Amber & Kyle: Engagement by Bolla Photo

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Ivy: A Baby and Her Dog by Bolla Photo

Because the only thing cuter than a baby or a dog is a baby and a dog together! Mollie is one patient pup to put up with her baby Ivy.

Jamie & Mike: A Garden Wedding by Bolla Photo

When I met Jamie and Mike for their initial consultation, we instantly clicked. I could tell right away from their fun-loving, laid-back manner that they were my kind of couple. Jamie knew it too and as we were saying good-bye that evening, she said she just had to give me a hug. Even MORE my kind of couple! ;-) A big thank you goes out to Haylie Sullivan who referred Jamie to me! Haylie was one of my 2013 brides and is now mom to the super adorable miss Harper. She is also Jamie's hair stylist at BJ Grand Salon and did an incredible job on the big day.

Mike proposed to Jamie at the top of Washington Park's carillon (a musical instrument made up of cast bronze bells housed in a tower). They climbed to the top and when Jamie looked down below, Mike lit up remote-controlled lights that spelled out "Will you marry me?" and set off fireworks. When they decided to do a First Look before the ceremony, it was only natural to choose the same location, especially since it is only a few blocks down the road from Mike's parents' house where everyone got ready. Mike stood exactly where his illuminated proposal had been as Jamie walked around the carillon to meet him.

After the emotional First Look and a few photos in Washington Park, it was off to Monticello. This was my first time back there in years; my first apartment after high school was in Monticello. My, oh my, how time has flown! 

Allerton Park's Sunken Garden provided the perfect backdrop for Mike and Jamie's wedding. It was evident that a lot of thought went in to every detail of the day. The programs were printed on fans for the guests to use on the warm summer day, and the box holding them even had a charm engraved with the coordinates of the ceremony location. One of my favorite details was the inclusion of Mila, Jamie and Mike's furbaby Boston Terrier, who also made an appearance during their engagement session! Mike's nieces and nephews were another adorable addition.

After their first kiss, the new Mr. and Mrs. Metz released a box full of Monarch butterflies. One of them even landed on Jamie for a while and then later took up residence on bridesmaid (and sister of the groom) Betsy's bouquet.


Family photos were also in the Sunken Garden. Then we took just Mike and Jamie around the various locations of the park for more photos. My favorite spot was the "House of the Golden Buddhas" overlooking the Vine Walk and Fu Dog Garden. I am totally in love with its heart-shaped archway!

Back in Springfield, we took a few more minutes to drive up to the top of a parking garage with a great view of the Capitol Building.

Jamie and Mike are not fans of pop music, so they had their own playlist for the evening and gave away homemade CDs to their guests as party favors. Mine is actually in my car CD player now. :-) Thanks for the excellent tunes, guys!

Jamie showed off one of her many talents after the cake cutting...Mike tossed several pieces of cake to her and she caught them in her mouth every time.

Congratulations, Jamie and Mike! We had such a blast celebrating with you!

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Venue: The Sunken Garden, Allerton Park, Monticello, IL
Wedding Reception Venue: Arlington’s, Springfield, IL
Hair Artist: Haylie Sullivan, BJ Grand Salon, Springfield, IL
Makeup Artist: Holly Dallavis, BJ Grand Salon, Springfield, IL

Cake Artist: Specialty Cakes, Springfield, IL

Claire & Ryan: The June Bride by Bolla Photo

"Oh, they say when you marry in June, you're a bride all your life." That song from the classic musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is stuck in my head every year when my June weddings start up. (...and now I'm singing it to myself as I write this.) It strikes me as no surprise that Claire and Ryan chose to get married in June. Claire is a classic traditional bride and her wedding day reflected simple elegance in all of her details.

The royal blue Claire chose certainly pops in all of her many classy details. And those flowers! I just love orchids! 

Here is the coffee table guestbook that I did for Claire and Ryan so that they could show off some of their favorite engagement photos to all of their 400+ guests. 


After the ceremony, everyone endured the heat and humidity of the Midwest in June for some wedding party photos at the Gardens at SIUE before heading to Highland.


Before heading to the reception, we stopped at the old brewery in Highland so that Claire and Ryan could get a few quick photos with their adorable puppy!


Congratulations, Claire and Ryan!

Ceremony: Trinity Lutheran Church, Edwardsville, IL
Reception: KC Hall, Highland, IL
Hair and Makeup Artists: Salon de Guerra, Highland, IL
Floral Artist, Widmer Floral, Highland, IL
Dress: Frew’s Bridal, Alton, IL

Kelly and Nick 10.20.12 by Bolla Photo

We had an absolutely fantastic time with Kelly and Nick! We started the morning at their home where the guys all relaxed after getting ready. We then made our way over to Kelly’s mom’s house where the girls were enjoying mimosas in their matching robes as they made themselves even more beautiful.

One of my favorite parts of any wedding is interaction between a bride and her father during the few moments before they walk down the aisle.  After taking turns wiping tears from their eyes, Kelly and her father, Bill, gave each other one last reassuring look before heading to the altar. Once the vows had been said and the rings exchanged, the couple were led out of the church by a bagpiper, in keeping with the McMackins’ Irish heritage.

Kelly and Nick built in lots of time in their day’s schedule for portraits.  We started at the beautiful Carondelet Park and then were led through the Anheuser Busch brewery for more portraits. Next it was time for McGurk’s in Soulard, where the bridal party helped Kelly and Nick get the party started early.  And they continued having a blast all night at the spectacular Neo on Locust.

Nick and Kelly, we are so happy for you two! Congratulations again! 

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Ceremony:  Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, St. Louis, MO

Reception: Neo on Locust, St. Louis, MO

Catering: The Christy

Cake Artist: Pint-Sized Bakery, St. Louis, MO

Dress:  Demetrio’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Demetrio’s Bridal