Max and Chelsea's wedding took place last November 4, right at the peak of the beautiful fall season. Here in Southeast Missouri, we didn't seem to get much pretty color but this part of Illinois sure had a lot of pretty yellows, oranges, and reds. And here, at Touch of Nature Environmental Center in Makanda, overlooking the lake, it was absolutely perfect.
The girls readied themselves in one of the hotel rooms and I had a great opportunity to get some pictures of Chelsea's beautiful dress outside after we grabbed some group shots of all the girls in their flannel shirts. After they were fully dressed and the guys arrived, it was time for the ceremony.
The ceremony took place on a large deck overlooking the lake and the clouds in the sky were just right for us. I did get hit in the eye with a single raindrop, but that was thankfully the extent of it! We had been a bit worried about the weather, so I was very thankful it didn't amount to anything. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was when they assembled a model of a strand of DNA. Max and Chelsea are both PhD candidates at SIU and so this was right up their alley. In fact, I never blogged their engagement photos, so I will be sure to include some here. They were all taken on the SIU campus, including some extra fun chemistry lab shots. My second favorite thing was the vows they had each written themselves. I have never laughed so much during vows but they were both still special and sweet, I loved it.
After the ceremony, we, of course, got family shots and bridal party shots before heading over to the reception at 17th Street BBQ Warehouse in Murpheysboro, IL. I don't think I've ever spent as much time and gotten as many shots of the bride alone in a single wedding as I did that day, but we had the time and she was so stunning it was irresistible.
I had never been to the 17th St BBQ before, but this place was amazing. Beautifully decorated, my favorite part, of course, was the large "love" sign that you'll see below. After a dinner that was to die for, we had the cake cutting and toasts and, of course, dancing. As for my favorite parts of the reception, besides capturing all the fun that everyone was having, had to be Chelsea's grandpa singing "Can't Help Falling in Love," and the Bollywood dance by two of her cousins. Both of those were an extra special treat.
I seriously have had so much fun with Chelsea and Max, not just during engagement pics and the wedding, but all of our meetings as well. Great conversation and lots of laughs, I am very honored and privileged to have been their wedding photographer. <3