Graham & Sarah: February 21, 2015

What an amazing wedding day.  Amazing couple.  Amazing families.  Amazing friends.  Perfect.

I first ‘met’ Sarah on November 16, 2013.  I was at a weekend away with college buddies when my phone rang.  It was a bride with a wedding inquiry.  I chatted with her and found we had so much in common!  Namely- the University of Illinois.  Sarah was a law student there at the time and I was an alum!  She actually noted that that was why she had contacted me in the first place- my ‘about me’ section declares my love for the Illini:)  She told me her groom’s first name and we planned to connect the following day to finalize the details of the booking.  I got off the phone and immediately friended her on Facebook.  I saw her groom’s LAST name and about passed out.  It was Graham POCIC.  As in starting center for the Illini football team.  I ran into my friends (we’re all Illini alums- 10 couples who went to college together and we vacation every November together)- and told them- ‘holy crap, I think I just booked Graham Pocic’s wedding!  He’s an Illini’.  And my good friend Nick said, ‘Actually, no, he plays for the St. Louis Rams.’  Then, I about died.

Well, little did I know, that the next day when Sarah and I were scheduled to chat at 12 noon, it would be an hour after my town of Washington was struck by an EF-4 tornado.  Instead of chatting with her on the phone about her wedding, I was chasing back to Washington to see if my home was still standing.  Needless to say, we didn’t chat.

Because I had failed to call her back, I thought for sure she’d write me off as an unprofessional vendor.  No, instead, that day, I got a message from her.

On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Sarah  wrote:

Praying for you and your family!! Stay safe!

I knew after that sweet gesture that this was most definitely a bride I wanted to work with.  I’m so happy we did!

 

Graham and Sarah’s wedding day was an absolute blast!  It was a cold day, but much nicer than we had anticipated for this time of year!  There was still snow on the ground:)  I met up with the girls at Sarah’s house.  Everything was adorable.  Homemade signs everywhere with wedding notes.  The next door neighbor smoked a whole salmon and brought it over!  My personal favorite was the manatee mailbox (not wedding related, but if that doesn’t tell you an AWESOME family lives there..I’m not sure what does).   Sarah’s girls were an absolute blast- I felt like each was my friend before we even got dressed:)  Watching Sarah see her brother for the first time, having her mom help her get dressed- it was precious.  I want my family to be this close.

The church was a gorgeous church in Western Springs, Illinois.  It was a beautiful ceremony combining some aspects of both Sarah and Graham’s cultures and religions.  It was different for us because the photographers were not allowed in the sanctuary.  That was a first for us- but we rocked it!

Sarah wanted snow pictures- and her bridal party rocked:)  Strapless dresses?  Winter? Snow?  no problem.  I absolutely loved their bridal party!!!  Speaking of bridal party- I admit I was a little starstruck.  Graham’s boys were chock full of past Illini football players.  Some play in the NFL.  One is starter for the Kansas City Chiefs and one for the Colts.  Graham’s brother is currently tearing it up at LSU on their football team.  I made it very evident to him that I didn’t like LSU.  He picked on me all day.  It was a mutual funfest for us:)

The reception was held at the Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet.  It was my second time shooting there and it’s so classic and timeless and gorgeous!  The cocktail party gave me plenty of time for shameless selfies with all of my Illini boys:)  haha:)  My favorite part was the introduction of the couple!  They came into the reception to the Illini chant- everyone was on their feet, hands in the air, doing the clap.  My blood was seriously going crazy- once an Illini, always an Illini!!!  The toasts were sweet and sentimental and funny (I mean, Ethan was giving a toast, how could it not be!)  Dad and Sarah danced to her childhood lullaby and they both bawled.  The garter toss was (in true Illini fashion)- a garter wrapped around a football, hiked by Graham as center to his starting quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase, who passed it to the boys!!!  The traditional Greek dance with her family was so fun!!!

Thank you Graham and Sarah for such an incredible day!  I hope you love your pictures so far and I can’t wait to share more:)

 

Love- Kara

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To see more head over to the second shooter, Sydney’s blog on her website here!