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Western Illinois Youth Camp Wedding in Jacksonville, Illinois | Megan + Brandon

May 11, 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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Throughout the week leading up to Megan and Brandon’s spring wedding day, the forecast was calling for a nearly 100% chance of rain… We were planning to make the best of it and work with the springtime weather! Hey, rain on your wedding day is good luck, right?!

But on the day of Megan and Brandon’s wedding, the forecast dropped the rain percentage down to 5%… WOW! We were thrilled, thankful, and feeling blessed that day offered beautiful skies, though chilly air, to celebrate their first day of marriage. The venue was the lovely Western Illinois Youth Camp in Jacksonville, Illinois. The camp is located on Lake Jacksonville, and an organic outdoorsy location. This was the second wedding I photographed at this venue after second shooting a wedding there with my friend Kate a couple years ago. And my goodness, the sunsets overlooking the lake are breathtaking at the camp!

The venue was so incredibly special to Megan and Brandon as they grew up at the lake – camping with their fathers on the weekends. They dated in the summers in junior high at the lake and started dating long term during their senior year in high school. Brandon proposed to Megan at a small local baptist church in January 2015.

Now – on April 22, 2017 – they tied the knot after over two years of engagement, anticipation, and planning! These two are full of love and adoration of one another. They have a gentle, playful love, and you can truly see their loving kindness for one another with just a simple shared glance.

The day started with the ladies getting ready in one of the cabins on the camp property. I loved photographing Megan’s details while incorporating the outdoorsy feel of the wedding! And soon enough, it was time for Megan and Brandon to see each other for the first time at their wedding ceremony. This moment was very special to this couple, and I loved documenting Brandon’s big smile as soon as he saw his bride. And Megan’s gown… It was so absolutely perfect for her! She was glowing in her 3/4 sleeve lace gown, and I loved the off the shoulder detail. So lovely!

Soon enough, Megan and Brandon were surrounded by their family, friends, and bridal party in celebration at their reception. And of course, I snuck them outside to take advantage of the gorgeous sunset on the lake at the end the day. The photos are simple, sweet, and so sentimental to be taken at the lake where these two met + grew up together!

Megan + Brandon… Thank you for trusting me to document your wedding! You two are so sweet, and I wish you many many years of wedded bliss!


Bride’s Attire: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Savvi Formalwear | Hair: Sara Brown | Makeup: Courtney Tepen | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Western Illinois Youth Camp – Jacksonville, IL | Flowers: DIY | DJ: Complete Weddings & Events – Springfield, IL | Catering: Hamilton’s – Jacksonville, IL

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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois