The Monday before their wedding Rachel called me to make sure I didn’t have any questions about her and Clint’s special day, and explained that she’s only slightly detail oriented and OCD. I assured her that I was exactly the same way so I was not surprised one bit when I arrived at their house last Saturday morning to find her and her girls all a bustle, yet everything and everyone was exactly where they needed to be and doing what they needed to be doing. All of Rachel’s bridal details were in one place and waiting on me and her makeup artist was getting ready to start on her hair. Her girls were busy finishing up getting ready as well, yet everyone was so helpful! And Rachel & Clint’s home decor – I’m kind of obsessed with her style! It made me all the more excited to see how she transformed the plain jane KC Hall into a beautiful reception venue!
We had a last minute change of timeline when Clint decided he couldn’t break tradition – he no longer wanted to do a First Look and wanted to wait to see Rachel. Fortunately for everyone, nothing else in the timeline hinged upon a First Look happening before the ceremony so, we were safe!
After the ceremony and family formal portraits, Neil and I followed the bridal party’s party bus to Clint’s family’s lake house to grab a few portraits of Rachel, Clint, and their beloved pup Oliver. We then drove out a little further from town to Eldon Hazlet State Park to a certain tree lined gravel road for bridal party portraits and Bride & Groom portraits. In their Wedding Questionnaire, Rachel mentioned this road being one of her favorite spots for pictures and knew it would be a great location – and it was!
Funny thing about Carlyle, Illinois and Clinton County…there is a tradition where the bridal party is introduced into the reception, does a few things like the first dance and cuts the cake AND THEN LEAVES THE RECEPTION and guests and bar hops for an hour or so before returning for dinner and the remaining reception events. I’d never heard of such a thing and am very appreciative of Rachel & Clint for bar hopping between portraits and joining everyone else at the reception. It gave me more than enough time to photograph details at the reception hall before the events started!
A personalized map she bought on Etsy. I HAVE to have one… Neil and I both fell in love with it! Rachel & Clint are world travelers… In fact, they’re honeymooning to Hawai’i AND New Zealand as we speak! So of course, I had to hang her dress on it!
The gorgeous pearl set Clint gifted Rachel right before the wedding. So thoughtful!
This bracelet had been passed down to the women in Rachel’s family and now it’s she who gets to wear it on her wedding day. I just love family heirlooms!
A tad bit envious of her wedding band… stunning and one of a kind!
I love moments between mother and daughter! Aw!!!
How cute is Clint’s reaction to seeing his bride for the first time?!?! I was close enough to him during the processional to hear a gasp that escaped as his jaw dropped. Priceless!
Props to my husband Neil for the kiss shot! I had positioned myself to get a great angel of the kiss… at least, that was before the guests stood for the proclamation… THIS is why a second shooter is a great investment – nothing is missed!
Neil got one shot, but I got another! LOVE this!
If you couldn’t tell in any of the other shots, Rachel’s bouquet was HUUUGGEEE (a la Donald Trump)! We guessed it probably weighed over 10 pounds! But it was also so gorgeous and she carried around like a champ!
I about died when I saw the bridesmaids different colored and styled dresses…. One of my favorite wedding trends!
Rachel, you are radiant!!!
There is only one thing to do with a cathedral length veil…
Oliver was such a stud! Especially love his collar and necktie!
The tree lined gravel road did not disappoint!
Maybe I’m biased because my very own wedding gown was all lace but I just can’t get enough of lace gowns! And the back of Rachel’s gown was perfection!
Ombre everything is a big trend right now, and while I can do without some trends, ombre cakes are a definitely YASSSS in my book! The “Finally” cake topper is a nod to the length Rachel & Clint have known each other and been together! Reception decorating tip: reuse bridesmaids’ bouquets at center pieces on tables!
While we shot portraits and the bridal party bar hopped, guests took their time arriving at the reception and then was treated to an open bar and a sweets table.
My favorite decoration of the night? The bridal party table! You’ll see why below…
Rachel & Clint’s first dance was soon sweet! They held each other like this the entire song!
A hilarious blessing by Clint’s Godmother and then the guests were released to the food buffet while the wedding party dug in to a large family style meal…
… THIS is the best idea ever for a bridal party table! Large bowls of yummy food was passed between Rachel, Clint, and their bridal party. Brilliant! And it made the table look extra wonderful!
To view the wedding I was shooting this weekend last year, check out Whitney & Adam’s big day!