Starved Rock Wedding Photographer | Alexis + Marisa = Married!
The bride Marisa is originally from the western burbs of Illinois, but currently lives near the sandy coast of California, just outside if Los Angeles in Marina del Rey. Marisa works within the advertising industry for In Touch Weekly Magazine, and Alexis is in a band as a lead guitarist. Marisa was looking for love in LA and about a year and half ago through a friend, her and Alexis crossed paths.
“We met when a friend of mine, Stefano dragged me out to meet a few new guys because I was complaining it’s so hard to find good guys in LA. I was reluctant and had been heading out to see a band somewhere else, but I said fine Stefano, just for a minute. Well, it looks like that ‘minute’ has turned into a lifetime. : ) Alexis and I definitely had a special connection from the start… the fact that he was French and played the guitar didn’t hurt either. On the first night we met, we spoke closely for about 30 minutes or so and then had to part ways due to other plans. Alexis text me a little later and wanted my email, so he could send me some of his music, since we had been talking about our musical interests. I’m sure that was half the reason he sent me his music. We started emailing about music and texting back and forth, planning to go out in a couple days. That turned into meeting him out after a Tool concert on Monday, we went on our first date on Tuesday, saw each other again on Wednesday, he came down to visit me in San Diego on Thursday, on Saturday I went to his show, and by Sunday we were in love and practically moved in together! I truly feel like we have known each other for years, even though on the books its only been since July 17th! There was so much honesty and expression of feelings and thoughts between us, we just cut right through the BS. Thanks Stefano, I owe ya one.”
When Marisa contacted us, she mention how technically her and Alexis were already married. But, they were planning for a cocktail reception with Alexis family at Chateau de l’Isle in Civray France, and a traditional ceremony and reception in Chicago. Alexis + Marisa had an intimate outdoor ceremony. The couple each recited personally written vows in both French and English. Starved Rock Lodge and State Park hosted both the ceremony, dinner and dancing. A national historic site and Ottawa Illinois river area natural landmark, Starved Rock is known mostly for its amazing location and the extensive display of naturally formed rock canyons throughout the property. It truly is one of the most gorgeous places to be married outside in nature within Illinois – the wooded ceremony vista is high on a bluff overlooking the nearby river valley. With humid and hot temperatures and rain forecasted for nearly the entire weekend, as you can imagine everyone was a little nervous about the day’s plans being rained out. But with drier weather, the outdoor ceremony proceed. However our original intention of hiking into a canyon at the park had to be changed. We proposed a few alternate locations for the bridal party pictures and Marisa said secretly she loved even more our alternate dry locations. She especially loved the offbeat and abandoned train car shooting spot. She said it fit her and Alexis’s personalities perfectly. We were in love with the locations too… the ivy wall, train tracks, inside the messy box car, and graffiti, it was an awesome find. Alexis + Marisa said it was so “us”. When she was explaining her and Alexis had already been married, we were curious to hear more. Both being huge music fans, naturally that was a memorable and big part of the day. Marisa told us more about their first ceremony:
Marisa writes: “We initially got married on stage at a Steel Panther show at the Key Club in West Hollywood. Alexis is French so we needed to get the immigration paperwork over with before our July wedding and a civil ceremony at the Beverly Hills courthouse was taking too long! When we initially went to file for our marriage license, it just so happened to be one of Lindsey Lohan’s neverending court dates and there were swarms of paparazzi and reporters everywhere, yelling ‘congrats’ as we made our way out of the courthouse. We ran into an acquaintance, Sean, we often see out and about on the scene and he told us he was a Reverend with a 100% success rate. :) ( He was also wearing a Lucky Charms costume as it was Halloween weekend. ) He asked where we would like to get married and on Stage during a Steel Panther show was the first thing that popped into mind. Sean knew the singer and made it happen through the management. Because this is LA, I didn’t exactly plan on Sean’s follow through. Well one day I was home sick and he called and said we were all set to go on stage. It was Monday, November 1st. I thought Monday?, I’m sick, plus being the day after Halloween? What a perfect day for a wedding right?! :) I popped up and grabbed some Sudafed and Alexis and I met him out at The Rainbow to discuss the schematics for the show. We called some of our closest friends last minute and we went out to celebrate! It was fun and crazy and very ‘us’.”
It was extremely important to Alexis and Marisa that they selected an AMAZING band to keep guests on the dance floor. The Libido Funk Circus was their chosen band and rocking the room was just what they did. If you are looking for a band that is other than an average, ordinary band, look no further. Libido Funk Circus has an awesome and commanding stage presence and as they describe their style, they do truly “set an electrifying pace for your event.” The band says they pride themselves on being “the band that party-goers rave about well after the event is over!” So true, we even stayed until the end of the night to watch the rest of their show. The bride, groom, and guests were seriously having so much fun! Marisa + Alexis your entire day was truly a celebration of what you are all about… we had a rocking time working with you, thanks Marisa + Alexis in selecting us as your photographers – we enjoyed spending the day with you! Hope you enjoy pictures from the beautiful wedding day – you are a stunning couple together + we wish to you all the best.
Marisa + Alexis day of details:
Theme: Rock in Roll Glamour meets Nature
Los Angeles California Vows: On stage at the Key Club in West Hollywood
Outdoor Ceremony: Sunrise Shelter at Starved Rock Lodge
Harpist: Devon Haupt The Classic Harpist
Intro Music Selection: “Canon in D / Bridal Chorus”
Sand Ceremony: “Come Sail Away” Styx
Processional: “Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns ‘N’ Roses
Bridal Shoes: Guess
Bride’s Jewelry: Vintage Jewelry
Hair Master Stylist: Jerry Monjes of J Alison Salon in Naperville or Tomas West Salon in Chicago
Makeup: Marissa Govedarica, 630-890-1872
Reception Venue: Starved Rock Lodge
Coordinator: The bride Marisa : )
Flowers: Mary’s Special Touch Floral
First Dance: “Starlight” Slash featuring Myles Kennedy
Band: Libido Funk Circus
Honeymoon: Sandals Grande Riviera Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Sarah & Ryan – truly amazing photo’s! We LOVE working with you both on wedding days! You sure take great care of our Starved Rock couples. Looking foward to working with you soon. Take care!
Hi Marisa. We loved how the images came out, and the locations too. : )
Having all that rain during your wedding weekend actually worked out having the grey skies just like Heidi’s wedding day did. : )
Omg!! They look amazing!!!! Love the way you put everything together on the blog and all the colors and I can’t believe my wish came true for the grey skies lol!!!! Thank you soooo much! Can’t wait to see the rest.