Y’all, I feel so blessed to have the privilege to meet amazing couples as my job. Like, what?! How did I get so lucky? Mel and Jay’s Illinois elopement was so uniquely wonderful. As soon as Mel and I got on the phone together, I knew I wanted to photograph their beautiful elopement. Usually, I kick off my calls apologizing to my clients about the dogs barking in the background. With Mel, we immediately began chatting about her dogs and my dogs, and ended up going on about dogs for 15 minutes! Mel and Jay have the cutest combo: a black a lab and a chihuahua. When I asked her what made them pick those two, she laughed and said, “Balance!” What a sweetheart! Once I learned more about M & J’s story, I became even more fond of these two!
Mel and Jay met in 2005 while working at the same school. They quickly became close friends, and continued to stay in touch for the next 11 years. Finally in 2016, the stars aligned and M & J decided to take a gamble on their relationship. With two sons who are 9 months apart, they have been a blended family since 2016! While they originally agreed they wouldn’t get married again, they changed their minds after the craziness of 2020-2021. Jay proposed to Mel at her best friend’s birthday dinner– a total surprise! After I spent the day with these two, I can honestly say they’re meant to be. They were so relaxed throughout the whole day, and their love for each other shone through every moment of the day.
Another fun fact about Mel & Jay? They are competitive powerlifters! How neat?! In the middle of the lockdown madness, they started their own business together hosting competitions. I asked Mel if that changed their relationship at all, and she explained that it actually brought them closer together. She said it brought more balance to their relationship too!
M & J actually travelled all the way from Laramie, Wyoming for their wedding day, because Jay grew up in this part of Illinois. The Wedding Garden at Garden Grove was absolutely beautiful! This venue actually has three different event spaces. M & J fell in love with The Loft and Terrace, with its beautiful chandeliers and hardwoods floors, at first sight. The entire day felt laid back, and really focused on M & J’s love, and the love that their friends and family had for them. Their sons were the best men (scroll for all the cuteness) and they all wore matching Converse! You know I had to get some family Converse photos! Instead of a full dinner, M & J decided to have snacks and appetizers at their reception, and spent the rest of the day having a blast with family and friends!
Looking for a photographer for your Illinois elopement?
If you’re planning to elope in Illinois and you’re looking for a photographer, I’d love to chat with you! Click here to fill out my inquiry form. I’ll be in touch as soon as possible! In the meantime, click here to see one of my other favorite weddings from this summer, in Mount Vernon, Illinois!