Outside-The-Box Options Let Some Weddings Go On In St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

Outside-The-Box Options Let Some Weddings Go On In St. Louis

Mar 26, 2020

The Grotto Bridge in Lafayette Park is one of many stunning St. Louis backdrops typically buzzing with weddings during the warmer months of the year.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This time of year typically marks the start of wedding season, with venues, vendors and engaged couples all gearing up for major gatherings. Now, many such celebrations have been canceled or postponed in light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, and those working in the event industry are reeling.

But when the upheaval of coronavirus eventually settles down — and even in the midst of it all, in some cases — St. Louis remains a great city in which to get hitched.

Just ask Carolyn Burke, whose small business aims to make St. Louis a destination for elopement. With courthouses currently closed to nuptials, she’s found a workaround by bringing her officiant credentials and related services straight to wherever couples are located.

In a conversation that aired during Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Burke as well as two other locals who have a track record of helping people think outside the box about weddings and other events: Stuart Keating, co-owner of Earthbound Beer, and Rachel McCalla, event director at Third Degree Glass Factory.

Keating, along with his wife, Kristina Goodwin, and business partner Jeff Siddons, started offering weddings last year at Earthbound’s Cherokee Street venue for just $1,000, and up until this brand-new age of COVID-19, they were seeing a lot of enthusiasm for the idea.

McCalla, who has been working in the event industry for more than two decades, leads Third Degree’s effort to provide — and insist upon — sustainable weddings and other gatherings at the venue.

The conversation touched on local impacts of COVID-19 but especially focused on the creative thinking that was already underway among some local venues and vendors — and may be more attractive than ever as couples look toward what’s next.

In addition to Burke, Keating and McCalla, the segment included comments from Stuart Hultgren and Sara Hasz, a local engaged couple who had planned to get married in early May in Tower Grove Park.

Take a listen and hear their perspectives:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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