Sunday, February 21

All the Wedding Details!

The Date
After a lot of going back and forth on this, uncertain which season would be best suited for the type of wedding we wanted, Joe suggested that I look up which day our typical anniversary would fall on – and I was ecstatic to find it was on a Saturday! Once we chose our wedding date of October 2, 2010, the three year anniversary we would celebrate our relationship, we haven’t looked back. It couldn’t be more perfect… October is also my favorite time of the year!
The Venue
This was probably the hardest decision we had to make initially. Since most of our family and friends live in our hometown of St. Louis it was hard to decide whether we should hope everyone could travel down to Florida , or whether or not I I could just plan a wedding in a city 16 hours away from where I currently reside. But because we both have strong ties to St. Louis and plan to move back eventually, ultimately we decided to have the wedding in St. Louis . BUT this decision wasn’t made until after we’d visited about 5 venues in Tampa and I’d signed up for countless Florida-wedding vendor lists at bridal shows in Tampa. So essentially, when we settled on our venue being Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa in August 2009, we were starting over the planning process from scratch. October weather in St. Louis is MUCH different than October weather in Tampa , so we had to re-think literally everything from bridal party attire to appropriate colors and theme. We also had to re-think our initial plans to wed outdoors. Joe was a Chef at Ameristar for several years before moving to Tampa so he was already familiar with the place and also knew lots of people still employed there. He presented me with the idea, and I was so pleased when I visited the venue in person. The ceremony will be held indoors, in the lounge area of a very popular night club called HOME. It’s very elegant with low lighting, posh seating, and beautiful white candles for decoration. The mood will be exactly as I’d envisioned it! We’ll have a non-religious ceremony lasting approximately 15-20 minutes with live strings. (I’m currently in the process of writing the ceremony, but that is a whole other blog…) The reception will be held in a Ballroom that is in the very same building. We’ve hired a company called Exclusive Events, Inc. to handle the special lighting we had dreamed of having. But I don’t want to give away too many of those secret details!

(Photo from
The Vendors
When we were planning our wedding in Tampa, we put down a deposit with The Pros for our photography, videography, and DJ services. When we decided to move the wedding to St. Louis, we were extremely fortunate to learn that they would be opening a branch in the same area in October 2009 and therefore wouldn’t have to forfeit the deposit we’d already placed for the Tampa vendors! We already have our photography professional chosen, but have yet to decide on the videography and DJ professionals.
The Guest List
This was TOUGH. We both come from huge families and have a large group of friends. After long discussions (some even involving serious contemplation of eloping just to avoid the guest list debacle!) we decided to not invite any children… including cousins. This was a really hard decision because our families are very tight-knit and I would love to share the happiest day of my life with every single one of them. But there is only one way we can afford to make this wedding happen, and that is by keeping it within our strict budget (which tends to add up very quickly, I’ve learned). For the ‘friends’ invite list, we didn’t set a specific number-cutoff, but we’ve elected to invite only VERY close friends. Really, this means any one I would feel comfortable calling up out of the blue and could talk to hours on end about anything at all, or people I talk to regularly enough. People who I trust and would do anything for. So after all is said and done, we have budgeted for 80 people and will be inviting 90. That’s amazing, considering we could have easily topped a 300-headcount had we extended the list to all family and friends. I’m completely content with only having mature family and friends there since Joe and I intend for our wedding to be very personal, intimate, and special.
The Theme
This was one of the more difficult decisions since it coincides with choosing colors and sets the overall mood of the wedding. It’s the branding of the event, what everyone will remember it for. It’s a very big deal. And we must have changed our minds a dozen times before deciding to keep within the color scheme of our chosen venue: Dark brown, Fuchsia, and Olive Green. This will make decorating the venue much less complicated… and less expensive. For the actual theme we are going to be using love birds. Joe and I conveniently share similar aesthetic tastes so it was easy for us to design the birds from scratch for use on all our stationary. They are very modern and sweet!
The Flowers
My favorite flowers are roses, but I’m not in favor of wedding cliche so I’d considered using several various types of flowers for decor. I wasn’t even certain I wanted to use roses in the bouquets until we chose our venue. I knew then nothing would outshine the sweet, romantic pink rose to complement low lighting and beautiful candlelight coinciding with a string duo. Since the girls’ dresses and guys’ ties will be green, I’ve decided to go with fuchsia roses to really bring the color scheme together within the wedding party. I think this will give a very glamorous, dramatic look to match our venue and will be so elegant! I’ve already placed our deposit with the $100 Bouquet Company, whom I trust will do a fabulous job while staying within our budget.
The Invites
Yes, there are still 350 days left before everything comes together on that one special day. But considering we’ve already been engaged for ten months, there’s so much we’ve already accomplished in advance. Joe and I both know a thing or two about graphic design, so we decided to create our own save-the-dates and invites. We designed the save-the-dates a few months back, ordered a few of them as magnets from to get an idea of how they’d look in person, and we loved how they turned out. But after some further thinking we decided they looked a little too formal for being save the dates and wanted to instead use the design for our invites! So we ordered paper from this great company I found online,, and test-printed the design. It turned out great! So within the next couple months I want to get all of the paper ordered and ready for printing. We’re still deciding on a new design for the save-the-dates, but at least I know what our invites are going to look like! The birds are solid fuchsia-pink perched atop green swirly leaves, surrounded by a fringed chocolate-brown border. I really value originality so I’m so happy we are going to have a design that is uniquely ‘us’!
The Food
I’ve never been a huge fan of a limited menu at weddings because I feel that people have such vast food preferences and tastes that I wanted to make sure there would be something to satisfy everyone at my wedding. For this reason, Joe and I opted to have a banquet style wedding that will feature parmesan chicken, beef brisket, and sea bass among a large selection of appetizers and side items. We have yet to choose a baker for the cake but have actually narrowed our choices down to three cake companies, all of which were recommended by family and friends. We’ve designed the cake using a computer drafting program so it should be easy for the decorator to give us exactly what we’re imagining. It will be 3 tall tiers of white and chocolate cake, ivory fondant with green fondant ribbon and pink lovebirds as the cake topper. I’ve already ordered the ceramic topper from Wedding Star but have plans to paint it fuchsia-pink to match our colors.
The Attire
I can’t reveal detail about my dress just yet, other than it is designed by Maggie Sottero. But what I can tell you is that it is UNBELIEVABLE and I am beyond excited about it! I’m still looking for a best deal possible on my dress, so haven’t put down that deposit yet. Probably the only thing I have not nailed-down is the girls’ dresses. I’ll have five maids, with my only sister serving as MOH. My two best girlfriends from college will be in the party as well as my two older cousins whom I have always been very close to. I do have an idea which dress they’ll be wearing, but nothing will be set in stone until I am able to visit St. Louis once again with all of them together to try dresses on. This is what I am envisoning…
Bridesmaid Dresses
(Dresses are by Impression Bridal.) Beautiful, sexy, and fun!
The Honeymoon
We’d like to take a cruise to Caribbean Islands aboard the new Royal Caribbean ship, Oasis of the Seas. It’s a seven day sail, and I think that’s enough time to really enjoy yourself while not having to take too much time off from work (sigh). We’re also loosely considering a Sandals resort, but we took a cruise to Mexico for our one-year anniversary and had an absolute blast, and we’ve been wanting to cruise again ever since. I just hope we are able to save up enough money by then!!
Oasis of the Seas
(Photo from

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