2015, and 16 weddings later, here we were on December 31. The last day of the year, photographing our last wedding of the year. And it was for this couple, a kind hearted, beautiful, fun couple that I was anticipating all year! The day dawned sunny, the first sunny day in weeks (literally, friends…for you non midwesterners, we have been under clouds and water…10 extra feet of water to be exact…fully flooded…for the past week, and clouds for much longer). It was crisp out, but still and beautiful and sunny. Michael and I were so excited to get out and photograph again, knowing it was the last chance we would get to shoot a wedding for a few months.
I entered the presidential suite at the beautiful Abraham Lincoln Hotel and was reminded instantly, upon seeing Jenn, the beautiful bride, and many familiar faces (2 of her bridesmaids are JGbrides themselves!!), of why I love this group of girls so much! Laughter, drinks, smiles, and fun filled the suite, with Jen’s 10 closest making sure she (and I!) had everything needed. After a little mishap with grabbing the maid of honor’s beautiful accessories instead of our brides (#reallife, not afraid to admit it!), we were off and the day only got better!
Jennifer and Craig’s family and friends are so full of love for these two, and it caused them to be just so incredibly welcoming to us. They made us feel like a real part of the celebration, and it was so much fun! Jenn and Craig are absolutely adored, spoken of very highly by their friends, and clearly cherished. The toasts were full of funny stories full of hilarious details about their pasts, and interlaced with years friendship and love. I was struck by how many of the bridesmaids and groomsmen on each side had been friends with the bride and groom since childhood, and how well they all knew each other. It was really quite beautiful. And Jenn and Craig…they are just comfortable, and settled, and happy together. There were a few mentions of Craig by his guys and how he is sort of like an 85 year old man. It made me laugh- but also made me think a part of it is that he is settled. He just has things figured out- and there is a wisdom to that. Jenn is the same way- she has her life planned, knows what she wants and how to get it- and Craig is a perfect part of her plan. They are so easy to watch together, know each other so well, and have so clearly made the perfect choice in each other. They compliment each other wonderfully. They make others feel at ease. And they are absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to share this favorite of mine with you!!
Jenn told me early on she was going to need a little sparkle and shine for her New Years Eve Wedding! She NAILED it- wait until you see the reception!!
These shoes!!!!I adore the little bits of Christmas still hanging around in all of these images!The florals from True Colors absolutely blew me away (and not for the first time!)…they were PERFECT for this navy and silver winter wedding!!Look at all these beauties!!Jenn’s dress was amazing in every detail! That back!!!Jenn! You are STUNNING!!!First look time!!!
This hug…You guys, winter weddings have the best timelines- look at this light in these portraits!! Obsessed!!Love this laughter and joy!These are some of my favorites!!The full group! SO much fun!And Jenn’s outdoor apparel- future winter brides, take note of all of this!!Work it girls!!Jenn was so fabulous about maneuvering around that I just had to include this- loved it!Love this of Mike’s!!And I love the drama in these.But these are my very favorites! That church!!Married!Time for those reception details…stunning!Their band, The Shenanigans, KILLS it every time. They have played a few weddings I have photographed this year and they keep the dance floor going like NO other! Amazing talent!SUCH a fun dance floor!!This on the top right is my other 2 JGBrides and me at the wedding- LOVE getting to celebrate with these ladies again and again!!! These two lovebirds are now making memories in St Lucia, where we had our honeymoon, and we couldn’t be more excited! Enjoy the warm and sand, you guys!! So so happy for you!
The Creative Team
Reception Venue: Abraham Lincoln Hotel
Event Coordinator: Natalie from the Abraham Lincoln Hotel
Cake: Chick Cakes
Florals: True Color Floral Artistry
Hair: Holly from Gabriel’s Salon
Reception Band: The Shenanigans
Make-up: Erica from Appearances