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Kankakee Hilton Garden Inn Wedding Day in Kankakee, Illinois | Kristin + David

November 2, 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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October 14th was a pretty amazing day this year!

I remember when I first connected with Kristin and David last year… My dear friend, Amy, connected us, and I am forever grateful for that introduction! She knew we would be a great fit together, and she was very right! I loved meeting Kristin, David, and Lacey for the first time over an evening cup of coffee and getting to know them – they are the best. It’s also been such an honor to become their “go-to photographer” for engagement and family photos, too – LOVE!

Kristin and David met after her friends were trying to play matchmaker and set her up on a date with a different guy! These two met when they were least expecting it while out on a group dinner with mutual friends, and David reached out to get to know Kristin after that first time meeting one another. After a little convincing, David planned a date, they shared dinner, and talked at the bar for hours. Kristin told me that the rest is pretty much history. She quickly fell in love with David and his daughter, Lacey!

And their proposal story from December 2015 is so uniquely them… After a gathering at Kristin’s sister’s home to celebrate the Christmas season, Kristin and David went out for a few drinks. Once they returned home, David asked Kristin if he could talk to her in his closet (funny, right?! – Kristin told me that he has a massive closet!), and they sat and talked and cried. Soon enough, David was down on one knee asking Kristin to be his wife. Kristin was crying and immediately said “YES!” and then David said, “You haven’t even seen the ring yet!” and revealed the most beautiful engagement ring to Kristin. I think this proposal is perfectly telling of their relationship… They love the simple things in life. Even a proposal that took place in a closet!

Over the past year, I have been fondly looking forward to this wedding day. Fun fact – Kristin and David’s wedding date is also my birthday, so how fun to share the day in that way! These two are so kind and genuine and fun to be around. I knew it would be the very best day!

When I arrived to Brio Beauty Bar in Manteno to start photographing this wedding day, I was surprised with the sweetest birthday gift from Kristin. I initially thought Kristin was handing me a gift to bring to David during his getting ready photos – LOL! You guys, I mean, the bride gave ME a gift on HER wedding day… I cannot even tell you how thankful I am for such sweet and kind brides (and friends!) like Kristin! The day was simply off to a beautiful start with sunny skies and all of the ladies relaxing as they moved through their hair and makeup appointments. And this salon’s natural light was TO DIE FOR, my friends!

As we arrived at the hotel for the finishing touch details before Kristin dressed in her wedding gown, the rain finally came. We had been anticipating the rain the entire week of the wedding, and Kristin and David made the right call to move the wedding ceremony indoors the day before their wedding. Talk about a stressful situation, but these two made the BEST decision, and it all flowed so perfectly on their best day! And hey, a little (well, A LOT) of rain couldn’t stop us from making the best of the day, photographing these beautiful people, and having loads of fun in the process!

After the torrential downpour that was going on outside during their ceremony, the skies cleared, and I managed to take the bridal party and couple outdoors for some amazing photos. Even with the overcast skies, these are some of my favorite photos, and I am forever thankful that we were able to sneak outside for these photos… Kristin looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown with the beautiful back necklace detail, and these flowers from Ba Da Bloom were simply amazing. Wait until you see all of these gorgeous people + details!

And finally, it was time for Kristin and David to let loose, celebrate, and enjoy the night with their best people. My favorite parts of the reception were Kristin’s surprise toast to Lacey and David (cue not a dry eye in the reception!) along with David joining the father-daughter dance with Lacey. These moments were precious and are so evident of this family’s bond.

Kristin and David – Thank you for sharing your wedding day with me! I love you both and loved documenting your love and commitment on your wedding day. Thank you for your kindness, gifts, and special birthday wishes at the reception… You two are the best!


Bride’s Attire: Casablanca Bridal at Bliss Bridal & Prom – Bourbonnais, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Morilee at Bliss Bridal & Prom – Bourbonnais, IL | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Bliss Bridal & Prom – Bourbonnais, IL | Hair: Brio Beauty Bar – Manteno, IL | Bride’s Makeup: Ashley Ryan | Bridesmaid Makeup: Brio Beauty Bar – Manteno, IL | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Hilton Garden Inn – Kankakee, IL | Ceremony Chairs: Lee’s Rental Inc. – Manteno, IL | Officiant: Bill Prindle – Uncle of the Groom | Florist: Ba Da Bloom Flower Shoppe – Bourbonnais, IL | Event Design + Decor: One Fine Day – Bourbonnais, IL | DJ: Music to Your Ears DJ Service – Bridgeview, IL | Photobooth: Amazing Moments Photo Booth | Catering: Hilton Garden Inn – Kankakee, IL | Cake: Cakes by Tessa – Kankakee, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Vistaprint | Custom Calligraphy Decor: Emily Strysik

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois