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!
Abby’s train WAS epic.
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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