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Ashley + Matthew | Surprise Proposal by the Lake

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It was so awesome to be a small part of this special wedding proposal this past weekend.  I drove to Decatur where Matthew and his family had picked out a nice high spot overlooking lake Decatur where he would propose to his then girlfriend, Ashley. Matthew and I exchanged several emails working out the timing and location details of his proposal to Ashley. I met him and a few family members at Nelson park in Decatur, and then we all hid and awaited Ashley's arrival via limousine! Ashley is a big fan of the Bachelor and Matthew's proposal was definitely a nod to that, along her favorite color yellow.  Following the proposal, we spent the rest of the hour doing a mini engagement session in the nearby Anna Bethel Fisher Rock Garden. Then the limo whisked them off to dinner, complete with personalized champagne!

It's so fun to be part of surprise proposals and impromptu engagement sessions, and I was so happy to have been asked to be there! Congrats to you both and I hope you enjoy every minute of this phase of life + wedding planning!!

awaiting the limousine arrival down on one knee telling the family such excitement and utter happiness impromptu mini engagement session Fisher Rock Garden at Nelson Park in Decatur Rock Garden engagement pictures with rose new bling ring she said yes in the limo with personalized champagne

Katie + Cal | Crescent City | Kankakee Hilton Garden Inn wedding

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Katie + Cal had a beautiful Christmas + winter themed wedding the first Saturday in December. The red dresses the bridesmaids wore and Katie's bouquet just popped against her white dress in a gorgeous contrast. Cal is a country boy through and through, but he did just about everything I asked with no complaints. Same for his groomsmen! They were all troopers. I wish we would have had a bit more daylight to work with, but we made the most of it, and used some off-camera lighting (OCF) in church and got some nice shots of Katie + Cal in the middle of the sanctuary with the Christmas tree in the background. And what wedding limo ride is complete without a stop at Casey's for some -- ahem -- refreshments?? ;) I also wish I could show you the best man's speech, because rapped to the theme from "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." I took a short video of it with my new camera, so I'll have to get it posted and add a link!! Congrats again to Katie + Cal! #celebratecalandkate Leave a comment below for Katie + Cal, and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" mounted print of their choice. Thanks for looking!! groomsmen getting ready

groomsmen with tractro

groom portraits

bride and mother getting ready

bridesmaid red dresses getting ready

bride relaxing

Christmas wedding bridesmaids

bride's father first look

red bouquet portraits

winter wedding porttraits

holiday wedding rings

groom calm before the storm

here comes the bride

Crescent City wedding ceremony

St. Peter's Lutheran Crescent City

random wedding details winter

grand exit with fake snow

receiving line

couple with siblings

Christmas tree wedding portraits

sanctuary wedding portraits OCF

limo stop at Casey's General Store

red and white reception details Ba Da Bloom

red and white cake by Jorie

Hilton Kankakee candids

entrance elf props Santa

new Mr. & Mrs.

cake cutting

toasts

Hilton Garden Inn Kankakee wedding

bride and groom first dance

father-daughter dance

reception details

reception dancing

Vendors: Ceremony: St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Crescent City Reception: Hilton Garden Inn, Kankakee Cake: Cakes & Patries by Jorie, Manteno Florist: Ba Da Bloom, Bourbonnais DJ: Music to Your Ears DJ Officiant: Joel Brown Bride's Dress: Elite Bridal Bridesmaids & tuxes: Michelle's Bridal Transportation: Elite Limo Linens: Satin Chair Covers Rental, Bradley Invitations/Programs: Wedding Paper Divas Hair & makeup: Jessica Van Hoveln Photographer: Holly Birch Photography