Another weekend, another wedding in St. Louis, Missouri! We had such a wonderful time getting to know Crystal and Garrett during their St. Louis engagement session, so their wedding day was such a pleasure to document. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was shinning, and we got to explore some new locations (to us!) in St. Louis.

We began our day with Crystal and her bridesmaids getting ready at the Pear Tree Inn. Check out the Crystal’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero wedding dress! I am beyond in love with all the lace detail. But what makes her wedding ensemble even more beautiful is the custom made veil her friend made from the same lace as Crystal’s dress. It is such a perfect touch to an already amazing dress.

Their ceremony was at the beautiful and ornate Shrine of St. Joseph. Crystal and Garrett are both avid readers so before the ceremony they both wrote a message to each other inside books. Instead of doing a first look, they did a sweet exchange of books and had a moment together without seeing each other. While we love a first look, there is something so special and memorable about moments like this between a bride and groom. Garrett only had eyes for Crystal as her father walked her down the aisle.

After the ceremony we did a few quick portraits at the church before we headed to Lafayette Park for portraits with Crystal and Garrett, along with their entire wedding party. This 30 acre park was set aside for use in 1836 and was dedicated in 1851. Many historians consider it the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi River. The park was absolutely perfect. The iron bridge crossing the grotto is a divine location for pictures. And Mother Nature did not disappoint with golden hour sunlight.

Following portraits, it was off the reception at The Cedars. Crystal and Garrett incorporated their love of books into the reception decor with books as centerpieces. They also had this really neat book with their name carves out of the pages as focal point for the head table. After all of the formalities of the reception had taken place it was time to get things swinging on the dance floor. Crystal and Garrett are swing dancers so they had a swing band provide the tunes for the night. It was so much fun to watch them and all of their friends swing dance the night away.

After a day full of love and laughter and a night full of dancing, it was time to send the couple on their way to their honeymoon. Thank you, Crystal and Garrett, for letting us be part of your special day.

Cheers!
Justin & Piper

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A special thanks to all the vendors who made Garrett and Crystal’s wedding day perfect:
Dress: Maggie Sottero from Bride and Formal
Veil: Stephanie Hasken
Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo from Bride and Formal
Hair: Lemon Spalon
Make-up: Your Beauty Ball
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Ceremony Venue: Shrine of St. Joseph
Reception Venue & Caterer: The Cedars
Band: Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers
Cake: Wedding Wonderland
Florist: Walter Knoll Florist
Invitations: Dirty Helen Paper Company

  • Wanda Duncan - Congratulations to everyone looks like a proud papa walking her down the isle. Wishing her all the happiness in the futureReplyCancel

The 2017 wedding season has us traveling more than ever and we were super excited to kick it off with Monica and Shayne’s wedding in St. Louis, Missouri. With so many amazing venues in St. Louis, this couple paired getting ready at a classic hotel, the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, with a whimsical ceremony and reception venue, the City Museum.

Our day began at the hotel with both the bride and groom, along with their respective squads. Once the primping was done, it was off for the first look. Before we made our way to City Gardens, Monica and her bridesmaids stopped off at the hotel bar. The bar within the Grand Hall of Union Station is something truly spectacular and the perfect place for a bridal party to stop by for a quick drink. After finishing up at the Grand Hall, we headed to City Gardens. We’ve been here before, most recently with Hannah and Charlie for their fall engagement session, but it never ceases to amaze us how lovely this little park and sculpture garden is. City Garden is smack dab in the middle of St. Louis which gives you a picturesque view of the St. Louis Arch and the Old Court House. There was a quiet, shaded path in the garden that was the perfect spot for Monica and Shayne’s first look, as well as some full wedding party portraits.

Once portraits were done, it was time for the ceremony and reception at the City Museum. We’ve been to the museum once when we photographed Crystal and Garrett’s spring engagement session there, but we’ve never had the chance to photograph a wedding there. City Museum is a 10 story, 600,000 square foot urban playground housed within a former shoe factory. The ceremony was in a room just off the Vault Room. It was the perfect spot to hold a small, intimate wedding ceremony filled with love and joy. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Vault Room where the early summer light filtered through the wall of vintage Vess soda bottles. As guests mingled, Monica and Shayne, along with their wedding party, set off for some portraits around the museum. This was such a cool location for pictures as everywhere you turned there was another perfect spot of portraits.

After entering through the Vault Room’s enormous bank vault door, Shayne and Monica hit the dance floor to show off their fantastically choreographed first dance while their family and friends lined the dance floor. Because the room is pretty awesome all on its own, it didn’t need too many decorations. But I love all the geometrical aspects that Monica incorporated such as the geometrical candle holders on the tables and the cool details on the cake. After the first dance it was back to explore the museum with just Monica and Shayne. We had a great time finding even more locations for portraits. I especially like the photo of Shayne giving his bride a piggy back ride over the suspension bridge. The evening wound down with guests dancing the night away with Monica and Shayne.

Thank you, Monica and Shayne, for letting me be part of your special day. I had such a wonderful time celebrating you two!

Cheers! Justin

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A special thanks to all the vendors that helped make Monica and Shayne’s day perfect:

Wedding Coordinator: Wendy Markum-Scanlan with The Savvy Bride

Bridal Gown, Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN

Hair and Makeup: Amanda Bluestein with  Maplewood Beauty Bar

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Express

Ceremony and Reception Venue: City Museum

Catering:  Pablo’s Catering

Cake:  The Cakery Bakery & Cake Studio

Harpist:  Sue Taylor Harpist

DJ: TKO DJs

Second Photographer: Courtney Thompson

 

 

 

 

For me there is nothing quite like Capen Park. With just a short hike up what I would call a small cliff, you’re overlooking nothing but trees and sky. There is so much depth and texture to this view and is beautiful no matter what time of the year it is. When up on the edge of that bluff, it feels like you’re miles away from the city instead of smack dab in the middle of Columbia, Missouri. We’ve done engagement sessions there before (check out Codi and Jason’s fall engagement session) but never any wedding portraits. Despite me believing all our of wedding clients should take pictures at Capen Park, I can’t imagine a bride would want to take time out of her busy wedding day to climb up the side of that cliff.

If I can’t convince a bride to hike up that cliff, the next best thing is putting together a small styled photo shoot featuring a model in a gorgeous wedding dress on the cliffs of Columbia. Styled shoots aren’t new to us. Last year we had the opportunity to collaborate with local vendors on two different shoots; Styling Sorenson and A Well Crafted Event. Both of those photo shoots brought together several different amazing local vendors. When planning this shoot, I knew I wanted to keep it really simple and just focus on the location.

When we sat down and talked about the vision we had for this photo shoot, the words chic bohemian kept coming to mind. I knew I wanted the look to be very relaxed and organic, letting nature also be a star in the photos. I didn’t realize the wind and weather would also be a factor for this shoot. Despite it being in the 60s and 70s for the weeks prior to our shoot, we were greeted with temperatures in the 30s combined with a strong, brisk wind. Our model, Rachel, was quite the trooper! All of us were bundled up in parkas while Rachel withstood the cold, all in the name of getting the perfect shot! The wind did play to our advantage as it gave the gorgeous Maggie Sottero Deirdre gown such beautiful movement.

Braving the chilly and tempestuous weather was so worth it. We were able to get what I think are some of the most amazing photos we’ve captured. I hope you enjoy these photos from what I dubbed our “On the CoMo Bluffs” styled shoot (check out Instgram and #onthecomobluffs to see behind the scenes). It was so difficult to narrow down the photos because there were just so many beautiful pictures to choose from. We are so proud of this styled shoot and all that this group of vendors created.

Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero gown from Belle Mariee Bridal
Floral Design: KBW Floral Design
Hair: Bespoke Hair Company
Make Up: Dermistique Face & Body
Jewelry: Poppy

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When a past client refers a friend to us, it’s such a compliment. When the referral is a family member, it’s all the more special. We wrapped up 2016 with such a referral. The bride, Liz, is the sister of a past bride, Katie (of Katie and DJ’s wedding last fall)</a> and we were thrilled when she asked us to photograph her wedding to Mike. 

The day started with the bridal party getting ready at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott in Normal, Illinois. Not only was that where everyone was getting ready but also where the ceremony and reception were going to be. We began with getting some details pictures of Liz’s dress and accessories. The card Liz’s mom gave her with the old English rhyme, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe”, was a cute backdrop for Liz’s wedding day good luck charms.   

Liz and Mike didn’t see each other before the ceremony,  so once everyone was ready we did a few group pictures of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Since all the day’s events were in one location, we headed outside for pictures. After a few portraits, it was time for the ceremony inside the hotel’s ballroom. One of the best pictures from the entire day is Mike’s face as he saw Liz for the first time. He had a look of awe and wonder on his face the entire time she walked down the aisle with her dad. The ceremony was sweet, simple, and to the point as it highlighted the love Mike and Liz have for one another. 

Since there really isn’t much natural light late in the day in December (as in none!), we did full wedding party portraits in the hotel’s lobby, which was still decorated for the holiday season. Then it was time to focus on some pictures of just the bride and groom. We did a few in the lobby and then braved the chilly winter night to head to the art deco marquee sign of the Normal Theater. Once we were sufficiently cold enough, it was time to walk back to the hotel for the reception. 

Liz’s family toasted the newly weds the only way they know how, with some amazingly personal and touching speeches. And then it was time to dance! Guests warmed up their dancing shoes in anticipation for the big countdown to the new year! Mike and Liz surprised guests with New Year’s hats, noisemakers, and glowsticks. The dance floor was hopping as the night was capped off with a countdown led by Mike, with guests singing Auld Lang Syne.

Thanks, Liz and Mike, for not only having us be part of your big day but letting us help kick off 2017. We had such a fabulous time celebrating with you and your love ones!

Cheers!

Piper & Justin

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A special thanks to all the vendors that helped make Mike and Liz’s day perfect:
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero gown from Michelle’s Bridal and Tuxedo
Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew
Groom and Groomsmen attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Ceremony and Reception Venue, Catering: Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel
Cake: Hy Vee
DJ: Absolute Light and Sound
Florist: Casey’s Garden Shop and Florist
Invitations: The Copy Shop
Rentals: Palace Events

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