Jennifer and Jake 12.28.13 by Bolla Photo

What a wonderful end to a fabulous year! I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter couple for my final wedding of 2013! Jennifer and Jake are just so adorable together – their love and goofiness is infectious. The couple exchanged their personal vows (accompanied by much laughter and many tears) at the quaint Bothwell Chapel.

After their intimate ceremony, we were all thankful for the warm (for December) 40 degree temperatures as we strolled down the streets of historic Lebanon. We even popped into the old soda fountain shop so the newlyweds could share their first milkshake. I just couldn’t get enough of this darling couple as they giggled and kissed and danced the night away.

Congratulations again, Jennifer and Jake! We wish you all the best in your new lives together in Virginia (and wherever else life takes you)!

Also, a huge thank you to my awesome sidekick for the day, June of June Hallowell Photography!


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

Ceremony: Bothwell Chapel, McKendree University, Lebanon, IL

Reception: The Regency Conference Center, O’Fallon, IL

Cake Artist: Artistry on Cakes, Belleville, IL

Floral Artist: Grimm & Gorly, Belleville, IL

Candy Buffet: Sweetie’s Confections, Glen Carbon, IL

Melissa and Alex 10.12.13 by Bolla Photo


Melissa and Alex have already been together as a couple for a decade, ever since Homecoming their freshman year of high school in 2003. Anyone who spends any amount of time with them can see the fun and sweet love they share, which was reflected in their wedding day.

The bride wore fabulously green Poetic License pumps. The groom and his groomsmen donned Pokemon Pokeball cuff links. Their wedding stationery (and website) had 8-bit hearts, and their Save-the-Dates also featured an 8-bit bride and groom! They cut their wedding cake with the Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda. And the groom’s cake was shaped like a Gameboy, complete with a screen showing the lyrics to “The Bolero of Fire,” a song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

"It is something that grows over time... a true friendship. A feeling in the heart that becomes even stronger over time... The passion of friendship will soon blossom into a righteous power and through it, you know which way to go...”

Congratulations, Melissa and Alex! Wishing you many more decades of making each other smile.


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

Ceremony: St. Augustine Catholic Church, Breese, IL

Reception: Lindendale Park Ballroom, Highland, IL

Dress: The Wedding Belle, Highland, IL

DJ: Short Circuit Entertainment

Hair Artist: Salon De Guerra & Day Spa, Highland, IL


Lindsay and Erich 09.20.13 by Bolla Photo

 Lindsay and Erich chose the adorable Roundhouse Wine Company for their Friday evening outdoor ceremony. Friday morning, however, brought quite the downpour of rain. Our original plans for photos in the park in Centralia got cancelled and we instead stayed in Mt. Vernon and went to the Mitchell Museum. Erich and Lindsay enjoyed their first look of each other that day between the pillars around the outside of the museum.

When we arrived at Roundhouse, the rain had become an intermittent drizzle. We were able to finish all of the family portraits outside on the terrace where the ceremony was supposed to be held.  Then it was the moment all brides planning an outdoor wedding hope they never have to face…time to make the decision to move the ceremony inside or hope the rain holds off and keep the ceremony outside as planned. Even though the forecast was calling for more rain, the radar and skies looked more promising.  Lindsay decided to keep the ceremony out on the lakeside terrace and to not allow it to rain! Thankfully, the rain held out and Lindsay and Erich exchanged vows just as the sun was setting.

Aside from a brief downpour just before the new couple were introduced into the reception, the rain cleared up for the rest of the night. After dinner Lindsay and Erich headed back out to the terrace, where they shared their first dance as husband and wife, encircled by their sparkler-waving family and friends.

Congratulations, Lindsay and Erich!


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

Ceremony: Roundhouse Wine Company, Centralia, IL

Reception: Roundhouse Wine Company, Centralia, IL

Floral Artist: Mikah Watts, Mt. Vernon, IL

Hair Artist: Randa Trout, Bridesmaid

Cake Artist: Mary Ann Dagg, Mt. Vernon, IL

Lodging: Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL

Danielle and Eric 09.01.12 by Bolla Photo

They say it’s supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day.  If that’s the case, then Danielle and Eric’s marriage is off to a very lucky start. Their wedding day started with an off-and-on drizzle that Danielle and her bridesmaids watched from their suite at the Hyatt as they got ready for the day. Having chosen the hotel specifically for the rooftop terrace with a view of the Arch, Danielle was determined to take some portraits there. Despite the puddles and darkening sky, Danielle led the way to the roof.  After just a few minutes, however, we felt sprinkles coming down.  And then about 2 seconds later…a torrential downpour! Everyone immediately ran to the walls for cover.  As the wind picked up, the bridesmaids lost what little shelter they had and decided to make a run for inside, getting drenched the whole way.  Thankfully, maid-of-honor Ashley and I had gotten Danielle into a corner where we shielded her from the rain with our bodies.  After several minutes of laughter and what was essentially a group hug, the rain eased somewhat and a hotel staff member came out with a tablecloth that we could use to shield Danielle as we ran inside.  Thanks to Ashley’s bouquet of succulents and lilies and our teamwork, Danielle’s hair and the rest of her stayed completely dry! 

Every wedding has a story and now you know what Danielle’s is…and also why I now always have an umbrella in my camera bag!

Congratulations, Danielle and Eric! We wish you the best of luck and a life full of happiness.

Ceremony:  The Coronado Ballroom, St. Louis, MO

Reception: The Coronado Ballroom, St. Louis, MO

Cake Artist: The Coronado Ballroom, St. Louis, MO

Floral Designer: Becky Huffman Flowers, Columbia, IL

Hair Artist: House of Style, Smithton, IL

Makeup Artist: House of Style, Smithton, IL

Band: Downtime Productions

Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses:  David’s Bridal

Transportation: Best Transportation

Hotel Accommodations: Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch