Normally in a drought everyone prays for rain, and that’s exactly what everyone around the country has been doing all summer long. We need the rain, bad, and on the day of John and Amber’s wedding… it’s exactly what we got. I woke up that morning to the sound of thunder and heard the rain falling and I immediately got nervous! We were to be taking outdoor pictures with a 28-person bridal party in 5 hours and I was in panic mode. I sent a prayer up to God and said “God, we need the rain and you can rain all day if you want EXCEPT from 1pm-4pm”. I also asked him to make John and Amber’s wedding day a magical day and a day that would be filled with love and happiness. A day that they will remember for the rest of their lives. God answered my prayers and it stopped raining just about an hour before we were to start portraits. I was so excited and so was Amber because there was no “plan B”.
John and Amber decided to do a first look and I can’t emphasize enough on how important doing a first look on your wedding day is. They had so much time for portraits and quality time to spend together before the ceremony. It was a special moment with just the 2 of them (with me hiding around the corner). All of their portraits and the bridal party portraits went off without a hitch. Since the rain made it extra muggy and hot, we decided to wait on the FULL bridal party (need I remind you there were 28 total). After they walked down the isle and said “I DO”, we took 1 bridal party in the church (which probably took about 15 minutes to set up LOL) and then we all headed down to the Popeye statue/bridge. I didn’t even realize that the welcome center had a great area for pictures. The Mississippi River and bridge made a great background and I now have a new spot for pictures!
The last stop for the evening was John and Amber’s reception at the Chester American Legion Hall. When you walked in the first thing you saw were paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and then a teal chandelier hanging above the dance floor. Well, maybe that’s what my eye lead straight too but it was definitely a focal point. At the door you could sign the guest book and take a candle. The candles were to be lit when John and Amber danced their first dance together as a married couple. Once the dance was over, you were suppose to blow out your candle and make a wish. I had never seen that done before and let me just tell you…. IT WAS AWESOME! Very romantic and such a special moment. The bridal party and guests made a circle around them and there wasn’t a light on in the whole venue except for the candles and the chandelier. Simply beautiful. Not gonna lie, I teared up during this. Lately my weddings have had such special and meaningful moments and it just makes me love my job so much more.
John and Amber, please enjoy my favorites from your special day. You two are so cute and I’m so glad that you asked me to capture one of the most important days in your lives. I wish you two many years of happiness. Enjoy!
The girls started off getting hair and make-up done at J&L Salon in Sparta, IL.
Getting in to her dress!!!
First look! Love these moments.
You are stunning, Amber!
The handsome groom!
I love window light!
Baby’s breath. So simple and beautiful.
Miniature bride. Such a cutie.
Lighting the candles for the first dance.