Regency Conference Center

Erin & Josh: The Wedding with a 1920s Gangster Car by Bolla Photo

Erin and Josh are a super sweet couple. They wanted their wedding day to reflect the seriousness of their commitment to each other. But they also have a light-hearted side. Their transportation from the church to the reception was their 1928 Dodge gangster-style get-away car. It is often used for shows down in Branson, Missouri and even came complete with its own bullet holes and tommy guns. Such a fun addition to the day!

Before doing the First Look with her soon-to-be husband, Erin wanted to do a First Look with her father. Both Dale and Josh were, of course, thrilled with how beautiful Erin looked. Taking these few moments together also gave the bride and groom time to spend in prayer, reflecting on the importance of the day.

The ring bearers walked down the aisle as security guards, complete with security badges and a safe for the rings. They were just too cute!

Instead of lighting a unity candle, Josh and Erin opted to put together  a unity cross, symbolizing the different roles they will play in the marriage.

As mentioned above, Erin and Josh really wanted to keep the focus of their big day on their relationship. So after a few fun photos with the wedding party at the church, just the three of us spent some time doing photos at a nearby park.


The ballroom at the Regency was decorated for fall with a variety of centerpieces at the guest tables. And Eckert Florist in Belleville made gorgeous bouquets, staying true to the fall burnt orange and purple theme.

One of my favorite parts of a reception is when the couple has a live band playing. I definitely recommend St. Louis Big Band. The singer's Sinatra-like crooning had all the ladies swooning! (Yes I just said that! haha) I wanted to bottle up his voice and take it home with me! <3

Congratulations, Erin and Josh!

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Sterling Baptist Church, Fairview Heights, IL
Wedding Reception Venue: Regency Conference Center, O;Fallon, IL
St. Louis Videographer:
Jason Gibson Films, St. Louis, MO
Live Band:
St. Louis Big Band
Floral Artist: Eckert Florist, Belleville, IL

Emily & Nick: The Cheerleader and the Lacrosse Coach by Bolla Photo

These high school sweethearts met on MySpace. Even though Nick may not have been the football star expected for this daddy's girl cheerleader. his being a "Champion of Character" eventually won Tim over. And just how right these two are together was evident all day long, from the excitement in the morning, to the stolen glances during the ceremony (my favorites!), right down to the last dance of the night. Not to mention...they look downright adorable together too!

Nick proposed to Emily on the forth of July (2012) at Kiener Plaza, so they were hoping to return there for photos on their wedding day. Unfortunately, by the time we reached St. Louis, it started to pour down raining. Emily decided to brave the weather and make a run for it. Unfortunately, the narrow overhangs between columns did not provide enough shelter to get the desired photos without the bride and groom getting completely drenched. So we all dodged (or at least attempted to dodge) rain drops back to the bus, ready for Plan B. Thankfully, the rain finally cleared up and we even able to do some photos outside at Union Station, and again once we arrived at the Regency.

Congratulations, Emily & Nick!

Ceremony: St. Nicholas Catholic Church, O’Fallon, IL
Reception: The Regency Conference Center, O’Fallon, IL 

Cake Artist: Artistry on Cakes, Belleville, IL
Makeup Artists: Mane Attraction, Collinsville, IL 
Hair Artist: Jenie’s Hair Loft, O’Fallon, IL
DJ: Millenium Productions 

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 Andrew 11.10.12 by Bolla Photo

Melissa and Andrew’s wedding day was an emotional one.  The tears first started at the salon in the morning.  Once a bride puts on her veil, that’s when she usually starts looking and feeling like a bride. And that’s when it really sank in for Melissa’s mother, Dana, that her little girl was getting married. After Melissa was in her gown and completely ready, she wanted a special moment with her father, Mark, for the first time he saw her as a bride.  Even before Mark saw her, tears were already streaming down Melissa’s cheeks. Melissa and Andrew did not want to see each other before the wedding, but still wanted to have a special moment together.  We positioned them at the bend in the church hallway, facing away from each other.  As Melissa and Andrew each read the letter from their soon-to-be spouse and held hands around the bend, more tears came. And still more came when it was time to walk down the aisle.

After the ceremony, however, eyes were dry and it was all smiles for the rest of the day. The bride and groom and their bridal party went to Woodland Park for some quick portraits before the sun started setting. After taking the scenic route to the Regency, Melissa and Andrew met us in the courtyard to play with fire.  The night had grown cold and incredibly windy, but we were finally able to get the oversized sparklers to light. We did a few different takes, during one of which Jerry managed to do a somersault with a sparkler as he dove out of frame, setting the lawn on fire…briefly.  I’m very thankful Melissa had laid down her beautiful bouquet well away from where we were!

The rest of the night was filled with laughter and dancing and delicious cake from Artistry on Cakes.  I’m a sucker for Nancy’s always perfect cakes!

Congratulations, Melissa and Andrew!  We wish you all the best in Kentucky and can’t wait to hear about your adventures in your new life together.

Ceremony:  Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Collinsville, IL

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

Cake Artist: Artistry on Cakes, Belleville, IL

Floral Designer: Elegant Celebrations

Hair Artist: Cindy Cox, The Cutting Edge, Collinsville, IL

Dress:  Mori Lee

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Bridal Couture, Edwardsville, IL

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Willard’s Formal Wear, Fairview Heights, IL

Reception Décor: Sitting Pretty

DJ: Night Magic Entertainment

Transportation: Kelly’s Limousines, Belleville, IL

Tori and Billy 07.07.12 by Bolla Photo

Tori and Billy opted for a much more informal and nontraditional wedding than most of our couples.  They did a first look and all portraits before the ceremony.  They had a non-church ceremony that lasted about 10 minutes. The bridesmaids wore short dresses and sandals. But none of that is what I really mean when I say “informal and nontraditional.”

The entire bridal party danced (that’s right, danced!) down the aisle for the procession, including the bride and her father. Billy actually did some crazy flips down the aisle after dancing in. The. Best. Wedding. Procession. Ever.

Then after the short ceremony, the bride and groom and bridal party danced (well, the best man Bob did “the worm” most of the way) back up the aisle…right to the bar.  They all did shots and the party was officially started!

Congratulations to our awesome new friends, Tori and Billy! Your wedding was quite the experience and one we’ll never forget.  I’m so glad that we discovered our mutual love of all (or at least most) things DORK at your engagement session!  And Billy, I still feel bad for asking you to take off your wedding ring so that I could photograph it.  (Did I mention he found out the day after the wedding that he had actually broken his hand goofing off during their wedding rehearsal?!)

Ceremony:  Knights of Columbus, O’Fallon, IL

Reception: Knights of Columbus, O’Fallon, IL

Caterer: Cygan Delaney, Highland, IL

Floral Designer: Mother of the Bride

Cake Artist: Mother of the Bride

Hair Artist: Sizzor Shak, Collinsville, IL

Makeup Artist: Sizzor Shak, Collinsville, IL

Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses:  David’s Bridal

DJ:  Complete Music, St. Louis, MO

Hotel Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, O’Fallon, IL