Allerton Park, Monticello, Illinois: Jordan & Brandon: April 22, 2017

Sometimes I get giddy with the opportunities that this job as a wedding photographer presents to me.  More specifically- the places it takes me.  Destination weddings are fun, exciting, and will never get old.

But we’ve all been there- vacation and travel and new opportunities are amazing and thrilling- but sometimes, the best feeling in the world is just being ‘home’.

That’s what this wedding was for me.  It was ‘home’.  It was in my hometown, where I knew almost all of the guests, where I’d grown up with bride and members of her bridal party.  Where her grandma knows me.  It was ‘home’.  And I absolutely loved every minute of it.

Jordan, the bride, is a wedding extraordinaire herself.  She’s the event planner at Allerton Park- a completely sought after venue for weddings.  She’s seen her fair share of weddings.  So I knew her wedding would be amazing.  And it was.  Down to the last detail.

Jordan and Brandon are a complete BLAST to be with.  When it came time for their portraits- they were completely game for whatever.  Me:  Let’s crawl down this creek and you walk along a branch that may or may not support you.  Them:  Let’s go:)  Me:  Let’s go to some grain bins.  Them:  Um…okay.  Let’s go:)

Them:  We need pictures with our cats.  Me:  Did you say cats?  Ok, let’s go:)))

That was a first by the way- wedding pics with cats:)

I can always tell a lot about a couple during their portrait time.  The way they interact and even how they walk out to the portrait spot tells a lot about their relationship.  This couple is one of those lucky in love ones.  As we went to make her transition to cowboy boots- she realized she’d forgotten her socks.  And girls’ cowboys boots are basically IMPOSSIBLE to put on without socks.  Without hesitation, Brandon removed his socks, handed them to her, and then engaged in a full out fight with his own boots to get them back on his feet.  But he did it:)  Now that’s love:)

This ceremony was amazing.  The venue….OH the venue.  The barn at Allerton is beautiful- but that altar that Jordan designed was breathtaking.  Simple, understated, but completely took my breath away.  Hands down one of my favorite ‘altars’ I’ve ever shot.  Jordan and Brandon spared no tears during their ceremony.  Their handwritten vows had everyone in tears.  My favorite part came at the end.  The officiant (who…sidenote…was one of my favorite 2016 grooms and I literally shrieked when he walked in)….explained to the guests that during wedding planning- when Jordan would ask Brandon for his opinion on wedding details- his answer was always ‘I want Elvis to marry us.’  So, as a surprise, Jordan and the officiant planned a surprise ‘visit’ from Elvis.  Just before it was time to kiss and announce the new couple, the officiant bent down, put on a wig and glasses, and in his best Elvis voice said ‘I present to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Zech….thank you, thank you very much.’  It was amazing:)

The tent for the reception was decorated beautifully!  No surprise there as Jordan’s family owns a linen rental business, Lottie Brogan Linens.  The toasts were sweet, the decor adorable (the use of antlers was perfect.  So him, but so gorgeously designed too…) and the guests had a blast!  A cheesecake bar, photobooth, and amazing dancing capped the night off!

Jordan and Brandon, it was truly an HONOR to be there for your wedding day!  I know you work with so many vendors, and I can speak for all of us that were there that night that it was definitely an honor to be there for yours.  You two (and your cats) are amazing and I’m so thankful to have you as clients and friends:)

Love you!