Archive: December, 2013



Three Frames | Nathaniel & Lauren | Downtown St. Louis Engagement Photos

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

I was so thrilled that Nathaniel and Lauren met up with me while they were in town for the holidays for a fun engagement session in Downtown St. Louis. Here are three of my favorites from our session. Nathaniel and Lauren, I had a blast with you guys, and I’m so excited for your wedding in May! Cheers!

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St. Louis Wedding Photographer | STL MO Wedding Photography

Three Frames | Mike & Jen | Chandler Hill Vineyards, Defiance, MO

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Here are three of my favorite images from Mike & Jen’s amazing wedding over the weekend at Chandler Hill Vineyards in Defiance, MO. What a wonderful joy-filled day! Congrats, you two!

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St. Louis Wedding Photographer | STL MO Wedding Photography

Summer Picnic-Inspired New York Wedding: Andrew & Amanda – Part 2

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Yesterday, I shared with you part one of Andrew and Amanda’s summer picnic wedding. After their wedding, Amanda and I discussed what went on behind-the-scenes to put together such a gorgeous, heartfelt wedding. She told me, “It was important that our wedding felt like a big gathering of our family and friends, so we were looking for a theme that wasn’t high maintenance or pretentious. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable while they celebrated with us. In thinking about our favorite times with family and friends, we settled on a summer picnic theme – everyone coming together for good food, good drinks, and good company. The picnic theme was relaxed enough to fit our vision, but we could still dress it up a little and make it feel really special.”

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Planning is in Amanda’s nature, and their wedding was no exception. Every last detail was meaningful, and this has to be my favorite “Something Blue” ever. Her cousin and bridesmaid Megan suggested finding a way to remember the members of our family who have passed away, so Amanda carried a little slip of paper with the names of their grandparents and Andrew’s uncle handwritten in blue ink by each of their parents.

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“We both value family and Andrew grew up in a household of anthropologists, so it was really important to us that our ceremony and celebration reflect the items and traditions that are important to both of our families. It was also really important that every element of our wedding truly reflect us, so for the standard wedding traditions we opted to observe, we tried to personalize them – like joining syrup from our home states instead of a lighting a unity candle or pouring sand,” Amanda shared. She continued, “We designed our ceremony ourselves but with the guidance of our officiant, who was the pastor of the church I grew up in. She recommended asking our families to each choose a reading as an offering to us, which we did. Both of our families took that assignment very seriously, and we ended up with a mix of funny and traditional readings. They were perfect. We also borrowed from the Quaker tradition and asked all of our guests to sign a certificate with our vows on them as witnesses to our commitment, and we now have a beautiful visual reminder of the friends and family who were there with us.”

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No sooner had the ceremony ended than a few rain clouds rolled in. Before the rain came, though, Andrew and Amanda stole a few minutes to take leave of their guests and share some time reflecting and celebrating the fact that they were finally Mr. & Mrs! The lush and beautiful grounds of Lake Lodge were the perfect backdrop for their display of complete joy.

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We did manage to get caught in the rain, but Amanda’s uncle Craig was on standby with his and her umbrellas to keep the lovebirds dry. By divine providence, the umbrellas even matched the blue and yellow picnic theme.

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Reception details? Perfection! Seriously, Amanda thought of EVERYTHING!

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Andrew and Amanda’s reception kicked off with the traditional first dances, and in the true spirit of the day, there was no shortage of emotion to photograph.

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Cake! Enough said.

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As the sun was setting, the rain finally broke, so we sneaked out and headed down to the dock for a few more couple portraits. Andrew is ever the gentleman, and I know he will spend his lifetime making Amanda proud.

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Andrew and Amanda, thank you a million times over for inviting me to be a small part of your very special day. My wish for you is a lifetime of adventures as you grow together through the seasons of life. Love and hugs!

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A special thanks to all the vendors who made Amanda & Andrew’s day so very special!

Hair: Salon 96 | Venue: Lake Lodge in Alfred, NY | Amanda’s Dress and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal | Quaker Wedding Certificate: Dancing Pen & Press | Mens’ Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Ties & Pocket Squres: The Belle and the Beau

And to my wonderful second shooter, Mary Beth  of Mary Beth Mahaney Photography — thank you a million times over for blessing Andrew and Amanda with your time and talent. You rocked it, girl! 🙂

Summer Picnic-Inspired New York Wedding: Andrew & Amanda – Part 1

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Amanda and I met what feels like a lifetime ago when we worked together at the Pulmonary Hypertension Association in the Washington, DC area. She was smart, driven, but most importantly, she was the definition of grace — always available to lend an empathetic ear, thoughtfully help solve a problem, offer up a kind word and a smile, and she wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty, as the saying goes. As a colleague, she was top notch, and we quickly became work buds. At the time, Amanda and Andrew were in the process of falling in love, and every once in awhile she’d regale us with stories of her handsome sports writer with the crazy work schedule. Being with him made her undeniably happy, and several months after we’d both moved on from PHA and I had moved away from DC, I was thrilled to learn that Andrew had finally popped the question.

When Amanda and Andrew reached out to ask me to photograph their wedding, I was both honored and humbled — and crazy excited!!! On this chilly December day, I’m so excited to warm things up by sharing with you part one of their gorgeous summer wedding. (Check back tomorrow for part two.) Everything about their summer picnic-inspired day was perfection, from the thoughtfully planned details to the picture-perfect Lake Lodge setting. But the absolute best part of the day had to be all the joy and warmth in which the entire day was steeped…way more refreshing than even the tallest glass of iced tea!

We kicked off the wedding day with morning hair appointments at Salon 96 for all the lovely ladies.

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Amanda’s mom Bev played the part of proud mama to perfection, and it was clear that mother-in-law Dinah had embraced Amanda as her own. Look at the lovely hand-stitched veil she made!

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After the hair appointments, we headed over to Amanda’s aunt’s home — which incidentally was the home where her father, aunt, and their siblings had grown up. Their rich family history could be felt in every room. I ducked out on the beautiful wrap-around porch to photograph Amanda’s dress and stunning details while Amanda, Dinah and the others finished up some last-minute flower arrangements.

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I should note that Amanda made her own bouquet…STUNNING!

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Once the details were photographed and the final flowers had been arranged, it was time for Amanda to get dressed.

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Paying tribute to Andrew’s family’s rich history, Amanda wore the Lavalier, a family heirloom that had been worn by generations of women in Andrew’s family on their wedding day.

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Meanwhile…
Andrew and the guys spent the morning at Amanda’s family home helping with final preparations for brunch the following day, and it was finally time for them to get ready.

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Before Andrew and Amanda’s first look, we set aside a few minutes for the bride’s dad Den to hug his beautiful daughter. The way he embraced her and then stepped back to admire his little girl was beyond beautiful, and I’ve decided that a father/daughter first look is a must whenever possible.

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Andrew and Amanda’s first look was tender and emotional and incredibly touching.

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I loved that Andrew and Amanda were fully committed to being “in the moment” and soaking in all the emotion of the day. And their commitment to “being present” was contagious — the family photos were filled with emotion, too.

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Let me just say…Amanda and Andrew sure do know how to pick awesome friends. Best bridal party EVER!

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And I’ll leave you with this little sweetie pie ring bearer…adorbs!

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Be sure and come back tomorrow for part two of Amanda and Andrew’s beautiful wedding, including the gorgeous, emotional ceremony and super-fun reception.

 

 

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