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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Photographing the wedding of a friend is an amazing and challenging task all wrapped up into one. Amazing because seeing your childhood friend find her person who she is vowing to be with forever all while getting a front row seat the whole day. And challenging because you are trying to do your job, make sure everything is perfect for your friend, and trying not to cry every 5 seconds. My beautiful friend Theresa found her person in Scott and having the opportunity to capture all of their moments on their lovely spring wedding day at Walnut Hall Estate is one core memory I will not soon forget!
I arrived at the venue to find the ladies getting ready room bustling with hair and makeup in progress, laughter spreading all over the house, and pure excitement for the day ahead. Theresa has the best laugh, which I heard a lot throughout the day, and was busy checking in with all of her bridesmaids consisting of lifelong friends, sister-in-laws, and nieces. The one very important person who was missing, however, was Theresa’s incredible mother, Donna. Donna passed away a few years ago and although she wasn’t physically there on her only daughter’s wedding day, she was 100% there in spirit looking down and smiling at the fact her whole family was together, there was laughter everywhere, and her daughter was marring the love of her life! We even knew she had a hand in the gorgeous weather Theresa and Scott had! The rain had been non-stop the entire week leading up to wedding day, but the sun came out and the mild spring 70 degree weather was perfection! Donna made sure her baby girl’s day was perfect! When it came time to get Theresa into her gown, the first round of tears I fought hit. She was absolutely stunning with her side swept hair, lace floral designed bodice, and beaming smile! We laughed knowing her personality of trying to hold it together would lead to her crying over stupid things throughout the day! Most of the times her emotions got the best of her at the right moments. Yet, with so many friends and family so happy to see Theresa’s happiness in Scott, the sporadic crying happened a lot!
Speaking of crying, now is the time to get the Kleenex if you need it. Theresa’s first look with her dad, Tim, and her 3 older brothers was very emotional and sweet. As soon as they all saw each other the tears started to flow and there were hugs all around. This was followed by the moment I know Theresa and Scott were both looking forward to and that was their own first look. Theresa made him wait a little bit longer as she stood behind him teasing him just to build on the anticipation. But once she tapped his shoulder you couldn’t wipe the smile off of Scott’s face if you wanted. Watching these two share a long hug and literally melt into one another’s arms made it easy to see they are meant to be together.
Bridal party photos were next and getting this big crew together was a blast! The ladies were in a variety of different dresses in shades of rose, wine, and light pink while the guys wore navy with a touch of sage green. I’ve never seen these before, but the bridesmaids all carried fun gold hoops with flowers attached. It was a little modern take on a bouquet! While Theresa’s incredible bouquet of florals, feathers, and grasses was a showstopper complete with a pin holding a picture of her mother on her own wedding day. Donna had a front row seat as well! Before the ceremony, once bridal party photos were complete, it was time for Theresa and Scott’s photos. These two are not huge with PDA (or public displays of affection), which made my job of being in charge of making them snuggle up and kiss even more fun! At one point, I told Scott to gently put his hands around Theresa’s face and neck and bring her in for a kiss. These directions were very confusing to Scott and because he wanted to get this right he tried several different ways of doing this motion. This lead to Theresa uncontrollably laughing every time they went in for a kiss, which lead to more confusion for Scott, and lead to more hysterical laughing between the two of them! This moment really showed how just the little things can bring so much joy between this couple!
Now it was time to get these two married! The ceremony in the old milk barn was simple and sweet! After the bridal party made their way in, Theresa and Scott’s Husky furbabies, Sage & Ryka, lead the way for Theresa and her dad to walk down the aisle. This was one of the times when I had to put my emotions aside and concentrate on capturing the shot! Yet, deep down I had been waiting for this moment all day! Theresa and Scott wrote intentional and personal vows to one another before exchanging rings. They also poured dirt over the roots of a tree that will now be planted at their home. Then they sealed it all with a kiss and officially became Mr. & Mrs. McMurray!
After being announced into the reception, Theresa and Scott went right into their special first dance. They had secretly been taking dance lessons and had an entire choreographed dance to share with their guests! Twirls, dips, and even a tender hug in the middle made their first dance one to remember! The toasts were also something to look back on as Tim, along with both of Theresa’s longtime friends, Kendra and Sarah, and Scott’s best man, Corey all stood up and shared their memories, appreciation, and congratulations to the couple. And before the sun dipped down, I stole the newlyweds for a few sunset photos and this time was probably my favorite of the day! Just allowing this couple to breathe for a second in each other’s arms and come to the realization that they did it, they were husband and wife, was the best ending of the day! Witnessing Theresa marry her best friend was a gift and I couldn’t be more happy for these two to begin this new chapter of their lives! Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. McMurray!
Huge shout out to all of the amazing vendors who made Theresa & Scott’s big day possible!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Walnut Hall Estate
Videographer: Skyview Studio
Florist: Bev’s Baskets & Bows
Makeup Artist: All About You Beauty Bar and Boutique
Cake: Jennifer Gerding
Catering: Brass Door
Bride’s Dress: Simply Elegant by Cheri
Bridal Dress Alterations: Pins and Needles
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations: Magnet Street
Photo Booth: Epic Entertainment
Dance Lessons: Ron & Paula’s Ballroom Dancing
Let’s get this bride dressed!
Get the Kleenex out people!
Aren’t they adorable together?!?
How about this beautiful couple!
Introducing Mr. & Mrs. McMurray!!!
Now for my favorite time of the day!
Let the dancing begin!
Friends since junior high!