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.
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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!

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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!

Dan & Kristen {married}

This wedding was so much fun from behind the camera! It was our last wedding for October and Tammy’s cousin’s wedding day which meant I felt like I was at one of my cousins weddings. So much love and laughter filled the day and I’m so very thankful that I not only have such a great business partner, but that I vicariously get to be a part of another incredible family. Meet Kristen – Tammy’s beautiful cousin! She met me with a huge smile and was very gracious as I started out the day with a few unusual glitches with my gear. Kristen took it all in stride and cared only that at the end of the day she was Mrs. Malkowski. Seriously, she put on her dress twice and laughed her way through it. Amazing.dnk3 dnk2 dnk1 dnk6 dnk5 dnk7I joined Kristen’s handsome groom, Dan, and his groomsmen down stairs in the church, they quickly boutonniere’d up with a little help from his mom, said a quick prayer, and headed upstairs to start the ceremony. Dan’s tiny nieces stole smiles from everyone and decided to have their own moment at the alter. So cute! After a meaningful ceremony and heart-felt ‘I do’s’ Mr. & Mrs. Malkowski stepped out into a gorgeous fall day to cheers and a shower of bubbles. dnk8 dnk10dnk9dnk11dnk12dnk13We stopped on our way to the reception at Silver Springs State Park – the colors were stunning and the sun continued to bring a little extra warmth the crisp fall day.dnk14 dnk15 9680 dnk16 dnk17 dnk19 dnk34 dnk18 dnk28-5 dnk39 dnk30 dnk33 dnk32 dnk23 dnk22 dnk21 dnk29 dnk28 dnk25 dnk27Kristen’s grandfather was incredibly involved in his community and they decided to honor him by having their reception at the Newark American Legion, that he poured himself into for many years. Kristen’s family worked tirelessly transforming the hall. Lights and flowers burst from every corner as the groom swept his bride around the room for their first dance.recep_deets dnk35 dng36 dnk37The night was filled with many memorable moments – I had to force myself to narrow down my choices to share here – but at the very end of it all, the most important thing felt and shared by everyone – was the love and commitment evident in every laugh from Kristen and smile from Dan.

Dan & Kristen – thank you so much for your kindness and generosity – it was such an honor to be a part of your day and I pray God’s richest blessings on you both in many years to come.
{posted by Joanna}

Chris & Alina {married}

Chris and Alina’s wedding day started at Long Grove Community Church. Alina, her mother, and her bridesmaids were excitedly preparing for the day. Chris, his father, and his groomsmen were relaxed, chatting about fantasy football and enjoying the morning together.
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All of the details for their wedding were exceptional. Nothing was overlooked. Alina’s mother is a florist and she worked very hard preparing all the perfect flowers for the wedding – they looked and smelled amazing! Chris beamed with joy as Alina’s father walked her down the aisle. The couple exchanged looks of pure love and joyfulness throughout the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the couple released doves as a sign of peace.
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The reception took place at the beautiful Armour House at Lake Forest Academy. It’s an absolutely gorgeous venue. Everywhere we looked was one beautiful sight after another. When you add the exquisite florals from Alina’s mother, it made everything that much more beautiful, unique and special for Chris and Alina’s wedding day.
We were able to take the bridal party around the grounds for photos. It was fun to watch Chris and Alina just relax with their closest family and friends. Then we got some more personal time with just Chris and Alina and let them have some quiet moments to themselves. The smiles on their faces said it all.

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They spend the rest of their evening dancing, talking, and laughing the night away with their family and friends. Chris and Alina, we could not have asked for a more beautiful wedding day. You two are incredible together and we wish you all the very best in your lives together! Thank you for letting us be a part of your day – we loved it! Congratulations!

Greg & Lauren {married}

Greg and Lauren have been together for 9 years. Although it wasn’t exactly love at first sight (it’s a funny story – ask Lauren!) the last 9 years have been spent full of love and laughter for these two. They have something very special together and it’s instantly obvious when you see them together. They’re always doing something romantic for each other, whether it’s just something small like leaving notes around the house to brighten the other ones day, or planning a surprise dream proposal in front of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. When I see them together, they make me smile – a lot!
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The ceremony was outdoors at the beautiful Settler’s Park in Plainfield, IL in the Richard A. Rock Amphitheater. We loved that before the ceremony, Greg and Lauren wanted to pray together, without seeing each other. As soon as Greg saw Lauren coming down the aisle, he turned to the pastor and asked “Can I kiss her now?” How sweet is that!? During the ceremony, the couple constructed a Unity Cross to celebrate them joining together as one.
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After the ceremony, we took the bridal party around Settler’s Park for some photos. Although it was a touch chilly, we were thankful for a beautiful day. Shortly after bridal party photos, we drove just down the road to Mather Woods Forest Preserve to photograph the new Mr. & Mrs. – sunlight flooded the wooded paths and fields, only enhancing their joy.
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The reception was at Jennifer’s Garden in Morris, IL. It’s a beautiful venue with flowered grounds and a fountain in the back, which were the perfect backdrop for sunset photos with the newlyweds. After a few last photos they joined their family and friends to celebrate and dance the night away.
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Greg and Lauren, we think you two are amazing together. Greg, I know I’m “preaching to the choir” when I say this, but you sir, are a lucky man. I also know how happy you make Lauren and how much she adores you. Your love for each other is a true treasure. We are so thankful to have been a part of your wedding. Congratulations! We pray that God will continue to bless your marriage!

 

Matt & Kelly {married}

Sincere. Steady. Unshakeable. All words that perfectly reflect Matt & Kelly’s relationship. In the hours leading up to their wedding you could see ‘steady’ joy as they counted down the minutes until they would see each other at opposite ends of the aisle. Their family and close friends surrounded them as they carefully made sure every last touch was in place.makeup rings bridal details bride dressing shoesWe groomsmen prep boutThere were a few unexpected twists to the day and schedules had to be altered – missing place cards threw one last little wrench in the day, but Matt told Kelly he would take care of it and instead of kicking back with the guys he plowed through their guest list the hour before the ceremony. Once she knew Matt was taking care of things, Kelly relaxed and it was one little way that he proclaimed his love just as loudly as the diamond he would shortly place on her finger. workThe sun was shining, the skies were blue and the day was perfect for an out-door ceremony. White Eagle Country Club was a stunning venue that set the scene for the shining bride as she met her groom on a flower strewn path – flowers compliments of Matt’s tiny niece!flowergirlsbvowsceremony2 ceremony mrnmrsThis wedding was unique for me as a photographer as Matt is Tammy’s brother. I was very ably assisted by Dallas (http://www.dallasarthurphotography.com) and it was fun to see my hard-working business partner enjoy her brothers big day. Her little guy was a hit as the ring bearer and he definitely knows how to make his Uncle smile!babyman men2 girls men girls2 cheers formal crewSent off with cheers from their bridal party, Matt & Kelly stole a few moments together and Tammy joined me to catch her brother and new sister enjoying their new status.cuddles bridge2 9710 9707 9703 sunurst 9744 garden2 garden walkingpretty walking IMG_9782The new Mr. & Mrs. Neitzer were welcomed to their reception with a flurry of well wishes and some enthusiastic announcements – followed by cutting their fantastic cake.reception deets grandetntrance cake cutcakeAs dinner drew to a close, Matt whisked his bride to the dance floor. Kelly’s brother had the honor of the first bridal dance and Matt’s mom joined him for a special dance.firstdance brosis mothersonMatt & Kelly, it was such a honor to be a part of your day. I loved watching you lean into each other – for support, out of deep love and genuine thankfulness. May the years ahead be incredibly full and blessed!

Dallas, thank you again for your great assistance, truly!

{posted by Joanna}