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Hollie & Mathew: April Showers by Bolla Photo

Hollie and I have gotten to know each other quite a bit over the past year since she and Mat booked me as their wedding photographer. We've had their engagement session, of course, the boudoir session Hollie did for an album to give to Mat as his wedding day gift (ooh la la!), as well as numerous text messages, phone calls and emails that ranged from professional to goofy to friendly to downright hysterical! Needless to say, I was even more excited than usual for Hollie and Mat's wedding day...and it was even more fabulous than I had imagined!

I love when couples choose to do a First Look before the ceremony. It adds in another special part to the day and gives the bride and groom the opportunity to calm their nerves and enjoy a few quiet moments together.

A few showers began to fall just as we started portraits, but that didn't stop us!

All of the flowers and little details of the day were so beautiful!

The rain subsided after the ceremony for us to do some more photos with just Hollie and Mat, except for a few sprinkles here and there.

One of the few things Mat really had an opinion on during all their wedding planning was the cake. He wanted cupcakes from The Cup (yum, delicious!) and, in case you couldn't guess, Mat also picked out the Batman cake topper. (I totally love it!)

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The night ended with a sparkler send-off for the newlyweds. (Yes, Hollie, those sparklers were fairly close to your dress, but you made it through! ;-) haha)

Congratulations, Hollie and Mat! I’m so delighted to have gotten to know you and to have been a part of your super fabulous day!

Outdoor Ceremony & Reception Venue: Villa Marie Winery, Maryville, IL
Cake Artist: The Cup, Edwardsville, IL
Floral Artist: Ahner Florists & Greenhouses, New Baden, IL
DJ / Photobooth: Chris McMahon, McMusic DJ and Photobooth Services, Fairview Heights, IL
Candy Bar: Sweetie Confections, Glen Carbon, 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 

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

Angie and Nathan 01.12.13 by Bolla Photo

You never know what kind of weather to expect in the Midwest, especially in January. On the day of Angie and Nathan's wedding, the forecast called for rain. Angie stayed cool and wasn’t too concerned about the weather; we both knew it wouldn’t get worse than their engagement session last April which ended in a massive hailstorm.

The wedding day started out beautiful, bright and nearly sixty degrees. We took advantage of it while we could! Angie and Nathan did a "first look" just outside the church, a special moment they could have all to themselves. Then we spent a few more minutes with just the two of them across the street at the Centralia Carillon (the 160 foot tall bell tower) and in the tower park.

Soon it was back to the church so Angie could hide away in the choir balcony, watching as the guests streamed in. Just before walking down the aisle, she and her bridesmaids huddled up and did a silent cheer.

By the time the couple had their first kiss, the rain poured down outside. We did one group bridal party photo outside in the rain with umbrellas (navy to match, of course). Thankful for all the photos we did before the ceremony, Angie and Nathan decided to skip the rest of the photos and head straight to the Frosty Mug to relax for awhile, surrounded by friends.

The winter reception was accented with silver branches in snow white bottles. The simple one-tier cake was displayed between tiers upon tiers of cupcakes and mini-cheesecakes. The ballroom was filled with people celebrating the love of two very special people.

Congratulations, Angie and Nathan!

Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Centralia, IL

Reception: Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL

Wedding Gown:  Ali by Augusta Jones

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo

Cake Artist:  Say Cheesecake, Centralia, IL

Transportation: Zee Express Bus and Limo Service, Albers, IL http://www.zexpressbusandlimo.com/