Tags archives: catholic wedding

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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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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Without a doubt, Bill and Angela were married on the windiest day of the fall. Granted, it was absolutely gorgeous- but boy did we ever have to work with the wind. I have to say, with a few maneuvers, it worked well in our favor. Angela was just about the most laid back bride ever. She and Bill both trusted us completely and my friend Chris and I had a blast working with them (So much so that before the ceremony even began Chris was asking me how many memory cards I had because he was allowed to be getting suck “Great stuff”).

Bill and Angela chose one of our all time favorite venues for their wedding, The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s. I (Amy) am a bit of a chocolate snob. It’s really the only form of candy I like. If it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth the calories in my opinion so I’m quite the kid in a literal candy store when I work there. Not to mention we have become friends with a lot of the people who work there so its pretty much just the recipe for a fun night.

 


   

I’m not usually one for the funny stuff. I’m just not that cool. However, when your friend Amanda Little is the brains behind a lot of the antics that go on at the Caramel Room, you get a little silly. Thanks for being a great sport and taking this picture for Amanda. She loves it!! 

Reception Venue: Caramel Room at Bissingers

Catering 23 City Blocks

HMUA: Sheana Helton

Dress: Mia Grace Bridal

Tuxes: Mens Warehouse

DJ: Jimmy Hussey

Photographers: Shadow and Light

Photo Booth: Fisheye Fun

Stationery: Simply Torn Art + Design

I (Joel) imagine that when most people are planning for an early December wedding, they are planning on winter weather. Even just a few weeks ago, we had multiple inches of snow on the ground. Rachel and Dustin have been engaged for quite a while, and for the past few years, they have been paying attention to the weather on December 1st…and each year, it has had nice weather. When it came to their big day this past weekend, not only was it nice, but it was almost 70 degrees outside! It felt more like September than it did December. It was cold a few days before the wedding, and now just two days later, it’s cold again. But on their day, there was this amazing warmth…and I think that is so appropriate for these two. They have been a couple since high school, and they just fit together perfectly. Their day was a perfect reflection of that. One of my favorite things about the day was seeing how much these two are loved. They had a huge wedding party, and it was clear that no one was there to just “fill numbers”…they were so thrilled to be there celebrating with them. The wedding ceremony was in Hillsboro, MO with the reception at the Elks Lodge, Festus, MO. In between the ceremony and reception, we stopped for photos at a few places (and had a cameo appearance by their baby…their dog Dixie!).

I have a few special shout-outs for the day. First off, when we pulled up to our first photo location, my jaw dropped because I realized instantly that it was at the house of one of our amazing couples from 5 years ago, Kelly and Steve. And the barn we were shooting at was actually the one built for that wedding! I was able to see Kelly’s parents and give them hugs (they are an incredible family). If you care to see any photos from that wedding, follow this link! Hillsboro MO Barn Wedding Photography

Secondly, I somehow dropped my keys in the grass while photographing down by the lake. After a brief search, we had to abandon the search because I could not waste the time looking for the keys when we had more photos to get for Rachel and Dustin (because photos are incredibly important to her, and when it comes down to it…there is no bigger priority than doing my job. Keys can wait). Tyler and Katie were kind enough to let me jump in their truck with them, so I left my car there. After we finished photos at the next spot, they drove me back to the house. When we got there, we discovered that four members of the wedding party had driven back to start looking…and they found them! It was dark at that point, so it would have been very hard to have found them at that point. It was a huge relief, and I did not have to sleep in my car that night. I cannot thank them enough for that! (and just another example of how we always have the greatest groups of people at our weddings…amazes me time and time again)

And lastly but most importantly, I booked this wedding because of the bride’s sister, Melissa. She, actually, was my very first second-shooter at weddings with me when I was still getting started and had no idea what I was doing. She worked with me for years and always was a treasure to me. Even after Shannon and I got married (and Shannon was learning the craft), she was still with me. She shot our engagement photos. She shot our wedding. We have prints of us on the wall at our home that she shot. We love her to death, and it was so so wonderful to see her and spend the day with her. And obviously, since I was flying solo that day I had to put her to work at least a little bit by holding the reflector for me. Love you, Melissa!

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to Rachel and Dustin!

Joel Conner

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I’m not crying. You’re crying. If you ask me (Amy) – Everyone should cry. This whole mess about not screwing up makeup makes me absolutely bonkers. Embrace it!! Embrace the tears of joy and cry- and if all else fails, call for more Joy. (Joy Loveless, Makeup Artist, that is). All day, whenever someone cried, we would yell “Joy!!! Where’s Joy”. Everyone felt free to tear up, as long as Joy was around. Nikki and Greg’s wedding day was so full of joy and laughter (and some tears) from all who were present. One of the things Nikki’s parents love about Greg is how much of a genuine family man he is. This family is one who is there for one another and it really shows. We had such a wonderful time with everyone.

According to her mom, Nikki could have gone without a traditional wedding. It was Greg’s love for a celebration with all of their loved ones that made her decide to stay local. It wasn’t at all that she didn’t want to celebrate with their loved ones, it’s that Nikki and a love for being the center of attention don’t go hand in hand. Pretty difficult when you are a girl who lights up the room naturally. I could go on and on- but If I know Nikki, she’s reading this right now thinking “Oh Gosh, what is she going to say next”, so I will stop right here and just let the pictures of this beautiful celebration do the talking.

