Ali + Ryan's engagement session is one of my all-time favorite sessions I've ever done. When I first met them, even before they signed a contract with me, we talked about things they like to do together. The very first thing they said (in unison) was "ROAD TRIPS!!". I don't remember the next 1-2 minutes of what we talked about after that because my brain was swirling with engagement session ideas. I even knew who I wanted to contact for a vintage car to make the shoot even more special (Hello, Kyle!).
I do remember that they told me their favorite road trip snacks, that they have a map and a notebook that they play games and take notes during all of their trips and that they use the same suitcases and pack pretty much the same things every time. Ali even mentioned that she had a road trip t-shirt! (You can see all of these things in the pics below.). They also mentioned that their Save-The-Date featured A&W Rootbeer and RC Cola cans... which are their initials (Ali Watson and Ryan Chaney). I mean... how cute is that??? I knew I had to feature this in their photos... as well as their road trip mascot, Darla the Duck.
We started the session at their house, the first home they've owned together. We then made a stop at the gas station to gas up and grab snacks (their favorites? Nibs and Chex Mix, of course!) After that, we hit the road! We also made a stop when the sunlight got just right for some gorgeous photos in a perfect field. It was an absolute dream of a day... these two were game for anything I wanted to try. It was one of those days where I had to pinch myself when I got home. I still can't believe I get to create and tell cool stories like this for a living!
It also goes without saying, but a huge thanks goes out to Kyle Cross for the use of his 1969 Transporter VW Bus.
Amy & Ken tied the knot on June 15, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The morning was a bit rainy but luckily the clouds parted and the sun came out to shine down on their beautiful nuptials. They were beaming all morning while they got ready surrounded by family and friends. The Best Man surprised Ken with a heartfelt gift - a tie in memory of his best friend that passed away. It was incredibly touching! As you can see from the photos, the first look blew Ken away! *ALL the heart eyes emojis* Also - we loved that Amy's Maid of Honor (Erika) is also an ATP Bride and got married 2 months later. The #ATPfamily roots are strong with this crowd!
Our main concern on their wedding day wasn't only the weather but also the traffic & crowds downtown because of the Blues Stanley Cup Parade! We absolutely lucked out on both fronts. We had sunshine and easy breezes and absolutely zero issues getting around STL! It was an absolute miracle!!
We all headed to NEO on Locust for the extra special ceremony that was officiated by Amy's uncle. The love was felt throughout the entire space! Let's talk about how gorgeous NEO was for the ceremony AND the reception! We love all the natural light that flows through that space. After dinner it was time to cut the cake, munch on a yummy donuts, and then hit the dance floor. We even went to the rooftop for some photos.
Amy & Ken, thank you for your trust in us and we cannot wait to see what life brings for the Joneses!
Ceremony Venue: NEO on Locust
Reception Venue: NEO on Locust
Catering: Genesis Catering
Florist: Always In Bloom
Hair: Lindsey Wallace
Makeup: Nicole Klingert
Cake: Wedding Wonderland
Donuts: Paul's Cafe
DJ: Ultimate Entertainment - DJ Rob Hernandez
Transportation: BEST Transportation
Wedding Bands: Shane Co.
Gown: Clarice's Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Clarice's Bridal
Suits: Thro's and Michelle's
Cara & Matt were married on a gorgeous spring day in St. Louis. Cara was the Maid of Honor for a previous ATP Bride, Megan Rammacher, all the way back in 2012. Of course, Megan was Cara's Matron of Honor and now had the chance to stand next to Cara on her wedding day! One of our very favorite things here at ATP is to see friendships grow throughout the years, like we have with Cara and Megan (and now the beautiful families they have created!).
Cara & Matt's wedding party looked pretty different compared to most. Cara has been a nanny in St. Louis for almost 10 years and adores all of the little "nuggets" in her life, including their family and their friend's little nuggets. There were FIFTEEN little ones that walked down the aisle!! FIFTEEN!!?!! It was the sweetest to watch those little bundles of personality begin the ceremony.
After the photos at Epiphany of Our Lord, they went to Lafayette Square park for some gorgeous photos by the greenery and the magnolia trees. It was stunning!! The next stop was the stone church with the beautiful and dramatic vines! Heather and Jen (ATP Associate Photographers) did a superb job to make Cara & Matt and their loved ones look their absolute best!
