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 theupbeatbride@yahoo.com 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 Amazon.com or BooksonStLouis.com, 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

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