Sam + Ben | Kankakee, Illinois wedding

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Holly Birch Photography kicked off wedding season this past Saturday with Sam + Ben!  We had an amazing day despite the heat, and there were so many memorable, cute, and happy moments throughout the day that it would be hard to list them all, but I definitely want to share a few highlights!  First, the most emotional moment for me was when Sam was getting into her dress and the weight of what was about to happen just hit her and she cried.  She'd of course just had her makeup done so the bridesmaids gathered around her to fan her while a relative dabbed her tears with a tissue.  Sam warned me that she would cry at least twice -- one down, one to go!!  I adored the blue flannel heart that she sewed to the back of her dress in honor of her dad who passed away three years ago. And the ruffles on the skirt of her dress were so, so dreamy.  The guys all wore crazy socks, and you KNOW I loved Ben's lobster socks!!!  They said he wore them just for me, but I think it was just a coincidence! Haha!!  After the First Look at the hotel, we headed off to downtown Kankakee to the train station where we knocked it out of the park with a ton of amazing bridal and wedding party portraits.  We also spent some time individually with both Sam and Ben, and then I promptly proceeded to lose my car key. UGH!  You may have already seen my post about this on Facebook, but below I've added again the photo of our reaction to finding the key.  (By the way, it fell into a bag of mine and the into a SHOE when I went to get sunscreen.)  No harm, no foul though -- Sam had built plenty of time into the timeline and we were still on schedule!  We headed off then to the Kankakee County Fairgrounds for the ceremony in an outdoor pavilion, followed immediately by the cocktail hour and reception in the expo building next door.  The bridal party entrances were AWESOME and I got some fantastic images from those.  My favorite part from the reception had to be the garter toss -- Ben tossed it up and it stuck in the rafters.  A group of guys did a sort of rugby lift with one guy on top who was able to reach up and grab it. The reactions and action shots were priceless!  Sam often helps her sister-in-law Emily (also my good friend and fellow photographer) photograph weddings, so she knows the importance of great portraits, and using a good sunset if you are given one.  I was so happy the couple let me pull them aside from the reception a couple times to capture some gorgeous skies.  I love the results and know they will too!  Congrats, Sam + Ben, and I hope you're having the best honeymoon ever!! #movinguptothemagers

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pastel watercolor wedding details guys getting ready at Hilton Garden Inn mother of the bride helping her get ready tearful emotional bride getting ready for wedding first look under open shade candid photos on wedding day bride and groom at Kankakee train station modern groomsmen bridesmaid portraits glamourous bride in Allure bridal gown purple white soft floral bouquets bridal party at train station bridal portraits at historic train station black and white photos of bride and groom leading lines bricks wedding portraits handsome groom standing poses fierce bride at abandoned warehouse urban wedding photos in downtown Kankakee romantic portraits with urban backdrop fun relaxed walking wedding photos we found the missing car key! candid photos of flower girl and groom's truck here comes the bride and outdoor wedding ceremony in pavilion wedding ceremony at Kankakee County Fairgrounds wedding vows and pronounced man and wife wedding details at Kankakee County Fairgrounds bridal party entrances romantic artistic portrait with twinkle lights toasts by best man and maid of honor first dance as husband and wife beautifully lit first dance photos first dance photos with off-camera flash mother daughter dance mother son dance with groom's niece bouquet toss with off-camera flash groomsmen garter toss with ocf oops garter toss with rugby lift big sky photos before sunset deep color sunset photos madewithmagmod ocfVendors Ceremony + Reception: Kankakee County Fairgrounds Exposition Center Dresses: Formals of Litchfield | Allure Gowns Suits: Men's Wearhouse Invitations: Pro-Type Printing Jewelers: Kay Jewelers, Zales Makeup: Sage Ihrke - Makeup Artistry Hair: Liv Beautifully | Olivia Kingren Photographer: Holly Birch Photography