carissa + erik ~ destination wedding: st. louis! ~ photography by SilverBox

carissa + erik's wedding was so incredible that i don't know where to start! (hmmm . . . well, first i've got to remind you that carissa and erik were the ones who brought me to DC for their engagement pictures during the cherry blossom festival . . . if you haven't seen THOSE pictures (on our "old" blog), click here.

as for their WEDDING, i think i'll tell their story through "silver nuggets" . . . those tips we give our clients to help their wedding day (and their pictures!) turn out great. why? 'cause carissa + erik's wedding was a silver nugget goldmine (hey, is that mixing metaphors?). (by the way, you can read on or see their wedding slideshow right away by clicking here!)

but first, ya gotta look at two favorites . . . i love this one for its humor and joy:

and take a peak at carissa and erik framed by a glorious sky and a pond filled with stunning Chihuly glass sculptures . . . all aided with a bit of off-camera lighting (a technique we're LOVING)

silver nugget: get ready in a COMFORTABLE and LOVELY spot!

Carissa decided to do her make-up and to dress at Fleur-de-Lys Mansion, a luxurious B&B inn located close to the Missouri Botanical Garden. the benefits? a quiet, relaxed, beautifully-lit space to prepare . . . AND a spot for great pictures!

I especially love this moment between carissa and her mom just before carissa heads from Fleur-de-Lys to the Missouri Botanical Garden to see erik:

and while i was making this picture of carissa . . .

silverbox assistant, annika, was making this of erik:

along with details like this of his special handkerchief:

and then it's off the the Gardens for their "private moment."

silver nugget: plan for a "first look" before your ceremony.

by seeing one another in a private setting, erik and carissa got a chance to re-connect (and get once-in-a-lifetime photos) BEFORE the hustle and bustle of wedding day activities launched into full swing. thanks to a tip from carissa and erik's Catering St. Louis ceremony coordinator, we used a vintage greenhouse for erik and carissa's first look . . .

carissa and erik wanted to take full advantage of being at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and so we strolled! (and found fantastic picture making spots at every turn)

silver nugget: take a photo walk-about!

and, of course, the setting was picture-perfect for EVERYONE! take a look at these fantastic shots by annika:

silver nugget: YOUR ceremony YOUR way.

want your brother to be your "man of honor"? why not?!

want your father AND your sister to be groomsman and groomswoman? why not?!

and here they are! carissa's brother on the left and erik's dad and sister on the right:

carissa and erik planned their ceremony to be meaningful and unique to them, which meant borrowing some old traditions as well as creating new ones. and the result? a ceremony that was over-the-top beautiful, bursting with laughter, and rich with emotion:

look at the expressions on erik's face above . . . [psst . . . erik, you just might be the most "in love and not afraid to show it" groom i've ever met :')]

and look at the happiness in carissa's face below (GREAT photo, annika!)

and there were many more ceremony moments full of laughter

and emotions ran high afterwards too . . . these photos below are why we never put our cameras down . . . you never know when THIS might happen:

silver nugget: light your reception space well so that you AND your decorations can twinkle and glow.

Check out these table settings, arranged by carissa and erik's florist and by Catering St. Louis inside the Spink Pavilion, an elegantly restored space that originally served as the main gate into the Missouri Botanical Garden. Lanterns, candles, twinkling lights . . . all added to the glow!

and one more silver nugget . . . live the day fully!

. . . can you tell these two gentlemen are related?! :')

a few more favs . . . including that blue chihuly glass-filled one i love so much

. . . carissa and erik . . . i cannot thank you enough for the chance to photograph your wedding! Here's your wedding day slideshow, with more photos than i'd intended, but i just refused to edit down any further . . . ENJOY!