[caption id="attachment_5445" align="aligncenter" width="490"]
Gorgeous Model Jewels Hay in hair and Makeup.[/caption] Today I sat down to write a handwritten "thank you" note to the owners of the historic Coronado Ballroom in St. Louis, the fairy-tale location of our recent bridal shoot of plus sized wedding gowns from our 2015 Michelle Bridal Collection. Our gracious hosts, owners Steve and Kathy Becker, rolled out the red carpet for our crew. Throughout the shoot, Rob Schaefer, Vice President of Catering and Design Development, took care of every last detail. He even arranged to safely store the delicate bouquets created by Hermann Florist on ice so they didn't wilt under the hot lights during breaks on set. [caption id="attachment_5435" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Beautiful Bouquets provided by Crystal Binkholder from Hermann Florist LLC in Hermann, Missouri[/caption] Engaged? You can look forward to the Michelle Bridal Collection arriving in fine bridal salons nationwide in early 2015. We had a ton of stunning spots where we could create a set at the Coronado. Photographer Preston Page picked the perfect one to set up his photography gear. He opted for a corner of the barrel-vaulted Grand Ballroom posing the model against polished marble walls and a terrazzo dance floor. Natural light from nearby Palladium windows poured in. What bride wouldn't fall in love with the natural taupe tones of this setting for her dream wedding day! [caption id="attachment_5439" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Getting ready for the first shot of the day! Jewels looks picture perfect in one of our Michelle Bridal Plus Size Wedding Dresses.[/caption] Carly Hammond, our summer intern, did a masterful job in her role as Prop Master spreading out a dozen or so pairs of bridal shoes in various colors and heights. She also lined up the amazing handcrafted wedding accessories from designer Erica Koesler. Erica's earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair jewelry, created from the finest accessories, added the perfect finishing touch to the hand-beaded and lace designs. It was as if I designed the dresses and she designed the accessories at the same time! [caption id="attachment_5434" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Shoes, Jewelry and so much more. All these Accessories for one Photo Shoot![/caption] And you just have to love that Erica makes all her designs right here in the USA! Carly organized all the accessories on long tables tables within easy reach of the set. That way we could make last-minute changes if we didn't like the way accessories looked once Jewels got in front of the camera. At the end the day we saved time to move into the majestic Grand Lobby where our gorgeous model Jewels Hays posed in a lace and chiffon gown in front of the stone fireplace. It's hard to believe she wasn't in a castle in Europe! For the finale, Jewels sat at a black baby grand piano with a lace cathedral train sweeping over the bench. Little did we know that her repertoire of talents includes playing the piano and singing beautifully! [caption id="attachment_5438" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Stunning Fireplace at the Coronado Ballroom in St. Louis Missouri[/caption] On location, we converted the Bradshaw Meeting Room, adjacent to the lobby and ballroom into our back-stage. That's where the talented hair and makeup artist Yuri Phouapanya worked her magic on our gorgeous model Jewels who flew in from New York for the shoot. It's also where our crew steamed and pressed the plus size wedding gowns so that they looked perfect from every angle of the camera. Being on location is hard work. By the carloads, we arrived at the Coronado at 7:30 A.M. By 9 A.M. everyone was starving and in need of more coffee. Thank goodness Nadoz Cafe was just steps away off the lobby. [caption id="attachment_5450" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Nadoz Cafe in the Coronado Ballroom[/caption] When we broke for lunch, the cafe served us yummy sandwiches and fresh salads. (Ate every bite of the salmon salad I ordered!) No wonder the cafe is a favorite of students and faculty from St. Louis University, located just across the street from the Coronado. Several of us got extra sandwiches to take home they were so good! We even had a special visitor during the photo shoot. The lovely Laydeeposh, a local St. Louis blogger, stopped by to see all the action and sneak a peek at the romantic collection of lace bridal gowns. It was great having her on set! [caption id="attachment_5452" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Owner and Designer of Sydney's Closet Phyllis Librach and Local St. Louis Fashion Blogger Laydee Posh[/caption] For decades, the Coronado Ballroom stands as a premier wedding venue for St. Louis brides with fine taste. The Steve Becker Fine Dining Team caters to a bride and groom's every detail. So on their wedding day all they have to do is relax and enjoy the once-in-lifetime moments. I speak from personal experience. My daughter, Michelle Librach, married Joshua Rosenfield June 23, 2013 at the Coronado. The Steve Becker Fine Dining Team served unparalleled cuisine starting with a cocktail reception in the stunning Grand Lobby. [caption id="attachment_5437" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Ballroom at the Coronado in St. Louis Missouri[/caption] Our guests loved the hand-crafted hors d'oeuvres passed butler style. Friends and family are still talking about the grilled watermelon salad and the impeccable Signature Crown service of the sit-down meal served in the painstakingly restored Grand Ballroom. Originally built in 1926, the Coronado Hotel at 3701 Lindell Boulevard was designed by St. Louis architect Preston Bradshaw. The hotel's guest list include Hollywood celebrities like Mae West and political legends like Harry Truman, the 33rd US President. Decades later. the hotel was converted into a dormitory for St. Louis University law students . After being closed for many years, the Coronado reopened after a lavish and meticulous renovation in 2003.
Photo Credit: Rachel Duncan[gallery ids="5455,5460,5457,5459,5458,5456,5454,5444,5443,5453,5441,5451,5446,5447,5449,5448,5442,5440"]