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COLE + RENEE // vibrant + colorful micro wedding celebration on The Hill

Where to begin with this fun and vibrant October wedding! What could have been a gloomy day, plagued with rain and Covid, turned out to be one of my brightest and most colorful weddings to date, with one happy surprise after another.

Cole and Renee were a joy to work with. Cole is a planner and is passionate in so many ways. Conversely, and a brilliant balance, Renee is super silly and brightens any room with her giggles.

If I had to describe their wedding day in two words; Intimate and intentional. We spent the day with their closest family members and friend family. This was one of the best examples I’ve seen of involving their loved ones in their day – Instead of a traditional “wedding party,” Cole and Renee opted for an “I Do Crew”. A more inclusive group that spanned ages and genders that showered them with encouragement the whole day through. During the reception portion of the day, several toasts were made by coworkers-turned-family, a testament to Cole and Renee’s capacity to love and to forge deep relationships, even in unexpected places.

Going into the wedding I knew Cole and Renee’s wedding colors held extra special meaning. As proud members of the LGBTQ+ community, they wanted their day to be as vibrant and rainbow-filled as possible. My work tends to skew more earthy, and this was a super fun new perspective to explore. Right off the bat I knew we had to do their “first look” in one of my favorite St. Louis photo locations, Tower Grove Park. Having recently shot there I knew of a colorful spot where the last of the blooming summer flowers could be found. This proved to be the perfect colorful location for this sweet and very emotional “first look”. The emotions that come out in first looks are one of my favorite parts of wedding days. It’s a mixture of utter joy, a release of anxiousness, and a moment where two loving individuals get to embrace each other for the first time on their wedding day. But this time it wasn’t just the couple, their I Do Crew couldn’t contain their excitement, cheering on just out of frame.

Immediately following the “first look” we jumped into a full photo session in the park with the entire I Do Crew. During our session we had to to shelter for a bit in one of Tower Grove’s many iconic pavilions due to an unexpected pop up rain shower, but it didn’t last long. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, and I think they might be onto something, because as soon as the rain cut out an ACTUAL RAINBOW appeared! Cole could not have been more excited, which I was so happy to have captured in a few quick photos.

Maybe the best part of the entire day was the first dance. It completely brought down the house! Apparently these two had taken lessons for a few months before the wedding to learn a choreographed first dance, and they truly nailed the assignment. It was a highlight for everyone in the room.

The level of love surrounding this sweet couple throughout their day was palpable. It was such a joy to celebrate this pair and witness the overflowing support from the community they’ve built around their life. Cheers to Cole and Renee for being an an example of open and inspiring love. You guys are the best!!

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