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Paige & Blake: A Wedding with a View by Bolla Photo

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Paige and Blake married overlooking Lake Aspen at the Innsbrook Resort in Innsbrook, Missouri. Along with her bridesmaids, Paige did all of her wedding-day preparations at her parents' vacation rental house on-site. A special personal touch was the blue heart sewn into the underside of Paige's dress, which was in honor of her late sister, Korby.

Blake soon joined us all at the house to see his bride for the first time. The two shared their special "first look" moment out on the back deck.

This white fence along a little bend in the road was my personal favorite spot from Paige and Blake's engagement session, which we also did at Innsbrook Resort.

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Anticipation for the bride's arrival grew among the guests as the wedding party processioned along the winding path down from the Aspen Center to the Lakeside Stage.

The multi-talented bridesmaid Sarah beautifully sang Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" for Blake and Paige's first dance as husband and wife.  (Sarah was also the make-up artist of the day.)

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Congratulations, Paige and Blake! It was a pleasure being a part of your special day!

St. Louis Wedding Ceremony Venue: Lake Aspen Stage, Innsbrook Resort, Innsbrook, MO
St. Louis Wedding Reception Venue: Aspen Center, Innsbrook Resort, Innsbrook, MO
Hair Artist: Deby Sansone, Salon Marosie, Clayton, MO
Make-up Artist: Sarah Sgro (bridesmaid), Blowout Bar, St. Louis, MO
 

Take a look at Paige and Blake's engagement photos at Innsbrook Resort HERE.

Ashley & Chris: The Weirdness Called Love by Bolla Photo

“We’re all a little weird and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

Ashley told me that the above quote by Dr. Suess perfectly describes her and Chris’s relationship. So much so that she wanted a large framed print from their engagement session with that quote to hang in their house (and at their reception). I, of course, was more than happy to oblige and love them even more for their self-proclaimed weirdness.

The above photo is one of my personal favorites from the day. In between portraits and the reception, the bridal party stopped in at The Turf Lounge for a few drinks. After we got the obligatory group shot on the bar, I loved watching how Ashley and Chris just naturally gravitated toward each other. He put his arm around her. They laughed. They held hands. She twirled her ball gown in front of him. And then they just randomly started to dance with each other. I feel like that photo of them together defines (at least from my perspective) who they are as a couple: adorable, weird (in a good way!), and so in love.

Congratulations, Ashley and Chris! Here’s to you always staying weird and so in love!

Ceremony: St. Dominic’s Church, Breese, IL
Reception: KC Hall, Breese, IL
Hair and Makeup Artists: Nu Image, Breese, IL
Floral Artist: Flowers by Tess, Carlyle, IL
Cake Artist: Krystal’s Cakes, Highland, IL

And here's that fabulous quote again! :-)

Nellie and Todd 05.04.13 by Bolla Photo

It’s not often that we get to spend a whole weekend with one of our couples, like we did for Nellie and Todd’s Springfield wedding. We arrived to the Land of Lincoln on Friday, in time to scout out various locations for portraits after the wedding.  The day consisted of a steady rain, which was more like a torrential downpour…so much so that we could barely see the road at times or even the adorable green barn Nellie had told me about as a possible portrait location.

During rehearsal, Nellie and Todd repeated comical vows that Pastor Ladd came up with for them (since they had to wait until Saturday for the real ones, of course). After a delicious dinner at Bella Milano, everyone enjoyed a slice of the cake Nellie had gotten just for Todd.  It was in the shape of a deer head, complete with grey icing and antlers!  It was too cute and delicious, to boot.  Although I must confess, I was hoping for red velvet (a la Steel Magnolias) instead of chocolate. ;-)

The rain let up for Saturday, although not completely.  A drizzle continued throughout the day.  But nothing was going to dampen the mood for Nellie and Todd!  (Cheesy pun, I know.  I couldn’t help myself.) The ceremony was sweet and reminded Nellie and Todd to always make time for each other and for God. Afterwards, it was unfortunately still too wet to go to the barn, so we made our way to downtown Springfield to the Old State Capitol building and the train station for portraits.

Walking in to the reception, guests were greeted with their place cards set in birch limbs, some of which traveled across the country for the occasion, and surrounded by rose petals and river rocks.  The vintage rustic theme continued inside the ballroom with table arrangements of twigs and flowers, antique frames. The happy couple danced the night away with their friends and family.  Before we left Sunday morning, we saw everyone again for breakfast at the hotel. (Thank you again for the flowers, Dave! :-) They are still brightening up my office as I write this.)

Congratulations again, Nellie and Todd!  Thank you for letting us be a part of such a special weekend!

Ceremony: St. John's Lutheran Church, Springfield, IL

Reception: Northfield Inn & Suites, Springfield, IL

Hair & Makeup Artists: Willow & Birch Salon www.willowandbirchsalon.com

Florist: Petals & Company www.petalsandco.net

Cake Artist: Specialty Cakes www.specialtycakes.biz

DJ: Stevens DJ Service www.stevensdjservice.com

Wedding Gown: Allure, House of Brides, Orland Park, IL

Kristen and David 04.13.13 by Bolla Photo

Not every wedding day goes exactly as planned.  That’s one of the many reasons I love to work with my couples to build a wedding day timeline that will allow them to have a relaxed and fun day, while still having time for everything that’s important to them. Kristen and I talked about their day and decided together how much time to allot and where.  Thankfully we had prepared well because one of the most unexpected things happened during the bridal party portrait session.

When we arrived at the Gardens at SIUE, I noticed a man standing by himself under the pergola. I went right up to him to ask him (nicely, of courseJ ) to please move so that we could do photos with my bride and groom. That’s when he told me that his girlfriend would be arriving any moment and that he was going to propose! Kristen and David agreed to give him a few minutes and we did photos on the nearby bridge first. Before long, the girlfriend arrived and Kristen put her photo session on hold so that she could watch. “I’ve never seen a proposal before!” she said excitedly.  Soon the nervous boyfriend got down on one knee and popped the question.  Down the path, Kristen and Dave and their bridal party (as well as photographers and videographer) watched as the girlfriend cried and shook her head “Yes.”  Then all 30 of us erupted in applause!

Despite the unexpectedly pleasant interruption, we were still able to get all the photos that Kristen and Dave were wanting at the Gardens.  And after dinner, we snuck them outside at the winery for a few minutes for some romantic photos of the two of them just before sunset.

Congratulations, Kristen and Dave!

Ceremony: St. John’s United Methodist Church, Edwardsville, IL

Reception: Villa Marie Winery, Maryville, IL http://www.thevillamariewinery.com/

Cake Artist:  Patty Cakes, Highland, IL http://www.pat-t-cakes.com/

Candy Buffet: Sweeties Confections, Glen Carbon, IL http://sweetiesconfections.com/

Wedding Gown:  Allure, from Elegant Brides, Edwardsville, IL http://www.elegant-brides.com/

Transportation: St. Louis Trolley & Carriage Company http://www.stlouiscarriagecompany.com

Band: Hollywood 5 http://www.hollywoodfive.com

Theresa and Andy 09.28.12 by Bolla Photo

“Mawwiage…Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today.”

Theresa and Andy, my fellow Princess Bride fans, celebrated their special day surrounded by friends and lots of family.  Theresa, along with her 5 sisters/ bridesmaids, started the day with some pampering at Sizzor Shak. After arriving at the church, she received a sweet letter from her “secret admirer,” Andy, which started the tears flowing. She pulled it together and was all smiles the rest of the day.

After the full Catholic mass ceremony, the bridal party headed downtown to City Garden. Not only does is it the home of many quirky statues and pieces of art but also of a fabulous view of the Arch. We also stopped by Union Station before heading back to Illinois for the reception. At the fuchsia-infused Gateway Center, the party continued with dancing and celebrating all night.

“Mawwiage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...
And wuv, twue wuv, will fowow you foweva...
So tweasure your wuv.”

Congratulations, Theresa and Andy! And always ‘tweasure your twue wuv.’

Ceremony:  St. Stephen Church, Caseyville, IL http://ststephencaseyville.org/

 Reception: Gateway Center, Collinsville, IL  http://www.gatewaycenter.com/

Floral Designer: Becky Huffman Flowers, Columbia, IL http://www.beckyhuffmanflowers.com/

Cake Artist: Patty Cakes, Highland, IL  http://www.pat-t-cakes.com/

Hair Artist: Sizzor Shak, Collinsville, IL http://sizzorshak.com/

Makeup Artist: Sizzor Shak, Collinsville, IL http://sizzorshak.com/

Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Clarice’s, St. Louis, MO http://www.claricesbridal.com/

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Willard’s, Fairview Heights, IL http://www.willardsformalwear.com/

DJ: Memories Productions http://www.centralweddingplanner.com/home.html

Transportation: All About You Limos, Columbia, IL http://www.aaylimos.com/

Photobooth: Infinity Photo, Smithton, IL http://infinityphotoshare.com/