“Whatever Makes Her Happy.” These were the first words that Jason spoke to me when we met at a coffee shop to chat about their wedding. And I think that has been his theme for the last couple of years. From their first few dates to helping Jaclyn through the loss of her mother, their family, friends, and wedding guests all commented on Jason’s adoration of Jaclyn and how he has been there for her…always with the goal of making her happy.
So we met last fall on a beautiful fall day to celebrate their engagement, and we were together again a few weeks ago for an equally beautiful day. The sun was shining, and the flowers were in bloom, just as Jason would want it for Jaclyn. And so at a beautiful church in Vandalia, Jaclyn and Jason were married in front of their closest family and friends, and I was honored to be there.
Jason and Jaclyn, it’s been nothing but a pleasure getting to know the two of you. I hope that you enjoy the retelling of your wedding day through the images below and that you smile as much in the years to come looking at them as I have in getting to know the both of you!
One of my favorite images of the new husband and wife – Jason is a coach of many sports at Vandalia; so, we had to make a quick stop at the football field for a few images!
Jaclyn’s mother was not there with her in body, but her spirit and presence was with her at every turn throughout the day.
One of my favorites of Jaclyn…I love her and her best friends in life laughing and having a great time at this moment.
This might be my all-time favorite image of Jaclyn on her wedding day. I love the soft light and the sparkle in her eyes!!
Jason’s turn to put the final stages on getting ready for his wedding day.
I wish I knew what was being said here!!
At every wedding, there is always a little quirk, of sorts, that comes up…something unplanned that will make you laugh in the years to come…like someone forgetting to light the candles on the alter and it being done on the side will the ceremony itself is taking place!
Jason having an emotional moment during the vows…moments like this make my heart smile.
A beautiful wedding portrait of the new husband and wife.
Jaclyn showing some of her sass…so Jason had to jump in as well!
Love, love, love Jason’s face in this image!!!
An Altamont, IL, Carriage House Wedding Reception
Jaclyn and Jason’s wedding reception was held at the beautiful Carriage House and Event Center in Altamont, IL.
This may just be my favorite picture of a prayer at a wedding reception in the history of ever. I love the lighting and the wedding party with their heads bowed in the background.
Jason, ever the coach, couldn’t resist giving one of his groomsmen-coaches a thumbs-up.
It seems just a few weeks ago that we sat in a Starbucks and realized how much we had in common. Though strangers just five minutes prior, we now shared our childhoods spent in small towns, our backgrounds in the agriculture industry, and our love for our family and friends…yes, most importantly, how important it was for family and friends to be there…all together celebrating this new life together.
And, that was how it was for Tim and Amy. They married on Tim’s uncle’s farm…right outside the small, central Illinois town in which they were both raised…amidst all of those that they loved most in life….family and friends who celebrated Amy and Tim, as the two lovely human beings they are, but also their new life as a couple.
Amy and Tim, thank you….for welcoming me into the fold of your lives…for allowing me to be a part of your beloved family and friends on such an important day in your life. You both will always be in my heart and prayers.
Blessings to you!
Amy and Tim’s class country wedding took place on his uncle’s farm in central Illinois….which gave me such wonderful nooks and crannies of the farmhouse to use for detail shots, like this one of Amy’s beautiful dress!
Amy’s beautiful ring.
Could there be a more perfect vintage chair for a wedding bouquet with hints of farm pastures and fields to rest on?
Amy’s mom and sister helping her into her dress.
Amy looks stunning in her portraits….
…but a laughing Amy is what I’ll always remember and adore!
On her way down the stairs (once again, we can all agree on loving the farmhouse, right?!!) to see her family and friends, and to see her dad.
Amy wanted to have a ‘first look’ with her dad. I absolutely love these images. The way the tree limb is coming down in the background…how the wind swirled her dress at the right moment.
“We’re not a really emotional family,” she said. “We’re not criers,” she said. #famouslastwords
Although SHE may not realize it, I fancy myself quite close to Amy’s sister! I had a great time joking around with her all day long! ;)
And, now let’s talk about the men!
There’s one in every crowd who wants nothing to do with me!
But this handsome guy was all smiles!
Tim, going all GQ on me.
Tim opted to have his formal portraits taken on family ground that he and his brothers love to hunt on….and where he also proposed to Amy!!
More mom love!
Last minute preparation before the wedding begins…
Someone was taking it all in…watching and learning how it’s all done!
Grandpa! Grandpa! Did you see my dress?!!
Here comes the bride….
…and Tim couldn’t have been more pleased.
“The bird seed was a bad idea,” said Amy after she made it to the end of the aisle!!
We headed to a small chapel near the farm to take more images of Tim, Amy, and the wedding party.
This image of Amy is stunning….
….but this one is my favorite by far, as it shows her laughing spirit!
Being a tad more serious on such an important day.
Girl. Twirly dress. Enough said. :)
Tim and Amy’s reception was at Poe’s on the Hill right outside of Springfield, IL.
