Starved Rock Summer Wedding

Summer in the midwest is unpredictable. For example, today, end of July is 75 degrees GORGEOUS and yet this day last year was our hottest, most humid wedding we have ever shot. SO you really never know what you are going to get. For Danielle and Ron's wedding, the forecast was showing rain. It hardly ever rains all day in the summer but they put a 50% chance for 4-5 hours to cover the window. That tells me it is going to rain at some point. So the weather channel app is my best friend. (Though it has lied to me before if you've read about Karen & Carmen's wedding!) So I was constantly checking the radar since we were planning to hike in the park. I decided that we could still go out to the wedding cove for pictures, but we couldn't go back on the trails so we could get to the trolley asap if we felt drops. So we had a plan and we just had to roll with the punches. I went to find Danielle and Seth went to find the guys. We start at the end stages of getting ready with the pictures and I think it makes for a nice build up for the day. Plus the excitement when they started to get dressed and ready to go is so fun! I usually take a few details photos. They are not my favorite thing nor am I super great at pictures of the stuff. I rarely post any either but I'll give you guys a couple.....

Also I just want to say that the pictures of Ron explaining the new game plan to the guys are hilarious and definitely made me laugh out loud when I was culling the pictures! I tell people this all the time: the girl pictures are all smiles and tears and oohing and awwwing over the bride and the guys pictures are usually laughs and beer. :) 

I try REALLY hard to never use extremes in my captions or when I write something out on facebook. Like "She was the sweetest bride ever!" because I don't want all the other sweet brides I've had to think, What about me???? {Sidenote-I do have a couple favorite bridesmaids ever but I just keep adding to that list!!!} So I am going to break my rule and make an extreme statement about Danielle. Watching Danielle prepare to go meet Ron was special and watching her read his letter was amazing because I honestly have never seen someone who wanted to marry their person the same way that Danielle just wanted to marry Ron. She had planned a beautiful weddings with gorgeous flowers and a beautiful venue but at the end of the day, she would have worn a flour sack if it meant she could marry that man. I honestly haven't felt that feeling from someone maybe ever. I love how fiercely Danielle loves people and it is so evident how much she adores Ron and couldn't wait one more day to be his wife. 

 

So we headed out for the first look and a couple pictures on the back patio. I like the green back there and it's a good spot away from people for a moment together before we loaded the trolley. Let me explain what happened here: we told them to take a breath and turn around, Ron saw his gorgeous bride, shed a tear and Danielle exclaims, "Yes! I got him!". It was hilarious and just so them. 

And we were off to beat the rain. We headed to the east end of the park to the wedding cove, just off the parking lot. 

Everyone was so great and I know it's not easy to get all dressed up, hair did, make-up on, suit and tie and then go hiking. But they were champs and had so much fun. TOO MUCH FUN at times. #nipples #youknowwhatimean

Then we sent everyone back to the trolley to drink a beer and had a good 15-20 minutes until the predicted rain. It was starting to get dark but we just had fun and let these two be alone together for a minute! 

We took a few and headed back up to the lodge as the rain drops started! 

And it was time to make it official. I love trying to just catch moments. A DJ friend said to me recently that he thinks would describe us as "in the moment" and that was just the greatest compliment because that's truly what I want to do. I just want to catch little moments with your people. Flowers and shoes and all that are cute and they make for great blog posts, but they aren't the pictures I want you to cherish in 30 years. I want to let you relive the moments. These first few with their parents are some of those. Or Grandma reading to her Rosebud, Danielle, and new husband during the ceremony. 

The rain may have changed our plans but it didn't damped the spirit of the day and we even did some indoor bubbles to celebrate!

Danielle had a veil that she wanted to wear for the ceremony and a few pictures. We snuck out after the ceremony and extended family pictures for a few pictures except I couldn't find Seth!! So I had to use her brother, Scott, to help me with the veil pictures. Thanks Scott! ;) I hope one of these makes the wall. All because of you!

And then off to reception time! Lovely toasts and the cake was beautiful (and tasty!). And it was time to dance. I love reception venues who run the day so smoothly and no one, I mean NO ONE does it better than the Starved Rock staff. 

Ok I have to put that last one because I saw Ron taking them up to the bar and I was laughing and thinking I HAVE to get a shot of this but then he saw me creeping. I guess my ninja skills weren't elusive enough but it turned out better because this face is just the best. It was such a great day!

And I wanted to add a couple of notes: occasionally in your gallery you'll see photos I take of the other vendors or for them because they are working their butts off to serve you and give you a great wedding day! So I try to give them a few pictures of them in action. Here is the Photo Booth which looked awesome and I always recommend having one. The guests love having them as favors and then you have so many more pictures of people you love!! And also pictures DJ Hot Lips from Guys on the Radio who are our favorite DJs and who keep the party going all night! 

Ron & Danielle, 

Thanks for picking us and being our new friends. Thanks for trusting us even with the rain forecast and letting us worry about it! Thanks for engagement sessions with bees and pumpkins ice cream and kayaks. And for future kayaking trips when you teach out how to kayak.  I'm so glad I got to be there and feel the excitement when you finally got to marry your person. You two are awesome and I'm glad you found each other and then found us. :) #onemoremonthtilpumpkinlattesdanielle 

Vendors: 

Florist-Petals N Blooms

DJ- Guys on the Radio

Venue & Cake-Starved Rock Lodge

Officiant-Adam Jamsa

Mary Morris