Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign, IL: Alex & Elise’s Wedding: May 20, 2017

I love all love stories…but there is just something about high school sweethearts that gets me every time.  EVERYONE loves to hear stories of high school sweethearts that go on to be married.  I love when my wedding day is the celebration of a long time relationship and love:)

This particular wedding just happened to be the wedding of two high school sweethearts that I think I probably taught swimming lessons to.  Or at the very least probably picked up and swung around and held and played with them when they were like 5.:)  These two sweethearts are from my hometown and I’ve known them since they were very little kids:)

Add to that- it’s always an honor to be chosen for anyone’s wedding.  But especially when the sister of the bride is a crazy-talented photographer herself and someone whose work I’ve always admired!  To be chosen to shoot the family wedding of a photographer is an even more incredible honor- and I’m thankful I had the opportunity!

Alex and Elise have the cutest love story (as told so cutely by the maid of honor).  Alex had a date to Homecoming, but needed a tie.  He asked Elise to go to the mall and help him pick out a tie for the dance.  Elise was NOT the date to Homecoming.  Her friend was.  On the trip to the mall,  Alex and Elise realized they kinda liked each other.  A lot.  And after a bit, Alex decided he really wanted to go to Homecoming with Elise.  So, he ditched his other date and took Elise instead.  Who was this poor ditched girl?  THE MAID OF HONOR:)  How cute is that:)

Alex and Elise are so incredible to be with.  They are both so sweet, so giggly, they are both nurses, and they both are obsessed with their dog Tucker.  ( who made an appearance at their engagement session and their wedding photos!!)  I knew their day and their friends and their families were going to be amazing!

The day, however, started off a little rough.  A little wet is a bit better description.  Actually, really wet.  As in it was torrentially downpouring on my way to the wedding.  While I was incredibly disappointed for them, there was something nagging at my heart as I drove through the rain.  Alex and Elise are probably too young to remember- but there was a very popular song when I was in high school called ‘Holes in the Floor of Heaven’.  It was a song whose lyrics were about rain on special occasions.  The actual chorus says ‘There’s holes in the floor of Heaven.  And her tears are falling down.  That’s how you know she’s watching, wishing she could be here now.”    As it was pouring on their wedding morning, I couldn’t help but think of Elise’s dad.  Elise’s dad passed away a few years ago completely unexpectedly and too young for sure- from an infection.  It was shocking, sad, and so horrible.  As the rain was literally POURING down on the morning of their wedding, it’s all I could think about.  I know, know that that is truly what is was.

Thankfully though, the rain subsided- and the day became gorgeous out.  The wedding was just as gorgeous as the weather.  So full of love and family.  My favorite part of the day was actually when Elise invited Alex’s dad into her bridal suite.  She had made a special gift for him- as he was going to be the one to walk her down the aisle.  He bawled, I bawled- it was so special and so thoughtful of her.  I loved that already you could tell he loves her like a daughter- and this marriage is destined forever.

The reception was so incredibly fun!  The speeches were both hilarious and heartwrenching.  The dancing was at times out of control:)  A groomsmen went DOWN going for the garter:)  And there were donuts…need I say more:)


Alex and Elise thank you so much for having me as part of your incredible day!!  I am so happy for the two of you and can’t wait to see where life takes you:)


Love, Kara


Vendor Lineup:

Second Photographer:  Laura Meador

Videographer:  Maloch Media

Church:  Holy Cross, Champaign

Venue:  Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign

Hair/Makeup:  Timothy Johns

Florist:  Flora Design

Linens:  Lottie Brogan

Dress: Elite Bridal

Cake:  Kattie Killion