wedding gown

Chad and Brittany's Rustic Chic Chicago Wedding by Meredith Washburn

Photographing Chad and Brittany's wedding was so much fun. I traveled from St. Louis to Elgin, Illinois where the two were married at the cutest wedding venue, the Haight. Brittany's little sister is one of my best friends, so it was extra special getting to see Brittany all dressed up as a bride and share in such a memorable day with her and her family. I seriously don't think I saw her smile leave her face the entire day, it was so sweet. Brittany lights up anytime Chad is around...he is the perfect match for her. I actually met Chad for the first time on the day of the wedding. His family and friends were so kind and helpful the entire day, and I heard so many wonderful things said about Chad; a testament to the person that he is and that his parents raised him to be. I'm so glad Brittany found someone so special that lights up her world. Thanks for having me as your photographer, Chad and Brittany <3! What a wonderful day.

Hotel: Courtyard Marriot
Wedding/Reception Venue: The Haight, Elgin, il
Officiant: Lesley Feyerherm
Wedding Coordination: Briana Bialk, The Haight
Bouquets, boutonnieres and other florals: Town and Country Gardens
Wedding dress(es): David's bridal
Headpiece/veil: David's bridal
Bride's Shoes: Amazon
Bridesmaid dresses: David's bridal
Hair: Courtney Taylor-Wilson
Tuxedos/Suits: GQ Formalwear
Catering: Chef's By Request
Cookies: Honey Bear Baking
DJ: Brian Towne Sound and Light Creations
Wedding Ring: K Hollis Jewler, Batavia, il

Mike and Allison's St. Louis Summer Wedding by Meredith Washburn

Being a photographer sure brings a lot of beautiful people into your life. Mike and Allison are two of those people. They have tremendously kind souls and seem to just be made for one another. Photographing their love was easy and comfortable (I mean, just look at their smiles and the way they look at each other). As a photographer, it is such an honor and privilege to be invited to spend the day with the bride and groom and their friends and family. To see and capture all the behind the scenes moments and nuances makes my heart full. The natural laughs and giggles, smiles, tears, hugs, whispers, glances, hand squeezing, etc. is so special to capture and freeze in time forever. This specific wedding was especially full of love, fun, and joy.

Soon after their wedding I was informed that Mike's father had passed away. It broke my heart when I learned of the news. As I was going through their images it made me so happy to see so many photos of Mike's dad smiling, laughing, dancing, and just enjoying life. What an amazing day he was able to experience with his son and family before passing. I absolutely love that moments captured in photos will be beautiful reminders of the happiness and love shared during Mike and Allison's wedding day. This job truly makes my heart smile; I feel blessed by each couple who chooses and trusts me with the honor to capture their treasured moments. 

Read below about Mike + Allison's recap of their day:

"Mike and I could not have been more excited for our wedding day (as hopefully most couple are!). While we love living in St. Louis, our family and friends are spread throughout the country, so this was the perfect opportunity to have everyone we love in one place at one time.  From Seattle to Miami, New York, San Diego, and even a cousin from Beirut, Lebanon our wedding list spanned the world so we are never in the same place at the same time. As the RSVP's came rolling in, we knew we were blessed that everyone would be making the trip to help us celebrate.

Family is so important to us and I was lucky to have received several extra special pieces to wear on my wedding day to help remind me of them. The diamond in my engagement ring had belonged to Mike's great-grandmother and had made it's way to the United States from Cuba years before. Even more special is that it came from a pair of earrings and the other diamond is worn by my wonderful sister-in-law in her own engagement ring. Additionally, my something borrowed was a beautiful cameo ring given to my grandmother and then my mom on their own wedding day. With a tradition that began 77 years before, I couldn't wait to wear it (I may have also slipped it on my finger for the rehearsal just to get a feel for it!). Finally, my mom made my wedding veil, hopefully starting a new tradition in the family.

The actually day of the wedding could not have been more perfect. Of course the day began a little earlier for me then for Mike, with hair and makeup and breakfast with my mom, my bridesmaids, my sister and future sisters-in- law, but I think we both enjoyed the time with our closest family and friends. The morning was much calmer than I had anticipated and much of the time was spent relaxing, sharing stories, primping and drinking champagne. I had no nerves and was just ready to marry my best friend! With the hustle and bustle of the days leading up to the wedding Mike and I had spent very little time together and all I could think about was seeing him at the end of the aisle in only a few short hours. Since we opted out of doing a "first look" I couldn't wait for the moment when we caught each others eye as I walked arm in arm down the aisle with my dad (I was also slightly excited that our church had a very long aisle, so I could take my time).

