I am a wedding and portrait photographer who keeps things light, fun, and full of energy. I’m based out of Springfield, Illinois however I love traveling all over the midwest and beyond.
inquire about your session!
Meeting and working with a couple like Leslie and Vikash is like one of those amazing dreams you will always remember. Full of details that are as clear the next day as they were when you experienced them firsthand while sleeping. One that you wake up hoping truly happened in real life and you relive over and over again. Luckily for me, their gorgeous Hindu Fusion wedding at the Illinois State Fairground Expo Building in Springfield, Illinois was breathtaking and real! If you spend any time with both Leslie and Vikash, they will make you feel as though you have known them forever. I felt this way about them from the moment we met at their engagement session, which you can find HERE. They are both so warm and excited to share their lives with anyone who comes into it. All that warmth went into their big day and it showed in each spectacular part of the wedding.
I love shooting the details of the bride’s wedding dress along with her accessories. Yet, with Leslie’s attire I was granted double the fun since she planned two looks including her classic white dress with awesome beading on the bodice and sides of the gown. As well as her red, velvet Sari covered in beautiful golden adornments. Her eight incredible bridesmaids wore delicate white Saris with pearl beading in the top, which came right from India! Talk about a group of elegant goddesses! Vikash’s dapper style, however would not be short of his soon to be bride. He sported a slick navy tux, crisp white collared shirt, navy bowtie, and stylishly folded pocket square. Once his boutonniere with a pop of red was added, he was ready to rock! His fun-loving group of guys had matching style except wore navy ties to allow Vikash to stand out with his fancy bowtie.
Leslie and Vikash’s first look was planned to take place at Lincoln Park up north on the charming stone bridge. Because hair and makeup for the girls took a bit longer than originally planned due to so many ladies getting beautified, we arranged to have the bride and groom go ahead of the rest of the bridal party in order to take care of one of the best moments of the day. Vikash was elated to she his stunning fiance in her intricate white dress paired with her decorative mehndi body art! Sometimes when our plans go a bit astray from the timeline it can stress out the couple…and me! However, after many days of ceremonies, blessings, decorating, and hopping around town I think the time Leslie and Vikash were able to spend with one another for photos was that much more special. They were relaxed and could focus on only each other, which at the end of the day, was what it is all about. The two of them beamed next to each other! Then add in the exquisite flowers, which provided such bright colors and textures and completed the look allowing us to capture many intimate memories for the couple. When the bridal party arrived at the park we had a blast with huge group before rushing off to the fairgrounds.
The next part of the day was a whirlwind with an outfit change for Leslie and Vikash into their Indian attire. Family and friends on Vikash’s side helped Leslie into her Sari along with all the sparkling jewels she needed to wear for the ceremony. By the time they were done with her, Leslie was transformed into a magnificent piece of artwork with her huge smile shining brighter than the jewelry she donned on her forehead, neck, and arms. She was divine! The Hindu ceremony was wonderful for me to witness as many of the customs were new to me. One main point I was told to watch for was the offering of a coconut. The coconut in the Indian culture is a symbol for good luck and prosperity. Both the bride and groom were given a golden coconut to carry to the ceremony which they presented to the priest. Other customs such as offerings placed into a fire, which in Hinduism, fire is regarded as a purifier and a sustainer of life, as well as the bride and groom walking around the fire while prayers are said. To say the ceremony was lovely would be an understatement.
Before the newlyweds ran off one more time to change back into their traditional wedding attire, I snuck them away from their guests for a few more bridal party photos along with more of just the two of them. Although they were so very hot in the 90 degree weather, in the non air conditioned building, in their heavy clothing, they were both still so pleasant. They genuinely are fantastic people and even better as a couple! When they returned to the reception they cut their delicious cake, took a few spins around the dance floor, listened to a few great toasts and then the party began! Before their cool band, Fun DMC, started with their always excellent mashup medleys, they graciously played a few songs to celebrate Navratri, which is a multi-day Hindu festival that happens in the autumn. The dancers formed a big circle and all danced in unison around the floor! It was awesome to see!
Leslie and Vikash’s wedding was the perfect fusion of two people, their cultures, and the love they share for each other. They couldn’t be more perfect in marriage or care about one another anymore than they do already. As someone who has been married for 8 years (and by no means and expert) I very much enjoyed watching the two of them together with their gentle, kind-hearted, and supportive ways. I have no doubt they will have a long and flourishing marriage. Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Bhakta!
Shout Out to all of the Amazing Vendors for Leslie & Vikash’s Wedding:
Ceremony/Reception Venue: Illinois State Fairground Expo Building
Florist: True Colors Floral
Cake Artist: B&K Bakery
Band: Fun DMC
Videographer: COMPLETE weddings + events Nationwide
Makeup Artist: Erin Becker – Makeup Artist
Hair/Makeup Artist: Face & Fringe Allie Byerline
Bridesmaid Dresses: India
Tuxes: Savvi Formalwear – White Oaks Mall
Wedding Decor: Signature Event Rental