landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Sometimes a wedding makes your way to your inbox that is just so classically beautiful it brings that smile to your face. But, more importantly, the couple in those photos just warm your heart. Their smiles, their love are just infused in every single photograph and detail.

Artisan Photography

From the Bride:
What little girl doesn’t dream of being of bride? I did! I played dress up, caught the bouquet at every wedding, loved browsing the china department…I couldn’t wait for it to be my turn! Luckily, my older brother introduced me to Jason and my wait was over.

We both grew up in Missouri and knew the wedding would be in my hometown of St. Louis. My parents joined Greenbriar Hills Country Club the year I was born, it is such a special place to us and there was never a question that it would be our reception site. Choosing a location for the ceremony was a little more difficult. After visiting several venues and churches we met the wonderful people of Salem in Ladue United Methodist. Reverend Terri Swan welcomed us with open arms and after one meeting we felt like we had known her for years. She even invited us to her home for a premarital session which seemed more like a chat with an old friend. Not only were the people great, I could not help fall in love with the soaring windows, gleaming gold chandeliers and charming black and white tile at the altar and in the foyer. And no aisle runner was required because the aisle was already laid with a red carpet!

To add to the magic of the ceremony, my oldest and closest friend Shannon and her husband Garrett sang a duet of One Hand, One Heart as we lit the Unity Candle. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking thing I have ever heard, I get teary eyed just thinking about how amazing they sounded (they have both sung professionally). We chose the song because our wedding date was my aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary and they had One Hand, One Heart at their wedding. It was a meaningful and special moment in so many ways!

With an April wedding date we had an array of gorgeous spring flowers to choose from. My vision was for a very romantic, elegant yet warm candlelit reception. I wanted lots of white flowers but left the rest of the creative decisions up to genius floral designer Barb Wehking of Bloomin’ Buckets. My mom had the brilliant idea to use different silver and crystal pieces that belonged to her and my grandma so guests felt like they were having dinner at a friend’s house. Barb used everything to create stunning tablescapes and each arrangement was different! Our simple table number signs had love quotes to spread the joyful mood. My bouquet was filled with fragrant peonies, gardenias, English garden roses and stephanotis. I have always loved Jessica Simpson’s bouquet (when she married Nick), so Barb added 3 delicate strands of stephanotis that hung down and complimented the wispy petals on my Lazaro gown.

We knew we did not want a “theme” wedding, but we wanted to incorporate pieces of us and our lives into the big day. Jason did this through his love (and slight obsession) with collecting Nike basketball shoes. He gave all of the groomsmen black suede Air Force Ones to wear at the reception and he changed into a snazzy pair of black patent leather Michael Jordan basketball sneakers. I was all for it, comfortable shoes = more dancing! As a special surprise for Jason I had a groom’s cake made that was an exact replica of the shoes he wore to the reception. Jason also wanted all of the men to wear the traditional black tuxedo with suspenders, cummerbunds and bow ties. However, to add our own fun flair he got black bow ties with tiny white polka dots for the groomsmen and he wore a dashing black and white striped bow tie from Brooks Brothers.

Both of my grandmother’s are no longer with us, but it was important that they be a part of our wedding. Both had impeccable class and style so it was easy to incorporate their chic vintage pieces. I wore one grandmother’s broach as a hair piece and carried her hand beaded pearl clutch. And due to the unusually cool April temps, I wore my other grandma’s silver fox stole to keep me warm! Additionally, my mom and her sister’s all wore the same veil of handmade Belgium lace at their weddings. It had become too fragile for me to wear so we used it as an overlay on the cake table. It stood out beautifully against the federal blue linen and provided a focal point as guests entered the dining room. Another touch of family sentiment came with Jason’s mom and her siblings surprised him by singing an incredible a cappella prayer before dinner.

Since our dear friend Courtney Callahan of Courtney Callahan Paper did such a fabulous job on our engagement party invitation, we hired her to design our custom save the date and invitation suite. She completely understood our vision and helped bring a modern twist to our traditional wedding. The paper details on our wedding day matched our invitation perfectly. She created a custom monogram and flourish that were used throughout from the programs to the menus to the signage around the reception. Other touches included monogrammed cocktail napkins and guest towels, Mr. and Mrs. signs tied to our chairs, place cards, a Thank You banner, Sparkler Sendoff and Guest Book signs and kitschy late night food labels.

While the dinner menu included traditional favorites of filet and shrimp, we brought flavors of our favorite cities to the late night food display! Toasted ravioli were served as a St. Louis staple, BBQ sliders made with famous Kansas City Gates BBQ sauce represented Jason’s hometown and deep dish pizzas provided a taste of Chicago…where our love story began.

Although I am a makeup artist (Susan Hood Makeup), I enlisted the help of super stylist D’Shannon Llewellyn to help everyone look their absolute best. I also hired Minerva O’Toole to tackle my two wedding day hair styles. I always wear my hair down, but I fell in love with a Toni Federici veil edged in Alencon lace that perfectly matched my dress. I felt like the veil called for a pulled back hair style so Minerva created a soft and sophisticated updo for the ceremony and then took it down for a more playful and romantic reception style.

Looking back now, the day brings a huge smile to my face and will continue to do so for a lifetime. It was filled with love, elegance, unimaginable joy and most of all FUN! It was an amazing celebration that represented Jason and me perfectly.

Photographer: Artisan Photography | Ceremony Venue: | Reception Venue: Greenbriar Hills Country Club | Florist: Bloomin’ Buckets | Stationery: Courtney Callahan Paper | Day of Coordinator: Mary Lou Willbrand | Makeup: D’Shannon Llewellyn | Hair: Minerva O’Toole | Chair and Charger Rentals: Weinhardt Party Rental | Linen Rental: BBJ Linen | Ceremony Music: Quartet Brioso | Reception Band: BOOM | Wedding Cake: McArthur’s Bakery | Wedding Gown: Lazaro | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaid Dresses / Accesories: J.Crew | Groom’s Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Bow Ties: The Tie Bar


  1. Susan
    7:22 am on August 1st, 2011

    Brit! Thank you SO much for sharing our love story. 🙂

  2. Susan and Jason were the most perfect couple to work with and have a fantastic love story!

  3. It truly was a beautiful day, and very fun to boot. Thank you for giving me the chance to capture the day for you guys
    Tim – Artisan Photography

  4. What a beautiful wedding! We are getting married at Salem in Ladue next month- Susan we would love to see more pictures from the church for inspiration if you have any to share!