I never did know what brought this first set of tears on, but Nikki, I hope you never forget.   

“I’m not going to cry”

When choosing your bridesmaids, make sure you choose people who make you smile and bring you joy (literally and figuratively).       

I loved this little tribute to Nikki’s Greek Heritage. Which reminds me Nikki, Greg’s mom absolutely said that you need to make me some of your famous spanakopita. Word for word. That is EXACTLY what she said. I swear it. True story.

 

Greg and Nikki… we just had so much fun from the day we met on! I can’t wait to see what your future holds. Just keep holding onto one another and it will all go perfectly! Congratulations to you both!

Ceremony: Cathedral Basilica

Reception: St Louis Four Seasons Hotel

Makeup: Joy Loveless Makeup Artestry

Dress Designer: Eddy K from Clarice’s Bridal

Cake: Four Seasons St Louis

Wedding rings: Genovese Jewelers

Music: Push the Limit

Uplighting and Pin Lighting & Furniture: The Aries Company

Linens: BBJ

Florist: Mary Tuttle’s Flowers

Ryan and Diane first met at in Carbondale, IL. Her brother Andrew and Ryan were in the same fraternity and attended Southern Illinois University. Diane attended college at Illinois State University, but she went down south one weekend to visit my brother. That weekend these two met, and Ryan took quite the liking to Diane right away. At first, she was not very interested in him. But to his credit, he was very persistent, and since her college was not far from his hometown, he asked her to go on a date when he was home for the weekend. The date went very well, and they continued to talk and see each other when he came home on the weekends….which he started to do with increasing frequency. Pretty soon, it was clear they were an amazing couple.

A few years later, the time had come to take it further. Ryan and Diane had a very busy summer with attending weddings, going to New York City, and remodeling their home. There was one weekend in there that they had free to refresh and relax, but Ryan had different plans. It was a Friday night and they were sitting out in the swing in the front yard (that they bought for their 4 year anniversary) and were watching the sunset. They decided to talk a walk down the lane like they sometimes do in the evening, but once they turned around and headed back towards the house, Diane felt the conversation get a little deeper than normal. He said numerous compliments about her, and shared some ideas and plans he had for the future. All the while she was thinking, “This is getting deep…why isn’t he saving this for his proposal speech?!?!” She did not realize that he was in the middle of it. Once they returned to the swing she went to sit down again, but Ryan continued to stand in front of her and said, “Diane, I want to continue to watch the sunset in this swing with you for the rest of my life…will you marry me”? She could not believe what she was seeing…him there on one knee. Of course, she said yes, and that relaxing weekend turned into traveling from one end of the state to other to share the good news with our parents and family.

People that know Shannon and me (Joel) know how much we love people who are passionate about each other, their family, and their friends. Ryan and Diane are two perfect examples of that. Their wedding day was incredible and overflowing with laughter, tears of joy, dancing, and bliss. You cannot ask for anything more than that for the start of a new family. Their wedding ceremony was in Jerseyville, IL at St. Francis Xavier Church, and their reception was the beautiful Aries Winery in Grafton (with some photos at one of our favorite places in the world, Pere Marquette). Here are some of our favorites from the day. HUGE CONGRATS to you both!

P.S. Check out the killer video done by our awesome friends at Garon Photo & Cinema…check it HERE.

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I first met Erin and Alex when I shot some Christmas photo for Erin’s family a few years back. The family was all together for the holidays, so it was a perfect time to get everyone together. The two of them were not yet engaged at the time, but it was clear that it would not be too long. When they got in touch to let me know they were engaged, I was ecstatic. Their wedding was going to be in Seattle (a city both Shannon and I love), and we knew we had to make it work. Shannon was already committed that day, so it would mean me traveling and shooting without her. But, we knew I had to go. Our favorite thing about weddings is seeing the closeness between family, and I could just tell that this would be a day that held so much of that. It was a perfect match.

There is always the concern about the weather in the PNW, but it could not have been a more beautiful day. We started out with the girls getting ready at the Washington Atheltic Club. The wedding was at the beautiful St. James Cathedral in Seattle, and it was a truly spectacular place. The reception was at Alex’s family home overlooking the Puget Sound.  Honestly, everything was just perfect, and it made my job very easy. So many excellent people with so much love at beautiful places. Incredible.

Here are some of my favorites from the day. Huge congrats to Erin and Alex…thank you so much for trusting me to come out and document your day!

Joel

P.S. Special thanks to my old friend Kom who worked with me that day. So glad I found out you were living in Seattle!

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Nancy and Ethan. They first met late in college after their paths crossed because of mutual friends, and 5 1/2 years later, here we are…their wedding day! Their wedding was in the very small town of Radom, IL (which might be the smallest town we have ever shot in with a population of 210), but we were amazed at how beautiful the church was. It was a hot day…a very hot day. But, everyone was so excited to see these two married after such a long journey together that no one seemed to mind the heat at all.  For the reception, we were at Bretz Wildlife Lodge. Here are some of our favorite images from the day. Huge congrats to Nancy and Ethan…we wish you both the very best to come!