Michele + Aaron | Wedding at the Barn at Woodworth in Onarga

The best wedding days are the ones where little things go wrong, but no one notices because 1) everyone works together to solve problems, and 2) everyone is so happy for the couple that they don’t care to notice. Michele + Aaron’s wedding was one of those days. We had not 1 but 2 bridesmaid dresses break (thank goodness for safety pins!) and no one remembered Michele’s veil before she went down the aisle. But you know what? None of that mattered. Because at the end of the day, they were married And apparently, it was #AboutTimeSchoolman. LOL — love that hashtag.

Michele + Aaron have two beautiful children who were involved in every part of their day. We made sure to take some family photos, and it was adorable with their son walked up to the altar during the ceremony and then shushed the crowd. :) Both kids snuck in during the first dances too!

I was especially excited leading up to their wedding too because it was in a new-to-me venue, the Barn at Woodworth, near Onarga. It was a super cool barn with a loft, and a separate house for the wedding party to relax and get ready in. It is always nice to have everything in one location too as it makes the timeline go smoothly, and it gives me a chance to get reception details before the reception.

I am so happy for you, Michele + Aaron. I hope you’re enjoying your honeymoon!!

Ceremony & Reception | The Barn at Woodworth, Onarga, IL

Catering | The Last Call, Penfield, IL

Cake | Cream and Flutter, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Florist | Heaven’s Design Floral, Watseka, IL

DJ or Band | Pitch Perfect Productions, Bloomington, IL

Officiant | Gary Minard

Bride’s Dress Retailer | Elite Bridal, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Bridesmaid Dresses | Michelle’s Bridal, Urbana, IL | Instagram

Shoes | David’s Bridal, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Suits/Tuxes | Michelle’s Bridal, Urbana, IL | Instagram

Hair & Makeup | Taylor Glazik & Mattie Duits

Jeweler | Helzberg Diamonds | Instagram

Invitations/Programs | Minted | Instagram

Photographer: Holly Birch Photography, Illinois-based photographer available for destination weddings

Courtney + Jessica | Downtown Champaign + iHotel wedding

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Courtney + Jessica for my friend Rebekah Albaugh, alongside her associate photographer Jennifer Council. The whole day was so much fun!! I started up in one of the suites with Jessica while she got her final hair and makeup done. We did their First Look in the lobby of the iHotel before heading to the Japan House area for photos.

The couple’s wedding also happened to fall on Pride weekend in Champaign, and the ladies had talked about visiting the festival area for a few quick photos. We didn’t know if the crowds, traffic, and parade would be a problem, but I was determined to give them a fairytale moment that they’d never forget so we made it happened. Our driver Shawn from Elite was a BOSS and got us exactly where we needed to be and even got close enough to pick us up again when we were done.

You guys, it was magical! The bystanders cheered for Courtney + Jessica, and they got all kinds of applause and well wishes. A couple people were standing nearby waiting with rainbow flags and I asked them to wave them in the background. And so I was able to create the image that had been formulating in my head. <3

Then after a few more portraits of the couple and wedding party, we headed back to iHotel for the ceremony and reception. I loved their super elegant cake, Courtney’s dad tearing up during his speech, their throwback hashtag (is that an oxymoron?!), and the day-long laughs. It was a beautiful, perfect day full of love, family, and friends. Congrats on your new marriage, Jessica + Courtney!!

Layla | Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs Senior

I texted my friends an hour after this session: “Life-giving senior session tonight!” Gosh, I really do love photographing seniors, and Layla and her mom puts lots of thought and planning into her session and it showed! I loved her outfits and all the locations that we planned together.

When I was in college, the Boneyard Creek was a nasty place that you avoided at all costs unless you really wanted to go get a tetanus shot afterward. Broken glass, smelly, who knows what floating in it… LOL — but several years back a lot of work and money was put into it to make it clean and beautiful again. I have always been intimidated to go down to it for the above reason, and because I just didn’t know how to get in even though I’d seen other photographer friends’ images from there. I am so happy to say that we tackled it and it was SO WORTH IT.

Layla and her mom wanted to do an homage to the veterans in their family, so we started out at the war memorial by the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana, and then did the first 1/3 of the session in the super cool downtown Urbana area.

Part 2/3 was the Boneyard Creek stretch that goes through the Bardeen Engineering Quad on campus. The weather was perfect, and the water level was low, just up to Layla’s ankles. THE LIGHT WAS AMAZING. If you’ve been on a session with me, there’s a good chance I uttered the words, “I love the light coming through the trees!” And the stars aligned for this set (especially the biggest star!)

The final part was at the Hazen Bridge north of Mahomet where the sun was just beginning to dip under the horizon. This bridge is in the National Register for Historic Places. It’s a pretty cool spot!

Thanks, Layla, for an amazing session!! Obviously I’m partial to redheads, but you totally killed it! Best of luck with your senior year at Mahomet-Seymour High School!