5 Points to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Venue

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in planning your wedding is where to have it. Because there are over 350+ Venues, your decision can be difficult. Here are some basic concepts to consider when deciding on your wedding venue.


This is the most important factor. The reception cost is generally about 50% of your entire budget. If you are on a tight budget and the venue you want is beyond your price range, think about having a brunch or cocktail reception at the venue instead of a full dinner. Look at what’s included. If you have to rent additional items, that may impact your total costs. And things like cake cutting costs, extra charges for dance floors, and extra charges for glassware can all add up. It’s the final price that counts.


Consider the number of guests you anticipated inviting. If you are having a small wedding you might feel dwarfed in a venue that is too large. Conversely, if you are having a large number of guests, you want to make sure that you don’t feel cramped.


Did you always dream of an outdoor wedding? Do you like the ideal of a grand ballroom? Be true to your feelings, and make it meaningful for you. Bear in mind, with an outdoor wedding you might be at the mercy of the elements, so have a Plan B in place.


Do you have a lot of out of town guests invited? Close proximity to the airport might be something to consider, or perhaps being close to certain activities like downtown for the Blues or our Cardinals. Do many of your guests have limitations with regard to steps and walking? Consider a location that is easy for them to navigate. Do you want iconic photos at a certain location – like Forest Bar, a favorite hangout, close to work? Choose a venue that is close to minimize travel time on the day of your wedding.


Finally, be flexible with the day of the week. Fridays & Sundays are generally less expensive and more available. Popular places can book up over a year in advance, so start your search for a venue early. June and October in our area are always two of the most popular months and book fast. If you are having a small wedding, consider a Thursday night. You can negotiate better rates for other services like photography for example, because wedding professionals generally book only one event on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday – you will pay their going rate for a “full, larger” wedding on those days.

VenuesofStLouis.com allows you to search by location, by price, and by type of venue. And, as this new site grows you will be able to gather complete information on the venues that you think might be the right one for you making your job to compare venues easy and saving you a huge amount of time.


Have you been asking yourself, “Where are the best wedding venues near me?” “What are my choices for a Country/Outdoor – Barn Type Wedding?” “Where can I find a unique venue that’s a bit different in my area?” Maybe you need a venue that can accommodate a large number of guests. Or maybe you just got engaged and you are wondering how to plan a wedding. Well, we are here to help.

From historic venues, to grand ballrooms, to farms – we’ll help you find the best places to get married that will match your style and personality!
BrideStLouis.com had rolled out our new sister site, VenuesofStLouis.com, and it is packed with information that can help you put together your perfect wedding without stress.

After creating a budget, finding a venue is the first priority for your wedding. It sets the tone and flavor of your event. Once you have your venue and date confirmed, everything else can follow. The kind of bridal dress that you choose also is dependent of the “type” of venue — classic, country, or grand. So – it’s all starts with the venue!

For our Free 2019 eBook “Wedding planning for the St. Louis and Surrounding Area Brides.” https://venuesofstlouis.com/freeweddingplanner Click Here.

We also have a Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/VenuesofSTL where you will see daily postings of information about one of many popular wedding venues and articles about choosing a venue and wedding planning. Please like our page, follow and share. Special Announcements about special deals and opportunities will be posted regularly there. So, don’t miss out on these deals!

Finding Venues with Character


Are you looking for a VENUE with CHARACTER to host your wedding or reception? BrideStLouis’ new sister site, VenuesofStLouis.com, offers you an unparalleled opportunity to find exactly what you want! Here are some unique venues that we selected to give you a taste of just how great this site is. Currently, there are over 200+ venues listed, but by December all 400+ St. Louis, St. Charles, So. Illinois and Surrounding Missouri areas will be listed.

Piazza Messina
Piazza Messina is the perfect marriage or rustic and modern Tuscan décor in a beautiful natural setting. It includes 8000+ Sq. Ft. of private event space situated on 14 1/2 acres of agricultural land. Featuring a bistro, ballroom and both an indoor and outdoor bar. This venue overlooks a beautiful four acre lake. One of the most unique features of Piazza Messina is the seamless transition from an indoor to outdoor setting including a wraparound covered portico with a view of the lake.

The Barnett
The Barnett on Washington is a unique and sophisticated St. Louis event venue that recently opened its doors after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. The building, located at 3207 Washington Boulevard, has a long and storied history, but was only recently renovated and restored to its original luster and elegance. Famed architect, Tom Barnett, constructed the building in 1920. It features a Spanish Mission style of construction and maintains its historic look and appeal while boasting the highest quality modern amenities.

Rocking J Ranch
ESCAPE FROM THE CITY! Just minutes from St. Louis. With 60+ Acres, nestled among 1000s acres of Ozark ridges, valleys, & great views all around, you will experience wide open spaces. The Rocking J Ranch is rustic, laid back & loaded with vintage & primitive pieces & unsurpassed Southern style hospitality. You and your guests won’t want to leave here. Their scenic setting includes a waterfall, wood arbors, vintage doors, barrels, pastures, horses grazing, barn wood, lights and all your favorite rustic decor, both inside and out. Wedding packages range from an all inclusive retreat to a Do-It-Yourself wedding on a budget and everything in-between!

The Larimore
The Larimore is a private, historic estate established in 1858. This Venue boasts 6 acres of enchanting grounds, the charming Victorian mansion and an elegant banquet center. This hidden gem is perfect for those searching for a spectacular event that is “Unique” and offers plenty of “WOW” factor! The Larimore provides for gazebo weddings in the garden or quaint chapel weddings, and indoor receptions.

The Weingarten
The Weingarten’s wedding ceremony and wedding reception venues are unlike any other. Surrounded by beautiful forests, cornfields and a lake, our natural landscape offers a picturesque setting for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception. Our winery feels miles away from it all but is actually less than 10 minutes from the nearest hotel.

Sunset Bluffs
With its picturesque surroundings and unparalleled service, guests will have an experience like no other at Sunset Bluffs. The Sunset Bluffs House faces an eight-acre quarry lake, surrounded by 110-foot natural bluffs that add an extra element of uniqueness to your event!

Barn Weddings – Get that Country Feeling and Loving!

Your VenuesofStLouis Area Guide to Barn Weddings – Get that country feeling and loving!

One of the strongest trends in our area is the barn wedding – brides are looking for that vintage, rustic inspired, down-home country feeling and atmosphere. It also gives couples the opportunity of adding a lot of fun to the day with features such as a barbecue pits (roast that pig), fire pits for S’mores, and grassy area for yard games. The romance and feeling of being outdoors and having a wonderful time is a strong appeal. And being out in the country provides plenty of opportunities for breathtaking photos and a lot of homespun details, including family heirlooms, for the décor. In fact, Pinterest has tons of ideas that you can incorporate into your reception and ceremony site. Just search “barn weddings” and you will be flooded with ideas. Barn weddings do have their challenges. While fields and pastures are beautiful, can Grandma and Grandpa navigate the terrain? And what happens if it rains just prior to your wedding…will you have a field of mud. And anytime you are outdoors, you have to think about bugs and the weather – will it be too hot or too cold.

Here are some locations and venues that you might want to consider if you decide a barn wedding might be just the perfect option for you.

Haue Valley, Pacific MO (hauevalleyweddings.com). Haue Valley has a large patio overlooking the property’s three lakes. A rustic building with beautiful concrete floors and cedar wood beams. They do provide tables and white wedding chairs and have indoor bathrooms that are wheelchair accessible. Prices begin at $4500. They do have exclusive caterers from which you must choose.

Rocking J Ranch, High Ridge, MO (www.stlouisbarnwedding.com. Rocking J Ranch offers both an all-inclusive and a DIY package for weddings on a budget. The all-inclusive is $55/person (minimums apply) and the DIY package starts at $4500. The barn has a dirt floor except for a small dance area, and there is a lovely area set up for the ceremony just outside the barn with a small pond. They usually release the horses in the pasture behind the ceremony area during the ceremony. The farm house is provided as a bride’s get ready area.

Seven T Farms, Sullivan, MO (seventfarms.com). Seven T Farms is a 400 acre venue that offers a large reception room, patio and an indoor/outdoor bar, stone fireplace, and a stunning view overlooking the farm. Rentals start at $3750 and can accommodate up to 450 seated guests. Russo catering is their exclusive catering company.

Lake Creek Winery, Marthasville, MO (www.lakecreekwinery.com). Lake Creek Winery is an 1860’s farmhouse, covered deck & patio area with spectacular views. While not actually a “barn” wedding, the historic house adds that farm, vintage feel to any wedding. There is an old barn that makes a great picturesque backdrop for your photos. They can accommodate up to 250 people.Sweet Clover Farm Events, Hermann, MO (sweetcloverfarmevents.com)

Sweet Clover Farm Events, Hermann, MO (sweetcloverfarmevents.com). Sweet Clover Farms has a newly remodeled reception building that has a barn feel with wagon wheel chandeliers and white round tables and chairs. They can accommodate up to 200 guests. The Bride’s Cottage is included in the rental for the bride preparation prior to her day. They allow you to choose your own vendors for catering, music, officiant and other. One other note is that they do not supply alcohol and bartenders are not provided. Prices begin at $2400 for a Saturday ceremony and reception.

Dodson Orchards, Fredericktown,MO (www.dodsonorchards.com). Dodson offers an authentic old barn which is spacious and can accommodate up to 250 comfortably. The old timbers and tin roof were put together around 1900. Combine this with the vintage chandelier and string light and you have a stunning venue. They also offer an outdoor garden chapel and a bridal cottage. They offer both an all-inclusive with many additional options available such as ungraded china, S’more bar and more. A venue only option is available only for off-peak dates.

Valley Farms, Foristell, MO (www.valleyfarms.us). Valley Farms is one of the newest BARN venues and is located in Foristell, MO. A beautiful NEW barn with concrete floors. They offer lots of options including bonfire, hayride, S’more bar, and drone footage on your wedding. You can also use one of the remote areas of the 20 acre farm to tie the knot. Prices begin at around $3000 and you have flexible options for catering and other vendors.

Illinois Barn Weddings (Calhoun County Illinois) (www.barnweddingsillinois.com). Host a breathtaking country wedding at either the beautifully restored 150-year-old Mount Hope Barn, located on 250 acres or perhaps you would prefer the White Tales Lodge nested on 5 acres. Packages stat at $2500 for the Lodge and $3500 for the Mount Hope Barn. They offer many different packages so be sure to give them a call for more specific details.

The Pour Vineyard, Red Bud, Illinois (www.thepourvineyard.com). The Pour Vineyard is one of Illinois newest wedding destinations and offers a rustic barn, large lake and over six acres of vineyards. They offer many ceremony locations and they allow you to choose your own vendors. Pour Vineyards can accommodate 200 for a barn ceremony, and about 225 for a vineyard or lake ceremony/reception.

How to Select Your Wedding Venue

With over 400 potential wedding venues here in the St. Louis area how do you find the right venue for you? Things to consider include location, amenities, budget and what’s included, size, and most importantly how does that venue fit “your” vision for your wedding.
Because you, like many couples today, want your venue to express your style and your personality, you told us that finding the right venue was your #1 problem. Are you a couple that relishes the outdoors, are you a couple that loves the sophistication of a classy wedding inside a grand ballroom, or perhaps it’s more about a lavish meal. Every couple is different and unique and the venue you choose sets the stage for all the other choices you will make for your wedding.

And then there’s the budget – there’s a reason you created a budget. Generally, the Venue/Reception for your wedding will eat up the most of your budget – usually somewhere near 50%. As you compare venues to one another remember to consider what’s included, such as linens, glassware, centerpieces, gratuity and taxes. Get rental prices for the items you might need to rent, if not included, so that you can get a true comparison of costs. Gratuity and taxes usually add close to 30%, so absolutely don’t forget to add that into your final figures. If your total bill is $10,000, with gratuity and taxes that bill is now $13,000!

With VenuesofStLouis.com it is EASY TO get all that information!

Venues of St. Louis was created to make your search for your dream venue EASY! You see, everything is here – all at ONE SITE! Not just advertiser – but everyone! And better yet, COMPLETE INFORMATION has been provided by many venues so that you can quickly get the information you need. Our Sterling Venues will have additional details such as

Specific Overall Details that include information about what’s all included
Event Space Available – how many rooms, size and details
Food & Drink – Types of service, who provided, and liquor options
Hotels Options – What overnight accommodations are available
And some Sterling Plus Venues have a video of their venue as well

Find your PERFECT WEDDING VENUE without the stress. Search by type, location and price. Here you get more information about all the details and who to contact. And finally, by registering you get access to exclusive deals and special promotions.

Venues that Allow You to Choose Your Own Catering Company

A lot of brides have asked us if we could provide a list of venues that allow outside caterers.  We found these choices – from community spaces to elegant historic homes. Some of these venues have “preferred” catering companies while others allow you the freedom to choose your own.   If you book one of these venues, be sure to tell the venue that you found them through BrideStLouis.com.

Be aware that some venues do charge extra fees for non-preferred catering.  Some are reasonable and some are extremely high.  All will require proof of insurance and other such documents that a good business caterer should have no problem producing.

Ballwin VFW Hall, 115 Mimosa Lane, Ballwin, MO 63011, www.ballwin.mo.us

Beall Mansion, Alton, Illinois,  www.bealmansion.com, 618-474-9100

Blanchette Park Memorial Hall, 1900 W. Randolph St., St. Charles, MO 63101, www.stcharlesparks.com

Bluffs on Broadway, 4708 S. Broadway, St. Louis, MO., www.thebluffsonbroadway.com, 314-231-4808

Boileau Hall (SLU)

Boo Cat Club, 812 Union Blvd., St. Louiis, Mo, www.boocatclub.com, 314-224-5521

Carriage House at DeMenil, 3352 DeMenil Place, St. Louis, MO., www.demenil.org,  314-771-5289

Charles F. Knight Center, Washington University, www.olin.wustl.edu/knightcenter , 314-933-9400

City Museum. 701 N. 15th, St. Louis, Mo., www.citymuseum.org, 314-231-2489 x117

Concordia Turners, 6432 Gravois, St. Louis, MO.,  www.ConcordiaTurners.org, 314-352-9388

Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO., www.camstl.org, 314-535-4660

Corner Gates, 1821 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO., www.thecoernergates.com., 314-520-9714

Dog Museum, 1721 S. Mason Road, St. Louis, MO., 63131, www.museumofthedog.org,

Dwight David Tennis Center in Forest Park, 314-289-5300

Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard, Potosi, MO., www.edg-clif.com,

Edge of Webster, 359 Marshall Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119, www.theedgeofwebster.com, 573-438-4741

Empire Hall. 3407 California Ave., St. Louis, Mo., www.empirehallstl.com, 314-772-0014

Florissant Egan Center, Florissant, Missouri, www.florissantmo.com, 314-921-4466

Foundry Art Center, 520 N. Main Center, St. Charles, MO 63301, www.foundryartcenter.org, 636-255-0270 x120

Haue Valley, Pacific, Mo., http://hauevalleyweddings.com, 314-805-7721

Hawken House, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, Webster Groves, MO 63119, www.hawkenhouse.org, 314-968-1857

Il Monestero, SLU

Kuhs Estate and Farm, 13061 Spanish Lake Pond Road, St. Louis, MO. 63138, www.kuhsfarm.com, 314-226-0709

Lalumondiere, House Springs, Mo., www.thelalumondiere.com, 314-707-2725

LaPerla, 312 N. 8th., St. Louis, Mo.,, http://www.laperlastlouis.com/, 314-488-0607

Lodge at Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63131, www.desperesmo.org, 314-835-6154

Machinists Hall, 12365 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044, www.district9.org, 314-739-6200

Magic House,  516 S. Kirkwood, Kirkwood, Mo., www.magichouse.org, 314-822-8900

Magic Chef Mansion, 3400 Russell,St. Louis, MO, 63104, www.magicchefmansion.com, 314-664-3400

Mahler Ballroom, 4915 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO, www.mahlerballroom.com, 314-361-441

Moto Museum, 3441 Olive, St. Louis, Mo., www.motomuseum.com, 314-446-1805

Muny, The, Forest Park, St. Louis,

Museum of Transportation, 3014 Barrett, St. Louis., www.transportationmuseumassociation.org, 314-289-3508

Neo on Locust, 2801 Locust, St. Louis, Mo., www.neostl.com,  314-570-9218 (Photo above)

New Town in St. Charles, 3312 Rue Royale, St. Charles, Mo., 636-940-0457

Oakland House, www.AfftonOaklandHouse.com (5 to choose from), 314-821-7166

Old Courthouse – Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri www.newtowneventplanning.com, 636-940-0457

Opera House Pacific, Mo., www.operahouseofpacific.com, 636-393-0489

Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis, MO, www.slso.org., 314-286-4460

Rialto Ballroom, 3547 Olive, St. Louis, Mo., www.rialtoballroom.com, 314-968-2568

Refectory Hall (SLU)

Quail Ridge (St. Charles County Parks), Wentzville, MO 63385, http://sccmo.org/parks

Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO. 63108, www.thesheldon.org., 314-533-9900

Silver Oaks Chateau, Eureka, Mo., www.silveroakschateau.com., 314-283-6567

St. Louis City Hall Rotunda, 314-289-5300

St. Louis Gateway Arch 314-923-3047

St. Louis City Hall, 1200 Market, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-289-5300

St. Louis Muny at Forest Park

Stone House of St. Charles. 4401 McClay, St. Charles, Mo., www.shofsc.com, 636-317-1222

Third Degree Glass Factory,5200 Delmar, St. Louis, MO, www.stlglass.com, 314-367-4527

Tuscany Gallery,Wentzville, Mo., www.TuscanyGalleryandEvents.com, 636-345-1945

Washington University Crowder Courtyard

World’s Fair Pavilion, St. Louis, 314-289-5300



Starting Your Search for a Wedding Venue


When you begin planning your wedding, the very first thing that needs to be determined is the venue.   Everything else bounces off that date and the “look” of that reception site.  And it represents generally over 50% of the entire budget.  Here are three basic things that you need to ask before booking your venue.  Reviewing just these three things will keep you on track:

Location – Just like buying a house, location is key.  Is it close to the ceremony site, is it within driving distance, or is it too far to travel?  And check out parking – especially downtown.  Is the venue in a safe and comfortable location?  Is there enough complimentary parking?  Will guests feel uncomfortable having to leave this area late at night?

Size – Can this venue COMFORTABLY accommodate the size of your guest list and wedding party?

What’s included – Here’s the hardest part of comparing one to another – what’s included?  Assume nothing.  Do they have extra hidden charges, like charges for cutting the cake?  Are tips and gratitudes included in the price quoted?   Do they provide audio systems for toasts and speeches?   Is there a charge for break down and cleaning?  Do they include tables/chairs/linens and centerpieces.  When can you get in to beginning decorating – and are there restrictions?

Choosing the right venue can be overwhelming, but start with these three concepts and the job will be easier.


7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Venue

Choosing your wedding venue is a big decision as it impacts your entire wedding – number of guests, theme, menu, and more. Review these factors before signing that contact:


You need to consider your guests and how they will arrive.  If most of your guests are coming from out of town, transportation needs to be readily available.  Your venue also needs to be somewhat close to a choice of hotels.  And most importantly, that venue should be easy to travel to the hotel from the reception without having to leave bread crumbs.   A good option here is to consider a venue that also has cottages and rooms available.  Hotels and destination locations like Pere Marquette, Hermann Hill, and Cedar Creek Resort etc. are all good choices.

If you are choosing a location where the wedding is held outdoors is there an “indoor” Plan B option in case of bad weather?  What does it cost to move to this alternative Plan B.


Weddings where everyone is crammed into too small a room is the last thing you want.  Be sure to create a tentative guest list to estimate how many people you anticipate.  Most times you can expect about 80% of those invited to attend.


Choose a venue that matches the look and feel that you desire – classic ballroom elegance, rustic and outdoorsy, or something you can add your own personal touch.  A naturally beautiful place will save you money on decorations.   I also recommend to find a place that provides a multitude of photo locations.  Sometimes it can be in the general vicinity – like downtown, and other times it can be on the property of the venue itself like at Lake Creek Winery, Crown Valley Winery or other wineries.


This is an extremely important issue.  Do they have experienced professionals on staff to assist with all the details and make sure everything runs as you expected?   If they have an event coordinator, that person will assist with all details of the venue.  (Note:  this is not your “wedding” coordinator – that person is responsible for ALL the details of your wedding, not just the venue.)


Does this venue offer food in-house or can you hire your own catering company?  Do you want the flexibility of bringing in a food truck or choosing your own catering company?  Does this venue only allow you to choose from a selection of Preferred Catering Companies?   If, in-house, do you have a wide choice of food options that will appeal to all your guests – and does it taste good!   And finally, take a look at the price/per person.  Be sure that you include gratitude and tax, which is normally added to the per person expense and that can be as high as 30-35% more. 

Bar Service

Is a basic bar service included?  What does it include?  Is it a generic brand of alcohol or house wine?  Can you upgrade to a premium service and what does it cost?



Watch the extra costs.  Do you need to pay for a dance floor or a cake cutting charge?  Do they provide water service at the tables.   (Many places no longer include this.)   Ask what is included and not.  Ask about rehearsal times and if they are included in the quoted price.   Find out if they provide extras in the price.  Holiday Inn at Six Flags provides a free bride’s room and overnight accommodations, plus much more.