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!


Ryan & Rachel {married}

Ryan & Rachel are an incredible couple. Their steady, deeply considerate affection for each other resonates through every encounter you may be blessed to have with them and extends to the people around them. For more on their love story, click on over here.      Their day began at the Stade home, filled with sunlight, laughter and the occasional happy tear. Rachel descended the stairs to the delighted smiles of her family and bridesmaids, before being whisked away to the church and her eager groom. gsb20 gsb23 01The church was beautifully enhanced with some of our favorite flower arrangements ever – provided by Erin of Event Floral.  After a heart-felt ceremony, the bride and groom made a quick get-a-way in a fantastic antique car. After formal church photos the bridal party was taken by an old fashioned Trolley and transported in style to the grounds of the Ellwood House for wedding photos.02 03gsb19 gsb16 gsb15 gsb13After a laughter-filled time of photos, the new Mr. & Mrs. climbed aboard the trolley with our final destination of Aquaviva Winery and a stunning reception. The entire day was meticulously coordinated by Amanda of La’Di Events and could not have been more seamless. The vineyard was just showing glimpses of a new summer’s crop – it was a perfect backdrop for the new couple to have a few quiet moments together.gsb9 07 06 gsb8 gsb7 gsb12 gsb11 04 05gsb41009gsb5gsb1gsb2The Aquaviva dining room was candlelit, filled with flowers and overflowing with delicious smells and of course, wine! The night was filled with beauty and lots of dancing to the stellar sounds of Hey Jimmy – Rachel is a talented musician and the music at her wedding and reception reflected both impeccable taste and equally talented friends. 11glab_band-dancegsb6Ryan & Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your wedding day with us, it was truly an honor and we pray God’s richest blessings in your new life together.

Vendors:                                                                                                                          Wedding Coordinator – Amanda Stowe                                 Flowers – Erin, Event Floral                                       Transportation – Carla, Village Trolley                                        Photo Location – The Ellwood House, DeKalb IL                 Reception – Aquaviva Winery, Maple Park IL                    Music – Hey Jimmy                                                         Photography – Pulse Photography & Design     

Derek + Brianna {engaged}

About 5 years ago, Derek went out to dinner with his mother, little did he know, he was going to meet his future wife there. As fate would have it, Brianna was their waitress. One thing led to another and their love story began in that restaurant.
Every year, Derek and Brianna attend the Montgomery Fire Department parade and gathering for all the family members of the fire department. Santa comes for all the little kids and calls their name for them to come up and open a gift. Every year it was a running joke that Derek was going to put Brianna’s name on a gift for Santa to give to her. Last year, her name was called and she was very hesitant to go get the gift, but she went up not realizing Derek was walking behind her. It was then that he got down on one knee and proposed.
Just by spending a little time with the two of them, you can tell that they love to spend time with one another and always seem to have fun together no matter what they’re doing. They also spend a lot of time joking and laughing together.
We started their engagement session with some fireman photos then moved on to some more casual photos as well. Hoover Forest Preserve was beautiful, as the leaves had just started to change – and the lighting was incredible. Some of the most beautiful light I’ve ever photographed in! We are really excited for their wedding on October 3 next year- can’t wait to see what hints of the fire department they will incorporate into it!

9433 9451 9483 9486 9490 9507 9508 9521 9527 9530 9553 9570 9578 9606 9616 9645

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.
02 03 04 05 06
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.
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
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.

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
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!
01 03 02
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.
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.
10benchmaids 14 15girls 16
13flowers bride1
12bride31817woods more kisses20spoon laugh backlight hands feet walking kisses
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.
fountains rings24cuddlereceptiondeets firstdance 1stdance
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!


Kyle + Ali | married

They met playing volleyball, got engaged on the college court she played on and multiple stories throughout the wedding day revolved around – volleyball! While Ali’s favorite sport may have had it’s only special place in the sweet love story surrounding her, it was obvious where her deepest devotion and incredible love lies most fervent – Kyle. Kyle and Ali – we had so much fun hearing your stories and watching the people around you glow with happiness on your wedding day!

The day started with sunshine and blue skies, a huge turn around from snow/rain just days earlier. Ali was busily getting ready, but stopped to share her delight in how her hand made ring boxes turned out and to smell some gorgeous flowers provided by the ever talented Katydidit Flowers.


Ali shared some special moments with her mom and attendants, and a first look with her father and brothers just before she made her way down the aisle to her new husband.
Kyle and his groomsmen were ready early, and enjoyed their morning with casual conversation. We love the personal touch of the tie tacks Kyle made for himself and each of the groomsmen.
The moment he finally saw her was perfectly captured in his reaction.
On our way to the reception we stopped at the Millbrook bridge and had a great, albeit windy time catching some fun memories and adding a few sweet ones, too. This is one good looking group of people!


The White Tail Ridge Golf Course was bathed in golden sunset light when we arrived and after stopping for a first dance and a cupcake, we went back out and caught the last few glimmers of light.


What would make a groom and bride have this reaction?! The best men’s (the grooms 2 brothers) speech, of course! Let’s just say it was very creative, different, and had the whole room laughing.Image
Kyle and Ali, we had so much fun celebrating your wedding day with you two. We could not have asked for a more fun-loving, laid-back couple. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Hunzeker!

To see more photos from their wedding, click here!

Bill & Kristina {married}

They met as a result of persistent friends who were determined to set them up. On their first date, April 1st, Kristina posted a photo of a ring with the status ‘he did good!’ on Facebook – eliciting exactly the response she was going for – the coup of all April Fool’s jokes. Little did she know that June 28th she would post the same status, this time it was for real! Their relationship is one that many would look upon from the outside and label it a ‘whirl-wind’ but if you have the privilege of knowing them – together – you would quickly change that adjective to ‘bed-rock’. Theirs is a deeply connected love that has the depth you recognize when you watch a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. To top it off, Bill is a fantastic friend from college who, in addition to being one of my husband’s closest friends also stood up in our wedding. Such an honor to be able to serve in his. Bill & Kristina, your day was nothing short of stunning and we wish you the absolute very best.37We began our day at Kristina’s family’s home, although over-cast the house was brimming with joy and laughter – and beautiful things! (Kristina is the VP of an awesome chain of stores called Hot Mama – totally worth checking out) it’s easy to see where the boutique’s endless supply of great fashion stems from. We were greeted with a gorgeous Alfred Angelo gown, amazing jewelry (J. Crew) and her grandmother’s antique watch and purse. 36Bill designed Kristina’s ring and not only nailed it in sentimentality (the nestling diamonds symbolize their hearts fitting together) he also took Kristina’s love of mixing silver, gold and platinum into consideration. Winning.35 34We had the honor of working for the first time with an incredibly talented hair stylist and make-up artist, Mark Navarro ( Conversation and snacking centered around his work as each lovely lady had her turn in Mark’s chair as Mark worked his magic. 34.5 33Shoes. They were gold, and glittery and gorgeous, and one photo wasn’t enough! 33.5Under a deluge of rain we made our way to the church as Kristina and her sister’s prepared to dress and make final preparations before the ceremony. Dear friends were on hand to assist in numerous ways and there was a remarkably peaceful flow to the day. 32 Kristina’s sweet niece loved hearing all the comments on how she looked ‘just’ like her Aunt and we caught her stepping into Kristina’s shoes just to see how much more she match. 303128Kristina’s mom and dad came in separately to see her dressed, both reactions were priceless and had us tearing up too. Such an incredibly loving family!29 27 26 25 24Kristina’s sisters served as her attendants and her niece and nephews were on hand to celebrate their Aunt’s special day as well. Some were more excited than others! 23  22.521Bill & Kristina’s ceremony centered around their families – Bill’s brother, Tom, stood up as his best man and later Tom was joined by his wife and other friends to provide music.2022   19Mr. & Mrs. Richards sealed it with a kiss and we headed out into the rain to capture a few additional shots at the Lake Geneva Country Club before the reception.  1718 16 15Kristina mentioned prior to their wedding that they weren’t very photogenic. We believe otherwise. Honestly you two, your future children will be ridiculously good looking. 14 13 13.5 12With the rain on our heels we made it indoors where friends enthusiastically greeted the happy couple and an amazing evening of food, laughter and celebrating commenced. 11Kristina’s father owns the country club and every last detail was beautifully planned and perfectly executed. Kristina’s touch was evident throughout. 10A series of some of the funniest toasts we have ever heard followed dinner, story after story was shared, several to the chagrin and inevitably laughter of the couple. 9 8While on the dance floor with her father, Kristina couldn’t resist her mother’s smile and she gladly joined them. 7 6This is rapidly turning into a record length post, that could continue another 30 photos, but we will conclude with these last images – so much love. Love much waited for and deeply treasured. God’s richest blessings on your new life together.  5– posted by Joanna