Spring Starved Rock Wedding
Spring this year is drunk. It was snowing in April and then 98 degrees in May. What?? But that's the midwest for ya. Luckily for Kelli & Bryan they hit the one week that was normal weather for spring and we had a beautiful wedding day to celebrate them.
We love shooting at the lodge, and yes, we are there a lot. To be fair, it's 11 miles from our house and also, it's gorgeous. Plus, honestly, it helps to have a photographer who knows the park. Most professional photographers could show up at a new venue and shoot it fine, and it's sometimes nice to be a different places and let the creative juices flow. But there are also downfalls like venues who throw cold quesadillas at us while we sit on the floor without silverware or water and say, you have 5 minutes to eat back here. So we like Starved Rock Lodge. They run the day so well, the food is always awesome, and they treat their vendors so well and we can all work together as a team to provide a seamless and organized day for the couple.
OK-whatever you say, let's see some happy, beautiful people. Well, you are in for a treat. Kelli & Bryan are so sweet together and their story is so special. I love how excited their families were for them. It was so fun!
Bryan made these flags for the groomsmen and they were amazing. He made a ton of stuff for the wedding. He's a real handyman. Can you come help Seth drywall the ceiling in the basement because my arms are killing me?!??!! : )
So they read letters to each other and then we had the first look and a few pictures around the lodge. I like to do a few before or after we hike because pictures in the park are a lot about the background. A couple of those are cool, but I really want to have some of just you being you.
And we are off....we just took a car out to Matthiessen Park down the road. The trolley can't go to this location so we don't go there too often. It is a beautiful spot and we had just had rain so go out on the trails meant mud. We opted for water instead.
They were troopers. Then we headed back to the lodge for pictures with the wedding party. What a fun group. The best man, the groom's brother, was basically complimenting me all day. I ate it up. I'm going to require he be best man at all weddings. He gives a great speech too. Really works the room, but we'll get to that.....
The flowers by Flowers Plus in Streator were extraordinary. I totally loved them and offered to carry them as often as possible. Rev Val from Rev for Whatev officiated a beautiful ceremony and Guys on the Radio were awesome djs.
I usually try to ask the mom or dad to stay back and walk with the bride to the patio because I think it just gives them a minute together. Plus I like a couple shots of them but I didn't notice until later that my creeper shot through the leaves kinda looks like a heart. I mean, I totally did that one purpose. I am so good. :)
If you have read through our site or instagram at all you know years ago a groom said we were photo ninjas and we have taken that on as our motto. We pose beautiful pictures at waterfalls and do funny things to get everything to laugh and relax but mostly we just see you. We see your family. Or at least, that's the goal. 80% of wedding photography is catching candids. And here is one that I caught and I love. I actually have a different recessional picture of the parents that's centered and such but I caught this one of their hands and I seriously love it. I love seeing parents who still love each other and hold hands after years and year. It warms my heart.
On to the party. It was such a fun time. I love that Bryan thanked Kelli for marrying him. That was a sweet moment and the speeches were perfection. So much love and happiness all around. And remember what I always say, DANCE AT WEDDINGS, PEOPLE. If you don't I might get a ridiculous picture of you grinding up on a table. Not saying I did but yea, I totally did. I didn't put it here though. I put a nice one of you, random guy in a plaid shirt. You can thank me later. :)
So it was legit hard to narrow down these photos to only a few and I think I still managed to fit 100 in these collages. I guess web loading wise I'm supposed to only do 40 but come on! I can't. Plus I want to give future clients a chance to see what we try to provide.
Kelli & Bryan, you are the best and your story is amazing. I hope you have many years together laughing and adventuring!!