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

We love taking a moment at the beginning of the year to reflect on all the wonderful moments we had the pleasure to photograph over the past year. 2016 blessed us with some amazing clients to work with, plus a couple of styled shoots we had the opportunity to collaborate with. When pulling photos for our annual year in review, it can be difficult to pick just a handful of photos. The clients we work with provide us with so many beautiful, touching photos we want to include them all.

But since we can’t include every photo from every client this year, we put together what we think is a representation of our best work from 2016. If you want to see more from the past year, feel free to browse through our blog. There is so much more from last year than what’s below.

We hope you enjoy our Best of 2016! We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all our clients. There are so many choices out there for photography and we are honored that our clients chose us to document the most memorable day of their lives. It has been nothing short of a joy and pleasure interacting with our brides and grooms, as well as their loved ones.

May 2017 bless everyone with love, joy, and laughter.

Cheers!
Justin & Piper

 

Bridesmaids helping bride with her shoes on her Columbia MO Wedding day

Sometimes it takes a village! Rachel gets a hand from her bridesmaids at the Columbia Country Club.

Bridesmaids help bride get her veil on before her St. Louis wedding

Katie’s bridesmaids help with her veil while preparing for her St. Louis wedding.

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Don’t forget the dapper grooms! Guys have to get ready for the wedding day as well. Brian, left, prepares for our styled shoot at Sorenson Estate and Matt puts the final touches on his jacket at Ewing Manor.

Designroots hand lettered wedding detail pictures

It’s all in the details! We loved all of the hand lettered details from Matt and Melissa’s wedding in Bloomington, IL.

First look wedding photos Columbia MO Wedding Photographer

We love a first look! This special moment between a bride and groom can produce some of our favorite moments from a wedding. The first look between a bride and groom is often one of our favorite moments of a wedding day. Charlie gave us a tender, heartfelt reaction when he saw Hannah for the first time.

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First look photos can also bring out excitement from our couples. Ashley, left, was overjoyed to see Tom before their wedding and Matt was stunned speechless at seeing Melissa prior to their wedding.

First look wedding photos Columbia MO Wedding Photographer

Rachel and Trever were both filled with emotions for their first look

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Sealed with a kiss! Meg and Michael wrap up their first look with a kiss at the Columbia Country Club.

Groom wipes away tear after seeing bride for the first time at wedding ceremony

We always love the emotion of a groom seeing his bride on their wedding day. Matt’s reaction to Sedel was a special one.

Bride and her father having fun as they walk down the aisle

The award for the most fun trip down the aisle in 2016 goes to Meg and Michael.

Forest Park Jewel Box Wedding ceremony in St. Louis

We’ve always wanted to photograph a wedding at the Jewel Box in Forest Park. Hannah and Charlie’s gorgeous spring wedding finally gave us the opportunity this year.

wedding ceremony at Ewing Manor in Bloomington, IL.

Melissa and Matt’s wedding ceremony at Ewing Manor in Bloomington, IL.

Bridesmaids wipe away tears at bride reads vows during a Columbia MO wedding ceremony

Rachel’s bridesmaids wipe away tears as she reads her vows to Trever during their wedding ceremony at the Columbia Country Club.

Taylor and Randall exchange rings during their wedding ceremony at Les Bourgeois Winery.

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Tara and Josh’s exit following their wedding ceremony at Missouri United Methodist Church.

Ashley holds the pin while Tom nails a putt from across the green at the Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, MO.

Bride and groom take a shot on their wedding day at Tropical Liquors in Columbia MO

It’s great when our couples personalize their day and wedding portraits. Meg and Michael kept their portraits fun by fitting in a pit stop at Trops in Columbia, MO, before heading to their wedding reception.

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No wedding is complete with out your closest friends standing up with you. Katie and her bridesmaids, left, and Trever and his groomsmen.

The Missouri State Capitol is always a must for wedding pictures in the Jefferson City Area. Haylei, Kyle and their wedding party.

