weddings

Sunflower Wedding Invitations & Other Unique Stationary from Basic Invite

I’m going to sound totally cliche saying this… but as a photographer I find details beautiful! Whether it’s a brides hand squeezing her dad’s tux during the father/daughter dance or a vase full of fresh flowers on a reception table…. I LOVE DETAILS! But i’m not the only one….

Images of wedding decor are easily the most Pinned and searched images by engaged couples JUST LIKE YOU! So when I photograph a wedding… I want to make sure I capture each and every one of those details that you’ve been working on for months!

So I make sure my timeline allows just the right amount of time for me to style my couples’ rings, flowers, ribbons, fabric swatches, and anything else that inspired their day! This makes my photographer heart so incredibly happy! What can I say… I like pretty things! #sorrynotsorry

But one of my VERY favorite details to photograph that is often left out is the invitation!

I love looking at the wording, the fonts, the colors, the texture, and the style that the couple has chosen to be the first representation of their day to everyone they know! So when Basic Invite invited me to partner with them, I knew it would be the perfect fit! Because not only are their products amazing… but they are giving my brides a discount! (Keep scrolling for some sample images and a discount code at the end!)

As a former bride and a current photographer, I’ll be the first to say that every detail of your day matters! It should say something! It should encompass who you are as a couple! And Basic Invite is the PERFECT place to find that!

Why?

I’m glad you asked! :)

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My Day, My Way

One reason I love Basic Invite is because not only do they have over 900 Invitation sets… but their invitations are completely customizable. But not just the wording and fonts! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that gives their customers almost UNLIMITED COLOR OPTIONS with Instant Previews Online. And again, not just the font is custom colored, EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT of the design is customizable! Even the envelopes! Still not sure!?! Take advantage of their custom sample service! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their ACTUAL INVITATION! That way everything looks exactly how you want it— down to even the tiniest detail.

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All the Things

All of their wedding products have an entire matching set to go with it, so if you find a save the date you like, they’ll have you covered with the matching wedding invitations, bridal shower invitations, programs, envelopes, menu cards, place cards, coasters, magnets, direction cards, RSVP cards, accommodation cards, reception cards, registry cards, and thank you cards! ALL IN ONE PLACE!

But don’t worry, if #allthethings aren’t in your budget… Basic Invite provides you with a FREE WEDDING WEBSITE! That are just as customizable as their invitations, mobile friendly, and super ease to use for even the oldest guest! Heck, you can even choose a design that matches your wedding invitation! You can instantly upload ALL of your wedding details along with images, a map, and anything else you want to make it easy as pie for your guests!

WOW! FACTOR

When’s the last time you opened up a wedding invitation and said “Wow!” Because if you order anything from Basic Invite that will certainly be the response but the following invitations REALLY caught my eye! BUT REALLY… You don’t want to miss this…

These are wooden invitations, ya’ll. Like REAL CHERRY WOOD! One Rustic, Elegant, Whimsical day coming RIGHT UP!

Or these save-the dates… THEY ARE CLEAR! You guys… nothing shouts elegance quite like this invitation!

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Style

Flowers are one of the main elements of most weddings. Flowers have the ability to brighten any room or venue and have the power to take a room from ordinary to extraordinary. Particular flowers convey particular emotions! One type of flower that has been showing up for many of my weddings is the sunflower! Sunflowers are the perfect summer flower and have always been a favorite among many brides.

The bright yellow petals are sunny and cheerful, while the dark centers add a touch of drama. And while sunflowers are the perfect complement to a rustic, country-themed wedding when they're skillfully paired with other flowers and greenery, they can also take on a much more formal look when paired with some cream colored stock blossoms!

But there are more ways to incorporate flowers into your wedding celebration than the traditional way! And one of those is through your invitations! These Bridal Shower Invitations Sunflower are the perfect way to tie together your wedding day with all the celebrations beforehand! Not to mention the matching Wedding Invitations! Their matching sets are the perfect way to string your bridal experience together from bridal shower to thank you card.

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Easy Button

So, while they’re website doesn’t have an actual big, red easy button that we can push… it does make things as simple as possible! Basic Invite knows that Brides have a lot on their plate…. that’s why they offer products like these all-in-one send and seal wedding invitations. The RSVP can be easily detached and sent PLUS guest addresses are printed right on the front so envelopes aren’t needed! (WOOT, WOOT!)

However if the invitation you choose does require an envelope… don’t worry! You can use Basic Invite’s free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get FREE ENVELOPE PRINTING! (Can I get an Amen!?!?!)

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One last thing…

When ordering your products, plan for a little extra shipping time (7-11 days). When my samples arrived they were packaged extremely well and looked PERFECT! Plus it came with a brochure that showed different color and foil options so you can see them side by side!

Overall this process was easy and the quality was amazing! If you are interested in ordering some samples or products for yourself, you can use this coupon code: PhotosbyAriel for 20% off your order from Basic Invite!

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Thanks for reading and happy wedding planning!

Rachel & Ridge's May Wedding in Central Illinois

After moving to Lincoln, Illinois in 2016, Rachel was one of the first people I met! She worked in the nursery at Lincoln Christian Church and my child was THAT CHILD. The one who screamed and was inconsolable. But Rachel was one of her caretakers and she was absolutely amazing! She was dating Ridge at that time too but in 2018 they made their love official when he asked her to marry him! They decided that a May 2019 wedding would be perfect! Rachel planned this wedding WHILE SHE WAS IN NURSING SCHOOL! Isn’t she amazing!?! And not just that… she planned it from far away! Anyone who has planned a wedding knows that this is NOT an easy task! But she did it with grace and poise as she does with all things!

Rachel and Ridge! Your day was beautiful and so are both of you! You two are so full of love for each other and for God! You know that their marriage isn’t about you! You know that your marriage serves a bigger purpose and it’s these kinds of marriages that end up changing the world. It was such an honor to photograph the start of your life together!

Enjoy!

Florist - Linda berg - 231floral@niemannfoods.com

DJ - Nick Davis

Hair - Grace Stephenson - Evolve salon

Makeup - Adri Doolin

Tuxes - Men's warehouse

Dresses - David's Bridal

Rings - Helzberg Diamonds

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Central Illinois Engagement Session in Downtown Lincoln and Kickapoo Creek Park

Jessica and Kaleb recently had their engagement session for their upcoming wedding in October! This adorable couple has been together for 7 years and first met on the dating app: tinder. It’s so funny how more and more couples are meeting online these days! :) These two lovebirds definitely know how to have a good time and were full of laughter despite that fact that their session basically took place in a pig pen (see the image at the bottom of the page for reference). They kept their spirits high and their love was evident! I absolutely cannot wait for this October wedding! It’s going to be PERFECT!

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Spotlight Feature: Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique in Peoria, Illinois

A while back I had the pleasure of meeting & photographing the ladies over at Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique in Peoria, Illinois.

While stepping into the doors of Central Illinois’ first exclusive bridal boutique I was taken aback at how exquisite this boutique was. Every square inch of this place made you feel like ROYALTY. The bright and airy atmosphere, the soft and elegant French furniture for families and friends to watch, the ceiling to floor mirrors, the STUNNING crystal chandelie… the warm and friendly faces of their employees, their dressing rooms fit for a queen… not to mention the BEAUTIFUL assortment of bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and bridal accessories (I know this is the longest run-on sentence EVER…. but really… this place is stunning!)

I am confident that this boutique is the PERFECT place for any bride to find that perfect dress.

These ladies get it… they do! They KNOW how long you’ve been dreaming of this day. Just interviewing them, I could feel their level of commitment and their passion in ensuring that each and every bride who walks through their doors has the PERFECT experience. That they leave feeling confident, beautiful, and encouraged.

Cloud nine is an amazing boutique for brides who cherish individual style and a one-of-a-kind experience. Schedule an appoint HERE or by calling 309-693-3830.

Pro Tips:

When asked what “her one piece of advice would be for brides getting ready to go wedding dress shopping would be,” Owner, Jennifer Hitchens, responded, “Have an open mind.” Always be willing to try everything. You might end up getting what you came in for, but you might be pleasantly surprised. :)

Me: “For a bride who wants a timeless wedding dress, what elements does that include in a dress?”

J.H.: “Ivory, a line, clean, lace, satin/silk”

Me: “For brides who want their wedding to be ‘trendy’ what all does that include in a dress?

J.H.: “Colored. Fit to Flare. Lots of Detail. Illusion Dresses.”

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Spotlight Feature: Spruce Rentals in Peoria, Illinois

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Details Create the Big Picture.

Sanford L. Weill

We’ve all seen them. Heck, we’ve pinned 1,349,321 similar pictures to our own Pinterest “wedding board.” I’m talking about detail shots. Your rings placed so perfectly on your white veil. Your glittery shoes sitting on that perfect table that makes their reflection pop. A close-up of the grooms hands trying to tie his bow tie ever so perfectly. You and your bridesmaids toasting those champaign glasses with those perfectly done nails. They are what make a wedding gallery complete. Without images like these any our wedding gallery, something feels like its missing.

These magazine worthy weddings aren’t just thrown together last minute. They are thought out carefully, strategized over, and planned. But hey… some of us don’t always LOVE planning all the details. In fact, we find it overwhelming. That’s why I went to Brittney at Spruce Rentals in Peoria, IL. I first saw her on Instagram posting all of these swoon-worthy photos of her inventory. Ya’ll… if you need some beauty in your life… FOLLOW HER! So, I contacted her to see if I could meet her, interview her and take some photos of her BEAUTIFUL stuff for my brides!

You guys, not only is she the sweetest lady on the planet. This lady is a magician. She can see & cast a vision for those who need help and then executes it to perfection all while matching that couples vibe PERFECTLY. She is currently located in a temporary location at the Mill in the Peoria Warehouse District while they are still searching for their forever home. But she serves brides ALL over the Central Illinois area.

Her shop is FILLED with decor of ALL styles, big and small. Couches, Tables, Dressers, Centerpieces, Pillows, Candles, Vases, Typewriters, Chandeliers, Chairs, Chalkboards, Table numbers and the coolest arbors you’ve ever seen! Bohemian, rustic, classic, timeless… she has everything!!! Literally, as I was walking through I was like, “I want this for my house, and this for my house…” hahahaha!

Now, before you go assuming things like, “Isn’t it cheaper to just drive around to all the targets all over Central Illinois and buy them myself?” Hear me out. This is not necessarily the case. Trust me, I’m a penny-pincher myself. Spending money physically hurts me, lol. But I do believe that money spent in the right place, is okay!

Things to Consider

  1. Transportation & Set-up (woot, woot)! Girl, your wedding day is going to be so busy and so eventful. Let’s not add the stress of worrying about how things are going to be transported, who will bring them, who’s going to set up, who’s going to take down, etc. Let the pro’s take care of that for you! You only get one wedding day…. you AND your family should ENJOY IT!

  2. Vision. Setting up a table is a true art. It really is. Not ALL of us can be Joanna Gaines, am I right? Trust these professionals to decorate your venue in the PERFECT way that matches who you two are as a couple all while staying in your budget.

  3. “The Regret”- This is what I call that phase after the wedding when you thought it was a really good idea to just buy all 75 centerpieces, signs, and backdrops instead of renting it and now you don’t know what to do with any of the stuff even though you have posted it to every “Buy and Sell” site that Facebook has to offer as well as craigslist and eBay and you still have all these boxes of wedding stuff taking over your house. Don’t do this to yourself. Instead just hire Spruce Rentals, have them deliver, set up, take down, and return so YOU can spend ALL your time enjoying your hubby!

So I encourage all you DIY brides out there to explore ALL options BEFORE officially deciding to DIY. And for all you other brides who don’t feel DIY-inclined… make sure you chat with Brittney at Spruce Rentals. I’m confident you will find just what you’re looking for for your wedding day!

MONEY-SAVING TIPS:

  • Focus on “Picture Points”- When deciding what to rent and what to save on consider what I call “picture points.” The Ceremony Stage, The head table, The Cake table, right behind the first dance floor, etc.

  • Instead of doing an extravagant centerpiece on EVERY table, do simple ones on every third table as “fillers.”

  • Go Timeless- For timeless looks. Focus on neutrals, and simplicity.

Enjoy these pics from Spruce Rentals!

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