Have you ever visited the Campbell House downtown? It was the home of St. Louis businessman Robert Campbell, who lived there with his family from 1854 to 1938, the year the last Campbell son, Hazlett, died at age 80.

Now known as the Campbell House Museum, the property has most of the original furnishings; and this month, it is done up in its Christmas finery. Exquisite, incredible work has gone into re-doing the home in the original colors in the walls and carpets. It features a original china, a carriage house with the carriages, servants’ quarters and so much more. It is St. Louis’ hidden jewel box.

Why would I write about this in a wedding column? After a recent visit, I thought of the wedding ceremony, clothes, reception, gifts, trousseau and all the ramifications of a Victorian wedding. What a vast change in the last 150 years! Wedding trends are constantly changing, but I feel it’s always good to look back on the best of any period.

The best always will be the best. Adding some of the appealing factors of any period can give your wedding its own personal style. I’m sure the Campbell House is not open for an inside reception, but the beautiful Victorian garden, with its pergola, would make a charming place for a small ceremony.

We are blessed in St. Louis, as we have literally hundreds of unique locations for ceremonies and receptions. So step out of the box for a minute: Does your wedding have to take place in the same church where all your friends were married? Does your reception have to be at the club your parents have belonged to since 1965? Do you have to have a sit-down dinner with tenderloin, Dauphinoise potatoes and haricots verts? Why not a Russian ball—or a picnic in the country? I’m not big on themes, but I love diversity. A bride who’s creative and determined is among my most interesting clients.

So, if you’re getting an engagement ring this Christmas, here’s your opportunity to create a wedding that’s uniquely your own. Cut pictures from magazines to get just what you want. But you will have to be a bit flexible, as all things are not always available just because you dream them up.

Just remember the best of any era is always the best. Why not have your wedding be the best it can be?

Model: Erin Brewer from Talent Plus

Hair and Makeup: Amy Koehler

Gown and Earrings: Beau Monde Bridal by Wedding Gallery Couture

Flowers: Ken Miesner's Flowers

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