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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When the opportunity presents itself to photograph a couple like Heather and Will…I JUMP at it! And when this sweet couple decided to exchange vows on her parent’s family-owned farm in Palmyra, Illinois I knew this would be a wedding to remember! I first met Heather when she was a bridesmaid in her friend, Kayla’s wedding I photographed almost 2 years ago. At that time, Heather and Will had just started dating and now here we are anticipating their special moments at their own wedding. I knew I would get along so well with these two from the get-go, but especially after their engagement session! We are both huge football fans (we won’t get into our choices of teams), yet I loved talking all about our passion for the sport. Kayla and Ryan’s wedding was such a blast so my expectations for the fun level at Heather and Will’s big day were pretty high! And they delivered! From Heather and the girls to Will and the guys everyone in the bridal party and beyond were so laid back, welcoming, and ready to enjoy the day! Family and friends came from all over the country and even South Africa, where Will’s family lives to celebrate the nuptials. Before the late afternoon ceremony, the bride and groom took their turn with the bridal party for photos without seeing each other. The bridesmaids in the muted shade of purple were the perfect accent to the gorgeous bride! Heather was beautiful in her flowy gown complete with an illusion neckline with lovely lace details. Their simply yet wonderful baby’s breath bouquets added a delicate look to round out the ladies’ look! While Will and his groomsmen brought their A-Game in the style department as well with tan slacks, white button-down shirts, tan ties, and a tweed vest. What a fantastic looking bridal party!
As you entered the ceremony location on the farm, you were welcomed by inviting doors beckoning you to come sit among the trees! Although this wonderful July day was scorching, reaching temps in the 90’s, the seats were filled with loved ones there to show their support for the couple. The family had built a small pergola for Will to wait for his bride after her long walk down the aisle. The same walk which brought Will to tears! I loved having a front-row seat to witness Will’s emotional reaction to Heather walking up the aisle with her dad. I knew from the second he walked to the pergola to meet his father, Willmar, who was also officiating the ceremony, the anticipation of seeing Heather was about to burst out of him. What a sweet moment from the day! The ceremony was filled with beautiful scriptures including 1 Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind” bible verse, which was also included in signs lining the path of the aisle. The pair chose to braid strands of yarn together as a symbol of unity with the two of them and God. As someone who has been to MANY weddings before, this was the first time I had seen this idea and it was perfect! With a big kiss to seal the deal, Heather and Will exited the trees as husband and wife! YAY!
Before leaving the family farm for the reception in Raymond, Illinois I had a chance to finally get the entire bridal party together for a few photos! These guys, including the newlyweds, were all excited to get the party started! But, they were all wonderful during photos and the lighting was incredible so I was a happy lady! Then I stole Heather and Will for a few photos as the new Mr. and Mrs. Cohen, which I had been excited about for a long time! I remember back in the spring, I received a message from Will out of the blue stating, “Just wanted to say I personally can’t wait for you to take our wedding pictures!” Simply hearing my couples, and especially my grooms are looking forward to photo time, is the best feeling! Now here we are and I couldn’t be more thrilled! We continued photos where the lighting was magically beaming through the trees in front of Heather’s favorite purple flowers, where she even had her senior photos taken. Then we moved to the back of the house where the grasses were tall and the sun was just right! Heather and Will were laughing and being silly with one another the entire time, which is part of the playful relationship they share.
The reception and the couple’s family and friends already had the party going by the time we arrived! Heather and Will chose to have one of their favorites, cheesecake, as their first slice to share as a married couple! Then after dinner, the couple took the dance floor in a delightful first dance followed by Heather spinning around with her dad, Steve and Will danced to a South African song with his mother, Arina! So fun! Following the dances and a few emotion-filled toasts, I escorted the couple outside for a few more photos as the sun went down. With a couple of spins and quiet moments for the pair to enjoy sunset photos were complete! When we returned to the reception, the dance floor that was filled the rest of the night with many faces I consider friends! From past couples, their families, and now Heather and Will along with their families. Each and every one involved in this wedding was incredible and greeted me as family! I cannot Thank them enough! These two are making a huge move to the great state of Minnesota over the next few months and I wish them all the best and will send them warm thoughts in the winter! Cheers to the Cohens!
Huge shoutout to Heather & Will’s amazing vendors!
Ceremony Venue- Matli Farms
Reception Venue- Knights of Columbus in Raymond, IL
DJ- Terry Brooks with Music In Motion, Music in Motion
Bridesmaid Dresses- David’s Bridal, David’s Bridal