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Chase Loves Lee Ella | Married

Chase and Lee Ella contacted me a few months ago to shoot a few hours of wedding portraits and intimate family photos before their super private wedding ceremony in mid-July. I was pretty darn excited to meet these two because they’re from my old stomping grounds in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! Roll Tide Roll! I didn’t get to meet them until that morning, and as soon as I saw them, I was in heaven. How CUTE are they?! I love Lee Ella’s short vintage dress and teal belt, and that bouquet??? TO DIE FOR. I bet you can’t guess where it came from!

photo of bride and groom with a vintage dress, teal heels, and a hat purse

I always get to my weddings a little early to scope out the lighting, and I happened to take a ton of random photos of the foliage while I waited for them to arrive. The Grand Basin in Forest Park is one of my favorite places to shoot because it has a little bit of everything, architecture, fountains, my favorite willow trees, and pretty flowers!

photo of bride and groom under willow tree

This bouquet. Seriously. I die. It’s from SCHNUCKS! What?! I can’t believe that a grocery store florist puts out this quality of work! I loved this bouquet so so much!! Put a succulent in your bouquet, and I’ll pretty much be guaranteed to love it. But pair it with purple, and I’ll swoon.

photo of schnucks purple succulent bridal bouquetphoto of bride and groom at the grand basinphoto of bride and groom under a willow treephoto of bride and groom at forest parkphoto of bride and groom at forest parkphoto of bride and groom under huge tree

Lee Ella and Chase didn’t have many requests, but they did ask me to take a photo of them with her parents’ wedding photo. I’m kind of in love with it!

photo of bride and groom holding parentphoto of groom picking bride upphoto of bride with naturally curly hair

Intimate family photos at a wedding are one of my most favorite things to shoot. Since I lost my parents so young, I really cherish this time and love to show off the relationships of my couple’s family members. Especially each of them with their parents!

photo of bride with her mom and dadphoto of groom with his mom and dadphoto of groom laughing with his grandma

^I mean that laugh. Seriously! Aren’t these photos so much better than the static, formal, everyone stand in a line at the altar family photos?! I love them. The light, the emotion, the candidness (well, they aren’t candid, but I won’t tell you what I do to get that reaction! It’s my secret!)

photo of groom

Cute kiddos always win with me.:)

cute photo of ring bearer and flower girlphoto of schnucks purple succulentbridal bouquet

That photo on the right is one of my favorite bride and groom photos ever. I don’t think she could have laughed any harder!! Ha!

photo of groom dipping bride at st louis munyphoto of groom holding a succulentportrait of bride and groom

She wanted to spin, and spin she did. What a perfect dress for a beautiful twirling bridal portrait!

photo of bride spinning at the saint louis muny

Thank you SO much, Lee Ella & Chase for letting me be a small part of your day! I had SO much fun with the two of you and your families! Next time I’m in Tuscaloosa, we’ll definitely need to get together!:)

October 13, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Houston Wedding Photographer - This is really beautiful! Great job!

Zach Loves Kathleen | Married

Last fall, I sat with this incredibly gorgeous couple at the Bread Co at Westport Plaza while Kathleen gushed over the insanely beautiful details of their wedding day, while Zach showed me just how in love he was with her just by the way he looked at her. I was ECSTATIC when we booked their New Town wedding in St. Charles. Kathleen’s wedding style is very similar to my own wedding style back from 2011, so we were kindred spirits, which made me love photographing her details even more! Not only did she do a phenomenal job planning every tiny piece of their wedding, but they also weren’t afraid to show how excited they were to get married. The emotion from these two and their friends and family was so amazing to photograph. AND I couldn’t have been more thrilled when they gave me a TON of time for photos throughout the day! I absolutely love when people value photography and trust us to create beautiful images and document the beginning of their marriage. On to the eye candy!

bridal portrait and groom portrait

Thanks, Ameristar, for letting us take over your lobby!

photo of dress at ameristar casino saint charlesphoto of glitter chevron pursephoto of bridal bouquet and sparkly shoesphoto of white silk bridal clutch and chandelier earringsphoto of a diamond bouquet wrap and betsy johnson ring shotphoto of black and white damask invitation suitephoto of sixpence and sparkler exit tag

Kathleen is the sweetest bride. Check out these fantastic bridesmaids gifts from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Coach!

photo of kate spade michael kors coach bridesmaid gifts

Jaime, you rocked the girls’ hair and makeup!

photos of girls getting ready on wedding day

The photo of Kathleen reading Zach’s letter might be one of my all time favorite images. I *LOVE* when couples write letters to each other the morning of their wedding!

photo of bride and groom reading letterphoto of heavily backlit bridesmaidphoto of bride getting ready at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of groom getting ready at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelI’m sure you know by now, but I love the dad’s first look. Since my dad wasn’t here for our wedding, I truly, truly, truly encourage my brides to set aside a few moments for dad to see his little girl as a bride. It’s an incredibly powerful moment. Kathleen is lucky because she had two daddy’s first looks. This one was with her stepfather, Michael. Lots of tears!

photo of dad

And then there was the best first look ever!

photo of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotel

Le sigh. These two are so beautiful.

photo of bride and groom at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of bride and groom at saint charles ameristar casino and hotel

And her sweet papa’s first look in front of the New Town Chapel!

photo of dad

Kathleen’s sister did an awesome job on their DIY bling/brooch bouquets! And yes! The girls did have the same dress as Kathleen’s wedding dress, but in grey! It was awesome.:)

photo of white brooch bouquetphoto of wedding party in greyphoto of bridesmaids throwing bouquetsphoto of bridal party at new town

More of Jaime’s gorgeous hairstyling!

bridal hair by Jaime French www.beautyismagnifique.comphoto of bride and groom with cathedral veilphoto of bride and groom reflection in sunglassesphoto of wood guest bookphoto of wedding program at new town chapel

The Chapel at New Town has the most beautiful light ever.

photo of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapel

They had a balloon release immediately following their New Town Wedding! I loved that they were up on the balcony. It was very Royal Wedding like!:)

photo of balloon release exit at new town chapel

I adore when my couples are up for more casual family portraits that show of relationships and emotion rather than stiff altar formals. I definitely don’t mind doing those, but I love these SO MUCH MORE!

casual family photos at new town chapelphoto of bride and groom at new town chapel

The New Town Event Tent is gorgeous! With the beautiful garden globe lights and huge windows, it’s such an amazing space and open ALL YEAR ROUND! Seriously, brides, go check this place out. It’s fantastic!

photo of bling at new town event tentphoto of champagne place cards at new town event tentphoto of pink white and grey cocktail tables and decor at new town event tent

I love Zach’s Zombie Themed cupcakes. Only a few more months until Walking Dead returns!

photo of grooms zombie cupcakes at new town event tentphoto of custom champagne flutes at new town event tentphoto of cupcake bar at new town event tentphoto of cupcake bar at new town event tent

Kathleen + Zach gave me some extra time at sunset for some beautiful bride and groom portraits. I’m obsessed. I love these two and these photos.:)

photo of bride and groom at fountain in new townphoto of bride and groom at fountain in new townphoto of bride and groom at fountain with cathedral veil in new townphoto of bride and groom in front of new town chapelphoto of bride and groom at fountain in new town

It’s so easy to see how head over heels in love these two are.

first dance at new town event tentparent dances at new town event tentcupcake smash at new town event tent

I seriously love the photo booth. Since we started doing this for our couples, I’ve had an epic amount of fun at receptions!

ashley fisher photography st louis photobooth at new town event tentdance floor at new town event tentnight portrait and long exposure sparkler bridal portrait at new town

Thank you SO much, Kathleen + Zach, for allowing John, Katie, and I to be a part of your wedding day! It was truly an honor, and I wish the two of you a lifetime of happiness! <3

sparkler exit at new town event tent

A huge thank you to the amazing vendor team that helped make this beautiful New Town Wedding happen!

Second Photographer: Katie Blattel
Ceremony: New Town Chapel, St. Charles, MO
Reception: New Town Event Tent, St. Charles, MO
Getting Ready Location: Ameristar Casino and Hotel, St. Charles, MO
Florals: DIY by Bride’s Sister, Kristi
Cupcakes: Cupcakes by Midtowne Market
DJ: Family Friend, Doug
Hair + Makeup: Jaime French, Beauty is Magnifique
Rentals: Big Red Events
Catering: Frenchtown Catering
Attire: Dresses purchased internationally, Suits from JC Penney

August 1, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Kristi Mulder - Ashley,
These photos are beyond amazing. You made our day so memorable. I know our family will cherish these photos for a life time. Thank you!
Kristi – sister of the bride

Steve Loves Alex | Married

I met Alex back in 2010 when I became an advisor for the Kappa Theta chapter of Sigma Kappa at SLU. Alex had joined the fall after I graduated, so we just missed being in the sorority at the same time. We’ve become good friends over the past four years, and I was ecstatic when she told me she was engaged and then hired me to be her wedding photographer for her September 2014 wedding.

All was well until she called me one day in early June. It was a phone call that I’ve experienced before. Steve’s mom is very ill. Alex and Steve are very much family people, and family being present for the beginning of their marriage was far more important to them then planning an extravagant wedding and inviting hundreds of people. They wanted to share this intimate wedding with their closest family members, and she wanted me to document this precious time they still have with Steve’s mom.

If you know anything about me, you know that I lost both of my parents far too soon. I lost my dad when I was only four years old in a car accident, and I lost my mom to cancer in 2009. Last year, I spent a LOT of time thinking about why I do this. Why am I a photographer? Why am I a wedding photographer? It’s because the photos are the proof that you lived and were loved. It’s because I want to surround myself with couples who care even more about their marriage and what that truly means than the details of their wedding day. It’s because I want to freeze those moments with the people that mean the absolute most to them in this world, because one day…one day they will be gone. And when they’re gone, the only thing in the world you have left of them are your memories.

So when Alex and I talked, I couldn’t hold it together. I couldn’t even hold it together when I was talking to her about the timeline and family photos. So when I walked in on Saturday morning, I knew I had already lost the battle with tears. I lost it with Kate, Alex’s mom, and Christy, Steve’s sister. When her dad saw her for the first time and I caught the tears rolling down the faces of her parents and her sister, I lost it. When Steve saw her walking down the aisle…lost it again. When both moms had a moment during the ceremony…yep. tears. lots of them. But when I heard Steve’s mom and dad’s reading and listened to those words about what marriage is all about and the small moments that make up a life together…and remembering that we’re not all so fortunate to live forever and be a part of those moments…but remembering that we DO have those moments right now…I was a mess. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

That, my friends, is why I became a wedding photographer. If I was put on this planet to just be there this past Saturday to be able to use my gift for Alex and Steve and their families…that’s enough for me. Congratulations, Alex + Steve. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day and for giving me the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. I’m so unbelievably happy for you two, and I’m so grateful that you both are a part of our life. You’re role models for what marriage is all about, and I couldn’t be happier to call you two friends. ♥

I can’t wait to celebrate again with you two in September.:)

photo of blue hydrangea bouquetphoto of bride with swarovski earringsphoto of bride getting readyphoto of bridal portraitphoto of dadphoto of dadphoto of bride walking down aislephoto of catholic ceremonyphoto of family laughingphoto of bridephoto of bride and groomphoto of bride with horsephoto of bride in casual reception dress and cowboy bootsphoto of bridal hairstylephoto of ring shot on magnolia flowerphoto of bride and groomphoto of fathers giving toastsphoto of mother laughingphoto of mother laughingphoto of mother and her friendsphoto of groom

Russell Loves Jessica | Married

The blog is back…and with some very gorgeous images from this gold sparkle winery wedding. <3

A few weeks ago, I came back from maternity leave to a double header wedding weekend. Outdoors. Hot. Wineries when I was working and couldn’t have a glass. Leaving my baby for the first time for a long period of time.

But it was awesome. I had two of the most amazing couples, and I loved every minute of that weekend.

Jessica and Russell’s wedding was the second of the weekend, and although I was tired, I couldn’t have been more excited to head over to Pocohontas for their Copper Dock Winery wedding. I had shot a glamour party back in March for Jessica and her bridesmaids, so I knew the day was going to be a ton of fun since I already had a relationship with the girls. I feel like the photos are 10x better than they would have been had we not done that party! I also knew Jessica had put a lot of thought and a lot of work into the details of her day, and they completely trusted me and gave me free reign and the time I needed to create beautiful images. That was AWESOME.

