I knew when I first met Allie and TJ that they were going to be a very fun couple to photograph. They were so easy to talk with and so laid back that it felt like I was talking to old friends.Never a bad way to start a wedding consultation!
Their wedding day did not disappoint either. We started the morning at their getting ready spot, the Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center. I love when brides and their girlfriends don't take the wedding day too seriously and have a good time, and these girls where definitely lighthearted! Mimosas were on tap, little kiddos were running around coloring in their coloring books and old girlfriends and new family members chit chatted while everyone got their hair done and makeup applied. Allie (and her bridesmaids, too) looked amazing and once the she had her gorgeous dress on we were able to capture some very special moments between her and her mom and grandmother.
Once everyone was ready to go, we hopped in our cars and drove out to the country church in Gifford, Illinois where the wedding was to take place. It was a beautiful old church on top of a hill--have I told you yet how much I love country weddings! The church was overflowing with friends and family and it was amazing to see so much love and support for these two in one room.
The ceremony was a traditional Catholic Mass filled with lovely singing and words of love and commitment shared between Allie and TJ. After the ceremony and Allie and TJ were able to give their thanks and see-you-at-the-reception to everyone, we all went out to a house of a friend of TJ's who said we could use the property for some amazing wedding party and couple's photos. I was little unsure of where we were going--I mean it was literally out in the middle of nowhere, but once we pulled up to the property, I think my jaw may have dropped. It was like some sort of beautiful neverland in the middle of the forest. A small pond and with a surrounding forest greeted us, and I knew it was going to be just perfect for capturing some romantic photos of the Allie, TJ, and their friends and family. Allie and TJ were absolute naturals in front of the camera--talk about a gorgeous couple! And made our work so very easy and fun! Before we knew it it was off to the reception!
Now, I've done a lot of weddings, but I've never had a wedding where their have been about 450 guests! (Talk about being a well-loved and liked couple!) To accommodate such a large group, Allie and TJ had their reception at Gordyville, Usually reserved for flea marketers, family and friends had transformed the space into a romantic reception hall. Family members had made an amazing spread of down-home cooking as everyone got settled in for some good eats, the festivities began. Allie's sister and best friend both gave such sweet toasts--both got everyone teary eyed, including myself! (I can't help it-I'm a sap!) Then, there was TJs best man who was a hoot and then his father. Well, dad threw these two a curve ball, and I must say that my photographer's heart was soo happy for it! Mr. Langley insisted on, get this, a chicken eating contest in the middle of the reception hall. Fried chicken wouldn't be so bad, but these guys went full on country and brought out fried chicken feet! Oh, the looks on their faces...like I said, a photographer's dream. ;)
Things had to calm down a bit after that, and the first dances were done and were so very sweet and heartfelt--the photographs say it all. And, of course, I had to pull Allie and TJ outside for some beautiful sunset pics. All-in-all, it was an amazing love-filled day, and I was so honored to be able to capture so many happy and beautiful memories for Allie and TJ.
Best of luck, you two! Love, Kathy