St. Louis + Destination


Travel & Nature Photojournalism

When my sister-in-law excitedly notified family of her engagement I literally yelled a big “YAYYY” and then immediately began plotting ways to become her wedding photographer. Beautiful couple? Check. Gorgeous destination location? Check. Classic, timeless taste? Check, of course. A perfect recipe for what will undoubtedly be a beautiful wedding day.

But little did I know, she was already preparing to ask me to be a part of her wedding celebration in a much more meaningful way. And so while I will sadly not be documenting Lindsay & Caleb’s actual wedding day, I am so honored and excited to serve as her Matron of Honor.

Bridesmaid proposal gift

My Bridesmaid Proposal Gift. Personalized gift box, heartfelt card, personalized champagne glass (not pictured), “L” wine topper, and Chandon Rosé Mini.

I do, however, get to photograph a few of the wedding festivities – including their Save the Date session. A save the date session is a great way to memorialize such an important and happy time in our lives. It is also a great excuse get dressy and practice posing. Dressed and styled to perfection, Caleb and Lindsay met me at a private studio to begin their candlelit session before we all braved the freezing temperatures outside.

We are all so happy and excited for the future Mr. & Mrs. Smith and cannot wait to celebrate with them later this year at their Napa Valley destination wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Candlelit Save the Date Session

Custom cushion-cut diamond engagement ring, Genovese Jewelers.

A: Our story started as a lot of modern love stories do now, with a swipe right on a dating app. Neither of us thought we would meet our soulmate on a dating app, but that is exactly what happened.
One could say our love story has had the thread of true appreciation for wine running through it.  Our first date was at a wine bar, we got engaged in Sonoma, and are now headed back, with family and close friends, to commit to spending the rest of our lives together.  But that single thread was just the beginning of so much more.
On our first date the conversation was effortless. The conversation went so well, we actually shut the restaurant down! When the wait staff was cleaning and stacking chairs, we realized we should probably call it a night. Before the first date, Lindsay had been toying with the idea of moving away from St. Louis. That notion, however, was quickly put on hold after the first date because she knew there was something special about Caleb.
From the beginning it was clear that the threads of our individual lives entwined perfectly–we shared almost the same interests, values, and life ambitions.  Whenever we learned something new about each other, we were always pleasantly surprised that it was just one more thing we were on the same page about.  So much so that it became a running joke.
We bonded immediately over our mutual love of animals—dogs especially. As soon as Caleb told Lindsay he shopped for his dog (Ruger) at Treats Unleashed and let this lovable 90-pound German Shephard mix sleep in his bed, she was hooked.  Similarly, Lindsay won Caleb’s heart while dog-sitting for Ruger, texting daily pictures of a new park and adventures!  And that is when Ruger officially adopted Lindsay as his dog Mom—lucky Lindsay!!
After a year of dating, we moved in together. While this could test a lot or relationships, it only made ours stronger, further cementing the fact that we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together.

Save the Date Session Dancing, Ring Close Up

Champagne Toasting Glasses, Target.

A: We are both self-professed introverted homebodies. So, we often like to spend our free time cuddled up on the couch with our dog binge watching some of our favorite shows. On the weekend, just add wine and that is perfection for us! We also love to spend time with our close friends and family, which usually entails going out to dinner and having a few cocktails.
We also both enjoy traveling and can’t wait to travel the world together. Some of our favorite trips together thus far have included sailing the Bahamas and exploring all wine country has to offer in Napa/Sonoma. An annual trip to Sanibel is also a must for us. Those trips are relaxation at its finest- long walks on the beach, shelling, and cocktails while listening to the waves crash against the beach.

2010 Carneros Cuvée, Gloria Ferrer Wines

2010 Carneros Cuvée, Gloria Ferrer Wines. Diamond Drop Earrings, Tiffany & Co.


Engaged couple toasts champagne for Save the Date session

Caleb and Lindsay will be hosting a California wine country wedding, so they wanted to incorporate a little sparkling wine into their save the date session. Equipped with flutes and a delicious 2010 Carneros Cuvée from Gloria Ferrer Wines, we popped some bubbly to celebrate.

A: Several of Caleb’s initial proposal plans were thwarted by COVID. When Caleb’s plan finally came into fruition and he got down on one knee on our trip to Sonoma/Napa, it was perfect!
Due to COVID, it was necessary to make all winery reservations ahead of time, which Lindsay being more of the planner did. That definitely threw her, because she thought if Caleb was going to propose, he would have tried to do more of the planning. He was trying to play it cool, however, so that she wouldn’t catch on. Caleb did, however, take it upon himself to find a private and romantic Airbnb cottage to make the trip extra special. The Airbnb also toted a mini-horse (Napoleon) and 2 goats (Cocoa and Chip). Being huge animal lovers, starting our days with feeding the animals couldn’t have been more perfect!
We spent a week in Sonoma/Napa, and it was by far the best trip we’ve taken together thus far. We started the days off with hikes amongst the beautiful scenery of vineyards and hills. Our hikes were always followed by walking to Sonoma’s Best, which was right next to our Airbnb, for coffee and breakfast. We would then head out for the day to do a little winery hopping, with every winery having something special to offer, including incredible views and ambiance. Napa and Sonoma also both have incredible food scenes, which we definitely took advantage of every night for dinner. And having a cozy cottage to come home to at night, was always the perfect ending to another lovely day.
Our second day there was the big day. We had a driver for the day, who was also a photographer, so we were both able to fully kick back and truly enjoy the day. The first winery we went to was Ram’s Gate, which turned out to be one of our favorites. Since we had a photographer that day, she took us out amongst the vines and lake to take a few pictures. When we headed back to the table, a sweet older couple asked if we just got engaged. The answer at that point was of course no. When Caleb took a trip to the bathroom, he stopped by their table to fill them in on his plans to propose at the next winery. When the couple was leaving Ram’s Gate, they stopped by our table to chat. It was then that we learned they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They told us several stories about their lives together and gave us sweet advice. We will forever remember meeting that couple on the day we got engaged, as we feel it is only foreshadowing for our long life together as husband and wife.
We then headed to Viansa Sonoma, where Caleb proposed. We had a beautiful private outlook, where we started the day with wine and cheese. Caleb excused himself, and when he did, the photographer came back by and wanted to take pictures of just Lindsay. Lindsay thought this a bit odd, as she’s not one to want to pose for pictures by herself. The wine guide seeing this happen, came by and took the two over by the vines where there would be “much better pictures”. The wine guide then started educating Lindsay on the grapes and then picked some grapes for Lindsay to taste. This was all a diversion so that Lindsay would not be looking in the direction of Caleb coming up to surprise her. Shortly after eating the grape the wine guide picked for her, Lindsay heard Caleb say her name. She turned around, and Caleb got down on one knee. There was a little hyperventilating and awe as Lindsay saw the ring for the first time. It was better than she ever could have hoped for, definitely her dream ring! After celebrating with sparkling wine at Viansa, we headed to Gloria Ferrer for more wine and to keep the celebration going. At Gloria Ferrer we called our family and closest friends to share the good news, and they were all beyond excited for us. We continued the celebration throughout the day and night, capping the night with dinner at Morimoto in downtown Napa.
Later in the week, we were met by some close friends, now known as the “Napa Wine Crew”. Caleb had, of course, informed them of his plans, so they came ready to celebrate and with engagement gifts in-hand. It was a perfect ending to the most amazing week of our lives.

Snowy Save the Date Session
Let it Snow.  With possible rain in the forecast, I was so delighted that we had some snow flurries, instead!

Exploring the St. Louis Central Library groundsEngagement Ring close upTriptych of Save the Date Session images

A: The most important thing to us both is to have our families and friends there to join us to celebrate the start of our lives together as husband and wife. We want the wedding weekend to be a true experience that everyone enjoys and will remember.
We both have always really wanted a destination wedding and couldn’t think of a better spot than wine country. Between the views, amazing restaurants, and numerous wineries, there really isn’t anything else we could hope for in a wedding destination.
After the engagement day, Lindsay woke up bright and early the next morning to start researching venue options. We didn’t have a lot of extra time to visit venues, but we were able to visit a few. When we took a tour of Carneros Resort, we fell in love immediately. The hilltop view overlooking the hills and vineyards of Napa is breathtaking, and everything we wanted in a ceremony location. The overall flow of the ceremony and reception are also important to us, which is another reason we choose Carneros Resort. The venue has a true sense of privacy and there is great flow between the multiple outdoor areas and indoor area. After coming back to St. Louis and researching other venues, nothing could compare to Carneros Resort, it was definitely the one.
Another detail that is important to us is good food and wine, which there is definitely no shortage of in Napa. We had the pleasure of eating at the FARM restaurant at Carneros while we are out there, so are very excited knowing the food will be fantastic for our guests.
We are pretty close to wrapping up the vendor selection process, which means the overall design for the day is next on the list. Lindsay appreciates design and has always loved decorating, so is especially excited for this part of the wedding planning process.

Sparkling wine engagement sessionCouple walks up the stairs to the St. Louis Central Public Library

Suit in Navy by Brooks Brothers. Strappy Nudist Sandal in black by Stuart Weitzman. V-Neck Slit Gown in black by Mac Duggal.

See more engagement and couple’s sessions:

Vendor Love

Photography Locations: Private Studio, St. Louis Central Public Library (by permit, only)

Engagement Ring: Custom design, Genovese Jewelers

Earrings: Diamond Drop Earrings, Tiffany & Co.

Hair & Make Up: thatkelsseygal

Black Gown: Mac Duggal (Nordstrom)

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (Nudist Sandal)

Suit: Brooks Brothers

Sparkling Wine: Gloria Ferrer Wines

Champagne Glasses: Toasting Flutes, Target

Future Wedding Venue: Carneros Resort, California