a New Year’s Eve extravaganza // Kansas City, MO

Karleigh & Alex at The Madrid Theatre

January 4, 2022


elegant New Year's Eve wedding at St. Agnes Catholic Church and The Madrid Theatre in Kansas City
elegant New Year's Eve wedding at St. Agnes Catholic Church and The Madrid Theatre in Kansas City

On Friday we rang in the new year and a new chapter in Karleigh & Alex’s lives together. These two lovebirds are MARRIED!! Their elegant New Year’s Eve wedding at The Madrid Theatre was nonstop fun; I just loved getting to be a part of every minute of it! There is seriously no one like the Gunderson clan to make a 14-hour day fly by 🙂

New Year’s Eve naturally inspires a time of reflection for all of us. And in between capturing details, shared laughs, touching first looks, and stunning portraits yesterday I found myself reflecting on my own year and business.

You see, I’ve known Karleigh and her family for years now. They were one of the very first families I photographed when I started my business. For that, they will forever hold a sentimental spot in my heart. And in July, I got to be a part of Karleigh’s older sister Kellyanne’s wedding as well. All of these shared moments across the years made New Year’s Eve feel like a celebration of so many milestones not only for Karleigh & Alex, but for me as well. I’ve come so far in my business since it began in 2016 and I’m excited for what I still have to learn, celebrate, and experience.

But enough about me!

Karleigh & Alex’s wedding day was a true reflection of their big-hearted, energetic personalities. I don’t think it’s possible for Karleigh or Alex to meet a stranger (made clear by their 22-person wedding party and 300+ guest count!) Every moment of their celebration was touching, meaningful, and oh so fun.

Karleigh & Alex opted to reserve their first look for the altar at St. Agnes, so they each got ready with their respective wedding parties separately at The Intercontinental. We used some time before the ceremony to capture individual wedding party photos before hiding Karleigh & Alex inside before their long-awaited wedding mass!

After the ceremony we stayed at St. Agnes, using its beautiful facade, to capture Karleigh & Alex in their newlywed glow. I just love all of the beautiful moments we created together! Before long the sun had set, but we still had a few hours to kill before the reception began. What’s a newly married couple to do on their wedding day before their reception? Head to their favorite haunt, of course! We high-tailed it to Kelly’s in Westport, a meaningful spot for Karleigh & Alex and their families. We also took this opportunity to capture some extra unique portraits of K&A out and about in Westport! The area’s historic architecture and streetlights created a romantic backdrop for them.

Karleigh & Alex’s reception kicked off with touching toasts from their Matron of Honor (Karleigh’s sister) and Best Man (Alex’s brother) along with Karleigh’s mom and Alex’s dad. Their first dance together was so high energy some of their photos turned out a tad blurry. Alex was twirling Karleigh around the dance floor with so much enthusiasm that our flashes and camera couldn’t keep up. I actually ended up loving the result though because the images truly captured the movement and energy of their dance. And in a way, their first dance was the perfect symbol of Karleigh & Alex’s nonstop love and sense of adventure.

Before I knew it, it was midnight and we were ringing in the new year. In true Karleigh & Alex form, even this moment had an extra special touch: sparklers!! Just before the clock struck midnight we hustled K&A into the center of the dance floor with their parents on each side so they could all celebrate this moment together.

In some ways, this wedding day was bittersweet for me because this chapter of my time with Karleigh and Kellyanne’s family is over. I take solace in knowing that I loved every minute of it, and we have the photos to prove it 🙂

A HUGE thank you to the team that made this day exceptional!

venue: The Madrid Theatre
coordination: Clare Holahan Events
gown: Emily Hart Bridal
designer: Casablanca Bridal
bridesmaids: Revelry
floral: Sidelines Custom Floral | Mother of the Bride
hair: Riane DiMarco
makeup: Madeleine Diab
videography: Memories Made
transportation: Magic Party Buses
catering: Lidderdale Catering
band: Lost Wax
2nd photographer: Mike Tsai


Your wedding day was one-of-a-kind and absolutely unforgettable!

Can’t get enough of Karleigh & Alex? Check out their engagement session!

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