25 Big Ideas for Your Big Day

 In Guide, Style

All the tips, trends and must-have accessories for a fresh, fun and completely fabulous wedding.


Planning a wedding is no easy task. From the color scheme and the menu to your bridemaids gifts and bridal registry, there are dozens of decisions to make about your wedding day. ALIVE makes it easier by pinpointing the top trendsand gives tips and tricks to making your big day the best day of your life.

Slip into the seasons trendiest tones.
“Hue”-nique brides everywhere are infusing todays most popular colors (regal purples, plums and violets, turquoise and even orange) in bold and unexpected waysfrom napkin rings and nail polish to table linens, accent lights and brightly colored bridal shoes. Check out Lusso (Clayton, 314.725.7205) for fun favors and accents and Weinhardt Party Rentals (Des Peres and The Hill, 314.822.9000) for chair covers, table linens and more.

Think outside the cake box.
Todays brides can have their cake and eat it, too, thanks to the countless creative dessert options available to satisfy their sweet tooth. Think Oreo cookies, donuts, mini pies (shown, from Pastry Chef Katherine Benson for Steven Becker Fine Dining) and cotton candy as part of a fun dessert bar, or a gourmet sundae station with all the yummy toppings. Talk to Steven Becker Fine Dining (Midtown, 314.367.4848) or Bittersweet Bakery (Benton Park, 314.771.3500).

Rethink the traditional tux.
Trade the traditional penguin suit for something more fitting of your grooms personal sense of style like a custom-made suit in gray, tan or pinstripea sleek, fashion-forward look thats been popping up all over the bridal runways this year. Try Savile Row Custom Clothiers (Ladue, 314.567.8500).

Sport a smile as white and dazzling as your dress.
More and more brides are adding professional teeth whitening to their beauty regiments to brighten their pearly whites before the big day. And with the fast and easy whitening services availablesome in-office treatments can brighten up to seven shades in a single hourit wont interfere with your busy pre-wedding schedule. For big-day prep for your pearly whites, go see Dr. Ruth Gomes at VivaSmiles (Clayton, 314.533.8482).

Ditch the one-size-fits-all approach.
The number of bridesmaids who custom-select the fit and style of their dress is on the riseand for good reason. Every wise bride knows her maids are going to look betterand be happierif they can wear a dress of her color choice in a style thats right for them. Consider J. Crew (Plaza Frontenac, 314.862.2739), where bridemaids dress sets come in several cuts and styles.

Its not hip to be square.
A girls best friend comes in many shapes and sizes, but none as popular as the round brilliant-cut solitairea naturally radiant and stylish stone being slipped on the fingers of blushing brides everywhere. Try one on for size (in popular raised and diamond-drizzled settings) on your next ring shopping trip to the experts at Curt Parker Jewelers (Ladue, 314.989.9909) who have an exclusive selection of the gorgeous brilliant-cut diamond.

Stand out with your stationery.
A far cry from the stuffy, ultra-traditional invitations of the past, todays contemporary invites arent afraid to have a little fun. Creative fonts, vibrant colors and custom patterns bring something unexpected to the tableand assure they look and feel like you. Find an array of invitation options, including local designer Cheree Berry (shown) at The Service Bureau (Ladue, 314.991.1104).

Mini-mize your dress
The wow factor of todays alternative wedding gowns is moving upalong with the hemlineso dont rule out a short, youthful mini-gown as the perfect fit for your unique occasion (outdoor weddings, casual affairs and more). Where to Get It: Blushing Bride (Shiloh, Ill., 618.628.7800).

Get him to the chapel on time.
A stylish watch that matches his suit or tux is a smart and unexpected wedding gift for your hubby-to-beand itll make sure he arrives on time for this and all of the other important moments in your life. Talk to Simons Jewelers (Clayton, 800.767.3371), St. Louis luxury jeweler that carries the top brands from Breitling to Cartier to Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Be a head case.
Spotted on January Jones and Eva Mendes, headbands are the latest fashion craze crowning all the starlets of Hollywood, and now with wedding-worthy details so fabulousbeads, jewels, feathers and moreprincess brides across the country are donning them, too. Stop by Melanies (Ladue, 314.993.0664) for the headband and A True Spa (Chesterfield, 636.537.3227) for a headband-worthy do.

Make a big impactjust not on the environment.
Given all the fun, eco-chic wedding options available, its no surprise that saving the environment also means making a fabulous fashion statement. Even a little bitsending recycled-paper invites, serving organic foods and beverages and giving sustainable favors (seeds, bulbs, etc.)can go a long way. Sit down with Rachel McCalla, Lucky You Productions (Benton Park, 314.210.7764) for green wedding planning tips and Vellum (Kirkwood, 314.909.1640) for stationery suggestions.

Give your blooms a boost.
A blossoming new trend? Sprinkle brooches, beads, jewel pins, pearls, crystals and more throughout your bouquet or on the stems for an ultra-glam look to accompany you down the aisle. Check out Petals Galore (Olivette, 314.651.1360) for all your on-trend floral needs.

Get glowing.
Make sure you glow from head to toe with the help of a bronze specialist, who can turn up the volume of your skins natural beauty with an impeccable airbrushed spray tan at home or in the studio. Call The Tan Co. in your area, (thetanco.com) or West End Tan (314.361.4722) for in-studio service.

Glam up your Gown.
Todays bridal fashions are as much about the accessories as they are the gown, so dont be afraid to make a big statement (vintage jewelry and family heirlooms are huge) to enhance your oh-so-fabulous wedding-day look. Pay a visit to Elleard Heffern (Clayton, 314.863.8820), where youll find a fabulous selection of vintage pieces and estate jewels.

Dont forget the girls.
Landing the perfect bridesmaid gift is no easy task, but the odds are getting better now that a new trend in customization is king. Start with a basic gift category, like fragrances, earrings or stationery, then choose specific items that fit each of your gal pals personalities. Visit Cassies Scents (Central West End, 314.454.1010) for unique fragrance options.

Smile for the photobooth. Capturing the wacky, impromptu moments of a couples wedding day is easy with the help of the trendy photo service that puts your guests in front of the camera, photo-booth style. The instant pics serve as a fun parting gift for your friends and family and can even be incorporated into a lively alternative to the traditional guest book. Check out GoodEye Photoshare, (Richmond Heights, 314.644.7770).

Spice up your centerpieces.
Keep your oh-so-fabulous sense of style at the center of everyones attention by choosing multiple centerpiece designs to adorn your reception tables. A few arrangement styles, tied together with similar elements (flowers, candles, color schemes, etc.), is a sure way to be creative, fun and ultra chic. Go see Walter Knoll Florists (multiple locations, 314.352.7575) and have one of their designers help custom create your perfect centerpiece.

Make your wildest themes come true.
Shake off the stuffiness of the traditional rehearsal dinner with a themed approach think fiestas, luaus, wine tastings and morethat let your guests (and more importantly, the bride and groom) let loose before goin to the chapel the next day. Talk to Schlafly Tap Room (Downtown, 314.241.2337) about a classic pub theme; Crown Candy Kitchen (Downtown, 314.621.9650) for an old-fashioned sweets-inspired affair; and DVine Wine (Kirkwood, 314.835.0084) for an elegant winery occasion.

Don the “new” veil.
The 1920s-style birdcage veil is making a serious comeback, proving that classically elegant looks never go out of style. Wear the netting over your face for a traditional vintage look, or give it a modern spin by positioning it as a hair piece with ornate pins, feathers or flowers. For the latest styles in veils, head to The Ultimate Bride (Brentwood, 314.961.9997).

Enlist a registry expert.
Consider consulting an expert before picking up the scanner. Enlisting one can help get you and your hubby through the process, and tell you things you might not know (or think of), like the traditional number of china sets to order or the unconventional items electronics, camping equipment, board games, etc.that are perfectly acceptable to add to your list. For houseware staples,
head to Macys (macys.com) and for more traditional gifts and home accents, try Byron Cade (Clayton, 314.721.4701).

Break the head table tradition.
Traditional head-table arrangements are being replaced with more intimate setups that put the focus of the reception back where it belongson the bride and groom. Consider family-style seating (where you and your bridal party can face one another) or a sweetheart table (a table just for the bride and groom) for a cozier dining experience. Talk to Brides Vision (Kirkwood, 314.580.2381), St. Louis wedding planners that take care of all the details for you, whether its the head table arrangement, menu consultation or ceremony design.

Add homegrown to the menu.
Eco couples across the country are showing some major love to their hometowns (and their health) with custom menus made exclusively from locally grown ingredients. Fortunately, giving love to The Lou is easy with yummy menu options like Missouri butternut squash lasagna and Missouri rice pilaf from caterers like Local Harvest Cafe? and Catering (South City, 314.772.8815) and Catering Plus (Richmond Heights, 314.781.0243).

Pamper your party.
To tame the Bridezilla in us all, consider a spa getaway with the girls so you could relax, unwind and keep everyones general sanity. For optimal results, choose calming therapies like herbal body exfoliation (helps reduce anxiety), aromatherapy massage (lavender calms stress) and thermal body wraps (to lose water weight). For the ultimate staycation, head to Spa Shiki (Lodge at the Four Seasons, Lake of the Ozarks, 800.843.5253) and get away with the gals without having to log a lot of miles.

Give back with your gown
Lets face it: You didnt want to wear your moms old wedding dress anymore than your future daughter will want to wear yours, so why not put your gown to good use by donating it for a cause? Youll feel much better knowing you made a charitable contribution, rather than let your dress sit in the closet collecting dust. Visit The Scholarshop (Richmond Heights, 314.725.7990) or The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, which donates all proceeds from used wedding gowns to making wishes come true for cancer patients (makingmemories.org).

Make your song your own.
Opting for the modern remake of a classic love song (Joss Stones “L-O-V-E”) Beyonces “At Last” and Michael Buble?s “The Way You Look Tonight,” to name a few) is an unexpected way to assure your first dance is the personal, intimate experience you imagined it to be without settling for a less meaningful tune. To preview (and download) the perfect song for your big-day dance, visit nutsie.com and access the Top 100 Love Songs and Covers.


307_179.jpgBe a head case

312_179.jpgThink outside the (cake) box

313_179.jpgSlip into the season’s trendiest tones

318_179.jpgThink outside the (cake) box

326_179.jpgStand out with your stationery

340_179.jpgGet him to the chapel on time

345_179.jpgPamper your party


Photo credit: Photos courtesy of Bakers.com, Megan Pace, Cheree Berry Paper, Panerai, Sandra Meyer and Spa Shiki

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