Tim had a groom’s cake in the shape of a deer…he used a set of antlers as a prop in proposing to Amy!
Amy’s dad giving thanks and advice for the new couple!
Instead of a traditional DJ or band, Tim and Amy opted to bring in one of my favorite groups: 176 Keys! A dueling piano team that performs at weddings and events! I’ve had the privilege of working with them before, and they always keep the crowd entertained and the dance floor hopping!
The reception was so fun, that even the parents couldn’t resist breaking into dance half-way through the traditional father/daughter and mother/son dances!!
Thanks for checking in! Blessings to you all! KM
So, recently my sister posted a picture on Facebook of a semi pulling an Amazon.com trailer with the caption “My Book Order is Here” on Facebook. Her joke was that it reminded her of me.
Yes, admittedly, I have always been a book nerd. My Grandma Rankin taught me to read when I was four years old, and my nose has been stuck in a book ever since. My parents used to joke that I’d never know how to get anywhere because I was always reading when in the car (those pockets on the backs of the front seat make the BEST book holders!), and I used to get excited in high school when a friend’s parents would get their new TIME magazine that I could read. I was a GOOD time, let me tell ya! That quote from Jerry Maguire…the one where Renee Zellweger says that a glass of wine and a good book is her idea of a great evening? Yep..that’s me!
I still love a good book. On the first of every month, I excitedly scan Amazon.com’s monthly list of books for $3.99 or less, and while I do like the convenience of getting a book immediately on my iPad, overall, I still prefer an actual book with pages. There’s something textural and nostalgic about it. Oh, and I’m a total underliner too…I rarely use bookmarks, as most of my books have red pens in them so that I can underline my favorite parts, quotes, and passages. The added benefit of being my friend is that when you borrow one of MY books, I’ve made it clear which parts are important!!
Back to my sister’s Facebook joke – my aunt left a comment that she needed a good book to read…as I come from an entire family of readers, and I know her pain. What’s a girl to do when you get done with a book and the next one’s not sitting there waiting?!!! I like to have at least six books waiting there for me.
So, here’s a few of the good books I’ve read in the last 12-18 months….the ones that kept me up at night…the books that made me chew on my nails…the ones that I know will be on my ‘will read again definitely’ list.
“Unbroken” by Lauren Hillenbrand – OK, I was late on the bandwagon with this one…it was out a long time before I read it…and this is probably the most well-known of my recommendations. We read it in my book club, and it was amazing…the true story of an Olympic runner whose plane goes down during WWII. He fights sharks for countless days on the Pacific just to be ‘rescued’ by the Japanese. It’s currently be made into a movie….I can’t wait, but am also nervous Angelina Jolie, the director, will ruin it for me.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom – Like a lot of people, I love reading historical accounts of WWII lives. I knew of Corrie Ten Boom’s story, but had never read her biography. What happens when you have two middle-aged spinsters living with their elderly father in Amsterdam during WWII? In the Ten Boom’s situation, you become one of the largest hiders and protectors of Jews. What started with helping just one Jew find a place to hide in the country turned into these three elderly people becoming a major hub of Amsterdam’s underground Nazi resistance. The family was eventually caught, and what I will always remember from this book was that as the two sisters stood in line during inspections by the Nazi’s at the concentration camp, they prayed…not for themselves and their lives…but that the soldiers would one day be convicted of their sins and ask for forgiveness from God.
Along those same lines, the story of “The Kommandant’s Mistress” kept me awake all night. The store of a beautiful Jewish girl and the obsessed commander of a camp who keeps her in the corner of his office. She was lucky in her access to food, clothes, and warmth, but she was ostracized by her own people…the other members of the camp who hated her for the basics of life of which they had no access.
So, one night I’m on the phone with a bride out of Springfield talking about her wedding day, and we get to chatting about how much we love history, and I begin rambling on and on about this book that I’m reading and can’t put down called “The Orphan Master’s Son”…after two minutes of me babbling like an idiot, I began apologizing profusely…because surely I’m the only person in the world who thinks that the way North Korea has shut themselves off from the rest of the world is intriguing. Lucky for me, I babbled to the right bride…her family was originally from Korea, and so we bonded over that book! Seriously, if there’s a book that will make you love the United States and realize what a precious country it is, this is it! With their lack of family, orphans in North Korea are sent to do the worst of the worst work, for if they should die, they would not be missed. The main character of this novel becomes somewhat of a Forrest Gump and takes advantage of every situation he’s put in to rise above his circumstances. Read this book!!
“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers - This was a booked picked for book club, and I postponed reading it until two days before our meeting. I had read one of Ms. River’s previous books, and had been a bit underwhelmed by it. But, wow!! I literally stayed up all night reading it once I started! Based on the book of Haggai in the bible, the main character of this book, Michael, rescues a prostitute, who had been sold into prostitution at the age of 8, in an old mining town and vows to God that he will love her regardless of her past and what happens in the future. Despite his kindness and gentleness, time and again, she leaves him and returns to her brothel. Metaphorical to God’s love for us, this book pulls you in and doesn’t let you go…and along the way shows you how there is no difference between us and Angel.
There are a few others that I loved from this past year, but I’ll save those for another post! So, put a pot of coffee on, grab a blanket, and curl up with one of these good reads over this cold and windy weekend!
Next week is our family portrait session. And, believe it or not, I go through the same anxiety and indecisiveness as you do. What to wear? Do I bring bribes for the kids? What if the kids cry the whole time? Will my husband pretend he’s enjoying this and give a convincing smile?
Well, yesterday I had our consultation with our photographer to plan the session. I’m pretty sure the conversation went something like this:
Her: Kelly, for your family portrait, are you thinking vertical? Square? Horizontal?
Me: Whatever makes me look like a size 4.
Her: Kelly, do you envision your family portrait as being from a distance or a family close-up?
Me: Whatever makes me look like a size 4.
Her: What colors are you planning on wearing with the autumn trees?
Me: Whatever makes me look like a size 4.
Her: Are there any activities or traditions that you, Nick, and the kids do that you’d like to capture and remember?
Me: Clearly, activities that have not made me a size 4.
The McCormick family is taking up triathlon training beginning tomorrow as a family hobby…Max not being potty-trained yet might give him a benefit in the swimming leg of the training.
A Glamorous Country Wedding
We sat in a small winery, Willett’s, in our hometown, …it was winter, but inside it was glowing and warm. We talked farming. And when I say ‘we’, I mean all three of us…me, the groom, and the bride. We had all three been raised on farms. Al three of us are still involved in agriculture. We talked grain. We talked livestock. As only farm kids can do.
But we also talked weddings. In the bride’s words, she wanted her wedding to be ‘glamorous country.’ She wanted sophisticated cream flowers and glowing candles, but she also wanted their reception to embody their love for the farm, their families, and their friends.
Jeffrey and Jenny,
Thank you so much. You succeeded in every way. Not only was it an honor to be a part of your wedding day, but it was also a blessing to serve a couple who were as excited about their marriage as they were for the wedding itself.
Blessings on you both,
Jeffrey and Jenny had an AMAZING creative team. We have been emailing each other this past week re-living their wedding day and talking about the beauty of not only the detail images but them as a couple as well!
Church: St. John’s Lutheran Church
Reception: Par-a-Dice Hotel, East Peoria, IL
Lisa Ragan with Happily Ever After Weddings – Event Planning and Coordination.
Scott with Sound & Light Creations – Chandeliers, Lighting, and Dapping.
Beth Maxwell with McKinley Park Events – All florals, ceremony decor, and reception decor.
Sara E Designs – All stationary, wooden table numbers, and custom signs.
Patrick N Swayze – Music and Entertainment at the Reception
Ingrid with White Lily Productions – Videography
Jenny’s mom was so bubbly and kind! “Are you hungry? Here – Eat!! Drink!! Grab whatever you need!!” As soon as we got to Jenny’s parents’ farm, her Dad told us to hop in the truck and he took us on tour of the farm so that we could figure out the best places to shoot.
Jeffrey and his brother Benjamen escoring their mother down the aisle. Background story on Jeffrey’s family. When I was little, his parents and my parents were in “Young Farmers” together…a group of people through the Farm Bureau that would meet. I don’t remember the get-togethers, but my older sister does. But, we’ve known Jeffrey’s family for years.
Jeffrey and Jenny’s wedding began at 3:00. The pastor told the story that at the rehearsal the night before Jeffrey’s mom stated that until 2:59pm the next day, Jeffrey was still hers. But from 3:00 on, he was all Jenny’s responsibility!!
Ahhh, yes, it’s the limo-bus that got stuck in the field!! But that’s the handy thing about farm boys. No big deal – Jenny’s brother ran back to the shed and brought a truck out to pull the limo-bus out. All good!
My favorite image of the day. While we were taking pictures at Jenny’s farm, the wedding guests headed to the wedding reception at the Paradice Hotel and Casino in Peoria, IL. Upon entering the cocktail reception area, Beth Maxwell’s team had put together a beautiful vintage farm scene to welcome Jenny and Jeffrey’s guests.
Yep, they brought it an antique tractor surrounded by stalks of corn.
Guests found their table number by referencing antique window panes.
There were more window frames suspended from the ceiling displaying pictures of loved ones who could not be there on that special day.
Yummy gifts for the guests.
So many thoughts of love and thanks in this image.
Wait! What’s Dad mad about?!!
Now, I have been to weddings where the groom and bride have performed “Gangnam Style”…but it was an epic crowd-please when the bride and her dad performed it for the crowd!!
Let’s take a minute to talk about the band. AWESOME! They’d start a new song, and I’d think to myself, “Oh! This is a good one!”…all night long that happened!
Jeffrey and Jenny….God’s blessings on you both…now and forever. ~Kelly
Please take a moment and leave a note of congratulations to Jeffrey and Jenny in the comments!