Claire & Lucas' Wedding | Highland Loft | Elgin, IL

I'm not sure I have teared up at any wedding as much as this one. Sure, all of my brides are beautiful, and you can see just how much the couple loves each other, and there are always reasons to tear up on any wedding day, but this one was something special.

About two weeks before the wedding, Claire had told me that some of the timeline had changed and that they had been through a very rough few weeks. She didn't get into details, but I came to find out that her dad had gotten quite ill. The planner had told me the day of the wedding to be cognizant of making sure we didn't put her dad through too much, as he was on the mend, but still not 100%. Armed with this knowledge, we had to make the first look as easy as possible for him and Claire. We ensured that family formals were quick so he could relax. He was even invited into the bride's suite to hang out where he got to see Claire finish her hair and makeup, and primp in front of the mirror while I photographed his beautiful daughter.

Claire's sister was the maid of honor, and she took her duties seriously, but with grace and a huge smile on her face all day. She welcomed us at the salon and made sure to help us with all the things we needed to make sure Claire's day went as smoothly as possible.

Lucas' sister was Best Woman, and she kept a huge grin on his face all day long. He would get fidgety, and she would crack a joke and relax him. His other groomsmen were right there helping him get ready and keeping him calm and collected.

The first look with Claire and her dad had us fighting back tears (I can't say so much for mom and big sister.) Then came dad's toast at dinner, Claire cried again, and we cried again. The father/daughter dance had everyone teared up in the room. You could tell by the way the family all stood together that this wasn't two families coming together. This was two families that had already been together and been through a lot. They officially welcomed each other into the other family but it seems they had really already done that long ago when Claire and Lucas first met.

Congratulations, Claire & Lucas. It seems that your two families are already one and that you will have all the family support you could possibly ask for. Lean on each other when times get tough, and I know your support system will get you through anything!

Ceremony/Reception: Highland Loft, Elgin, IL

HAMU: Shine Salon & Dry Bar

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Flowers: Jewel Osco

Catering & Event Coordination: Your Day Your Way Events

DJ: Highland Preferred

Photography: Parker Photography IL