Melissa and Matt along with their bridal party on the grounds of Ewing Manor in Bloomington, Illinois.

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2016 gave us some gorgeous bridal portraits. From left; Melissa, Rachel and Tara.

We kicked off 2016 braving the cold with Tom and Ashley’s January wedding at the Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia.

Tara and Josh share a moment on the University of Missouri campus on their wedding day.

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Meg and Michael had the perfect spring day for their wedding at Columbia Country Club in Columbia, Missouri.

Blue converse custom wedding shoes

Hayley and Kyle at the Missouri State Capitol. Haylei went non-traditional with her awesome blue Converse wedding shoes.

Les Bourgeois Winery wedding photos in vineyard with classic red truck in background

We had a great time with Taylor and Randall in the vineyard at Les Bourgeois Winery, the old red truck in the background was a nice touch.

First looks are not just for brides and grooms before the ceremony, you can also experience them with a reception reveal. Matt and Melissa put so much time and energy into designing their reception, it was only fitting to do a reveal to show them their vision come to life at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Matt and Melissa didn’t leave out any details with their wedding reception in Bloomington, IL.

Styled wedding photography shoot at Sorenson Estate in Columbia MO

Annabelle Events, Tiger Garden, A-1 Rental, and Inkling, all came together to create an awesome look for our styled shoot at Sorenson Estate, one of Columbia, Missouri’s newest wedding venues.

Detail picture of champaign being poured into unique champaign glasses

We popped the bubbly to celebrate wrapping up our first styled shoot at Sorenson Estate.

Columbia Country Club in Columbia Missouri bride and groom

The classic architecture and simple details of the ballroom at the Columbia Country Club were the perfect backdrop for Trever and Rachel’s first dance.

First dance wedding picture

Tara and Josh’s first dance at the Courtyard Columbia in Columbia, MO.

Creative wedding ring detail pictures incorporating wedding reception details

You can’t forget the ring bing on a wedding day! It’s fun to incorporate the personalized details from a couple in the pictures of their wedding rings. From left; Randall and Taylor, Rachel and Trever, and Meg and Michael’s wedding rings.

Meg and Michael (left) get down on the dance floor during their wedding reception at Elm Street Ballroom in Columbia, Missouri. Matt and Melissa were surprised with confetti during their reception at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Meg and Michael (left) get down on the dance floor during their wedding reception at Elm Street Ballroom in Columbia, Missouri. Matt and Melissa were surprised with confetti during their reception at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Bubble send off from Stephens Lake Park in Columbia Missouri

Sedel and Matt close out their intimate reception at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, MO with bubbles.

Sparkler send off photo with bride and groom kissing in Bloomington IL

We close our year end blog post with Matt and Melissa’s sparkler send off outside of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts in Bloomington, IL.

With the exception of a New Year’s Eve wedding still to come, we have pretty much wrapped up our 2016 season. We were thrilled to conclude a wonderful year with Crystal and Garrett’s St. Louis engagement session. These lovebirds are currently living in Cincinnati but will be getting married in St. Louis, so they decided to head to St. Louis for their engagement session.

If you’re going to be in St. Louis for a destination engagement session, it’s a must to hit up some well known areas for pictures. We visited Forest Park to take advantage of some late fall light and lovely fall colors. Then it was off to City Museum to be big kids and play around at one of the coolest places in St. Louis! You really can’t beat the City Museum for a variety of places to take pictures. I love the ones of Crystal and Garrett in front of the old bank vault – such great texture and detail! And then because Garrett and Crystal are huge book fans, we headed over to the St. Louis Public Library. I love when clients are able to incorporate personalized props into their engagement session. This time around Crystal and Garrett brought books that were meaningful to their relationship.

Thanks, Crystal and Garrett, for a fun day exploring St. Louis. We’re looking forward to your wedding in 2017!

Cheers!
Justin & Piper

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