Have you ever heard of a “Surprise Wedding”? Well, I can tell you that it was one of the most wonderful events and experiences that I have ever been a part of! My gorgeous sister, Julie, and my awesome new brother-in-law, Ali, were married on June 18th, 2017 on a perfect, sunny but not-too-hot-for-summer day at Haue Valley in Pacific, Missouri.
This whole wedding was a different take on, well, everything! You see, Ali planned the wedding…in a matter of six weeks! Yes! The GROOM planned it! Granted, he had a little help from me, Mandy and a handful of others, but his love for my sister meant that he wanted her to be stress-free on her wedding day and the weeks leading up to it.
It all started when Ali proposed to Julie in the beginning of May, 2017. Once Julie shared her wonderful news of becoming engaged to marry Ali, the wheels started turning! All of the sudden, within a couple of days, a wedding was being planned!
You see, Julie has never been one of those gals who have spent their entire life dreaming of her perfect wedding. Jokingly, when she was in her late teens, I recall her saying she wanted a renaissance themed wedding…with women wearing corsets and men having sword fights. In my head, all I could think of is sitting in a Medieval Times arena, having wenches bring me my food while the smell of horses wafted in my direction. Once she met Ali and they became a couple, I am sure she thought about marriage, but never really the wedding.
Once Ali presented Julie with the idea of him planning their wedding, she saw the absolute gift that she was being offered and said she was okay with not having full reign in the planning process. She mentioned the color scheme that she liked, and with that, Ali and his helpers went to town and the Best Day Ever was born!
It helps when you “know” people in the biz. Obviously, with our company being in the wedding DJ and videography business, we had that covered, but we also know many awesome vendors in the field. So many vendors wanted to be part of this “Surprise Wedding” that we had no problem making this day very special.
When I say surprise wedding, the plan was not to wake her up that morning, cart her to the venue, slap a dress on her and shove her down the aisle…I mean all that was planned was to be revealed to Julie that day. Ali told her what day they were to be wed, ordered invitations, and left no stone unturned when planning. Julie picked out her own wedding dress, but other than that, she had no idea what the venue was like, the décor, her bouquet…heck, she had no idea what I was going to wear, and I was her Matron of Honor! Throughout the day, from the time she arrived at Haue Valley, the reveals were scheduled for her…and it was awesome!
s Julie and Ali were preparing for the ceremony in their separate dressing rooms at Haue Valley, some of the fantastic reveals started taking place. First to be revealed was my bridesmaid dress, and the flower girl’s dress. I wore a vintage 50s style lace dress in red, and Emma, Julie’s niece and flower girl, wore a jewel embellished coral dress. She was starting to see how her vibrant color scheme was being incorporated, especially when she was presented with her bridal bouquet. As she opened her eyes after it was handed to her, Julie saw that this gorgeous bouquet was completely made from handcrafted paper flowers! Katherine Elizabeth Events is a paper florist who made every single stem of Julie’s bouquet, my bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres plus all of the flowers for the tables and the flowers that graced the wedding arbor. These look-alikes were exquisite in their peach, coral and red colors and were the ideal unique touch for such an extraordinary and special bride!
Once Julie and Ali had donned their wedding best, they were separately escorted to the entrance of Haue Valley for their First Look. Ali looked sharp in his gray tuxedo, ivory vest, and aqua tie as he stood by the large gate awaiting his Bride. His tuxedo was provided by Savvi Formalwear, as well as his groomsman’s tux. When it was time, Julie walked to Ali and placed her hand on his shoulder as he faced away from her. Upon his turning around, his gaze was on Julie, who was absolutely stunning in her ivory, ball gown style wedding dress she bought online from Dresslily.com. Her dress had a “vintage” appeal, with its three-quarter length sleeves and chapel length train, along with lace appliques and well placed buttons in the front and the back of this beauty. Of course, I was privy to the dress before she bought it and one look at the pictures of it online and I knew it was the dress for Julie! In lieu of a veil, Julie chose to adorn her up-do with pretty floral barrettes.
VSM Event Creations took great care with the final touches to ensure all was perfect in the venue and at the ceremony site, which made the day more enjoyable and stress free for family and friends who would usually be in charge of these things.
Next to be revealed was the venue. Julie was led into the reception area and saw the most beautiful wedding reception décor she has ever seen! The tears flowed as she was introduced to all of the intricate details that Ali planned for her from the Monogram and Uplighting that Applause Weddings provided, the movie themed seating charts and the popcorn cart provided by BAM Party Rentals, our family’s wedding pictures on the huge wooden mantle, the striking glassware and paper flower décor on the tables, and so much more! As Ali took her from detail to detail, she commented on how beautiful the venue was and even remarked, “It’s ME!”
Next to be revealed was the wedding ceremony area, which produced more tears for Julie. This venue is stunning on its own and with the décor that was used and in the colors that were chosen, the place was breathtaking. I told her after she saw how beautiful everything was, “This is the wedding you never knew you wanted!”
Applause Weddings provided ceremony music, videography and DJ services for this special day, of course!
Officiant Reverend Doug Robison performed the wedding, which included a Handfasting Ceremony. Julie and Ali recited vows, exchanged rings and were pronounced Husband and Wife! The Bride was kissed and the celebration began!
Photography was by Chameleon Imagery and Be Lovely Photography, and with a beautiful couple and the pretty scenery that surrounds Haue Valley, Julie and Ali’s wedding photos turned out spectacular!
A delicious meal was provided by Graze, toasts to our Newlyweds were made and everyone danced in merriment until this glorious day had to come to an end, but not before Julie sang “Faithfully” to Ali in her remarkable voice.
I must say, this day will forever be one of my absolute favorites and it could not have been pulled off without all of the wonderful vendors who participated. Hats off to you all…you helped make “The Wedding Julie Didn’t Know She Wanted” the most beautiful, stress free, incredibly special day for two very important people in my life!
In a gorgeous setting in Hermann, Missouri, Alyson and Eric joined their lives together at Herman Hill on March 18, 2017. This venue has panoramic views overlooking the Missouri River and is perfect for stunning and memorable video and photography. Photographers Katie Zelles along with her sister Emily from Kathleen Mortland Photography, and our professional videographers from Applause Weddings, took advantage of these breathtaking views in capturing Alyson’s and Eric’s special day.
Alyson looked beautiful in her strapless ivory wedding dress which was adorned with gold threading and beading. She purchased her Allure designed gown from Bella Brides. Her attendants wore mauve pink with bronze beading bridesmaid dresses that Alyson said, “Were too beautiful to pass up”. Her ladies looked spectacular in these dresses they “couldn’t pass up” from Macy’s and Dillard’s department stores. Our Bride carried an elegant bouquet filled with hydrangeas, peonies, roses and eucalyptus leaves exquisitely designed by Terra Floral in Hermann, Missouri.
Eric and all of his attendants wore black tuxedos with ivory shirts they rented from Men’s Wearhouse, and of course, they were all very handsome in their wedding garb.
Loved ones witnessed the love this wonderful couple share with the exchange of wedding vows, officiated by Darrell Jung. The dazzling wedding rings that were exchanged during this ceremony the couple purchased from The Diamond Family in Manchester, Missouri. Alyson says, “I absolutely love my ring! I had nothing to do with the style and it came as a complete surprise! It is an oval cut diamond that sits on a twisted band of diamonds along with a single band that I received on our wedding day.”
Alyson welcomed tradition by including the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” in her jewelry selection for this day. “My something blue was my sapphire ring that my parents gave to me for my sixteenth birthday! The something old and borrowed was my mother's tennis bracelet that was a gift from my father on one of their anniversaries.” I love when brides and grooms incorporate cherished heirlooms into their weddings because it makes the day just that much more special!
The color scheme that Our Bride and Groom chose for their wedding was simple and feminine. Gold and mauve pink with a lot of champagne colors mixed in graced every corner of the room. Wedding planner, Becki Krupp was a big help in creating a beautiful atmosphere for this celebration of love.
Our Couple chose our Monogram Lighting and Uplighting, which added a classy touch to the reception atmosphere, plus it is cool to see a new couple's name in lights!
The catering came from the venue, Hermann Hill. Alyson says, “The menu was a hit and extremely good. We added a 'late night snack' for our guests that was set out at 9pm that evening. It was a taco bar theme because in our marriage, we take our tacos and nachos very seriously ;)” Don’t we all?
The wedding cake was from Sugar and Spice Laura's Delights in Montgomery, Missouri. Alyson raved, “I absolutely loved the look of our cake! I highly recommend Laura at Sugar and Spice! She made my cake look so elegant.” It was a lemon tiered cake with and lemon filling, iced with ivory buttercream and few added flowers to match the bridal bouquets. The cake was simply finished with a gold "Love" cake topper.
“The groom's cake was really tasty as well! It was a sheet cake with a printed photo of our engagement session”, Alyson stated. The Groom needs his own cake, right?
