planning

The Best Places to Get Ready in St Louis

Okay so you have your ceremony and reception venues picked. Check. You might even have your photographer and videographer. Check. Now you can take a minute to breathe and relax for a few days. Go ahead, you deserve it! But don't get too settled in. There's a number of things left to do, one of which is decide where the guys and girls are going to get ready in the morning. You have a lot of options to consider. Should we get ready at our home or get a hotel? What about the basement of the church or a boardroom at our venue? Should it be close to the church or reception? There are 4 focus points you should look for in your morning prep location: enough space for those getting ready and your vendors, convenience of location, how well the space is naturally lit, and whether or not you will feel comfortable in that space.  

Hotel Ignacio

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This super awesome boutique hotel located near SLU and the Fox has this retro art deco vibe that's hard not to love. Their suite is perfect for mid-sized wedding parties 3-6 bridesmaids/groomsmen. It's location is convenient for any wedding between the river and Forest Park, especially the nearby venues including Plush, Xavier, Fox, and Coronado. We love that since it's a smaller hotel, the bridesmaids and groomsmen can all be close to each other.

Hilton St Louis at the Ballpark

We've filmed a number of weddings at the Hilton Ballpark and they always turn out incredible. Great location for downtown weddings. Their rooms are super bright in the morning, particularly if you have an archview room. The suite can handle large wedding parties comfortably and all the rooms are surprisingly affordable. With a significant walk between the two towers, aim to have all rooms booked in the same one.

Four Seasons

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If you're familiar with St Louis you were probably expecting this one. It's the definition of luxury. While the suites are perfect for large groups, if you have a smaller or mid-sized wedding party their standard and corner rooms are perfectly fine. After the suit and dress is on, many photographers will knock out some of the wedding party photos near their ultra-modern lobby staircase or out on the rooftop balcony. Both offer views of St Louis that no other space can provide.

Airbnb 

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Even if things are running on schedule the morning of the wedding, nerves tend to run higher than normal. It's important that the space you're in makes you feel relaxed and at home. With the Airbnb option reach out to your booked creatives for a second opinion since lighting and comfort can vary greatly from one home to another. I would advise you to look up a couple different homes/apartments and send them to your photographer or videographer. In the St Louis area, our best luck with great Airbnb spots have been in the Soulard/Tower Grove area.

Doubletree Hilton - Collinsville

This one is mainly for my Illinois couples. People are always surprised that we bring this one up. hidden just off 55/70 near the convention center, it's competitively priced and the furnishings and lighting are on par with many of the higher end hotels downtown. Be sure to check out their largest suite. Parking and interstate access is a breeze. If your wedding is in Fairview or Edwardsville, this is the spot we would recommend.

The Westin St Louis

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The Westin is another one of our favorite downtown options. The suite is spacious and bright, the standard rooms are great as well, and access to downtown venues is easy. The biggest reason I bring this spot up though is the service. As a vendor working at weddings, hotels have sometimes treated us with hesitation. Not here. The front desk was incredibly helpful and everyone had a smile. So simple but it goes such a long way!

Union Station

We love Union Station for countless reasons. When you step into the lobby, it feels like you've turned back time. It has this surreal vide inside and out. Union Station has two sides to the hotel. The side we want you to look at faces Market St. The rooms here are much brighter and warmer with all this really cool vintage railroad art. I also love that the layout of the rooms isn't your standard rectangle box. The cut-up design gives your photographer and videographer more to play with during your morning prep.

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captured in frames - St. Louis Wedding Videography

New Trails

We meet again! First, if you haven't caught on yet, let me start by saying how much we adore outdoor weddings. Second, we also love a good winery. Put them together and you have a match made in heaven!

We were stoked to find out that Caitlin and Jason were hosting their big day at Villa Marie in Maryville, Illinois. Villa Marie is one of our favorite wineries in the area and it's the perfect location for an outdoor ceremony.

Jason started the day with golfing a few miles down the road, while Caitlin did a little bridal prep in the hotel. After they were both dressed and ready, they had their first look in the vineyards. Not only is a winery perfect for an outdoor ceremony, but the vineyards make for an excellent first look!

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a first look, let me explain. A first look is when a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. This gives the couple an opportunity to calm their nerves before they say "I do", in addition to having a little extra time to spend together on their otherwise hectic day. We often encourage our couples to have a first look, especially when they think they might be anxious the day of the wedding. The saying everything else falls away when you see each other is often true, but it's nice to have that moment privately. It's hard to share your thoughts and feelings throughout the rush of the day, so recently couples have started scheduling time to do just that.

If you're considering a first look, watch Caitlin and Jason's same day edit below for inspiration.

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Enjoy!

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captured in frames - St. Louis Wedding Videography

Map It Out

When Jimmy and I first got engaged, we knew we wanted a small wedding. Many of our past couples have told us that if given the chance to do it all over again, they too would plan small weddings, so we took their advice and decided to have a destination! :) We had heard of people having larger receptions a few weeks after their destination weddings so the people who could not attend would still get to join in the festivities. I loved this idea!...Except for one small detail. After the wedding the only thing we want to think about is the honeymoon, haha! So we planned a pre-wedding bash instead!

I can't even describe to you how excited I am! What better way to celebrate with your closest friends and family than to host a lakeside BBQ on a beautiful summer day?! Or at least I hope it's beautiful!!! All of you summer brides out there know what I'm talking about! :)

Anyways, as soon as we set the date, I got to work designing our invitations. We wanted our travel themed wedding ideas to be present at our big bash as well so I tried to come up with a design that represented our theme.

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One super cool idea that I got from a few of our past couples was marriage advice cards. Your guests write down their most valued marriage advice so you can refer to it later or apply it to your marriage right from the start! advice cards _AA_1070-7

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That's it for this week!

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captured in frames - St. Louis Wedding Videography