Tags archives: st louis wedding photography

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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There are certain weddings that stick out as unique for one reason or another. Maybe it was the spectacular decor, the incredible venue, something crazy that happened. But other times weddings stick out because of the love and relationships of the people in them. Ben and Shelly’s is one of these.

Ben and Shelly are a wonderful couple and part of two very loving, caring families. Ben has two beautiful children that Shelly loves dearly, and they are a sweet family! Their wedding day was not traditional in the sense that they didn’t do all the “typical” things – wedding party, lots of dancing, etc. But it was deeply traditional in the sense of purpose, intentionality and love that was displayed. I (Shannon) am so glad I was able to be there (along with our amazing Hannah shooting with me) at Barnett on Washington to capture this beautiful start of a new family and the celebration of a love that is only going to deepen as the years go on.

Congratulations Ben & Shelly – you two deserve only the best!!

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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!!!

 

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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It all began with a broken glass. But let’s rewind for a minute. Or a few years. A few years ago, I (Amy) had the honor of capturing Carly’s sister’s wedding. As a photographer, I can tell you there is no greater honor than being invited back in for another wedding in a family. I actually had Carly’s wedding weekend blocked off to be my ONE WEEKEND OFF for the month but when she called, I knew I would bend my rules for her (it’s fun being the boss sometimes). I already knew her family. I knew their dynamic. I knew their traditions. I KNEW THEM and I loved them. I knew there would be no photographer out there who would love on her more- and that’s a bold statement to make because there are a lot of wonderful photographers out there- but that’s just how invested we get in our couples. So when I knew I had a day with her family again, I knew what an honor it was. I just had to get to know her soon to be husband John.

Marrying into a Jewish family- it’s an experience. Traditionally, it is one filled with some expectations that one may say are high, it’s super well meaning in laws who don’t meddle- ever ; ) , it’s tradition, its a lot of celebration, and its a whole lot of love. Not just anyone is accepted as a son in law by any parent out there, but John? In the words of Carly’s mom, Eve- “He’s a real mensch” and let me tell you- he is. John is such a wonderful guy. He is kind, patient, overall at peace, gentle, loving, caring, focused. He fits perfectly with Carly’s energetic, joyful, beautiful spirit.

So it all starts with a broken glass- their beautiful life together. He stops, she wraps her arms around her new husband in a kiss, and away they go into their new life together. And it is perfect. Every perfectly imperfect moment of it all.

 

    

Above Image by my friend, Chris Becker!

Carly’s wedding also included so many of my vendor family. My friend Lisa did the flowers and I have to say, this was one of my favorite bouquets ever. Not only was it full and beautiful, but Carly didn’t have to complain a single time that it was too heavy! It was perfect to carry!!!

My hubby is photo bombing : ) Yes, I will edit him out, but I like complaining that the “damn videographer RUINED my shot”. 

Carly didn’t want to leave the property of the Four Seasons on her wedding day and with her wedding being late June I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved her for that.  

I love the color, but I’m a sucker for Black and White so you’re getting both. Deal with it. ; ) 

Love these wonderful families.

Mazel Tov!!!

Love these details Chris took.

: ) A perfectly imperfect moment captured by Becker. They will tell their children this story and I’s so glad they have the pictures to go with it.    

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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First off, let me say that this was an amazing wedding that basically popped off a Pinterest page. This was largely thanks to the mother of the groom, Stacey, who was wedding planner extraordinaire! Jessica and Colby had a vision to be married outside at Colby’s parent’s home. Think Father of the Bride style for those of you old enough to have seen it. There was a gorgeous ceremony spot complete with 2 wooden doors for a double door entrance down the aisle and pews for the guests to sit on…in the yard. Then the tent for the reception was one of the most beautifully decorated spaces I have ever seen. Mad shout out to the amazing team that put all of those details together! Ok, so that is the wow of the location. And while all of those details, décor and beauty are what we often think of and obsess over for a wedding (particularly if you are the bride!), that is not really what made this wedding over the top.

Jessica and Colby have surrounded themselves with an amazing group of friends that they share memories and adventures with and who do life with them. It was incredible to see how much love and support they had from them, along with their incredible families! Not least of all from their adorable little “dog of honor.” The best man was one of our former grooms, Nick (here you can see their Perryville Wedding photos). And we always love it when we get to work with friends of our past couples. Good people know good people, and this was certainly the case here.

Sometimes things just all come together to make a truly magical day. Great people, beautiful surroundings, even the rain decided to quit and not spoil the plans! We were honored to get to be a part of this new chapter for Jessica and Colby and can’t wait to see where life takes them!

~Shannon

Ok, so this wedding was one for the books. Here is a partial list of the adversity Scott and Mel had to overcome in their wedding week:

1) The massive flood closing the campsite where their wedding was going to be.
2) Their wedding transportation bus catching on fire and burning to a crisp, leaving them without their planned transportation
3) The day before the wedding, their tent company telling them that they gave their huge tent (which they had reserved) to someone else and they there were just plain out of luck.
4) Rain…and now without the aforementioned tent.
5) Millions and Millions of bugs…bugs love all the flood water (I probably swallowed at least 20 over the course of the day)

You would think this would lead to a stressful day. And you would be completely wrong. All there was all day long was laughter and joking and fun (interspersed with bug swatting). It was amazing. There are certain weddings that you know will stand out in your memory for years to come. Even though every wedding is unique and has its own special elements, after 250+ weddings, some weddings are set apart from the others. Sometimes that is because of the location, sometimes it’s the people or the events or something else. This wedding can check each one of those boxes. We have shot many weddings at Pere Marquette, but we have never shot (or even knew about) some of the other larger campgrounds that are part of the park. Scott and Mel spend a week at “camp” each year, and they planned it this year to have the wedding at the end of their wedding week. That alone made for a memorable wedding, but really…the best part was the people. So many amazing, fun, and just insane-in-the-best-way people (looking at you especially, bridesmaids) all around, and it’s hard to not jump right into it all with them.

And for Mel and Scott…what an amazing couple. So comfortable with each other and who they are that their joy is infectious. With all the aforementioned chaos that went down right before their wedding, they handled it with such humor and ease. If they would not have told me about all of it, I would never have even realized so many things had gone “wrong.” But when you are with people like this, though, you realize that it’s not about what goes well and what goes off the rails…it’s about celebrating your love, your friends, your family, and how freaking amazing it is to be alive.

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to you both…so thrilled to have been a part of it all!

Joel

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