wedding photography

Featured on Big Day Made- Blaine & Jordan's Romantic White Wedding in Springfield, Illinois

I am so excited to share with you this beautiful white wedding at Springfield House of Prayer and The Rail Golf Course in Springfield, Illinois. There is a lot I could say about this wedding day, for example:

1.) This is the perfect example of a budget wedding done RIGHT

2.) These are color scheme #goals... all that white made everything so bright & airy and fresh.

3.) I can't believe those flowers are fake

4.) The CONSTANT outdoor rain and freezing temps during the entire day made outdoor pics of the entire party not possible, however, the pictures were still stunning. 

5.) I can't believe she MADE HER DRESS! 

Each of the carefully selected pieces that adorned their venue can only be described as timeless and elegant. This wedding made for one of the most simple-romantic designs I’ve ever seen. But this perfect decor was NOTHING in comparison to the love and joy that quite literally beamed from the faces of not JUST the bride & groom but from ALL who attended this wedding. In fact, I don’t know if i’ve every been to a wedding quite as joyful as this one. Why? Because Jordan and Blaine had their eye on the prize, their marriage. Since their relationship was long distance the ENTIRE time (Him in Illinois, Her in Tennessee), they were just so happy to finally be together and it SHOWED.

Jordan and Blake grew up in the same friend & church circles, about 3.5 years ago they began noticing each other differently. Their relationship began by mentioning each other in casual conversations with mutual friends until eventually Blaine decided to do this thing FOR REAL! Because they were dating with the intention of marriage, he decided to take a visit to Jordan’s family farm in Tennessee. After this trip, he was certain about her, their relationship, and their future. So, he began putting a plan together to make this thing official. His first move was to call Jordan’s dad and ask him if he could pursue a relationship with his daughter (Cue all the “awwwwwww’s…..) whoever said “chivalry is dead” has NOT met Blaine! But Jordan’s father made Blaine sweat a bit by making him wait and wait for a response…. until finally he gave him the green light.

But there was still one problem, there were 425 miles of Midwest Farmland between them.

They committed to seeing each other every two weeks until 6 months later, Blaine proposed to Jordan on her birthday. And 5 months after that, Blaine & Jordan stood together, hand in hand, in front of God and their family and friends, and put to words what their hearts already knew for so long.

Blaine & Jordan, from the moment I met you, Jesus’s love and light burst through you both. You’re kind and sweet, warm & loving, and SO MUCH FUN! You are truly as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Never stop, and never change.

There are a lot of discouraging things in this world. But a couple like you guys bring hope to all. The only thing more powerful than the way we love people is the way that we love people together. And my prayer is that anyone who crosses your path, feel the same love that I and many people were blessed enough to experience on your special day.

God bless you both and congratulations on your newest adventure! It was such a privilege and a true pleasure to get to document your first day. I’ve photographed a lot of couples and a lot of weddings… but you two TRULY took my breath away!

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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: 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,