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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