Tags archives: silver oaks chateau

The words for this blog will fall short. Nothing I (Amy) can say will fully explain the magnitude of the emotions on Melissa and Travis’ wedding day.

What I can tell you, is it all starts with Emily Bell.

29 years ago, Emily’s parents, Lester and Bridget Bell, said goodbye to their sweet 10 month old baby girl. In their most sorrowful moment, they chose to give life. They signed the paperwork and Emily’s heart was no longer her own. She didn’t need it any longer when she entered the kingdom God had created for her. Melissa did need it though and at just 10 days old, Melissa became the youngest known recipient of a heart transplant. Emily’s heart would go on- it would allow dreams to come true for more than just one. To give someone the greatest joy, at your deepest sorrow- is the greatest gift one can give. It is a gift we can all choose to give. Unless you work in the medical field, the chance to save a life seems slim, but it isn’t. It is as simple as a signature on a driver’s license. More often than not, that simple signature saves more than just one.

Melissa’s perfect heart would allow her to laugh, run, and play. It would allow her parent’s to rock her to sleep. It would allow her brother to pick on her. It would allow her sister to have her best friend.  It would allow her to graduate high school. It would allow her to fall in love and become a beautiful bride. Thus far, it has given 29 years of a wonderful life to a woman who may not have even had 29 days without it. Her life has been beautiful, but it hasn’t always been easy.

When you are a transplant recipient, you are placed on medication for life to ensure the organs remain a perfect fit. Those medications come at a price. In Melissa’s case, it was her kidneys. The first time Melissa needed a kidney, the woman who first gave her life (her own mother) stepped up to once again provide life to her daughter. Not long after, the need for another kidney arose and a beautiful woman named Cindy gave her kidney to a complete stranger. Melissa is no longer a complete stranger though, Cindy stood by her side as Melissa married the man of her dreams, Travis.

I know I usually post more about the couple. If I know Travis though, and I think I do, he would rather this story be told. He would hold the door open for Emily and Melissa as their story went ahead of him. He would silently sit by their hospital bed and provide support expecting nothing in return. All I can say, Travis, is as a parent of two little girls- if my daughter’s heart were to go on without her I would be thrilled that heart had grown to love a man like you. May you both be forever grateful for the gift you have in one another, and in the gift you were given almost 29 years ago.

 

I got to spend the day with one of my besties (Kurtis Hall).

Knowing he is fairly awesome, I asked him to cover travis getting ready. I think he did alright. ; ) 

I can’t speak for Kurtis but this is the moment I lost it behind my camera.

Being the mom of two little girls and remembering the joy they brought at only 10 months, I have to say this was the most heartbreakingly beautiful moment of any wedding I have ever attended. A beautiful soul walked down the aisle as the people who saved her watched their Emily’s heart make a journey their daughter would not.

(I may or may not have lost it again as I typed that)

  

Each person in this picture made a selfless choice.

Lester and Bridget’s little girl’s heart beats inside Melissa’s chest.

Mom and Cindy became live donors and each gave a kidney.

(not pictured- Melissa’s wonderful sister also chose to become a live donor and donated her kidney to a complete stranger)

     

Many daughters wonder if they will get this dance with their dad.

Hers spent many nights worrying they would never have the opportunity. 

Travis and Melissa, dance through everything. Every raindrop, every sunset.

The image below I took as a “Thank You” to the three wonderful donors who brought Melissa and Travis to this moment. 

Last but not least, please consider signing up to give the gift of life.

A single organ donor can save up to EIGHT lives. In addition to that, enhance the lives of up to 50!

If there is one last gift you can give the world, this is it.

I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you

At Shadow and Light, we absolutely LOVE getting to know our couples.We enjoy seeing their unique personalities shine through. While Pinterest is full of some pretty fantastic ideas (Hello Mudroom Bench I am making Andrew build for me), the wedding photos can often be reflections of someone else’s wedding day rather than your own. Couples everywhere should take note because Derek and Jessica’s wedding day was a true reflection of who they are. Jessica was pretty awesome about another girl stealing her thunder all day long. Derek and Jessica’s sweet niece, Georgia, made sure to leave her mark on everyone’s hearts. I (Amy) tried to stop taking her picture so much but she just went from doing one cute thing to the next!

    

Jessica MADE all of the jewelry for the moms and bridesmaids. She has her own store you can check out here!

I loved all of the jewelry, Jess but the colors of your mom’s piece just make me so happy! Love!!!   Jessica and Derek chose readings from Boy Meets World and The Wedding Singer.

They were perfect and so very memorable!

 

  

Instead of saying “Speak now or forever hold your peace” (Does anyone ever actually say that!?!), their friends were instead asked to speak now about why Jessica and Derek belong together. Each member of the bridal party got their turn.    

Instead of sealing with a kiss (they did that too), Jessica and Derek concluded their ceremony with a minty shot of Rumplemintz as a wink to Derek’s mom (it’s her signature drink).     

The cutest “Something Old” ever! These Bloomers were Jessica’s when she was little!       

Jessica and Derek, we had so much fun with the two of you! It was such a fun day where your personalities were as vibrant as the jewels.

We hope you love your pictures and even more- we hope they always bring you joy!

 

Ceremony and Reception: Silver Oaks Chateau

Brides Dress:Enzoani from Something White Bridal Boutique

Flowers: Roses and Mint 

Mens Attire: Mens Wearhouse

Photo Booth: Shutterbooth StL

DJ: Our much loved Jimmy Hussey

 

 

These two. If their loved ones didn’t brag about them and how incredible they were- I never would have known. They are so incredibly humble and very much in love. They think so highly about the other person, I could see how easy it would be to brag but it seems they think of the other as an extension of themselves, and therefore they speak about the other with humility. The love and admiration for them from their family and friends was pretty staggering. There were many times guests were moved to tears. These two know and understand the commitment they made and they went into it wholeheartedly. They have seen the highs and lows life can bring already and they both have hearts of Gold because of it. You see, not only does Bret have a golden heart, he also has a purple one. While Melissa didn’t nurse him back to health that time, she did once he returned home caring for him after a football accident. Her passion to care for others is not only displayed in her actions but in her beautiful tattoo on her back. Their lives are a constant display of serving others before themselves.

Melissa and Bret married at Silver Oaks Chateau on a warm day in June. Our lovely Ashlee of Signed Sealed Delivered Events made sure the day went by smoothly and helped bring Melissa’s vision to life. The kiddos were well cared for all day with little surprises here and there to keep a long wedding day fun for them! Just wait until you see how sweet their gifts were!

I spy our video team! haha They always ensure our brides have privacy while they get dressed! 

A girl’s first look with her daddy is always one of my favorite parts of the day!      

How sweet are these gifts for the kiddos!? They knew the littles would be nervous to walk down the aisle so they carried their Build A Bear teddy bears with them!

The bears even made it into the bridal party portraits!

  

We had to take a picture of our Ashlee. We just love her and honestly, if we are talking about a heart of service, she MUST be included. Her couples will never know the amount of love she pours into them. They will have no idea what happens behind the scenes and how many tears are shed.
She wouldn’t want to brag. I do though. She doesn’t have a purple heart, but it is solid gold. 24karat.

   

I loved this moment!

 

Beauty: The Glam Fam

Bride & Bridesmaid Fashion: Mia Grace Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Savvi Formalwear

Cake: Cake House Design

Catering: 23 City Blocks

Florals: Steven Mueller Florist

Fovors: Enooble Photo Booth

Officiant: Paul at Faith Family Church

Entertainment: Groovethang

Ceremony Music: Clarion Brass

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Today is Father’s Day and it just so happens that the perfect wedding for what’s on my heart today is due to be blogged. You see, my father (Whom was one of my best friends) passed away 16 years ago. Since then, all of you wonderful daddies out there have been over photographed at weddings. I’ve lived vicariously through you all for the last 16 years as I watched you smile proudly at your children in a way only a parent can. I didn’t get to dance with my dad at my wedding- but we knew the song we would pick- Butterfly Kisses. It was probably cliche or overplayed- that didn’t matter to my dad and I. The song had a lot of meaning for us. So much so that my final project as a senior in high school was a speech centered around the song- it was a tribute to my dad and I held true to the promises I made in that speech. That no one would take his place next to me on the aisle. That my kids would KNOW him in spite of the fact that they would never get to meet him on this earth. My Dad was one of the most proud daddies out there so when I see one of you beam with pride at your little girl… I wear my shutter out capturing that moment. I want to preserve that moment in time- because one day… she won’t see that look anymore and I take it as my personal responsibly to bring you back. For her to feel that warmth every time she sees that look I captured. It’s a look no child should ever forget.
As I shot Amy and Cole’s wedding- I kept saying this line from the song in my head almost every time I saw her dad…

“And I thank God for all of the joy in my life…”

It is said right before the chorus begins. I don’t know that this is what her dad was thinking, but it sure looked like it from behind my lens.

  

Children have been playing a MAJOR role in my weddings lately. You all are some fantastic aunts and uncles. I’ll be honest. There are many times I have said “leave the kids at home”. Something about stilettos on the dance floor and toddler feet running around scares me BUT I have to admit… seeing the love you all have for these kiddos makes me absolutely agree that kiddos should be present not just for their enjoyment but for our souls as well.

If you follow Shadow and Light on Facebook, you saw what I used to make this image! One man’s (woman’s) trash is another man’s (woman’s) treasure! 

Here he is. And the lines of the song start playing in my head:

“Theres two things I know for sure. She was sent here from Heaven and she’s Daddy’s little girl.”

“She’ll change her name today.
She’ll make a promise,
And I’ll give her away.
Standing in the bride room
Just staring at her,
She asked me what I’m thinking,
And I said “I’m not sure,
I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl.””

“Then she leaned over and gave me
Butterfly kisses, with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk me down the aisle daddy, it’s just
About time”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty Daddy?”
“Daddy don’t cry”
Oh with all that I’ve done wrong,
I must have done something right…”

“She’ll change her name today.
She’ll make a promise,
And I’ll give her away.”

