Pear Tree Estate

Koharu + Merlin | Japanese wedding reception at Pear Tree Estate

I described it this way on my Facebook sneak peek too, but Friday’s wedding of Koharu + Merlin truly was a dream! They (with the help of Merlin’s mom Denise) planned an intimate, faith-filled ceremony and reception at Pear Tree Estate with plenty of personal touches and nods to their Japanese heritage.

Can we take a minute to talk about Koharu’s amazing dress? It was gorgeous, and that back — so stunning with the buttons, lace, and the perfect bow at the top. And how snazzy was Merlin’s suit? So sharp, with a fun added touch of the bunny socks for the guys.

I adored all the origami paper cranes that Koharu made to decorate the tables. The colorful 4-tiered butterfly cake by the Cake Artist’s Studio was a show stopper and almost too pretty to eat!

The couple held a ceremony on the back patio at Pear Tree with the pond and fountain as a backdrop, and the giant gold ring as an altarpiece. The monogrammed aisle runner led the way for the couple to enter their new married life together.

Following the as always delicious dinner by LA Gourmet, I led the couple out for a few sunset pictures, and then we did a sparkler exit on the back patio as well.

It was so fun to see Koharu’s wedding vision come to life and for all the details to come together perfectly. I was honored to be a part of it and to be able to capture this special day for them. Congrats, Koharu + Merlin!!

Ceremony & Reception | Pear Tree Estate, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Catering | LA Gourmet, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Cake | Cake Artist Studio, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Florist | Blossom Basket, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Instrumentalists | Barbara Hedlund, 1st Choice Music Services, Urbana, IL | Facebook

Officiant | Pastor Herb Coates

Menu design & Handlettering | Apricity Ink

Bride’s Dress Retailer | Elite Bridal Shop, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Bridesmaid Dresses | Azazie | Instagram

Suits/Tuxes | Men’s Wearhouse, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Bride’s hair & makeup | Style & Grace Salon

Video: Tori Beach Videography | Instagram

Photographer: Holly Birch Photography, Illinois-based photographer available for destination weddings

Kayleigh + Tyler | Navy + Blush wedding at Pear Tree Estate

Oh gosh! What a way to kick off my 2018 wedding season!!  Kayleigh + Tyler's day was definitely one to remember.  Everything with so smoothly, we were blessed with amazing weather, and these two planned the wedding of their dreams.  They chose a navy, blush and gold motif, and carried out beautifully from the attire to the flowers to every last detail of the reception.  I tried to think outside the box a bit more with this one and really try to capture more moments, and look for places on the grounds at Pear Tree Estate that I hadn't used before or look at them in a different way.  I had a hard time narrowing these down!!  There are about 30% more images in this blog post than I normally produce for a post!

A few of my favorite moments of the day were visiting the beer garden at the Blind Pig where Tyler proposed to Kayleigh one cold New Year's Eve, Tyler seeing his bride walk down the aisle, the reaction of the guest who caught the bouquet (priceless!), and the genuine smiles from the bride and groom and the entire wedding party all day long.  It was also fun running into some of my favorite fellow wedding vendors throughout the day -- shout out to Kristine, Lori, Annie & Ally!

I hope you two are having so much fun on your honeymoon!! Congratulations!

Leave a comment below for the new bride + groom, and after 30 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" print of their choice!

To book your own wedding or session, contact Holly!

Ceremony: St. Matthew's Catholic Church
Reception: Pear Tree Estate
Catering: LA Gourmet
Cake: Cakes by Lori
Florist: Flowers by Kristine
DJ: Complete DJ
Bride's dress: Michelle's - Morilee
Bridesmaids: Michelle's - Bill Levkoff
Suits: Michelle's
Transportation: Starr Limos
Invitations: Minted
Videographer: Embee Videography
Hair & Makeup: Hansen & Co.
Photographer: Holly Birch Photography

Emily + Ben | Fall purple + gold wedding at Pear Tree Estate

Gosh, I just love every time I have the privilege of photographing a wedding at Pear Tree Estate, and Emily + Ben's wedding was no exception.  I hit it off with this couple from the get-go with our initial consultation at Starbucks. Emily brought lots of great questions, we had some good conversation, and started making plans.  Then a few months back we met up on the UI campus (Ben's alma mater!) for their engagement session.  I think it's so important to do engagement sessions because it helps me learn about the couple, decide how to pose them, develops trust, and I get to see if they have any issues with blinking, holding smiles, etc.  It also gives me another chance to get to know them a bit better before the wedding day.  Then when Saturday rolled around, we were all comfortable with each other and just got to work!

Emily + Ben planned a beautiful day with deep fall colors throughout all the details.  I loved all the wine bottles and corks on the placecard table, which I worked in to their ring photos.  The purple and scarlett flowers were the perfect stark contrast to the bare trees outside which we used for most of the portraits.  I told them that even though it was colder than average temps outside, we were blessed with some gorgeous light.  And since they planned a 4pm ceremony after the time change, we did a First Look and did nearly all the portraits before the ceremony.  The light was absolutely dreaming streaming through the trees up near Pear Tree's Concorde Room.  Surrounded by family and friends, Emily + Ben stood in front of a warm, glowing fireplace to say their vows.  Ben started tearing up (as he told me he would!), and then I started tearing up!  I also got to work with an outstanding team that day, so be sure to check them all out below!  This was my final wedding for 2017, and I'm thrilled with the results!  Now it's time to rest and recharge through the holidays (while still working on editing and wedding albums -- LOL!) to gear up for 2018.  Bring it on! :)

Leave a comment below for Emily + Ben and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" print of their choice!!

Contact Holly to book your own wedding or engagement session!


Venue: Pear Tree Estate

Cake: Cakes by Lori

Floris: A. Hunt Design

DJ: Bugbee's DJ

Caterer: LA Gourmet

Officiant: Don Christensen

Bride's Dress: Michelle's Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Michelle's Bridal

Tuxes: Michelle's Bridal 

Instrumentalist: Molly Madden | Harpist 

Invitations + Programs: Paper Boutique 

Jeweler: Westphal's

Videographer: Maloch Media

Hair: Something You Salon

Makeup: Brittany Koroyanis Makeup Artistry