23 May 2017

Ali + Eli | A Rustic Wedding At The Expo Hall | Du Quoin, Illinois


As I was walking into the salon that morning, I was greeted by some of Ali's bridesmaids and the hairstylists. I told them I was the photographer for the day and that's when I heard Ali scream, " Hi Kacey!" She was sitting in the corner chair so I had not seen her yet but I could tell she was super happy and bubbly, just as she always is. After meeting with Ali and Eli for their engagement session in the fall, I quickly learned of Ali's bright and cheerful personality and it was even brighter that morning, as it should be since she would be marrying her best friend in a few hours.

The morning quickly flew by. Bridesmaids scrambled to get final touches on their hair/makeup and getting into pretty gowns of all shades of pink and blush. I assume the boys just hung out casually until it was time to get dressed themselves. Boys have it so much easier LOL. But one of my favorite moments was when Ali and Eli shared their FIRST LOOK. I don't think I've seen a groom grin and smile as much as Eli did, the moment he turned around and saw his bride for the first time. Ali was absolutely stunning in her Maggie Sottero gown (one of my favorite dress designers, too). The bouquet had brooches from both Ali and Eli's grandmothers, so it was definitely a special piece. After having a few minutes to themselves, their dog, Mavis, came around the corner and ran up to them. She's super spoiled, as any dog lover knows this is not a problem LOL, and of course we had to do a few family pictures of all three of them before heading for more portraits and the ceremony.

After a beautiful and intimate ceremony at the St. John's United Church of Christ in Du Quoin, Illinois, we all made our way to the expo hall at the Du Quoin Fairgrounds. It's such a grand place for a wedding reception. It was decorated with country/primitive decor and lots of jars and blush toned flowers. I loved the mantel decor behind the head table. It screamed Ali style perfectly and all the hard work she and her mom did really paid off.

I'm so honored to have been a part of such an important day for Ali and Eli and I hope to see them more in the future. Ali and I have so many things in common and at one point she turned to me and asked, "Do you need a new best friend?" I love gaining these new friendships and I cannot wait to show you all this amazing wedding. Enjoy looking through some of my favorites below...


I love me some Kate Spade!











Oh Mavis, you're adorable!

STUNNING!






















Cutest little ring bearer. He loved giving a 'thumbs up' :-)


Ali and Eli's wedding just happened to fall on the same day as SIU's graduation. And one of Ali's bridesmaids, Kayla, was suppose to walk that day to receive her diploma. She opted out of going to her own graduation last minute but Ali still wanted to surprise her and make her feel special too.






Ali's grandmother was their flower girl and there wasn't a dry eye in the church when she walked down the isle. Eli's grandmother was suppose to join her but due to her health she wasn't able to.




MARRIED and pretty excited about it!

LOVE this picture so much!













The cake was made by Ali's grandmother and it tasted AMAZING!






You know, a little dance party before the reception official starts :-)


One of the hits of the reception was this ice cream float station.

The newlywed game!

We had just enough time to get in some golden hour shots!




Ali loves Coke and any Coke decor/bottles. So this was perfect for her :-)