Our first wedding of 2020 is hitting the blog and friends, it was so good! An amazing couple, family, and friend group made for a wonderful wedding day… This snowy Champaign Country Club wedding was one for the books!
Meet Kara and Dakota. You might remember these two from their engagement session last year. Oh yeah, the engagement session with two of the sweetest souls and their adorable puppy? Yep, that’s them! It’s an honor to be trusted as their friend turned wedding photographer, and it’s a joy to share their day on the blog. 😍
Dakota and I met at his house about 5 years before the proposal. Then, this past August, we went to one of our favorite places, Carpenter Creek Cellars. Dakota went there a few days before to plan it all out… We went inside to do a wine tasting and chose a bottle of wine to share under the grain bin on the patio. He went to the truck to grab our puppy, to sit outside with us and came back empty-handed. He made a toast to a “long, happy life together” and got down on one knee. At the same time, the workers came out to snag a few pictures of the whole event. Then, he had our families meet us there about an hour later to celebrate!
We recently got a new pup, Jib dog, who was in on the proposal and are SO in love with him! We both enjoy spending time training him and playing with him while also fixing up our old farmhouse.
Like I mentioned, this wedding day was our first of the 2020 season, and it was so special to us. It also marked our first photo-video (highlight film coming soon!) wedding of the year with Kyle and I working as a husband-wife duo. Shout out to our amazing second shooter, Elle, too! We’re forever thankful for this wedding and this milestone!
Kara and Dakota’s wedding day started out perfectly. There was snow on the ground, and we were all so excited about that! Kara and I talked about how we would love snow on the ground for their winter wedding day, and I think some very special people were looking out for these two on their wedding day with that. 💛
In the morning, the guys and girls gathered at the Hyatt Place to get ready for the day ahead. Oh yes, this spot is one of our favorites for getting ready! It’s a modern, fresh space and perfect for wedding days. When we arrived, the girls were ahead of schedule (yay!) and enjoying mimosas while hair and makeup wrapped up. Everyone was radiating joy! And at the same time, the guys were in great spirits for the day ahead as they got ready, too!
Before we knew it, Kara and Dakota were reading their letters to one another, getting dressed (I mean, that dress Kara chose – heart eyes!), and meeting at their first look. We loved the gorgeous indoor and outdoor scenery at the Champaign Country Club for these moments. With the cozy hallways and decor inside and winter scenes outside, we were in heaven. We loved spending time with Kara, Dakota, and their most favorite people in the hours leading up to their wedding ceremony. Their joy was absolutely contagious! And oh yes, even despite the temperatures being in the teens and the snow on the ground! This crew was up for anything – they are truly the best!
As the afternoon started to wind down, everyone traveled just down the street to the church where Kara and Dakota would exchange vows. I loved the vibe all throughout this day, especially at the church. It was cozy, welcoming, and just felt like the only place to be on this romantic winter wedding day. Kara and Dakota shared the sweetest ceremony, and then it was time to celebrate the night away with their loved ones!
And friends, the country club did not disappoint for the celebration! The space was perfect for Kara and Dakota’s greenery, gold, ivory, and black color palette paired with the most romantic and elegant details and florals (shout out to our favorite Kristine!)… In LOVE with everything about this wedding! ✨
At the end of this winter wedding day, one more sparkly detail brought everything together – a fun sparkler exit with the happy couple! I cannot tell you how much joy it brought us to see Kara and Dakota so happy to be married and loved by so many. These two have hearts of gold and truly had the best day!
Kara & Dakota – Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trusting us to document your wedding day! We love you guys bunches and wish you many happy married years!
Bride’s Attire: Elite Bridal – Champaign, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Revelry | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse | Hair & Makeup: Something You Salon & Spa – Champaign, IL | Jeweler: Dave Haggard | Getting Ready Location: Hyatt Place Champaign-Urbana – Champaign, IL | Ceremony: Faith United Methodist Church – Champaign, IL | Reception Venue: Champaign Country Club – Champaign, IL | Guest Accommodations: Hyatt Place Champaign-Urbana – Champaign, IL | Florist: Flowers by Kristine – Champaign, IL | DJ: Todd Thomas with Porta Party DJs – St. Louis, MO | Photography & Videography: Kara Evans Photographer – Kankakee, IL | Catering: Champaign Country Club – Champaign, IL | Cake: Cakes by Lori – Champaign, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Zazzle + Minted | Calligrapher: AP Calligraphy Co. – Champaign, IL
P.S. – Wanna read more love stories and get wedding inspiration? I love sharing more wedding days here!