O'Fallon resident Bill Blanke was overwhelmed with emotion on the day of his daughter's wedding.
"My wife Karen and I raised our girls, Jamie and Jessica, to believe in the impossible. The majority of our vacations were spent at Disney World. Each year we explored and played in the Magic Kingdom, and each year, as we grew together as a family, our girls grew up a little more," Blanke said.
Jamie Blanke and Christopher Chandler were married Sept. 17 in the lakeside gazebo at . The family's love of everything Disney was as apparent as their devotion to each other.
The bride, in a gown reminiscent of the Little Mermaid, was escorted by her father, who wore King Triton's crown and carried a trident. The bridesmaids were gowned as Disney princesses, from Cinderella to Jasmine.
The groomsmen wore hats or other accessories to identify them as Disney characters.
Jennifer Seelye, the maid of honor, designed the dresses, which were constructed by Louise Hermes of O'Fallon. "I started about four months ago. I got the designs early on and we tweaked them to work for each of the bridesmaids. We had scheduled three weeks for each dress to be produced," Hermes said. Hermes also constructed the groom's Prince Eric costume.
In proper fairy-tale fashion, the rain held off while the guests gathered at the amphitheater to the strains of Under the Sea, and until the happy groom picked up his bride and carried her out through a cloud of bubbles.
Even Pastor Lorn Dunn got into the spirit of the day. After he pronounced the two husband and wife, he smiled at the new couple. "Go on and kiss the girl," he said.