I've known Shannon nearly all my life. She is on of my many many cousins. (Seriously, there are so many of us). She has always been gentle, kind, and creative. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting her then fiance, Nate. As a traveling wedding photographer, I do a lot of meetings through Google Hangouts. So we hung out through video chat and I got to know them as a couple. I had not really spent quality time with Shannon in some years, so it was great to hear about her life, their life, and their love. I resonated with their desires, their faith, and their stresses when it came to wedding planning. I adored them as a couple and closed my computer feeling so excited about being a part of their wedding journey.
Shannon and Nate got married on a farm in the middle of amish country in Central Illinois. The farm had been in Shannon's family for years and it was surprisingly and graciously offered as a wedding location for the bride and groom. I remember Shannon's mom with tears in her eyes telling me what an incredible blessing it was to have been able to use the farm. They were so grateful and it relieved a lot of the planning stress. The property couldn't have been more special, intimate, or beautiful.
The couple chose a First Look where they would see each other for the first time in an intimate walk down the aisle. Alex and I were talking to Nate before Shannon came outside and he was so nervous! I asked Nate later what was going through his mind when he saw Shannon for the first time...
It really doesn't get any sweeter than that! As you look through the rest of their wedding images, you'll notice the way that Nate completely adores Shannon. He couldn't take his eyes off of her all day. What a way to start your life together!
One of things that marked this wedding as special was the incredible families that surrounded Nate and Shannon. The folks standing up with the couple were so sincere in their excitement and support of the couple. I saw the women in Nate's family beaming with pride for their little brother and soon to be sister. Shannon's side of the family happens to be my side of the family too. I think Nate described us best when he called us an "awesome army." This couple had such great help and care from their families and it was evident through the entire weekend.
The reception was held in a barn on the property complete with colorful floral arrangements, vintage china, string lights, and live music! Shannon was surprised by some of the most influential men in her life with a special dance. Shannon lost her dad just a few years ago, so this was definitely one of the more special moments of the evening. The night ended with the groom serenading his bride and guests with a little rendition of Paul McCartney's "Band on the Run".
In case you haven't caught on, Alex and I had an amazing time with Shannon and Nate. Thank you so much for asking us to document this special weekend. We've never felt more appreciated and we are certainly grateful for all of the kind words!