wedding

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

Emily + AJ | DoubleTree by Hilton wedding, Bloomington, Illinois

Some brides are planners and have everything completed to perfection — they make it look easy! Emily was one of those brides, which in turn made my job easy! (It may or may not have had something to do with her Apple Watch that she disguised with a pearl band for the wedding!) ;) She built a stellar timeline, had extra hands to help throughout the day, and organized a flawless wedding day from start to finish. It was hotter than blazes outside, but we actually didn’t spend too much time outside. We did all the pre-ceremony stuff inside the church, and there was one long hallway full of windows that came in super handy. After the ceremony, we spent about an hour outside, but it went by quickly with everyone cooperating well so we could get done and back into the AC! Emily + AJ, and their whole wedding party were troopers for sure!

The Bloomington DoubleTree was bathed in purple uplighting, and I loved the floor-length crystal chandeliers that set the dance floor off from the rest of the room. Sunflowers are such statement flowers and I love using them for ring photos and of course photographing bouquets with them. They really are a happy flower! I borrowed a 20mm wide angle lens to play with a bit at this wedding, and several of Emily + AJ’s portraits were taken with it. I really like the look of those images and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked using it.

Congrats again to the happy couple! Best wishes for a long and happy marriage, Emily + AJ!

Vendors

Ceremony | St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington, IL

Reception & Catering | DoubleTree by Hilton, Bloomington, IL | Instagram

Cake | Hy-vee Bakery, Bloomington, IL ; Amy Hayes

Florist | Forget Me Not Flowers, Bloomington, IL

DJ or Band | Mc Fyr Doc | Facebook

Instrumentalists | Judy Tavernor

Officiant | Father Dustin Schultz

Bride’s dress retailer | Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique, Peoria, IL | Instagram

Bride’s dress designer | Ella Rosa | Instagram

Bridesmaid dresses | Dillards | Instagram

Suits/Tuxes | Men’s Wearhouse | Instagram

Jeweler(s) | Jack Lewis Jewelers, Bloomington, IL | Instagram

Videographer | Video Dreams Productions, East Peoria, IL

Hair & Makeup | Fox and Hounds Salon, Bloomington, IL | Instagram

Uplighting | Prospect Sound and Lighting, Peoria, IL | Instagram

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

Jill + Jeff | Urbana Country Club wedding

Jill + Jeff were married on the golf course at the Urbana Country Club under a beautiful sunny sky. Their four daughters stood up with them and were in charge of the rings. I was only with them for an hour, but in that short time I got to see them loved on by their families and friends, with a few happy tears thrown in for good measure. :) I especially loved the part of the ceremony where the officiant had them turn around and look at all their guests and imagine all their love and thankfulness for each person in attendance. It was an honor to be a witness to their new union!

Vendors: Urbana Country Club & Champaign Jewelers