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Amber Oaks Chapel, Goodwine + The Linden, Rantoul, Illinois
May 20th, 2017


There’s something extra special about photographing weddings of dear friends. I’ve known Abby + Austin since early high school, and I’ve always known them as “Abby + Austin”. They’ve been together as long as I’ve known them, which is a long time! Abby is always so incredibly happy and her smile is infectious, and Austin is her proud partner in crime. They’ve had their fare share of ups and downs, I’m sure, but these two have made it through thick and thin, and I believe theirs is the love of a lifetime!

Last fall, we did their engagement photos outside of Mahomet, IL, and they ROCKED it. We had fun catching up, sharing wedding tips, and talking all about their son, Abel, who at the time was just a baby. We had planned for engagement photos in the fall to be cohesive with their fall wedding, but someone somewhere had other plans. Baby number two is on the way! Excitement was in the air, but also a bit of panic, as Abby had already found the perfect dress. So in three weeks time, Abby, Austin, and all of their friends and family put together their efforts, and everything fell perfectly into place for an outdoor May wedding. The stars aligned, all of their vendors were available, the major planning was already taken care of, it was down to details, and it was all coming together. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. That is, until the weather forecast updated with 100% chance of thunderstorms ALL WEEKEND. So a last minute call to the Amber Oaks Chapel was made, and the ceremony was moved inside instead of taking place at her grandparents timber. All was well logistically, but my photographer brain kept screaming “WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE PHOTOS?!” I had never been to the Chapel, but from what I gathered, it wasn’t large, and many old chapels aren’t overflowing with that perfect natural light. I racked my brain for an entire week until Saturday came and I had some ideas that would work in a pinch but were not ideal. I woke up to cloudy skies and rain. I got ready and hoped it would stop by the time my hair was dry. We packed the car, in the rain. We drove to Milford in the rain. When we pulled up to where the girls were getting ready, the rain STOPPED. No lie. It was windy but I take that over rainy! Now if it would just stay that way! Well, guess what?! IT DID! Despite the slightest of sprinkles as we pulled away from taking bridals, we had clear skies! I was in awe. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was perfect. From Abby’s epic train, to the gorgeously intimate chapel, to the pond we discovered across the road, it all fell into place like it was meant to be that way all along.

We headed to The Linden for dinner with a reception to follow, and even found time to head down the street for additional bridal portraits AND bridal party photos! Never have I had that much time alone with my bride and groom, and it made for such a relaxing, stress free environment to work in and I was able to really get creative with some shots and poses. I can only hope that every couple from here on out gives me that much time to have fun and go crazy for portraits! The only downfall? Narrowing them down! I think it’s time I stop rambling (I could talk about this day forever) and SHOW you these amazing portraits I talk about!

wedding ring macro shot burgundy invitation wedding invitation burgundy white elegant wedding dress lace sequins white white elegant wedding dress sparkly long bride's makeup make-up make up beautiful smokeybride's hair braid elegant smiling bride hair braid pretty beautiful curls bride smiling makeup braided hair pretty beautiful hairdresser

Abby’s train WAS epic.glittery sparkly sequins lace white elegant gown train tail happy bride dress mirror putting on bride getting ready burgundy bridesmaids white dress mirror shot bride white dress bridesmaids burgundy bride's dress white elegant lace button up back white lace button up dress earrings curly hair dress holding perfume bride's hands justin bieberbride dressing bridesmaids surrounding bride and mother loving family burgundy bride and mother kiss holding hands burgundy rings macro bride and groom white background white dress bride brother father dad reveal grey gray tuxeswhite dress bride brother father dad reveal grey gray tuxes white dress bride brother father dad reveal grey gray tuxes wedding flowers boutonniere grey gray tuxes pink red rose carnation gray grey tux chapel groom flower white twine pocket square wedding boy bow tie burgundy suspenders smiling smile happy emily groom tux grey graychapel goodwine IL illinois church bell country countryside Amber Oaks Amber Oaks Chapel goodwine door flowers decorated decorations amber oaks chapel windows flower bouquet roses decorations ribbon chapel window decorations wooden pick a seat not a side loved by both cross decorated pews bride bridesmaids dress outside joy group wedding cute boy aisle sign daddy here comes mommy flower girl children church chapel decorated groom ready anxious looking church chapel door white aisle church bells chapel aisle bride walking father bouquet amber oaks bride aisle white chapel father groom love first look happy groom bride father dad mom mother guests crying hug embracebride groom holding hands marriage wedding chapel church dress tux love church cross pew guests rings wedding marriage love vows bride groom kiss chapel church cross love guests pews seating married ceremony guests high five congratulations love aisle

bride groom bubbles ceremony boy selfie photo bomb dress outside happy joy fun

marriage license paper ceremony signing pen paper bride groom chapel church bride groom amber oaks country countryside love together couple bouquet roses outside photography hand in hand love chapel church outside amber oaks grass lower half bottom location bride bouquet roses white burgundy lace dress outside train fanned bride groom love together groom bridesmaids best man groomsmen flowers group side ten 10 peoplegroup outside ten 10 people wedding photography bouquets alternating dresses tuxes

bridal party bridesmaids white dresses burgundy red outside

bridal party bridesmaids dresses bouquet flowers outside country group

groom groomsmen best man fun funny joking serious outside boys bride groom portraits single solo outside stock photography yellow flowers blue sky clouds bouquet boutonniere serious posing sideways looking awaywedding bride groom kiss love passion outside dresses tuxes funny pointing center bride groom group outside posed front forward backward opposite direction serious bride groom romantic love dip kissing walk edge pond rocks lean bouquet bride turned around groom jacket bride tattoo lace dress yellow flowersbride groom group burgundy grey gray bride groom kiss dip jacket smiling bride groom framed bride groom wedding black white outdoor wedding decorations wooden burlap rusticwooden decorations wedding frames past wedding decorations sand burgundy white flowers wedding flowers frames table red roses wedding decorations wooden pink rustic pink red burgundy flowers table toppersbridesmaid flowers dress roses Peruvian lilies bride groom road walking green outdoors group bridesmaids groomsmen serious pose outdoor couple puddle face love outdoors bride groom bride groom walk stand trees nature

bride groom meadow prairie grass trees

bride groom outdoors trees grass clearing

bridesmaids groomsmen group road outdoors outside

bridesmaids groomsmen silly white burgundy grey gray

bridesmaids groomsmen puddle reflection smiling

bridesmaids flowers dresses bouquets flowers koozies cooler cozy drunk pink reception bride groom dance pictures review cake love napkins burgundy white mr & mrs burgundy white cake bride groom wedding slicing cutting kissfirst dance bride groom reception bride groom reception drapes bride groom dance family child woman man bride groom reception garter flower toss reception dance family children adults

Leave a comment below to show your love for Abby + Austin! Reach 50 comments and they’ll get a free print! #meetthefanchers

Thank you to all the vendors who helped make Abby and Austin’s day special:

Venue: The Linden
Cake: The Cake Artist’s Studio
Florist: Sheila’s Sunny Bloomers
DJ: Brandon and Ben Magers
Caterer: The Linden
Bridal Gown: Elite Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Elite Bridal
Tuxes: Michelle’s Bridal
Hair: Paige Kelly
Makeup: Paige Kelly
Favors: Black & White Confections

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