SAVE THE DATE! That phrase has changed a lot for so many this year.
My first wedding of 2020 started a lot later in the year than expected. In fact, Autum & Nicholas weren’t even supposed to be the first one of the year. But as we all know, this year had it’s own plan. For these two, it would be an intimate ceremony in their church in downtown Lemont surrounded by immediate family only. It also meant changing their date not just once, not twice, but three times. Finally, on a gorgeous afternoon in June, I got to meet up with these two IN THEIR HOME where they were both getting ready across from another.
When I arrived, the champagne was popped, the details were out, the dress was hung up for pictures, and the masks were out. I felt as though I had already known Autum her entire life. (Granted you would think we would have met before as her older sister is one of my youngest sister’s best friends, and actually, a family I’ve photographed before.) But alas, Autum’s wedding day would be the first time I got to meet this lovely lady in person. And because of the craziness that is 2020, it would also be the first time I could meet them as a couple in person. Nicholas walked up to me to greet me with the biggest smile and we both agreed we were excited to FINALLY meet.
From there they planned out their ‘getting ready’ time like nothing had changed. The only difference today would be that their many bridesmaids and groomsmen wouldn’t be included…well, physically…or so we thought. ;)(Keep scrolling)
As I made my way into their bedroom to photograph their original ‘Save the Date’ with the rest of their details, Autum started to Facetime her bridesmaids with her mom and sister and toasted to the day. Nicholas made his way down the street to make sure his family was almost ready. Everyone was so close by which made the day even more perfect.
I will be completely honest. I was more excited/nervous than I have ever been in my now over decade of experience photographing weddings. I hadn’t been able to photograph anyone in so long and with the unknown of this year, weddings had completely changed. What would usually be a fast paced day full of lots of people and no time to stop became a relaxed, intimate, and what I would soon realize, most unforgettable experience. After they both got dressed on opposite sides of their gorgeous house – which, holy crap was it meant for their wedding! – they each opened a letter from one another and then made their way out to the backyard for their official first look.
After pictures around their house, we made our way to their church in Lemont where Autum got to experience one more emotional first look with her father out front. Afterwards, we all made our way into the church to prepare for their ceremony. At this point, I think we all stopped looking at the time. We just started the ceremony whenever everyone was ready and enjoyed the kids running back and forth ‘practicing’ with their signs. As they walked outside to greet their family, a big surprise was waiting. All of Autum’s bridesmaids were waiting to cheer them on (dressed in their originally planned bridesmaid dresses by the way). Along with them were many of their extended family who had to come to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds.
After many emotions, smiles, pictures, and more champagne toasts, I checked in with them to see where they wanted to go for pictures. We originally planned to walk around downtown Lemont, but after I saw their gorgeous backyard area, we agreed heading back home where family was for their sunset photos would be better. How awesome to be able to get all of your wedding photos in your own backyard! <3
Autum and Nicholas – Thank you for literally going with the flow when it came to planning out this day. It was so beautiful to witness and I am so excited to see you all again next year to celebrate even more.
Their amazing vendors :
Florist : Patties Floral
Dress : Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique
Suit : Black Tie Formal Wear
Hair : Erica Stillwell – Evolve Hair Salon / Makeup : Marissa – Evolve Hair Salon
Church : Saint Patrick Catholic, Lemont, IL
Talking with the Newlyweds :
Q. When did you meet? Where?
Nick and I met back in the Summer of 2016, at Lockport High School. Nick runs his own sports performance company and uses Lockport for his facility, and I happened to be filling in as the athletic trainer at Lockport for one of my coworkers that week. The first day I was there, Nick walked by and stopped when he noticed a “new girl” was there. He introduced himself to me and kept coming around throughout the day. Next thing you know he asked for my number, we went out for drinks, followed by a few dates, and the rest is history!
Q. When did you get engaged? Where?
We got engaged on November 6th, 2019 at our house. Nick was planning how he was going to propose the whole day before, he even got me mad at him on purpose as part of his “plan.” I absolutely LOVE Christmas and everything that comes with it. I cannot wait to put up the Christmas tree each year and always want to do it earlier and earlier. Nick knows this, and this is where it all began. Since he got me angry and “felt bad” he said he would make it up to me by putting up the Christmas tree and we could start decorating tomorrow morning. Well, of course I can’t say no to that! -even though some may argue it is too early. So the next morning I was ready! And When I mean ready, I meant we are putting on cozy Christmas clothes, listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas station on Pandora, and going full out. But, before we started decorating Nick thought it would be a cool idea to do a time lapse of putting up the tree, and of course anything to do with Christmas I jump right on it! So we set up the camera and went to work. As we were just about done, nick pointed to the tree and said “I think we need one more ornament there.” So without hesitation I go grab one to fill the spot! I step back to admire the beautiful tree and when I turned around there was nick on one knee proposing! It was the most perfect proposal and best surprise of my life!! And it’s on video which is even better!!!!
Q. How did you start your wedding planning process?
We started planning the wedding very quickly because we only had about 5 months… or so we thought. We did lots of research to figure out all of our vendors- besides our photographer! We already knew who we HAD to have for the job!! 🙂
Q. What was the most important aspect for you two when planning your wedding?
The most important thing for us was making sure we enjoyed the day and not letting It get away from us. We wanted it to be special, loving, fun, and enjoyable- a day we would never forget. We didn’t care about all the little details because we knew in the end it’s really just about us getting married and enjoying that moment with the people we love most.
Q. What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?
Even though our day was nothing as it was originally planned out to be, one of our favorite things was actually how small, intimate, and relaxed it ended up being! We weren’t tied down to a schedule, and the day was really just about us and our marriage! It obviously was sad not having all our bridal party and family there to celebrate with us, but just being able to finally get married was so special! And having all our friends, bridesmaids, and family surprise us outside of the church is Something we will always cherish and remember forever!
Q. What is one thing about your spouse that many people might not know? Any funny, sweet, silly stories?
One thing people may not know about Nick is that he has a midnight snacking problem! I have to hide the Nutella and peanut butter around the house so he doesn’t find it!!! My hiding spots continue to get better and better!
One thing people probably don’t know about Autum is her obsession with eating popcorn! And her love for photography.
Clearly we love food! Haha
Q. Can you give any advice for future couples planning a wedding?
The best advice I would say is to not stress the little things Or big things!. After changing our date 3 times, we definitely went through stress. And after going through that it really made us so much closer and helped us realize that we could care less about the big or little stuff, all we cared about was getting married. And no matter if your date gets changed due to a pandemic, or something as simple as the flowers are not how you thought, those things don’t matter at all. The only thing that matters is marrying your best friend. And I promise the rest of the day will be perfect no matter what happens.
THANK YOU FOR SHARING!
Sending Virtual HUGS! 😉