Alyson used the site, The Knot, to help her plan this perfect day. She has a bit of advice for Brides-to-be, “One thing that I could recommend sounds extremely cliché, but I wish I had taken this advice more seriously when given to me. The advice was to slow down and enjoy the day. Nothing is perfect but by relaxing the day will come together more perfectly. Just smile, love and enjoy your new husband. I was uptight at moments when I should have let things happen and held on to the moments more. I wish I could go back as it just flew by. I am still sad at how quickly it was over. Just love and enjoy all your hard work.”
The dance floor was kept jumpin’ by our fantastic DJ here at Applause Weddings. And at the end of the night, everyone sent off our Newlyweds by having them walk through an aisle that was created by the guests holding sparklers! That was the makings for a very cool aerial shot taken with Applause Weddings’ drone camera for Our Couple’s awesome wedding video!
Here’s to Our Newlyweds, Alyson and Eric…may that spark always be burning in your hearts for each other!
Trey and Amber were married in a quaint country backyard ceremony with a touch of rustic style on June 10th, 2017 in Okawville, Illinois. They picked a beautiful sunny day for an outdoor wedding!
Amber chose a beautiful crystal embellished headband to wear in lieu of a bridal veil and a Maggie Sorento wedding dress that she bought from Bridal Manor in Waterloo, Illinois. Her sleeveless ivory wedding gown was embellished with tiers of crystals which beautifully draped around her neck. The month of June in the Midwest tends to be warm. Amber kept this in consideration when choosing this glamorous wedding dress for her and her groom's outdoor wedding. This smart girl wanted to be comfortable and cool!
Trey wore a sharp suit from Macy's in gray with a crisp white shirt and a cobalt blue tie.
A First Look was planned, but this time, instead of being with the Bride and Groom, Amber chose to have her father see her first in her gorgeous wedding garb. We love when our couples have a different take on what seems to be on trend at the moment! Not only does it make for a great photo op and great footage for their wedding video, but a great moment in time is captured and can be remembered forever!
Speaking of wedding videos…all wedding videographers are not created equally! Applause Weddings offers a top notch combination of our professional staff who will gather video with high tech equipment of your special day… from start to finish. We then put our heart into editing the special moments of a very important day so they can be enjoyed for generations to come!
Since this was an outdoor wedding venue, there were no doors for our Bride to make a grand entrance to walk down the aisle. Instead, Amber made an entrance like no other through doors that were hung on a rustic frame and was positioned on the lawn. What a clever idea! Another great idea were the Wedding Programs that were made as fans for keeping wedding guest cool and comfortable!
Amber’s and Trey’s bridal party stood on each side of the pretty arbor that Trey built for the ceremony. Pretty ladies in cobalt blue dresses and handsome gentlemen wearing gray trousers, white shirts and cobalt blue ties surrounded Our To-Be-Weds while Officiant Jeff Schwab performed the wedding ceremony. Instead of the tradition of lighting a Unity Candle, our Bride and Groom chose a touching Love Lock Ceremony.
Once vows were recited to each other and Amber and Trey were pronounced as Newlyweds, everyone headed over to the St. Libory American Legion hall to celebrate. The hall was beautifully decorated in white and cobalt, and Amber's mom made the lovely flower arrangements for the tables.
Cheesecake! Yes, cheesecake (strawberry, to be exact) was chosen in lieu of a traditional wedding cake and was provided by Eats and Treats in Okawville, Illinois.
Applause Weddings (of course!) provided videography and DJ services for this event and had the joint jumpin' and the dance floor packed with family and friends all honoring the newlyweds and their new lives together!
A word of advice from Amber: "No one knows what went wrong your wedding day but you, so don't stress!" That is sound advice, although it looked like the perfect day with the perfect couple to us!
The variety of services that we offer is designed to keep the stress level down leading up to and on your special day. We want you to enjoy your day and be at ease! You will find that working with us is a breeze as we help you plan the perfect wedding and reception. So heed Amber’s advice and don’t stress!
Congrats and happiness to you, Trey and Amber! Thank you for letting us be part of your beautiful wedding!
On May 20th, 2017, while surrounded by Spanish Mission architecture, Darrell and Julie were wed at Barnett on Washington. The venue is beautifully appointed with archways, ornate columns and marble, which made a lovely place for our couple to exchange vows.
