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November Ravina on the Lakes Wedding in Peoria, Illinois | Lauren + Aaron

December 8, 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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It’s been just over one month since Lauren and Aaron’s wedding day, and I’m still gushing with happiness over that very day!

At the beginning of 2016, Lauren contacted me during her search for a wedding photographer. From those first emails and phone conversations, I could tell that Lauren was already a wonderful bride… She was organized in terms of planning, but she had a sense of comfort in knowing that her wedding day was going to be amazing (no matter what) because she was marrying her best friend. Centering the day entirely around their love was on her heart! All of the other “things” were important to her, but at the end of the day, she would be marrying Aaron.

Lauren told me that she met Aaron through a mutual friend. They knew of each other but lived a few hours apart and didn’t want to start a long distance relationship. Well, life is funny, and things can change on a dime… Soon after, Lauren and Aaron realized that they both shared a love for music and had similar tastes, interests, and outlooks on life. So, after Lauren invited Aaron to a music festival, the rest was history! One year later, these two had started a life together in Peoria. And guess what?! These two have a “big family”… Besides the two of them, they also have three pups! Talk about loving this bride and groom even more! 

Throughout the past months, Lauren and Aaron have shared their wedding plans with me, and my excitement continued to grow immensely! On the day of their wedding, I arrived to their new home in Peoria, and everyone was cheerful, excited, and relaxed. I loved how this couple wanted to incorporate their new home at the start of their day, too… What a meaningful detail and place in their wedding day and life together!

One of my favorite parts of this day (and there are many!), was starting the day photographing Lauren’s wedding day details. Between Lauren’s ring (a unique gemstone with diamonds), her vintage style shoes, grandmother’s sweater, AMAZING florals (blown away by LeFleur Floral Design – wowza!), and funky bracelets, these details fit together perfectly! I LOVED styling these details for photographs and admiring Lauren’s fun, eclectic style. I’m envious of her style!

Soon enough, it was time for Lauren and Aaron’s sweet first look in their backyard, and then bridal party photos at their venue –  Ravina on the Lakes. In my first wedding season, I photographed a wedding a Ravina on the Lakes, and I loved the venue then… Now, I love it even more, and it was the best fit for Lauren and Aaron’s outdoor ceremony and cozy reception! Oh, and did I forget to mention that the temperatures for Lauren and Aaron’s November 5th wedding day were almost in the 70s? It was heavenly!

All throughout this day, I was in awe of the charisma and comfort of Lauren and Aaron’s love. Their bond is beautiful! There is no other way for me to describe the love that I witnessed that day other than that Lauren and Aaron simply fit together. It was so easy to focus on their love (and all those that love them) all day long!

As you can gather, this day was incredibly special – between the kind guests, family members, and bridal party to the gorgeous weather to the photos of their nieces in Lauren’s wedding shoes (a beautiful momento to be given to each of them on their wedding days) to the evening ending with a live band… These two are lucky in love!

Lauren & Aaron – Thank you for allowing me to photograph your wedding day and this part of your story… I am thankful for the two of you!


Bride’s Attire: Maggie Sottero at Crystal Bride – Geneva, IL | Bride’s Sweater: Her Grandmother’s | Bridesmaid Attire: Various Dresses/Designers | Groom’s Attire: Mossimo at Target (Vest) + Shoes/Shirt from Men’s Wearhouse | Groomsmen Attire: Hagar Pants, Joesph Abbound Vest, + Shoes/Shirt from Men’s Wearhouse | Hair: Megan Jarabe | Makeup: Skin Dimensions Airbrush Makeup – Peoria, IL | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Ravina on the Lakes – Peoria, IL | Wedding Coordinator: Deb Pierce | Florist: LeFleur Floral Design & Events, Inc. – Washington, IL | DJ: Scott Carlson of Ace Entertainment – Peoria, IL | Live Band: The Way Down Wanderers – Chicago, IL | Catering: Barrack’s Catering – Peoria, IL | Invitations: Mixbook

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois