Love Your Local

Planning You Dream Wedding and Supporting Local at the Same Time!

When it comes to planning your wedding, it can be extremely overwhelming! It is only supposed to be the best day of your life, no pressure, right? Luckily, I had years of experience in planning large scale events so planning something for myself was so much fun! I know that is not the case for all, so I am here to help.

My name is Alyssa Feulner, I am the Marketing Manager at the St. Charles Business Alliance and used as many St. Charles Businesses as I could to plan my local wedding!

Now after COVID, it is more apparent than ever, how supporting local businesses help keep the community thriving. This entire blog is for those having a wedding in St. Charles and how you can support our small businesses during your wedding planning process!

Come see what your dream wedding can be like in St. Charles!

Unique, Picturesque Venues

When you’re choosing St. Charles, fall in love with the diverse selection of venues ready to help you have the most beautiful, elegant and stress-free wedding. Everything you could want is covered: gorgeous views of the Fox River at Hotel Baker, clean lines & modern details to showcase your own unique style at Cedar Fox Wedding & Events or the charming outdoor spaces at the Q Center, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and the Creek Bend Nature Center at Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve. Make sure to check out all of our restaurants that have venue space for your shower and rehearsal dinner! My in-laws had the perfect Rehearsal Dinner for us at Hotel Baker in the Waterfront Room. We had a make your own pasta and flatbread bar and it was the perfect spot, right on the water for out of town guests and the bridal party to get ready for the big day!

Clean, Comfortable and High-Quality Hotels

Booking rooms and room blocks is a breeze with our wonderful hotels. You can’t go wrong with the 10 different hotels who practice the latest cleaning practices to ensure that you and your guests have the most pristine and pleasurable experience possible, while also having amazing staff that will help get your the room blocks you need.

Local, diligent and delightful vendors

Now once you have the big things like the venue and hotels all set up, it’s time for all the extras: rings, floral arrangements, DJ’s, caterers, hair and makeup, the cake and more. St. Charles is home to businesses and vendors ready and waiting to help you with all your wedding needs. Find amazing floral arrangements at Paragon Flowers or the Local Petaler to spruce up the space and make your photos pop! We have three jewelry stores right in downtown that can help with engagement and wedding rings, I am obsessed with my rings from Mr. Marco’s Jewelers. St. Charles is home to amazing spas and salons, too many to list, so take a look here for a complete list! You can also find a list of local DJ’s, Photographers, rentals and more on our website! Many of the venues have their own list of preferred vendors too, which makes it easier on your part!

The little things that make a big difference

Even small things like goodies in hotel rooms or food/drinks for your bridal party are really important. Instead of rushing to Costco, think of fun things locally you can buy that they don’t get at every other wedding! A few ideas you could do specifically in St. Charles – a bag of candy from Kilwin’s Chocolates, for instance I told them my colors were a purple/pink, green and cream. They made individual bags filled with nonpareils with my colors on them! We bought local beer from one of the 6 breweries to give them something different and we had fun snacks that were made locally- cupcakes, popcorn, candy, etc.

I also went around to some of my favorite places and asked if they had any coupons that I could place in goodie bags for people looking for things to do in between my service and the reception. I got more than I thought I would, at least three or four places had 20% off or buy one get one free cards already printed that I took!

Before the big day, my husband and I took 10 dance lessons to prepare us for a choreographed first dance. Not only did we have a blast but it turned into a weekly date night where we went to Lux Dance Studio and then got a glass of wine and dinner after!

I had shirts made for my bridesmaids from a local screening company The Hairy Ant, they turned out amazing and I bought my bridal shower dress from Jeans and a Cute Top Shop.

Lastly, reach out to the St. Charles Business Alliance for local guides or any marketing material they have for people staying the weekend! I put a visitor guide in each room with a little note of my favorite bars, restaurants, or things to do in St. Charles so people staying the weekend could experience it like a local!

Gorgeous Wedding Photo Spots

If photos are worth a thousand words, then wedding photos are at least ten times that. With how important wedding photos are, don’t pick any spots, pick St. Charles’ most scenic, eye-popping scenes! If you’re interested in a more urban feel, First Street Plaza has dazzling views of the river, downtown and now has the Be You Sculpture – a dazzling sculpture that even caught the eye of Paris Hilton! – making it a fantastic spot for wedding photos. There are plenty more murals and beautiful spots not only downtown St. Charles, but all around St. Charles! We recommend working with one of the amazing local photographers as they know the best shots and spots!

Post-event activities

Prepare for chills and thrills when you pick St. Charles to host one of your wedding events. Find chill spots to hangout at before or after your wedding events with our various bars, restaurants and taprooms in St. Charles, find some thrills with fun activities like axe throwing, attending a live performance at the Arcada when it reopens or going on the self-guided brewery tour with six different breweries in St. Charles. No matter what you want, you can most likely find it in St. Charles!

Need more of a reason to book your wedding in St. Charles?

Right now the St. Charles Business Alliance just kicked off a wedding incentive! If you book your wedding venue in St. Charles AND hotel rooms in St. Charles you can get a FREE couples massage at Sage Healing Collective. What bride doesn’t need a FREE massage right now 🙂 Contact the Alliance right away if you are booking in 2021! For more information, contact Laura Purdy at lpurdy@stcalliance.org or call 630-443-3967.

We are here to help you plan your perfect day! Make sure to visit our website for everything St. Charles. We hope we can help make your special day one to remember!

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