WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND MENTOR FOR CREATIVES BASED IN THE BOURBONNAIS, ILLINOIS AREA
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Spring is in the air! And I am over the moon excited to share Samantha and Nick’s spring greenery and gold wedding day at the Orpheum in Champaign!
It’s likely that you remember these two from their engagement session last September. I mean, come on, that sunset and the photos of this couple gave me all the heart eyes! I loved spending an afternoon with these two and their families and even getting to peek around their wedding venue – the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum – that day, too. We were truly thankful for the most perfect day!
This is our story – it all started with a water fountain. I know you’re probably thinking what is this girl talking about so I’ll explain. Nick and I were working at Trinity International University. And for those of you that are unfamiliar with the school, it is located in the north suburbs of Chicago. Nick was an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, and I was working as the athletic department’s administrative assistant. Naturally, we had some encounters through our jobs.
As time went on, I started to notice that Nick was showing up more and more at work. He needed help creating a poster for the team retreat they take every year, started volunteering to help set up the gym for games, and then started asking me about hotels for next year (their basketball season hadn’t even started). And here is where the water fountain comes in… My desk was located right across from a water fountain. And Nick started to show up at that water fountain a lot. When I say a lot, I’m saying there was no way he could have needed this much water. It just so happened that every time he filled his water bottle, he would have a question or something to say.
Conversations went from seconds to minutes to him spending more time by my desk than he was working. Well, I was hesitant about this guy at least until the Cubs won the NLCS and a bunch of friends went celebrate outside of Wrigley. I went down there with friends and Nick went with another coach. Nick and I had been texting for a couple of weeks back and forth and planned on meeting up for a cocktail. It was taking Nick forever to get down there so my friends and I decided to leave. When Nick got there I was gone… Oops. But then for some reason, that reason being God, we decided to turn around and go back. Nick and I spent the night hanging out and talking and have been doing the same thing every day since.
Then, it was on Samantha’s 25th birthday that Nick proposed! Samantha wanted him to propose but didn’t think he had asked for her dad’s blessing yet. So no way it was happening, right? Little did Sam know, Nick had asked for her dad’s blessing two months before. It was the perfect surprise proposal that included their pup Bear with a sign saying “mommy, will you marry daddy?” Love, love, love!
Over the past months, I have loved spending time with Samantha and Nick to plan details for their wedding day. And friends, Samantha and her mom didn’t overlook a single detail with their wonderful shared eye for design. They centered the decor and details around the unique and gorgeous venue – the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign – and the navy, gray, greenery, and gold style complimented all the other parts of this wedding day perfectly. I loved working with my friend Michaela Mantarian as she created the perfect flowers filled with greenery for this day, too.
We started their wedding day at the Hyatt Champaign/Urbana in downtown Champaign… Just steps away from the ceremony and reception venue! It made the day full of ease to be so close to the venue before and after the ceremony. Plus, downtown Champaign is the cutest area! Once detail and getting ready photos were finished in the bride’s suite, Samantha dressed in her wedding gown. And my oh my, this lace sleeved wedding gown from my favorites at Elite Bridal was stunning on her! Then, it was time for a reveal with Samantha’s dad before Samantha and Nick shared a first look.
Pre-ceremony photos were WINDY! Gusts on this wedding day were over 30 mph but that didn’t stop us from traveling to the University of Illinois Arboretum and making the best of the day. We were thankful for a little hill with a wind block as we tucked ourselves away into some trees. I love these photos because all of the elements – from the navy blue bridesmaids dresses to the gray suites to the greenery throughout the flowers and scenery at the arboretum – all worked together perfectly.
As photos wrapped up, it was time to get these two married! They shared a lovely ceremony at the Orpheum, and I loved the moody ambiance of the lighting for their ceremony. Then before we knew it, it was time for pie cutting (the bride’s family wedding tradition), photos under the “now featuring the Fords” sign outside the venue, and dancing the night away. This day (and night!) were truly full of celebration.
Samantha and Nick – thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! We loved working with you two, your families, and the talented team of vendors your brought together for your wedding day!
Bride’s Attire: Stella York – Elite Bridal in Champaign, IL | Bride’s Alterations: Kelli Zbinden | Bridesmaid Attire: Azazie | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: DG Suited – Selection Garment Co. – Kansas City, Missouri | Hair: Brooke Leman (Bride) + Brooke Leman & Bret Neukomm (Bridesmaids) | Makeup: Olivia Stoller | Jeweler: Shane Co. | Getting Ready Location: Hyatt Hotel Champaign Urbana – Champaign, IL | Wedding Officiant: Trey Scheffer | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Orpheum Children’s Science Museum – Champaign, IL | Guest Accommodations: Hyatt Hotel Champaign Urbana – Champaign, IL | Florist: Michaela Mantarian Flowers & Events – Kankakee, IL | DJ: JD Jamz DJ Service | Reception Rentals: Cook Party Rentals (Tables + Linens) + Elite Entertainment (Chiavari Chairs) | Videographer: Jay Cluver | Catering: Luke’s One Stop – Cissna Park, IL | Pie: Bride’s Grandma Bev Bauer | Invitations + Paper Goods: Megan Baylerian at The Busy Bee
P.S. – Wanna read more love stories and get wedding inspiration? I love sharing more wedding days here!