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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Jessica and Merrill met years ago when their son’s began playing soccer together. They took their time enjoying one another’s company as their relationship grew. When I first chatted with them about their engagement and upcoming wedding, Jessica told me they have technically been engaged for 7 years! Merrill proposed and then life just got in the way with raising kids and running around to soccer games and such so they kept putting it off. Merrill talked about simply going to the courthouse, but Jessica wanted to have a celebration with their family and friends. Although they kept their nuptials intimate, their spring wedding at Arlington’s in Downtown Springfield, IL was gorgeous! And the most special part for me was Jessica and Merrill blending their two families together in this beautiful way.
I figured out really quickly the morning of the wedding, Jessica and her girls were going to be a blast! As labor & delivery nurses you have to go with the flow and that’s exactly what these ladies did. And rounding out the bridesmaids was Merrill’s daughter, Emma, standing up with Jessica. Merrill got ready in the morning with both his son, Matthew, and Jessica’s son, Kaden, who stood up as his groomsmen. So sweet to have their children in their bridal party. Jessica also took it upon herself to hand make her own bouquet, her bridesmaids bouquets, and all of the ceremony and reception decor at the venue! Ummmm…WOW! She dyed the wooden flowers and added her own flair to her florals and it all looked incredible! When it came time for Jessica and Merrill to see one another at their first look, Merrill’s mouth dropped when he saw his soon-to-be wife and Jessica’s tears began flowing. They are seriously adorable together and I feel so thankful I could capture all of their lovely moments on their big day!
Before they officially became husband and wife, Merrill and Jessica, along with their bridal party, all headed out to Washington Park for photos. It was a little chilly but the sun was out and the blooms were popping so everyone was ready to go! Well…we had to coax little flower girl, Makenna a bit, but sweet ring bearer, Grant did his best to make her happy! Either way, they were too cute and completed the bridal party. The ladies all looked amazing in their various colors and styles of champagne, taupe, and hazelnut dresses. Plus the pop of navy in the florals and in the guys accessories just brought everything together. Jessica and Merrill took in every moment with each other as we took photos in the park and even took a time out to read letters they wrote to one another, which was so sweet. I loved every minute with these guys throughout their entire day.
The ceremony at Arlington’s was simple, emotional, and wonderful! Jessica had her son, Kaden walk her down the aisle and as soon as she turned the corner and saw Merrill she lost herself in her emotions. Luckily, Kaden was there to keep her going and hand her off to her groom-to-be. They laughed and cried as they exchanged rings, sealed it with a kiss, and raised their hands in the air to celebrate their new marriage! The newlyweds kept their reception super relaxed with limited events and spent their time catching up with loved ones and enjoying their evening. However, before I left, I had to sneak them outside for a few more sunset photos downtown. A few spins and snuggles ended my time with the new Mr. & Mrs. Turner! Congrats to Jessica and Merrill and their amazing family! Thank You for letting me be a part of your awesome day!
Huge shout out to all of the amazing vendors who made Jessica & Merrill’s big day possible!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Arlington’s Historic Venue
Bride’s Dress: Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique (Essence of Australia)
Wedding Planner / Coordinator: Bethany Pothoff
DJ: Troy Armstrong
Makeup & Hair: The Gallery
Cake: Donna Vaughn
Catering: Arlington’s Historic Venue
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse