There is so so much to say about this beautiful celebration of life, love, and family that it’s hard to know where to begin. I have to start with that my journey with them began in 2019 for a planned 2020 wedding, that as you can see was postponed to 2021. They waited a full year to have their dream fusion wedding…and it came true! It was an absolutely amazing weekend of celebrating in a way that I have never quite witnessed before, and it was so special!
The weekend began for me on Thursday evening at the Mendhi ceremony where Dane’s family was dressed in traditional Indian clothing for the first time. From the moment I walked in, the music was energetic and pumping so much life into the beautifully decorated room! I was blown away by how the Parke Regency hotel worked for the Hindu portion of the celebration in Bloomington- it was beautiful! The energy never stopped that night…through chatting, eating, and dancing. I cannot even explain the level or excitement, joy, and fun on the dance floor this night- it was truly unlike any dance floor I have ever seen. I loved watching Reena’s loved ones welcome Dane’s loved ones into their traditions on the dance floor, and was amazed by the stamina and energy of the dancing! I knew we were in for a fun weekend from the moment I met Reena over coffee years ago…but I was truly blown away to see all of their loved ones in person together and how they all embraced each other truly as family.
I tapped my toes all the drive home that night still to the beat of the music playing in my head, smiling at the joy I saw in Reena and Dane that evening. Friday began early as the traditional Hindu ceremony day. I was immediately impressed by the poise I saw in Reena (who had gotten approximately 3 hours of sleep that night!), and constantly in awe of the beauty of the day. Seeing the traditional Hindu ceremony through my lens was truly something I will never forget. It is beautiful how both sets of parents (and other family members) are so deeply involved in the ceremony and how everyone is so welcomed to be a part of it in their own way. I loved seeing Reena’s parents help Dane and his parent know what to do, and everyone share secret smiles when they all weren’t 100% sure! It was truly just a life-giving, joyful, beautiful experience. Reena and Dane were radiant in their traditional Hindu outfits, and I enjoyed it so much.
By their traditional American ceremony on Saturday, I was sure everyone would be tired and low on the energy (but I was wrong!). It was a full day just as fun as the previous, a day where Dane’s family got to welcome Reena’s into their traditions and it was so fun to watch them be the hosts! This day was planned by the fabulous Hilary Rae, who I got to work with a couple of weeks ago as well, and she is just fantastic. The Expo Building at the Fairgrounds has never been more beautiful! Everyone was SO excited to be there for another round, many people had a new outfit for the reception (which as a fashion loving girl I definitely noticed), and I know the excitement and joy did not end until long after this final day of their celebration ended.
I witnessed so much love, kindness, and mutual respect between these families and while I fully expected some of it, it truly touched me. It was a weekend I will never forget for a very special couple! Be prepared for a LOT of beautiful photos of this lovely couple and their beautiful celebration weekend!!
This is where Friday’s Hindu celebration begins! Reena was stunning. This parade of Dane and his family being received by Reena’s was a highlight for me. I had to include a couple of family formals here because their lovely families were such an integral part of this weekend!! And. on to Saturday’s traditional Catholic celebration. LOVED these colors and classy vibe so so much!
Reena and Dane both work in the State Capitol building– so was a perfect place for photos for them. Truly breathtaking!
Reena and Dane, Mr and Mrs!!! I’m so so happy for you two, have loved getting to know you, and was honored to celebrate with you! Thank you for choosing me to be a part of it!!!
To see Reena + Dane’s beautiful downtown engagement session, click HERE!
We absolutely loved working with Reena and Dane’s amazing creative team!!
Thursday/Friday Venue: Parke Regency Hotel
Thursday/Friday planner: Elite Moments
Saturday Wedding Planner: Hillary Rae Events
Ceremony Location: Blessed Sacrament Parish
Reception Venue: Exposition Building
Florist: Create a Scene Events
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell
Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair + Makeup: BJ Grand Salon + Spa
Caterer: 5 Flavors
Cake: Specialty Cakes by Tammy
Invitations: Design Pro
Rentals: Peoria Rentals
Bar: Dirt Pour Bar Service
Other: LED Dance Floor
Calligraphy: AP Calligraphy Co.
Photo Booth: Rockstar Photo Booth by Music Source
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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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You're in the right place! As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business! I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).
I'm so glad you are here! Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business! I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).