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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I can honestly say I have been highly anticipating Caitlin and Ryan’s winter wedding in central Illinois for a long time! Probably since the first time, I met with the couple and they began to tell me about all of the details they were planning. Well if I’m being truthful, Caitlin was telling me about all the amazing plans. Ryan was just along for the ride! Don’t get me wrong, he was over the moon about marrying the love of his life. But the details…Ryan left those up to Caitlin! Their wedding ceremony was to take place in Auburn and then the party was getting started at the Northfield Inn in Springfield, Illinois. Now with the wedding being planned for February, I could not predict what type of weather we could expect. According to the multiple weather apps I have on my phone it, unfortunately, looked like rain. Yet, when I arrived in Auburn where Caitlin and her girls were all getting primped and polished they were in very high and enthusiastic spirits! And it had stopped raining!
Caitlin’s warm and bubbly personality makes her such a dream to work with! She had planned everything on her wedding day down to a T and her vision was complete. However, on the day of the wedding, she openly handed off all responsibility to the people around her to make sure her plans went exactly as envisioned. I heard her say over and over again to me, “I fully trust you”, which adds even more confidence on my end that even when I’m making decisions throughout the day based on the weather and lighting to get the most for my couple…they are ready and willing to follow my lead! Caitlin’s girl squad surrounding her all day were absolutely incredible helping their daughter, sister, and friend on her big day! The four bridesmaids each wore a different style of black dress. They were some classy chicks if I do say so myself! And the bouquets they all carried were positively delightful! I mix of textures and colors like white, wine, and green made for the perfect accent piece against the classic look of the black dresses. When it was time for Caitlin to get dressed she was a vision! Absolutely stunning in her form-fitting lace gown. She was glowing as her mom and sister helped with finishing touches like borrowed family heirlooms perfect for the occasion. Rain or shine, it didn’t matter because Caitlin made a beautiful bride!
It was then time to meet Ryan and the boys who were looking very stylish themselves in black suits and wine colored accents. Ryan stood out with his necktie and a black vest as all the other groomsmen wore bowties and wine colored vests. Ryan is a very laid back guy and all he was ready for was to see his future wife for their first look! The salon where the girls got ready was right across the street from the square in Auburn where there is a quaint little gazebo. As we turned Ryan away from seeing Caitlin while we set her up you could feel the excitement from both the bride and groom. Caitlin gave Ryan a tap on the shoulder and he was able to see his bride for the first time on their special day! Both were smiling from ear to ear as they embraced one another and shared a few kisses…and a few tears. So sweet! From there we made our way over to the church for a few family photos before the ceremony began. The church was totally packed with loved ones of Caitlin and Ryan’s who had come to support the union of this pair. There were lovely and kind-hearted moments throughout including the Deacon, a family friend, expressing how most likely neither of them would remember anything he said during the nuptials, yet keeping their faith and closeness to one another would be what they needed to carry with them from their wedding day. After the exchange of vows, rings, and a delightful kiss they were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. Graham! YAY! Before heading off for more photos of the bridal party Caitlin and Ryan had one more “Must Have” photo with their furbaby, Kane and Caitlin’s family dog, Khloe! Kane has played an intricate role in Caitlin and Ryan’s relationship! He is a massive Great Dane, who helped Ryan pop the question to Caitlin a year ago, smiled for photos (and almost ate Caitlin’s ring) at their engagement session, which you can see and read the story HERE, and now came out on his parent’s wedding day! A total full circle moment I’m sure!
Before heading to the reception, the whole bridal party went to the Horace Mann building for a few more photos. With the threat of rain off and on, the overhead cover of the building was perfection! Because of Caitlin and Ryan’s elegant and classic style with everyone in black attire, I thought they would pop right off the beautiful white marble backdrop of the building. And boy was I right! Everyone was looking phenomenal next to the couple on their happiest day! So many laughs were shared as this group made up of family and best buds helped the new Mr. & Mrs. celebrate! And we couldn’t leave before highlighting the people everyone was there for! The joy on Caitlin and Ryan’s faces during their portraits was priceless! They giggled together, did a few twirls, and had plenty of opportunities to snuggle. These were the moments I know the newlyweds were looking forward too! As was I! They are simply phenomenal in each other’s arms!
The reception at the Northfield was a combination of dreamy lights, gold touches, eucalyptus leaves, and an array of delicious cupcakes! Caitlin and Ryan took advantage of the large dance floor by sharing their first dance as well as well as the daddy/daughter and mother/son dances. All were incredibly touching memories I think everyone will remember! And quickly after dinner and toasts, the couple was ready to get their much-anticipated party underway! Caitlin and Ryan took time to try and visit with all of their guests as the dance floor was in full swing throughout the night!
I’m so thankful to Caitlin and Ryan for allowing me to play such a big role on the journey towards their wedding day! I had a blast planning with them and even more fun capturing their joyful day! Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. Graham!
Huge shout out to Caitlin & Ryan’s wonderful vendors!
Reception Venue: Northfield Inn http://www.northfieldinn.com
Ceremony Venue: Holy Cross Catholic Church https://www.dio.org/parishes/holy-cross-auburn.html
Videographer: Iron Hills Productions, https://www.facebook.com/ironhillsproductions
Florist: True Colors, https://truecolorsfloralartistry.com/
Cake Artist: Charlotte’s Cakes, https://www.facebook.com/charlottescakes15/
Band/DJ: Complete Weddings + Events, https://completeweddingcentralillinois.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-c_iBRChARIsAGCOpB1tolLX1u9RFLuVFgNW-85lvJBOeN_BXJZcUHDL3xDZTEnLBPbaip8aAgQyEALw_wcB
Makeup Artist: The Makeup Ferry, https://www.facebook.com/TheMakeupFerry/
Makeup Artist: Studio Strega https://www.facebook.com/studiostrega217/
Hair Artist: Headlines Salon, https://www.facebook.com/Headlines-Salon-LLC-200616710102422/
Decor: Rustic Love Rentals, https://www.facebook.com/RusticLoveRentals/
Prints Charming Photo Booth, https://business.facebook.com/stlprintscharming/?hc_location=ufi&business_id=356807004724606