Carolyn + John

Carolyn + John

St. Louis Wedding Photos by Oldani Photography

Little Flower Catholic Church / Forest Park / St Louis Zoo

Describe you as a couple in about 15 words or phrases:  Active, energetic, runners, animal lovers, family, dessert eaters, travelers, friends, sentimental, adventurous, loyal, competitive, creative and busy.

What is your story?:  John and I met while working at the Saint Louis Zoo in 2009. He was an Elephant Keeper and I was a keeper in the Children's Zoo at the time. About nine months after we first met and became friends, I l accidentally locked my keys in my car after work. John stuck around to help me and we started chatting. We found out we were both runners, and so made a plan to run after work later that week. John asked me on our first "real" date (at Sasha's Wine Bar) after our run together. A few months after we started dating, John left the Zoo and moved to Arkansas to get his masters in Biology. We were long distance for three years before he moved back to St. Louis. Now he is a Biology teacher at Chaminade and I am still working at the Zoo as a Carnivore Keeper. He proposed on a sunny, winter run on New Year's Day 2016.

Carolyn, What do you love most about John?:  He is simply the kindest person I know. He treats everyone with respect and goes out of his way to show compassion toward others. Being around John teaches me to be a better person. He is passionate about everything he does, and infuses this energy into every aspect of his life.

John, What do you love most about Carolyn?:  Carolyn demonstrates daily that hard work, a positive attitude, and a lot of grit is necessary in order to chase after your dreams. As a young girl she dreamed about working with animals, despite having obvious talent as a writer. Her determination to follow her passion carried her through several jobs at the zoo before she got her first job as a part-time zookeeper. She is a constant reminder to me to be passionate and enthusiastic about my goals and to keep working hard to achieve them. Oh, and I guess I should mention that her drive to become a zookeeper was what eventually helped our paths to cross at the Saint Louis Zoo.

Describe your perfect Saturday together:  We would go out to breakfast at one of our favorite spots, then we would go for a hike for the day. We could pack a picnic lunch, and our hammock, and just chill for a while in the woods. After the hike we'd make dinner together and then watch a movie.

Carolyn's fun fact:  There are three girls in my family and we are all born on the 22nd of different months.

John's fun fact:  I have nearly every episode of the Crocodile Hunter TV series recorded on VHS...and I go back and watch them whenever I get the chance!

"First Dance":  Steady As We Go by Dave Matthews Band

Special thanks to these wonderful vendors:

Ceremony - Little Flower Catholic Church

Reception - St Louis Zoo Living World

Cake - Lubeley's Bakery

Wedding Dress - Wedding Creations in Washington, MO

Bridesmaid dresses - Vow to Be Chic Rentals

Catering - Mane Event Catering , Saint Louis Zoo

Entertainment - Lenny Klinger , Galaxy

Florist - Kelly Jurotich , The Crimson Petal

John's Suit - Jos A. Banks

Hair - Stacey Schulte and Andrea Kappler , Platinum Hair Salon

Invitations - Designed by Carolyn and Kaitlin Carretero of Flan de Vida

Makeup - Emily Miller, Emily Miller

Photo booth - Tower Studios

Transportation - Gary Solovic , All About You Limos

Nichole is married to TJ Oldani. Together they are Oldani Photography.