Alex & Christine {married}

As if to add emphasis to the rapidly approaching holidays, the wind blew fiercely on the morning of Alex and Christine’s wedding day. Tucked inside the historic Harrington Inn, however, nothing could diminish the joy of the soon to be married couple. Christine’s suite brimmed with family and attendants as she donned her exquisite dress and prepared to meet her groom on the elegant front staircase.diamondinsetweddingbandA porter1 lacebackbuttonupweddinggownAlex waited excitedly for his bride as family gathered around to witness their first glimpse of each other. waitingtomeetthebride porter2 firstlookBecause their wedding day’s timeline the couple had the entirety of their bridal party and family photos take prior to the ceremony. They moved between two nearby locations, the Harrington Inn and Riverside Receptions. The stunning old architecture positioned on the Fox River provided unique and lovely photos. porter6 porter4Christine, you were the epitome of a radiant bride. Alex is a lucky man! porter9 porter11 porter7 englishbried gazeboweddingphotos fallweddingcouple bridalglamour porter3Don’t let the ease of their smiles fool you! The wind was frigid and temperatures continued to plummet. Clearly this did not diminish their excitement or anticipation for this long awaited day. casualweddingcouple blackandwhiteweddingphotos photojournalisticweddingphotos romanticweddingkiss vintagestyleweddingphotos vintagebridalstyle porter8 porter5Because Alex & Christine took their photos early in the day to accommodate the short amount of daylight they were able to enjoy a leisurely cocktail hour with their guests. Fires blazed on Riverside’s massive stone hearths decorated with twinkling lights, candles and photos of various family members on their wedding days. Ice tinkled in crystal glasses while laughter and warmth illuminated the beautiful, old stone walls – every corner reverberating with happiness as guests congratulated the newlyweds.cocktailhourThe dining room was beautifully appointed with a stunning view of the river and city skyline. Gold details added a warm glow to the tables while the scent of chocolate cake permeated the room. candlelitdiningroom chocolatenakedcakeAlthough incredibly cold and windy, Alex and Christine stepped out into the night for a few more special photos. Together they took a quiet, chilly moment to let all the events of the day sink in. The icy silence interrupted only by the sounds of the river contrasted sharply with the laughter and warmth that spilled out the opened door, a few sweet kisses later Mr. & Mrs. Porter rejoined their guests and danced the night away.porter12Alex & Christine, it was such an honor to be a part of your beautiful day, congratulations!!!