I’m pretty obsessed with gold glitter, so when she told me her wedding was going to be gold sparkles, outdoors, with blush accents…I pretty much died.

photo of gold wedding details

I just happened to look out the back window of the motel and saw this fence and these metal contraptions. Only a photographer would say “oh that would be a cool place to hang the dresses.” I think the girls thought I was nuts!

photo of wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses outside on farmphoto of wedding dress details

It’s not really fair to the rest of us that Jessica is so beautiful inside and out. Seriously, she couldn’t be any more genuine. I’m so grateful to call her a friend.:)

photo of wedding makeupphoto of bride getting hair and makeup done

Russell isn’t too bad himself. He’s pretty stellar. They’re a perfect match.

photo of groom getting ready

When I say they trusted me, they really trusted me. I suggested she…gasp…get ready outside. She obliged, and I’m obsessed with the results.

photo of bride getting ready outside at copper dock winery with her mom

We also had a big reveal once she was dressed and ready to go for her bridesmaids. That moment was SO fun!

photo of bridesmaids seeing bride for the first time at copper dock winery

This…this is why I suggest doing first looks. It just enhances the experience, gives you more time together, more photos, better photos, and that excitement…that’ll never get old.

photo of outdoor first lookI love this bridal party. A lot. I want to hang out with them all the time.

photo of groomsmen in suspenders and bridesmaids in gold sparkly dressesphoto of bride and groom with time standing stillphoto of bride and groom in forestphoto of bride and groom in forestphoto of bride and groom at copper dock winery

They DIYed all the flowers. They were BEAUTIFUL.

photo of wedding bouquet and boutonniere

Jessica managed to wrangle a vintage car for their portraits. Yup. She’s seriously a dream bride.

photo of bride and groom with vintage carphoto of bride and groom with vintage carphoto of bride and groom with vintage car

Jessica, you are stunning.

photo of bride in vintage car

Oh…so about this. They’re PREGNANT! Isn’t this the cutest pregnancy announcement ever?!

photo of ring bearer and pregnancy announcement

Le Sigh. I love this decor.

photo of blush manzanita ceremony decor and gold glitter wine bottles and diy chandelier for outdoor ceremonyphoto of gold glitter wine bottles as ceremony decorI told you the first look only enhances it. Just as much emotion walking down the aisle as without a first look. Probably more emotion and less nerves!

photo of bride walking down aisle from a vintage carphoto of dad giving bride away at copper dock winery

Love this shot that my awesome second, Katie, got!

photo of outdoor ceremony at copper dock winery with chalkboards

I cried right along with you two. So happy for you guys!!

photo of outdoor romantic ceremony at copper dock winery

They even let me behind them so that I could get their first kiss with their guests in the background. How cool is that?!

photo of first kiss with guests in background at copper dock winery

Those first moments of newlywed bliss. Perfection.

photo of happy bride and groom walking back down the aislephoto of cupcakes and gold glitter wine bottle centerpieces

photo of romantic first dancephoto of bride dancing with mom

As the sun was going down, we snuck away for a few minutes to go over to the winery. I love giving my couples little pockets of time to spend together on their day since it goes by so unbelievably fast.

photo of bride and groom at copper dock winery on lake at sunset

Gorgeous.

photo of bridal portraits with ice lightphoto of bride and groom with ice light

Shots! Perhaps laying under guys with shot glasses with expensive camera equipment isn’t the best idea…but it’s cool.

photo of groomsmen taking a shot

They also let me try out our photobooth for the first time! It was a smashing success!

photo of st louis photobooth

We capped off the night with a beautiful sparkler exit!

photo of sparkler exit at copper dock winery

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day, and I’m so grateful that you allowed us to document the beginning of your marriage. We love you guys, and we can’t wait for Baby English’s arrival in December!! <3

Venue: Copper Dock Winery, Pocohontas, IL
Second Shooter: Katie Blattel Photography
Coordinator: Christin Neporadny
Decorator: Heather Hayden
Cupcakes: Duke’s Bakery, Granite City, IL
DJ: DJ Shields
Hairstylists: Mindy Wolff + Lyndsy Pomerantz from Studio 9
Makeup Artists: Mallory Presswood, Glam Fam Artist from Tanglez Salon
Officiant: Tony Schoeber