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Modern + Timeless St. Louis Wedding

This modern affair from Katie Saeger Events is absolutely bursting at the seams with beautiful bits. First, I suggest you read the Bride’s lovely story and get two know these two lovebirds—I’ve kind of fallen in love with them and their dreamy fete. Including one thousand! paper cranes crafted by the Bride’s sister, feast your eyes on every detail snapped up by Lisa Hessel and don’t miss the film created by the groom!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…From our first introductions by a mutual friend at a happy hour, I knew Pete had no intentions of staying in New York City. So when we hit it off, we decided we’d simply enjoy each other’s company for six months, have some adventures and a few good laughs, and go our separate ways when the time came. Those first few months together were wonderful—we traveled, we danced, we shared stories. We immediately felt comfortable with each other, as though we’d known one another for a very long time and it was very refreshing. When Pete received confirmation that he would be moving to St. Louis shortly, we began to truly realize the connection we had with each other. So when my dad passed away only a few weeks later, I began to reevaluate my priorities; that’s when I realized how special what Pete and I had together was… and when I shared that sentiment with him, he expressed that he felt the same way. We were not ready to go our separate ways. So with one or two serious conversations, I began making plans to completely overhaul my world and move to a new city to be near him. It was truly the best leap of faith I ever took.

Pete proposed on a moonlit beach in Mexico during our last vacation before I began a new job. We had decided it was the perfect time to take a vacation to celebrate the end of his first year in a new position as well as the beginning of my new position. Since the vacation had that significance to us already, I never suspected that I would become a future Mrs as well!! Pete knows me well, and was aware that I would not be one for big public proposals and a lot of attention. Instead, he suggested we take a quiet walk on the beach after dinner the first night we arrived in Mexico. A short distance from the hotel, he stopped to “look at the moon and the clouds.” He then turned to me and began talking about all the wonderful things about our relationship. I thought it was sweet of him, though I was slightly confused by his sentimentality. Finally he looked at me and said, “You know why I brought you here, don’t you?” At that point, he got down on one knee and proposed. I don’t believe he finished asking before I was laughing and jumping and yelling “YES!” To this day, he teases me that I didn’t cry during the proposal, much to both our surprises (I’m a total sap), but it’s true, there were no tears; I could not stop my giddy laughter. We stopped back at the hotel lobby for champagne together before sharing the news with our families (who, not surprisingly, had known long before I did).

When Pete and I started looking at wedding venues, we didn’t have a clear vision of what we were looking for. We looked at restaurant event spaces, art galleries, and lofts. We knew we could likely make anywhere work for us, but we were not completely enamored with any of them. I only booked one hotel ballroom appointment. The day we planned to go see the Statler Ballroom at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, Pete was running late at work and we considered canceling our appointment. However, I picked him up from work at the last minute and drove straight downtown. The moment we walked into the Statler Ballroom, we knew we had found the perfect wedding venue for us. The Statler Ballroom was originally the lobby of the old Statler Hotel built in 1917 and we were struck by its elegance and grandeur. We loved the original details including the old marble columns, the vaulted ceilings, and the old reception desk that had been turned into the bar. As soon as I saw the venue, I could finally envision our dream wedding day— a mix of modern simplicity with classic, timeless elegance.

My sister (matron of honor), AJ, provided the biggest inspiration for our wedding décor. As she and I started creating a design board to bring to my wedding planner, AJ jokingly suggested paper cranes as an element to our theme. At that time, I don’t think she realized what she was signing herself up for! I immediately began to scheme up amazing ways to incorporate paper cranes and the idea snowballed. Our wedding décor included ONE THOUSAND paper cranes, gifted to us by AJ as a symbol of one thousand years of happiness and prosperity. Her cranes were all hand crafted with love and we incorporated them into every element of our design. The most spectacular aspect of the design was our backdrop, laid out by AJ and our amazing wedding planner, Katie Saeger, which was used for the ceremony as well as our photo booth later in the evening. Our centerpieces included paper cranes strung on Manzanita branches with reflecting candlelight. Our escort cards were paper cranes dipped in plastic and strung as ornament favors for our guests. It was such a delight to receive photos from friends of their cranes dangling from their Christmas trees a few months later!

Our wedding day was flawless. On our late fall day, we had clear skies and 70 degree weather! The autumn colors had reached their peak and the outdoor views were magnificent. Our good mutual friend officiated our ceremony for us. Our ceremony was not long, but we felt it truly represented the most important aspects of our marriage. Pete’s nephews graced us with their character and spirit as our ring bearers and scattered petals with great gusto prior to my procession. Pete and I chose my younger sister, a trained classical singer, to serenade us during our unity candle ceremony, a symbol of two individual flames merging as one. We also presented roses to our mothers as a token of gratitude for and acknowledgement of the origins of our love and the nurturing examples our parents set for us. We asked a close friend to read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII in Spanish to recognize Pete’s Spanish and Venezuelan heritage. Lastly, we incorporated the Jewish tradition of breaking of the glass, which has many interpretations from warding away evil spirits to serving as a reminder of our responsibility to help relieve some of the pain and suffering of others even in our times of joy, as well as to mark the beginning of our celebration!

Our wedding reception was drenched in candlelight and paper cranes. It was utterly romantic. The details provided by our loved ones, from the paper cranes to the homemade display cake made by Pete’s mom, were wonderful sentimental, personal touches. Despite believing I had meticulously planned my wedding, my loved ones managed to incorporate a few surprises. Pete soulfully serenaded me with an acoustic version of Sam Smith’s Latch. Our matron of honor and best man brought a few tears as well as raucous laughter to the whole crowd. A recording of my late father telling a story of my childhood was shared. I will always treasure my memories of the happiness, love and laughter that filled the ballroom— if our amazingly beautiful, joyful wedding day is any sign of what is to come, Pete and I are destined for an amazingly beautiful and happy life together.

Photography: Lisa Hessel Photography | Planner: Katie Saeger Events | Florist: Special Event Florist | Bridesmaids' Dresses: MJVOCouture | DJ: CJ's Disc Jockey Services | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss | Hotel: Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel | Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia | Bridesmaids' Robes: Singing Slowly | Ceremony Musician: Lliam Christy | Hair/Makeup: DanielleStyles - Annie | Men's Accessories: The Tie Bar | Paper Goods: Ten Four Paper | Photobooth: Todd Studios | Wedding Headpiece: Melinda Rose Design | Wedding Served Cake: Sarahs Cake Shop

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Elegant Summer St. Louis Wedding

These two lovebirds’ story was too cute not to share and so they used it as a backdrop for their St. Louis celebrations. Cheree Berry weaved their tale throughout all of the stationery and with Cosmopolitan Events leading the way, we have one super creative, super personal soiree. Jon Koch captured their happily ever after and my Pinterest boards are getting a hefty update from all the goodies right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
ChurchPark
Styles
Elegance

From The Bride… Here’s the story I wrote for my 3rd grade class to tell my students I got engaged: Once there was a girl named Bridget who went to Indiana University. She was very fun and outgoing and could not wait to venture out on her own! While she was in college, she decided to study abroad in Ireland. While she was there, she met a boy named Brian who went to Butler University, and they quickly became great friends. While they were in Ireland together they traveled all over and made lots of great friends. When it was time to return to the United States, they decided to remain friends and stay in touch with each other.

After college, Bridget moved to the big city of Chicago to pursue her dream of working in advertising. She moved in with her best friend from high school named Whitney and Whitney’s best friend from DePauw University, Katie. The three girls loved living together and had so much fun together. Soon, Bridget’s friend Brian from studying abroad also moved to Chicago and became friends with Whitney and Katie too.

One weekend, all of Bridget and Brian’s friends from Ireland came in town for a “study abroad reunion” and Katie came along too. It became clear that weekend that Brian had a crush on Katie (even though Bridget warned him to stay away from her friend!), and they started getting closer sharing new music and their favorite bands. Katie and Brian became inseparable from that weekend on. They enjoyed going to concerts together, traveling to new places, playing tennis, getting together with friends and playing with her dog.

But then, something very bittersweet happened. Brian got an amazing promotion within John Hancock that would take him to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sadly, Brian moved away from Chicago and Katie. Soon after, Katie got a dream teaching job offer in St. Louis that she couldn’t turn down and she left Chicago as well. So Brian and Katie lived in different cities for two years traveling back and forth to see each other.

After over two years of long distance, Brian decided that he wanted to ask Katie to marry him. Brian started conspiring with Katie’s best friend Cassie to find out what Katie wanted and designed a beautiful ring he thought would be perfect for her, and it was. He was originally planning on asking her parents’ permission on a weekend visit to see Katie, but soon found out her parents would not be there! Brian wanted to do things right so he drove ten hours to talk to her dad without Katie even knowing he was in St. Louis in order to get her dad’s permission to ask for her hand in marriage.

On Brian’s next visit, he had a plan to propose to Katie before they saw The Script (one of Katie’s favorite bands) in concert at Art Hill on Thursday night. Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative so Brian spent the entire concert carefully guarding the ring in his pocket. The next day, he asked Katie if she would like to take her 100 pound yellow lab Payton on a long walk in Forest Park. It was a beautiful fall day so Katie happily obliged. They walked all around the park and enjoyed each other’s company. When they got to the top of Art Hill, they stopped to look at the scenic view. Katie was lamenting that poor Payton was too short to see the beautiful fountains below over the wall, when all of the sudden, Katie looked down and saw Brian on one knee holding a sparkly ring. He asked her to marry him, and she said yes! Katie and Brian were ecstatic, and even her dog Payton was overjoyed to have Brian join their family. 

Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to get married in Santa Fe where my family visited each summer. Brian wanted to have a big party where all our friends and family would be able to attend. We decided to merge the two together by having a Santa Fe themed wedding in St. Louis (my hometown). Our goal was to recreate the feeling of being in Santa Fe through the flowers, food, décor (plank tables with low hanging chandeliers over them), and jewelry. The flowers and place cards included succulents to incorporate the southwest theme. Catering St. Louis custom designed a dinner menu with Southwestern flavors including cumin rubbed beef tenderloin, green chile crab cakes, and green chile grits. We also searched to find wood plank farm tables and hung eclectic chandeliers low over the tables to recreate the intimate feel of our favorite patio in Santa Fe. I wore my Navajo squash blossom necklace for the ceremony and my squash blossom bracelet for both the ceremony and reception. I also opted to wear cowboy booties under my dress. Our hotel welcome baskets were also from the Santa Fe Cooking School with a Southwestern snack sampler.

When Brian and I first got engaged, I wrote a story about it to tell my third grade class at the time. We decided to use this story throughout our save the dates, invitations, and day of paper products created by Cheree Berry. Our save the date was a mini-book telling the story of our relationship. Our invitations also included another mini-book as the reception card. Finally, each of the table numbers at our wedding was as chapter in our story. Cheree Berry custom created a pattern for many of the paper products using my squash blossom bracelet as inspiration as well.

My favorite moment was walking into the reception as husband and wife seeing all my family and friends. I was so overjoyed to be married to the man of dreams, and proud to be able to show him off as my husband! The room also felt so inviting and warm, and looked even more perfect than I imagined. We could truly feel the love and support from all of our loved ones in that moment.

Brian’s favorite moment was sitting together listening to the speeches from my dad, the best men, and matron of honor. This was our opportunity to finally sit back and relax with our loved ones. Brian highly anticipated my father’s speech after his speech at my sister’s wedding, and his speech did not disappoint. Brian’s best men also made us laugh and cry through their amazing storytelling and use of props.

Photography: Jon Koch Photography | Event Planning: Cosmopolitan Events | Floral Design: Wildflowers | Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka | Cake: Encore Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Webster Groves Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Forest Park Visitor's Center | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Coren Moore | Catering: Catering St. Louis | Transportation: Best Transportation | Ceremony Musicians: Rosewood Ensemble | Hair & Make-Up: Danielle Style | Paper: Cheree Berry Paper | Reception Musicians: Griffin & The Gargoyles | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Algonquin Golf Club | Wooden Table Rentals: Chicago Farm Tables

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Valentine-Inspired Winter Romance

I love this quote from Alphonse Karr that inspired this stunner of a shoot from Elizabeth Ngundue. “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”  It defines the birth of something beautiful, from something otherwise harsh and lacking vigor and life. And it’s exactly what this slice of pretty stands for, from the dress from White Traditions Bridal House to the vibrant petals from Accents Floral Design.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Rustic

From Elizabeth Ngundue PhotographyI am so thrilled to share this inspiration shoot with you! My inspiration came from a quote by Alphonse Karr: “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” I was instantly drawn to the message portrayed in this beautiful quote, and I started planning this shoot, only to watch every idea fall perfectly into place. I decided that winter was the perfect time for this shoot; it’s dull, dry, and seemingly lifeless. Creating something incredibly stunning in the midst of something boring would portray this quote in exactly the way I intended. I wanted to incorporate a Valentine’s Day color palette to truly bring out the beauty of love. Roses were the perfect addition to the cascading florals, tying my concept all together swimmingly.

The details were truly a joy for me to work on for this shoot! I selected antique silver plate chargers and candle holders for the table setting. I incorporated blush into the linen napkins, and used ivory china lined in brushed metal and green to compliment the beautiful greenery in the florals. I chose deep red champagne flutes to pair with the antique pewter goblets on the table. I wanted an ombre cake with a naked middle tier to truly tie in my vision, and the gorgeous Valentine color palette. The florals brought everything to life, with stunning blush pinks, deep reds, and exquisite greenery. Everything was exactly as I had hoped it would be!

This Valentine Inspired Winter Romance Shoot was intended to make a statement. I love challenging brides and grooms to seek beauty in every aspect of life. Creating beauty that breaks the typical wedding stereotype is something that can make your wedding images look completely unique and your own. My wish for couples is to allow their minds to be inspired by who they truly are, and what they love. Don’t feel pressured to get married in the fall if you love February! Every couple is unique in their own beautiful way. I challenge you, my friends, to see the silver lining in every situation; to be grateful that thorns have roses. Don’t be afraid to be different; because different is beautiful, too.

Photography: Elizabeth Ngundue Photography | Styling: Elizabeth Ngundue Photography | Floral Design: Accents Floral Design | Cake: Bella Cakes | Groom's Attire: Savvi Formalwear | Bridal Gown: White Traditions Bridal House | Hair / Makeup: Flawless Makeup | Paper Goods: La Happy | Vintage Furniture: Finch Vintage Rentals

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Elegant St. Louis Garden Wedding

I don’t think there are enough adjectives to describe just how much I love this Sappington House wedding. For starters, the couple’s adorable pup acted as their ring bearer (obsessed), and those blush Jenny Yoo bridesmaids’ gowns are beyond pink perfection. Lisa Dolan snapped up a gallery filled with all the pretty, and lucky us because it’s all right here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden Venue
Styles
Elegant

From Lisa DolanBrittney and Josh are college sweethearts who are completely adorable and so in love. Their wedding day was the perfect mix of their styles. The ceremony and reception were both stylish but still intimate with close friends and family. Brittney chose a color scheme of pale pink and gold and brought in some vintage accents with hints of lace.

Everything about this day was so thoughtful and sweet. From the monogrammed hangers/cups the bride gave out as her bridesmaids gifts to the ring bearer (the couples dog, Brylee)!

The ceremony took place on the grounds of the Historic Sappington House in St. Louis, with a reception that followed at The Edge of Webster. The couple completely transformed the reception space by adding their own lighting and drapery. In lieu of a sit down dinner, Brittney and Josh chose to serve BBQ from a local St. Louis BBQ joint – Bogarts. The coupled also opted out of the traditional cake and served cupcakes made by Jilly’s Cupcake bar, as well as cookies and rice krispy treats! The cupcakes were decorated in accents of gold, and were almost to pretty to eat!

This wedding was all about family, which is what made it so special. Brittney and Josh went above and beyond to make sure their family and friends had a great time, and it showed. Brittney chose her sisters and cousins to join her in her wedding party, and the gorgeous bouquets and floral arrangements were made by the couple’s relatives.

Photography: Lisa Dolan | Floral Design: Relative | Cupcakes: Jilly Cupcake Bar | Ceremony Venue: Sappington House | Reception Venue: The Edge Of Webster | Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Bogarts BBQ | Bridesmaids Bracelets: House Of Harlow | Earrings: Kate Spade | Monogrammed Hangers: Etsy

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Hint of Glamour St. Louis Wedding

Reason #3,892 why I love, love, love SMP brides? They’re bold, they’re confident, and they’re beautiful. And this lovely lady right here is just that. With a dress design that didn’t allow bustling, her seamstress suggested she cut the train off her dress between the ceremony and reception. Yep, you heard right. So that’s exactly what she did, and the result is perfection. Have a look for yourself in the stunning imagery from Lisa Hessel Photography!

The romantic invites from Ten Four Paper fit beautifully with the entire look of this classic day, topped off with a touch of glamour.

Isn’t this darling moment is enough to melt your heart completely?!

Flowy and fabulous, this is an after shot of the train being snipped off the Bride’s gorgeous gown.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Country Club
Styles
Glamorous

From the beautiful Bride…Teddy and I met in the seventh grade. While in seventh grade, we dated briefly for a few weeks but were only friends for the remainder of high school. It wasn’t until we both attended a friend’s wedding that we began really dating. After reconnecting at our friend’s wedding, Teddy began calling me on a regular basis. Within a few weeks, we were both commuting every other weekend to see each other. After spending the summer together in Chicago, Teddy proposed and we began the planning process.

When we first began planning our wedding, we both knew we wanted an outdoor wedding. After a quick search around St. Louis, we decided on the country club where Teddy had spent many of his childhood days. Both the wedding and reception were held outdoors at the country club. When we thought about our ceremony, we knew we wanted to ask Teddy’s uncle to officiate our ceremony. Being a reverend, he had officiated many weddings before and we knew having him would make our ceremony special. After a very personal ceremony, a few of my bridesmaids, my wedding planner, and my stepmom came inside to help me cut the train off my wedding dress. Since I did not love the look of a bustled dress, my seamstress suggested I could have someone cut the train off of my dress. While my stepmom was a bit nervous to actually cut the dress, I assured her that I knew what I was doing and cutting it was the best option. She did a wonderful job and I was so pleased with my decision. In order to have as many friends around us as possible at dinner, we decided to do three long tables for all of our guests. We wanted a romantic and intimate feeling, so the tables included tea lights and lights strung overhead. Right after dinner, the band began and kept the dance floor crowded all night long. We knew we wanted to incorporate some element of our high school since it was where we began and we had so many mutual friends from high school attending the wedding. As a wedding favor, we gave guests honey that was harvested from the beehives at our high school. Our wonderful team of vendors, and especially our wedding planner, kept the whole night running smoothly. The incredible weather also made the outdoor event even more enjoyable.

Photography: Lisa Hessel Photography | Videography: Seaglass Cinema | Event Planning: Kristin Ashley Events | Floral Design: Bloomin' Buckets | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau | Invitations: Ten Four Paper | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Make-up: Artistry By A & C | Band: Griffin And The Gargoyles | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Bride's Sash: Erin Cole | Dress Boutique: Fleur De Lis Bridal

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Vintage Gold + Blush Wedding Inspiration

Say hello to the perfect top knot m’dears. I just had to open this shoot from Elizabeth Ngundue Photography with that beautiful bun, it was calling my name. And what follows? Is pure gorgeousness. It’s a mashup of vintage couture, blush and gold, earthy florals from Belli Fiori and an overall organic, al fresco feel that radiates undeniable beauty. Hop over to the gallery for more!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Park
Styles
Vintage

From Elizabeth Ngundue PhotographyI am SO excited to share this blush and gold inspiration shoot with you! It’s full of vintage furniture, gorgeous flowers, and a couple, head over heels in love. The inspiration for this shoot came from an Audrey Hepburn quote: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”

This quote was so beautiful to me; it reminded me that beauty is from within, although society often says otherwise. I sketched and designed a custom wedding dress for Shelby and watched as my ideas came to life. I chose a vintage, tea length style for her dress, with beautiful lace billowing down the sides. I wanted long sleeves with lace throughout to bring a true classy, vintage feel to the shoot.

Zach wore a tan suit with a blush pink tie, to complete the color palette. I found Shelby the cutest blush heels, complimenting her tattoos very elegantly. Her bridal bouquet was just perfect, with multiple pink tones and gold tipped succulents. I set up the sweetheart table setting with mismatched lace doilies, floating candles, gold chairs, and a lovely blush and gold cake. I wanted this moment for them to be intimate. Serene. Beautiful. Their rose gold rings were the perfect touch to the outfits, bringing everything together. I was amazed to watch my vision come to life all at once; it was incredible.

Shelby and Zach are a beautiful couple! I really wanted to portray the beauty of their souls in this shoot, and that’s what I focused on. The love between two souls is so much deeper than any physical love will ever bring. I wanted something real. The world we live in today is so bogged down by fake portrayals of the human race. Photoshop is used in nearly every photograph, and women are feeling more and more like that level of beauty is unattainable. For this reason, I chose to leave every photo from our inspiration shoot unedited. Beauty IS real. It IS attainable. And it happens to show most freely when two souls are in love; vowing to commit the rest of their lives to one another.

Cake: Sarah's Cake Shop | Makeup Artist: Flawless Makeup | Men's Attire: Savvi Formalwear | Birdcage Veil: Joy And Felicity | Bridal Bouquet / Boutonniere: Belli Fiori | Custom Invitations: Lola Louie Paperie | Photography / Styling: Elizabeth Ngundue Photography | Vintage Furniture: Finch Vintage Rentals

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