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plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Though in a lot of landlocked states it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet, this wedding might change that! With the looming thunderstorm, succulents everywhere, and lighthearted feel, Tasha and Adam’s nuptials in my hometown had me almost able to smell the rain in the air at Forest Park.


From the Photographer:

Tasha and Adam’s wedding had a very laid-back, organic feel.  The style of the day was a little vintage garden, a little country and a little industrial.  Being a very laid-back girl at heart, Tasha’s look was very natural, with simple hair and makeup.  She had two pairs of shoes:  one sparkly pair for the ceremony, and her cowboy boots for some pictures.  The ceremony, at the Jewel Box, in St. Louis’ famous Forest Park, was beautiful.  A small thunderstorm rolled through during the ceremony, and it was actually really lovely to listen to the low rumble of the thunder.  Luckily the rain stopped just in time to leave for pictures in Forest Park!   The lush greens, whites, and purples of the flowers and trees, after the rain, perfectly matched Tasha and Adam’s wedding theme.  The reception, at Sqwire’s, was a very laid-back party.  Tasha and Adam’s friends gave them bean-bag goals, that featured their home states, which guest could play outside. It felt like a fun family get together; no pretenses – just love.


Photographer: Kelly Pratt Photography / Getting Ready Venue: Moonrise Hotel / Ceremony Venue: Jewel Box, Forest Park / Caterer/Reception Venue: The Annex at SqWires / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Friend - Reena Karan / Flowers and Cake Topper: Poppies Design Studio / Bride’s Dress: Elizabeth Filmore, Fleur de Lis Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Hairpiece / Jeweler: Lindwedel Jewelers / Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie / Hairstylist: Philip Johnson Salon / Makeup Artist: Sister; Korey Starkey / Invitations & Stationery: The Firecracker Press, Matty / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids / Groom/Groomsmen's Attire: Stallone's Formal Wear / Cake Baker: The Cakery / DJ: Tom Rogers

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One of the beautiful details I loved about Kristin and Mike’s wedding is her choice to work with a local florist who specializes in local, seasonal, and organic flowers. It’s no secret how near and dear to my heart that is.

But, I digress.

Their wedding day was full of handmade details (from the bride and friends), including the miniature gooey butter cakes that were given away as favors. Please excuse me while I call up Park Ave. to overnight me some gooey butter cake.

Not only are their wedding details modern and clean, but they are beautifully simple, and the yellow and gray color palette complements their wedding venue perfectly.

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Photographer: Lisa Dolan Photography / Reception Venue: The Randall Gallery / Flowers & Decor: Flowers to the People / Ceremony Venue: The Randall Gallery

I am a little biased, but I adore a love story that starts with Cardinals baseball. But even more than that, my favorite part of this wedding aside from all the gorgeousness-the reception space, the cake, the bride of course-is the fact that it took place on what could have been a sad day, but wasn’t. The bride’s grandmother had passed away two years ago to the day, and while they tried to pick a different date, it seemed that was the only date that their loved ones were available. The bride and groom then said they felt it was a “sign” to get married that day, and make it a joyful one. And the beautiful shawl the bride is wearing belonged to her grandmother-that definitely tugged at my heartstrings-what a lovely way to commemorate and include her.


From the Bride:

It all began April 17, 2010 at Hacienda restaurant. The Cardinals played the Mets in a 7 hour 20 inning game that did not end well for them. It sure ended well for us because that is the night we met. A year and a half later, we just cannot seem to remember what life was like without each other. We now know what it means to have found “The One” and most importantly, we share the kind of love that only comes once in a lifetime!

From the Photographer:

I am excited to share this wedding with you! A beautiful couple for sure. Kelly and Ryan’s wedding was beautifully coordinated by Simply Elegant Events, Sommer Barry. Kelly’s beautiful shawl was her grandmother’s who had passed away two years earlier that day. David Kodner Jeweler coordinated Kelly’s embellishments for her day. The earrings were particularly breathtaking! The AMAZING smash band was tremendous. The Quinn wedding was fantastic down to every last detail!


Photographer: Cheryl M. Photography / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Sommer Barry, Simply Elegant Events / Cake Baker: Sugaree / Ceremony Venue: St. Louis Xavier Cathedral / Bride’s Dress: Jim Hjlem by Tara Keely / Groom’s Attire: Tom James / Reception Venue: Palladium St. Louis / Jeweler: David Kodner / Flowers & Decor: Floral Ideas / Band: Smash Band

If you’re reading this, the world didn’t end (those damn, Mayans). Which is a good thing, because I love this engagement session from Lisa Dolan.


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From the Bride-to-Be:
All through college, I worked at a little restaurant in St. Louis. It was a great place to work, but pretty much the same scene everyday. Then one day, in the summer of 2006, everything changed. Sam moved into an apartment above the place, and had come down to the bar to hang out one day. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him – I literally did a double take and (very loudly) said to myself, “Wow, he is really cute!” and proceeded to stare at him until the bartender finished making my drinks. Every time I worked I hoped he would come in to hang out, and would point him out to my coworkers and we’d talk about how cute he was. Turns out, he had been watching me as well, and had even pointed me out to his mom and brother while they were there visiting him. Finally, after a few weeks, we talked. And it was all over from there. We have been together for over 6 years now, and have never been happier. I have since finished my degree in Interior Design, and Sam received his Paramedic Certification and then went through the Fire Academy. Since then we have been busy establishing our careers and working extra jobs – we like to stay busy! In addition to my interior design position, I am a contributor for the blog, Design for Mankind, where I author the column Artistic Apparel. Last January, Sam and I took a spontaneous weekend trip to Chicago to get a way for a few days. Sam proposed, and it was one of the sweetest moments I have ever experienced. Our wedding is in March of 2013, and we have been having a blast planning all of the details for the day. We are also planning on taking a month-long honeymoon traveling around Asia. Although I hate to wish these next few months away, 2013 just can’t get here fast enough.

I love a black and white palette with a pop of color! The black and white keeps things classy and streamlined, while the color adds a whole other dimension. In this case, hot pink is splashed over the bride’s shoes, little details like pocket squares, and namely, her gorgeous ranunculus bouquet (I am obsessed with it). Lastly, how great is Mallory’s smile? I’m loving her joy and Troy’s sweet demeanor.


From the Bride:
Mallory and Troy met as first year grad students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida in the
Fall of 2007. They dated for the two years of school before graduating in 2009. Since graduation,
life has taken them from Orlando to St. Louis (and her parents’ spare bedroom) to Atlanta
before, finally, settling back in St. Louis in 2011. After buying a home in the St. Louis area, Troy
proposed on the doorstep of their new home as they prepared to build a life together.

Mallory and Troy were married on September 22, 2012 in a truly St. Louis affair. Out of town
guests were greeted in their hotel rooms with fleur de lis emblazoned totes filled with goodies
to welcome them to the Gateway to the West including Sauce and Feast magazines, Cardinals
silly straws, Schlafly’s beer, Gus’s Pretzels, homemade gooey butter cake and for those that
really enjoyed themselves, bottled water, Tylenol and a custom “Do Not Disturb” door hanger.
The ceremony took place at the Jewel Box in Forest Park where Mallory’s parents had been
married 32 years prior followed by photos at Mallory’s high school Villa Duchesne, with
its towers, turrets, spiral staircases, marble arches and white stone facade fit for a fairy tale.
Guests then enjoyed cocktails, dinner and dancing (with the mother of the bride chanting “one
more song” at the end of the night) at former Cardinals’ outfielder Jim Edmonds’ Fifteen
Steakhouse, in a room lit only by lanterns and candlelight. Mallory and her mother planned every
last detail of the wedding day and hand-made many of the unique touches such as the guest list
seating chart, hanging lanterns, wine glass place card charms and even the napkin rings. This was
definitely a labor of love.

Mallory and Troy’s wedding was a classic, elegant and sophisticated yet personal and intimate
affair and the memories will last for their lifetime together.


Photographer: Cheryl M. Photography












Photographer: Simpli Photography

I love a beautiful wedding photo. I don’t know what wedding blogger doesn’t. But, what makes that photo so much more beautiful (and memorable) is the story behind them.

Amanda’s stunning bridal portraits took place at her family home – but the lighting and blank canvas of the white walls and furniture were the perfect backdrop. And, she had the women in her family there to support and enjoy this time with her.

Some of my favorite photos of my own wedding day are the bridal portraits my photographer captured in our hotel room. It’s not very often you get to have photos of just yourself snapped, but when you do, they’re a great way to capture the joy and love in your eyes (and heart).











From the Photographer:
I hadn’t met Amanda in person until the day of her bridal shoot, but we meshed well in all of our phone conversations. We had to reschedule due to the extreme heat and her reaction to her bone marrow transplant. She is a survivor and is loved by so many, and I felt that energy the minute I walked in the door. Again, due to the weather and her low energy levels, we moved the shoot to her family home, which I was loving due to all the white floors and white carpets. It was so lovely and bright! Amanda was in great spirits and completely comfortable in her own surroundings, so we got to work capturing the essence of her spirit, the beauty of her gown, and all the details we wouldn’t have time to capture on her wedding day. As her mother, grandmother, and aunt watched, we did an entire bridal session in under an hour. Amanda was comfortable and relaxed, and I left feeling closer to her and her family for the wedding day. And as it turns out, we didn’t have any time for detail shots of the dress hanging or her jewelry on her actual wedding day. I’m so glad we did the bridal session (instead of a traditional engagement session). She has these lovely images to cherish forever, and she surprised her husband with a large print at the reception.

Photographer: Be Lovely Photography

Oh, this wedding. It’s fun and pretty. It’s classic and beautiful. Not to mention Fred Bird makes an appearance (a wedding guest I’m always fond of). But, just reading Lindsey’s recap of their big day should be a reminder to anyone planning a wedding that simple and personal can make such a huge statement. Plus, Anne Martin does a fabulous job of capturing their joy and love – something they’ll get to keep with them forever.




















Anne Martin

From the Bride:
Ryan and I met when we were in college, I was a waitress at a popular restaurant/bar on the campus of St. Louis University, and he was the nice red-headed boy who liked to throw darts with his buddies during happy hour. I never knew that 6 years later we would happen to run into one another, and my thoughts about that nice red-headed boy would change forever. After a couple of hours of chatting about anything and everything, I knew this was something special.

Throughout the next couple of years, Ryan and I fell in love while having an amazing time traveling with great friends, and spending time with our amazing families. Ryan proposed in Denver, CO, on July 8th, 2010 on the balcony of our friends’ loft, overlooking downtown Denver. I was completely surprised and overwhelmed with happiness and excitement. And, the ring! The boy did a good job!

I was anxious to begin planning our big day and relied on the help of my mom and girlfriends to make it the best day ever. We chose to have our ceremony at the lovely Samuel Church in Clayton and celebrated at Point of View, on the 30th floor of the Laclede Gas Building in downtown St. Louis. I knew I wanted a simple, yet elegant wedding, with romantic touches throughout. My bridesmaids and I carried bouquets of blush and ivory roses, black candelabras decorated with roses served as table centerpieces, and sparkling votives lined the dance floor, creating an intimate setting, along with the lights of the city. To add personal touches with a vintage feel, we displayed old photos of our family members’ weddings, had guests write messages on postcards to fill a vintage suitcase, and sent our loved ones home with olive oil & balsamic vinegar favors. Oh, and I can’t forget the special guest…Fred Bird! Ryan’s mom arranged for the Cardinals mascot to make an appearance! He was a hit and such an awesome surprise! We spent the rest of the evening taking goofy pictures in a photo booth and dancing with all of our favorite people. Every girl dreams of her wedding day, and mine couldn’t have been any better. Not only did the day go off without a hitch, it was just the beginning to a life full of love and happiness.


Ceremony Venue: Samuel Church | Reception Venue: Point of View | Photography: Anne Martin | DJ: Tom Rotter with Block Rockin Beats | Caterer: Patty Long | Cake: Lubeley’s | Florist: Memory Lane | Transportation: Central State Trailways | Wedding Gown: Amore | Bridesmaids Dresses: Clarice’s Bridal | Groomsmen Attire: Savvi Formalwear

Mike and Amanda’s wedding takes me back to my own wedding. Mostly because of the joy on their faces and the fact that they partied the night at the same venue (and same floor) as my husband and I. Something about the loft set-up that just fit our style perfectly.



















Laura Ann Miller Photography


From the Bride:
Five years ago I came across a photo that changed the way I thought about wedding photography. The photo bared the stark contrast between the light-hearted, beautifully clad bride and groom and the bleak backdrop of a dirty, graffiti laden city stairwell. I can’t really describe what attracted me so much to this particular image, maybe it was the juxtaposition of love in an unloved place, or the flowing white dress against the harsh lines of dark concrete walls. Either way, I knew someday this photo would be the inspiration for my own wedding. And sure enough, when it was my turn to start planning, I knew simple elegance meshed with an urban edge would play synonymously throughout my wedding. Lucky for me, my groom loved this idea as much as me.

We first chose the venue. It was a loft-like space, with exposed brick and beams, large windows that captured the unique architecture of a downtown cityscape, perfectly spaced white columns that ran floor to ceiling, and a huge bar made out of old wood doors from the historical area of Soulard. It was the first place we visited in a long line of appointments. At first, we were apprehensive. Not about the space itself, but what the cost must be for such a unique place. Fortunately, however, our lucky streak was just warming up. We got a fabulous deal, and I immediately cancelled all 7 of our other appointments (setup for that very day) and booked the 8th floor at Windows on Washington.

As for the dress, I chose a romantic, a-line gown with lace, jewels and couture-looking layers. I knew the second I saw it that it had to be my dress. Unfortunately though, there was a major disagreement between the price tag and my budget. My dream dress was out of reach. But only for a moment – thanks to my mounting luck. When the owner Barb saw me in the dress, she immediately knew it was ‘the one’ as well. She announced she would work with me on the price and adjusted it to a range I could afford. I was so happy with the final result; I couldn’t help but think ‘how could this all be working out so wonderfully?’

But it gets better. My husband and I hit the jackpot when we met Laura Miller, of Laura Ann Miller Photography. Not only was she very reasonably priced, but the work she showed us was absolutely beautiful. This girl knew what she was doing. And I knew she would be able to capture the essence of my simple, elegant style with an urban flair. Oh, and she was wonderfully nice to boot!

Obviously the backdrop of our wedding photography was imperative in creating the elegant/urban feel. I had suggested a couple places downtown by the river, but when Laura visited the locations during the time of day we would be shooting for the wedding, she found them to be over crowded and not quite what we were looking for. Instead, she found the PERFECT location. I mean, EXACTLY what I had imagined – old, industrial part of town that was altogether unloved and totally forgotten. Well until we found it. It was the perfect contrast we were looking for, and we could not be happier. Laura is incredibly gifted, and we cannot thank her enough for capturing these incredible photographs of our big day!


Photography: Laura Ann Miller Photography | Ceremony / Reception Venue: | Cake: Lubeley’s Bakery | DJ: Complete Music | Wedding Gown: Kirkwood Bridal Boutique | Tuxes: Kirkwood Bridal Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal