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Country Club of Decatur Wedding Day in Decatur, Illinois | Kate + Michael

October 26, 2017

Hey, I’m Kara!
Hey, I’m Kara! A wedding and family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois! Whether I’m photographing your wedding day or everyday milestones and memories as a family, this job is my joy.

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Oh my goodness, where to do I begin with these two?! I still cannot believe that Kate and Michael’s wedding day has already come and gone, and now they’re living married life together!

Thinking back, I fondly remember the day Kyle and I met Kate and Michael at The Elegant Bridal Expo in Champaign, Illinois back in January 2015. These two were newly engaged over the holiday season and exploring their options when it came to wedding vendors. I will be forever grateful for that day at the expo for connecting us to these two! After chatting with them and our personalities “clicking” in those first moments, I earnestly hoped these two would become one of my couples. Fast forward to a few weeks later when I received a phone call from Michael saying that YES they indeed wanted to move forward with booking engagement and wedding photography. What an honor… Cue my happy dance!

These two met while attending law school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Kate was a first year law student, and Michael was her teaching assistant. Soon enough, Kate reached out to Michael, and he asked her to join him for a date. One of my favorite parts of their story is that Michael still remembers what Kate wore, and Kate still remembers what Michael had to drink on that night of their first date! For their second date, these two spent several hours in the car driving back and forth to enjoy dinner, cupcakes (YES!), and an Italian opera in Champaign. They told me this was the true test of the possible magnitude of their relationship, and of course, they enjoyed every moment of that day together!

Then, after dating for almost two years, Michael found the perfect engagement ring for Kate while he was window shopping the estate jewelry at a local jeweler on his birthday… It was then that he came across a beautifully unique Edwardian style ring (circa 1919) with a sapphire and diamond halo – talk about stunning and incredibly one of a kind! When Michael proposed to Kate, they had just moved into their place together in Springfield, Illinois (literally the same day!), and they were starting to make this new place their home. Michael gifted Kate a photo album of their relationship together, and the final photo was of the engagement ring accompanied by a caption asking Kate to marry him!

As you can probably tell, I love everything about Kate and Michael’s story, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you. As a photographer and friend, I love being able to offer a little glimpse into each of these stories as I feel it makes each story spill out in the photos and drive you to feel something greater. To say that these two are some of the kindest and loving people I have ever met is simply an understatement!

Kate and Michael’s Decatur wedding day started out with sunshine, wind, and 80 degree temperatures. I loved arriving to Kate spending time with her mom and bridesmaids while Michael was enjoying the morning with his groomsmen. The energy was positive, and I knew these two were going to have the best day despite the rainy forecast! Soon enough, it was time for their intimate first look in their church’s chapel… What a beautiful moment in time for these two to remember for all of their days!

As we moved into bridal party photos, I simply loved my time with Kate, Michael, and their favorite people. Even as the impending rain drew nearer, their smiles, laughter, and joy were surrounding us! And they all braved a little rain for a couple fun umbrella photos – you’ve gotta make the best of the day no matter what we’re given!

My favorite parts of this wedding day were how joyful Kate and Michael were (their joy was absolutely contagious!) throughout the entire day along with how this wedding day was very much true to this couple. It was truly all about their marriage to one another, and of course, celebrating with their loved ones! Oh, and I cannot forget to mention that I loved their unique take on their reception dinner… These two served breakfast for dinner, and it was a huge hit!

After their wedding day, Kate wrote to us saying, “Kara and Kyle, I cannot put in words how great you two made the day. I am so lucky to have you two capture some clouds and sun on our wedding day! Much love and thanks!” These sweet words greatly encompass our joy and honor to be able to share incredible days with couples like Kate and Michael.

Kate + Michael… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Kyle and I loved being a part of your wedding day, and more importantly, we have loved getting to know you two and being able to call you friends. Cheers to your married years!


Bride’s Attire: Essense of Australia at Cloud Nine Bridal – Peoria, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Vera Wang at David’s BridalHair + Makeup: headlineSpavilla – Decatur, IL | CeremonyWestminster Presbyterian Church – Decatur, IL | Reception Venue: Country Club of Decatur – Decatur, IL | Florist: Wethington’s – Decatur, IL | Catering: Country Club of Decatur – Decatur, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Etsy

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois