Made with love – Erin’s mom made her daughter’s wedding gown

During my first meeting with Erin and her mom, Melissa, I learned that Melissa would be making her daughter’s wedding dress. I asked if I could photograph a fitting and they promised me they’d call when they were going to have one of the last fittings.

In July they called and said they were having a fitting at the beginning of August. I was thrilled to make the drive down to the Edwardsville area to photograph Melissa making adjustments to Erin’s dress and Erin, her sister, her aunt, and her future mother-in-law bonding over a love (and admiration) of sewing skills very few have anymore.

In addition to making her daughter’s dress, Melissa also incorporated lace from her own wedding dress into Erin’s. What an amazing gift to be able to give your daughter.

Erin's mom, Melissa, made Erin's dress from scratch and incorporated some lace from her own wedding dress into the elaborate, layered train. Here Erin and Melissa look at a drawing of the dress during a fitting a couple of months before the wedding.
Erin's dress hangs in the bride's room at the church the day of Erin & Greg's wedding.
Erin tries on her wedding dress during a fitting a couple of months before her wedding while her mom, Melissa, makes some adjustments and her sister, Hannah, holds a mirror.
Melissa and Hannah pin the hem of Erin's train during a fitting a couple of months before Erin's wedding.
Erin's train - on the dress made by her mom

Posted by Tiffany, of Warmowski Photography, who loves to photograph not just the traditional moments of a wedding, but the relationships that surround the day.

Liz & Kris – highlights

Liz Overstreet & Kris Montgomery were married 18 September 2010 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois. Their reception was at The Inn at 835, also in Springfield.

Here’s some favorite images and moments from their day!

Liz's "something blue" was her shoes. She wore her grandmother's pearls. And her garter was made of lace, just like her dress.
Liz & Kris opted to see each other and do portraits before the ceremony so that they had time to do outdoor portraits between the ceremony and reception. They first saw each other all dressed up in the garden of the church.
Liz & Kris enjoy a moment in the church's garden before going inside for portraits before the ceremony.
Liz chose an incredible cathedral-length veil.
Her veil was embroidered with her new monogram.
Westminster Presbyterian has more strict rules for photographers than most churches we work with. Because we can't be anywhere near the altar during the ceremony, we asked if we could set up a remote camera in the bell choir area to the side of the alter. Steve and I respect that the ceremony is a worship service. We always speak with the officiant prior to the ceremony to find out what their restrictions are - and we abide by them. The day is not about us or the photos!
The bridal party went downtown Springfield between the wedding and reception for outdoor shots. We couldn't resist this "Marilyn Monroe" moment. Thanks, Liz!
The groom works in engineering - and his grooms cake was an homage to that!
Half of the gift table at the reception was in honor of the couples' parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. There were some fantastic & moving photos.
The buffet table was decorated with different sized vases with floating candles. It gave the whole room a very romantic feeling.
As the night wound down, it seemed Liz and Kris were the only ones in the room. We took this photo with the help of lights from Matt Stevens' DJ booth.

The Inn at 835, Stevens DJ Service and Specialty Cakes are fellow members of Springfield Local Favorites, a group of the top wedding vendors in the Springfield region. Liz said this of Matt Stevens during the night: “He’s more than just a DJ — he made the night go so smoothly.”

posted by Tiffany – Warmowski Photography loves to photograph unique ideas in Jacksonville, Springfield and all over to share with brides planning their weddings!

Kristy Gebhardt says “the photography is the best choice we made”


wedding party dances, wedding photography in Virginia, Illinois by Warmowski Photography
The wedding party joins Kristy VanMeter and Ty Gebhardt during their first dance.

Soon after we photographed Kristy VanMeter & Ty Gebhardt’s wedding she sent us this note:

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate everything you did. From the pictures that I know will be amazing, the pinning of my dress and just being there for anything else I may have needed. The day and night seemed to go off without a hitch. I was absolutely amazed with how my day was the best day of my life and I married my best friend. That night will be one of the most memorable nights of our life forever. For someone to please Ty says a lot, and you guys absolutely did that. . .

I had more fun that night than I have my whole life. I fell in love with Ty all over again and I think he did the same. Our relationship has the strongest bond ever right now and we both realized with our special day that we had the best thing that has ever happened to us. Ty loved you guys as did I (but I think that was obvious). We love how helpful you are and you have a sense of humor that puts the two of you over the top!!! We can’t wait to start our family and you can bet we will be calling you. We hope that the two of you had a good time and we will recommend you to everyone we know. I hope you stay in touch, as we enjoy talking with the two of you.

Wow! Thanks Kristy! After a couple e-mails and her seeing her photos, she emphasized the point, writing “the photography is the best choice we made.”
Keeping champagne from spilling, nail salon, wedding photography in Jacksonville Illinois by Warmowski Photography
Kristy's bridesmaids try to keep the champagne from making a mess as they get their hair done.
Kristy & Ty’s wedding day was a long one for us — exactly the kind of coverage we like to offer to our brides. Kristy chose our Package A, which includes a full day of photography, high-resolution images and a wonderful 40-plus page coffee table book. The day started out with Tiffany covering the action at the On The Clip Side salon in Jacksonville. We followed them to First Christian Church in South Jacksonville for more getting ready images as well as portraits before the ceremony.
bride takes a deep breath before entering reception, wedding in Virginia Illinois by Warmowski Photography
Kristy takes a deep breath before walking in to the reception at Fairway Hills Golf Course in Virginia.
A lot of work went into decorating the reception. The centerpieces were great and the chair covers and different colored bows added so much to the room (rented from the Beardstown Class of 2011). And as the sun went down and the room got darker, the many votive candles made for a very romantic feel.
Bride gets nose full of frosting, cake cutting, wedding reception in Virginia Illinois by Warmowski Photography
Ty gets the better of Kristy as they have fun after sharing a piece of cake.
Despite a calf injury Kristy sustained earlier in the week, she was able to dance and enjoy the reception. One thing that helped was her choice of footwear. Even before her injury, Kristy had decided on gym shoes. Because of the fullness of her dress, nobody could even tell – and she was comfortable all day!
Kristy's Nike Shocks kept her comfortable all day.
Dancing at wedding reception, Virginia Illinois, by Warmowski Photography
Kristy & Ty don’t seem to notice anyone else as they dance on the crowded dance floor.
Dancers cast shadows from DJ lights, Virginia Illinois wedding by Warmowski Photography
Dancers cast shadows on the ceiling, with lighting effects by D.J. Joe Kindred.
We love to stay until the end of the night because we feel we are better able to tell the full story of the day. We have two super fast lenses (f1.4 & f1.2) and top-class cameras with high sensitivity (iso 6400 plus) so we can practically shoot in the dark! We followed Kristy & Ty out to their get-away vehicle to complete the story.
Night time view of passengers in truck, after wedding in Virginia Illinois by Warmowksi photography
Kristy jumps into her dad's truck at the end of the night while her groom rode in the back seat.
Kristy & Ty also had us do their engagement photos. During all our portrait sittings we start in the studio to get more traditional images. But we also like to create images that reflect the couple’s personality and their relationship – and that can’t always be done well in the studio. With Kristy & Ty we headed to Virginia High School to make photos at the ball diamond, where Ty is the head softball coach and Kristy is assistant coach. (Kristy also coaches volleyball). We also took some photos at Rexroat Prairie, a beautiful nature reserve on the south end of town.
Engagement photos in Virginia, Illinois by Warmowski Photography
Engagement photos: Kristy gets first choice on the softball diamond in Virginia.
Sitting in antique cabin porch, Rexroat Prairie in Virginia, Illinois, engagement image by Warmowski Photography
Kristy & Ty at Rexroat Prairie in Virginia, Illinois.

Wedding details: Ceremony at First Christian Church in South Jacksonville; hair and nails at On The Clip Side in Jacksonville; Brad Wessel caterer; Joe Kindred DJ; Ty’s ring from Infinity Tungsten; Kristy’s ring from Helzberg Diamonds, Springfield; wedding dress from David’s Bridal; reception at Fairway Hills Golf Course in Virginia; flowers from Nancy Bork, Jacksonville.

Posted by Steve. Warmowski Photography, wedding images in Jacksonville, Illinois 62650 and Virginia, Illinois 62691. Follow us on Facebook.

A theme throughout

The constant theme that ran through Audra & Francis’ June 12, 2010, wedding was zebra stripes. During our meeting months ago, to talk about the wedding, I asked Audra what her colors were. Her answer, “Zebra stripes and lime green.” Now there’s a color scheme. Not black & white and lime green, but zebra stripes and lime green. As the day approached and we met again to go over final details, I wondered how this color scheme would work – would it be zebra stripes over the top?

I’d have to say, it was done very tastefully. There is a fine, fine line between just enough zebra stripes and too many zebra stripes. Audra toed the line perfectly.

Here are a couple of examples of stripes done well. Way to go, Audra!

Aurda & Francis' invitations hinted at the zebra-stripe theme that ran through the day. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
The week of the wedding, Audra found these kissing zebra salt-and-pepper shakers at Kirlin's Hallmark in Jacksonville.. There's a magnet on the girl zebra's cheek and one on the boy zebra's snout. They spent all night kissing in front of the cake. Copyright 2010 WarmowskiPhotography
The week of the wedding, Audra found these kissing zebra salt-and-pepper shakers at Kirlin's Hallmark in Jacksonville. There's a magnet on the girl zebra's cheek and one on the boy zebra's snout. They spent all night kissing in front of the cake. Copyright 2010 WarmowskiPhotography
Only one tier of the cake had zebra-striped ribbon on it. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Only one tier of the cake had zebra-striped ribbon on it. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Only one tier of the cake had zebra-striped ribbon on it. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
One of the bridesmaids gifts was a tote bag in which the ladies could carry their wedding weekend necessities. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
One of the bridesmaids gifts was a tote bag in which the ladies could carry their wedding weekend necessities. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Audra's bridesmaids wore black dresses and zebra-striped heels. Even the box they came in had zebra stripes on them! Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
The one place I expected to see zebra stripes, I didn't! Because Francis graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Illinois, that was the theme she used for her garter and the groom's cake. Her purse, however, kept with the zebra-striped theme. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
The one place I expected to see zebra stripes, I didn't! Because Francis graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Illinois, that was the theme she used for her garter and the groom's cake. Her purse, however, kept with the zebra-striped theme. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Instead of flowers, the pew decorations were lime green Chinese lanterns with zebra-striped ribbon hanging from them. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography
Instead of flowers, the pew decorations were lime green Chinese lanterns with zebra-striped ribbon hanging from them. Copyright 2010 Warmowski Photography

The wedding of Audra (Fanning) and Francis Nelson – June 12, 2010, Annie Merner Chapel on the campus of MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois; Jacksonville Country Club; Heinl Florist, Jacksonville, Illinois

Posted by Tiffany. Warmowski Photography, photojournalists based in Illinois; photographing around the world.

White Hall Wedding – Aleisha & Jimmy

Congratulations to Aleisha & Jimmy! They had an absolutely incredible wedding Saturday, May 29, 2010. The wedding ceremony was at St. John’s Catholic Church in Carrollton, Illinois. The reception was at Green Gables Inn in White Hall, Illinois.

There were so many neat things about this wedding! Here are a few of my favorites:

Aleisha said she wanted her look to be timeless. She decided on a birdcage veil with an additional adornment of flowers and feathers, which stayed in while the veil came off for the reception. Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010
Jamie, a bridesmaid, sported these amazing heels! You could see yourself in the soles, they were so shiny! Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010
Aleisha's mom brought Peiko, Aleisha & Jimmy's dog, to the in-between gathering at Aleisha's dad's house. Of course, Aleisha made sure Peiko was appropriately dressed for the occasion. Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010
Aleisha & Jimmy had two cakes, the wedding cake was white cake and the groom's cake was chocolate! Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010
Jimmy proposed to Aleisha in his 67 camaro, so that's what they chose as the groom's cake. Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010

Busted bustle

Every time we photograph a wedding, I have my little purse of indispensable emergency items no bridal party should be without. Scissors are by far the most used items in the kit, but a close second is needle and thread. Last Saturday night, when a guest accidently stepped on Logan’s dress, the needle and white thread came in very handy. “I heard it rip,” Logan said, as I kneeled in the bride room of Hamilton’s 110 North East sewing up the torn bustle. Nothing hampers dancing like a dragging dress!

Other things in the kit include safety pins, Band-aids, Shout Wipes, mints, Super Glue, double-sided tape (tape your necklace pendant to your skin to keep it from being off-center!), lint roller, hairspray, Static Guard, hair pins and boutonniere pins, just to name a few things.

Tiffany sews up Logan's bustle in Hamilton's VIP room. Copyright Warmowski Photography.
Tiffany sews up Logan's bustle in Hamilton's VIP room. Copyright Warmowski Photography.

Unique hairdos

Hair "chain." Copyright Warmowski Photography.
Hair "chain." Copyright Warmowski Photography.

I photographed a unique element in an updo I hadn’t seen before and wanted to share here. At Rita and Jim’s wedding in the Quad Cities in February, the hairdresser tried something new on the ‘do of a bridesmaid. The “chain” of hair looks to be loose knots one after another. I think there were 3 “chains” altogether.

Get your makeup done by a pro

I’m a big advocate of knowing ones strengths and weaknesses. If all of your friends come to you to have their makeup done for formal events, it’s probably a safe bet that you can do your own makeup on your wedding day. If you barely wear mascara and lip gloss on a daily basis, you might want to consider a pro. There are a couple of ways to go about it. 

#1 get your makeup done at the same time you get your hair done. OK, well, not exactly at the same time. There are often makeup artists at hair salons. Use them. The morning of my wedding, I got my makeup done for free because all of my bridesmaids paid to have their makeup done. (Actually, I think that was part of my bridesmaids gift). Of course, I went to the salon 2 weeks earlier and did a hair and makeup trial. That was part of the hair/makeup package – no extra charge. If makeup and hair professionals are coming to you – even better. That was the case for Megan. She had a preconsultation with the professional who came to her home the morning of her wedding. So did Lisa.

Meghan's pro came to her house. Copyright Warmowski Photography
Meghan's pro came to her house. Copyright Warmowski Photography
Lisa's pro came to her hotel room. Copyright Warmowski Photography
Lisa's pro came to her hotel room. Copyright Warmowski Photography

#2 go to a makeup counter the morning of your wedding and get a “makeover.” It’s probably a good idea to do some research in this case and not just show up the day of your wedding with  no prior notice. If you go to a certain makeup counter at the local department store frequently, ask if they have such a service. In our town, we have a Merle Norman store that provides such a service. 

#3 have a pro teach you how to put on makeup for your wedding day, buy the necessary products, get a diagram, and practice, practice, practice.  Karen had this approach.

Karen was taught by the pros and then did it herself. Copyright Warmowski Photography
Karen was taught by the pros and then did it herself. Copyright Warmowski Photography

One of the most important reasons to have your makeup done well is that you photograph better with makeup that plays up your best features. It can also give you more confidence. And, if you take Karen’s approach and learn how to apply it on your own, it’s a skill you will continue to use long after your wedding day.

Personalizing the dress

Lisa and David (31 May 2008) had many special touches at their outdoor wedding in Pere Marquette State Park near St. Louis. Lisa did two things to personalize her dress to the day.

First, she had a small pocket sewn into her dress, near her heart, where a special ring (with a blue stone – something blue) was placed.

Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal
Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal

Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal
Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal

Second, she had their names and wedding date embroidered in white onto the white satin under the layers of tulle on her dress.

Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal
Copyright WarmowskiPhotography.com - copying is illegal