Friday, November 19

Videography: A Wedding Day Must!

Exciting news! Well… it is for me, anyway. Our wedding DVD finally arrived! As soon as my husband can get it edited and chopped into segments, I’ll be posting bits and pieces on the blog. The entire uncut version is over four hours long!! We got some great raw footage that really captures the excitement, emotion, and busy-ness of our day. When watching the video playback, I was actually really surprised by how much more calm and collected I appeared than how I actually felt. On the wedding day itself, my perspective was that everything was extremely hectic and that my inclination to control everything was very obvious. But looking back now, I realize that the day was much more relaxed and fluid than what I’d remembered. It was refreshing to see that my memory of the day wasn’t necessarily how things really were, and through the video, I gained another perspective on how the day realistically went down. I got to see what it was like in the Groom’s preparation room as they got ready (which obviously I didn’t experience for myself), and I had the opportunity to see footage from just before the reception started as well as the cocktail hour since we weren’t present during either. I love that Joe and I will be able to share the footage not only with our family and friends who couldn’t (and even those could!) be there on the big day, but also that we’ll be able to show the video to our children some day. I even fully anticipate pulling the DVD out on occasional anniversaries, just to reflect and remember how much fun we had on that awesome day. Not only is videography valuable for catching up on all the things that get missed during the natural chaos of the day, but it’s also essential for remembering the wedding day as it was throughout the decades to come.
If you are deciding whether or not to include videography in your budget, I would hands-down recommend it. Since the wedding day totally flew by, and because I couldn’t be in more than one place at one time to witness all my hard work and planning in action, the videography allowed me the chance to reflect on the day as a whole and see things from an outsider’s perspective. Don’t think you have to spend a huge chunk of budget for videography either! We found an amazing deal by agreeing to have the video provided as raw footage instead of an edited version. This saved on a lot of the cost, but also let us witness some hilarious moments on the video that might have otherwise been cut out. I would also recommend not asking someone you know to film it. Our videographer followed us around for eight continuous hours! You don’t want to burden a friend or family member with that responsibility if you also want them to relax and have a good time. Just do the research, and you’ll soon discover that the deals are out there that allow you to have YOUR dream wedding on YOUR budget.
And since I haven’t gotten around to posting actual recaps yet, I thought I’d at least share some sneak-peek photos by our amazing photographer at Amanda Forbes Photography. This is just a teaser… I’ll share plenty more photos once we they are finished being edited in the next couple of weeks and my recaps finally begin. So stay tuned!
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Monday, November 15

CONTEST: Win the St. Louis Wedding Book!

This month I'm giving away a FREE copy of The St. Louis Wedding Book, the newest and hottest bridal book to hit shelves in the St. Louis area! I had the chance to chat with one of the co-authors, Emily Ayala, about the process of creating the book as well as the many ways it assists St. Louis brides in planning a wedding. Co-written by her sister Allison Hockett, the book is a a culmination of real-life experience from two former St. Louis brides combined with tons of research to bring you the very best in interviews with local venues, money-saving tips, timeline suggestions, and more. Read on for the advice Emily has for brides just like you, and then look for details below on how to get your hands on a copy!

The St. Louis Wedding Book by Emily Ayala and Allison Hockett; $15.99

What inspired the St. Louis Wedding Book? What kind of preparation went into it?
Allison and I were both raised and married in St. Louis and when we planned our own weddings, we were so overwhelmed by all of the wedding shows and magazines. We didn't know where to begin our planning. So we thought St. Louis needed an inclusive guide to wedding planning. We researched all of the choices available, selected our favorites, and put them together in an organized guide to make wedding planning easier for brides and grooms.

What were you most surprised to learn about while writing the book?
We were surprised by the amount of choices available for weddings in St. Louis. There are so many locations available with new places opening all of the time, so every bride can really have a unique wedding to fit her budget. 

What were your biggest setbacks and challenges in creating the book?
This is our first self-published book so learning the "ins and outs" of self-publishing was a new experience. Every time you begin a new venture like this, it takes a while to learn each piece of the puzzle. Now that we've done it once, it will be much easier for future books that we hope to write. Once it came time for research, all of the wedding venues were very receptive and helpful to the idea.

What makes St. Louis Wedding Book different from the other ones on the market today?
The St. Louis Wedding Book is the only wedding planning guidebook specific to St. Louis. There are magazines available specific to St. Louis, but our book is a more intimate and personal opinion of what is available. We also list money-saving tips, planning timelines, wedding tips, and a cost key geared for St. Louis.

