Starved Rock Winter Wedding :: Utica IL :: wedding photographer

So...you know who is a lot of fun......teachers on a three day weekend. :) 

This was the winter wonderland wedding of John & Gina, except we were missing the winter part. It was 70 degrees this lovely February day and we took full advantage of it. Lots of love and laughter outside in the sun and we had a great day celebrating their wedding at Starved Rock Lodge. {Gorgeous flowers by one of our favorites, Flowers Plus}

J&G met outside the lodge so we could wander around for some portraits. Luckily, even in the winter, the lodge has some beautiful spots. I particularly love the greens, the lodge itself, the bridge and even the cabins. I try to change it up for backgrounds and get a few at different spots. 

So then we grabbed the crew and went around for a few more pictures with the wedding party. And these adorable kids were just the best. I particularly love the one of them hugging. That's a framer for sure! Also I want to say that Gina was in love with EVERY dog that passed us, which happened about every 3 minutes since it was 70 degrees. So I finally asked someone to let us borrow their dog for a picture. I think that was Gina's favorite picture of the day! :) Oh the lengths I will go to please a client!!

It was pretty muddy on the trails from the weather but Gina & John really wanted to get some of the scenery from the canyons so we snuck quickly to grab a few shots with a rock wall! 

And then it was time to get married! It was a beautiful ceremony and the new Mr. & Mrs. were official! {Note-check out the uplighting from Guys on the Radio. It makes a huge difference so cut those silly embossed napkins out of your budget and get uplighting!}

So I want to pause here to talk about cocktail hour. We usually do family pictures right after the ceremony at Starved Rock and then head into cocktail hour for mingling. This is a good time for Seth and I to take a few shots. Seth took some detail shots of the room, the rings, the centerpieces ect and I took shots of the people mingling. While these aren't ever pictures I expect to be a big canvas on the mantle, I do think they are nice to have to remember the people who love you and came together to celebrate your marriage. I love catching people smiling and laughing or even, in this case, John's daughter talking to Gina's grandpa. Little moments like this are important and being able to be in 15-20 minutes of cocktail hour really enables us to capture them.

Notice the uplighting again. Just sayin'

So then it was time to introduce the new Mr. & Mrs. Thomas and get things rollin'.....like I said, those teachers were ready to party! 

And a special thanks to these two Guys on the Radio for getting the party going. We always have fun working with them! 

J&G-we are so happy for you two and we had such a great time enjoying the weather and your day together. Don't forget that our couples get a discount on family pictures so as that beautiful family of yours grow, give us a buzz. I'm sure I can find more random dogs to be in your family pictures! :)