Spring Wedding | Pear Tree Estate | Champaign, IL

Finding your soul mate can take time.  Finding a soul mate for YOU that is also the perfect fit for YOUR KIDS may take a little longer.  And sometimes, finding the right person for you and your children can happen when you're not even looking.   Leslie, a single mom to Ryanne and Braden, was introduced to Andrew through mutual friends a couple years ago.  From the very beginning, Andrew has assisted with homework, attended sporting events and lent a helping hand however he could. Along the way, he fell in love with all three of them.   We were thrilled that Sweet Darling Weddings had the honor to photograph their wedding day... the day they officially became a family.

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Boho Styled Shoot | Pear Tree Estate | Champaign, IL

Pear Tree Estate is an incredible wedding venue in Champaign.  It's definitely a 'must see' for central Illinois brides.  Almost every month, L.A. Gourmet Catering & Pear Tree Estate invite their future brides and grooms to a tasting where they are treated to scrumptious food and desserts as well as lavish decor designed to be decorating inspiration for their couples.  This month's tasting was rich with a boho theme and colorful wildflowers.  We had so much fun with our models and all of the vendors involved!

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Sunrise Trash the Dress Session | Riviera Maya, Cancun

Sometimes, particularly for destination weddings, couples will choose to do a day after session.  They have also been called "Trash the Dress" sessions.   Kelly and Kale opted to do a sunrise session two days after their wedding that had us squealing with delight.   It was a chance to be a little more adventurous without the bride having to worry about her wedding gown since the wedding day is over. 

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Destination Wedding | Secrets Silversands | Riviera Maya, Cancun

Kelly and Kale exchanged wedding rings and vows in a short, intimate beachfront ceremony at the all-inclusive Secrets Silversands resort in Riviera Maya.   Kelly's father walked her down the beach and to the end of the dock where Kale and about 40 of their closest friends, along with their 2 newest friends...their photographers (yay!) were waiting for her in the gazebo over the water

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Swimsuits encouraged | Unique rehearsal 'dinner' | Private catamaran

If you've ever wondered how to spoil wedding guests (and destination photographers, lucky us!), you can follow Kelly and Kale's lead.   This is the first of four posts about their destination wedding in Mexico that was held just outside Cancun in an adult only all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya called Secrets Silversands.

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University of Illinois Sweethearts | Fall Engagement Session | Champaign, IL

Katie and Dan's love story began at the Noyes Lab on the University of Illinois UIUC campus and Dan proposed to Katie at the Arboretum in Urbana so it only made sense that we visit those places to take their engagement pictures.    It was a typical late fall day in central Illinois with a chill in the air that only encouraged more cozying up which definitely worked in our favor.  ;-) We can't wait for their wedding day at Pear Tree Estate!

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Fun loving couple found true love through Future Farmers of America (FFA) | Champaign, IL

True love can be found anywhere... even in a high school organization such as FFA, which is where this Champaign couple found each other.  Their love for 4-H and FFA also led us to Allerton Park in Monticello for their engagement pictures last fall. 

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Timeless Colors & Beautiful Style | Pear Tree Estate Wedding| Jacob and Lindsay

Weddings are always so much fun for Kristin and I and when their is a history that goes beyond that it's even sweeter.  Kristin first met them when Jacob and Lindsay asked her to photograph their newborn baby boy almost 3 years ago and has been photographing their family ever since.  While I (Heather) did not know Jacob and Lindsay prior to their engagement session last fall, I quickly realized there was a family connection.  I've known Jacob's sister Sarah since high school and had the pleasure of photographing her and her 3 boys a couple years ago.  We both enjoyed seeing many familiar faces and making friends with lots of new.  

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Outdoor Ceremony Pear Tree Estate | Brandon + Shanon

On an unseasonably cool (hallelujah!) August afternoon Brandon and Shanon said their 'I do's' during a sweet outdoor ceremony at Pear Tree Estate in the country just north of Champaign, IL.  Their wedding had so many thoughtful touches, such as having some of the lace from her mom's wedding gown incorporated into her floral bouquet.  

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Elegant Blush & Navy Wedding | Pear Tree Estate | Tyler + Abby

When I, Kristin, first met Tyler he was 6 years old.  He had the biggest brown eyes and sweetest smile - and used them to flirt with me, his uncle's new girlfriend!  Needless to say, I quickly fell in love with my hubby's nephews (Tyler and his brother Dustin, who we had the privilege of photographing his wedding last fall), and have enjoyed watching them grow up just a few doors down.  It warms my heart to no end that both boys have found the loves of their lives! As Abby's sister said...

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Eric + Rebecca | Navy, Peach, Coral Wedding + Refinery Reception | Champaign, IL

....Oh, and speaking of the suit, we loved hearing Eric talk about it while he was waiting for Rebecca for the first look.  He said, "I've worn a lot of suits and tuxes for weddings, but none of them have felt as good as this one does today."   Isn't that just the sweetest thing to read?  What a unique way to articulate his love for Rebecca on his wedding day.  

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Down on the farm | Country engagement session | Gibson City, IL

Eric and Rebecca's session was held at his family farm.  We were eager to see the property where his story began and love that he wants to share it with Rebecca.  We photographed them all around the property including in the barn with the old rusty tractors.  If only those tractors could talk, can you imagine the stories they could tell about Eric's parents and grandparents working the land?

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Coral & Navy Summer Barn Wedding | Engelbrecht Farm| Paxton, IL

Oh Jake and Jackie's wedding day was filled with such beauty, emotion and love.  From meeting them for the first time at Monical's in Paxton, to their engagement session (which you can see here) and communicating with them via Snapchat we've been so excited for their wedding day. And last Saturday, the day finally arrived and when we arrived at Engelbrecht Farmstead the finishing touches were being taken care of for a wedding day the two of them, or anyone present, would forget anytime soon.  They had baby's breath wreaths on the barn doors, cigar bar, his and her specialty cocktails, one of a kind 3-D metal signs hanging behind the head table that spelled out their name, florals that were breathtaking in the bouquets and a variety of flowers in the jars on the reception tables, including Peonies.  We wouldn't complain if Peonies bloomed year round.  Can we get an amen?!  

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Country sunset engagement session with a lineman and his fiance' | Paxton, IL |

We fell in love with Jake and Jackie from the minute we met them.  And what's been fun is that we've kept in touch with Jackie from day 1... through Snapchat no less.  It's been so fun keeping in the loop regarding wedding details in addition to non-wedding related fun.... like Jake finally shaving his beard.  :-)   And speaking of Snapchat, after all of the fun we've had on our personal Snapchat accounts with Jackie, we just created one for specifically Sweet Darling Weddings.  So if you want to follow us on Snapchat you can get a glimpse of some of the fun we have.  Our Snapchat name is Sweet Darling Weddings and our screen name is darlingweddings.  Find us.  We love to make new friends!

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Rose Gold Spring Wedding | Arcola, Illinois | TJ + Brittni

Their wedding was held at Oakland Christian Church in Oakland, Illinois, a small town west of Arcola, and has a lot of sentimental meeting to them.  They've known each other since they were kids, and actually met at  youth group at this very church.  How awesome is it that they said, "I do" in the very same church where they first said "Hi"?!?  God truly brought them together!  :-)   

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