Harry Potter Wedding at Starved Rock Lodge

On Facebook today Heather said today was the second best day of her life (while visiting Harry Potter land at Disney) so let's revisit the BEST DAY OF HER LIFE.....

That's right people, I am talking about a Harry Potter wedding and it was as awesome as you'd imagine. Heather & Danielle planned a perfect wedding to represent their love, affection, and HP nerdiness that makes me want to go buy all the books right now. But what I loved most was that the fun decor and Harry Potter mentions didn't distract from the celebration or even make the day comical, but instead really enhanced seeing Heather & Danielle as a couple joining together. They made so many mentions of their best friendship and it was so evident. And that is special. 

The day started with Danielle having a first look with Dad & then wandering around the lodge with her attendants. We haven't had a couple who chose not to see each other in a while. I will never pressure you to have a first look but if you don't, you tend to get more shots of each side of attendants (bridesmaids/groomsmen) rather than a ton of everyone together. 

So then with the girls hidden away, we grabbed Heather, Liz & the dudes and headed back out for what would turn into the most hilarious 30 minutes of photos. Honestly I am about ready to just make a flip book of the photos. At one point, they are all waiting in a line to wipe their shoes on this squirrel thing and then some funny stuff happen with a banister (see instagram for that) and then mom comes out and photobombs and all kinds of stuff. Here is a little PG glimpse.....

Then it was time to get married. There was such excitement and joy in the air. I don't know if I have ever been to a wedding ceremony like it. I think, for me at least, being able to see and celebrate gay couples being able to be married makes the wedding even more exciting and emotional. The years of yearning and fighting and hoping and working from the gay community and their allies just gets me in the gut. It makes me so proud of our country and thrilled for these families. Especially as I get to know our clients and I get to celebrate alongside them. I love showing my kids the pictures and telling them they can marry whoever they love. Anyway, I wasn't the only one tearing up.....

I posted on Facebook but if you didn't see it, go check it out but the GRANDMA FLOWER GIRLS were the highlight of the show. Especially because they were chucking flower petals at the crowd. That is the kind of grandma I want to be. Anyway, as per usual a couple flower girls wandered off during wedding party photos but we got one with everyone. I love it. 

So we sent everyone in for cocktail hour while the 4 of us took our time going back to the lodge stopping for photos along the way. Honestly every inch of Starved Rock is photogenic so we were able to take some sweet shots of the newlyweds. 

It was so sweet to listen to the two of them tell each other how the previous photo time went. At one point by the cabin, I had them standing so I could get the edge of the wood in the photo and Heather says, "She likes it, I guess." And Danielle says, "Yea she had me in the doorway earlier." It was just fun to hear them recap little moments to the other. 

So I had told the wedding party we were going to take a picture out on the steps before the big entrance and usually once I excuse the wedding party to the bar, "SAY GOODBYE BECAUSE IT'S THE LAST TIME..." But these guys were all ready to go and were so easy during picture time. Thanks guys. You win.

Time for the speeches and they were sweet. My favorite was Liz who stood on the chair so everyone could tell she was standing. 

So they had set up the dance floor under all these candle lights and it looked so awesome. We always see the same set up in that room and this was so unique and fun....and Harry Potter-ish.

The DJ was off the hook and the party was jamming. If I didn't have a nursing baby at home, I probably would have never left. 

Seriously one of my top 5 weddings of all time. I laughed, I cried, I wore an awesome outfit and it was just the best day ever. Now if only I could have convinced them to take me with them to Harry Potter Disneyworld. Next time.......until then, Heather & Danielle, I'm so glad you have become more than clients, but friends. I look forward to many years of photoshoots wearing my HP skirt and I promise I will read Harry Potter this winter.