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

Bowie + Kevin | Champaign County Courthouse nuptials

Summer craziness is here, so I haven’t been on top of my blogging like I should be! Trying to catch up in July!

Bowie + Kevin’s beautiful courthouse wedding took place in late May. Bowie had told me up front that they were both awkward in front of a camera — challenge accepted!! I don’t think they look awkward at all! That is one of my favorite things about being a portrait photographer — loosening people up and making them feel totally comfortable and at ease in front of my lens. I love how I was able to pull out some genuine emotion and laughter out of them too which gives these photos authenticity. I should mention that Bowie’s friends served as my kind of “hype girls” and would pump her up and squeal every time we did a cute pose. It was good for morale all around!! :)

Courthouse ceremonies are short and sweet (we’re talking like 5-10 minutes tops), and I spend roughly an hour with each couple. So while the actual ceremony is short, I take advantage of the rest of the hour to get candids, portraits of the couple, details photos, and group photos with any friends or family that are present.

If you’re considering getting married at the courthouse, let me walk you through the process! Send me an email to start the conversation.

Friend headshots | kDarling Photography

This dear friend of mine recently had a birthday, and I didn’t have a chance to get her a gift. BUT I am remedying that tonight when we meet for our quarterly Central Illinois Professional Photographers meeting in Monticello. I have her gift ready to go and we’re riding together and will be eating Jimmy John’s once we get there! I know, so random. LOL

Seriously though, Kristin is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She usually has some purple in her hair, she’s always just a text away, and she is a great listener and confidante. We, along with our friend Emily, call ourselves the Three Amigos, and we try to meet for lunch at least once a month to decompress and talk shop. We recently swapped sessions with each other and I photographed her daughter Mackenzie, and Kristin photographed my daughter Hadley. And then in July, Kristin is going to photograph my family at the fair with all the fun neon lights — can’t wait!

I hope 2019 is your best year yet, and I look forward to many more lunches (or brunches?), conferences, road trips, and texts! See you tonight, friend!! <3 By the way, what’s your Jimmy John’s order??? :D