The reception was at The Franklin Room in Soulard and was decorated just beautifully. Everything went off without a hitch...until it was time for the head table to eat. As you can see in one of the photos, there was quite a crowd huddling around phones. Matt and his family went to Auburn University and are huge fans! Auburn happened to be in the Final Four and that game happened to be on the wedding day! Although in the end Auburn didn't come out on top, there was no way it was going to put a damper on the Sicola and Hanrahan party!
The food from The Franklin Room was on point and the desserts were the best way to end the meal. Thanks to the Romeo Brothers, the dance floor was packed all night!
Heather and Jen grabbed Cara & Matt for a couple special night shots after their BEST DAY EVER!
Ceremony venue: Epiphany of Our Lord
Reception venue: The Franklin Room
Catering: The Franklin Room
Florist: Debbie The Fillmore
Hair: Allie Lancaster Cielo Salon
Makeup: Colleen Eickmeier
Cake/dessert: Britt's Bakehouse (Gluten Free Desserts), McArthur's Bakery
Ceremony music: Joseph Schoen
DJ/Band: Romeo Brothers
Favors: N/A (Made by bride and Mother of the Bride)
Stationery: The Ink Spot
Gown: David's Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Nordstrom
Tuxedos/Suits: Men's Warehouse
Amber has been my best friend since December of 2002 when we reconnected after college. It was an instant, easy friendship. We've been through everything together and I can't imagine doing this life without her by my side. I knew, in 2007, when she first started talking about Courtney that he was different than anyone else she had ever dated. I also knew she felt differently about him then she had felt about anyone else before. She blushed when she talked about him and got giggly -- which is always a sign that a girl is smitten. :)
Fast forward 10 years: I head up to Chicago (where Amber and Courtney now live) to visit. I park my car, Amber helps me carry in my luggage and we get settled in. A few minutes later she very non-nonchalantly shows me her left hand... basically, like it was no big deal that there was a gorgeous ring (made from her grandma's wedding ring) on her ring finger. After I squealed and hugged her so tight, so asked me to photograph their day. I, of course, said yes.
They got married at the courthouse in Chicago and then had a gorgeous hometown reception here in St. Louis. Surrounded by their family and friends, Amber and Courtney had a quiet Sunday brunch reception at Lemp's Grand Hall. I LOVED her non-traditional wedding dress, her birdcage veil and her fabric floral bouquet (made by my mom!). Courtney wore a fitted suit with a matching fabric boutonniere.
These two have a relationship that enviable. They deeply trust each other, meet each other in the middle, and are always laughing. I'm so grateful to have them in my life and even more grateful that Amber has someone like Courtney to be by her side. Here's to a lifetime of our friendship and your love!
It's ATP THROWBACK TIME! We thought everyone could use some winter vibes during this heat wave we're having!
Lauren and Craig were married on December 3, 2016. (Yes, a winter wedding!) Here in St. Louis, winter weddings are usually avoided but Abbie LOVES them! The lighting is always super crisp and gorgeous in the winter months and she loves the look of the barren trees with people bundled up to stay warm. (Lauren and her bridesmaids were wrapped in gorgeous vintage fur shawls that her mom collected for a year before the wedding!)
Their day was classic and timeless, just like Lauren and Craig. They are both, at first, quiet and reserved. But once you get to know them, they are absolutely hilarious and heartwarming! Elements of white winter lights, candles, pine and silver accented their reception. Lauren had one of our favorite dresses of all time. The beading and boat neck off-the-shoulder design were absolutely stunning!! Craig and his groomsmen wore tuxedos, which is always a favorite of ours.
Thank you for choosing Abbie Takes Pictures, you two. We hope your #ATPexperience was one of love, admiration and fun!
The ATP Team
Ceremony venue: St. Francis Xavier College Church
Reception venue: Windows on Washington
Catering: Windows on Washington
Photography and Videography: Abbie Takes Pictures
Florist: Schnucks (Mike Carrow)
Hair (Bride only): Staci Mains (The Clip Joint, Columbia, MO)
Makeup (Bride only): Staci Mains (The Clip Joint, Columbia, MO)
Cake/dessert: The Cakery Bakery
DJ/Band: Adam with Rockstar DJ's
Stationery: Save the Dates: Wedding Paper Divas
Invitations: Carlson Craft