June 28, 2016

Eric + Samantha | The Wedding Garden – Carbondale, Illinois

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After over 4 years of shooting weddings, I can honestly say that I still love it as much as the first day I started. It’s funny to say that now and if you would have told me 4 years that I would be a wedding photographer, I would have laughed and told you that you are nuts. It’s been so wonderful, though. I’ve been apart of so many happy moments. I’ve met the best families. I’ve seen family and friends cry tears of joy and share memories of their brides and grooms. There’s really nothing quite like it… to be around happiness and love every weekend (well about half the weekends of the year).

Samantha and Eric had such a beautiful day for their wedding. It was held at the Wedding Garden and Event Center in Carbondale, Illinois. I’ve shot there before and the staff is so wonderful to work with. It’s the perfect venue if you’re looking for a place that is one-location for your event. Since there isn’t a whole lot of shade there, sometimes you have to go off-site to another location for portraits during the day. Samantha and Eric had no problem with that, so we made our way over to Southern Illinois University. The campus had lots of great trees and shade for portraits, which was amazing considering it was super hot that day.

One of my favorite parts of the day is when Samantha and Eric combined the sand during the ceremony. You’ve seen it before. It’s when the bride and groom take different colors of sand and they each pour their sand into a new container, combining the sand together. The sand can never be separated. After Samantha and Eric combined their sand, Eric went and got Samantha’s 3 children (which was a surprise for EVERYONE) and they let the kids pour in their own color of sand into the container too. It was so sweet, even the parents had no idea. It was Eric’s idea to involve the kids during the ceremony since they were becoming a family.

Enjoy looking at this beautiful wedding story at the Wedding Garden. You’re going to love it!

I love the “man cave” at the Wedding Garden.

Time for the FIRST LOOK!

Love this!

Ceremony time!

MARRIED! And Eric is pretty excited about it!

Look at all that window light! It’s probably my favorite reception venue I’ve shot at…hands down!

The Wedding Garden has uplighting available during the reception. It’s a HUGE difference from receptions that don’t have lighting. It’s so pretty.

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