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.
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Creating an event like a wedding is something that should feel personal, include details that have meaning to the couple, as well as creating incredible new memories surrounded by family and friends! Well, that is exactly what Laura and Michael did for their big day in Bloomington, Illinois at the Marriott Hotel in Uptown Normal last weekend! They had so many incredible touches and surprises it will definitely be hard to forget! I started my time with the girls at Laura’s parent’s beautiful home where Laura was getting dressed! When I say the bride was excited for her big day I’m not lying! She was beaming from ear to ear when I first saw her! Her dad, Bob, even talked about how giddy Laura was right before going to get her hair and makeup done! So cute! When it came time to get Laura dressed her mom, Julie was ready to step in. Laura was stunning in her beaded form-fitting gown with a gorgeous illusion neckline. She topped off her look with a blusher veil and a cathedral length veil for the ceremony. She was a classic bride, who was ready to marry her man! My lovely second photographer, Kim, was able to visit with Michael and the guys in the morning as they got ready at the Marriott! Complete with his grey suit, shiny black shoes, white tie, and Star Wars cufflinks, Michael was looking pretty stylish himself! Laura and Michael showed off their love for all things Disney, where they met while working at the park in Florida, as well as their obsession with Star Wars! So much of an obsession that Michael popped the question on one knee in front of the Star Wars attraction at Disney! We even made sure we included these little aspects of their lives in their engagement session last year, which you can see HERE! Just wait until you see some of their wonderful details plus a few “Hidden Mickeys” spread about their day and even Laura’s dress!
The ceremony was at the beautiful Holy Trinty Catholic Church in Bloomington. Laura and Michael chose the perfect shade of purple to splash throughout their decor and florals as well as bridesmaids dresses and the groomsmen attire. The pair decided not to see one another until Laura’s long walk down the aisle, which made her entrance into the church and Michael’s huge smile when he caught his first glimpse of his bride absolutely worth it! These two simply couldn’t be more ecstatic to call each other husband and wife! The full Catholic mass was fantastic with a packed church and tons of excellent singers, musicians, and readings to present the importance of Laura and Michael’s marriage. Once they sealed it with a kiss (and a high five), the newlyweds exited to the organs playing The Force Suite from Star Wars (I recognized it right away but had to look up the name so hopefully I got it right)! It was completely fitting and a fun way for the pair to end their ceremony! They were met outside by their loved ones waving purple and white ribbons (which had a hidden Mickey charm of course) before we were able to grab a few photos of the new Mr. & Mrs. O’Connor in front of the church and a vintage Packard car! These turned out so great and really added to their classic and chic wedding day! Laura and Michael had requested to make a stop for photos at a location that was near and dear to their hearts, which was the Community Cancer Center Garden. Laura’s grandparents have a stone in the garden and on top of this, it was a lovely location where the sun was setting on the mild fall evening. The large bridal party was energetic and ready to celebrate! After photos of the full bridal party as well as the girls and guys separately, I was able to steal the couple to capture a few more intimate moments to themselves. The sun was dropping just at the right time to make these golden hour photos of the newly married Laura and Michael amazing! We made one more stop right outside the Marriott at a spot we also did during their e-session, which was the Normal Movie Theater! Since their wedding was the weekend before Halloween they were pumped when they found out one of their favorite movies, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was playing at the theater. It all came full circle as we took a few photos there while they were engaged here and now again when they had tied the knot! The added bonus was the movie name on the marquee!
When we entered the Marriott Ballroom it was totally transformed into a dazzling purple dream reception full of spectacular meaningful details to Laura and Michael! From the Disney touches like guest tables named after famous Disney couples, Alice in Wonderland themed treats and cake, plus a star-studded red carpet to walk on for photos before family and friends entered the reception. Laura and Michael really showed their loved ones how to Be There Guest! The couple even surprised their family with a choreographed first dance compiled of Disney music, Dirty Dancing moves, and other pop hits! And not to be outdone by his new son-in-law, Bob got out on the dance floor to show his moves with his daughter too! And that is how they got the party started! The dance floor was packed the majority of the night with throwbacks of the “The Carlton”, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Michael Jackson. Elvis himself even made an appearance to serenade the couple and the guests! And a touching Apron Dance, where the bride’s veil was removed and replaced with an apron as her and her new husband were surrounded by singing family members capped off the night! I know I had an awesome time at their reception so I imagine the party was kicking far after I left!
Thank You to both Laura and Michael as well as their families for allowing me to be a part of their marvelous wedding day! This will be one for the books! It was quite the fairytale!
I wanted to give a HUGE Shout Out to Laura & Michael’s Incredible Vendors who worked tirelessly to make their day Amazing! Reception Venue: The Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Bloomington-Normal https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bmimc-bloomington-normal-marriott-hotel-and-conference-center/Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church http://www.holytrinitybloomington.orgWedding Coordinator: Palace events http://www.palaceevent.comVideographer: Embee Videography http://www.embeevideography.comPhoto Booth: J. Kelley Photo Booths http://columbiamophotobooth.comFlorist: Viva la Flora http://vlfnow.comCake Artist: Sugar Mama Bakery http://sugarmamabakery.netDJ: Palma entertainment https://palma-entertainment.comHair & Makeup Artist: First Edition Salon http://firsteditiononline.comBride’s Dress: Elite Bridal http://www.elitebridalshop.comBridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal https://www.davidsbridal.comMen’s Attire: Churchill’s Formal Wear http://www.churchillsformalwear.com