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Jessica & Patrick - An Illinois Farm Wedding

Midwest Backyard Farm Wedding

Smaller, intimate weddings are a nice change of pace from the speed and moving pieces that come with larger celebrations. Jessica and Patrick opted to have their special day on their aunt’s farm in Monee, IL! The start of the day was quiet as I found myself in the middle of corn fields – not too different from my home in Yorkville. The other wedding vendors were getting set up and I took the opportunity to get some nice detail shots of the scenery!

The ceremony was accompanied by horses in the background, as well as a guitarist who would provide the soundtrack for this part of the evening – and one Midwest wedding photographer moving throughout the space with respect to the guests and the couple. A beautiful song was performed by the mother of the groom, vows were exchanged, the first kiss was had and cheers echoed throughout the acres of land! I was able to sneak the couple away for some sunset portraits, then dinner was served followed by cake cutting. The cake was dropped by the couple, but they picked it back up and enjoyed the funny moment that would become a story for future generations.

The first dances were held on a dance floor popup tent in front of the house. The weather was nothing short of perfect, allowing the evening to flow without a hitch! The tent gave the feeling of an indoor space, but the freedom to move between different settings by simply stepping right outside. Jessica and Patrick’s people gathered for the garter and bouquet toss, full of energy and enthusiasm. Once these time-honored traditions were complete, they took to the dance floor as they saw the moon rise into the night sky! My time there was short and sweet, but packed with moments that will continue to live on long after we’re gone.

Monee, IL

Pre-ceremony

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On the range

Ceremony & portraits

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The reception

Cake cutting & dancing

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Naperville Hotel Arista Wedding

Shay & Grant - Hotel Arista Naperville Wedding

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Sweet home Aurora

The groom started his day at his childhood home located in Aurora, IL. Their beautiful house is going to be sold soon, so these final memories make the experience all the more important. A lifetime of moments leading up to one of the biggest days in his life seems like a fitting way to close that chapter! The groomsmen opened their gifts, joined in on a few rounds of shots and started prepping for the day ahead. Grant put on his ceremonial Nike kicks and made his way to the city next door.

Hotel Arista in Naperville

The bride patiently waited amongst the company of her friends and family. Shay and Grant opted for a first look, which is a growing trend in America that seems to have gained more popularity since Covid-19 hit. It was certainly a moment worth waiting for, filled with emotion on both sides of the table! Grant couldn’t hold back a few tears when he said his bride to be for the first time in her stunning wedding dress. We took a few group shots and headed back in to get ready for the ceremony!

United at last

Shay and Grant may be young in age, but their love feels as timeless as hot cocoa on a snowy day! They exchanged vows in front of an audience of very important people and sealed it with kiss. Post-ceremony kept the emotional train rolling as they met their closest friends for the first time as husband and wife!

Cocktail hour was filled with drinks, snacks and lots of laughter. In the first summer with a vaccine, people were eager to see one another in a social setting again! The energy was high, and it stayed that way for the rest of the night. Shay and Grant performed a beautiful first dance together before they got to hear their closest loved ones say a few words. After dinner it was nothing but good music and good times, putting the cap on a day that couldn’t have gone any better!

The Morning

Groom prep

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Hotel Arista

First look & bridal party

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Two become one

Ceremony & cocktail hour

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The reception

Dinner & dance

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