Cassandra & TJ's Wedding | Highland Loft | Elgin, IL

Life happens. You can make all the plans in the world, but life has a funny way of just telling you to just follow the plan laid out for us. I met Cassandra (Desi) and TJ in the fall of 2021 for their engagement session. We talked all about their wedding plans, what they wanted out of their wedding day, and their future together as Mr. & Mrs. Fast forward to October 2022, and so much was going on between the additional wedding planning and TJ starting a new job, that they needed to bring in the forces – aka- a wedding planner.

We were weeks away from their big day and Lena (LMV Wedding Consulting) reached out to let me know she was now on board and in charge of their big day down to the tiniest details. She and I worked hard to get their timeline in order, and their entire day planned from start to finish, and you could see the relief on Desi's face when the day arrived. One less thing to worry about, and she could actually enjoy the wedding festivities.

Desi is a tiny little thing. When I hung her ball gown next to her daughter's flower girl dress (she's 7 years old), they weren't far from being the same length, and it was adorable. Mom had shiny, jewel-encrusted shoes, Grace had shiny shoes. Mom had lace, Grace had lace. She was completely Desi's mini-me. TJ sent over a letter before their first look, and Desi wept. She sent a letter and gift to TJ, and he just beamed when he opened them.

Desi has a first look with her bridesmaids. TJ had a first look with his daughter-to-be which was so sweet as he bent down to her level. They finished off their first look with a fist bump to make it official. Desi and TJ had their first look and it was also sweet, but it wasn't long before she heave-ho'd those gorgeous crystal shoes into the air and said, "Nope. Cute, but I can't wear them anymore." Well, they made for some wonderful photos at least.

Desi's father walked her down the aisle and she and TJ had a sand ceremony blending their two families with Grace's help to make it complete. They shared their cake-cutting followed by a first dance as husband and wife, then TJ topped off the dances by picking Grace up in his arms and dancing with her. She was so embarrassed (being in front of so many guests), but it was one of the sweetest moments of the entire day. They all finished out the night with a request from the bride – a nighttime photo in downtown Elgin under the lights.

Congratulations Desi & TJ – you were a family long before you were official, and with all of the ups and downs you've already faced, I know you will continue to conquer life as a combined unit of 3!

Hair: Stephanie Ruffins

Makeup: SLT

Attire: Men's Wearhouse & Crystal Bride

Flowers: Town & Country Gardens

Venue: Highland Loft | Elgin, IL

DJ: Highland Preferred

Cake: Mad Batter Confections

Wedding Planner: LMV Wedding Consulting – Lena Vocalino

Catering: Your Day Your Way Events