I'm a coffee loving, travel-obsessed, twenty-something based out of Central Illinois. I'm lucky enough to make a living doing what I love - photographing people! I specialize in weddings (destination + local), senior portraits, + boudoir.
Happy New Year everyone!! With this past Wednesday being a holiday, I postponed #weddingwednesday and we’re making today #weddingfriday instead! Ha!
This past Saturday I spent most the afternoon with Darren + Stephanie, and despite the hiccup of dropping my camera, it was an amazing day! They planned a small, intimate ceremony with close friends and family at The Hyatt Place Champaign, which was my first wedding at that hotel! We stopped there for warmth once with a previous wedding – but this was first start to finish! I arrived as the girls were finishing up with hair and makeup, and started on the details! It was such a laid back morning and the guys got ready in the attached room which made grabbing shots of Darren getting dressed a breeze!
The first look was an emotional one for all as Darren + Stephanie wanted to include their kids in it as well. We went right outside the Hyatt Place Champaign for this and the bridal party shots and I liked that the Christmas tree was still up for a few shots! It was here that my camera hit pavement… 😳But I had my second camera with me so it was only a minor set back in the moment – and everyone was so cool about it while I pretty much died of embarrassment – I’m so thankful for them! Once switched over into the second camera, we walked a bit around downtown Champaign for some super sweet bridal portraits. It was so hard for me to narrow these down! I love them all!
They had a nice intimate ceremony back at The Hyatt Place, which started off on a funny note thanks to their officiant! Once the ceremony and formals were complete they and their guests enjoyed each others company over dinner – and what a spread they had!
“I was working on a Saturday and it was the day after Natalie’s (youngest child) birthday last year. We took her and the older kids (Vaughn, Aleeka, and Ariana) to the trampoline park in Champaign for a celebration. We knew after we wanted to do dinner but we didn’t know where. Vaughn, in his scheming ways said he needed to go over by where I used to work to catch a virtual Pokémon. At the time I thought it was ridiculous and figured he didn’t play that anymore but boy was I in for a surprise! We arrived and they were telling me since it was so close to Christmas that they wanted me to video them doing a dance to Santa Baby, in my head the WHOLE time thinking why? LOL, so I start recording and the minute the 4 kids turn around they all held signs that read “Will, You, Marry, Us?” And to my left was Darren on one knee with a ring box in his hand. I immediately collapsed into tears of absolute love and joy! Definitely the most magical night of my life!” – Stephanie
Darren, Stephanie, THANK YOU. I would not have wanted to spend my last wedding of the year with anyone else. You two have an amazing family who clearly love you SO much, I was honored to witness it all. I can’t wait to see (and photograph) your next adventures in life as husband and wife! 🖤