I have had the pleasure of photographing many weddings at the iHotel in Champaign, but I was honored to have been asked to photograph their recent renovations as well! The furniture in the common areas gets rearranged on occasion, plus new carpet and curtains were added to the guest rooms. They also needed some updated images of the iCafe and Houlihan’s areas, the “green roof,” and the courtesy vehicles. I can’t wait to be back for another wedding, but it was especially fun to see a little of the behind-the-scenes of one of my favorite local hotels. And the staff at the iHotel can’t be beat — both on the guest services side and the conference side. Everyone is so welcoming, kind, and helpful. I’m happy to keep building on our great working relationship!
Jenn + Joe planned a dream wedding day that came together in a beautiful package. These two adventurers have travelled all over together, and it was fun to hear stories and meet their friends and family from all over the country. I especially enjoyed visiting their historic house for a few photos both in the foyer and on the front porch.
First off, can we talk about Jenn's dress? The back of it with the lace and mesh was flat-out amazing! I also can't resist a good hairspray/setting spray photo! After the couple's first look, we were fighting with the full sun quite a bit, so we moved to the front of the Holy Cross church, with their huge burnt orange door that I LOVE. I think the wedding party's navy dresses and suits paired very nicely with the scene!
Following the ceremony, we headed over to the Hartley Gardens at the Arboretum, and a little tucked in spot between there and the Japan House that I adore. It was the perfect spot to get some magical, ethereal photos of the couple alone before heading to the reception at the iHotel.
Speaking of the reception, I loved the navy pin-tucked tablecloths and silver charger plates along with the warm amber uplighting bathing the room. The heartfelt toasts given by the best man and maid of honor were genuine and hilarious! I loved spending the day with Jenn + Joe, and wish them a lifetime of happiness!
Leave a comment below for Jenn + Joe and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" mounted print of their choice.
To book your own wedding or session, contact Holly!
Ceremony: Exaltation of the Holy Cross Catholic Church
Reception & Catering: I-Hotel | University Catering
Florist: Blossom Basket
Cake: Cakes by Lori
DJ: Elite Entertainment
Bride's dress: Elite Bridal - Dress by Martina Liana
Bridesmaids: David's Bridal
Tuxes: Elite Bridal - Jim's Formal Wear
Transportation: Elite Limo
Jeweler: Brilliant Earth - Flora Gems
Hair & Makeup: Something You Salon and Spa - Carmen Gates
I didn't meet Molly + Shea in person until the day of their wedding, but by the end of the day we felt like great, longtime friends! Molly chose a blush pink and gold palette for the day, and the bridesmaid dresses were all the perfect shade and each one was different even though each woman selected her own design. The guys looked super sharp in their black bow tie tuxes. The bridal suite at University Place Christian Church was recently remodeled and was phenomenal for the bride and her maids to get ready. Molly + Shea chose to do a first look, and the church has a neat little courtyard just outside the bridal suite that worked beautifully! We then continued on with portraits of the couple, wedding party, and family so most of the important photos were covered before the ceremony. The following the ceremony, we were able to have a relaxed, low pressure time with the couple and the wedding party again before heading to cocktail hour. The ballroom at iHotel looked super elegant with amber uplighting and the blush pink and gold theme evident throughout. Molly had a huge smile on her face for the entire reception -- you'll see it for sure in the photos! I especially loved the tribute her sisters did to when they used to dress up as kids, including special furs and vests for each of them to wear, and Molly singing in a circle with her sorority sisters. What a great night! Congrats, Shea + Molly!!
Leave a comment below for Molly + Shea and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" print of their choice!!
Contact Holly to book your own wedding or engagement session!
Cake: Cream and Flutter
Florist: Blossom Basket
Caterer: University of Illinois
Officiant: Pastor Kris Light
Bride's dress: Elite Bridal | David Tutera
Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
Suits/tuxes: Black Tie Formalwear
Transportation: Elite Entertainment
Linens: University of Illinois
Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations
Jeweler: Joel Singer
Hair + Makeup: Something You Salon and Spa
Drapery + Chairs: Elite Entertainment
Place Cards: Cali O'Rourke Calligraphy
Photographer: Holly Birch Photography