The sun was beaming bright and warm on Lydia and Christian’s wedding day.
I traveled to Rockford for this special couple’s big day. When I arrived at the church, Lydia’s hair and make-up were complete and the dress by BLHDN was waiting to be put on.
Whoops! Take your time, Lydia!
Lydia’s mother was not a fan of this photo.
Temporary setback. Our bride is good to go!
Leah was with Christian while he prepared with his groomsmen. It was almost time for Christian to have his first look at Lydia.
She was waiting for her groom in the alley behind the church.
The flower girl was there too; she was curious about what was going on!
Christian took his place…
…and Lydia came right out to join him.
Such a happy day!
We got ready to take a few pre-ceremony photos. Christian adjusted his jacket…
…and Lydia dabbed at the tears.
Good to go.
Lydia was absolutely glowing…
…such a beautiful bride.
Here, Christian helps Lydia secure her bracelet.
And just like that, it was time for the ceremony.
Lydia’s aunt was at the piano.
And everyone took their seat.
Christian watched as Lydia made her entrance.
And Christian’s mom was all smiles!
He joined up with Lydia halfway down the aisle and walked with her to the altar.
Lydia’s mom, who plays for the church regularly, joined Lydia’s aunt in providing the music for the ceremony.
The happy couple joined hands as the ceremony began.
Lydia helped Christian out while he delivered his vows to her.
They both made their vows…
…exchanged rings…
…and then they were married! Congratulations!
One of the groomsmen wailed on his sax as the ceremony ended.
Lydia gave her mom, who was still playing her heart out, a hug after the ceremony.
Lydia’s sister gives her new brother-in-law a congratulatory hug.
Out of the church…
…and into the car. One of Christian’s brothers gave us a lift to the venue.
The reception was held at the beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens.
We spent some time touring the gardens upon our arrival…
…and this was our guide.
The gardens are so gorgeous.
And we had the perfect afternoon for strolling the grounds and taking pictures.
The rest of the wedding party joined us for some group pictures.
A mama duck and her babies floated along the koi pond, watching us take pictures.
Her mother was waiting for us to get started with the family photos.
We had a most excellent bouquet-holder there to help out. He kept the flowers, which were designed by O’Fallon’s Flowers safe and sound.
Taking pictures is fun, but we were counting the seconds until the party would start.
We were ready for some fun!
I was thrilled to see Amanda & Josef, a couple whose wedding I shot last summer, at the wedding. Amanda has known Lydia since summer camp as kids and served as one of Lydia’s bridesmaids.
Reception time! Leah and I took some photos of details as we made our way in.
Lydia’s shoes were lovely.
They used photos from their engagement session to make coasters for guest to take home as favors. What a cool idea! I used them as a backdrop for their rings, which were designed by Julius Cohen.
They had adorable, handmade tags Lydia secured from one of her favorite Etsy marketplaces, Joosy Card Co., to serve as place cards.
The memorial bouquet.
The choco-licious cake was baked by Mary’s Market, who also catered the wedding. Yum!
These charming pinwheels and fans were also made by the same Etsy artist who made the place cards.
After dinner, Lydia and Christian cut their wedding cake. Carefully.
And then Christian’s best man gave his tribute. Christian’s last name is Gray, and apparently there’s a character in this naughty little book with the same last name. Scandalous!
Then Lydia’s Maid of Honor gave her toast to the newlyweds.
Christian’s mom listened intently while the speeches were made.
When the speeches were completed, Lydia and Christian took the floor for their first dance.
And then everyone else joined in! These two could play a mean leg guitar.
Amanda strikes a pose with her buddy…
…and hubby Joe was there to photograph it.
Everyone was busting a move to the songs that Jena from Toast & Jam was playing.
This guy had some awesome moves to show off to the crowd.
Air guitar!
We were partying hard… and some of the less-seasoned partiers had to tap out early.
Thanks for sharing your day with us, Christian and Lydia! We had a great time!! Congratulations on your marriage!