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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Although I was not able to capture Kathy and Zach’s big day due to my chemo treatment, my amazingly talented sister, Kate Spencer, stepped in for me and ensured this couple’s wedding day was captured beautifully! This blog is written by Kate telling Kathy and Zach’s story perfectly! Enjoy!
I never met Kathy and Zach personally until their wedding day, but as soon as I walked through the door of Kathy’s childhood home in Springfield I instantly felt like I had known them and all of their friends and family my whole life. Everyone was so welcoming and the entire day, a special New Years Eve holiday was absolutely perfect in every way! We were blessed with unseasonably warm weather for the last day of December and Kathy and Zach worked hard to plan a timeless and elegant celebration of their marriage!
Kathy’s mom and three sisters helped her to slip on her gorgeous bridal gown and a perfectly simple veil borrowed from her older sister to complete her classic bridal look. It was such a special moment for them in the foyer of their childhood home which was smack dab in the middle of the area by the church she grew up in and the Illini Country Club where they hosted their reception. I loved capturing her bridesmaids surrounding her as they cheered her on with a glass of champagne before heading out to meet Zach for their first look.
As the girls arrived at the country club, Kathy shared an emotional first look with her dad who was so anxious to see his beautiful daughter. Then he led her out to the overlook of the golf course to meet her fiancé next. Zach was waiting patiently as his bride walked up to him and smiled from ear to ear when he turned around to see her. They shared some beautiful private vows to one another and enjoyed a few quiet moments before the bustle of the evening began. We took some fun portrait of them with the course views before joining their bridal party. Zach grew up in Gettysburg, PA, a very historic Abraham Lincoln town and since Kathy grew up in the Land of Lincoln, we knew the Capitol building would be the perfect spot for their portraits! Their bridal party brought so much joy and laughter to their day and I loved capturing them enjoying the day. After we finished up portraits it was time to head to the church to officially get them married!
Kathy’s dad walked her down the aisle to Zach and their pastor married them in a short but sweet night ceremony. He spoke of how they wouldn’t remember what was said at the ceremony in the coming years, but that they would remember how they felt and how strong their love is for one another. They shared vows and exchanged wedding bands before finally being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Hartzell!
After capturing some family photos, we headed to Illini Country Club where Kathy and Zach were immediately announced for the second time and they wasted no time getting the party started! Marsha and Lynn from Simply Details Events transformed the space into an elegant affair filled with black cross back wood chairs, beautiful floral centerpieces and warm candle light. To kick off the New Years Eve festivities Kathy and Zach opted for a “Big, Little Band” style brass band, Steve Shininger & The ShinSings Orchestra from St. Louis. Zach is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army so it was a perfect touch to have a band full of veterans to help their guests celebrate their marriage and ring in the New Year! Kathy and Zach shared signature NYE inspired cocktails and welcomed all of their family and friends on the dance floor as they counted down the final moments of 2022 and sparks flew to welcome 2023–the perfect new beginning as husband and wife! I am so thankful to have met Kathy and Zach on such an important day in their lives and I loved helping them celebrate! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Hartzell!
Ceremony Venue: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
Reception Venue: Illini Country Club
Bride’s Dress: La Raines Boutique
Florist: Create A Scene
Wedding Coordinator: Simply Detailed Wedding & Event Planning
Entertainment: Steve Shininger & The ShinSings Orchestra
Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: Appearances Salon and Retreat / Erica McKinney
Cake: The Cake Shoppe
Catering: Illini Country Club
Bridesmaids Dresses: Anthropologie
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Blk Tux
Transportation: Vandalia Bus Lines Inc.
Calligraphy: Swing Lettering