St. Louis Wedding

Receiving Line at Church or Not?

Whether you do a receiving line after your Ceremony at church depends on how much time you have.  If you have 200 or more guests, a receiving line can take more than half an hour.  There are a number of ways to greet guests after the ceremony at church.  Some couples choose to do a “release by pew” at the church.  They go down the aisle in the recessional, then come back up and start with the family pew, acknowledging each person for about ONLY 3 seconds, then move across the aisle, then to the next pew.  So, except for people who don’t come to the church but only go to the reception, they have “talked to” each person.  With 200 guests, that should take about 20 minutes, but you really need to keep moving.  A traditional receiving line at church is another option.  Just stand near the door or outside and quickly greet each guest on their way out of church.  With 200 guests, it’s probably 20 plus minutes.  It moves quicker if it’s just the parents and bride and groom and not the whole wedding party.  The key is to keep it brief and move people along.


Some couples who don’t have time for a receiving line at church choose to show up at the reception about 15 minutes into the cocktail hour without an introduction and work the room to get a lot of the greeting out of the way.  Then when the guests are asked to sit for dinner, the wedding party is lined up outside and the wedding party is announced into the reception.  Even though everyone has already seen and talked with the bride and groom, the big announce into the reception still works.  Then, if there’s still anyone they haven’t talked with, they will have time when they finish dinner (and their cake).  Since the head table is served first, the bride and groom are usually up and going to tables of guests they haven’t spoken to yet while guests are finishing dinner.  That gets it out of the way before the dancing starts.  What you really want to avoid is still greeting guests once the dancing starts, keeping you from the party.

And, naturally throughout the night, any guests who want to personally speak to the bride and groom and haven’t will come to them.  Plan on talking to as many guests as possible … even if it’s just in passing, a nod, eye contact.





To See or Not To See Each Other Before the Ceremony?

More couples are opting to see each other before the Ceremony if  time between the Ceremony and Reception is short.   That allows the Wedding Party to go around town for photos at leisure before the Ceremony.  Then you need to take fewer photos of the Wedding Party and Family at the Ceremony site and you can join the cocktail party sooner.  You can still have that special moment with your groom by having your wedding planner and photographer stage a “first look” moment.  Choose a special setting, maybe the hotel where you’re getting ready.  The groom would be positioned so he can’t see you approach.  And, when you’re ready, he would be told to turn around.  You’ll get that wonderful “first look” moment and the photographer and videographer can catch the moment, too.  Many brides and grooms find that the “first sighting” actually gives them more time together for that special private moment than at the altar.  And, it makes for fabulous photos.  Wonderful idea to give you more time after the Ceremony for greeting guests and enjoying yourselves.

Jamie and Bill’s St. Louis Wedding at the Hilton St. Louis Ballpark

Jamie & Bill at their Downtown St. Louis Wedding

Jamie & Bill

For their September St. Louis Wedding, Jamie & Brian chose the Hilton Ballpark Hotel for both their Ceremony and Reception, as well as their base hotel for their many out-of-town guests.  The large group of college friends and family made for a very festive celebration throughout the Labor Day Weekend.  The Catholic Ceremony was held in the Arch View Foyer with scenic views of the Old Court House and Kiener Plaza.  Cocktails were held in the adjacent Grand Foyer.  Guests were invited to sign a stone with a message for the Bride and Groom to cherish for years to come.  Pomegranate Martinis were the specialty drink during the cocktail hour. Custom imprinted fresh pink rose petals with the Bride and Groom’s names and date adorned the candlelight centerpieces. Once in the beautiful Arch View Ballroom, guests marveled at the gorgeous night views of the Old Court House, the Arch, and Keiner Plaza. Everyone enjoyed a champagne toast in their commemorative champagne flute favors.   And, everyone danced the night away.

Check out Jamie & Bill’s beautiful wedding photos at

Photos by Maggie Stolzberg at

Wedding Planning by Weddings By Renee

Anna & Tucker’s St. Louis Wedding at Windows Off Washington

Anna & Tucker at St. Louis Union Station

Anna & Tucker

So happy to be the Wedding Planner over Thanksgiving weekend for Anna & Tucker’s beautiful St. Louis Wedding … the last one at famed Windows Off Washington in the North Room. Fabulous couple, great families and friends … and what a party! Anna chose Peacock feathers and blue and green colors for her wedding theme.   Anna made her bouquet and all the bridesmaid’s bouquets out of cloth flowers with her grandmother’s jewelry in the center of each flower.  Gorgeous and sentimental.  The reception lighting in greens and gold was dramatic for the ceremony and reception.  Anna made wine bottle candles, cutting the glass bottom off the bottles.  Most of the family and guests came from out of town and stayed at the new Embassy Suites in downtown St. Louis.  After a rehearsal and cocktails at the Embassy Suites, the group enjoyed the rehearsal dinner and partied at The Thaxton.   The reception was a great celebration, especially the surprise flash mob dance created by about 40 of their friends and family.  A special performance.

