“Do This” & “NOT That”

We’ve reached out to the St. Louis Wedding Industry to find out some of the faux pas newly engaged couples make when planning their wedding….Here are the TOP 5 RESPONSES...

selective focus photography of pasta with tomato and basil

#1 – DON’T FORGET TO FEED YOUR VENDORS… Your photographers, planners, videographers, DJ’s & Bands are working 8 – 14 hours on your wedding day, so it’s important to make sure they are included in your guest count for a meal. They’re busting their butts to make sure you have an amazing day, so keeping them hydrated and fed will ensure they don’t keel over in the middle of your event. (*This does not include bar.  Pros should not be drinking alcohol on the job.)
If you’re worried about the added expense, because the menu options you’ve selected are super expensive…

DO THIS INSTEAD: Ask your caterers if they offer vendor meal options. 99% of the time, a guest dinner ranges between $30 – $60/ per person, so you can even factor that in as part of the gratuity.

#2 – DON’T BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY… When it comes to your wedding planning appointments, we understand they mom & dad may be paying for the party, so they want their input heard. BUT most meetings are designed for 4 people or less, so bringing Suzy, Sally, Johnny, Cindy, and Baby Wayne can make things feel extremely overwhelming and unproductive if too many opinions are being thrown into the mix. AND having small children running around, or babies crying while you’re trying to have conversation, can be very distracting for everyone involved.

DO THIS INSTEAD: If both sets of parents are adamant about attending, remember that usually Dad isn’t as interested as Mom is about discussing details….
So we suggest Engaged Couple + Mom + Mom = 4 People.

young woman thinking with pen while working studying at her desk

#3 – DON’T ASSUME TO KNOW EVERYTHING… Listen, we love a client who knows what they want, but sometimes ideas get set in stone too early, and end up needing to be changed once the pros step in. One of the biggest challenges we face, is having to explain why things need to be done a certain way.  A Wedding is a very big event, that involves multiple people doing specific tasks, at specific times, and for specific reasons.  Yes, many online resources help give couples ideas, but it takes a village to execute everything to a “T.”

DO THIS INSTEAD: Before you spend hours planning out every minute of your wedding day, create a vision board, or a list of ideas that you’d really like to include, then TALK to your vendors about the best way to bring those concepts to life.  Trust me, you’ll be happy you did!

clipboard with calendar placed on desk amidst stationery
Photo by Marko Klaric on Pexels.com

#4 – DON’T PROCRASTINATE… When you select a wedding date, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to shop around and start making decisions at a moderate pace. Most wedding vendors will provide you with a list of important dates/deadlines that you need to adhere to.  THESE DATES MATTER!  We have them in place so you’re not cramming everything in at the last minute.

DO THIS INSTEAD: When you meet with your vendors, ask them if what the important dates are, and add them to your calendar right then and there.  You’ll keep yourself stress free and prepared this way.

low angle photography of bride and groom dancing

#5 – DON’T MAKE YOUR DECISION SOLEY BASED ON PRICE… Weddings are expensive.  And with that, true professionals are not going to be the lowest price. This is their career, and not their hobby.  Hiring a professional means getting an experienced individual who is well versed in the wedding industry, that can guide & support you while providing an excellent wedding day.  As a wedding vendor, I always have people telling me nightmare stories from when they got married, or when their friends got married… the common thread is always “I wish we would have hired a professional”

DO THIS INSTEAD: You’re essentially throwing the biggest party of your life… Spend the extra money to get the quality you deserve.  You only get one chance to make it amazing♥

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Wedding Sushi S1E8 – “Planning Your Wedding Budget”

WEDDING SUSHI – S1E8 – “Planning Your Wedding Budget” GUEST: Ashlee Erlinger, Owner & Founder of Signed, Sealed, Delivered Events http://www.signedsealeddeliveredevents.com Your Wedding Day Budget needs to be the absolute FIRST thing you think about, when planning your wedding. The total amount of money you have to spend, will be important to know when deciding how and where you are going to allocate those funds. Ashlee shares tips on where you can save money, and price ranges you can be expecting to see…

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Rent Our Showroom

Our Allegro Showroom is the perfect location for your upcoming engagement party, wedding shower, birthday celebration, or family get-together!  When you rent our showroom, you’ll have the flexibility to bring in your own food & beverages.  Need help with décor? No problem!  We have some linens and centerpieces to help spruce up your event.

Event Capacity:
Seated Lunch/Dinner 18
Shower / Cocktail Seating 25

Weekdays $85
Mondays & Thursday Only
9:00am – 1:00pm

Weeknights $100
4:00pm – 8:00pm

Saturdays Daytime $175
9:00am – 2:00pm

Saturday Night $225
4:00pm – 11:00pm

Sundays $125
11:00am – 4:00pm

Rental Includes:

•Bar Area

•Mini Refrigerator

•Beer Tubs & Cooler

•Buffet Table

•Dessert Bar Table

•Tables & Chairs Setup

•Lounge Area

•Flat Screen TV

•PA Speaker for Music

+ADD-ON Selfie Station $75
+ADD-ON Unlimited Prints $75
+ADD-ON Karaoke $50

“2022 Floral Designs Revealed”

WEDDING SUSHI – S1E7 – “The New ‘I-Do’ in Floral Design” GUEST: Kim Brannan, owner of Stems Florist in St. Louis, MO On this episode of Wedding Sushi, Kim shares some of the upcoming trends to be expected in floral design for 2022 & 2023. Her daughter, Jennifer Thomasson, one of our nation’s top trend setters in floristry, recently released a book that showcases some of the most cutting edge concepts and displays the floral world has ever seen. Need Wedding Flowers? http://www.stems4flowers.com

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Wedding Sushi S1E6 “Top 6 Ways To Make Your Wedding Day YOU-nique”

today’s guest:

Today I’m in the studio with Julie Swaney, owner of Limelight Events, a local St. Louis business with upscale event venues in St. Peters and Ellisville, Missouri. Parties and events are tailored to your group with personal service and design touches, and many options for food and desserts. Specializing in “petite events” such as Bridal Showers, Rehearsal Dinners, and Micro-Weddings. https://meetatlimelight.com/about/


Your Wedding Day should be all about you, so Julie Swaney has provided us with some helpful ideas to personalize your BIG DAY!

#1.) CREATE A VISION BOARD – Before you purchase any items, or book any vendors, you should sit down and think about the overall concept that you’re wanting to achieve. Choose a theme. Do you two share in special interests or hobbies? Is there a certain style you prefer? Rustic? Elegant? Beachy? What colors are important to you? You should have 3 colors…. A Dominant, Paired, Accent. (*Color Schemes will be the focus of another episode…Stay Tuned)

#2.) USE MUSIC TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE – Talk to your music professional about creating a custom playlist. Think about songs that reflect moments in your relationship, or family traditions. Have you thought about writing a song?! Do it!! OR hire someone to write a song for you! Music is a fabulous way to personalize your event.

#3.) CREATIVE FLORALS – Flowers will be one of the most expensive items on your Wedding List…. but they don’t have to be. Julie suggests trying some interesting centerpiece alternatives, such as “floating flowers” in a beautiful glass vase. Or, build a floral wall for your ceremony backdrop, then reuse it at your reception for a photo wall.

#4.) PERSONALIZED FAVORS & GIFTS – Think of fun ways you can add your monogram or family crest to items that will be given as favors, and/or add your wedding party member names to their gifts. Looking for personalized items? Visit our sister company, YippeeWear at www.yippeewear.com where all Allegro Couples get a FREE custom design created for their own wedding swag.

#5.) IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT CAKE ANYMORE – Showcasing different dessert options is a fun way to share some of your favorites with guests. Did you two meet New England area? Perhaps a blueberry pie should be served… or maybe you met here in St. Louis, and you’d like to have Gooey Butter Cake as a special treat. Julie recommends having some bite size candies or cake-pops incorporated into your tablescape.

#6.) FUN WITH PROPS – Do you remember the couch featured in the intro to the “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” tv show? Maybe you’d like to setup a “scene” at your reception, where your guests can have memorable pictures taken. By adding a chaise lounge, or a set of wingback chairs, you’re setting the perfect location for fun photos! If you’re looking for more ideas, visit partiesandprops.com

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Wedding Sushi S1E5 – “Wedding Transportation and Things To Consider”

In today’s episode of Wedding Sushi, we hear about Brian Klimaski’s fascinating career path, and how he went from baseball in New Jersey, to nightclubs with rockstars in Vegas, to becoming the Sales Director for Missouri’s largest transportation company: JED www.jedlimousine.com

We touch on all of the Frequently Asked Questions that engaged couples typically ask during the booking process, PLUS very important aspects most people wouldn’t even think about.

what style?

When it comes to the vehicle of your choice, would you prefer perimeter seating? Or forward-facing seating?

where to?

Think about where you will need to be picked up from, and all of the stops along the way…. Do you want a limo or party bus to pick you up from home, to take you to your wedding location?  Or do you only need transportation from your ceremony to the reception, with picture stops in between?  Where will you be stopping to take photos?  Have you created a travel timeline with your photographer?

are you local?

Have you selected a wedding venue that is in the St. Louis metro area? Or have you booked a venue that is further away?  When you’re budgeting for your transportation, there may be travel fees involved.

need a restroom?

If you and your wedding party will be traveling for an extended period of time, have you considered choosing a vehicle that has restrooms? JED offers 19 different coaches/shuttles that offer this option.

how many people?

Let’s talk about capacity…. Who will be riding along?  Wedding party, family, photographers…. Come up with a headcount so you know how many people you need to account for when looking at vehicle options.

extra space!

Brian recommends building in extra buffer space for your wedding day.  You do not want to be squished in like sardines, so choosing an option that has MORE room is always the best choice!  For example, if you have 25 people riding along, book a coach or bus that can seat up to 35.  You’ll appreciate the elbow room.

road restrictions?

Some small towns have road restrictions due to vehicle height, width, and weight.  Will you need to be traveling down tiny country roads? Ask your venue coordinator if they know about any road restrictions you should be aware of.


Wedding Sushi S1E4 – “How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Venue”


Just remember- planning a wedding is not a sprint and it’s not a marathon…. It’s more like a nice long walk. With a little thoughtful pre-planning, you should have a great experience!

Before you begin to look for any vendors- sit down with your peeps and outline what you’re looking for. There are no right answers. Go with what speaks to you and your fiancé and families.

· A big wedding with lots of guests or an intimate affair. Think about how many guests you’d like.

· What type of wedding? Outdoor/Indoor? Art Gallery? Hotel Ballroom? Country Club? Barn? Winery?

· What day of the week and times? Is brunch your ideal party or would you prefer a traditional sit-down dinner on a Saturday night.

When you work out these questions- the whole process will be much smoother.

After you outline your ideal ceremony and reception- now it’s time to DIG IN with BUDGET!! UGH. I know. Thinking about money sucks. But it is a must. There are plenty of FREE Budget Planners out there that will do the work for you.


You put in your budget and it will separate how much couples will typically spend in that category. For example—your OVERALL reception costs should be about 50%-55% of your budget. This includes venue, beverages, food, rentals, etc. This doesn’t include décor or entertainment.

I have seen exhausted couples and parents touring venue after venue- eating up their entire weekend. Touring totally different styles of venues and places that they could not afford.


Your Name / Your Fiance’s Name- They Count Too.

How to contact you. Email/Phone

The Date(s)

The Times

How many guests

The type of wedding- Give a little information

Why you’re asking about their venue.

When their sales team gives site visits.

After you book the interview- don’t forget to let the tour guide know who is coming with you. Try to keep the group to immediate family and maybe key players.


How many hours are included with the rental? When can my vendors/family arrive for set up?

Are there any décor restrictions?

How many parking spaces? How many handicapped?

Are you ADA Compliant?

How many restrooms do you offer? Take a look!

What is the deposit? What is the payment structure?

What about cancelling?

Tell me about your insurance.


Calligraphy Engraving

Susan houseman designs

Hello, my name is Susan Houseman and I would like to tell you a little more about my work. I fell in love with calligraphy at a very young age.  I was self taught until my early 20’s when I began studying with Master Calligraphers and Master Pen men and women from around the world.

I have all types of clients, professional and private.  My calligraphy has been published in national magazines and I have been in numbers gallery shows. I have developed a stamp line for Stampington & Company.  In 2020 I add engraving to my portfolio, and that is when my Soul Stones were developed. 

For More Info visit SusanHousemanDesigns.com

traditional calligraphy

Calligraphy for your wedding invitations, parties, or just sending a card is so important these days.  It’s a way to connect with people in a very personal way. 

what is calligraphy engraving?

Engraving adds a unique touch to any event by providing a personalized shopping experience for your guest and customers.  Susan’s goal as a calligraphy engraver, is to make a memorable item for my customers.

What are soul stones?

Susan’s love of calligraphy and a desire to have a tangible reminder of life’s priorities helped to bring these Soul Stones to life. 
They are glass stones that are hand engraved with words that resonate with our heart and mind. The Soul Stones are hugs that you can give to yourself or to others. They also make great team building gifts.

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