Jessica & Ben: An Autumn Wedding by Bolla Photo

Jessica is an elementary school teacher. Ben is a PC Analyst at Wells Fargo. Together they add up to one super adorable couple!

First Looks are so much fun! The look on Ben's face when he first sees his bride proves he's more than ready to turn Miss Hagen into Mrs. Hughes!


The couple decided to make their grand exit inside the church foyer instead of having all their guests stand around outside in the heat and humidity.


All of Jessica's flowers were absolutely stunning. Also, calla lillies! My favorite! <3

I stole the couple away before sunset so we could snag a few photos and the colors in the sky were phenomenal!

More gorgeous flowers! I loved the variety that florist Jill put together. Every table had several mason jars full of different blooms. Talk about fabulous!

Pastor Downs forgot to announce the newlyweds' first kiss after their vows, so before blessing dinner, he let them have their formal kiss for all to see.

DJ Chris McMahon of McMusic DJ kept the party going all night long. He even got a soul train line going so everyone could show off their moves!

Congratulations, Jessica and Ben!

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville, IL
Wedding Reception Venue: Champagne Hall, Hidden Lake Winery, Aviston, IL
DJ / Photobooth: Chris McMahon, McMusic DJ, Photobooth, and Uplighting Services, Fairview Heights, IL

Cake Artist: Cakes by Marla, Smithton, IL
Floral Artist: Jill Batchelder, family friend

Meredith & Scott: A Church, a Lake, and a Winery by Bolla Photo

Meredith and Scott’s engagement session last fall at Kaeser Park and Silver Lake Park in Highland yielded some of my all-time favorite photos (see below). I was thrilled we would be returning to Silver Lake Park for their wedding photos, as well. And I was by no means disappointed.  More new favorites (see above)!

These two are just too adorable! While sitting and getting her hair done by the talented Carla of the Mane Attraction, Meredith texted back and forth with Scott:
“Are you ready for this?”
“Well of course! You?”
“I’m so ready!”

From Silver Lake Park we all headed to the reception at Hidden Lake Winery, but not before stopping for some photos under the vine-covered trellis. After dinner, we even snuck back outside for some more photos. The setting sun provided the ideal warm glow, and then…the most perfect purple skies for a silhouette of the new couple. (Yup another fave!)

Congratulations, Meredith and Scott!  

Ceremony: Marine United Church of Christ, Marine, IL
Reception: Hidden Lake Winery (Champagne Hall), Aviston, IL 
Videographer: Captured in Frames (See the same-day edit video here!) 
Cake Artist: It’s a Piece of Cake, St. Jacob, IL 
Hair and Makeup Artists: Mane Attraction, Collinsville, IL 
Floral Artist: Carol’s Forget Me Not, Highland, IL
DJ: Majestic Moments DJ Service

My favorite image from Meredith & Scott's engagement session (and a new all-time fave). See more from their engagement session here.

Laura & Brian: Spring Wedding in Clinton County by Bolla Photo

On the morning of their wedding, Laura told me that Brian knew I had to be their photographer after discovering at our consultation that, just like the two of them, I am the proud parent of two long-haired dachshunds. Yes, we have the cutest dogs around…just saying! :-)  The pups didn't make it in the wedding (go see Laura and Brian with both dogs during their engagement session), but the day was no less fabulous.

Laura was fiercely stunning in her lace Sottero & Midgley gown. Her bridesmaids were arrayed in Tiffany blue asymmetrical dresses. And the contrasting bouquets and boutonnieres included Billy Balls (pom pom flowers)...as per Brian’s other request.  

Nothing says spring like gorgeous flowering trees! I was totally in love with the ones at the home of Laura’s uncle and aunt. They were kind enough to allow us to come after the ceremony for photos with the wedding party. (Thank you again!)

The fabulosity (yes, I sometimes make up words when I need to!) continued at the reception, where the theme of vintage elegance was made evident in the center of the dance floor: a delicious cake by Artistry on Cakes was draped in sugar lace and pearls to match the table decorations. Another highlight of the evening was the same-day edit video by videographer Levi Kirby (see it here!)The party continued all night with near non-stop dancing. Even Grandma Janice boogied with the rest!

Congratulations again, Laura and Brian! 

Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Trenton, IL
Reception: American Legion, Aviston, IL
Videographer: Levi Kirby 
Cake Artist: Artistry on Cakes, Belleville, IL 
Floral Artist: Ahner’s Florist, New Baden, IL 
DJ: Millenium Productions 

Ashley and Justin 07.20.2013 by Bolla Photo

Ashley and Justin’s wedding day started bright and early! The girls started hair and makeup at 6 am. Ashley and I had planned well in advance and she had a very detailed schedule of the day.  And with 7 bridesmaids, 2 usherettes, herself, her mother and her mother-in-law-to-be to attend to, it was a good thing! Everything ran smoothly at the salon and then we headed to the Luitjohan residence for the girls to finish getting ready. All the while, Justin and his guys were hanging out at his parents’ house and enjoying the swimming pool.

St. Bernard Parish is just down the road from Ashley’s parents’ home.  After arriving at the church, Ashley had a very special (and tearful) “first-look” moment with her father and brother. (Ashley’s “something blue” was an indication of how close-knit her family is. It was a heart cut from her dad’s blue jeans and sewn into the bodice of her wedding dress.) Soon, she was on her father’s arm walking down the aisle towards her soon-to-be-husband.

As Ashley and Justin exited the church after being married, friends and family released a multitude of balloons.  The balloons floated up into the bright blue sky and the couple sped off around the block in a black Camaro. After a quick stop at the couple’s stomping ground, Barefootin’ Saloon, it was off to Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston, where the couple had chosen to also do their engagement photos.   After enduring the hot July day, the bridal party headed back to the bus to cool off.  Next we made our way to a private farm with several barns. It’s not every wedding we get to climb up into a hay loft with a bride and groom! The resulting photos of Justin and Ashley were well worth the stifling heat up.  (Thank you to Tara and your aunt for such a great location! And thanks to Justin and Ashley for doing some adventuring!)

The reception at the Breese American Legion was decked out in turquoise and orange with football-themed accents. After dinner and the first dances, everyone crowded around the newlyweds as they all watched the spectacular same-day-edit video (by Kelsi and Tara of Peace Love Productions) that showed highlights of the entire wedding day. Ashley and her mom were especially teary-eyed through this emotional reliving of such a wonderful day.

Congratulations, Ashley and Justin!


(To see more photos from Ashley and Justin’s wedding, watch the video slideshow below.)

Ceremony: St. Bernard Parish, Albers, IL

Reception: American Legion, Breese, IL

Videographers: Peace Love Productions

DJ: Short Circuit Entertainment

Floral Artist: Flowers by Tess, Carlyle, IL

Hair Artist: Donna Duncan, Julie Thole, Kristie Luebbers, The Cutting Edge, Breese, IL

Make-up Artist: Katie Schlautmann

Gown: Sottero and Midgley, from Elegant Brides, Edwardsville, IL

Cake Artist: Maribeth Detmer

Cupcakes/Cake Pops: Bonnie Simmons