Wedding

Lauren + Hugo | Married by judge at the courthouse

I love that courthouse weddings are becoming a niche market for me! It’s definitely something that I love marketing for, and also love photographing. I’ve come to know several of the bailiffs now and they welcome me warmly every time I enter the courthouse and courtrooms.

Lauren + Hugo were married at the Champaign County Courthouse a couple of weeks ago and will be welcoming a baby any day now! I am so excited for them and their growing family, and had a wonderful lunch hour with them photographing their marriage vows before Judge Heidi Ladd. The light on the 3rd floor was perfect that day, and the courtroom images are some of my favorite ceremony images yet! One of my favorite moments of the whole process is when the judge shakes their hands at the end and wishes them a long and happy marriage. I say cheers to that as well!!

Tip Tuesday | Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

One wedding day tradition is to gift your bridesmaids with something to say thank you for being a part of your wedding party. I’ve seen all kinds of great ideas — robes, jewelry, custom tanks/tees, personalized makeup bags, champagne flutes, and these adorable and practical stemless wine glasses. They are insulated metal and keep your drinks nice and cold, plus they can be personalized with monograms or names in varying colors. And the cups themselves come in a few different colors as well. I chose the matte black version with rose gold lettering with my name.

I got mine just a few days ago and I’ve already used it a ton! It’s great for hot summer day sitting out on our back deck and keeps my drinks cold for a long time. They’re affordable too, so go grab some for the bridesmaids in your life (and maybe your moms too!)!

(This is a sponsored post. The product was provided to me in exchange for my review.)

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