Giuseppe & April {married}

Conversation flowed from every room and the open front door of Giuseppe’s childhood home. Parents, siblings, cousins and friends filled the gracious home to overflowing as Giuseppe excitedly prepared with his best man’s help. groomstuxdetailsIn the months prior to the wedding I was continually struck with Giuseppe’s attention to detail and creativity. In his parent’s home, built and designed entirely by his father and immaculately decorated by his mother it was a simple matter to see where these attributes came from.  brothersonweddingdayGiuseppe’s twin brother and best man kept the morning light with his laughter and jokes, their older brother – who designed the April’s wedding rings – had a final, stunning touch: hand made, perfectly finished cuff links. comp1Lovely blue and silver themes ran throughout the wedding party’s attire, the decor and of course this stunning paper suite. navypapersuiteGiuseppe had prepared a beautiful boudoir table for April’s arrival later in the morning, gorgeous long stemmed roses, a hand-written letter and surprise gifts all lay in ready. brides wedding day giftsbridesweddingmorning peach and white bouquetApril’s flowers, in the palest peachy hues, provided a light contrast to the deep blue shades found in her bridesmaids dresses. Both her mother and mother-in-law were on hand to help arrange every last detail. momputtingonveil gartersAs the final touches were placed April eagerly opened Giuseppe’s letter. Tears immediately started to gather in her eyes and she softly took a deep breathe before continuing, “He’s such a romantic, how am I going to read all of this?!”bridesgiftGiuseppe’s eyes shone just as softly 30 minutes later when he laid eyes on his beautiful bride coming down the aisle; love, joy and a just a little pride spilled out of his smile at the stunning woman who joined him at the altar.groomseeingbrideforthefirsttimegroomataltarInspiring words tinged with humor, traditional vows and a sweet kiss later Mr. & Mrs. Campobasso emerged from the chapel amid the cheers of their family and friends.just marriedAs they rounded the corner Giuseppe caught his bride up in a sweet embrace – they were married!!justmarriedThe rain that had been softly coming down all morning paused long enough to visit a nearby park with the wedding party for a few memorable photos.quietweddingmoment comp15April, you are lovely – I really can’t say it any other way!  comp4 comp12 comp6 comp7 comp8Giuseppe’s brothers definitely kept things light and he congenially put up with their ribbing. comp13 comp14 comp11 comp10bridesmaidslaughing sassybrideblueweddingshoescomp16comp9brideholdsgroomsfaceThe reception venue was exquisitely appointed and every detail was carefully chosen by the couple. Flowers, candles, gemstones and color were a profusion throughout the ballroom – completed with rich blue up-lighting and delicious food.beautifulplacesettingsLove and laughter filled every corner of the room as April and Joey cut their cake and enjoyed their families toasts, a surprise slide show and many heart warming stories.cake fight cuteGiuseppe’s father was on hand to make sure a unique perspective of the garter toss was captured!hilariousgarterphotoApril’s bouquet was caught by Giuseppe’s sister = perfection!funbouquettossgarter tossA beautifully choreographed, perfectly executed first dance was finished with a picture perfect dip and kiss. Giuseppe and April, you had a truly incredible wedding day and it was such an honor to be a part of it! May you have many, many happy married years to come!!!romanticfirstdancekiss

Daren & Amanda {married}

Daren and Amanda have a relationship that makes you step back and think ‘they just fit’ – truly, a perfect linking of two hearts uniquely molded together. Their wedding day was stunningly perfect – late fall sunshine poured through every window as Amanda joyfully prepared at their town house. Surrounded by her parents, bridesmaids and several handsome feline friends. Amanda’s attention to detail saturated their wedding day; the moment I stepped through her front door her love of vintage and perfectly coordinating decor made me realize how carefully she’d woven in the things she loves to her wedding day. Every little touch pointed back to the gentle, lovely woman who chose them.clary4 clary1 clary2 clary3 clary5As soon as both parties had arrived at Whitetail Ridge Golf Club, Daren was set for the couple’s first look. Amanda approached him slowly and it was one of the most peaceful and sincere first looks we’ve ever witnessed. So many emotions led up to this moment and their reactions were priceless.
The couple enjoyed a few quiet moments together before their bridal party joined them. We had so much fun with this group. The sunshine and warm breeze made it feel like summer!
C4C5C8C11clary8 clary7C6clary_9C10C7C12CLARY GIRLSC9Weather for an outdoor wedding in October is always hard to predict – this day could not have been more perfect. Daren and Amanda were surrounded by their family and friends on Whitetails back patio as they became husband and wife, in a heartfelt ceremony. clary12Shortly after the ceremony, the couple snuck out to catch a few photos with the most gorgeous sunset. The views at Whitetail were breathtaking. clary11 clary_10 clary13
Daren and Amanda were surrounded by their family and friends on Whitetails back patio as they became husband and wife, in a heartfelt ceremony. Shortly after the ceremony, the couple snuck out to catch a few photos with the most gorgeous sunset. The views at Whitetail were breathtaking.
c17c16As the sun sunk below the horizon, Daren and Amanda returned to their reception ready to celebrate the night away. clary 14
Such a happy day surrounded by so much admiration and love for each other. We loved being a small part of it. We are so happy for you two and wish you all the best. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you two!

Derek + Brianna | married

Derek and Brianna’s share something unique – a mirthful connection that’s brimming just below the surface that they bring out in each other at a moments notice. Their wedding day was true to form full of laughter and took place on a chilly fall day at the newly renovated Fisherman’s Inn in Elburn, Illinois.
12Bri was surrounded with her mom and bridesmaids as she prepared to meet Derek – partially through her uncle called her out to the hallway where he had a special gift for her – a beautiful heirloom necklace, and a gentle hug followed by sweet congratulations.
171819Derek had plenty of help getting ready to meet his lovely bride, and everyone gathered excitedly at the foot of the staircase waiting for their special moment to unfold.ha
Brianna excitedly flew down the stairs to meet her groom to the cheers of their bridal party and family. The chilly wind and threatening storm clouds did nothing to diminish their enthusiasm.
The venue has gorgeous grounds that Derek, Brianna, and their awesome bridal party bravely explored in spite of the wind and cold.
1213hi611109hi7hi13hi5ahi1ahi116hi253hi6a64hi11hi4Derek is a fireman (as were several groomsmen). We loved all of the touches of the ‘firefighter’ theme they incorporated into their wedding, especially this antique fire truck.
hi7bhi987hi7ahi7chi8hi10hi12Even though it was a lot colder than what you would expect for the first weekend of October, we were so happy the couple still decided to go forward with their outdoor wedding (don’t let the photos fool you – it’s so much colder than it looks!) They were such troopers!
After a night full of love, dancing, and so much celebrating, Derek and Brianna exited their reception through a sidewalk full of family and friends cheering with sparklers and ended the night with this sweet kiss.
What a fun night! Derek and Brianna, we were so happy to capture and celebrate your love with you. We wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

Jim & Traci {married}

We love weddings and get to capture many stunning ones regularly, but a beautiful wedding doesn’t result in a successful marriage – that takes time, sacrifice, grace, forgiveness and so much more. Today’s blog post details the perfect combination of a beautiful wedding that will truly result in a stunning marriage. Jim & Traci, the love you share, the deep regard for Christ and each other, your intentional kindness add up to the ultimate combination for a very happy marriage. It was such an honor to capture your day, many thanks!!!

Traci began her day with the perfect bouquet, great hair and fabulous jewelry, surrounded by her mother, aunt and bridal party. After completing the last touches she slipped out behind the church to meet Jim under a massive, gnarled tree for one of our favorite first looks of the year. 2 3 19The perfect light, their love and the best few quiet moments together before walking down the aisle. This is why we love when our couples opt to see each other before their ceremony!21 d1 20 d3 One last squeeze and they parted; seeing each other before Traci walked down the aisle diminished none of the joy and emotion in Jim’s face when she joined him at the altar. 18 4 17After a beautiful ceremony their wedding party joined them for photos at LeRoy Oaks, complete with a perfect stone cottage and lots of September sunshine. 16 15 13 d6 d5 d4 10 d11 14 d12 9 d8 d10 d9 d7 12 11 d14Mr. & Mrs. Dunne joined their guests at Royal Fox Country Club for a fabulous Gatsby themed reception. Traci jokes she is a detail person and the evening reflected her attention to each aspect. 1 8 7 d15We pulled the happy couple out for a few last photos at sunset. It can sometimes feel like your having photos taken all day long, but even five minutes can result in a few more captured memories that will truly be worth it at the end of the day.  5 d16 6Jim & Traci, we’re so thankful for allowing us to be a part of your day and pray God’s richest blessings in many happy years together!

*To read more of Jim & Traci’s story, click here!

Derek & Melissa {married}

After 8 years of dating (much of which was long distance), Derek and Melissa finally woke up and prepared for their wedding day. Happily surrounded by her family and bridesmaids, Melissa eagerly prepared. Perfect touches were added in a last curl from her hair stylist, an excited hug from her sister and a beautiful cameo ring from her mother-in-law.213456Derek got ready in their home with his groomsmen and some family. Everyone was very relaxed and ready for the big day ahead of them.

We always love when couples opt to do a first look. Derek and Melissa’s was full of so much happiness and joy. It’s easy to see the love between these two.
Melissa, your eyes are incredible! Such a gorgeous bride.
Their ceremony took place outside on the patio at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in early September. Surrounded by their family, friends, and coworkers, Derek and Melissa became husband and wife. The ceremony was full of sincerity and heartfelt emotion. 9 10
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The tented pavilion at Klein Creek Golf Club was decorated beautifully with personal touches from the couple. During the first dance, the room was full of 8 years worth of romance mixed with fresh, newly-wedded bliss.
Derek and Melissa, you two are so incredible together. We love the way you laugh together and how easily you can make each other smile. It was so special for us to capture your wedding – being in the presence of your love all day made our hearts so happy! We wish you two all the best! Congratulations!

Ryan & Jessica {married}

Light streamed through the window of the bridal suite at the James Hotel, but all was silent as the bride and her attendants had not yet arrived from the salon. Jessica’s dress hung from the mirror, beautiful flowers – hand crafted by the bride – and perfectly coordinated accessories all lay in readiness; each detail evidence of a great eye and careful planning.deets dressThen laughter began to drift down the hallway and in mere seconds the room was filled with the bridal party – and joy – so much joy! Jessica slipped into her dress with her mother and maid of honor’s help. Jessica’s other attendants gathered around as she finished preparing surrounding her with support and a few well-timed jokes. Laughter, anticipation, lots of hugs and a few teary eyes here and there and the bride was ready for her groom! 7104 7120 7146 7165 1717Just before she was whisked out the door to the limo waiting outside, Jessica opened her gift from Ryan – a bracelet and set of beautiful charms – but she opened a little note/cartoon first. As she unrolled the paper she looked up and said, “I guarantee it’s a drawing!” seconds later, prediction proven accurate, she was surprised to see 4 small boxes in addition to her ‘illustration.’ Ryan even included a tiny owl – her favorite animal! gift 7180While the girls readied at the James, Ryan, his brother and other groomsmen prepared at his childhood home. Ryan, his mother and siblings share a deep, loving connection and it’s easy to understand how he and Jessica have created such a remarkable relationship with each other. Their wedding day a beautiful back drop for their love and connection.s1The Schram Chapel was overflowing with friends and family. Once again each aspect of the interior was careful arranged and hand-crafted by the bride with the help of her father. After arriving at the chapel Jessica’s father shared a few tender moments with her as he laid eyes on his beautiful daughter for the first time that day.S2ceremonyRyan’s eyes were just as soft as he saw his bride for the first time – Jessica you are deeply loved by the men in your life!7296S3Not to be outside of the moment when he handed their daughter to Ryan, Jessica’s father looked back at her mother. A moment any parent can understand in a heartbeat – love – pride – joy – mixed with just a little nostalgia at this next step in life.731973527349S47480A sweet kiss in a shower of bubbles and cheers and Mr. & Mrs. Standridge joined their wedding party for toasts and a few photos!limo S6 S5 7558 7736 7794 S17 7604Ryan & Jessica had a truly talented videography team we were priviledged to work with for their wedding day, Luis did an incredible job directing memorable moments for the entire wedding party! 7825 7541 S7 7555 7713 S16 S18 S12 S11 S8 S9 S10 S13 S15 S14 7791 7652 7681After a few last quiet moments for the day Ryan & Jessica emerged to the exuberant cheers of the guests on the Empress banquet hall. Once again Jessica and her father outdid themselves in exquisitely hand-crafted centerpieces and many other personal touches – every corner glowed with candles, flowers and gems.jessreceptnS19S20Ryan & Jessica shared a tender first dance after which Jessica was joined on the dance floor by her father – who had another surprise for her – he sang!jessdance jessdaddance thanksjessnryRyan & Jessica, thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your day – it was stunning! We wish you the very best and many, many happy years ahead of you!