Category archives: Joel Conner Wedding

We (Joel & Shannon) had the pleasure of spending their wedding day with them, and it was such a great day. Not only did we get to be at one of our favorite wedding ceremony venues, Graham Chapel on the WashU campus, but we also got to be at one of St. Louis’ newest reception venues, the Wild Carrot. And let me tell you…the Wild Carrot is an incredible place! One of our highlights from the day, though, was having a stop at Sasha’s Wine Bar on Shaw…which is where they had their first date and where Preston proposed. Little did we realize, though, that there are actually TWO Sasha’s wine bars. And we definitely went to the wrong one first.

Congrats to Jessica and Preston!!! We had such a wonderful time working with you both!!!

 

When I first talked with Claire and Mark, I knew they were my kind of couple. Not only did they share a certain level of nerdiness with me (Joel), they sounded like a ton of fun who were funny, corny, and so so much in love. They were a drama kids…like I was. They loved Harry Potter and other geeky things, like me. A perfect match! As much as I enjoy working with all sorts of couples, I especially love it when people can blend the deep and solemnity of the day with the fun, carefree, and slightly off-the-wall side of who they are. It’s so much fun. And, this is exactly how these two were. The ceremony and depth of their commitment to each other, and their connection with their families, were the hallmark of the first part of the day. After the ceremony, they were so jubilant and excited that their joy just exploded out…and we had a blast during the photo time with them and their wedding party at the St. Louis City Garden. After photos, we headed to Orlando’s for a pre-reception dance lesson for anyone who wanted to take their skills up a notch. After speeches and dinner, everyone kicked it up and danced with such passion and gusto. It was a blast!

Here are some of my favorites from the day. Huge congrats to Claire and Mark! SO happy to have been a part of your wedding day!

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I probably was the only one, but I (Joel) had Simon and Garfunkle’s “At the Zoo” going through my head ALL day at Blaire and John’s wedding. Partly because, yes, we were at the St Louis Zoo all day, but also partly due to the wild tale of how everything ended up being at the zoo. Blaire and John were originally scheduled to have their wedding at another venue, but due to the venue suddenly closing and declaring bankruptcy (yikes!!!), they had to do some major scrambling, which included changing their wedding date, and get everything moved around so they could now have their wedding here. Even with all of the craziness surrounding everything, the reality is that is undoubtedly worked out for the best. The day was outstanding, and for a couple that is as much fun as they are, they deserved something fun and adventurous. And they got it!

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to John and Blaire, and we are so happy that we were a part of your wedding day!

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This past Saturday we had our first REAL Fall wedding of the year! Even though things are still very green all around here, the temperature has finally started dropping…which was very welcome for everyone at Danielle and Joe’s outdoor wedding and reception. The wedding was at the amazing Little Piney Lodge, which is one of our very favorite places, and even though we had few little bits of rain (one for about 90 seconds during the ceremony), it did not stop the day from being amazing.

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to Danielle and Joe!

Joel

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A little over a week ago we had an amazing wedding with two of the sweetest people you could imagine. When we first met Kayleigh and Tanner, that was what we walked away saying. Just so sweet. Kayleigh is from St. Louis originally and Tanner is from Kentucky…where they both now live. And even though she is not technically from the South, you would hardly know that because she is that sweet (and has some of the accent now as well!). Together, they are something very very special. We had such an incredible time with these two at the amazing Grand Hall in Union Station. It was our first day back at weddings after our August break, so it was great to jump back at it all at our favorite Saint Louis location. Like any wedding day, there were a few small curve balls thrown their way, but they handled everything amazingly, and you would hardly know it. Their family and friends were a pure joy to be with, and it is one of those weddings that we wish we could do again and again.

Here are a few of our favorites from the day. Thank you SO much for letting us be a part of your day! Blessings to you both!

Joel

P.S. Special thanks to the amazing vendors! Katie from Union Station (our venue hero). Tina Barrera the master florist of Special Events Florist (sorry again for breaking your candle glass haha). Chris McMahon from McMusic DJ (very nice to finally meet and work with you).

P.P.S This wedding was a week after having emergency appendix removal. Thanks to my amazing wife for being a rockstar and making sure I took small breaks here and there to sit down so I could make it through the day. Love you, babe. And thank you to my amazing friend (and future-bride-in-front-of-my-camera-to-be) Tara. Thanks for yelling at me to stop carrying heavy things…even if I ignored your commands and glares most of the time.

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Every wedding has its own unique elements that make it special, but some weddings have just a little bit extra. Usually for me, that has to do with family. Kacey and Matt’s wedding was unique in that it was a joining of families. Matt came into the relationship with four amazing kids, and anytime you have a situation like that, it can go various ways. But it was amazing for us to see how excited they were. Kacey and Matt have been together since 2016, so everyone has already seen each other as family for a long time. But this made it official, and it was amazing to see how much the kids love her (which was especially on display when Matt’s oldest son Jack gave a very moving and loving speech at the start of the reception). It was such a blessing to see. We were thrilled to be a small part, and here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to Kacey, Matt and the rest of the family!

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Kelsey and Brandon!!! This wedding was an absolute blast. Most weddings have a ton of running around…driving from place A to B to C and D and sometimes even more. We were excited, though, because the entire wedding day was happening at the incredible Chase Park Plaza in the central west end of St. Louis. Because of that, it took a lot of stress off, and everyone could just let loose and have a great time. For those that know Kelsey, they know that she is a bit of a fireball. When I asked her in the morning what her level of freaking-out was, it was like a 3 or 4. I (Joel) jokingly told her that was incredible because her being at 3 or 4 is about the lowest level of freaking out she is capable of at any point. We love her, though…he fire and humor kept us laughing all day. And Brandon is definitely the more relaxed of the two, but he and I have a connection in that we are both huge hockey fans…and we wasted no time talking about the Blues. When Louie, the Blues mascot, showed up. Everyone lost it. I can assure you that “Gloria” was sung with great gusto that night.

It truly was a very fun day, and we were so honored to be there. Here are some of our favorites…hope you like them. HUGE CONGRATS TO KELSEY AND BRANDON!!!

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First off, let me say that this was an amazing wedding that basically popped off a Pinterest page. This was largely thanks to the mother of the groom, Stacey, who was wedding planner extraordinaire! Jessica and Colby had a vision to be married outside at Colby’s parent’s home. Think Father of the Bride style for those of you old enough to have seen it. There was a gorgeous ceremony spot complete with 2 wooden doors for a double door entrance down the aisle and pews for the guests to sit on…in the yard. Then the tent for the reception was one of the most beautifully decorated spaces I have ever seen. Mad shout out to the amazing team that put all of those details together! Ok, so that is the wow of the location. And while all of those details, décor and beauty are what we often think of and obsess over for a wedding (particularly if you are the bride!), that is not really what made this wedding over the top.

Jessica and Colby have surrounded themselves with an amazing group of friends that they share memories and adventures with and who do life with them. It was incredible to see how much love and support they had from them, along with their incredible families! Not least of all from their adorable little “dog of honor.” The best man was one of our former grooms, Nick (here you can see their Perryville Wedding photos). And we always love it when we get to work with friends of our past couples. Good people know good people, and this was certainly the case here.

Sometimes things just all come together to make a truly magical day. Great people, beautiful surroundings, even the rain decided to quit and not spoil the plans! We were honored to get to be a part of this new chapter for Jessica and Colby and can’t wait to see where life takes them!

~Shannon

Ok, so this wedding was one for the books. Here is a partial list of the adversity Scott and Mel had to overcome in their wedding week:

1) The massive flood closing the campsite where their wedding was going to be.
2) Their wedding transportation bus catching on fire and burning to a crisp, leaving them without their planned transportation
3) The day before the wedding, their tent company telling them that they gave their huge tent (which they had reserved) to someone else and they there were just plain out of luck.
4) Rain…and now without the aforementioned tent.
5) Millions and Millions of bugs…bugs love all the flood water (I probably swallowed at least 20 over the course of the day)

You would think this would lead to a stressful day. And you would be completely wrong. All there was all day long was laughter and joking and fun (interspersed with bug swatting). It was amazing. There are certain weddings that you know will stand out in your memory for years to come. Even though every wedding is unique and has its own special elements, after 250+ weddings, some weddings are set apart from the others. Sometimes that is because of the location, sometimes it’s the people or the events or something else. This wedding can check each one of those boxes. We have shot many weddings at Pere Marquette, but we have never shot (or even knew about) some of the other larger campgrounds that are part of the park. Scott and Mel spend a week at “camp” each year, and they planned it this year to have the wedding at the end of their wedding week. That alone made for a memorable wedding, but really…the best part was the people. So many amazing, fun, and just insane-in-the-best-way people (looking at you especially, bridesmaids) all around, and it’s hard to not jump right into it all with them.

And for Mel and Scott…what an amazing couple. So comfortable with each other and who they are that their joy is infectious. With all the aforementioned chaos that went down right before their wedding, they handled it with such humor and ease. If they would not have told me about all of it, I would never have even realized so many things had gone “wrong.” But when you are with people like this, though, you realize that it’s not about what goes well and what goes off the rails…it’s about celebrating your love, your friends, your family, and how freaking amazing it is to be alive.

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to you both…so thrilled to have been a part of it all!

Joel

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First wedding of the year!!! And WHAT a way to start! This was a wedding that I (Joel) had been looking forward to for a very long time. I first met Rachel at her sister’s wedding almost five years ago (check it out HERE!), and we loved her from the start. She is SO much fun, and we love people who can let loose, have a blast, and most importantly…be themselves. I was ecstatic when she asked me to shoot her wedding, and I knew it would be a huge highlight of the year for me. Unlike many photographers, I love shooting weddings of people I know. Not only do I get to do what I am passionate about, but I get to celebrate with friends on their day! I had not met Brady before the wedding day, but I had heard so much about him that I knew we were all going to have a great time.

Rachel’s family owns the legendary Deli and Grocery Store Legrand’s Market in South City StL (which we have become frequent customers of since her sister’s wedding…mainly so I can get my regular fill of the best sandwich in St. Louis the Legend Club), so we obviously all had to stop and eat lunch there. Brady hails from the IL side of the river in Red Bud and is a lover of the epic and refined Stag beer, so a photo stop at a nearby Stag memorial was a perfect fit. After photos (and a bar stop at the fun Start Bar for games and skeeball) we headed to their ceremony and reception at the incredible St. Louis City Hall. I had never actually been in the building before, and wow…it is quite the place.

Even though the day was a lot of fun, the best part was just seeing how much fun and love there was between everyone there. I cannot recall a single stressful or tense moment of the day at all. Everything was full of joy and smiles…even with the rain at the end of the day. I am SO thankful that I could be a part of it, and I am thrilled for this amazing couple and their awesome future ahead of them. Congrats you two!!!

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