Sarah + Fred : St. Louis Wedding at Rocking J. Ranch

Meet me in St. Louis they said.

Sarah & Fred’s wedding day was nothing short of unforgettable.  From the traditional service to the gorgeous ranch venue, these two planned out the most beautiful wedding day.  When I asked them what they wanted out of their day, they both agreed they wanted a stress-free, laid-back, and FUN day.  I personally had a blast and I KNOW the people on the dance floor did too…keep scrolling. 😉  Their smiles never left and we lucked out with no rain all day.

Sarah + Fred :

“We wanted to get married in St. Louis because that’s where I lived and his family was closest, so it was easiest. We chose the church because it’s where I was a member while living in St. Louis, and we chose the reception because of the price and we thought the barn was cool, plus they already had a set menu and DJ and photobooth person and all that so it was less work for us.”

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I knew Sarah through college friends as we both attended Concordia in Chicago.  When I got to meet her and Fred together for their engagement session at North Ave Beach and in Old Town, I couldn’t WAIT for the wedding day.  I always watch how couples interact with each other when we are discussing the planning and the details.  These two made each other laugh, smile, and genuinely happy throughout our time together.  They made taking beautiful pictures of them extremely easy.

As I had never been to the St. Louis area before, Jeff and I decided to make a Memorial Day weekend trip out of it.  We had a BLAST! 🙂 I got to scout out both the ceremony & reception venue’s the day before and stay after the wedding to explore Forest Park…(make sure to visit it one day)…and even make our way up into the St. Louis Arch.  But the best part was getting to photograph the sweetest of couples in a new town.  I love experiencing new places!  Add in a wedding and it’s perfect. Thank you Sarah & Fred for making that possible!

Here is their day –

Vendors :

Flowers : Always in Bloom

Altar flowers : Ardell Burchard Fresh Art, LLC

DJ and Photobooth : Mid-West Music STL

Makeup : Mynerva O’Toole

Hair : Tirzah Clerc

Church: Village Lutheran Church

Organist : Jacob Palmer

Violinist : Tom Winter

Reception Venue : Rocking J Ranch

Reception table centerpieces : Adel Strauss and friends

Bartender : Crystal Mowery (bartendingservicesetc@gmail.com)

Dress : The Ultimate Bride

Suit : Macy’s

I LOVED all of the color in their day.Sarah got dressed upstairs in the church…Love these smiles! (you can’t tell they are related, can you?) 😉Officially dressed and the tears come out. <3Sarah, you are such a natural beauty with the most infectious smile!…while Fred and the guys were downstairs.If there ever was a suit made for someone…looking good Fred!And just outside the church prior to the ceremony, under the trees, they did their first look.

They were both so happy! 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂I couldn’t get enough of their colors…and those flowers! I’m obsessed with peonies! <3How pretty is this spot?!The wedding party joined us shortly after.Fred and his nephew were so cute together.After a few family portraits outside it was time to get these two married.Having a worshipful ceremony was very important to them. <3And what better place for this than in the church Sarah attended while living in St. Louis.MARRIED!Right after, we left the ceremony to drive out to Rocking J. Ranch for their reception.  I loved that the road was called Bridle Trail Ln. 🙂They even had the horses out for the guests to visit!The grounds here were GORGEOUS!

A perfect spot and sky for pictures.You two = #couplegoals

<3 <3 <3Watch out Sarah, that one’s hungry! HA!Whatcha lookin at?!

😉Love that both the horse and Fred were watching Sarah during her bridal portraits. HAHA! <3And into the big and beautiful barn we went to celebrate…Now introducing Mr. & Mrs.!!!These pictures of them side by side as kids was a surprise to Fred. 🙂When you have a barn wedding, a game of bags is necessary, right?! 😉So many good sweets!These speeches were so sweet and funny.

Sarah’s dad gave a very heartfelt welcome and speech. <3Cheers to the bride & groom!!!Instead of a first dance alone, Sarah & Fred invited all married couples on to the dance floor for an anniversary dance.  The DJ then went by number of years to have people exit the floor if they had been married over that number.  Sarah’s parents lasted the longest. <3Then everyone was invited back on for a HUGE dance party!These people did NOT disappoint!Fred for sure knew how to CUT A RUG with his friends.And his family dancing to Van Halen’s JUMP was one of my favorite parts of the night!The night ended with a bonfire & smores outside, & sparklers for their grand exit…How fun is this! What a way to end your wedding!Congratulations you two!That was such a blast!

* A little about Sarah & Fred & their wedding *

Q.  When did you meet?  Where?

A.  We “met” online (eHarmony) in April last year (2016), which led to emailing, which led to skyping, then we finally met face to face in July.

Q.  When did you get engaged? Where?

A. December 9, 2016 in Chicago, just outside the south exit of Lincoln Park Zoo

Q.  How did the proposal happen?

A. We had spent the whole day in Chicago, visiting the Christmas market, the bean, the Hancock tower, etc. (basically I took him to all my favorite places because he had never been and Chicago is my favorite) then went to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the Christmas lights. We were both FREEZING so we hurried through the park then exited on the south side where there was a beautiful view of the city all lit up. My phone had randomly died earlier in the middle of requesting an Uber, so I asked Fred if he would take a picture of the skyline with his phone for me. He said something like, “Sure, I can do that, but first you have to take off your left glove.” Lol. He then got down on his knee, held out the ring, and asked me to marry him (among other sweet things I can’t remember).

Q. What’s one thing about your spouse that made you realize you wanted to marry them?

A. His faith in God.

Q.  What was the most important aspect for you two when planning your wedding?

A.  Having a worshipful ceremony was the main thing we cared about–in regards to the reception, we just wanted it to be as stress-free, laid-back, and fun as possible.

Q. How did you choose your wedding venue(s)?
A. We wanted to get married in St. Louis because that’s where I lived and his family was closest, so it was easiest. We chose the church because it’s where I was a member while living in St. Louis, and we chose the reception because of the price and we thought the barn was cool, plus they already had a set menu and DJ and photo-booth person and all that so it was less work for us.

Q.  What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?

A.  Besides the service, I’d say having all of (or most of) our friends and family in one place.

Q.  What were the first dance songs?

We just had the one dance (anniversary dance) and it was “Better Place” by Rachel Platten

Q.  If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

A. I’d hire someone to plan and coordinate everything, because that was the most stressful part! And if i had all the money in the world, I’d turn it into a whole weekend affair so that we could actually spend time with everyone who came for it.

Q. Where did you (or plan to) go for your honeymoon?

A. Live Aqua resort in Cancun and it was awesome!

Q.  Can you give any advice for future couples planning a wedding?

A.  Don’t worry about what you think other people will want/like and just do whatever you want because it’s your wedding and it doesn’t matter what other people think!

Q. How did you hear about ME – your photographer? 🙂

A.  You did the photos for my good friends Jenna and Wheaty’s wedding and have been doing their family photos every year and I’ve just always loved your style!

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Thank you for sharing! And thank you for letting me be a part of your gorgeous day!  I loved St. Louis and I am so grateful I got the opportunity to be a part of your story there.  I wish you all the joy in the world for years to come and many, MANY years of blessings!  Lastly, lots of LOVE and LOTS of laughter!

HUGS

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Thanks for the hilarious photobooth picture together! 😉

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