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Knights of Columbus Wedding in Ottawa, Illinois | Lacey + Jake

August 4, 2016

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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Looking back on Lacey and Jake’s wedding day… I cannot help but remember how truly beautiful the day was. From the details to the happy tears throughout the day, it was one of the most touching wedding days I have had the honor to photograph!

Late last year, I received an email from Lacey – a sweet woman joining the DeBolt family. Do you remember Josh, Erin, and little miss Oaklyn? Well, Lacey’s fiancé, Jake, is Josh’s younger brother! As soon as I knew this, I just knew I would be honored to work with Lacey and her soon-to-be husband. Little did I know that she and her then fiancé would play such a memorable role in my life as wedding photography clients. Lacey told me of her love story with Jake that started over two years ago. These two grew up in small towns where you know everyone and had known each other from a young age. Then, many years down the road, Jake asked Lacey on a date to Starved Rock State Park… The rest is truly history as he proposed at the place of their first date on February 19, 2015. Soon after, wedding planning began!

From our initial conversations and connections, I knew that Lacey and Jake were genuinely sweet souls, but after working with them on their wedding day, I was blown away by their love for others and their connection with one another. These two can be all the way across the room and you can still see and feel the love between them.

I was thankful to have Sarah Hemenover second shooting alongside me on this wedding day. Upon our arrival at the ceremony site, we were in awe of the details Lacey gathered – perfume, shoes, bracelet, dress, belt, rings, garter, and more – as we started photographing their day. Next, we saw the flowers. Oh my, the flowers! These were breathtaking, and their florist Emilie Overy with Flowers Plus Streator knocked them out of the park. The soft pastels, mix of textures, and succulents made these so jaw dropping. Then, Lacey stepped into her dress, and our eyes were starting to twinkle again… She looked stunning in the beautiful lace and tulle gown. It was elegant and whimsical all at the same time!

In my mind, the most memorable part of Lacey and Jake’s wedding day was their wedding ceremony. It was touching, personal, and emotional. As soon as Jake saw Lacey walking down the aisle, his chin started to quiver as he looked onto her beauty and his bride. There weren’t many dry eyes in the congregation as their pastor told the story of the two of them, from then until now. As the pastor moved through the story of these two, he paralleled their new marriage to Jake’s time serving our country in the United States Army – the honor, the sacrifice, the commitment. At this point in the ceremony, I was flooded with emotions and greatly in awe of the beauty of this message. My husband serves in the United States Air Force, and I truly felt thankfulness for Jake, my husband, and all those that have served and are currently serving. It was a beautiful, touching parallel. 

After the uniquely beautiful ceremony, we took time for photos of the newlyweds and their bridal party. All of their family and friends were so fun, relaxed, and easy to work with – this definitely made my job easier! And soon after, Lacey and Jake were celebrating alongside their guests at their wedding reception. There were tears during toasts from family members and so many laughs and moments of joy while everyone danced and celebrated the night.

As you can probably tell, this wedding day is one for the books. I am continually in awe and overwhelmed with thankfulness that this is my job and my joy. Lacey and Jake, thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me to document your wedding day!


Bride’s Attire: Essence of Australia at Marien Mae Bridal Boutique – Peru, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique – Peru, IL | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique – Peru, IL | Hair & Makeup: Stephanie DeBolt at Simplicity Salon – Leland, IL | Ceremony: Fox Valley Lutheran Church – Sheridan, IL | Reception Venue: Ottawa Knights of Columbus – Ottawa, IL | Florist: Emilie Overy of Flowers Plus Streator – Streator, IL | DJ: Guys on the Radio: DJ Service – Spring Valley, IL | Catering: The New Chalet in Ottawa, IL | Cake: Kelsey’s Kakes (Linda Kelsey) – Peru, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Crafted by the Bride

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois