downtown Champaign

Courtney + Jessica | Downtown Champaign + iHotel wedding

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Courtney + Jessica for my friend Rebekah Albaugh, alongside her associate photographer Jennifer Council. The whole day was so much fun!! I started up in one of the suites with Jessica while she got her final hair and makeup done. We did their First Look in the lobby of the iHotel before heading to the Japan House area for photos.

The couple’s wedding also happened to fall on Pride weekend in Champaign, and the ladies had talked about visiting the festival area for a few quick photos. We didn’t know if the crowds, traffic, and parade would be a problem, but I was determined to give them a fairytale moment that they’d never forget so we made it happened. Our driver Shawn from Elite was a BOSS and got us exactly where we needed to be and even got close enough to pick us up again when we were done.

You guys, it was magical! The bystanders cheered for Courtney + Jessica, and they got all kinds of applause and well wishes. A couple people were standing nearby waiting with rainbow flags and I asked them to wave them in the background. And so I was able to create the image that had been formulating in my head. <3

Then after a few more portraits of the couple and wedding party, we headed back to iHotel for the ceremony and reception. I loved their super elegant cake, Courtney’s dad tearing up during his speech, their throwback hashtag (is that an oxymoron?!), and the day-long laughs. It was a beautiful, perfect day full of love, family, and friends. Congrats on your new marriage, Jessica + Courtney!!

Hannah + Colin | Downtown Champaign engagement session | Friday Night Live

Colin + Hannah are getting married at the end of July, and they came home the first weekend in June to wrap up some wedding preparations. We planned on a Friday evening session, and I had totally forgotten that it was the first night for Friday Night Live, and dance dress rehearsal at Virginia Theater for a local dance studio. So downtown was definitely jumping! We finally found places to park and then the session couldn’t have gone any more smoothly. These two glided into every pose naturally and effortlessly, so I know we’re going to make magic on their wedding day!! Can’t wait!!

Laura + Bob | Downtown Champaign engagement session

Have I mentioned before that I love when I get the chance to photograph a sibling that I’ve photographed before?? I am truly honored that Bob + Laura (whose sister’s wedding I photographed a couple years ago) chose me to photograph their wedding! I still remember Bob offering to help me with my flash equipment when we were forced indoors while a storm rolled through that day. Laura emailed me a few months ago to ask about my services and availability, and we three had a lovely chat over some house-made chips at Harvest Market. I’m looking forward to their wedding at iHotel next May!

So, cute story — these two met at Destihl in downtown Champaign so that’s where we decided to meet up that evening. We made sure to get a few photos with the sign in the background, ad the lovely pink trees were still blooming so we took advantage of those too. It was a gorgeous evening out, so we enjoyed a lovely stroll around downtown and then West Side Park to round out the session. We got so many cute images — it was hard to narrow them down for this blog post! I especially love the candid ones of them laughing!! <3