Category archives: Joel Conner Wedding

So, I (Joel) love the Fox Theater. LOOOOOOVE the Fox. Apart from being one of my favorite places in the world, it is also one of my favorite places to shoot. It ticks all the things I love most in a place…1) dark, 2) incredibly stylish, 3) extra challenging, and 4) lends itself to incredibly opulent photos. Oh, and it’s very challenging…in case I did not mention that, and if I did it bears repeating. When shooting in a place like this, you need a couple that will be both patient and willing to let you do what you need to do to get the images they want. That might seem like a given, considering they booked the venue for how amazing it is and hired us because of our photos, but on a wedding day, there are SO many moving parts and so much anticipation and excitement that it can be challenging for couples to make room for what they wanted when there were in the planning process. That’s just par for the course and part of our job of balancing the long-held wants with day-of realities. With Natalie and Nick, though, they were 100% on board with whatever we wanted to do, and it made the work not only incredibly productive but also so much fun.

We first met Nick and Natalie in person at their engagement session a few months before their wedding. They live in Tenessee where Nick works in the aviation industry and Natalie is an amazing stylist. Even though we did not have a lot of time with them in person before the wedding, we had a great connection with them right away. It was insanely cold on the day of their engagement session, so our time together huddled around a radiator helped. Also, when they told us they were having a full-service espresso bar at their wedding, we knew we were meant to be together (because I am a huge coffee nerd, since we own a coffee shop and all).

The wedding day was incredible. And, the coffee bar came in very helpful because I was very sick that day! (just the regular flu…not the coronavirus. and even though it was months ago, I am not contagious through the internet, so stay calm). One of my favorite moments was during Natalie and her dad’s dance. They had a woman sing a song for them that she sang at her parents’ wedding! Father-daughter dances always make me emotional…even moreso now that I have a daughter, but this one really nailed me.

Here are some of my personal favorites from the day. Hope you enjoy them. Special thanks to the incredible Madeline from the Fox who not only referred this wedding to us, but is an incredible event manager and makes our lives and jobs SO much easier. She’s the best!

Joel

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As a wedding photographer who loves what he does, I (Joel) have a problem in that I get so excited about each new wedding I post, and probably 10 times each year, I say how a wedding I shot was “probably one of my favorites ever.” My wife Shannon laughs at me, but when I am working with an awesome couple and am able to create incredible images, I get so excited. So, yeah…Emily and Matt’s wedding was one of my favorites ever. Seriously.

Emily and Matt are two of the sweetest people, and even though we did not shoot an engagment session with them, they were so comfortable being together in front of the camera that it made my job a delight. Plus, I am a photographer that loves a certain type of light (different than what a lot of photographers like), and boy did we have the absolutely PERFECT light during their photos. And honestly, looking back it makes total sense because of how much they glow when they are together. It was one of those days where the time went by in an instant not because of how fast we were moving but because it all came so effortlessly.

We started out the morning at the amazing Hotel St. Louis. It was my first time being there, and it is quite the place. The wedding was at St. Ambrose on the Hill, which is one of our favorite churches in the city. For the reception, everyone partied on the top floor at Windows on Washington in downtown. Here are some of my favorites from the day, and I hope you enjoy them. Huge congrats to Emily and Matt…thank you so much for trusting me to document your day!

p.s. Special thanks to my amazing second shooter Ryan who rocked it and, as always, helps keep me sane when I do not have my wife with me.

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Ok, so that blog title sounds a little strange. No, Brianna and Dallas did not meet and fall in love while one or both of them were in jail…although that would make for a great story, I am sure. They both, actually, work in corrections! What’s funny is they are the second couple we (Shannon and I, Joel) have had in the past decade where both the bride and groom work in corrections. So…Jailhouse Love. There you go!

Brianna and Dallas’s wedding was at Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery in Carlyle, IL…which was our second time having a wedding there. We love Carlyle (especially for camping at the Eldon Hazlet State Park), so even though we didn’t make it to the lake, we did shoot some photos at the amazing General Dean Suspension Bridge, which I had never been on before. We had such a great day, and for an outdoor ceremony, the weather could not have been any better.

Here are some of our favorites from the day! Huge congrats to you both! We wish the dogs could have been part of the wedding day as well, but I guess we all know they would have stolen the show (and been impossible to manage in the meantime).

and p.s….thanks to Courtney and Cale for recommending us to them!

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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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