Kerri & Jason's Wedding | The Highland Loft | Elgin, IL

There is so much to say about this wedding.... so, so much. First, I rarely connect with my clients on my personal FB page. Let's be honest, we all need to be ourselves, and my professional persona and my "off-hours" persona are two completely different people. I made an exception with Kerri. It was a gut feeling that I knew she wouldn't judge me for being me. From January 2022 when I photographed her and Jason's engagement session, through to their wedding showed me just a tiny glimpse of their lives.

Over the months, I've come to one conclusion leading up to her wedding – this was the dream wedding she always wanted. This was her time to shine, to have fun, and to share it with all of her friends and family she truly loved. I got a sense that her heart had been broken before, but that Jason made her whole. They did everything together – date nights, trying new eateries, skiing, attending Aiden's hockey games, and exploring their hometown together. I watched her head off to her bachelorette party, saw peeks of their wedding shower, and even got to know her family long before the big day arrived. I felt like I was already a part of her life, and I knew her so much better because of that one-time exception of saying yes to her request to "Friend me."

Their wedding day was extraordinary. I finally got to meet "mom" who had already heard an earful from Kerri all about me. I got to meet her son, Aiden, who was Jason's best man. I met her favorite nieces and closest girlfriends, and they were all there to be at her beck and call, and do whatever she needed at the drop of a hat. She and Jason exchanged letters and gifts prior to the ceremony – Kerri of course teared up (but refused to ruin her makeup.) Jason beamed at the watch she had given him. At long last, it was time to walk down the aisle.

Kerri was in a dress that was made for her. It might have been a dress other brides have picked out, but this dress fit her like a glove and she looked amazing. Jason was misty-eyed as his bride walked down the aisle (as were mom and dad.) With a few "I do's" and a kiss later, they were hitched! The sweetest moment wasn't seen by many except myself, my second photographer, and Kerri's maid of honor – Aiden was moved to tears as he walked back up the aisle that the mom he cherished so much was now joined with Jason, and you could tell he was so happy for both of them., but the best was yet to come.

Once most receptions start, there's not a ton of excitement. Everything is pretty much rinse and repeat for our team, and we go with the flow. I can honestly say their bridal squad did an awesome job – they not only danced coming in, but then they ALL joined in a dance by the head table with sunglasses on, and bubble guns flowing. They danced around, hugged and kissed and had a blast during their announcements. The excitement was palpable! Aiden did an amazing job with his best man speech and joined Kerri & Jason at the end of their first dance as a family. A cake cutting, a few dances, and dinner later, they hit the dance floor and continued the excitement. Piece of advice for future couples: If you are having kids at your general dancing portion of the evening, GIVE THEM A BUBBLE GUN. There were tots running all over the dancefloor, laughing, and having a ball (not to mention giving mom and dad a chance to enjoy the evening.) The dancefloor did get slick, but it was a blast watching them all having fun, from 2 years to 80 years, everyone was on the floor!

Congratulations, Kerri & Jason. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you both personally, and your families and watching how in love you are with each other. As many happy moments you've had over the last year, I cannot imagine what awaits you in the future!!!!

Hair: Kelli Lynn Hair Studio

Attire: Crystal Bride, Maggie Sottero, and Men's Warehouse

Flowers: Dagny & Lane Floral

Venue: Highland Loft | Elgin, IL

DJ: Highland Preferred

Cake: Bella Rose Sweets

Catering: Your Day Your Way Events