Noah: Harry Potter Fan at 6 months old by Bolla Photo

I can't get over this keeper! Between those oh-so-squishy cheeks and his many facial expressions (taking after his mommy!), Noah completely rocked his Harry Potter themed six-month session...just as much as his Harry Potter themed newborn session.

Missy & Zach: A Sunny Summer Wedding by Bolla Photo

I personally love when couples choose to do a "first look." However, I totally understand those who, like Missy and Zach, wish to uphold tradition and not see each other before the wedding. A similar trend that is becoming more and more popular, though, is for the bride to do a first look with her father instead. Missy is very much a daddy's girl and definitely wanted to have a special moment with her father before walking down the aisle. Escorted by all of her bridesmaids, Missy walked to the back of St. Stephen's where her dad was waiting with his back turned. As soon as he turned around and saw how beautiful his daughter looked in her wedding gown, he couldn't hold back the tears...nor could anyone else watching.

Even though it was a very bright day, we found comfort in the shaded bike path at Drost Park. The sun filtered through just perfectly to bathe the bride and groom in gorgeous light! 

Congratulations, Missy and Zach!

Ceremony: St. Stephens Catholic Church, Caseyville, IL
Reception: LaSalle Room, Gateway Center, Collinsville, IL
Hair and Makeup Artists: Studio 3 at Park Plaza, Edwardsville, IL
Wedding Dress: Champagne and Lace, Collinsville, IL

Regina and Jesse 09.28.13 by Bolla Photo

Regina and Jesse wed in a meadow at Mills Apple Farm.  Guests rode in tractor-pulled carts through the peach and apple orchards to the ceremony site. The aisle was lined with flower-filled hanging mason jars as Regina’s handsome son, Bryce, escorted her down the aisle. Regina, Jesse and Bryce symbolized their new family of three with a sand ceremony while bridesmaid (and sister of the groom) Kristie sang a beautiful rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.”

The cloud-dotted skies were a perfect blue to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.  The farm and orchard provided gorgeous backdrops for portraits of the couple and their bridal party. The flash mob to Beyonce’s “End of Time” performed by the bride and bridesmaids in between the bouquet and garter tosses was absolutely fantastic…and definitely surprised the groom. But what really made the day truly wonderful was the joining of two very special people.

The vows Jesse and Regina wrote to each other, which produced laughter and tears and sometimes both at once, express just how exceptional their love is. In part, they promised:

“They say that there isn’t such a thing as a perfect relationship. But I believe in a perfect love and I promise to love you with perfect love. My love for you is never failing and never ending. It is a love that is pure and true and doesn’t quit…it is unconditional and only gets stronger with time.”

 “Before I ever held your hand, before I ever knew your name, before I ever saw your face, I prayed for my perfect wife. Today my prayers are being answered…If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 99, so that I never have to live a day without you.”


Congratulations, Regina and Jesse! Jerry and I are so honored to be counted among your friends.

(To see more photos from Regina and Jesse‘s wedding, watch the video slideshow below.)

 Ceremony: Mills Apple Farm, Marine, IL

Reception: Caseyville Community Center, Caseyville, IL

Dress: Champagne and Lace Bridal, Collinsville, IL

DJ: Billy Petterson, friend of groom

Hair and Make-up Artist: Brittany Howard

Melissa and Derek 06.29.13 by Bolla Photo

 When I first talked with Melissa and Derek as they were planning their wedding, they knew one thing for certain: they wanted to have fun on their wedding day! And that they did!

Before the ceremony Melissa struck goofy poses with each of her bridesmaids. Next up, Coach Derek and his guys did the same, as well as take their must-have baseball team photo. The large bridal party even included Melissa’s baby nephew Lucas, who bounced down the aisle (with a little help from his dad) as ring bearer behind the flower girls.

During their first dance as husband and wife, Melissa and Derek started off with a traditional slow song but soon were dancing across the entire dance floor to songs such as Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”  The rest of the night was non-stop dancing until guests lined up with sparklers to send the newlyweds on their way to St. Thomas.

The day was not only fun, but also beautiful. It only poured down raining during the ceremony…and again when we were on the party bus traveling from the church to the first portrait location…and then again when we were on our way to the reception. Despite all that, the storms held off and lent picturesque skies whenever we were outside.

Congratulations, Melissa and Derek! We had a blast with you!


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

 Ceremony: St. George Church, New Baden, IL

Reception: Gateway Center, Collinsville, IL

Floral Artist: Ahner Florist, New Baden, IL

Cake Artist: Berkemann’s Bakers Dozen, New Baden, IL

Make-up Artist: Erin Sauerhage

Gown: Oleg Cassini design from David’s Bridal, Fairview Heights, IL

Ashley and Scott 12.01.12 by Bolla Photo

Ashley and Scott are like the Brady Bunch, only better looking.  Their combined 5 children stood up their absolutely adorable bridal party. Ashley, being the hair stylist that she is, fixed everyone’s hair on the morning of the wedding.  She even did her own hair, which was naturally one of her main concerns of the day.  And it looked exquisite!

The couple joined families in an intimate ceremony at Jerusalem Lutheran Church.  Thankfully, the construction company that was working on the roof was coerced to take a break so all could enjoy the ceremony in peace. The vows were said. Then Julio delivered the rings to be exchanged, and received a low-five from his mom for the job well-done.  Next, the couple and all 5 kids took part in a sand ceremony.

Ashley and Scott and their family made a brief stop at Woodland Park for some portraits before heading to their winter wonderland reception.

Congratulations, Ashley and Scott!  Your wedding was a wonderful end to 2012!

Ceremony:  Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Collinsville, IL

Reception: American Legion, Collinsville, IL

Wedding Coordinator: Sabrina Torti, Proposing Dreams

Cake Artist: 10th Street Baking Co., Belleville, IL

Dress:  Bridal Couture, Edwardsville, IL