How in the world is it September? And how is it already the second week of September? Time got away from me and August flew by and I never got a chance to blog Lauren and Mark’s wedding! I promise you the wait is going to be worth it because it was such a beautiful wedding at a brand new venue.
When Lauren told me that she and Mark chose The Mainstreet Abbey for their wedding venue, it was all new to me. I had never heard of it but when I looked it up on social media, it was definitely familiar to me. I had been hearing about a new venue opening up and saw a few pictures but never knew the name of it. As a photographer, seeing a church renovated to have a light and airy feel, I was in heaven! They have turned an old church into such a beautiful event center.
Before meeting at the Abbey, Lauren and Mark chose to do their first look and some bridal party portraits off-site. They left the decision making up to me on that location so I told them to meet me at a local park there in Columbia. I picked it because there was this beautiful willow tree that I was dying to use with a bride and groom! Some people think willow trees are depressing but I think they are beautiful and whimsical. I could take portraits next to a willow tree all day, every day and never get tired of it! Once we were finished, we all made our way to the Mainstreet Abbey for a few more portraits before the ceremony. Seriously, this church is just amazing and I love the light inside this thing. If you’re planning a small wedding, you should definitely go check this place out.
Once the ceremony was finished, the staff transformed the room into a beautiful reception space. I loved Lauren and Mark’s style… simple, elegant and timeless. The tables were decorated with greenery and floating candles and they let the architecture inside the church do the rest of the talking. There were lots of speeches from multiple people who love Lauren and Mark the most. They were all so amazing but the maid/matron of honor speech that Lauren’s sister and cousin gave was pretty awesome. It was a Jeopardy theme! Lauren was on Jeopardy exactly one year prior to their wedding date. They kept telling people to prepare for July 6th for so long, for the airing of the episode Lauren was on. Then when they were wedding planning, they saw July 6 was available, so they decided to stick with it and keep telling people to prepare for July 6th again.
I loved so many moments from Lauren and Mark’s wedding, but there are 2 moments that have stuck with me in particular. One was that during the ceremony, instead of the traditional readings, Lauren and Mark’s parents both got up and read some readings of their choice. Some were poems, some were love letters from the past. I can’t remember the sources exactly but I do remember how I felt while listening to the words being spoken. The second moment was when Mark was dancing with his mother. I watched as those two dances around the center of the dance floor and she was singing the words to the song with the biggest smile on her face. Tears flowed from both of them as they shared that time together and it was so special seeing their bond and love for one another.
Like I said, this post should have been up weeks ago, but good things come to those who wait and the wait is now over! Below are a few of my favorites from my time with Lauren, Mark and their wonderful family and friends. It was truly and honor to be a part of such an amazing day.
It was so much fun working with these amazing vendors!
Ceremony & Reception | Mainstreet Abbey
Reception & Catering | Russo’s Catering
Bride’s Dress | Jenny Yoo (BHLDN)
Bouquets & boutonnières | Memory Lane, Columbia, IL
Hair & Makeup | Maplewood Beauty Bar
DJ |TKO DJs
Cake | Russo’s Catering
Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal
Groomsmen | Men’s Warehouse
Invitations | Minted