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

Laura & Brian: Spring Wedding in Clinton County by Bolla Photo

On the morning of their wedding, Laura told me that Brian knew I had to be their photographer after discovering at our consultation that, just like the two of them, I am the proud parent of two long-haired dachshunds. Yes, we have the cutest dogs around…just saying! :-)  The pups didn't make it in the wedding (go see Laura and Brian with both dogs during their engagement session), but the day was no less fabulous.

Laura was fiercely stunning in her lace Sottero & Midgley gown. Her bridesmaids were arrayed in Tiffany blue asymmetrical dresses. And the contrasting bouquets and boutonnieres included Billy Balls (pom pom flowers)...as per Brian’s other request.  

Nothing says spring like gorgeous flowering trees! I was totally in love with the ones at the home of Laura’s uncle and aunt. They were kind enough to allow us to come after the ceremony for photos with the wedding party. (Thank you again!)

The fabulosity (yes, I sometimes make up words when I need to!) continued at the reception, where the theme of vintage elegance was made evident in the center of the dance floor: a delicious cake by Artistry on Cakes was draped in sugar lace and pearls to match the table decorations. Another highlight of the evening was the same-day edit video by videographer Levi Kirby (see it here!)The party continued all night with near non-stop dancing. Even Grandma Janice boogied with the rest!

Congratulations again, Laura and Brian! 

Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Trenton, IL
Reception: American Legion, Aviston, IL
Videographer: Levi Kirby 
Cake Artist: Artistry on Cakes, Belleville, IL 
Floral Artist: Ahner’s Florist, New Baden, IL 
DJ: Millenium Productions 

Danielle and Greg 09.15.12 by Bolla Photo

I’ve been looking forward to Danielle and Greg’s wedding for quite some time.  I met Danielle early in 2011, while she was interning for our local Chamber of Commerce. After seeing her and Greg together and hearing about their peacock-themed wedding at Villa Marie Winery, I knew their wedding would be fantastic! I spent the next several months of Chamber of Commerce meetings eagerly hearing updates on the rest of her wedding planning. On their “-1 Year Anniversary” we did their engagement session at the Gardens of SIUE and the Edwardsville City Park.  As much fun as we had that day, their wedding was phenomenally better!

After getting all dolled up at the church (and stuffing Danielle’s dress into the back seat of her sister in law’s car), the bridal party headed to Hillsboro’s Challacombe Park for Danielle and Greg’s first look and some portraits. Although I understand upholding tradition, I love when a couple decides to break tradition and see each other before the ceremony.  When Danielle reached the park’s gazebo and Greg turned around to see his bride for the first time on their wedding day, they both succumbed to tears of joy.

As they gazed into each other’s eyes during the ceremony, Danielle and Greg’s love for each other radiated throughout the church. After saying “I do,” Danielle was finally able to sign her name into the family heirloom book that she carried on her bouquet down the aisle. For generations, everyone in her family who has gotten married has carried the book and signed it on their wedding day.  Well, everyone except for Danielle’s mother, Janet…but we won’t go into that story. ;-) Another special detail Danielle found for the day was her grandmother’s fan, which just so happened to match perfectly with its peacock print.

Congratulations again, Danielle and Greg! And enjoy your new iPad!
(Danielle and Greg were the lucky winners of our iPad Giveaway. )

Ceremony:  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, IL http://stpaulshillsboro.org/

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

Floral Designer: Robin’s Nest Florals, Etc, Hillsboro, IL http://www.facebook.com/RobinsNestFloralsEtc

Cake Artist: Top Tier Cakes, Hillsoboro, IL http://www.toptiercakesil.com/

Hair Artist: Bridesmaid, Natalie Malawy

Dress Designer: Galina Signature

Bridesmaids Dresses:  David’s Bridal http://www.davidsbridal.com

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse http://www.menswearhouse.com

Transportation: A1 Limousine Service https://a1limousineservice.com/Alton.html

Jacalyn and Adam 07.21.12 by Bolla Photo

Despite living in Highland and basing our business here, most of our weddings tend to be out of town.  So it was a real treat to spend the whole day in Highland for Jacalyn and Adam’s summer wedding. I met up with Jacalyn at Salon Beaux Cheveux, where she and her bridesmaids were getting made over for the big day.  The morning was filled with non-stop talk and laughter…with only a few tears shed by Jacalyn over how grown her two absolutely adorable daughters, Ella and Sofia, looked after being all dolled up for the wedding.

Jacalyn chose dresses in various shades of turquoise and slightly different styles for her bridesmaids.  Along with their contrasting orange bouquets, they nicely complemented the colors in the stunning stained glass chandeliers and windows at St. Paul’s.  Jerry and I felt like we had the best seat in the house up in the choir balcony, where we were for the majority of the ceremony due to strict church regulations.

 After portraits at Silver Lake Park and the old Schott Brewery and lots of dancing on the party bus, it was time for more partying at the reception.  The DJ kept everyone going with his collection of actual vinyl records. Also contributing to the energy level of the night was the plethora of sugar in the treats on the table, at the candy bar, and in the delicious cupcakes.

Congratulations to a super sweet couple: Jacalyn and Adam!

Ceremony:  St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, IL http://stpaul-church.com/

Reception: Knights of Columbus, Highland, IL

Hair Artist: Salon Beaux Cheveux, Highland, IL

Makeup Artist: Salon Beaux Cheveux, Highland, IL

Transportation: Ultimate Party Bus Rental, Breese, IL http://www.ultimatepartybusrentals.com/