While most of the wedding planning goes into the details of the reception, I have to admit that the ceremony was my favorite party. It was a time during the day that Mike and I had (almost) all to ourselves and a time where we could truly express our love and lifetime devotion to each other, while also being able to take a deep breathe and take in what was happening! Exchanging the rings and being announced as husband and wife are moments that I will truly never forget.

After the ceremony, the day flew by and our reception went by in a flash, just like everyone tells you. It was filled with lots of dancing, funny and heartfelt speeches by our family members and of course a lot of catching up with family and friends. Our goal was to have a party and I think that we succeeded.  By the end of the night I successfully had blisters on my feet and the bottom of my dress was more black than white from dancing for hours. I could not have imagined a more perfect day (Although I would be willing to throw an anniversary party with everyone year after year to compete for a more fun day!).

Our wedding will always live in our hearts as one of the best days of our lives. However, that special day took on an even more meaning when we arrived back from our honeymoon. Unfortunately, Mike's dad passed away very unexpectedly a little over a week from the big day. Now, even more than before, we treasure the pictures, memories and video of that day when everyone was together celebrating, dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves.  That day reminded us that we are lucky enough to have the most amazing people in our lives and to treasure each moment that we have together.


Dalton and Payton's Countryside Wedding by Meredith Washburn

Dalton + Payton's Wedding was an absolute dream. Both of them were so sweet, calm, and relaxed the entire day. They couldn't wait to see each other (like giddy excitement). When the moment came and Dalton saw Payton walking down the aisle for the first time I literally teared up. His reaction to seeing his bride for the first time that day was priceless. Dalton, you definitely win the award for best reaction to seeing your wife. You guys are one heck of a couple, and I'm so thankful you chose me to be your photographer. Now, a few words from Payton as she looks back and remembers their wedding day:

"Our day could not have been more perfect. Our hearts are so full. 

We chose to get married on the property of my childhood home. A place that held rich memories, and now holds an even richer memory. We each spent the day with the one's we love- the one's who would stand beside us as we became one, and would continue to stand beside us after our wedding day, the one's who will celebrate all of life's goodness with us, and the one's who will hold our arms up in life's struggles. 

As I got ready in my old bedroom and Dalt in the shed next to the house, I can remember the feeling of wanting to sneak over and see what he was doing, what his hair looked like (because let's be real- I style his hair most days) and the conversations he was having. I think this was the most time we spent apart since our engagement. We decided not to see each other until I walked down the aisle. 

Walking down the aisle was a moment I wanted to freeze in time. I wanted to stand forever watching tears, overflowing tears of joy, pour down my husband's face. The feeling of being so deeply loved by my husband in those few seconds made me think about the abundant love Christ has for us, the favor He has over marriage. I have known for a long time that I would marry Dalton, but this exact moment solidified everything. 

Two of my favorite parts of the ceremony: washing each other's feet and the exchange of rings. Dalton is the goofiest human I know. As I went to take his shoes off to wash his feet, I noticed he was wearing socks up to his knees! The most difficult pair of socks to get off, he wore. We laughed and cried as we prayed in those moments. Dalton then proceeds to wow me again in our ceremony as he pulls out a third ring to add to my wedding set. Something he picked out on his own. So incredibly special to me. 

Our reception was a few steps away from our ceremony. We had a gorgeous white tent and the most incredible dance floor with bulb string lights (my heaven!!)! We had a bonfire and did s'mores for dessert. We could not have had a more perfect night. I went out to the edge of the hill to soak it all in- the incredible beauty, the night sky, the stars, and the overwhelming joy.

The first day to our marriage journey was abundantly more than I could have ever expected and dreamed up. Dalton, thank you for working so hard to make our day, our life, and our marriage valuable. Thank you for relentlessly pursuing Jesus and my heart. You are the man of my dreams. "

^ and now you realize how special of a couple these two are. Seriously, could they be any cuter <3?! 


Ceremony venue: Bachman Residence  (bride's childhood home) Secor, IL
Pastor: Christopher Toews
Reception venue: Bachman Residence (bride's childhood home)
Event design: Rustic, boho
Event details: Opal Designs - instagram opaldesigns_
Wedding dress: David's Bridal
Floral Crown: Splendor of Eden 
Other Florals: Sarah Hedman
Bridesmaids Dresses: Forever 21, Ross, CAbi
Hair: Trisha Keeton
Make-up: Blake Bennett
Tuxedos/Suits: Express
Invitations: Holly Schafer
Cake: Payton White
DJ: David Little
(hers) Kevin Kelly Jewelers
(his) Nordic Jewelry - etsy

Keith and Chelsea's Romantic January Wedding by Meredith Washburn