                    

“I couldn’t ask God for more, man, this is
What love is
I know I’ve gotta let her go, but I’ll always
Remember
Every hug in the morning, and butterfly kisses at night”

Amy and Cole, you two are beyond blessed to have the parents you do. The looks of pride were not exclusive to one parent- they were all beaming at your wedding.
I hope you love all of the images, but more than that- I hope you see the love shining through them.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the great Dads out there.
To anyone missing their Dad today, allow yourself to be thankful for others in your life while being grateful for the time you did have.

Being a Father is more than just blood.
It’s love.
So if there’s a Father Figure out there who loves you,

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to be thankful they are in your life, allow them the opportunity to love you as a father would.

I promise, it is what your dad would want.

So with that being said,
HAPPY 1st FATHER’S DAY AS MY DAD, DAD.
You deserve the title. Not because we share DNA, but because you loved me without question.

(For those of you thinking “WHAT?!?!, CLICK HERE)

I (Amy) just love spring. The greenery comes in so fresh and new. You see signs of new life as your emerge from winter’s hibernation. The grass is truly greener on this side of the year. Being a family of horticulturalists, the Endres family had the perfect setting for Stephen and Meghan’s Wedding. Nestled in the back of the stunning, Silver Oaks Chateau, Stephen and Meghan said their vows surrounded by friends, family and a mix of Oak and Dogwood. Meghan picked the perfect time of year, likely picking the perfect day for other’s enjoyment more than for her own. Whatever the reason, the weather was perfect and so was everyone’s spirit! The girls started the day with a dance party that rivaled the dance floor at the reception- which was hopping as well thanks to Rockstar DJs!

Before the wedding, Meghan told us the following story about their proposal. ” We had a running joke about him hiding the ring in a certain spot and he would act like he was pulling out a ring and proposing every so often. Then one evening he went to the spot and actually pulled out the ring. Definitely didn’t believe it at first, I was not expecting it at all. After he proposed he had another surprise for me–a party at his parents house with all our good friends and family. (Still can’t believe he kept it a surprise because he’s the worst at keeping secrets haha) It was a great night!”

Little did she know, he was keeping another great secret from her. Shortly after the wedding, Stephen surprised her with yet another ring! She had no idea it was coming! He just felt that one wedding band wasn’t enough so he bought her two! How sweet is that?

 

 

      

When Andrew and I found out our 2nd baby was a girl as well, this is the image I had in mind. Sisters sharing in one another’s joy and being there by their side to encourage and support.

These images give me so much joy!

           

  

Meghan and Stephen, thank you for such a fun afternoon. We had a wonderful time with you and the people who love you! It was the perfect first day back after maternity leave!

Ignore the T-Swift Reference- but the girl was right about one thing. Two really is better than one, especially when it comes to wedding gowns! With her family owning Signature Bridal, Samantha knew she had to find the perfect dress. The only problem was, she fell in love with two (what a horrible problem to have). I (Amy) can’t decide which look I love more (Both Gowns by Ashley & Justin Bride). Clearly Brian was in agreement that these gowns were just perfect on his soon to be wife. Their love for one another it shown in every picture. This day was just absolutely perfect and it was because it was for two people who are absolutely, wholeheartedly in love with one another.

This was my last wedding for 2017 at Silver Oaks Chateau where I have spent my entire pregnancy. I was at Silver Oaks a few days after finding our we were pregnant, I was there when our pregnancy got scary, I was there when I found out a high school friend had been called home hours after delivering her baby, I was there when things got better, and I was there for some of my first contractions. I can’t wait for our sweet girl to meet our Chateau Family. I could not have dreamed of a better way to close out our season year there.

 

       

 

Can we just pause for a second to discuss how fabulous these florals were by Montebello Gardens?? So stunning!!

        

One of my all time favorite moments at a wedding ever. I already loved Brian – this made me love him even more.

Huge thanks to my friend, Christopher Becker for grabbing this shot!

    

Special thank you to my amazing couple who trusted me with every moment of their day- including the part where I had to hop on an earlier than expected flight to head to smoke filled, San Francisco to shoot a wedding the following day. We knew you were safe in the hands of Becker and Cari- they loved you just as much as we do!

xoxo

-A

When I (Joel) asked Kristen what it was about Lee that drew her in, she said that he made everything special. Even the mundane, every-day things became magical. They realized quickly that life isn’t built on the romantic , dreamy evenings but on the every day light that you build together and make special.  We could not agree more.

We first met Kristen at her brother’s wedding last year (you can see their awesome wedding photos HERE), and we were so excited when the time came for her own wedding. They are such a sweet, loving couple, and we knew it was going to be a fabulous day. It was even more special to us, because we would be at the fabulous Silver Oaks Chateau which is one of most beautiful places for weddings that you could ever imagine. Everything on the day went off a hitch (and their dog even behaved like a champ!), and it was such a lovely wedding. Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to you both!!

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