Julie surprised Darrell by holding a large bouquet of pearl, blush and yellow balloons that concealed her during “First Look”. The pearl colored balloons had cute little pink hearts inside of them. Once she released the helium filled bouquet and it floated to the ceiling, Darrell laid eyes on his gorgeous princess Bride. Julie was decked out in a sparkly tiara and dazzling champagne Cosmobella ball gown that she purchased from Demetrios Bridal. Of course, the balloon release revealed the Groom to his Bride, as well! Darrell looked dapper in his black tuxedo from Men’s Wearhouse and chose a black vest and bowtie to complete the ensemble. What a clever idea for a “First Look” reveal!
Julie graced the red carpeted, curved staircase as she walked down them; her cathedral length train and veil cascading behind her. She carried a bouquet of baby’s breath, which was remarkably elegant in its simplicity. She wore her Aunt’s pearl bracelet as the traditional “something old” item, the garter she wore was “something blue” and her soon-to-be-husband gave her a beautiful Tiffany pearl necklace as a gift, covering the “something new” category. Her bridesmaids looked glamorous in their blush-colored dresses from The Ultimate Bride. They carried bouquets of baby’s breath, as well.
Darrell’s Groomsmen sported black tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse.
Steven Delaney performed a beautiful ceremony, joining Julie and Darrell in marriage.
Our Bride and Groom exchanged wedding vows, followed by a ceremony of a Wedding Ring Exchange. Darrell placed a sparkling diamond wedding band adorned with five round cut diamonds on Julie’s hand, and Julie placed a stainless steel ring with black ion plating onto her Groom’s hand. The rings were purchased at Kay’s Jewelers. Darrell kissed his bride and then it was time to celebrate the union of this wonderful couple with family and friends!
The reception followed the wedding at Barnett on Washington. Newlyweds Darrell and Julie danced their way into the reception hall to 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. The round tables had Eiffel Tower vases adorned with baby’s breath atop them, which made a pretty centerpiece to the table set with gold charger plates and blush colored napkins. Julie made the bouquets and the centerpieces and said that she advises couples to try to make centerpieces or flower bouquets themselves, stating that it saved money and she enjoyed making them. She said, “It was more sentimental to me and I even made the flower girl basket. It felt right making them because I made them with love”.
The three tiered wedding cake was beautiful! The cake, made by Sarah’s Cake Shop, was a vanilla bean cake with white chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream icing. The letter “R” topped the ivory, gold and blush tiers which were embellished with flecks of gold leaf.
After the Newlyweds were toasted by family and friends, a delicious meal was provided by Callier’s Catering. After the traditional cake cutting and the bouquet and garter toss, it was time to have a ball! Our company, Applause Weddings, provided videography services to memorialize this special day, along with providing DJ services for the reception. Julie and Darrell danced their first dance as husband and wife to the song “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle. The dance floor was opened for all to enjoy and our DJ kept the dance floor full as family and friends surrounded Julie and Darrell in celebration of their new lives as husband and wife.
Best wishes to Julie and Darrell as they begin their lives together and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day!
April 15th, 2017 was a beautiful but breezy day for a wedding! Michael Woelfer married his love, Simone Wood, at Aeries Terrace in Grafton, Illinois. Simone was stunning in her mermaid gown with a sweetheart neckline, which was perfectly adorned with lace and sequins. She carried a bouquet of white wood flowers and she wore two red flowers in her pretty up-do. Breezy days make cathedral length veils have a mind of their own, and Simone’s was no exception! As her veil flowed in the breeze, her five beautiful bridesmaids, who wore floor length dresses in a soft shade of lavender and carried bouquets that matched the Bride’s, held on to Simone’s crazy veil during the ceremony. Both the Bride’s and Bridesmaids’ dresses were purchased from David’s Bridal.
Michael looked handsome in his blue suit with a yellow tie and pocket square. With a while boutonniere on his lapel, he matched his sharply dressed Groomsmen. Simone gave Michael a new Fossil watch as a wedding gift, which he promptly put on after he opened it.
Michael and Simone exchanged vows on a deck that overlooks where the Mississippi and Illinois rivers join together, making it a perfect place for their lives to be joined together in marriage. With Colleen Callahan officiating, Our Couple were married in a touching ceremony that was surrounded by love. Rings were exchanged, his was purchased at Qualo and hers was an heirloom ring that belonged to Michael’s grandmother. The Woelfer’s vows were sealed with a kiss and then it was time to celebrate!
Simone happily danced her way into the venue with her new husband by her side. The Bride and Groom chose a wine theme for the reception...but really it was a “drunk with love” theme! The napkins even had “Drunk with Love” printed on them! The cake topper was a glittery gold silhouette of a bride and groom with wine and the bride was falling into the groom’s arms. (CUTE!) Speaking of the cake, it was a tiered white cake with scroll décor and the base of it was covered with cake balls with black and white scrollwork. In keeping with the wine theme, the table centerpieces were made with stacked, rustic wood slices with a simple doily, a wine bottle, a wine glass filled with corks, and grape clusters atop them. We provided lavender purple uplighting and lighted custom wedding monogram, which made the venue look super classy!
Before dinner, toasts to the Newlyweds were given by the Maid of Honor Felicia, Bridesmaid Sherry, the Best Man, Rudy and Groomsman Steven. Dinner was catered by Toarmino’s. Once everyone’s bellies were full, it was time for CAKE! Our Newlyweds cut into their awesome cakepop cake and then moved to the dance floor for their first dance as Husband and Wife. (Of course, the DJ service was provided by Applause Productions!) The Bride and Groom danced to “Never Stop” by Safety Suit. Simone and her father danced to “Sweet Child o' Mine” by Guns n' Roses and Michael and his mother danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts.
Then, it was party time! Our DJ kept the dance floor packed with people moving and grooving to great music! A conga line wrapped around the venue and a groomsman even did a back flip over the limbo stick! Who does that?! Let's not forget the awesome Fish Eye Photobooth pictures everyone took home as souveniers. As all parties do, the celebration of Our Wonderful Newlyweds had to come to an end. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey was played as the last song. Michael and Simone certainly could make anyone believe in love! Congrats on your new life together!
Price is price, right? Well, maybe not so much. Videography package details vary widely from vendor to vendor. Here are a few questions you will want to ask to make sure you are making a fair comparison:
1. How will I receive my video? It may sound like a good deal to receive your final product digitally either via the internet or even on a USB drive, but what about those family members who aren't tech savvy? A DVD/Blu-Ray disc for your parents or grandparents is always appreciated. We provide you with 3 copies on DVD and 1 Blu-Ray as well as sharing your highlight clip online.
2. What will my final video actually contain? A lot of companies will offer competitive pricing, but the end product will be a highlight clip only. Although we love highlights, we believe that for the money you are spending, you deserve your entire ceremony as well. And remember, not all "entire ceremonies" are created equal, either. A single camera in the back and just one close up during the vows is all that is sometimes done to film the "entire ceremony". Ask to see samples to verify what you'll be recieving. You can see our samples here: Your Ceremony it It's Entirety. In addition, you will also receive a long version of your Reception so you can view your toasts, cake cutting, specialty dances, etc. as they occurred.
3. What will my video sound like? Music overlay is perfect for highlight clips, but what about hearing your vows, your readings at your ceremony, your toasts, and your songs during the reception? These moments should be recorded separately (not relying on camera audio) to make the best final presentation. We record your vows with a lapel mic on both the Groom and the Officiant, as well as a separate sound recorder at the ceremony and reception.
4. When will the filming begin and end? What is left out and why? Your schedule for the day can be long, especially when you want your video to tell the entire story. Clarify when your videographer(s) will start and end shooting. It's also a good idea to ask them if you've scheduled enough time for them to obtain the footage they need. We typically start filming an hour before the Bride is scheduled to put on her dress, and we stay at the reception until we have captured most your friends and family on the dance floor. Anything we don't shoot is because we are experienced in getting all the footage necessary to tell your story in a creative way. Our streamlined approach keeps our package affordable. As a courtesy to your photographer, we do not shoot over their shoulder at all of your posed photos, but instead capture several scenes at at least one of your photography locations.
5. What is your video style/approach? Some videography companies aim to have you star in your own cinematic masterpiece. Even if you can afford the extra cost of this style of production, keep in mind you will be devoting more of your day to working with your videographer than anything else including photography and time with your guests. Our approach is what we call creative documentary. We work around your schedule (and your photographer's plan) to capture everything in the moment, only asking for a little of your time for custom shots.
6. When Will My Video be Ready? It seems obvious to assume that you will receive your video in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe that's why most people never think to ask it until after the wedding. Don't risk celebrating an anniversary before you get to see your video, ask the timeline for completion. We deliver your video no more than 6 weeks after your wedding, and in most cases within 30 days, with your highlight clip being made available as soon as possible.
7. What's Your Backup Plan? Technical equipment is never fail-safe. Having multiple sources for both video and audio is the only way to guard against loss of precious footage taken on your special day. Our package includes redundant sources of both (meaning multiple cameras and multiple audio recordings).
Join us as we Blog our way through St. Louis Weddings!