Pros and Cons of Holiday Weddings


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Thinking of a holiday wedding?
Some may work better
than others

Aimee Devoll had a beautiful wedding. The ceremony took place at a historic church in Soulard and the reception at Windows on Washington, with delicious food, festive drinks and a wonderful band. But looking back, Aimee says, laughing: “If I were invited to my wedding now, I probably wouldn’t go.”

Why would a happily married woman say such a thing? Aimee and her husband Matt wed the day after Thanksgiving, and the reasons they chose that date are a little vague to them now. Matt is from Delaware and they met in college in New Orleans, so lots of out-of-towners were invited. Though Aimee doesn’t remember any complaints from guests, she now realizes they were lucky to have had such a good turnout.
Getting married on or near a holiday has its pro and cons, and extra elements to consider. Guests may happily attend your wedding celebration or be hesitant to share it with their holiday—often depending on which holiday it is. The following brides, guests and experts offer their wedding experiences throughout the year:
Thanksgiving and Christmas
Ellen Gutierrez, owner and wedding coordinator of Bride’s Vision Weddings and Events, says that the Devolls were fortunate so many of their family and friends made the trip the week of Thanksgiving. Guests may prefer to spend time with family, especially holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, rather than attend a wedding. “I planned a wedding for a couple married right after Christmas. It was a lovely wedding, but they were disappointed by their low numbers,” Ellen says. “People often want to stay close to home around the major holidays.”
One such guest is Nikki Klapp, who went to a wedding the Saturday after Thanksgiving. “I was away at college, and was coming home for Thanksgiving anyway,” Nikki says. “But I saw my family so rarely that I kind of resented having to spend a whole day and night at a wedding before heading back to school the
next day.”
An advantage to a Christmas wedding, however, is that if it’s being held in a church, the church is already decorated for the holiday and you can save money on floral arrangements. Some venues are decked out for Christmas as well, such as the Piper Palm House and the Jewel Box.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve, on the other hand, is usually not as family-oriented and guests are happy to attend a wedding then. “People are ready for a party, and to have one already planned for them goes over well,” says Ellen. “And you can incorporate the holiday into your day in fun and easy ways.”
Julia Taylor was a bridesmaid at a wedding on New Year’s Eve this past year that was a great celebration of the couple and the new year. “We bridesmaids passed out hats, crowns and noisemakers to guests shortly before midnight,” Julia says. “And part of the reception room was set up like a lounge, with couches, which gave it a bit of a nightclub feel.” Ellen has planned weddings that have, in addition to the party favors, a balloon drop as the disc jockey counts down to the new year.
Ellen advises booking early if you choose to wed on New Year’s Eve, especially reserving the venue and the band, since that is traditionally one of their most in-demand nights.
A risk for winter holiday weddings is the possible inclement weather. Allison Green remembers a wedding she attended a few days before Christmas. “The ceremony was in South County and there was a forecast for a major snowstorm,” Allison remembers. “The reception wasn’t until several hours later, in St. Charles. By the time the reception was supposed to start, a lot of snow had fallen and the roads were awful. The wedding party’s limousine was late—it got stuck in the snow— and a lot of people didn’t make it to the reception.”
Valentine’s Day
Jane McAllister was a guest at nuptials held on Valentine’s Day, and she doesn’t feel a lot of love for that particular wedding. “It probably could have been done tastefully, but it was over the top,” Jane says. “There were paper hearts all over the walls, everything was red and pink, there were heart centerpieces and heart-shaped candy…it was just too much.” Jane, like a lot of other guests in attendance, was single at the time and thought all the over-emphasis on love was redundant. “A wedding is already about love and the couple—the Valentine’s Day theme seemed like salt in the wound to all of us unattached girls.”
Some brides plan for a holiday wedding, and others just happen upon the day. The latter was the case for Theresa D’Amico-Becker, who was married on Halloween. “We wanted a fall wedding and the Saturday that worked best for us was Halloween night,” Theresa says.
Theresa and her husband Kevin incorporated Halloween into their day without making it look like an Addams Family Reunion. The wedding party wore black and the floral arrangements consisted of fall colors. Halloween masks and candy adorned the tables. Wearing costumes to the reception, which was several hours after the ceremony (giving the kids time to go home and trick-or-treat), was optional and many guests took them up on it. “A lot of our male guests loved changing out of suits and into costumes,” says Theresa. “There was actually a guest who asked me to dance after he put on his costume, and I couldn’t figure out who it was! We danced and then he left, and returned to reveal his identity. It was a cousin of mine and it was really funny.”
Fourth of July
Tracey Cavato is another bride that just happened to get married on a holiday. The house she and her future husband were building was going to be available sooner than anticipated, so they looked to move up their wedding day. The Fourth of July was the only date available at their church and reception site. Much of Tracey’s family would be traveling from Chicago and were happy with the arrangements. “They were grateful they had more time to travel and hang out in St. Louis, rather than rush in for the rehearsal dinner and wedding then head back,” Tracey says. The reception was at a country club and guests were able to see the city’s fireworks display from the deck.
Ellen is coordinating a Fourth of July wedding at the Chase Park Plaza’s Starlight Room and is timing the festivities so that the guests will be able to step out on to the large patio and enjoy St. Louis’ fireworks. “You might also get a discount from booking your wedding during the week, if the Fourth of July falls then,” Ellen says.
Memorial Day and Labor Day
Ellen says these two minor holidays are always popular wedding weekends in St. Louis. “They are usually not holidays people already have firm plans for, the temperatures are mild, and they give your out-of-town guests an extra day to travel,” says Ellen. She also says sometimes there may be a price break if you get married on the Sunday of those weekends.
A possible disadvantage to pledging your eternal devotion on a holiday is that, down the road, your wedding anniversary may get lost in the shuffle. Sheila Billings was married on the day before Mother’s Day, and likens it to have your birthday on Christmas. Now, as a mother of three young children, “We usually celebrate one or the other, but not both our anniversary and Mother’s Day,” Shannon says. Her brother was married at Christmastime and he and his wife rarely have the time or inclination to celebrate their anniversary with so much going on that time of year.
Katy Colgan agrees. She was married between Christmas and New Year’s, and at the time it was great. “But now, especially with kids, our anniversary is the last thing in a long string of holiday get-togethers and it gets lost in the mix,” Katy says.
But Theresa, the Halloween bride, doesn’t mind a bit. “We’ve been married for twelve years, and we still receive tons of anniversary cards. I guess a Halloween wedding is easy to remember!”


Bridal Week

crop bridal fashionThe hottest trends from New York International Bridal Week

Lacy Branch, chief event stylist and owner of Lacy Branch Events had the pleasure of attending Bridal Fashion Week in New York City and report her fashion findings of what brides can expect in 2014.  

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What’s Going to Be
 on Your Plate?

Five top wedding food trends

whatsonyourplate GONE ARE THE DAYS of wedding goers choosing meat or fish for their meal and waiting for the dancing to begin--today’s couples are more culinary conscious and want to dazzle their guests with fabulous and memorable food and drink. Kathy Costello, director of catering sales at Russo’s Catering, has noticed how our foodie culture had effected couples’ changing tastes and expectations when it comes to choosing their menus. “Couples are now better educated about food options and possibilities,” Costello said. “They are attentive to specific ingredients and want to customize their menu to make it unique to their wedding and them as a couple.” How are couples, now and in the near future, making sure they throw not a great party, but the ultimate dinner party? Following are five trends that local caterers have spotted and/or already implemented with their events:  

Read more: What’s Going to Be
 on Your Plate?

Ask Anna Post: Seating


Q. What’s the order for seating divorced parents at the ceremony?

ANNA: In the lucky event that all the parties get along, there’s no reason why divorced parents can’t share the front row, but in most cases divorced parents are seated separately at the ceremony and at separate tables at the reception.  In general, the mother of the bride or groom and their respective spouses or escorts, children, parents, and relatives are seated in the first rows, followed by the father of the bride or groom and their respective spouses or escorts, children, parents, and relatives. Here is the standard order of seating when parents are divorced:

The Caribbean’s Calling

1 2012 fall capjuluca beach-wide-angleGetting us closer the sun and schedule-free

Listen: Blue, balmy, breezy. (Repeat.) That’s the subtle siren call of the Caribbean islands. Their appeal makes them a honeymoon magnet; their rewards range from gorgeous market deals, crispy fried conch and idle hours of snorkeling to post-volcanic panoramas and grand sweeps of beach that turn honeymooners into beach swooners.  

Read more: The Caribbean’s Calling

After the Party

How to keep the romance going when you finally get to be alone

after the party

You’ve said “I Do,” taken dozens of pictures, had your first dance and greeted hundreds of guests. It’s finally time for you and your husband to be alone. Together. As husband and wife. So how can you to make your wedding night as wonderful as the day that leads up to it?  

Read more: After the Party

If I Had a Do-Over

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Even Brides in our "Real Moments" feature have some things they'd do differently now

EVERY ISSUE of Saint Louis Bride magazine highlights several recent weddings in the St. Louis area in our “Real Moments” feature. Photographs from these gorgeous gatherings have been submitted by the couples, wedding planners, photographers and other vendors who were particularly proud of their labors of love. Even with weddings as wonderful as those previously included in “Real Moments,” not everything goes perfectly.  And given some time and perspective, some former “Real Moments” brides share what they might do differently.  

Read more: If I Had a Do-Over

Lessons From Reality TV

Tune In, Take Note, Say “I Do”

By virtue of being “the bride” you are the star of the wedding day. It is all about you. Don’t worry, your fiancé knew that when he proposed. You are the one everyone is looking at. You are the one who is the princess of the day. You are the one getting all the attention.

read more...Lessons From Reality TV

Bird Watching

Bird accents are hatching throughout weddings

Couples madly in love often are called “lovebirds.” Now many couples are taking that slang term to heart and using it as part of their wedding celebration.

Shelli Alred, owner of Alred Wedding Consultants, says she has seen a trend toward using natural elements, such as moss and birch branches in weddings. Birds are a fit without being the focus.

“Birds can be used as accents to the wedding. I’ve had couples use bird-shaped wine stoppers and beer bottle openers as their favors. Another couple decorated the reception with lighted trees and placed birds on some of the branches. Birds work well with the natural or vintage wedding,” she says.

Jane Winter, owner of Wildflowers, says many brides are asking for a natural, handpicked look for their floral designs. When using trees, twigs and branches in the arrangements, birds are a natural extension of that look.
Another way to use birds as an accent is with the cake. 
“Since many couples are using more natural elements in their weddings these days, it makes sense that birds are a popular motif right now. We have helped couples incorporate birds into their cake design using fondant appliqués, piped designs or sometimes simply as a topper,” says Erika Robertson Frank, owner of the Cakery.  

Read more: Bird Watching

The Honeymoon Decision

Local couples share how they chose their honeymoon destinations

Though this decade’s B&Gs might consider an adventure honeymoon, like hiking in New Zealand, biking across old Europe or wrangling on a working ranch, it’s heading to the beach that often wins the day. Maybe it’s our landlocked location or abundance of cooler fall weddings that incite beachy thoughts, but St. Louis loves heading to the warm. 

Read more: The Honeymoon Decision

Ask Anna Post: Social Media

Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition” 

To ask Anna an etiquette question, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Q. I’m really excited to be engaged. Is it okay to post pictures and information about the wedding on my Facebook page?

read moreAsk Anna Post: Social Media

Chevrons, Quatrefoils, and Stripes... Oh My!


Patterns are popping up in weddings

Patterns are a beautiful way to add some color and spark to your wedding. Stripes have been popular for sometime in weddings. Striped invitations, striped cakes and even a lovely striped bow in the bridal bouquet add a modern twist to your wedding. 

Read more: Chevrons, Quatrefoils, and Stripes... Oh My!

Delectable Dishes

Chefs suggest ways to be creative with the menu at your reception

Couples are becoming increasingly creative with their wedding planning, scouring Pinterest and flipping through magazines in search of the perfect, unique touches to add to their special day.

Read more: Delectable Dishes

Ask Anna Post

Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition”

Q. My daughter is getting married at our church, and while it would be nice to be able to invite everyone who attends our church to the wedding, it is not at all budget friendly to invite them all to the reception. Would it be O.K. to put something in our church bulletin like: “While we would love for all of you to be able to attend our wedding, space and budget do not allow us to invite the entire church family to the reception. We hope you understand”?

Read more: Ask Anna Post

Are we there yet?

A Honeymoon checklist
By Diana Losciale

Choose a sturdy suitcase, zip it open at least a few weeks prior to departure, and get packing.  Unless the honeymoon is for one or two nights and therefore requires only a toothbrush, little black dress, bathing suit and flops, go for the big, checkable bag.

Read more: Are we there yet?