trial. Then there was a mix-up and the bouquets and bouts/corsages were delivered to the hotel's cooler instead of our suite, and we didn't even realize it until it was time to leave! So we were behind schedule right off the bat. When I got to the ceremony site there were a lot of people who had showed up early, and they all saw me in my dress before the ceremony.
Then there was the rain; when we woke up the morning of our wedding, it was pouring rain and gloomy outside. By the time of the ceremony the weather had miraculously cleared! We were even told that as we said our vows the clouds parted! The weather stayed great for pictures, but the skies started to get dark again just as the cocktail hour was starting. Our reception had a huge outdoor terrace with a light-up dance floor and a fantastic view of the Saint Louis Arch. I wasn't going to let anything completely ruin our day, but I would have been very bummed if our guests couldn't dance the night away under the Arch.
As dinner started the sky was looking ominous. We ended up moving the first dance up so we could at least have that photo opportunity before the storm hit. It made for some amazing photos, and Under Grace Photo got some fantastic shots of us on an up-lit dance floor with the Arch and a magnificent stormy sky in the background. It stormed for awhile, and then it was drizzling for most of the night. We didn't let it ruin our fun though we just danced in the rain, and it was an amazing experience I will never forget.
What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
My favorite moment was just after the ceremony was finished. Patrick and I went off to hide and have a moment for ourselves. Then our daughter joined us and we took a family selfie! We were so happy in that moment with just the three of us.
What is your best advice for brides planning their wedding?
Stay organized! Also, know that something WILL go wrong, and that's okay! There are just too many variables for everything to go perfectly.
Just do your best, hire the vendors you feel are professional, well-organized and can take direction, and enjoy your big day!
Shop Wendy's Style
Re-Create her 50's Housewife Bridal Shower
Photographer: Under Grace Photo // Location: Hyatt Regency // Reception Venue: Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch // Culinary: Gus' Pretzels // DJ: Rockstar DJs // Officiant: Carolyn Burke – Wedding Liaison // Dress Store: David's Bridal // Ceremony Location: Demenil Mansion // Bakery: Lubeley's Bakery and Deli // Ring Designer: Shane Co. //