navy and gold

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

Ashlei + Dave | Tinley Park Odyssey Country Club Wedding


After a long winter with not much of a chance for outdoor portraits, I was so raring to go for the 2015 wedding season! I got started with a bang with Ashlei + Dave's wedding in Tinley Park, where we started with both the guys and girls getting ready at the Holiday Inn. The hotel was just a few-minute drive from the Odyssey Country Club, which was a GORGEOUS venue I hope to photograph at again. Though the sun was shining, the air was still pretty chilly, but the entire wedding party dealt with it well and did whatever I asked of them. Ashlei wanted lots of portraits and lots of details shots and I was happy to oblige! Once we'd gotten several of the "safe" and "must have" shots, I told her we were going to shift gears and do some more creative and romantic poses, and she was thrilled. :) I also love love love the navy + gold + champagne color scheme they chose, and especially the navy suits, which is something I don't see very often. The colors made for amazing details shots from the table settings to the flowers to the rings. (Obviously I had fun with the rings since I posted 4 different versions just on the blog!!). My favorite memory from the night was when Ashlei pulled me over to the window overlooking the golf course and pointed down to one of the gazebos where another wedding couple was getting photographed after dark. She said "Can we go?" And said of course, and said her photos would be even better than theirs! LOL -- thanks to the groomsmen who trekked out there with me to hold my flash!). Those photos are the very last two of the set -- be sure to check them out! #hbpweddings #hbpbrides Ashlei + Dave, thank you so much for having me photograph your wedding day -- I had so much fun and have a few new favorite images for sure! Hope you're enjoying St. Lucia!!

Leave a comment below for Ashlei + Dave and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" print of their choice.

Tinley Park Holiday Inn getting ready

Holiday Inn Tinley Park bridal suite

bridesmaids getting ready

wedding party Odyssey Country Club

off-camera flash Odyssey CC

First Look Reveal

beige champagne bridesmaid dresses

navy tux groomsmen

white navy champagne wedding decor

wedding candids

white blue candy bar bouquet

macro ring shots

bridal portraits

bride and groom portraits

bride and groom at ceremony venue

portrait time

bridal ceremony entrance

Here comes the bride

ceremony candids

First Kiss and celebration

wedding day celebrations

blue skies March wedding portraits

Odyssey Country Club wedding

wedding toasts

Odyssey Country Club reception venue

father-daughter dance

mother-son dance

couple's first dance "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran

bouquet and garter tosses

reception dancing candids

off-camera flash portraits at end of night

Vendor Team Venue: Odyssey Country Club, Tinley Park Dress: Candice's Bridal, Springfield Bridesmaids: WTOO Tuxes: Jim's Formalwear Limo: Chicago Elite Limo DJ: Admit One DJs Hair & makeup: Mici Birch & Ashley VanEtten Jewelry: Mark's Jewelers Programs & Invitations: Cortineo Creative | The Wedding Studio Florist: Kloeckner Preferred Flowers Photographer: Holly Birch Photography

Ellen + Neal | University of Illinois Memorial Stadium wedding


Last Saturday I spent the afternoon once again acting as the second photographer for another photographer friend! This time I was with the amazing Kara of Kara Kamienski Photography. Kara has this crazy, bubbly personality and she has this awesome way of bringing out the ultimate personalities in each of her wedding couples. I could tell that Ellen + Neal were a great couple to start with, but I got to see little glimpses of it throughout the day as well -- Ellen's gift to Neal (the lapel pins you see on his tux were photos of his grandfathers), their outgoing friends, the patriotic socks, Ellen's "roll with it attitude," and much, much more. I always love photographing weddings at Memorial Stadium, and getting to take the wedding party down on the football field. Often times, most of the group has never been on the turf before and it's fun to see their reactions and see them just play. Kara, thanks for having me along for this one!fall football wedding

groom's gift

bridesmaid getting ready

mother-daughter getting ready

black-and-white wedding ceremony

Sidney United Church wedding

church wedding exit

bridal party portraits

bride groom weed field portraits

fall bridal portraits

fall bride and groom portraits

Meadowbrook portraits bride groom

Memorial Stadium football field wedding pictures

football wedding pictures

Illini wedding pictures Champaign

Vendors Ceremony: Sidney United Church Reception: Memorial Stadium Colonnades Club Photographer: Kara Kamienski Photography Second photographer: Holly Birch Photography