A lot of brides ask us to see how out of town couples plan their weddings from afar. Dottie and Ken are from Philadelphia, but managed to plan a beyond gorgeous wedding in St. Louis, Missouri where the bride is originally from. Thank you Clary Photo for sharing the images and Dottie for sharing your story with us today!

Missouri St Lois Botanical Gardens wedding

From the bride, Dottie: I was an out of town bride. Once we decided to get married in STL close to family, we booked a trip and set up appointments based on what we wanted out of both venues. Both had me at hello. This is a historic, STL favorite. I am a museum /garden exhibition designer, so I wanted whatever we chose to be unique. I loved the green pallet that the Japanese Garden provided to us. It was the perfect backdrop.

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

We both wanted a small-ish, intimate wedding with no more than a hundred of our closest family and friends. It started with my antique Art Deco sapphire engagement ring — we didn’t feel anything needed to be by the book. And by doing it that way the wedding really became something of our own. As a designer, I wanted it all to have creative, personal touches and fantastic subtle use of color and patterns. We like a bit of rustic meets pretty. We live in Philadelphia on the third floor of an old row home. We love feeling some of the history and character in where we live.

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

I liked the idea of using all colors harmoniously and I have to be honest, I couldn’t choose just one! I was inspired by happy yellow billy buttons, succulents and my favorite, peach roses. The garden location where we had the wedding was also an influence. My dress and ring inspired the patterns. My amazing Nicole Miller architectural beaded gown was simple, with a complex design. This lead to our invitations, cake…

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now?
Pick your photographer first. Look through their photos and use this as an approach to help you identify how you want to see your wedding on the big day and also remember it years from now. Ask your photographer and vendors to make recommendations. They always have the in on who and what is best. This will save you time — this is how I planned a wedding all by myself 1000 miles away from the location!

St. Lois Missouri Chic Wedding film photography

See all images in the gallery

Wedding Vendors (St Louis, Missouri):

Venue: Missouri Botanical Garden / Wedding Photographer: Clary from Clary Photo / Catering: City Cottage on Chouteau by Catering St. Louis / Florist: Lisa Gallagher of Belli Fiori / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller, architectural beaded gown, purchased at Nicole Miller in Philadelphia / Wedding Veil: Handmade by mother-in-law /Shoes: Stewart Weitzman / Jewelry: droplet earrings – BHLDN; favorite bangles; borrowed aunt’s pearls / Makeup: Aurora & Charmane of p Artistry by A&C / Hair: Meggan of Pixies Hair Design / Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN grass twirled sweetheart dress / Groom’s suit: Groom- Brooks Brothers navy suit, others wore grey suits / DJ/Band/Ceremony Musician: Millennium Music / Wedding Cake: Sugaree Baking / Wedding invitations: Loveleigh Invitations / Videographer: Chad Ruthsatz

14 comments
  • I love the photography on this. The color is unreal and that shot with the groomsmen and the bride is sublime. Beautiful work.

  • heather lui

    wow! talk about wedding twins… 900 miles away we’re having an intimate wedding at a botanical garden. succulents and peach roses… only difference is that i’m on a cheap beer budget :) thanks for the inspiration!

  • love love her bouquet.

  • Clary

    Ken and Dottie’s wedding is so beautiful! Loved hearing about all the details.

  • This is absolutely gorgeous! I am thoroughly enjoying getting “Ruffled” in my inbox! I look forward to it each day…just love all of the amazing colors and the creativity of the photographs, place settings….and the joy!

  • In a word, inspiring . . .

  • Erica Ann Photography

    How perfectly sweet!

  • Beautiful, and exciting photography! I love the group shot with the bride tugging at the bridesmaid’s arm!

  • Always love to see St. Louis weddings featured! Love the light…so soft and pretty!

  • What a gorgeous wedding and such great advice from the bride!

  • LOVE the minty green color of the bridesmaid’s dress. Did they have only one bridesmaid with 4 groomsmen? Because that would be awesome. I’ve been trying to tell people that symmetry in the wedding party is not this absolutely mandatory rule to follow. Too often I think couples struggle to pick the same amount of people to stand up for them, when the focus should be on who you truly want to be up there with you, nothing more, nothing less. Lovely wedding!

  • Dottie

    yes! we decided to only have our “witnesses” stand — my best friend and his brother. We also included my two brothers and his childhood friends in the wedding “party”. we decided to break the rules and I love how it worked out.

    The day of was not spent ushering folks around. It was simple and easy. What a perfect day!

  • where did you have your reception? It looks great.

  • Dottie

    city cottage – catering st. louis