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March iHotel Wedding Day in Champaign, Illinois | Macy + Trace

April 14, 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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On March 25th, Macy and Trace were married at the iHotel in Champaign, Illinois. Even while the day started out with a rainy morning, it turned into a gorgeous afternoon with overcast skies!

Macy and Trace’s love story is a powerful one. These two have shown one another, their families, and their friends what unconditional love is and how distance and changes and life cannot get in the way of love. These two ran into one another when Macy was starting college and Trace was finishing college after knowing each other in high school. They quickly grew close to each other and have been together ever since! After a couple years of Macy’s schooling, they packed up and made a big move to Arizona – and Trace was selfless and supportive and in love with her to support this next big step for her education. And after this whirlwind, a once in a lifetime opportunity came about for Macy to intern in San Diego, and they said YES! Soon after, Trace joined the Air Force and went to basic training and tech school. During this time, these two were separated, but their love continued to grow…

While Trace was at tech school and on leave for Christmas in December 2015, he visited Macy in California, and they decided to go exploring. As they started to enjoy a picnic lunch and wine at Point Loma, Macy was surprised when she noticed her wine glass was engraved with “Will you marry me?” What a perfect, memorable moment in their journey together! Now, these two are near Washington D.C. building a life where Trace is currently stationed. I share all of this with you because their story is so important to who they are… Their family and friends and loved ones centered their wedding day around their story, and it was beautifully woven into the entire day. Through all of these steps in life and challenges and joys, Macy and Trace have stayed by each other’s side and chosen to love each other. I love their adventurous and supportive hearts.

It’s inspiring and refreshing to see and hear firsthand of Macy and Trace’s experiences through military life with our personal connections to the Air Force. I commend these two for their commitments and sacrifices because it isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it!

Like I mentioned, their wedding day started out with rainy skies, but their hearts were full. Macy and Trace both started the day surrounded by their loved ones, and they showered them with gifts while getting ready… I have never seen such a generous couple toward all of their people on their wedding day. It was a beautiful sight full of emotion, love, and happiness! The morning was relaxed and carried on with ease before the rest of the day unfolded.

And soon enough – after watching the forecast – it was time for Macy to step into her wedding gown and travel to the first look. The University of Illinois Arboretum was perfect for these photos… The hints of spring greens perfectly complemented Macy’s earthy tones and style for her wedding day. When I look back on these photos, I simply feel the relaxed nature of the day and this couple.

Their wedding ceremony was full of emotion and joy. Oh, and their sweet little puppy Luna even joined in on the fun and walked down the aisle to Macy and Trace. It was THE cutest site, and now I’m totally game for any couple that incorporates their pups into their wedding day! I love how personal their ceremony was from their cousin officiating to Luna walking down the aisle to their personally written vows. I’m telling you, this day was breathtaking!

After the ceremony, Macy and Trace snuck out for a few minutes of sunset photos even though it was a bit wet and dreary outside by that point… We didn’t let the rain stop us, and the photos are so filled with bliss! Then, it was time to celebrate! Macy and Trace’s intricate details and greenery all throughout their reception space were gorgeous, but what I loved most about their reception were the words spoken in toasts, by the bride and groom, and by the bride’s parents. The stories and love and happiness were overflowing.

Macy + Trace… You two deserved a perfect day, and it was unforgettable! Thank you for opening your hearts and sharing your day (and Luna kisses and love for Brunos Mars!) with me and Kyle. It was an honor to photograph the two of you and your people! Hugs!


Bride’s Attire: Justin Alexander Signature at Elite Bridal – Champaign, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Azazie | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein at Men’s Wearhouse | Hair: Brooke Leman | Ceremony + Reception Venue: iHotel and Conference Center – Champaign, IL | Wedding Coordinator: Courtney DeVerter | Florist: Tammie Jo Marie Lawson | DJ: Bob Bass with Trendsetter DJ – Saint Joseph, IL | Videographer: Doubleshot Artistry – Springfield, IL | Cake: Beulah Reed (Bride’s Grandmother) | Invitations + Paper Goods: Shutterfly + Zazzle | Favors: Homemade by Beulah Reed

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois