Category archives: Joel Conner Wedding

Cortney and Cale are not a complicated couple. They love the simple things in life. They love being in nature…they love their friends and family…and they love each other. Their wedding day matched them perfectly. It was simple, sweet, and full of laughs and love. I (Joel) knew I was going to love working with them when, during their engagement session, Cortney asked if they could take their shoes off and do some photos in the (cold!) creek. Obviously, that would be a yes. They had so much fun, and Cale was a great sport in humoring Cortney and my enthusiasm. With everything we did at the session, it was clear how crazy he was about her. I knew that once it was time for the wedding, their excitement for each other would be infectious.

Here are some of our favorites from the day…hope you like them as well. Huge congrats to you both!

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Out of any 250+ weddings I (Joel) have photographed, there has never been one I have been waiting for and hoping for like this one.  In fact, I was waiting and hoping for this wedding to come even before Rebekah and Alrick had even met each other. I have known Bekah for over 20 years, and since before I could drive a car, she was like a little sister to me. I can honestly say there is possibly no one that I am not related to or married to that I hold in higher esteem than I hold her. Of the many people I have known throughout my life, she is a jewel among gems. When she moved to Washington D. C. to pursue her government career, I was hoping she would meet someone amazing.  (fun fact: I was one of the people who did a background check interview when Bekah was going for her initial government clearance. I actually believe she is a secret CIA Agent and my interview was for her top-secret clearance, but don’t tell her that I figured it out).

Things might have taken a wee bit longer than many of us were hoping, but I clearly remember the first time I saw a photo of her and Alrick. Right away, I knew…this was the guy. Maybe it’s that imagined sense that sort-of-brothers have when seeing their sort-of-sister with a suitor, but you usually get a gut instinct in a moment. I know that was how I felt when I first saw and met my actual sister’s now-husband. I felt about Alrick what I felt about my brother in law…I liked him instantly and truly believed he was the right man. When I met him in January of this year at my birthday party, I knew I liked him even more than I thought I would. This was a good man. I could not wait for their engagement to come, and when it finally came…we were thrilled.

He proposed 1 year and 6 months after they met, on 2/11/18.  He took Bekah down to Old Town Alexandria, next to the Potomac River.  He told her that he wanted to get down there before sundown to test a new lens for his camera (classic photographer excuse…just ask Shannon) and take a few pics.  He set up his camera on the tripod, and though she didn’t realize it at the time, he had started recording a video.  Bekah also didn’t realize that he had brought a speaker with him, but when “I Had the Time of my Life” come on, it confirmed her suspicions that he might be up to something.  The two of them had watched Dirty Dancing on their 6 month anniversary and danced to it in his living room…it became their song. He got down on one knee and proposed down on a dock by the water.

When the day came for their wedding, we hopped on a plane to head to Washington D.C.  The wedding was at the gorgeous Whitehall Estate in Northern Virginia, and it was such a perfect place for their wedding. Even though we were working and needing to focus on that, it was still fun to be with friends who also traveled there to celebrate with the two of them. It was such a perfect day, and we were so very honored to be there and to be a part. We love you both, and we cannot wait to see what amazing things are in store.

It all started with a blind date after Shawn’s sister and Kimmie’s cousin set it all up. It was a perfect date for these two because they are both such big St. Louis Blues fans, and from that evening on…it was meant to be. Shawn says the first time he saw Kimmie, he knew he wanted to be together with her, the second time he knew he loved her, and the third he knew he wanted to marry her. And last year while they were on vacation in St. Lucia, Shawn hired a photographer to take some anniversary photos for them. Then suddenly during sunset on the beach, he asked her to marry him. I (Joel) have known both Kimmie and Shawn for many years, and I could not have been more excited for their wedding. It was our first wedding of the new season, so we were even more ready to go. For the first weekend in March, it could not have been a more perfect day outside. Forget the snow nonsense we’ve had this week, their wedding day was sunny and warm – a perfect reflection of their dispositions. The ceremony took place in the Provincial House Chapel on UMSL campus. This is an old Catholic church that has been turned into a chapel anyone can be married in, and it is lovely! After the ceremony and some photos with family and friends, we headed to the reception at the Mahler Ballroom, which has recently been renovated and looks great. Kimmie and Shawn took dance classes there in preparation for their wedding, so they got to show off their skills on the dance floor that evening! One of the most special moments of the day was when Kimmie’s step-dad came to the dance floor with her to share their father-daughter dance. He gave a moving, emotional speech about his love for her, not as a step-daughter, but as just a daughter, and about how this dance was for him and her dad (who passed 2 years earlier). You could hear a pin drop. It was one of the most moving speeches from a father we’ve heard. These are the moments that make it all worth it. We know it’s not all pretty flowers and dresses, parties and details – it’s the true love between family and friends, and the celebration of the beginning of forever. Congratulations Shawn and Kimmie! We couldn’t be more happy for you!