wedding photography

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.

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

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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,


The one thing you should do before you get married....

We get engaged and then the next couple of months are a whirlwind of bookings, appointments, flower picking, dress shopping, location scouting, etc. All of this is so wonderful because your wedding is a celebration of who you guys are as a couple. However, if I had one piece of advice it would be don't be so busy preparing for your wedding that you forget to prepare for your marriage.

I recently did a branding shoot with a local couple, Ethan and Emilie Tapscott. These two are fun, adorable and oh-so-sweet! They dedicate themselves to engaged and married couples as marriage mentors because they believe in the importance of strong marriages! You can check out their website HERE . They do one-on-one counseling with engaged couples as well as counseling, workshops, retreats, and classes for married couples as well! Even if you don't book premarital counseling with them, you should check out their blog for interesting topics to think about and discuss with your partner, OR check out their facebook page where they post events held locally that both the engaged and married will enjoy! 

Seriously, look how fun these two are... I'd hang out with them again any day! 

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Married for half a century...

You want to know one thing that is more beautiful than young love... old love.

A few weeks ago I had the honor of photography a 50th wedding anniversary party for Jerry & Esther Perschnick.

Their party was held at the Coyote Creek Golf & Country Club in Bartonville, Illinois, just outside of Peoria, Illinois. Everything was perfect. When guests entered they had a chance to write well wishes to the couple in a guest book and travel down this beautifully decorated table around the edges of the room. On this table was memorabilia and photos from every couple in Jerry and Esther's family over the last few generations who have made it to their golden anniversary. It is truly astonishing how many of these that this family has been blessed with.  At the end was the wedding dress that Esther wore 50 years ago while marrying Jerry as well as a beautiful quilt made by Esther's sister. After this you got to pick your table and chat with the MANY people who were there to celebrate this moment with their friends. One thing was quite clear. Jerry and Esther were so well loved. They were joined by friends from childhood and college roommates, cousins, colleagues, and sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other family from all over.

After enjoying some amazing food from Catering Peoria, the couple recreated their cake-cutting photos from their wedding by cutting a decadent 3-tier cake and serving it to each other. The cake was then passed around to the guests alongside the ORIGINAL napkins from Jerry & Esther's wedding in 1967.

Everything about this party was perfectly planned and absolutely stunning. But nothing was as beautiful or shined as brightly as the love between Jerry and Esther. The wedding may have been 50 years ago but the celebration continues to this day. These two people are great examples of what a marriage should be.

To Esther and Jerry: Your love and devotion inspires everyone around you. May the love that you share only grow stronger with time. Well wishes and Happy Anniversary!