What's your best advice for brides planning their own weddings, specifically ones in St. Louis?
Think outside the box. Some of the best weddings we've been to are in places you would least expect, had unique favors, or had an interesting menu. For example, match part (or all) of the food to your ethnic heritage. As a favor, give a CD of the couple's favorite songs. Hold your ceremony in the place where you first met your fiance. Match aspects of your wedding to your interests or hobbies. It's always fun to attend a wedding that reflects the couple's personality. Have the table names match your pet's names you had as children, streets you lived on, and names of dorms at the college you attended. Have a bookshelf filled with framed photos that tell the story of when you met, while you dated, when he proposed. Instead of favors, spend that money to make a donation to your favorite charity. Just remember that it's your day and make it all your own!

One lucky reader is going to win a copy of their very own!
To enter, simply email and answer this: 

What has been the biggest challenge
of planning your wedding? 

There are no restrictions on who can enter, but be sure to include your name and city/state of where you're located. One entry per person. Deadline for entry is Monday, November 29th at midnight, and the winner will be drawn at random and announced right here on the blog!

Afraid you're not the lucky type? Don't worry, it's easy to still get your hands on a copy of the book. Head over to or, or look for it at any of these St. Louis retailers:
  • Borders
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Dierbergs
  • Two Blue Doors
  • Vellum
  • Glazed and Confused
  • McArthur's Bakeries
  •  Artisan Photography
  • Les Bouquets
  • Jukebox Productions
  • St. Louis Community College
  • Left Bank Books: Central West End and Downtown
on facebook: stlweddingbook
 on twitter: @stlweddingbook

Sunday, November 7

Support Wish Upon a Wedding this November

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world's first nonprofit wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. Less than one year old, the organization has 16 active chapters, and will have granted 12 wishes by the end of 2010.

During the month of November, they are hosting several fund raising galas and auctions throughout the country, and would like to invite you to participate.

Whether you are a bride or groom to be, a wedding industry professional, or you simply love the concept behind their mission... YOU can help make Wedding Wishes come true, while raising crucial funding needed to sustain this wonderful, new nonprofit organization. Here's how:


The Blissful Wishes Ball is a festive way to support Wish Upon a Wedding.  Enjoy a nice night out on the town with an elegant dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, and incredible auction items.

 About Wish Upon a Wedding... 

Founded in January of 2010 by CA wedding planner, Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants, Wish Upon a Wedding was created to help couples who did not have the time, money, resources or strength to plan a wedding on their own, because of terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. The organization now celebrates the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding wishes. It is their goal that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength, while raising awareness for terminal illness.

Growing up with a sister who was deaf since birth, and raised by parents who ran a board and care home for people facing numerous disabilities and life hardships, Liz learned early on to value the many blessings in life, and the importance of helping others. Volunteering throughout her life for a variety of nonprofit organizations, Liz was looking for a way to combine weddings and community service. 

After producing the San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway in 2009, a contest in which only one couple would be granted a dream wedding, Liz came up with a way to merge her two passions. While going through the process of giving the wedding "prize" to a woman suffering from stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Liz  created Wish Upon a Wedding. Overnight, Liz decided to change wedding history, and the way we give, by launching a nonprofit organization that was totally unique and had never existed before.

Supported by industry leaders such as Sasha Souza, David Beahm, Stella Inserra, Jenny Orsini, Kevin Covey, Stacie Francombe, Sylvia Weinstock, Steve Kemble, Mindy Weiss, Mary Dann, and Ivy Robinson (to name just a few), the organization has experienced rapid growth and seen voracious acceptance throughout the country.

To date, eight couples have benefited from the generous work of Wish Upon a Wedding. Over 4,000 volunteers have signed up to become Wish Granters. Their facebook page has attracted over 10,000 fans. 

None of this would be possible without public support.

In Loving Memory of Wish Recipients Who Have Passed On...

Dani and Tony married in St Louis on September 1. She passed away September 30th. Dani had suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since age 3, and had recently received a double lung transplant. 

Florence and Micheal married near Sacramento on March 13. She passed away on September 28. Florence battled stage IV breast cancer, and was diagnosed with six months to live at the time of her wedding.

Shelly and Jay married in Seattle on May 2.  Shelly passed away three weeks later. She had been battling a rare type of cancerous lymphoma, and Jay suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.

Please help Wish Upon a Wedding continue to do great things.
You can participate in a number of ways: 
You CAN make a difference in someone's life today!