Joe + Ali - The Covenant Sessions - Saint Louis

Joe and Ali, St. Louis Missouri Covenant Sessions

Returning to St. Louis is always an interesting experience for me. I was part of a suburban middle class family, and we basically went from home to school to church to Target and back. We seemed to avoid going to the city center other than for hockey or baseball games. On occasion we would head down to see the Arch, pack ourselves into a tiny pod and slowly make our way to the top. From the top of the arch you can see for miles in all directions, but the history, culture, and beauty of the city were essentially lost on me. St. Louis has a few serious, very real issues, but the city is thriving, especially now, more than I ever realized.

Joe + Ali have been dear, dear friends of ours for about as long as we can remember. The three of us were part of the same church youth group, and from the moment Mindy and I met, she and Ali started forming a bond that has grown stronger over the years. One of our favorite things about visiting Joe + Ali is that we know, not matter what, they're going to lead us to an amazing restaurant. Usually these restaurants are in parts of the city that I never saw growing up, like Rooster in South Grand, or Dressel's Public House in the Central West End. The Shaved Duck in Tower Grove, or Baily's Range downtown. Seriously, if you're a foodie, St. Louis should be on your list.

Coincidentally, today marks their nine year anniversary. In those nine years, they've been through a lot, and it's been amazing to watch their relationship flourish despite some financial hardships, losing jobs, a number of miscarriages and car accidents, and starting a business. They have never lost sight of their love for each other, and even after having four beautiful children, I've seen first hand the way they look at each other. That look may be a little more tired, and a whole lot wiser, but it's not entirely different from the way they looked at each other in high school. They have always remained faithful to one another and to Jesus. Ali has served on the staff of their church, and Joe is a brilliant worship leader. Their marriage has been an encouragement and a blessing to us for years, and we're so excited to share these images.

Here's to you, Joe + Ali, on your anniversary! We pray that God will continue to strengthen your relationship and instill an even more intense desire to follow Him.

Jaime + Ryan // Peach Picking Engagement Session // St. Louis, Missouri

I've known Jaime for a very long time, and I've never seen her smile quite they way she does around Ryan. Their wedding is going to be amazing, and we can't wait.

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Peach picking at Eckert's Orchard in St. Louis, Missouri.


Joyce + Tom :: PART I :: St. Louis Wedding Photography

Part One.

We always love being able to experience something different at our weddings. Change is what helps get the creative juices flowing, and always seems to make our jobs more exciting. Every wedding is unique, but Joyce and Tom’s wedding was something completely different for us.

We started the day bright and early (great time for photos by the way!) at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. You see, Joyce is Chinese. Tom is not. We had the huge honor of photographing not only their wedding ceremony, but also the traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony. Our first stop was the Chinese Garden, with beautiful morning light spilling over the trees onto an eastern landscape with Joyce and Tom in traditional Chinese attire. Joyce looked absolutely beautiful in her bright red dress!

The Chinese Tea Ceremony is a way for the family to give their blessing and show their approval of the spouse to be. Joyce and Tom presented a cup of tea to each family member, starting with Grandma and working their way through parents and then aunts and uncles. After accepting the tea from Joyce and then from Tom, the family members then gave the couple a gift. It was either jewelry or “lucky money”. Red is a symbol of luck in the Chinese culture, so the family would put money in red envelopes to wish the couple luck in their marriage. It was intimate and emotional, with only family and their closest friends surrounding the events.

We gotta admit, one of our favorite parts was the homemade Chinese food for lunch right after the ceremony… SO GOOD!

Make sure you stay tuned for part two coming soon!