Gee Whillikers closed

If you’ve tried to call Gee Whilliker’s or e-mailed them to no avail — it’s because the banquet hall in South Jacksonville has closed.

If you’re looking for alternatives in town, Hamilton’s 110 North East is a great spot — they get booked up far in advance, though. Some options are Buena Vista Farms in rural Jacksonville, Fairway Hills Golf Course in Virginia/Beardstown (Susan & Steve Carls 217.452.3488), MacMurray College McClelland Dining Hall, and Illinois College Cummings Dining Hall.

Buena Vista was the location for Kass Maricle & Matthew Bell’s wedding in July 2008. They had the ceremony inside the facility, took the entire family outside for photos, and then had the reception inside. DJ Troy Armstrong provided audio for the service, and then music for the reception (no website – call 217.243.1763).

Kassie & Matt end the night with a dance
Kassandra Maricle and Matthew Bell are surrounded by family and friends for the last dance of their reception at Buena Vista Farms in rural Jacksonville. (Photo by Steve Warmowski)
American flag on barn, backdrop for portrait
A barn serves as a backdrop for portraits with Kassie Maricle and Matthew Bell after their wedding at Buena Vista Farms. (Photo by Tiffany Warmowski)

Posted by Steve. Warmowski Photography, photojournalists offering wedding photography in Jacksonville, Virginia, Beardstown and other locations in the Central Illinois region and beyond.

Keep in mind the Buffalo Gnat scourge

Windy day wedding
Windy weather complicated the day, but at least kept the buffalo gnats away at Jenna Post and John Nergenah's wedding. Here her father, Mike, laughs as Jenna's veil flies in the face of her mother, Jane. (Photo by Steve Warmowski)

The weather is quite windy today — making me think back to the wedding of Jenna Post & John Nergenah in May 2008. They were married at The Creek Farm near Chapin, Illinois. It was a beautiful day — except that right around the ceremony time the wind whipped up and caused some minor complications. But it turns out the guests were thankful for the breeze, for it kept the buffalo gnats away.

What the heck is a buffalo gnat? People in the Illinois River region have been getting to know these pests, for their population has been booming the last couple springs. They emerge in April, and die off sometime in May as the water temperature rises.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding in the next month or so, you might want to keep these pests in mind. (See our previous blog post  on gnats making for a short outdoor portrait session.) Check out your venue a couple days ahead of time. If you get swarmed by gnats, there’s help. Vanilla is the key — lotions are what people use, but I’ve heard lots of recommendations about Buggins insect repellant (it’s at Walgreens and some other locations). You can even plan it as a bonus favor, and have extra bottles on hand to give away.

More info: Tiffany got bit by gnats while walking the dog Thursday, and half her neck turned red. I got bit last year, and half my face swelled up. Keep this in mind on Friday, for you don’t want to have a swollen neck or face for photos on Saturday! Watch the groomsmen — they’ll probably play tough and get bit then be a mess the next day.

Posted by Steve – gnat-aware wedding photography in Jacksonville and the Illinois River region.

Sonny Gaige’s Concierge Service

Think you’ll need an extra set of hands on your wedding day? Your friends and family are always willing to help, but you want them to have fun while someone else does the work. Check out Sonny Gaige and his Gaige’s Concierge Service. He’s a great deal, he comes dressed up for the job, and he’ll do practically anything — from helping to decorate, to running down to the St. Louis airport to pick up a guest. Link above or 217.245.9453.

Beaux Arts Ball

Beth Wynn 2010 Beaux Arts Queen
Beth Wynn is accompanied by her father Chester after being crowned 2010 Beaux Arts Ball Queen. (Photo by Steve Warmowski)

Congratulations to Beth Wynn for being named Queen of the 2010 Beaux Arts Ball. Patrons of the arts in Jacksonville filled the south side of the JHS Bowl for the annual event Saturday night.

The débutante ball is a fundraiser for the Art Association of Jacksonville. The Queen is selected by a committee, and the title is in recognition for volunteer work and other support of the art association. Beth is a student at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, and had quite an impressive resume!

We were honored to be chosen to photograph this year’s ball. The night was busy with portrait sessions for the Senior Maids & Gentlemen, Junior Attendants and Flower Girls & Pages. After the ball the party moved to the Strawn Art Gallery, where the images of our show served as the perfect backdrop for the evening.

It was also great to be part of an event that featured the work of some of the businesses we collaborate with frequently on wedding days. Lori from Ashley’s Petals & Angels provided the flowers for the evening, and many of the dresses came from Girls in White Satin in Jacksonville. Friends in sometime wedding band the New Goat Ensemble provided the music.

And to top it off, we’ve already photographed the weddings of two Beaux Arts Queens (Mary Rowe Henry 1980 & Emily Jo Scobbie Bumgarner 2008) and will be photographing a third’s later this year (Audra Jayne Fanning 2002).

Thanks to the committee members for their help during the night, good job to the participants, and congratulations to all for putting on a great event!

Terryl Boulanger of Girls in White Satin Jacksonville Illinois 62650
Terryl Boulanger, co-owner of Girls in White Satin, congratulates the senior maids during a reception at the Strawn Art Gallery. (Photo by Steve Warmowski)

Posted by Steve. WarmowskiPhotography, providing event photography as well as wedding photojournalism in Jacksonville, Illinois, 62650.

Rialto Bridge

Gondolas in the Grand Canal by Rialto Bridge, Venice
Special edition metallic prints of Rialto Bridge, Venice's most famous tourist destination, are available through the Art Association of Jacksonville. Photo by Steve/Warmowski Photography

Prints of Rialto Bridge are a special part of Warmowski Photography’s gallery show of wedding photojournalism images at the Strawn Art Gallery this month.

We made the image (of Venice’s most famous tourist site taken at dusk in November 2009) into a special edition matted, metallic print. The photograph can be purchased for $20, with half the proceeds going to the Jacksonville Art Association (sales tax included) (gallery hours). So be sure to get your print and evoke memories of past travels or dreams of future travels.

The trip to Italy was a long-anticipated chance to visit with our friend, fashion photographer and Jacksonville native Jerry Lee Ingram in Florence, and to take a break after coving 35 weddings in 2009. One day we’ll be working with him in Tuscany on some weddings!

Steve & Tiffany Warmowski on the shores of the Ligurian Sea
Tiffany & Steve Warmowski on the shores of the Ligurian Sea near Livorno, Italy. Photo by Jerry Lee Ingram

Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography are photojournalists offering wedding photography in Springfield –  Jacksonville, downstate Illinois and the Chicago and St. Louis areas.

Posted by Steve

Well received

Opening at the Strawn
Tiffany laughs with Marcy Patterson from The Source during the opening reception for the Warmowski Photography wedding photojournalism show at the Strawn. (Photo by Rob Leistra)

Thanks to all who came to our opening reception Saturday night at the Art Association of Jacksonville’s Strawn Art Gallery. We had a surprisingly big crowd for Easter weekend.

Thanks to all the Art Association volunteers who made the evening a success; and thanks to Kelly Gross for helping us get our work up beautifully. Thanks to all our brides & grooms who came out. Special thanks to Cynthia & Thomas Brannan (married New Year’s Day 2010) who favored us with a wonderful bottle of champagne; Helen & Ernie Downey (parents of 2006 bride Sarah Downey) who presented us with a bottle of personalized wine; and Tim Chipman (brother of Andrew Chipman whose rehearsal we photographed at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis) gave Tiffany a bouquet of tulips.

Our work will be up through the 25th, gallery hours are 4-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday and 1-3 pm Sunday. We’re excited to be the backdrop for the Beaux Arts Ball party, as well as the official photographers for the evening.

Strawn Art Gallery, artist talk
The crowd erupts with laughter during Steve & Tiffany's gallery talk. (Photo by Rob Leistra)
Talking at the Strawn
Tiffany talks with her grandmother, Ginger Hermon, during the opening reception. Also in the photo are Merle Fox (of Merle Fox Photography) and Joey Henry. (Photo by Rob Leistra)
Opening reception at the Strawn
Tiffany talks with her dad, Keith Hermon, during the opening reception. (Photo by Rob Leistra)

After the opening reception we moved on and up to our studio on the second floor of The Transfer Company Shops (across from Lonzeratti’s in Jacksonville). A couple more hours of fun and conversation, and some studio shots for everyone’s Facebook profiles.

Party at studio
Friends chat during an after-party at our studio following the opening reception for our April show at the Strawn.

Thanks to Rob Leistra, photographer extraordinaire at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, for making photos of us as we greeted people at the opening. We photographed his wedding to Jenny Rose last year — ceremony at St. Patrick Church in Lemont, Illinois; reception at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club, Lemont. We’re always flattered when a fellow photographer chooses us to cover their wedding, and we appreciate him photographing our special event.

Thanks to the Warmowskis from The Source

Kissing at midnight
Sherie Kording and Elias "Bubba" Trace ring in the New Year surrounded by friends at Hamilton's 110 North East. Photo by Steve/Warmowski Photography

This was published in the April 1-7, 2010 edition of The Source.

By Marcy Patterson

As many of you know, Tiffany Warmowski has been assisting us at the Source with our newspaper layout.
She stepped in as our guest editor during a difficult time, and we could not be more thankful for all she has done in this transitional period. Since meeting Tiffany and her husband Steve, I am wondering how I enjoyed my life prior to meeting them. They are wonderful people and treasures of our community. A familiar name in the area, the Warmowskis are involved in nearly all things good in Jacksonville. Photography, Spinning, fundraising, Rotary, Kiwanis – all around good citizenship. There will be a feature story covering Steve and Tiffany during May in the Source.
Until then, keep your eyes open for the Illinois Times 2010 Edition, Capital City Wedding Brochure. (I picked mine up at Lincoln Land Community College). The brochure, published annually, is filled with ideas and advertisements for the perfect Capital City wedding.
The featured photographs in the publication are provided by Steve and Tiffany Warmowski of Jacksonville, and many of the photos contain Jacksonville people and places.
Coming soon, stop in the Strawn Art Gallery, 221 West College Avenue, between April 3-25 where the Warmowskis will have their work, Wedding Photojournalism on display.
Please be sure to join them for an Opening Reception on April 3 from 6-8 pm, with a Gallery Talk at 6:30 that evening.
In addition, the couple will give a photojournalism lecture on Sunday April 11th at 3pm. For more information, or to sign up to attend the lecture, contact the gallery director at Strawnartgallery or call 217.243.9390.
Gallery hours are Sunday from 1-3 pm and Tuesday through Saturday 4-6 pm.
Other work to be showcased at the gallery in April includes Valerie Berta’s “Trailer with a View, Family Life with the Circus” Photography.
Please take the opportunity to see the hard work and dedication of these photographers and to enjoy a visit to Jacksonville’s Strawn Art Gallery.

Tiffany was a photojournalist and page designer at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier. She is enjoying her time helping Marcy and The Source.

This photo and others are on display at the Strawn Art Gallery in April.

Posted by Steve

Wedding photojournalism show at the Strawn

Bride walks with bridesmaids in Washington Park, Springfield, Illinois
Jessica Sloan is accompanied by bridesmaids before her wedding to Tim Ervin at Washington Park in Springfield, Illinois. (Photo by Tiffany/

The Art Association of Jacksonville has chosen Warmowski Photography to be the featured artists this month. Wow! A great honor and we’re very appreciative!

A selection of images will be on display through the month of April. It was hard to choose from all our weddings and all our favorite photos. We decided to focus on moments, and chose about 30 images (including the one above).

The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception 6-8 pm Saturday 3 April, with a Gallery Talk at 6:30 pm. The show runs through April 25th. Gallery hours are 4-6 pm Tuesday–Saturday and 1-3 pm Sunday.

Also featured in the show are images by Valérie Berta Torales. Valérie, who worked with us at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, went out to photograph a circus in Beardstown. One thing led to another and she married the Peruvian acrobat she met that day. She and their two boys now follow him on the road, and their travels are chronicled in her blog The Mud Show Diaries. Valérie shares our love of photojournalism, and we wanted to include her in the show. She’s at work on a book project themed “it takes a circus to raise a child.” We were hoping she would come, but the circus is in Arkansas right now and it’s too much to break away.

Stories have appeared in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, The Source (more to come on The Source story . . .) and is listed in the Illinois Times calendar.

Posted by Steve

Now on Facebook

Sorry! We created our blog last year, and we haven’t been very good at posting! This winter we’ve been busy with friends, family and volunteering — we promise to get back on our horse and start blogging again!

Along those lines, Tiffany has created a Warmowski Photography page on Facebook, which we hope to use as another way to keep up with our brides (past, present and future).

Posted by Steve