Check out Anna & Tucker’s beautiful wedding photos on their Gallery Page at

Photos by Patrick and Carol Pope 

Wedding Planning by Weddings By Renee


Wedding Photo Guest Book

This is not your mother’s Guest Book.   Most Brides today think the standard “sign-in” guest books are way out-of-date.  Most now offer guests a Photo Guest Book as they come into the Ceremony or Reception.    The pages can be filled with photos from your courtship, vacations, and your engagement session.   Leave space on every page for guests to write you messages as they “sign in”.    Many photographers can make these books for you, too, but this is most likely a lot less expensive.  You can use these sites to do a mini wedding album for yourself or your parent albums.   Very cool, very professional.  These web sites are very user friendly.  So take a look.  As far as how big it should be, consider 90-100 guests, with maybe half to 2/3 signing a message to you.  So you need a book with space for about 70 signatures/messages.  Figuring 4-6 messages per page, you’d need 10-15 pages.

Quick Results for your Summer Wedding and Honeymoon!

Welcome our Guest Blogger … Fitness Trainer Jeremy Koerber of Integrated Wellness Concepts in St. Louis, MO.  Jeremy will be coaching Weddings By Renee’s Brides and readers on looking and feeling their best on their big day!


Uh Oh…4 Weeks To Go!

Most of the RSVP’s are in, honeymoon plans are booked and with the help of your wedding planner, the rest of the event from the ceremony to the reception is on autopilot.  The only problem is you weren’t too happy with what you saw in the mirror in the last dress fitting.  Don’t panic.  Here is a simple, five-step process to help you look and feel your best on your special day.

Step 1 – be realistic: How much do you think you need to lose?  It is possible to safely lose 8-12 pounds in 4 weeks but anything more is not realistic.

Step 2 – have a plan: If you don’t have a plan to achieve your 8-12 pounds, you are just guessing which will not produce results.  We suggest working with a certified and experienced personal trainer who can develop a personalized plan based upon your fitness level, time constraints and experience.  Besides, the scale isn’t as important as what you look like in your sleeveless dress, so a plan that is well rounded and healthy should be your first consideration.

Step 3 – get a little crazy: No, not Bridezilla crazy!  Mix up your workout.  Research shows that doing different types of workouts will cause your muscles to become confused which forces them to adapt.  This equals greater results.  If you typically walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes and do the same ten strength exercises, your body is used to it, so throw something new its way!  Ask your certified personal trainer to design a new plan, take a strength/interval class, or dance away the calories in Zumba.  And if you are not exercising at all, then we can help you create a routine in time for your big day.

Step 4 – practice the 85% rule: There are a 101 ways to lose weight and many are unsafe, fad diets that may produce fast results but lead to fast weight gain once you stop.  Instead of a “diet”, simply consider making good food choices 85% of the time.  If you scored an 85% on a test, you would earn a B+.  If your nutrition currently isn’t a B+, the 85% rule is the way to go.

Step 5 – take care of yourself:  Did you know that a lack of sleep and uncontrolled stress can cause you to gain body fat? Even with the help of your wedding planner it is natural to feel stress or anxiety as you get close to your wedding day.  Make sure you’re getting a minimum of 7 ½ hours of sleep each night.  If you find that you are overly stressed, something as simple as a massage is a great way to relax and de-stress.

It is very possible to not only improve the way you shine in your dress but also enhance your mindset and overall health.  Follow these five tips over the next 4 weeks and you will absolutely radiate!

Be well friends!


Jeremy Koerber

Integrated Wellness Concepts

(314) 807-8634


Web Site:





February 24 Perfect Wedding Guide Wedding Show

Weddings By Renee

Weddings By Renee

Here I am (on the left) with my team Kaytlyn and Ann at our booth at another fantastic Wedding Show on February 24 at The Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles, MO.  Sponsored by Perfect Wedding Guide, the show included wonderful wedding vendors from all over the St. Louis metro area.  Everyone from River City Catering, Buse’s Flower & Gift Shop, Simply Elegant Bridal, Patrick Pope Photography, Old Hickory Golf Club and more shared great ideas and resources with area brides.  See more of the vendors and photos from the show on our facebook page at   Like our page and send it on to your friends to like.

Kate & Don’s Fall St. Louis Wedding at Christ’s Church Cathedral and The Christy South

Kate & Don at The St. Louis Arch

Kate & Don at The St. Louis Arch


I was so honored to be the Wedding Planner for Kate and Don’s Fall St. Louis Wedding.  We had such a wonderful time with Kate and her fabulous Aunt Cathy.  Beautiful couple, fabulous family and fun friends!  The Ceremony was held at the beautiful Christ’s Church Cathedral in Downtown St. Louis, MO.  The bridesmaids all wore various shades of lavender and purple with coordinating bouquets.  The Reception was at The Christy in South St. Louis and the decor was bling!  Beautiful lit crystal vases and votives.  It  was a joyous celebration with loving family and friends!  See all their photos on their Gallery Page

Photos by Cary Klein Photography

St. Louis Wedding Planner – Weddings By Renee