Wine Country Weddings

Wine Country Wedding Resources

The wine country areas of St. Charles, Warren and Franklin Counties are popular wedding destinations with a myriad of venues and local service providers. 

The resource listing below provides a useful index of local service providers by category. To be included in this list, click here. 


Upcoming Local Bridal Shows 
Negative verses Positive Stress Cycles — How to React to Stress in a Healthier Way
Why you Need a Facial and How to Choose the Best Person to do it
Don’t be Fooled by Skin Care Myths & Misconceptions
Conversation about Finances is Important for Newlyweds
Estate Planning 101:  Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements
Tips for Finding a Hairdresser, Manicurists, Makeup Artist and Hair Dresser
Tips for Relieving Wedding Related (or any kind) of Stress
Practical Legal Advice for Weddings
Planning a Wedding in Historic Missouri Wine Country...
Tips on Saving Money on Your Wedding Day
The Tough Conversation All Couples Should Have

Wedding Time Line and Checklist
Hair Tips for Brides and Grooms

Shopping for Your Bridal Gown
How to Select a Wedding Cake
Miscellaneous Wedding Tips/Suggestions



Peoples Savings Bank: Peoples Savings Bank has been making the life journey with couples for over 80 years. Let us help make your dreams become realities. Stop by the New Melle or Winghaven branch today to meet our experienced staff and let us help you start your journey together.  NOW WITH TWO CONVENIENT ST. CHARLES COUNTY LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU!  Located at 30 Muhm Center in New Melle near the Hwy. D and Z intersection, (636-398-5600) and 5000 Winghaven Boulevard, near the Hwy 40 and Hwy DD/Winghaven intersection (636-561-5500),  Your community bank since 1935.  MEMBER FDIC.  Equal Housing Lender.


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Hair Care by Rita:  Every bride deserves an expert, stress free, hair styling experience on her wedding day. We offer a full line of wedding services – hair, nails and tanning – in our salon or “off-site” at your location! Call for more information and package pricing. 636.828.4720.




Boone Monument Village:  Boone Monument Village is a breathtaking 50+ acre historic village that offers the perfect venue for elegant and rustic weddings and celebrations! Our motto is YOUR WEDDING, YOUR WAY, which we deliver, in part, by offering only one special event at a time. BMV offers multiple indoor and outdoor ceremony locations, onsite overnight lodging for 25 guests, and food and beverage packages for every taste and budget. Our new, climate-controlled Red Barn seats up to 200 guests and is ideal for both formal and casual receptions. The surrounding Grand Patio and Rose Garden will immerse you and your guests in a peaceful and picture-perfect country setting. BMV is not just a venue, it is an entire Village, and can be yours for a day, night or even the entire weekend! The pristine setting, unique options and enhancements are sure to produce an unforgettable event for you and your guests. Contact Torrie today to schedule a private tour: 636-236-3929, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

Ebenezer United of Church of Christ: This historic church in the heart of Augusta, Missouri is the perfect setting for your wedding in the wine country. Built in 1861 and lovingly preserved, Ebenezer United Church of Christ features a clock tower with a hand pulled church bell and is bordered by a shaded church yard with flowering trees. The church seats 125, including a balcony perfect for picture taking. The church hall next door, which seats 150, is available for rehearsal dinner and/or reception.  There are numerous Bed & Breakfasts in the area for out of town guests. For more information visit or contact: Rev. Nancy Mack, Pastor, 5536 Walnut, Augusta, MO 63332, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 636-228-4822


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Immaculate Heart of Mary Church:  Premiere reception facility, beautifully decorated, 50-320 guests, dance floor. We will also consider renting our church or chapel to couples who are looking for a “sacred space” to hold a faith-filled Christian wedding. For more information, call 636-398-5270 or visit



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Lake Creek Winery: An 1860 circa farm house rehabbed with a beautiful covered deck, patio seating areas, pergolas and pavilions all with spectacular views of the vineyards, the river valley, the Katy Trail and the rolling hills of Warren County Missouri. Lake Creek offers a warm, friendly, full service winery experience. When you come to Lake Creek Winery you will find a serene country experience with unsurpassed views of the countryside, excellent entertainment, great German style food, an excellent selection of wines and beers. No matter the size of the group or event, Lake Creek Winery has a space to fit your needs.  From business meetings to weddings, we have the food, wine, service team and ambiance to make your day a success!, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 636.242.2036.

Montelle image for wedding guide Daued7vs.jpegMontelle Winery:  Family owned and operated, Montelle Winery is located in the heart of Augusta wine country on scenic Hwy 94. Breathtaking views, award-winning wines, and beautiful indoor and outdoor accommodations are perfect for memorable events such as weddings, family reunions, anniversaries, and birthday parties. Montelle offers a unique winery setting with full service catering, full bar service, and a list of preferred vendors to assist with all your event planning needs. From a rehearsal dinner for 20 to a corporate outing of 200, there is a perfect package available and customizable to each and every event. Celebrate milestones and memorable life events surrounded by the ambiance of wine country at Montelle Winery.  888-595-WINE (9463) or 636-228-4464.

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New Melle Sports and Recreation: New Melle Sports and Recreation Banquet Hall, at 4700 Hwy. Z in the heart of New Melle, offers affordable rates, convenient location, capacity for 350 guests with round or rectangular tables, a 10’ x 15’ stage, a warming kitchen, and recently updated interior. Bring your own caterer and beverages. Reserve online at 636-828-5158, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Noboleis Vineyards:  A truly authentic vineyard wedding awaits at Noboleis Vineyards. Weddings at Noboleis offer views of the surrounding vineyards and Augusta wine country for the ceremony and/or reception including 200+ guests. Catering and tiered bar options available upon request.  636-482-4500

Oaks Crossing
:  Located in the Heart of Wine Country in historic Augusta, Missouri, Oaks Crossing is an exquisite setting for an intimate indoor or outdoor wedding, reception, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner. The venue features five beautiful fountains, courtyards, and arbors, all of which offer enchanting photo backdrops unmatched anywhere else in wine country. Couple these outstanding features with the creativity and personal attention of owners Marj and Randal Oaks, and you’ll soon understand why “Oaks Crossing is more than just a place…it’s an experience.” www.oakscrossing-augusta.com314-308-59045520 Walnut Street, Augusta, MO 63332.

Sugar Creek Winery and Vineyards: The spacious hilltop acres of Sugar Creek Winery and Vineyards offer an experience like no other.  From romantic engagement photos in our vineyard or wine cellar to your joyous bridal shower, your festive bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner, Sugar Creek Winery can accommodate them all.  Our special Bride’s Room is the perfect space for your wedding party to gather.  Our new Hilltop Pavilion, designed for weddings, seats up to 250 guests. Our personable in-house wedding coordinator will help with all of the details, tailoring your unique wedding and reception.  Your customized wedding ceremony overlooking the breathtaking Missouri River valley will provide an experience that you and each guest will remember forever. Contact Lisa Lorch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 125 Boone Country Lane, Defiance, MO 63341, 636-987-2400

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Sunflower Hill Farm: Sunflower Hill Farm, 245 Terry Road, Augusta, Missouri, is the perfect location to host your special day. Situated on 24 picturesque acres, our property offers stunning features that will assure your wedding day is breathtakingly beautiful and unforgettable! Our venue features a newly constructed barn with rustic elegant details, indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces and seating options and a full catering kitchen. Our farmhouse has a luxurious bridal suite, a groom’s saloon, wine cellar, large wrap around porch, and patio area, perfect for cocktail hour. The outdoor quarry known as “Party Cove” with three large bonfire pits is the perfect area to end the evening with our S’mores package. Visit  or call (314) 461-5131.


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St. Charles County Parks: Find the perfect place to say “I Do!” To learn more about our beautiful, economical venues surrounded by scenic landscapes that are perfect for do-it-yourself couples looking for a unique place for their special day, visit or call 636-949-7535.

•     Quail Ridge Lodge: Voted “Best Wedding Destination” by area brides, this spacious rustic cedar lodge banquet facility with gazebo at Quail Ridge Park has become a popular destination for couples to tie the knot.

•    Klondike Meeting Facility: Nestled in scenic Historic Missouri Wine Country, this contemporary facility provides the perfect setting for your next formal or informal event, corporate retreat, presentation, meeting or family gathering.

•     Broemmelsiek Meeting Facility:  If you’re looking for a unique venue to host your next special event, family affair, or staff meeting, then the large meeting room located inside the Broemmelsiek Visitors Center is a must see!

•     Old Peace Chapel at The Daniel Boone Home: You’ll have the storybook wedding of your dreams when you say ‘I Do’ in this charming church built in the 1800s and nestled among a quaint village in our historic park.

•     Grand Pavilion at The Daniel Boone Home: Nestled in Historic Missouri Wine Country, The Grand Pavilion is an elegant outdoor venue made of stone that features a large wood-burning fireplace, wood beam ceiling, and magnificent views of the historic village.

•    And more!

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Upcoming Local Bridal Shows

2020 Bridal Shows
By Dianne Sudbrock

January kicks off Bridal Show season. Bridal shows offer a great opportunity to see new trends, shop and compare vendors, and take advantage of special deals and offers. If there is a wedding in your future, you might want to take in some of these shows. Of particular interest for those seeking local resources will be the Washington Bridal Extravaganza in Washington, Missouri; My Dream Bridal Show in O’Fallon, Missouri; and the “Wine Country Weddings” tab at Happy planning!

•    The St. Louis Bridal Show, Holiday Inn South County, 6921 S. Lindbergh, St. Louis, MO 63125. January 5th, 2020. Noon to 3:30pm.

•    My Dream Wedding Bridal Show: January 26, 2020, The Christy Banquet Center, 9000 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., O’Fallon, MO. Noon to 3:30 p.m.

•    Washington Bridal Extravaganza: January 19, 2020, Washington Knights of Columbus, 1121 Columbus Dr., Washington, MO. 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pre-register, check out the list of vendors, and get other information at

•    Wedding Inspirations Bridal Show: Feb. 23, 2020, Foundry Art Centre, 500 N. Main, St. Charles. Noon to 3:30 p.m. Visit

Negative  verses  Positive Stress Cycles — How to React to Stress in a Healthier Way

Submitted by Zoe Florence, Halcyon Massage Therapist

Stress is inevitable. It serves a purpose in nature to keep us safe from harm. In a more modern aspect, stress can help us to recognize and navigate through our sense of what is right and wrong for our lives.  Money, relationships, traffic, disappointments and inconveniences are, without question, going to come along and cause stress.

How we deal with these tribulations makes a huge difference in how happy we are in general and can make an impact on our health.  There is a theory taught at the University of Texas at Austin that explains “negative and positive stress cycles” that can help explain the two main patterns of how people handle stress.
Negative Stress Cycle
1. Stress - can be simple or life changing.
2. Reaction through Automatic Thoughts - the attitude, beliefs and assumptions that come from a stressed mind: Worries and fears are considered automatic because, instead of being a reflection of what is happening here and now, they are a habit of seeing things from the perspective of previous circumstances or imagined possibilities and do not serve the current circumstance.
3. Looking at the stress from a negative perspective puts one in a state of Negative Moods and Emotion. Feelings of being the victim, hopelessness and depression can take over the mind and its easy to get stuck in a rut and let the bad attitude take over your whole personality.
4. Because our mood effects our choices and the way we conduct ourselves, self criticism and negativity often lead to Maladaptive Behavior, which is basically when you let your bad attitude go beyond your thoughts and perspective and start showing that bad attitude in your decisions and sharing it with the people around you. This can be:  taking frustration out on others, pointing blame, neglecting responsibility, having difficulty being approachable with  communication. Unhealthy stress behavior also includes looking for relief in vices. Alcohol, cigarettes, overeating and other unhealthy habits are more likely to surface when someone is stuck in a negative stress cycle.
5. Because negative moods effect our bodies, a person on this negative spiral is likely to experience physical stress symptoms like muscle tension, headaches and lower immune function. These are caused not only by the natural chemicals released to fight stress by the body but also made worse by the bad habits picked up in the maladaptive state.

Each stage of the negative stress cycle inspires and fuels the next. To get out of that mess, one needs to make conscious changes to their lifestyle and learn to handle stress in a way that does not allow them to be wrecked by the inevitable stressors in life. Its all about the reaction.

Positive Stress Cycle
1. Stress - The cycle begins the same way, the stress can be simple or life changing.
2. Relaxation Self Talk - Choose to stay of sound mind and look at the stress as a normal part of life, something that can be overcome. Look at the stress realistically and do not add to its effect by overestimating its impact. Say something positive to yourself and stay in control.
3. Choose beneficial thoughts and maintain a positive attitude.  Remind yourself that “I’ve been through similar and worse before and I will get through this somehow.”  Do not create a bigger problem or let yourself believe that there is no way out of the situation.
4. By staying on top of your thoughts and having a positive outlook, you will be able to stay in an improved mood. Every positive, productive, helpful thought will improve your mood a little more.
5. Being a more relaxed person will decrease stress symptoms. The pain and headaches are likely to decrease or go away entirely and you will lower your risk for stress related disease.
6. The positive attitude will lead to positive behavior. You will have more energy and patience to interact with others. You will be more able to express your feelings from a calm and present perspective. You will be able to make decisions based on your core goals and vision and maintain a more authentic version of yourself. These things will all lead to better relationships and a happier you who is more able to handle stressors in the future.

 If you find yourself handling stress based on the negative cycle, it is never too late to change. Start relaxing now. Consider meditation or yoga, schedule a massage or take up exercise to kick-start your new stress fighting attitude. Next time you are faced with a stressful situation, remember that you have a choice to let it drag you down or to handle it in a wiser, healthier way.

Why you Need a Facial and How to Choose the Best Person to do it

By Carla Skouby, Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique

Some people think if they don’t suffer from acne or other skin conditions, they don’t need to see an esthetician, but any person with SKIN should take time for a monthly skin treatment. At the very least, a treatment every season is recommended to keep the skin balanced. (And if you’re planning a special event, such as a wedding, an esthetician can help your skin look its best for the big day.)

Do you realize how much your skin changes and reacts to stress, hormones, the weather and your daily environment? Your skin also changes over time depending on age.

The best way to know your skin is to examine it, cleanse it, treat it, and then assess it. Getting a periodic facial and evaluation by a trained esthetician can help you identify skin conditions, address changes in the skin, and educate you on how to treat them.

Facial treatments are often used to cleanse and exfoliate, strip away dead skin cells, and give the skin a firmer, tighter look. A facial alone is not a magic cure but can be an important part of an on-going treatment regimen that helps your skin stay healthy and looking its best. Facials can also be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, good for both your skin and your spirit.
Included with your facial should be an overview of what you’re doing and what type of products you are using. We all have that “product graveyard” in the back of our bathroom cabinets – a stock pile of products that over-promised and under-delivered. A good esthetician will let you know what products to avoid and will provide personalized skin recommendations and a treatment regimen that will address your individual concerns.  Once you’re on a great regimen, an esthetician will continue to alter treatments and products by season.

How to Choose an Esthetician:  Start with a conversation and consultation that includes your concerns, a skin evaluation, various treatment costs and options, and your budget. Shop around a little and choose an esthetician with whom you feel comfortable. You should be allowed to start slowly if that’s your preference, and not be pressured to purchase package deals or services you don’t feel you need or want. Also, don’t be afraid to ask about experience, referrals or any other concerns you have.

All estheticians must undergo specific training and are licensed by the state, but facials aren’t medical treatments and aren’t typically regulated by the FDA, so it’s up to you to make the decision that’s right for you.

Don’t be Fooled by Skin Care Myths & Misconceptions

By Carla Skouby ~ Catala Facial Retreat

The average person slathers, lathers, rubs and sprays many different skin care products on his or her body every day. There are organic skin care, cosmeceutical skin care and physician grade skin care products. The question: “Why are there are so many brands and products & what makes them different?”

Don’t be fooled by cosmetic advertising. Creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and the cosmetics counter make promises they cannot deliver. If there was one product that was truly the fountain of youth, why would there be so many other products on the market?  Once skin damage has occurred, there is no topical cream to reverse what’s been done. Using skin care with true form active ingredients will help prevent further aging and slow the aging process.

The answer to why there are so many skincare and make up lines is, “If a person has extra money laying around and wants to double their investment, start a skin care line!”

We have all fallen into the “It’s amazing”, “You will love it”, “You have got to have it” sales line, along with advertisements with the beautiful young model. Unfortunately the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) does not control companies from over promising and under delivering.

We all have the cabinet with what I like to call “the product grave yard.” Below are some fun facts that can assist when purchasing products or seeking help from a professional.

1. Vitamin-C can only work with the active ingredient L-ascorbic acid. It is most effective when used in the PM, packed in air tight pump, and as a serum. NO C-Ester.  C-Ester is a derivative of L-Ascorbic and fizzles out before it reaches the dermal layer.  Therefore a vitamin C derivative in a product does not mean it is effective—unless it is L-ascorbic acid. This highlights and magnifies just one of the problems of vitamin C products on the market today.

2. No matter how much water you drink, it will never make your skin hydrated. The skin needs to be exfoliated first, and then apply a moisturizer in order to hydrate.

3. Steaming the skin does not open pores. Steam is used in skin treatments to soften skin for better exfoliation and to make it easier to extract congestion (pimples). 

4. In order for a sunscreen to protect skin it must have a 5% or greater zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide. The SPF number does not represent the strength, only the amount of time between applications.  

5. Benzoyl peroxide is NOT the best active ingredient to cure or assist with acne. Salicylic acid works better because it kills bacteria without drying or peeling the skin.

6. TRUTH – 85% of aging comes from sun damage!

7. Does your moisturizer feel like it sits on the surface of the skin? In order for the skin to absorb a moisturizer, dead skin cells on the surface need to be removed first.

8. Everyone needs to wear sunscreen 365 days a year, even on cloudy days and even if you don’t go outside.

9. It’s all about genetics. If you have a skin issue you don’t like, or is difficult to correct, blame your parents!

10. Bar soap is not healthy for the skin…WHAT?? That’s correct, bar soaps strip the skin’s natural acid mantel and invite bacteria to the skin that can cause Eczema and Rosacea. 

The bottom line is, consult a professional who will focus on your skin and make up needs. The words  “It’s amazing!”, “You will love it!”, or “You have got to have it!” should never be spoken, because all skin is different and is exposed to different environments. 

Carla Skouby is a licensed Esthetician, Make-up Artist, and Owner of Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique in New Melle. She has 18 years experience working with several skin and make-up brands. Carla is passionate about working with all skin types and true form active ingredients. For the past 3 years she has worked with Dr. Lawrence Samuels, Chief of Dermatology at St. Luke’s Hospital. She continues to learn, teach and help provide real results with realistic expectations.

Catala Facial Retreat and Boutique, located at 30 W. Hwy. D, Suite 105, in the New Melle Town Square, is a full service spa offering facials, waxing, peels and more. For more information call 636-398-2101.

Conversation about Finances is Important for Newlyweds

Submitted by Ben Waggoner, CFP®, Edward Jones, New Melle

If you’re getting married, you no doubt have many exciting details to discuss with your spouse-to-be. But after you get back from the honeymoon, you’ll want to have another discussion — about your finances. It might not sound glamorous, but couples who quickly “get on the same page” regarding their financial situation are actually taking a step that can help them immensely as they build their lives together.

As you start talking about your finances, be sure to cover these areas:

•    Separate or joint checking/savings accounts — Some couples create joint checking and savings accounts, others keep everything separate and still others find a middle ground — joint accounts along with smaller, separate accounts. There’s really no one “right” way for everyone, but whichever method you choose, make sure you’re both aware of where your money is, how it can be accessed, and by whom.

•    Debts — Both you and your spouse may be bringing in debts, such as student loans or credit cards, to the marriage. You don’t necessarily have to do everything possible to get rid of these debts immediately, but you should set up reasonable payment plans that will allow you to lower your overall debt load so you can free up money to invest for the future.

•    Spending and saving — Newlyweds are often surprised to discover how different they are from each other in the area of spending versus saving. You don’t have to try to radically change each other, but you both need to be aware that your spending and saving decisions now have greater consequences than when you were both single. To illustrate: If one of you is more of a spender and is used to running up big credit card bills, these actions can clearly affect both of you. To avoid problems of this type, you will need to communicate clearly with each other.

•    Goals — It’s important for married couples to clearly establish their financial goals. Do you want to purchase a house? If so, when? If you’re going to have children, will you want to help them pay for college? When do each of you want to retire? And what sort of retirement lifestyle do you have in mind? By answering these and other key questions, you’ll be formulating a set of goals. And from there, you can devise a strategy for attaining these goals.

•    Investment styles — Both you and your spouse will unquestionably need to invest if you are going to achieve your goals, such as a comfortable retirement. However, each of you may have a different investment style — for example, one of you might be an aggressive investor, willing to take more risk for the possibility of greater returns, while the other is more conservative, ready to accept lower returns in exchange for greater preservation of principal. To pursue your strategy for reaching your objectives, each of you may have to compromise somewhat on your “investment personality.” To achieve this balance, you may need to consult with a financial advisor.

Finances are an important part of any marriage. By communicating regularly and working together, you and your spouse can build a solid financial foundation for your lives together. 

* Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. 

Estate Planning 101:  Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements 

 By Charles J. Moore, Legacy Law Center

Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements two kinds of contract that can be entered into either before or after a marriage which set forth the rights of each party in the event of a divorce or death of the other party. 

These contractual agreements fall into two basic categories and are characterized by the time period during which they were executed. When the contract is entered into by prospective spouses, it is termed an antenuptial or premarital or prenuptial (pre-marriage) agreement. When the contract is entered into after the marriage takes place, it is termed a postnuptial agreement. 

Practically speaking, there are very few differences between the two types of agreements.  Although this article uses the term prenuptial agreement or "prenup," most of the discussion applies to postnuptial agreements as well. 

Prenups tend to be most popular among three groups:

  • People who have children from a previous marriage and want to protect the children's interests.
  • People who have been through a difficult or prolonged divorce in the past, and want to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
  • People who are entering into a first marriage with significant assets, or with an expectation of a large inheritance.

A common arrangement is for each spouse to keep the property they bring to the marriage, and to split any property they acquire after the marriage. However, some couples plan to maintain completely separate assets even after they are married. Still other couples set things up so that how their assets are split will depend on how long the marriage lasts. 

From an estate planning standpoint, a prenup can have each spouse elect out of their right to inherit from each other.   Without a prenuptial agreement, it is improper to otherwise cut out your spouse out of their estate and a surviving spouse who has been cut out (without a prenuptial agreement) may elect to take against the estate.  

In Missouri, a prenuptial agreement will be enforced if the parties enter into it freely, fairly, knowingly, with full disclosure, and the agreement is not unconscionable. 

Prenuptial agreements must be drafted very carefully to ensure they are upheld in court.  

Whether a prenuptial agreement is upheld in court depends on a few factors.  

First, each spouse should be represented by a different lawyer, so it's clear that each one signed the agreement voluntarily and understood fully the agreement meant. 

Second, the agreement should be signed well before the wedding. If the agreement is signed just prior to the big day (or, as has happened, the day of the wedding), a spouse might later claim that he or she was pressured into it at the last minute.  Prenuptial agreements have been not been upheld under these circumstances.  

Third, it is critical that both parties fully and completely disclose all of his or her assets. Part of the agreement is, in fact, a full disclosure of everything each spouse owns at the time of the agreement.  If the agreement is ever challenged at a later date, one of the factors the court considers is whether the parties disclosed fully and completely all of their financial assets and liabilities. 

Finally, the agreement should be fair and not one-sided.  Obviously, this is a subjective factor, but, when weighed with all of the other factors, can be fairly easily determined by a court.  

A party contemplating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should contact an attorney who has experience in drafting these types of agreements. These type of matters usually come into my office because of the estate planning aspects.  Some but not all divorce attorneys also draft these documents and can advise clients. 

Charles J. Moore is an estate planning and elder law attorney and the founder of the Legacy Law Center located at 2315 Technology Drive, Suite 119 in the Winghaven neighborhood of O’Fallon (across from Bristol’s Restaurant).  He can be reached at (636) 887-5297.

Contact him today for a free Estate Planning 101 Guide.

Visit his website at

Tips for Finding a Hairdresser, Manicurist, Makeup Artist, and Tanning Service 

By Rita Klos, Hair Care by Rita

Naturally, you want to look your best on your wedding day and have as little stress as possible, so it’s important you choose a hair stylist and other service providers who are experienced, accommodating, and reliable to help you get the results you want and also enjoy the last minute preparations for your big day.

Before you choose a salon, stylist, makeup artist, or tanning service, here are some questions to ask and suggestions to consider.

Accommodations: Do you want your hair and your wedding party’s hair done in your home, hotel, or at a salon?  In addition to yourself and the wedding party, do you need to make an appointment for out of town guests, friends, aunts, mothers or grandmothers? Is the stylist willing and do you need him/her to go to the event with you for any last minute touch ups or to add the veil or hair ornaments after everyone is dressed? Does the same salon offer nail services, make up, and tans?

Timing: This has everything to do with getting you and the party to the church on time! Are there multiple hair stylists working on each person or one stylist working? How much time does it take with each person?  What time do you need to start?  Make your appointments well in advance of your wedding day to make sure the date is open and sufficient time is available.

Finding your hair style: When deciding how you’d like to wear your hair on your wedding day, check out websites like Pinterest, or try magazines and books at a salon. The type of veil and/or hair pieces need to be considered as well. The more you know about how you want your hair done the easier your big day and pre-do day will go. Find multiple styles that you like — they can possibly be combined to make the perfect style you are looking for! 

Pre-Do’s: If at all possible, schedule a pre-do several weeks in advance, or at the very least, a consultation. Pre-do’s make the wedding day a much less stressful and more enjoyable experience. At the pre-do give yourself and the bridal party time to try different styles to find what you all like best. Tell the stylist in advance that you want try several different styles, so he/she allows time for this practice. If you have your veil and a couple of options for hair ornaments: pearls, baby’s breath, rhinestones, flowers, etc. take them with you to the appointment. This appointment can help you decide on options, and will also serve as a dry run to determine the time needed on the wedding day.  Take pictures showing the front, side, and back. This will help with getting any second opinions, and also helps the hairdresser remember exactly what everyone wants!

Nails: Make your appointment for a manicure and pedicure one to two days before your wedding. This helps to ensure you are not sitting and waiting a long time and relieves a lot of last minute tension for everyone. Decide if you want color or a French manicure, and check with your wedding party and other family members to see if you need to make an appointment for them.

 Makeup: A lot of hair stylists are also experienced with makeup. Ask about doing a practice makeup application at your pre-do appointment. An experienced professional can help conceal blemishes and laugh lines, and make sure your makeup (or that of the bridesmaids, mothers, etc.) is not over- or underdone. No matter who does your make up, it can be helpful to get a consultation and practice application ahead of time. 

Tans: If you go to a tanning salon to use a tanning bed, that will require multiple visits and you need to be careful that you do not burn yourself.  Spray tanning is less time consuming and should give you an instant, beautiful bronze color. Beware: If you choose to use a self-tanning booth, be sure to follow directions carefully or you can get too much color on knuckles, feet and ankles. A spray tan by a professional technician gives better control of color and tone, and should provide an instant, even tan that lasts 5-7 days. A professional technician should offer a selection of colors for different types of skin tones and guarantee not to turn you orange! Schedule your appointment at least 24 hours before the wedding (1-3 days ahead is ideal.) For best results it may also be best to do a practice run, or at least get a spot color test if you have a concern.

1.    When looking for any of the above services, ask about pricing, package deals, and special event discounts.
2.    Make appointments for tanning, hair, nails and makeup well in advance of the wedding date and schedule pre-dos a few weeks prior to the wedding.
3.    Bring your veil if possible, and any hair ornaments and ideas about desired hair styles to the pre-do appointment.
4.    Pre-dos and practice applications, or at least a consultation, will save time and stress on the wedding day.
5.    On your wedding day, wear a tank top or a button down shirt to keep from messing up your hair and makeup while getting dressed.
6.    Sit back, relax and enjoy! It’s your day to be pampered!

Rita Klos owns Hair Care by Rita in New Melle, MO. She is an experienced stylist available for in-shop or on-site wedding services, including hair, nails, makeup and spray tanning. 636.828.4720 or

Tips for Relieving Wedding-Related (or any kind of) Stress

 Kathy Kessler, PT, LMT, RYT

Getting excited about the big day? Butterflies buzzing in you tummy? Maybe even a bit overwhelmed about planning for one of the most amazing days in your life? Booking just a basic massage or planning a spa party with friends and family can help balance the nerves prior to a wedding.

Even though it is a joyful time, it can still be stressful. Stress comes when we are out of our normal routine, and have a busier calendar than normal, throwing off our eating and sleeping schedules. These demands also make our sympathetic nervous system work harder in order to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, elevating our heart rate and blood pressure, causing us to crave stimulants or even break out. To counter act the physiological side effects, tools such as regular exercise, deep breathing, meditation and massage can be effective. These tools help us turn off the sympathetic nervous system and turn on the parasympathetic which helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate, turn off the release of stress hormones in order for the body to recharge, and reduce muscle tension. In addition, many of them improve circulation and lymphatic flow and bring a sense of calm. We recommend regular massage when managing a stressful time in life. Regular massage schedules can vary for everyone based on time and resources. Once a month is a typical schedule for our regulars.

We also recommend regular facials when getting ready for the big day. Regular facials can reduce redness and acne, even the skin tone, and target problem areas for the individual. Once a week is best, but monthly with good products to use at home can also be effective. Masques provide a treatment for the face targeting problems such as rosacea, acne, pigmentation, and wrinkles; peels assist in removing dead skin cells and stimulating the collagen repair to make skin more youthful. A professional esthetician can assist you with the ideal skin care plan based on your goals.

Spa parties can also be a great way to pamper yourself in a social group setting as you, your friends, and loved ones prepare for the big day. Pick a date, and book your services to socialize in a relaxing environment of the spa where everyone can be nurtured and relaxed together.

Kathy Kessler PT, LMT, RYT-200, is the founder and owner of Halcyon Spa in Augusta, Missouri. Kathy has a passion for working with her clients to bring health and vitality to the body. She and her experienced staff offer a variety of services focused on health and wellness, natural beauty, relaxation, hair care, and yoga. For more information call 636.228.4110 or visit

Practical Legal Advice for Weddings

By Charles J. Moore, Attorney at Law

Weddings are a joyous time for couples and families.  Planning weddings can be a different story.  This article will offer some practical legal advice and tips for any couples planning their special day.

First, make sure you have a contract in writing from anyone you are hiring for the wedding, including photographers, florists, caterers and banquet centers. 

Second, you want to make sure all of the promises that are being made to you are included in the contract. If a vendor is unwilling to put their promises in writing, you should find someone else. 

Make sure what you are to receive is provided for in the contract along with the dates and times involved.  The cost of the services / goods should also be included in the contract along with when payments and balances are due. 

Third, on the subject of payments, I would generally avoid paying the entire balance of what you owe prior to the wedding date, or when it is otherwise due.  There are a couple of practical reasons for this.  First, if for example you have ordered white flowers from your florist and she shows up with yellow flowers at the wedding, you have recourse not to pay her if she can’t fix the problem prior to the wedding.  Second, vendors and human beings in general tend to be more motivated and do a better job when they are awaiting payment for a service rather than delivering a service in which they have already been paid.

Half payment upon signing the contract, half payment upon delivery is common as are payment schedules which mean you pay a percentage of the balance as the service moves along.

Obviously, the higher the cost of the wedding, the more consideration you should give to the terms of your contracts.  If you do have an issue with one of your vendors before or after the wedding, try to get it resolved without resort to a lawsuit.  In general, lawsuits are expensive, stressful and waste time and energy.  If you can work it out, you should work it out.  Most wedding vendors are in the business they are in because they enjoy the work and they enjoy making the dreams of their clients come true. They will usually work to resolve problems that can arise.

Charles J. Moore is the founder and owner of the Legacy Law Center (formerly The Moore Law Firm LLC), located at 2315 Technology Drive, Suite 119 in the Winghaven neighborhood of O’Fallon (across from Bristol’s Restaurant).  He can be reached at (636) 887-5297).  Visit his website at information expressed herein should not be construed by the reader to be legal advice, nor relied upon as legal advice, as it is solely for informational purposes. 

Planning a Wedding in Historic Missouri Wine Country...

By Dale Rollings, Yellow Farmhouse Winery

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes.  An increasing trend is a “Winery Wedding” mainly because it usually involves a rural, often scenic and tranquil, place in the country, a pleasant place for photographs, and an opportunity to take advantage of the outdoors in warm weather. There is also a growing interest in local wines and a setting in or near a vineyard offers a pleasant alternative to traditional indoor venues.

Historic Missouri Wine Country, the valley of the Missouri River, offers several pastoral spots for weddings and receptions ranging from large accommodations to small, quaint venues.  Many have historic significance or beautiful  panoramic views of the Valley.  All are situated and designed to create lasting memories of a milestone day in the lives of the participants. Photo ops abound, and wedding photographers find a wealth of scenes and backdrops into which they can weave visual records of your special day.

In the stretch of Missouri Highway 94 from Defiance to the St. Charles County line over fifteen wedding venues take advantage of the naturally rolling countryside and the green tree-covered vistas that line the hills. Locations ranging from hilltop altars and arbors to majestic pavilions and indoor chapels are to be found nestled along the route.

Often overlooked in wedding planning are accommodations for out-of-town guests.  Early consideration of places to stay for those traveling a significant distance guarantees availability and choices.  Historic Missouri Wine Country offers a full range of accommodations from hotels and motels to bed and breakfasts.  Many offer meals and special accommodations for brides and bridal parties for dressing purposes.

But a word of caution is in order: book early. The winery wedding venues fill up particularly for spring, early summer and fall dates. Wineries are besieged with requests for June, September and October weddings, and space is a premium. Week-end dates are, as you might expect, the preferred dates, but most wineries offer weekday options.

When booking a winery wedding expect to pay a deposit for the date to be reserved.  Most wineries will not “hold” a date without a deposit.  Find out if the deposit is refundable, and if so up to what time?

Many wineries have a payment program that allows payments to be made between the first deposit and the wedding date. Most expect to be paid in full on or before the wedding.

The cost of a winery wedding is a direct product of the cost of the venue and the number of persons attending. If a reception is contemplated cost bears a direct relationship to the number of guests and the extent of the food and drink options you want to offer. A full meal usually costs more than hors d’oeuvres.  Are you going to offer an open bar?  If so, how long, and what drink options do you want?

When well planned, a wedding at a winery can be one of the most beautiful and memorable events of a lifetime.

Tips on Saving Money on Your Wedding Day

By Rube Wotawa - Wedding Consultant

One of the biggest expenses for a wedding is the reception which consists of the venue/facility rental, menu and bar costs. In these economic times, people understand that you may need to minimize your guest list. To help with that process, divide your guest list into two categories:  Definite and Maybe. Then work up, moving people from the maybe list to the definite list as your budget and/or venue capacity will allow.

Another option for saving money is to make your own invitations. Put your own skills to work and/or enlist the help of friends. Take the invitation to a local printing company or utilize your own computer. Being creative and using special supplies will put your own personalized touch on each invitation. Your guests will take notice of your uniqueness and creativity.

Hiring a wedding consultant can also be advantageous. An experienced and well-qualified consultant will have a network of various dependable vendors, including local providers who may offer discounts for services in their immediate area. Their organizational skills and personal experience will also help the planning process and wedding day run smoothly and be less stressful, which can be invaluable, not only for the bride, but also for the parents, grandparents, and the entire wedding party.

Most importantly, relax, take a deep breath, then cherish and enjoy every moment of this very important day in your life because it will go by so fast!

Rube Wotawa is a local wedding consultant and can be reached at 636.346.9924. 

The Tough Conversation All Couples Should Have

By Kathy Kilo-Peterson, State Farm Insurance

If asked, most couples would say it’s important to protect the financial future of their families in the event of a spouse’s unexpected death.

Yet 74 percent of couples rarely or never discuss the topic of life insurance as part of their financial planning strategy, according to a 2010 State Farm® Life Insurance Study. A 2011 study from finance research firm LIMRA revealed that 41 percent of U.S. adults don’t even have life insurance.

That doesn’t mean it’s not on their minds. Sixty-two percent of respondents said uncertainty in the economy makes having life insurance even more important than it had previously been. Bringing up the subject can be difficult. It may be that discussing the unexpected death of a spouse is awkward. Or that one spouse already feels the pressure of being the primary wage earner. Or that a spouse who has recently lost a job will react negatively to the topic.

But whatever the obstacles, talking about life insurance is critical to both partners — even if one earns substantially more than the other, or one doesn’t earn an income. To start the discussion, try these tips:
•    Talk before you’re in a financial crisis. Pick a time when you’re not stressed, and treat the topic as you would any other aspect of your financial planning.
•    Make a plan that incorporates life insurance as a primary component of your overall financial strategy. Having a plan in place can be reassuring if your circumstances change.
•    Set a monthly budget and learn what options you can afford. Schedule follow-up evaluations and adjust your coverage as your needs, family situation and income change.
•    Consult an insurance expert who can provide an outside perspective and make the discussion less stressful.
•    Focus your discussion on the love you have for your family and your desire to protect it from financial burdens, rather than on the possible death of a spouse.

Contact Kathy Kilo Peterson, Agent  at 636-561-6460 or 636-734-5557 cell or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wedding Time Line and Checklist

 By Carol Quinn, Crossroads Party Rental, Wedding Planner

 18-12 Months:

Announce your engagement and send announcement to local newspaper
Plan an engagement party
Choose a wedding date
Decide on the type of wedding you will have
Hire a wedding consultant
Research costs, features and availability of several desired wedding ceremony and reception locations and book your date
Set a budget and decide how the wedding will be financed
Choose your wedding Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
Begin shopping for your wedding gown

6-10 Months:

Choose who will perform your wedding ceremony and confirm them
Select a caterer (have food tasting)
Hire a Band or DJ
Hire your photographer/videographer
Finalize guest list and addresses
Choose the color scheme for the wedding/reception
Decide on Bridesmaids dresses
Buy wedding dress and shoes
Begin looking at invitations
Pick out tuxedos for groom and groomsmen/ushers/fathers
Select and book wedding cake
Decide on a Honeymoon location
Apply for Passport
Sign up for Gift Registry
Hire soloist for ceremony and choose music for ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner
Choose and book location of rehearsal dinner
Arrange accommodations for out of town guests
Get directions ready for invitations

4-6 Months:

Make appointment for bridal portrait
Plan and buy favors to give to guests
Decide on centerpieces for guest tables at reception (if you are making them plan ahead)
Order bridesmaids dresses
Hire limo driver or arrange other transportation for wedding party
Buy the rest of your wedding attire, gloves, jewelry, etc..
Select and order wedding bands
Order flowers for wedding and reception
Schedule wedding gown fittings

2-4 Months:

Arrange for rental items
Finalize costs and menu with caterer
Finalize invitation list
Order and send invitations
Choose your wedding songs and go over with soloist
Confirm with DJ’s and other vendors
Shop for Bridal Party Gifts
Determine your seating arrangements
Finalize vows and learn them
Make sure mother’s dresses are ordered and fitted
Make hair, makeup and nail appointments

 1 Month:

 Get Marriage License
Go through a trial with your hair and makeup
Get your formal bridal portrait
Confirm honeymoon reservations
Record gifts as you receive them
Open joint saving and checking accounts
Make a list all places bride needs to change her name

 2 Weeks:

Call guests who have not responded
Final meeting with florist
Final meeting with photographer/videographer
Confirm limo arrangement
Finalize rehearsal dinner arrangements
Give caterer final guest count
Confirm rental deliveries
Move belongings to new home

1 Week:

Pack for Honeymoon
Give best man all payments
Pick up wedding gown

One or Two Days Before Wedding:

Pick up Tuxedoes
Take favors, centerpieces, cake knife and server, toasting glasses, CD’s  and all other reception items to hall
Rehearsal and Rehearsal dinner
Rings to best man and maid of honor

Day of Wedding:

Bride’s hair appointment
Relax and enjoy your day! 

Hair Tips for Brides and Grooms

From Adair’s Hair and Nails

Brides: When thinking of what to do with your hair on your wedding day, start planning early and get at least one trial style done before the big day. Also, don’t choose a style that is so different from what you normally wear that you don’t look like yourself. For highlights and color, don’t wait until the last minute. Discuss options and timing with your stylist well in advance of the wedding. On the day of your wedding, allow 1 to 1.5 hours per person to get hair done. Allow additional time for manicures and pedicures, or schedule those the day before. To save time when scheduling for yourself and a group of attendants, ask about making appointments with different stylists in the same shop. Remember to wear a shirt or blouse that buttons up the front so you don’t have to pull it over your head. Most of all, go to bed early and get a good night’s rest before the wedding. Then relax and enjoy the day!

Grooms: Don’t wait until the last minute. Get a hair cut with your regular stylist and trim your beard 1 to 3 weeks in advance if you don’t want that “fresh cut” look. Then do any touch up grooming of neck, ears and eyebrows before the wedding. And make sure your nails are clean and trimmed.

Shopping for Your Bridal Gown

From Wedding Creations, Washington, MO

To have the best bridal gown shopping experience, consider these tips:

•   Start by looking online and in bridal magazines and bring in pictures of what you like. This will help store staff locate gowns you might like.

•   Be selective in choosing your entourage. A large crowd (with the best intentions) will only make your experience stressful. The largest dressing rooms typically accommodate 3-4 guests.  Make an appointment to ensure a room and staff will be available to assist you.

•   Dress appropriately. Wearing a neutral colored strapless bra and panties will make trying on gowns simple. Leaving bright colored or bulky jewelry at home will help you easily envision how your gown will look on the big day.

•   Start Early. Bridal gowns typically take 10-18 weeks to arrive. We recommend ordering six months in advance. Some manufacturers offer rush cuts for an additional charge. 

How to Select a Wedding Cake

By Georgia Hampton, Sweet Ideas

When shopping for a wedding cake, here are some things to consider:

1. Number of guests and time of year you’re getting married: As a general rule, take the total number of people invited and deduct 25% to determine how many servings you will need.  Deduct 30% for July and August weddings; and about 15% for September and October weddings (because everyone seems to show up hungry in those months!)

2. Budget: In the St. Charles County area, expect to pay about $2 per serving. Expect to pay more if getting married in other parts of the country. In contemplating whether to serve your cake with a full dinner or hors d’oeuvres, a full meal is generally less expensive.

3. Scheduling: Book your cake at least 2-3 months in advance, but sooner is better to make sure you get the baker you want on the date you want.

4. Initial visit: When shopping for a cake, visit the baker and look at the displays and assess the shop for cleanliness. Ask about flavors, fillings and types of icings used. Taste some samples and get a general idea of cost. Also evaluate the decorator for creative ideas and whether your personalities click.

5. Flavors and Fillings: When choosing cake flavors, stick with a light or white flavor for the bottom layer(s), which will be served. If you like chocolate, use that for the upper part of the cake. Avoid chocolate in the lower layer as that is the layer you serve to each other. Besides the usual white, yellow, chocolate and marble flavors; carrot, lemon and red velvet are also available. Adding a filling can provide a delicious and unique enhancement to the flavor of a cake.

6. Finishing Touches: Once you select a baker, make an appointment to go over the finer details, such as colors, flowers and accents.  Whether you are planning a formal or casual affair, your baker should be able to give you creative ideas of how to produce a cake that reflects your personal taste, color scheme, event theme, etc.

7. Tastes vs. Appearance: You shouldn’t have to choose between good taste or an exquisite design.  A good baker should be able to produce something that looks fantastic and tastes great at the same time. Ask about the types of icings used and taste the differences.

8. Groom’s Cake:  A groom’s cake can be served at the rehearsal dinner or at the wedding, and should reflect something about the groom’s personality or interests: cars, hobbies, sports, etc.

9. Delivery: Ask about delivery and set up. If the baker delivers the cake, he/she will make sure cake is set up attractively on the cake table.  If you pick it up yourself, you are responsible for it from the time it leaves the shop.

10. Enjoy it!  Regardless of what size or style of cake you select, working with your baker should be one of the more enjoyable wedding planning activities, so relax and have some fun with it!

Miscellaneous Wedding Tips/Suggestions

By Dianne Sudbrock

Use the Internet: Today’s brides have a distinct advantage over brides years ago in that they can get answers to just about any question they have online.  There are numerous wedding related web sites that list resources, offer fashion and beauty tips and answer etiquette questions. Use the web to explore options and ideas, research products and services, but before you buy, keep in mind there’s often no substitute for good old fashioned personal service from local providers.

Church and Officiant: Confirm the availability of the church and minister before announcing the wedding date. Meet with the minister well in advance and ask about what is or is not permitted in the sanctuary or within the liturgy. Some religions require couples to attend premarital classes or counseling sessions, up to 6 months in advance, so start early.

License: In Missouri, a marriage license is good for thirty days and can be obtained from any county seat, not necessarily the county where the ceremony will be performed, so don’t procrastinate.

Rehearsal: Meet with the soloist and musician prior to rehearsal to select the music and discuss any special activities, such as lighting a unity candle, etc. Think ahead about how you would like the ceremony to flow and talk these ideas over with the officiant before rehearsal.

Seating of parents, step parents, etc. If you have multiple sets of parents and step parents, widowed parents, etc. consult a few different wedding etiquette sites for ideas of how to best handle these situations at the ceremony and the reception to avoid undue conflict or hurt feelings.

Eat! If the hours before the wedding are full of hair appointments and pictures, arrange for a someone to bring “easy to eat” sandwiches, snacks and water or soft drinks for the bride, bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen to eat before the ceremony.

Gifts: Proper etiquette says not to include a list of places registered inside the wedding invitation, make any type of gift suggestions, or hold a dollar dance. However, local customs vary. Personally, I appreciate a list of registered locations inside a shower invitation, but not everyone agrees. Keep a log of gifts received and mention the gift when writing thank you notes. Send thank you notes promptly, preferably within 2-6 weeks after the shower/wedding.

Provide an attractive container or basket for envelopes on the gift table at the reception. When wrapping a wedding present, place the card and a gift receipt inside the wrapped package to ensure the card does not become separated from the gift. If the wedding is cancelled or ends within a month of the ceremony due to circumstances other than the death of the bride or groom, gifts should be returned with a short note saying, “I am sorry to announce....but thank you for your kindness.”

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