Kelli + Bill are two of my favorite people. One of my favorite parts of doing what I do is to get to know my couples. I love learning about them. What makes them them. Seeing how they interact with each other. The cute little things that make them who they are as a couple. At their engagement session, I immediately fell in love with their love. The way they are together. The way Bill makes Kelli laugh. And the way Kelli crinkles up her nose. Just love. I had been counting down the days until their wedding, knowing that the love would be amplified and their cuteness even cuter! Sure enough, I was right!

Kelli + Bill started their mornings both getting ready at their home at opposite ends so they didn’t see each other. I personally love when I get the chance to see both the bride and groom before the ceremony. And it gives me the chance to meet all their closest friends and family that they’ve chosen to surround them on their wedding! No only were Kelli + Bill so excited and glowing, but their bridal party were all so amazing!

As we go to the church, you could feel the excitement building. And when I saw Bill come out, standing there anxiously awaiting Kelli, oh man guys… I knew I was in for an emotional day trying to fight back tears. And sure enough, as Kelli started the walk down the aisle with her dad, my attention turns to Bill. And there he is. The way that every bride visualizes her man – at the front, feeling the moment, and fighting back the tears. It got me. Seeing the groom’s reaction to his bride is one of my favorite parts of the day. And as soon as I see a guy break into tears or fighting it back, oh man I lose it.

The day only got better as we arrived at Emerson Creek Pottery + Tearoom. Seeing them surrounded by their friends, each more overjoyed for them than the next. All the laughter. And the love. And speech after speech of outpouring support and absolute love and respect for these two humans. It truly was a beautiful day in every way <3 Congrats, Kelli + Bill!

Wedding Planning — Calli Lucas | Photography — Jenna Marie Photography | Photographer Assistant — Jenna | Ceremony — Ss Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church | Reception — Emerson Creek Pottery + Tearoom | Hair + Makeup — Jean Marie Salon | Invitations — Minted Floral Design — Ipomea Floral |  Cake — Sugar Fixé | Sweets Table — Orland Park Bakery + Nothing Bundt Cakes Band — Lisa Rene Band | Catering — My Chef Catering | Bridal Dress —Kenneth Winston | Bridal Shoes — Brinley Co + Adrienne Vittadini | Bridesmaid Dresses —  Jenny Yoo Groom + Groomsmen Attire — Black Tie Formalwear | Film Lab — Photovision

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January 3, 2016

(Portra 400 shot on a Contax 645, developed by Photovision)

With every year that passes, I find myself more and more amazed at my husband. I always knew he would be the best daddy ever, but I don’t think I truly grasped just how amazing he would be. Seeing the bond that Landon has with Jake, the love… it’s unconditional. He asks for “daddy” every 5 minutes when he’s not with us. His face lights up as soon as he hears a door open. He squeals when he hears his voice. He mocks everything Jake does. And don’t forget, he’s a spitting image of Jake.

(Portra 400 shot on a Contax 645, developed by Photovision)

Thank you for always being our support, for giving us all the love you have, for being the “smooch monster,” and for kissing his little knees when he falls. You’ve taught me so much about how to be a better parent and a better person <3 I’m so blessed to have you as a role model for Landon to look up to. I pray that he turns out just like you (minus your sports teams preferences)! Happy Daddy’s Day, babe! We are so lucky to have you <3

(^ by Yourdream Photo)

But I’m not done yet. Ever since my dad passed away, Father’s Day has been one filled with sadness. I’d find myself staying inside, off social media, and locked away from the world to ignore what day it was. To ignore that I wasn’t able to celebrate it with my own dad. While these days are never easy, I’ve found over the years I’ve turned my sadness and ignorance to one of thankfulness. I’m so beyond thankful that I had my dad with me for as long as I had. For all the things he taught me. For all the happy tears he made me cry (#hewassuperfunny). And now? Now I thank you for always watching over me. Over Landon. For helping to guide me when I’m lost and don’t know what to do. When you passed away, I was afraid our bond would just stop with you not here everyday. But little did I know that it’s only grown stronger. You’ll always be my #1 man, and you’ll always have my heart. I love you more than words can ever begin to describe. You’ll forever be the man I look up to. Happy Father’s Day, daddy <3

But wait, I’m still not done. You see, Father’s Day isn’t just a holiday that you celebrate for the fathers related to you by blood. Sometimes father figures come into your life who aren’t related to you. Who are not your father. My father-in-law was someone who I just adored from the first time I met him 11.5 years ago. Let’s be serious, all of my in-laws are just amazing! If we’re being honest, though, it took me awhile to fully come around to him. It has nothing to do with his personality (because he’s awesome). It has everything to do with his name. For the first 3 years that Jake and I were dating, I refused to call him anything other than Mr. and wouldn’t address him by his first name. Strangely enough, him and my dad share a very rare first name – Vern. So calling him Vern was always so hard for me. It made me think too much of my dad. And I never wanted my dad to think I was replacing him. But little did I know, my dad was looking down on me and sent me someone in the physical that he knew was a good man and could give me the fatherly advice I needed <3 So to you, Vern, I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day. And we thank you so much for all the love and support you’ve given me and our family <3

And to all the daddy’s out there today – whether still with us or in Heaven – I wish you the happiest of daddy days <3 Thank you for all that you do <3

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January 3, 2016

I so wish I had time to sit and spill my heart. Blogging is my way of preserving memories. Of feelings. I love to write. But I’m not gonna lie, it’s been busssssy! And to be honest, I’ve been up past 2am every night this week trying to catch up with everything! So while you won’t see a big long post like last year, I did want to take a minute to slow life down. And to wish my dude a happy birthday <3 I’ve spent all day today disconnected from work, just trying to soak in every minute with him. Spending the day at the pool, watching him play, hearing him laugh. Trying to preserve all my memories of him at this age. He’s the sweetest thing ever with the purest heart. He has so much love in him. My birthday wish for you, my little dude, is that one day you can feel and know just how much I love you <3

Portra 400 shot on a Contax 645 and scanned by Photovision.

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