Urbana

Hannah + Colin | Willow Creek Farm wedding

Moments are what make up a wedding day. Lots and lots of little moments, and man, did I enjoy witnessing so many special ones on Saturday during Colin + Hannah’s big day. It wasn’t my first time to Willow Creek Farm, but it WAS my first time photographing a wedding there! I enjoyed my time there so much despite the 90+ degree heat, and the 10,000+ steps and 137 activity minutes I logged on my Fitbit. :)

Hannah hugged me when I first walked in and after a few dress photos, we jumped right into her getting dressed. Then after a few getting ready photos of Colin, we were ready to do the First Look. Talk about emotional!! It was one of the sweetest first looks ever and both and bride and groom had a hard time keeping it together. We all took a pause, a few deep breaths and then made some magic under the weeping willow trees by the pond. (Side note: Weeping Willow trees are one of my all-time favorite backgrounds for photos!)

The timeline Hannah + Colin created gave us plenty of time to get everything done before the ceremony. I have never seen a more proud father walking his daughter down the aisle. I mean, Hannah’s dad just BEAMED as he led her toward Colin. The ceremony was very sunny and hot, but the officiant wrapped things up in an efficient 22 minutes (he said so during the ceremony!), and I was able to send the couple off to mingle with their guests while I got photos of the reception area untouched by guests.

A small rain shower came through during dinner, so that kind of changed my plans for some sunset photos, but we got some neat clouds up to the north so we used that instead. I also took them out on the back patio with the cute little cafe lights for some fun dusk photos.

Hannah + Colin’s guests were SO fun, and I will never listen to 500 Miles by the Proclaimers the same way again. At the end of the post, you’ll see some photos where the guests have the couple hoisted up on their shoulders, and that was during that song, the last one of the night. And then we sent them off to their honeymoon with a sparker sendoff! It was truly a great day and evening, and I am so thankful to have been a part of it. Congrats, Colin + Hannah, and I hope you’re having an amazing honeymoon!! <3

Ceremony, Reception & Catering | Willow Creek Farm, Urbana, IL | Instagram

Cake | Cakes by Lori, Mahomet, IL

Florist | Flora, Mahomet, IL | Facebook

DJ or Band | Dan Church, Champaign, IL

Instrumentalists | Alexa Groen

Officiant | Mark Verbruggen

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

Bride’s Dress Designer | Martina Liana | Instagram

Bridesmaid Dresses | Azazie | Instagram

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

Hair & Makeup | Style and Grace Salon, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Videographer | Olivia Helmus | Instagram

Drone footage | EMC Photography

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

Lauren + Hugo | Married by judge at the courthouse

I love that courthouse weddings are becoming a niche market for me! It’s definitely something that I love marketing for, and also love photographing. I’ve come to know several of the bailiffs now and they welcome me warmly every time I enter the courthouse and courtrooms.

Lauren + Hugo were married at the Champaign County Courthouse a couple of weeks ago and will be welcoming a baby any day now! I am so excited for them and their growing family, and had a wonderful lunch hour with them photographing their marriage vows before Judge Heidi Ladd. The light on the 3rd floor was perfect that day, and the courtroom images are some of my favorite ceremony images yet! One of my favorite moments of the whole process is when the judge shakes their hands at the end and wishes them a long and happy marriage. I say cheers to that as well!!

Bowie + Kevin | Champaign County Courthouse nuptials

Summer craziness is here, so I haven’t been on top of my blogging like I should be! Trying to catch up in July!

Bowie + Kevin’s beautiful courthouse wedding took place in late May. Bowie had told me up front that they were both awkward in front of a camera — challenge accepted!! I don’t think they look awkward at all! That is one of my favorite things about being a portrait photographer — loosening people up and making them feel totally comfortable and at ease in front of my lens. I love how I was able to pull out some genuine emotion and laughter out of them too which gives these photos authenticity. I should mention that Bowie’s friends served as my kind of “hype girls” and would pump her up and squeal every time we did a cute pose. It was good for morale all around!! :)

Courthouse ceremonies are short and sweet (we’re talking like 5-10 minutes tops), and I spend roughly an hour with each couple. So while the actual ceremony is short, I take advantage of the rest of the hour to get candids, portraits of the couple, details photos, and group photos with any friends or family that are present.

If you’re considering getting married at the courthouse, let me walk you through the process! Send me an email to start the conversation.