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I have new favorite weddings all the time…it’s just a product of loving what I do so so much!

But this? It gets to be my true favorite.  Because I’ve known and loved this bride for 11 years- almost half of her life (which is half as long as many people I love dearly have loved her!).  She is Mike’s nice– my niece– and she is an absolute gem of a human.  Which is no wonder, considering her parents and grandparents.   I remember shopping for her Freshmen year homecoming dress (which she also wore to Mike’s and my wedding) more than 10 years ago, with her, her mama, and my mother in law, and marveling at how lucky I was for to get to join this family of women, and it stretches so much deeper and further now.  I am so deeply fond of Katie, her brothers, and her parents, and so overjoyed that they are a part of our every day life.

Katie is loving and sweet and doesn’t have an unkind bone in her body.  She is also funny and very intelligent, and has found her absolute match in Steven, who I think I speak for my whole family when I say how thrilled we are that they chose each other!  Steven loves her deeply, doesn’t take life too seriously, and was one of few people who was sure our 3rd baby would be a boy (he was right!)!  He fits in so well in this family.  Katie has been our babysitter, our kid entertainer on long car rides, our nurse, and now my bride…we just love her so much and are so happy (though also a bit shocked- she was JUST 12!!) to see her MARRIED!  She attended Michael’s high school graduation as just a tiny baby, so he is particularly shocked! 😂

Katie and Steven were supposed to get married at the end of March.  They made the difficult decision to postpone at the start of the stay at home order, and then lost their venue.  They handled it all with such grace, and finally got to have the day they dreamed of on August 8th.  March 28th is the first day they chose- but August 8th chose them and it was truly a beautiful day.  Everything they planned and wanted, I hope.   They were surrounded by so many loved ones, and there was such a community feeling surrounding it all, with so many people so happy to be together.  But the happiest part was definitely celebrating these two beautiful souls and the beginning of their family together.  Meet Mr and Mrs SMYTHE!!!
I loved this wall so much!
Katie gave such sweet gifts to her mama and Steven’s mama! Isn’t she GORGEOUS?? 2 absolute beauties, inside and out!! First look with dad, and one of my favorite moments of this day- I will hold it in my heart! And first look with Steven in one of Katie’s (and my!) favorite spots on the farm! Look at all these beauties!  And this color scheme…it is so dreamy! These 3 people…I love them each so much!  And Katie’s beloved Grandma Shirley, by her heart all day. This last glance at her dad before turning the corner…these two have such a bond!! I love these photos so much!! Katie and Steven had all dads and daughters, and then all moms and sons join in during their dances with their parents…it was SO sweet!  Troy Armstrong, their DJ, is such a gem to work with and does an amazing job keeping everything moving and everyone dancing!! Katie and Steven, we love you SO much and are so overjoyed for you.  Thank you so much for giving me a front row seat to this day!  CONGRATULATIONS, Mr and Mrs Smythe!!!

To see Katie and Steven’s beautiful engagement session, click here!

Venue: Wankel’s in Petersburg  I have to rave quick about Wankel’s shed, because they came in last minute for 2 of my brides this year to host when a space was needed…the family who runs this venue have hearts of GOLD!

Ceremony Location: Tallula Christian Church

Dress: Country Bride

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup Artist: Kelsie Sill and Styles-N-More

DJ: Troy Armstrong

Caterer: Michelle Wethington

Cake:  Lindsay Shull

Officiant:  Donald Kauffman

Invitations: Etsy

Decor Rentals: Rustic Love Rentals

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  1. Kay says:

    Awesome job Jill!!❤️

    • Jill says:

      Thanks so much Kay!! There are SO many more! I loved finally getting to meet you and am sure I will see you again soon!

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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

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