peoria illinois wedding photography

Where my name came from...

I ask a lot of my clients. I ask them to be open and vulnerable which is never easy. I ask them to tell me about them. Their likes and dislikes. Their strengths and their weaknesses. I want to know their story. I want to be able to produce images that when they look at them, they are brought to tears. For what they are seeing is not just a picture of them but a picture of their soul. 

I realize that telling ones story is not an easy thing to do. We all have doubts and fears. Which is why I'm implementing this *new* little exercise for all of you here on social media. I'm not sure what I'm going to call it... (if you have any ideas let me know 🤣). But every Friday I'm going to reveal little truths about myself. Some will be silly icebreakers, some will be more deep, but all will be 100% honest and true. Because, if I expect you to be vulnerable with me... I realize that I have to do the same! <3

So here is the first one... 

My name. I was, in fact, named after the little mermaid. My parents took my 2 older sisters to the movie theater to see it when my mom was pregnant with me. My dad REALLY loved the name. So he told my mom, "yup! We are naming her Ariel." Before that I was going to be named Alexandria. I am the third girl and all our names start with A's. Ashley, Amber, and Ariel. Did I get made fun growing up because of my name? No... not really. Other than the occasional "mermaid" which didn't really bother me. I've always loved my name. I even considered naming one of my own children after a Disney character just to keep that little thing going. <3 So now its your turn... were you named after anyone special or do you have a special story regarding your name?

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Spotlight Feature: The Inn at 835- Wedding Venue in Springfield, Illinois

This beautiful wedding venue needs to be at the top of your list when selecting one for your big day! The Inn at 835 is unparalleled in beauty and in service.

How to pick your wedding party...

We all have high-maintenance relationships… but that doesn’t mean they need to be a part of our wedding day. Tips and Tricks for selecting a wedding party that will ensure a stress-free wedding day!

Spotlight Feature: Basic Invite - from forest weddings to church weddings. They've got you covered.

As a wedding photographer I am constantly working to get my brides the best, most helpful information to assist them as they plan the best day of their life as well as develop partnerships to save them some money! Because let’s face it… you shouldn’t have to take out a loan on a wedding. Haha! :)

One of my amazing partnerships is with Basic Invite. Basic invite is a invitation company that creates everything from Save-The-Dates to Bridal Shower Invitations, to Wedding Invitations and Thank you cards and even 100% *FREE* wedding websites. Their invitations are beautiful and timeless. There are unlimited color combinations and everything is totally customizable. Once you are done customizing your project, you can view it instantly online. Their wedding websites are mobile friendly (because who has time for computers) and super easy to use. You can instantly upload all of your wedding day details, along with pictures, maps, and directions. Everything your guests need to know, right in one place.

But to me, whats unique about Basic Invite, and why I partner with them, is their designs. They aren’t the typical designs you see on other sites. Their designs are special. They make you feel something. No bride & groom are the same. Why should your wedding invitations be created from some boring, one-size-fits-all template?

Basic invite has over 900 different wedding invitation sets alone. Want pictures? No problem. Prefer to keep it simple? They do that to. The best part is that each invitation is a part of a set. So once you find the invitation you like, the have save-the-dates, enclosure cards, wedding menus, programs and even matching thank you cards! FINALLY, something made easy! I have a ton of outdoor weddings coming up in 2019 and Basic Invite even has adorable outdoor themed save the dates.

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The wedding invitation someone receives is the first picture they have of your wedding day. And Basic invite here to make sure that first impression is a good one by making sure even the tiniest detail is customizable to make it exactly the way you want it. Once you select a design, you can change the color options for each individual element on your invitation to one of over 180 different color options. That way you can make sure your wedding invitation reflects who you are as a couple in every way imaginable.

On top of that, they have over 40 different colors of envelopes. I absolutely love this because nothing makes you more excited to open a piece of mail than when it is in a fun envelope! Plus, all of their envelopes are peel and seal so that way you don’t have to waste your time licking those disgusting glue strips. No, thank you!

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One of their newest sets is the Seal & Send Wedding Invitations. These are an all-in-one wedding invitation with a tear-off RSVP postcard included! Making it nice and easy for your guests to get you those RSVP cards back in a timely manner (wink, wink)! #noexcuses, am I right?

Currently, they offer them in over 30 designs in this lineup including foil-options and they are also completely customizable like their other products. BUT WAIT… I know you’re thinking it can’t get any better than this but it totally does. Whats extra special about these is that the guest’s address are ALREADY PRINTED on the front of each invitation which means no envelope necessary (Insert mind-blowing emoji here). :) All you have to do is share a link, collect guest addresses (which, side-note they make this nice and easy with their Free Address Collection Service & Envelope Printing) , and upload them to your design instantly. Easy as pie, my friend! Then, once you receive your order, all you have to do is add postage, fold them up and seal them with an sticker! Simple, Easy, and Trendy!

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Basic Invite is truly her to give you that custom, beautiful, wedding that tells your story. They even offer custom wedding coasters. These coasters are completely made specifically to match your day. These unique coasters can be used at the reception and be included as a take home gift to all of your guests. Win-Win for everyone!

Still not sure, go ahead and hop on over to order your CUSTOM SAMPLE today (thats right, even their samples can be customized)! Just to be extra sure! :) I promise you won’t regret it!

BONUS: For all you Photos by Ariel brides out there… you get to enjoy 20% off your order! -XO

Spotlight Feature: Simply Elegant by Cheri in Lincoln, Illinois

Business feature for the Photos by Ariel Brides out there! Today I went to visit Cheri who owns Simply Elegant by Cheri, a beautiful bridal boutique located at the heart of central Illinois. Cheri’s shop is beautiful and Cheri herself is sweet as pie. Though she was previously a mortgage broker at State Farm for years, her heart was with weddings.

She decided in July of 2018 to open Simply Elegant by Cheri. A bridal boutique that offers one-of-a-kind bridal gowns, mother of the bride dresses, bridesmaids dresses, tuxedos, and even ceremony and reception décor and silk florals. Through this shop, Cheri loves ensuring that the Bride has the full wedding dress shopping experience that she deserves. That starts with your appointment booking. The appointments can be booked on their website or via phone or email! When you show up for your appointment you can come alone or you can bring as many people as you want. The shop is large enough to accommodate yet small enough to still feel intimate. You walk in and are instantly greeted by Cheri, the owner herself, with fresh treats, coffee, mimosas, wine, water, and many other delicious options.

At your appointment, you are the sole focus. This shop has been designed to allow one bride at a time. No more waiting on another Bride to finish trying on the dress you wanted to try on or feeling as though any unnecessary attention is on you from other shoppers. It is only you and the people you love dearly that you bring with you in the entire store. Also, take note that the shop is kid friendly, so if you have a little one or someone accompanying you does. Don’t feel stressed about entertaining them or worry about them touching everything. Cheri is an expert with littles and has a few little toys/coloring books/ and even a tv with Netflix to help entertain any kids that might come along.

There is a beautiful bridal suite to get dressed in complete with a monogrammed robe for in between bridal gowns. There are over 85 dresses in this shop and styles that include everything from trendy to classic. Each gown is hand selected by Cheri. She has many different designer representatives who help her in the selecting the best gowns for her store.

If you want your gown shopping to be a fun and memorable experience you must check this place out! You will not be disappointment with the service or the selection!

BONUS TIP: Let the owner know you are also a Photos by Ariel bride and once she confirms, you’ll get 15% off your veil and accessories!

XO- Ariel

Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,
Photos by Ariel, Simply Elegant by Cheri, Branding Session, Wedding partnerships, Central Illinois wedding photographer, Lincoln Illinois wedding photographer, Bloomington Illinois wedding photographer, Normal Illinois wedding photographer, Decatur Illinois wedding photographer, Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer, Springfield Illinois Wedding Photographer, Peoria Illinois wedding photographer, Illinois wedding photographer, bridal boutique in central Illinois, wedding dress shopping in central Illinois, central Illinois bridal shops, wedding rentals in Lincoln Illinois, photo branding session, wedding dress, veils,