Let me tell you about Hayley and Mike!


They had found me through a mutual friend/classmate of mine back when we did their engagement pictures, which until a week ago, had been the main cover image on my website because I loved it so dang much (unfortunately Google doesn't like when you don't update things, so, I had to force myself to move on after over a year lol).


From their engagement session alone, I could tell how fun and laid-back these two were, and what a perfect match they are for each other. I was so excited when they had asked me to tag along to St. Louis for their wedding day, which was even better that I could've imagined! Like many other weddings this year, this was a postponement due to you-know-what, and let me tell you--couples who had to deal with wedding planning during Covid know. how. to. party!!! This was undoubtedly one of the most energetic crews, always taking any moment they can to dance on the party bus, take a shot, and of course, have some of the best reception entrances I've seen to date 😂


I spent my first time in STL grabbing some calzones at a restaurant that my middle-school music teacher's brother managed (coincidentally), trying some local beers, seeing the Clydesdale horses, and eating donuts while exploring the Arch. The next day was wedding day, all day--keep scrolling to see pictures and read more about Hayley and Mike's downtown St. Louis fall wedding!

round diamond engagement ring with wedding bands in blue velvet ring box on lace wedding dress
round diamond engagement ring with wedding bands in blue velvet ring box on lace wedding dress and gold wedding shoes
round diamond engagement ring with wedding bands in blue velvet ring box on lace wedding dress
brunette groom fixing bowtie near a window for Chicago wedding
brunette groom with beard in black suit and bowtie smiling next to window in for downtown St. Louis wedding
black and white image of bride getting blush on her face and makeup fallout in the light
strapless wedding dress hanging on black doors for downtown St. Louis wedding
mother of the bride smiling at her daughter while getting ready next to a window
blonde bride with updo and strapless wedding dress looking out the window while getting ready
blonde bride with updo and strapless wedding dress smiling while getting ready

Bridesmaids first looks are becoming a favorite of mine!


Although it wasn't originally planned in the day, I suggested last minute that since no one had really seen Hayley fully ready we should do a bridesmaids first look! I love seeing everyone's reactions all together, spending some time hyping up the bride, and building up the suspense for everyone, which only makes it that much more emotional!


Check out more bridesmaid first looks here.

seven bridesmaids in ice blue dresses face the wall and wait to see the bride while mom facetimes family members
7 bridesmaids in light blue dresses smiling and clapping after seeing the bride, while mom smiles and holds up phone
7 bridesmaids in light blue dresses smiling and clapping after seeing the bride, while mom smiles and holds up phone
7 bridesmaids in light blue dresses smiling and clapping after seeing the bride for the first time on wedding day
7 bridesmaids in light blue dresses smiling and clapping after seeing the bride
7 bridesmaids in light blue dresses smiling and clapping after seeing the bride, while mom smiles and holds up phone
blonde bride dancing in hotel room after the first look with her bridesmaids
blonde bride in long veil and wedding dress smiling at her bridesmaids after they do a bridesmaids first look
blonde bride with updo smiling at herself in the mirror as bridesmaids watch from the background

After getting the basic details and showing Hayley off to her girls, we piled into the bus and headed over to the church to get these two married (again!). They got married on their original wedding date in the summer and opted to have their bigger wedding celebration and reception in October.

young man playing violin inside church for downtown STL wedding
groom walking down the aisle with dad on let and mom on right in blue sparkly dress
bride and mother of the bride walking down the aisle of the church both smiling and bride holding white bouquet
brunette groom and his brother watching the bride walk down the aisle of the church, both smiling at her
bride holding white bouquet and mother in glasses smiling as they walk down the aisle
mother and bride hugging before handing bride off to groom
groom and mother of the bride hugging at the church altar before wedding ceremony
blonde bride with updo and veil smiling at her groom with brunette hair and beard in church
wide image of bride and groom at altar looking at each other and holding hands, showing wedding guests and the church

This dress was everyyything! Not only did it fit her like a glove, but it was such a beautiful dress for a church ceremony--the way it cascaded down the stairs was drool-worthy!!

bride and groom first kiss at church ceremony in downtown STL
bride and groom holding hands and raising outside hands, celebrating their marriage and walking down the aisle together
bride and groom walking down church aisle after being married, wedding guests in back smiling at them with masks on

We had tons of time for wedding portraits, my personal favorite part of the day, so we headed to a few different parts of Forest Park.


There were a few other groups taking wedding pictures at Forest Park, but with a location as gorgeous as this, I don't blame them! My favorite locations for wedding pictures are basically what this was--a little bit of greenery, some open sky, and some stone architecture. Check, check, and check!


This group was one of the easiest groups to photograph despite what they may have thought--I got a few apologies and even questions if I enjoyed it--which of freaking course I do or else I'd find another job lol! Partying with y'all and seeing how happy and excited everyone gets is one of the BEST things about this, and this group was definitely in the mood to have fun!

large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses surround bride and groom at Forest Park in St. Louis
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses surround bride and groom at Forest Park in St. Louis
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses cheer on bride and groom at Forest Park in St. Louis
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses surround bride and groom at Forest Park in St. Louis

All these next few walking pictures are some of my favorites from the day! Walking pictures always stand out to me, but there's so much joy in these and you can totally feel it just by looking!

large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses walk with bride and groom at Forest Park STL
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses walk with bride and groom at Forest Park STL fall wedding
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses walk with bride and groom at Forest Park STL fall wedding
large wedding party in black suits and light blue dresses walk with bride and groom at Forest Park STL fall wedding
bride laughs with bridesmaids in light blue dresses and coral bouquets at STL Forest Park fall wedding
bride laughs with bridesmaids in light blue dresses and coral bouquets at STL Forest Park fall wedding
bride laughs with bridesmaids in light blue dresses and coral bouquets at STL Forest Park fall wedding\
bride laughs with bridesmaids in light blue dresses and coral bouquets at STL Forest Park fall wedding
bride laughs with bridesmaids in light blue dresses and coral bouquets at STL Forest Park fall wedding
white and coral bridesmaids and bridal bouquets
groom and groomsmen portraits at Forest Park STL fall wedding
groom and groomsmen portraits at Forest Park STL fall wedding
groom and groomsmen portraits at Forest Park STL fall wedding

Including photos from every single wedding party member would mean this blog post would be literally over 100 photos (which it might already be??), but I wanted to include some of my favorites! Which means showing those tears that you can't keep from coming out, and then sitting in a giant bird bath.....that was one I hadn't seen before hahah.

bride laughs and bridesmaid cries at fall wedding in Forest Park, STL
bride laughs and bridesmaid cries at fall wedding in Forest Park, STL
groom and groomsmen sit in bird bath at STL Forest Park groomsmen portraits
groom and groomsmen sit in bird bath at STL Forest Park groomsmen portraits

Finally, my absolute favorite part of the day, the bride and groom portraits!


Hayley and Mike both look like what you think of (or what I think of) when the word "bridal" or "wedding" come up. They both look so classic, alone and together. These are the photos that become profile pictures, phone wall papers, or hung up in your house (as they should!). These are the ones you get really excited to show your friends and family and eventually maybe your kids or grandkids. Portraits are where I got started in photography, and they're such a highlight of the day for me. Along with eating dinner 😉

brunette groom with beard in black suit and bowtie smiles off to the side for St. Louis fall wedding
groom with beard buttoning his black suit, showing coral rose boutonniere
brunette groom with beard in black suit and bowtie smiles off to the side for St. Louis fall wedding at Forest Park
brunette groom with beard in black suit and bowtie smiles off to the side for St. Louis fall wedding
groom's smile and bowtie with coral rose boutonniere showing for St. Louis fall wedding portraits for Chicago couples
blonde bride with updo and long veil and white bouquet looking over her shoulder in Forest Park wedding pictures
blonde bride with updo and long veil and white bouquet looking over her shoulder in Forest Park wedding pictures
bride in strapless wedding dress holding white and green bouquet, looking to the side
blonde bride with updo and long veil and white bouquet laughing at the camera for Forest Park STL wedding pictures
blonde bride with updo and long veil and white bouquet looking over her shoulder in Forest Park wedding pictures
blonde bride with updo and long veil and white bouquet laughing at the camera for Forest Park STL wedding pictures
blonde bride smiling at brunette groom for fall wedding pictures in Forest Park STL
bride and groom wedding pictures in forest park STL
bride and groom laughing in wedding pictures in Forest Park at downtown STL
bride's wedding dress and veil fanned out next to groom under blue sky with clouds for Forest Park STL fall wedding
bride's wedding dress and veil fanned out next to groom under blue sky with clouds for Forest Park STL fall wedding
bride's wedding dress and veil fanned out next to groom under blue sky with clouds for Forest Park STL fall wedding

And possibly my favorite from their wedding day:

bride's wedding dress and veil fanned out next to groom under blue sky with clouds for Forest Park STL fall wedding

Then everyone did some Fireball shots together as one last wedding-party picture, which I'm sure got them reception-ready and helped them feel a little better in the cold. We finished up some more couples pictures at the Jewel Box, then made our way to the party at Windows on Washington!

bride and groom smiling at each other, clinking mini fireball bottles together on wedding day
large wedding party clinking together shot bottles of Fireball for fall wedding in STL
bride and groom clinking shot bottles of Fireball
groom carrying bride in his arms and smiling at each other at the Jewel Box in Forest Park, STL
bride and groom kissing with veil in pictures on fall wedding day
groom carrying bride in his arms and smiling at each other at the Jewel Box in Forest Park, STL
groom carrying bride in his arms and smiling at each other at the Jewel Box in Forest Park, STL
bride and groom laughing with each other in front of Jewel Box in STL Forest Park
bride with lace veil leaning on grooms chest, who is hugging her in front of orange tree
bride with lace veil leaning on grooms chest, who is hugging her in front of orange tree for STL wedding pictures
bride with lace veil leaning on grooms chest, who is hugging her in front of orange tree for STL wedding pictures
bride sticking tongue out at groom during fall wedding pictures in STL Forest Park
bride and groom hold up ring fingers in front of bright orange tree
bride and groom hold up ring fingers in front of bright orange tree
bride lays on grooms chest and smiles at camera while he hugs her

There is no limit to how many wedding portraits I can take.

Narrowing them down to which ones I wanna share on here is tough you guys!!! I feel like a mother trying to decide which child to kick out of the house when I rather just buy a bigger house. Does that make sense? Lol. I guess that's what the rest of my website is for--plastering these all over the place!

bride and groom walk away holding hands, bride looking back
wedding invitation for bride and groom
bride and groom walk into wedding reception area smiling, dancing, holding hands, and high fiving people

After the speeches, first dances, and cake cutting, it was time for some dancing to end the night!


Although it may not be the wedding these two had originally planned, it was still an absolute blast and I know it was special for them to get to be with so many loved ones on their new wedding date.

bride and groom first dance at Windows on Washington

This day was definitely one for the books, and I'm so happy that these two got to have the party they spent so long planning and re-planning until it finally got to happen.


Congrats to the Jureks who now will always have one extra anniversary to celebrate :)

Looking for your own wedding photographer in Chicago or elsewhere? I love traveling like I did for these two just as much as I love weddings in Chi-town. Reach out here!