Chris & Katie: Engaged

I think I’ve been waiting with eager anticipation for these two to get married for quite some time now! Katie met with me in October of last year and we have been planning the day of their dreams ever since. I’m so excited to finally be able to work at Silver Oaks Chateau alongside the lovely Courtney Smith Photography, Roses & Mint, and more. Katie & Chris are full of so much fun, laughter, and have been through it all together. Keep scrolling to see how amazingly photogenic they are and read all about their special day coming up on December 15th!

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How long have you been together?

We are from the same hometown in Marion, IL and started dating our Junior year of high school.  Life took us our separate ways for a little while in college but we ended up re-connecting towards the end of college and the rest is history 🙂

Share one of your favorite dates.

Every fall Chris and I go to Eckerts to pick pumpkins and apples then go to the Loading Dock in Alton, IL for dinner and drinks on their patio. It is something we started doing a few years ago that has become one of our favorite fall traditions!

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When did you know they were the one?

Katie: I knew Chris was the one when I moved to St. Louis after graduating from Nursing School to be closer to him while he was in dental school. It was a time full of a lot of changes and stress in my life with living in a new city and just starting out as a new nurse on night shift but through it all Chris was the one who made me feel the most comfortable and at ease. He could always comfort me and I knew that as long as we were together everything else would fall in place.

Chris: I think that part of me has always known since high school that Katie and I were meant to be together but we definitely took our time getting engaged. When I moved to Alton, IL for dental school, Katie and I had to hold a long distance relationship from Alton to Murray, KY. When we were apart for that year and a half it was hard, to say the least, but I think during that time I realized how much happier I was when Katie was with me. After she moved to STL I knew that she was the only person I could ever see myself spending the rest of my life with!

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How did he pop the question?

We have been engaged since July 15, 2017! Chris told me that he had planned a date for us for the day and then had made a dinner reservation for us that night so that I needed to be ready in the afternoon and to wear something nice. He took me to The Hill to eat for lunch (my favorite food of all time is pasta!) and then we went to the Botanical Gardens. We had never been to the Gardens before so we were just walking around looking at everything when he led me down a little path out of the way of everything. I kept telling him I didn’t understand why we were going down that way because there weren’t any flowers back there! To my surprise he took me under this gazebo with beautiful greenery all around and proposed! He had somebody there who was taking our picture the entire time and then we walked around the gardens and took a few more pictures! I was so surprised! He then told me he had one more thing for us to do and we drove to Ballpark Village. I was really confused at this point but when we walked in all of my family, his family, and our closest friends were there to celebrate! It was the perfect day!

Was the proposal a surprise?

Yes! It was a complete surprise! I thought we would get engaged after he had graduated Dental School the following May. 

What is your favorite thing about your fiancé?

Katie: My favorite thing about Chris is the way that he makes me laugh and can make me feel less stressed just by being around. His kindness and carefree personality make me a better person.

Chris: Definitely the way she scrunches her nose when she laughs. Just laughing with Katie in general is my favorite thing!

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How do you envision your wedding day?

We envision a very happy day surrounded by our closest family and our friends from all walks of life. We want our day to be all about the love that we share and a celebration of our new life together.

How did you decide on your venue?

We wanted a venue that felt small and intimate while being able to accommodate our large guest list and when we found Silver Oaks it was that and more! It felt very cozy and warm while also being elegant. We immediately knew this is where we wanted to get married! The only date they had available for the 2018 year was December 15th so we went with it

 

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Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

Yes! Chris’s family always sings the song, “My Girl” to the bride at every family wedding.  Katie is already sweating thinking about it.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

Katie: I’m looking forward to spending the day surrounded by all the love of our family and friends and the Hot Chocolate Bar 🙂

Chris: Making Katie feel awkward by trying to dance with her all night. I also am just really looking forward to having both of our families in one place to celebrate!

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Stay tuned for December 15th for all the fun and celebration!

PC: Courtney Smith Photography

Jake & Sarah: Engaged

Sarah & Jake will be tying the knot on November 17th at The McPherson venue in the Central West End. These two have been together for four years as of September 17th and they are excited for the next chapter and celebrating with family & friends! Read below for their story and pictures taken by Michelle Marie Photographie.

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How did you meet?

We met online on OkCupid. After several messages back & forth we agreed to meet in person at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. We enjoyed a night of each other’s company with the Cardinals playing in the background & sipping on pumpkin beer.

Share one of your favorite dates.

Honestly any time that I spend with Jake is my favorite – from a night in cooking dinner then cuddling on the couch to watching a movie to fancy events out on the town. My favorite date probably includes our first visit to Eckert’s during the fall. See the response below but on the way home that’s when I started picturing our future together.

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When did you know he/she was the one?

On our way back from one of my favorite fall activities of visiting Eckert’s- he was driving I looked over at him with the sun shining, windows down, music up on the radio (perfect fall day) & realized I finally had someone to do everything & nothing with all at the same time.

How did he pop the question?

I’ve always said 11:11 make a wish and knew 11.11.17 fell on a Saturday but when Jake hadn’t proposed, I knew that date had come and gone for our wedding. We had multiple events planned that Saturday- his brothers birthday, my cousins kids birthday, and then trivia with his friends. He got me to his family farm by saying it was a birthday party for his brother. He had gotten out of the car to close the gate to the farm and he came around to the passenger side of the car. He asked if I trusted him and then surprised me by blindfolding me at the base of the farm. He led me to the front of the barn, got down on one knee, and asked. He had a sign and pumpkins and someone taking pictures. All my favorite things! My parents and some of his family were at the top of the farm to celebrate and then had the whole day of events to tell people in person.

Was the proposal a surprise?

We had looked at rings months prior so I knew & was hoping it would happen sooner rather than later. With the significance of the date I had a slight suspicion but it was a surprise!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé?

Jake says my good-natured heart is his favorite thing about me. For me, I have several things that I love about Jake. His willingness to help those closest to him in times of need, the love he has for his family, & that he’s a jack of all trades (chef, woodworking, cars, even piecing together parts from dryers to make a working one) are just some of the many reasons I love him.

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How did you decide on your venue?

After visiting several venues, we toured the McPherson and it checked off most items on my spreadsheet. With it being a newer venue I liked that none of our friends/ family had weddings there before & every detail was thought of in planning. I loved the convenience for guests, including the location in the Central West End. It had the simple but elegant vibe I wanted without much need for decoration and the bridal suite to get ready in that morning won me over.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

We are both excited to call each other husband & wife, finally! Soaking in all the special moments celebrating with our friends & family.

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Stay tuned for next Saturday’s big event!

Matthew & Lauren: Engaged

These two are actually getting hitched this Saturday! They are full of fun, unique ideas, and I’m so excited for their starry night wedding. Read below for all the details of their love story and what they’re most excited for on Saturday! Photography by Brad Bierman Photography.

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How did you meet?

Ha! I was actually Matthew’s boss at the Kemper Art Museum. We were just friends and co-workers at first, but we found out we had so much in common and that we really loved hanging out together. Once we realized that we wanted to have a relationship, Matthew selflessly decided to find a job elsewhere so that we could feel comfortable dating.

How long have you been together?

We count our first date at July 4, 2013, so just about five and a half years. Having a dating anniversary on the 4th of July is great because there is always a big party and magical fireworks!

Share one of your favorite dates. 

I think some of our most memorable times together are when we are travelling. Exploring new cities, states, and countries is one of our favorite things to do and we have created innumerable memories while travelling the world. Two things we always try to do when we go to a new place is to visit their art museums and their craft breweries. I think that these two venues provide the perfect opportunity to explore a place in different ways: through culture and through socialization (and beer). For both of us, these “dates” give us the chance to delve into a new experience in a way that both of us find interesting and meaningful, and allows us to connect through our curiosity of new places.

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When did you know he/she was the one?

Lauren: I wouldn’t say there was one moment when I knew. I am just so lucky that I feel completely comfortable around him and that I get to be my true self. Even when I act like a total weirdo, he doesn’t judge me or make me feel kooky. Sometimes he will even do my macaroni dance with me 🙂

Matthew: I don’t know if there was a single moment, but really a collection or sequence of moments. We were lucky (in a weird way) to work together and develop a friendship before getting together. This has helped us to be totally real with each other, especially when it comes to being a little silly. We joke and laugh a lot, and that’s probably more indicative of us than any moment by itself.

How did he pop the question?

Lauren: I thought I was being tricky at Christmas of 2016 when I surprised him with a trip to Iceland for a gift. Little did I know that once he got that gift, he started planning a surprise of his own… The night after we landed in Iceland, and it was time for bed, Matthew couldn’t sleep. I figured he had jet lag, so I went to bed since we were going to wake up early (and I mean real early) in the morning so we could go hunt for the Northern Lights. We left the house around 5am while it was still dark to try and find a remote area to see the auroras. On the side of the road in Iceland, with no one around (except a chirping frog?) and all bundled up in coats and scarves and mittens, Matthew proposed. I think I must of blacked out because I cannot remember almost anything that he said to me. But I remember him bringing out the ring and I definitely remember saying yes. I proceeded to take off the wrong glove because I was so nervous. And then he told me not to cry, because my tears would freeze. It was perfect and unforgettable and since it happened so early in the trip, we got the pleasure of being newly engaged without all of the necessary noise of everyday life following us around. We got to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Iceland and giggle like little excited kids for a week!

Was the proposal a surprise?

Totally! We love to travel, so being somewhere besides home isn’t terribly unusual. So just because we were in Iceland didn’t make me think something big was going to happen. Especially since I had planned the trip myself. But I always knew we would get married, I just didn’t know that he would be such an expert at planning a proposal and designing a ring!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiance?

Lauren: Matthew is so many great things all rolled into one. I don’t know if I have one thing that I love the most, because different things are important at different times. But I have always appreciated his curiosity. He is so smart and has a depth and breadth of knowledge that astounds me. And despite that immense knowledge, he always wants to learn more. He dives into facts and subjects and topics in a way that is inspiring and makes me want to learn more. He talks passionately about his interests and he makes you want to take a deep dive into learning in a way I have never experienced before.

Matthew: Lauren combines two of the traits I admire most in people: curiosity and empathy. Lauren is one of the smartest people I know, and in a variety of subjects. It’s crazy! What’s more, she’s constantly learning about more things, reading, listening to podcasts, etc. Lauren combines this curiosity with her incredible capacity for caring. Lauren is always looking after others, taking care of people, and trying to help others feel better. She inspires me to think more about others and to consider friends and family more in my everyday life and has really helped me to learn how to be a more empathetic person through her example.

How do you envision your wedding day?

Well, when we first started planning the wedding, we wrote down a mission statement – a guiding principle so that we could try and make our decisions based on this idea. We literally wrote down that we wanted to host a “dope-ass party that celebrates our marriage and is as anxiety-free as possible.” That is definitely true, but as we have gone through some of the pre-wedding events like the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the bridal shower, and other get-togethers, I think we just want an event where we get to spend time with the people we love the most and that we don’t let the day rush by us without taking the time to appreciate the moments and the people.

How did you decide on your venue?

We technically have two venues – Joule for the ceremony and Willow for the reception. We booked Willow first, and would it be crazy to say we booked them because of their chairs? They have great chairs. And those chandeliers! But, of course, Bailey’s food group (who runs Willow) has an outstanding reputation in St. Louis and we were happy to have them on our team. Joule really matches the feel and ambiance of Willow well, allowing us to host an event in two different spaces that still has continuity in the atmosphere.

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Fish Eye Fun

Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

We will be doing a handfasting ceremony. While not a family tradition, we wanted to find something to include that felt symbolic and ritualistic. Our ceremony is secular, so we did some research to try and find something that would fit our personalities. Handfasting – where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from – just felt right for us.

I am also excited to wear a necklace that was given to me when I was 4 years old. Have you ever seen the movie Annie? That was my absolute favorite movie when I was a little girl and I watched it on repeat MANY times (sorry mom and dad). In the movie, Daddy Warbucks gives Annie an engraved heart-shaped necklace. My parents gave me one that is engraved with my name and birthday. I have a tiny photo of my family from 1992 inside and it is my most favorite treasure. I am so thrilled to wear it with my wedding dress!

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

Lauren: Can I say all of the things? I am excited for everything. But I think I am most excited to be surrounded by all the people that mean the most to me. People who have traveled thousands of miles to see us. People who I haven’t seen in years. People who have supported both Matthew and I in countless ways. All of them will be with us on this most important of days and I look forward to sharing more memories with the people I love.

Matthew: One way to look at a wedding day is as the culmination of lots of things: the build up of a relationship, all the planning, the anticipation, etc. That’s somewhat true for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how all the things we’ve planned come together, how our family and friends interact, and how the day itself is (weather in November is a gamble!). I’m also looking at the day as a start to our married life, so I’m looking forward to starting something new as well, and surrounded by people we love and having a big party to start on the right foot.

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Stay tuned for all the beauty on the 3rd!

Joe & Leah: Engaged

Leah & Joe have been together almost three years and are so ready to tie the knot in November! Scroll to see their beautiful engagement photos (Illumen Photography) and read all about their love story:

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How did you meet?

We had both moved to St. Louis to work at Barnes Jewish Hospital. We met each other while working there, and were “work acquaintances” for a while, and occasionally hung out in group settings. We eventually started dating a little bit over a year later.

Share one of your favorite dates.

My first birthday as a couple, Joe brought over flowers and sushi to my apartment. We stayed home, ate sushi, and had a quiet, romantic night.

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When did you know he was the one?

After he said “I love you” for the first time

Was the proposal a surprise?

Yes! Deep down, I knew Joe and I would one day get married, but had no idea he was planning to propose. He researched about rings and diamonds, and then shopped for rings secretly. He enlisted my younger sister to help him figure out what style ring I wanted. The whole time, I was blissfully ignorant that all this was taking place! Then, after he had just gotten home from traveling for a week, we were alone in our kitchen and he popped the question. He had a sweet speech prepared and hugged me as he said it. I didn’t realize what was happening until the end of the speech when he held out the ring!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé?

He is very kind and thoughtful, never making rash decision or actions.

How do you envision your wedding day?

Simple yet elegant with a giant party to follow

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How did you decide on your venue?

I honestly made an excel spreadsheet of tons of venues I found using weddingwire.com and theknot.com. We then toured the top 5 contenders, and settled on The McPherson as our favorite. It had the simple elegance I wanted without much need for extra decoration, and the bridal sweet to get ready in.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

Finally being married to Joe!

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Stay tuned for their November 10th wedding!!

Trevor & Hannah: Engaged

I am so excited to help these two get married! I’ve been waiting with eager anticipation since the day they booked me – knowing it was going to be beyond special, intimate, and a whole lot of fun. These two are such gracious and loving people and the way they interact with each other is so sweet. Enough about how I adore these two – just read along and look at their sweet pictures taken by Elise Abigail and you’ll understand!

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Elise Abigail Photo

How did you meet?

We met in college after a mutual friend introduced us. Considering that Hannah kicked me out of her party that night, I don’t think it was love at first sight. But, our paths crossed enough that we developed a really strong friendship that turned into a relationship!

How long have you been together?

We’ve been together for over 5 years now – long enough to have accidentally forgotten our anniversary once!

Elise Abigail Photo
Elise Abigail Photo

Share one of your favorite dates.

We’re both pretty simple – an awesome date doesn’t have to be extravagant for either of us. We really love getting away together. We spent one weekend camping in northwest Arkansas – just hiking and eating sandwiches and drinking lukewarm beer. It was all really uncomplicated, but we got to spend it together, and that meant everything to us. All in all, it might not sound like much, but that’s one of our favorite getaways together!

When did you know he/she was the one?

Long answer: There was never really a moment for either of us where our whole perspective changed. From day one our relationship always had no pressure – and every major turn in our lives that we came to ended up eventually going in the same direction. Eventually, I think we woke up one day and had become so intertwined with each other that we knew we couldn’t spend our lives apart. We were both each others best friends and everything grew out of that. [*excuse me as I use a whole box of tissues*]

Trevor: Short answer: One year for my birthday, she took me to a bunch of local breweries, and I thought, “Hey, this chick is pretty cool.”

Elise Abigail Photo
Elise Abigail Photo

How did he pop the question?

Trevor: I had been gone for 6 weeks on a work trip, and my family had picked me up from the end of it to take me to Asheville, NC for a vacation. Hannah flew into Charlotte and I drove the 2-ish hours to pick her up. She thought we were going straight back to our mountain cabin, but I had rented an AirBnB off one of the lakes around Charlotte so we could get some alone time for the proposal. It turned what she thought would be a 2-hour drive back to Asheville on an interstate highway into a thirty minute one through residential areas – when Hannah asked how the drive went by so fast I said “I took a shortcut.” I even told her the cars parked out front were my parents – and that they had both bought new ones –  to keep the surprise going! Luckily, we were both so happy to be back together that she bought the white lies, no questions asked.

Eventually, I took her out to the patio overlooking the lake where I had strung up some lights and a hammock. I asked her there and she said yes – then we celebrated with Yuengling in champagne glasses.

Was the proposal a surprise?

Trevor: Absolutely. Hannah had no clue what was coming… her first words (after she picked her jaw up off the floor) were: “We’re not in Asheville?!?”

Elise Abigail Photo
Elise Abigail Photo

How do you envision your wedding day?

We both want it to be a party… the most important thing is that everybody gets to celebrate together!

How did you decide on your venue?

We live in Soulard and love our neighborhood: the walk-able streets, the live music and the old brick, historic houses. When we found our venue there it was really hard to say no.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

We both are just really excited to call each other husband/wife. Besides that – getting to celebrate with family and friends from all over the world will be a once in a lifetime event!

Elise Abigail Photo
Elise Abigail Photo

Stay tuned for October 13th to see all the magic happen!

Conner & Allyssa: Married

WE ARE MARRIED! We returned from our breathtaking and amazing honeymoon in Greece (holler if you want a blog post on our adventures)! Our wedding weekend was truly wonderful and filled with so much family, friends, and celebrations that my introverted soul needed the ten days vacation. But it was perfect and the best result: I married my best friend. Perk: he’s super handsome.

Courtney Smith Photography was with us all day long and perfectly captured everything we had planned. Keep scrolling to see the beautiful photos, my notes, and what I took away from the day!

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We were both able to start the morning relaxed, with our best friends and some family too. My girls brought in giant BRIDE balloons to fill the hotel room, ordered Bread Co, brought Starbucks, and it was perfectly low-key.

 

I had a custom bracelet made from Etsy with our wedding date. When we bought his wedding band, we got it engraved to match. VIII.IV.XVIII.

Yes, I’m handing my mother a crochet hook. Because every planner knows it helps button those buttons. (Especially when your mom is so teary-eyed that she can’t see straight.)

 

After we were all ready, we checked the weather again (it was hot at 92 but much better than we had been expecting). Courtney found a shady and cool spot in Benton Park for our first look. [We had to put my dress bag around the windows of the car so Conner didn’t sneak a peek and MOH Dani was working up a sweat coordinating it.] Well worth it.

 

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A lot of brides ask me about first look versus not. I’ve always been a traditionalist and thought I would never do a first look. But the planner in me has come to love the perks of a first look. [Hint: Photographers love them too!]

I left the decision up to Conner and a few months before the wedding, he changed his mind and decided he wanted a first look. I am extremely happy we ended up doing it – it gave us more time together, got all our pictures out of the way, and was truly more relaxing. Plus they are some of my favorite pictures from the day. And yes, his reaction when I walked down the aisle was still awesome because the moment of getting married is still real and emotional. But go with your gut! The timeline will always work out.

 

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Quick moment to say our friend Ashley NAILED the hair game. All the girls looked amazing and she took my super complicated style (and heavy hair piece) and made it look effortless.

 

The look that says, “You can’t stop being a wedding planner, can you?”…. Also, I hear a joke at every.single.wedding about not sticking someone with a pin. Our wedding was not an exception.

 

After we regained composure our crazy wedding party joined us.

 

We were told to, “do the Janice laugh from FRIENDS.”

 

a+c-288a+c-208a+c-224These pictures were a lot of fun and another shout-out to Dani for bringing a confetti popper – my ALL TIME favorite picture came from that moment and I’m impatiently waiting for my large print of it to come in the mail.

a+c-238Client Q: How did you make sure to stay in the moment and enjoy yourself?

A: I had a day of coordinator 😉 But really, when you’re next to your best friend and surrounded by family – it’s so much easier than you think! Nobody believed I would be able to stop being a planner and be a bride and I think I did okay. I didn’t end up checking the timeline or running around like I thought. I let go and let my vendors do exactly what I had hired them to do. I felt relaxed and all that really mattered at the end of it all was that we were laughing, having fun, and getting married.

 

Okay….. so when I said I “let go” – some of these pictures don’t reveal that. Yes, I had my Panic Packs on hand; yes, I pinned the boutonniere on my man; yes, I checked the timeline once or twice. But I also think those were special moments for me – the collision of what I love to do with my favorite day. See, look how happy I am!

And I know I’ve said it a lot, but the picture below is one of my favorites. I texted Courtney the other day and said that, “it perfectly encompasses us.” Him at the piano and me writing notes on a timeline.a+c-315Recommend: private vows. Highly recommend: let the bride go first. This was the part of the day I was looking forward to most. He volunteered to go first and I didn’t realize it was the wrong choice until my makeup was smeared and I couldn’t stop tearing up. But it was so special and we will have memories of this moment together for the rest of our lives. (Shout-out to Courtney Smith again for the custom vow book!)

 

a+c-410I only had one photo request for the day: to have a ring shot on the piano. I can’t wait to blow this up and hang it above his piano in our house someday. Our second shooter Molly killed it!

a+c-358After all of this, it was time to actually get married. We had a prayer circle with our wedding party and parents right before we went down the aisle and then we were cued by some pretty awesome music.

a+c-587a+c-426a+c-428a+c-429Groom’s Entrance: Taking Care of Business by BTO (Conner’s pick)

Parents & Wedding Party: How Would You Feel by Ed Sheeran (this song played in the background as Conner proposed to me)

a+c-443a+c-445a+c-444Bride’s Entrance: my favorite version of Canon in D by Trans Siberian Orchestra

For the first time I was at the whole ceremony and present instead of in the back looking through my binder and calling vendors and keeping track of the timeline.

a+c-498a+c-505Recessional: I Choose You by Sara Bareilles

Now THAT is the kind of reaction you want!

a+c-509Okay, on to my personal Instagram favorites: detail and setup shots. I was able to go to the venue all Friday to setup and it was truly special for me. To be able to do for myself what I do for all my clients was actually a lot of fun. Call me crazy, but it was a huge reason I chose the venue that I did. I used it as a time to unwind, focus, and make our wedding exactly what we wanted it to be. Thank you to friends and family that helped us that day!

All vendor love is at the bottom, but I’ll spread some here too. Karen with Serendipity Floral Events went ABOVE & BEYOND what we asked. She added in peonies and ranunculus making my bouquet a combination of my three favorite flowers.

Jody and An Affair to Remember’s team helped narrow down my options for linens and they were my favorite part of setup. We had ivory satin, champagne sequins, and ivory rosette linens. It was the perfect combination of beauty, fun, and flair.

 

 

The centerpieces, cake stands, and decor all come from my personal inventory. So brides, future clients, if you see something you love – you know where to find me!

 

I also painted this canvas as an anniversary present for Conner a year or so ago. Not knowing that it would combine our proposal song and first dance song. Coincidence or perfect planning?

 

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Oh, the cheesecake cutting. I had to carve out time during our wedding week to make his favorite, home-made cheesecake. I also bought a can of whipped cream (one of his life staples) and stashed it under the table.

 

 

The photo sequence of this event is pretty awesome, I think. Except the part where I didn’t actually get to taste cheesecake.

 

Conner had three requests for the wedding: his own ceremony walk-out song, cheesecake, and the shoe game. He got all three (and me) so it was a pretty good day for him 😉 Also, pretty sure this was the moment of our first marital spat.

 

First Dance: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

 

Does anybody ever wonder what the bride and groom talk about when they’re on the dance floor during their first dance? Well Conner and I talked about…Actually, neither of us can remember.a+c-692Father/Daughter Dance: Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

Mother/Son Dance: Handful of Weeds by Sheri Easter

The rest of the night was spent with our family and friends – who traveled so far to celebrate with us – dancing, laughing, and catching up.

 

Thank you to everyone – vendors, wedding party, family & friends – for making our day so special. So beyond what we imagined or could ask for. You are really the ones that made it truly fantastic. I’ll stop talking now.

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Photography: Courtney Smith Photography // Bridal Gown: Cleo Bridal / Designer: Stella York // Florist: Serendipity Floral Events // Caterer: Pasta House Co // Suits: The Black Tux // Rentals: An Affair to Remember // Donuts: Tony’s Donuts // Cupcakes: Custom Cakes by Kindra // Hair: Ashley Akins (contact me if you want her info!)

Zach & Alexandra: Engaged

Zach & Alex will tie the knot on September 29th and we are so excited to help make their special day a dream! They’ve been together 7.5 years and are so ready to make it official! Scroll to read all about their love story and see their fun engagement pictures:

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How did you meet?

Zach & I went to high school together, but didn’t start getting to know each other until our sophomore year. We had three classes together & always sat in the same vicinity as each other (since our last names are close & we had very small classes).

Share one of your favorite dates.

We brainstormed for awhile and realized that while we don’t have a “favorite” date, we do have a “most memorable” date–our first date! At the time, I was 15 and Zach was 16. We went to go see a movie, Season of the Witch (0/10, would not recommend to anyone). Not much was playing, so we chose what we thought would be a good movie. We were so wrong! It ended up being a somewhat-scary movie and Alex doesn’t like anything scary. Afterwards, we went to Taco Bell for dinner. Not a typical first date, but it’s such a perfect memory for us.

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When did you know he/she was the one?

There wasn’t necessarily a specific moment for either of us when it hit that the other was “the one.” We became closer as a couple going through so many milestones together–graduating high school, going to college, graduating college, learning who we were as an individual. All of these helped us grow closer together and realize that we couldn’t imagine a future without the other one.

How did he pop the question?

Zach & I went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Cape Girardeau, MO (where we were going to college at the time). After dinner, he drove us down to the River Campus that overlooks the Mississippi River. It was during the Super Moon & Zach knows I love the moon. We sat on a bench looking at the moon reflecting over the water & that’s when he asked.

Was the proposal a surprise?

Absolutely not LOL When he asked me to go to a nice dinner on a Wednesday, I knew something was up. I tried so hard to not get myself too excited just in case, but when he showed up wearing a button down and nice slacks, I knew something was going to happen.

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé?

Alex: My favorite thing about Zach is the perfect way we complement each other. He’s laid-back, driven, and smart. He makes me laugh every day! He has such a big heart and is so thoughtful. I know he’d do anything for me to make me smile. He’s my person.

Zach: My favorite thing about Alex is how caring and kind she is. She brings a smile to my face. She’s always there for her friends and the people closest to her. Something that I’ve always loved about her, and always will, is her smile. It lights up her face and can brighten a room.

How do you envision your wedding day?

What we both want from our wedding day is a classy, elegant event that’s also low-key lit. We want to celebrate with the people who are closest to us and who have been a part of our journey as a couple.

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How did you decide on your venue?

Alex wanted something unique and different from weddings we had been to in the past. Our venue is relatively new in the area and neither of us had been to a wedding reception there before. The perfect spot!

Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

Zach’s family has a song they request during every family wedding–John Deere Green.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

That all the planning is finally over!! LOL! We’re both looking forward to being able to celebrate all the hard work that we’ve put into this wedding and finally begin our lives together.

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Stay tuned to see sneak peeks of their wedding!