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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It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels in love with Julie and Nick! What’s not to love? They are absolutely adorable with each other. They are really laid back and wonderfully thoughtful. They both have great taste. They each love hard on the people they surround themselves with all while they bring the fun no matter what they are doing. Which, in a nutshell, could easily describe their perfect wedding day at Walnut Hall Estate in Carrollton, Illinois. Their beautifully styled, full of fun spring day was nothing short of incredible and I’m thrilled for the new Mr. & Mrs. Szwedo!
The day began with Julie and her ladies preparing with hair and makeup in the bridal suite at Walnut Hall. And if you haven’t seen this amazing venue you are missing out! Around every corner is another gorgeous surprise. So having the chance to highlight this lovely bride and groom in these spaces is a dream! I told Julie on my drive over I was imagining what type of dress she would wear and I 100% envisioned her with a long veil. She did not disappoint! Not only did she have a cathedral length veil, but her mother, Karen, was the one who made it for her! Awesome, right?! Her mom also contributed an impeccable pearl clutch for Julie to carry later in the day, which she was guessing she used for her own prom (still in the original packaging that cost her $3)! Love it! When it came time for Julie to get into her gown she was absolutely flawless! The lace dress hugged her perfectly and having her mom and sister, Jennifer, there to help her with her veil and buttons right under the chandelier really had some magic to the moment. Nick’s got ready was right down the hallway from his future wife in the main house at the estate. The smaller bridal party of four made the morning a bit less chaotic and relaxed, but still packed with fun. Nick did a wonderful job throughout the day of keeping on time. From what I hear, he has a tendency of taking a little longer to get ready than Julie. He even has a personalized name for this…He’s on “Szwedo Time”. Coming from someone who is also married to a guy who takes his “Island Time” very seriously, I completely understand this concept. Yet, Nick has fabulous style and on his wedding day he did great keeping up with the timeline!
The first look for Julie and Nick had arrived, however before it was Nick’s turn, Julie wanted to give her dad, Andy, the opportunity to see her all dressed in her wedding gown! I learned really quickly that Julie’s dad is a joker! There were so many laughs with him and the amount of goofy faces he provided throughout the day directly into my camera was hilarious (just wait for the daddy/daughter dance)! When Nick finally got to see his bride, the couple took plenty of time to check one another out, Julie adjusted Nick’s boutonniere, and there was even a “Happy Dance” performed by the pair! Even in some of their biggest moments, this couple brought the fun! Bridal party photos had so many laughs and easy-going personalities, which made my job easy. The ladies all wore matching navy dresses and carried beautiful bouquets full of deep pinks, purples, and hints of blues. While the guys were in dark gray with navy ties. This was a good looking wedding party! After bridal party photos, I stole Julie and Nick for a few more photos around the property. Every location, every pose, just looked even more fabulous with these two snuggling in close. And boy did that veil fly! Spending these moments with only the bride and groom is hands down always my favorite. Before we knew it the ceremony was upon us and it was time to get these two married!
Julie made her grand entrance into the old milk barn arm and arm with her father to meet her groom at the altar. The nuptials were filled with a few jokes, some tender moments, an exchange of rings, and making it official with a kiss! Julie and Nick are MARRIED! Guests then made their way over to the reception barn, where they could find their seat with table names of bands the couple adore, order a signature cocktail named after Julie and Nick’s two dogs, and simply enjoy the atmosphere of lovely florals and candle light. Once the toasts were completed by Julie’s sister and Nick’s best man, Julie danced with her dad (seriously go check out her dad’s faces at me), Nick danced with his mom, Katie, and then the newlyweds danced together as Nick’s dad, Mike, played the piano and their friend sang their first dance song. It was a very sweet memory these two will have forever!
As the sun was setting, I took Julie and Nick back outside for a few more photos. It was only fitting that after a gorgeous spring day these two had a phenomenal sunset! They laughed, squeezed in tight, and celebrated the fact they were officially married! And what a better way to finish off sunset photos than with a few scoops of delicious ice cream from The Dairy Bar truck! This was an extra experience Julie and Nick gave to their guests and let me tell you…This ice cream was heavenly! Before I ended my time with this awesome couple I had to stay so I could hear Nick play with his band. A live band at a wedding is always a blast, but when the groom plays the keyboards in the band, well that’s next level! When I left, Nick was jamming out for his bride to dance the night away! I loved every second with Julie and Nick and I’m thrilled for this wonderful couple to start their forever! Cheers to The Szwedos!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Walnut Hall Estate
Florist: Bev’s Baskets & Bows
Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Ice Cream Truck: The Dairy Bar of Carrollton
Catering: Brass Door
Bride’s Dress: Girls In White Satin
Bridesmaids Dresses: Girls In White Satin
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Girls In White Satin
Late Night Treat: Alfonso’s Pizza
There are just some moments throughout the day that get me…Julie’s mom kissing her finger and “Booping” her on the nose was one!
First look time!
There’s the happy dance! 🙂
Aren’t the colors for their day gorgeous?!? And check out this beautiful bride!
Ahhhhh! I LOVE watching a veil fly! Now let’s get these two married!
Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Szwedo!
I mean, come on…Hilarious, right?!
Give me all the golden hour vibes, please!
Nick’s “Sneaking up” on Julie was the best! Her reaction was even better!