St. John’s Lutheran Church, Cullom + Hilton Garden Inn, Kankakee, Illinois

June 24, 2017

Mark stood awaiting the voice of his bride. In place, with his back against the church they were to be married in, he held a letter. Moments passed, and Amy walked up, with her back to Mark. She also held a letter. In the tradition of keeping things traditional, neither looked up and stayed just around the corner, in arms reach. Their hands touched in between them and nerves were instantly calmed. It was about time. As they stood there, moments away from one another, Mark read his letter aloud so that Amy could hear. He spoke about his love for her, and his excitement for the day ahead. It was Amy’s turn. With a tear rolling down her cheek, she read her letter to her future husband, proclaiming her love for him and excitement for their futures together. Tears were shed by all, and after what seemed like such a fleeting moment, they walked away from one another to wait until it was time.

I love first looks, you all know this by now. However, this moment from Amy and Mark’s wedding day on Saturday is one of my favorites from their entire day. I felt very privileged to witness first hand the outpouring of love and devotion they have for one another. It was so sweet, and set a wonderful tone for the day to come. Soon after, it was time for the ceremony where Mark and Amy would finally lay eyes upon one another and vow to love each other unconditionally for the rest of time. We then left St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom in a party bus and headed for the KCC campus, where we hung out with the bridal party and took some gorgeous bridal party portraits! When we walked into the cocktail hour, the first thing I noticed were three bridal gowns hanging in full form. They were the gowns of Amy’s mom and grandmother, along with Mark’s mothers wedding dress. It gave me goosebumps! The reception details were gorgeous, with fresh flowers everywhere, rustic inspired centerpieces, and homemade cookies that made the whole room smell like a bakery. It was heaven! The party was an absolute blast, as we got to hang out with Amy and Mark’s families, of whom you may recognize, as I photographed Amy’s brother’s wedding last November (Hannah + Tyler’s Kankakee Wedding) along with Amy’s fair queen photos and have stayed close with everyone since! It’s easy to feel like family when you’re around this group, and really easy to have a TON of fun! Thank you, Mark + Amy for allowing us to document this journey for you!

xoxo – Em

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to show your love for this couple!

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You can’t go wrong with Badgley’s, am I right?!

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Her veil is the softest veil I have ever felt in my life. Seriously, it was like a cloud.

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THIS, my dear friends, is why we go out at sunset at all cost.

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It’s out of the box but I love it! The perfectly imperfect.

bride groom run grass outdoors



Thank you to the vendors who made their day special:
Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Lutheran Church
Reception Venue: Hilton Garden Inn
Cake: Karen Meister
Florist: Becky Freed
DJ: Music to your Ears DJ Services
Dresses: Michelle’s Bridal Shoppe
Shoes: Macy’s
Tuxes: Louie’s Tux Shop
Invitations: Adcraft Printers
Wedding Bands: Ellis Jewelers
Jewelry: Michelle’s Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Inspired by You

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