Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beth and Ben are married!

What happens when you plan a beautiful outdoor ceremony on a woodsy hill overlooking the valley below, but it won't stop raining? You make the best of it. Beth and Ben are crazy in love, and they made the best of their wedding day at Starved Rock. Even the disappointment of torrential rain and flooding that made the outdoor ceremony location impossible couldn't get them down. They had a wonderful first look under umbrellas, ran through the rain and giant puddles, and moved the wedding indoors into the lodge. I have never seen two people so incredibly happy to marry each other. Their son Damen looking adorable in his little tux, and Ben's daughter Brynn was a beautiful maid of honor. Although we were never able to hike to the waterfalls, the rainy afternoon eventually gave way to a spectacular sunset, we were able to capture some more photos outside after all. What a wonderful wedding to be a part of, I have no doubt that there are many years of happiness in store for these two. Congrats Beth and Ben!
The girls were getting ready in a cabin near the lodge.
Beth's friends did her hair and makeup.
Here comes the hairspray!
Beth's mom helped her into her dress.
The finishing touches.
It was time for Beth and Ben to see each other. We headed outside with umbrellas for a beautiful first look.
They were smitten.
So in love.
Then it was time to get married.
There were lot's of happy tears.
Damen stood in the aisle and checked out his mom and dad.
And more kisses.
Damen got some kisses too.
Ben was so happy!
Ben was a total ham for the camera.
A father-daughter moment.
Time to party!
I wonder if he regretted this move the next day?
Congrats Beth and Ben!

Ceremony location: Starved Rock Lodge
Reception location: Starved Rock Lodge
First Dance: Loggins and Messina "Danny's Song" 

Q&A with the bride: 
What was the most memorable moment of your day? Beth: Our first dance...for some reason, that's one of the things that is most vivid in my mind.  It was the one moment when everything slowed down and it was just the two of us. 
Another one was while getting ready with all my friends.  I was pretty panicky inside my head (before the Xanyx kicked in), wanting to look beautiful and I was all red faced and red eyed.  Stephanie was putting makeup on me and I said, "you know I'm counting on you to make me beautiful," and she replied, "I know" with a little smile.  It was so confident and sweet and just put me at ease.  Damen running around during the ceremony, at one point sitting on the fireplace and swinging his legs, then running over to my dad was so typical him. 

What was your favorite detail?
 Beth: Wearing my mom's veil and grandma's pearl necklace was a special detail to me and the fact Ben used my grandpa's ring.  Grace's personalized ceremony was right up there too - she did such a wonderful job making it connected to us.  The wedding tree turned out awesome, that is a detail that looks beautiful in our house!!!

 Funniest memory from your wedding day? Beth: I didn't pee all night, that was just a weird memory, especially because I go to the bathroom all the time.  I think Steph putting on makeup while I was on the toilet sticks out there too.  My drunk ass high school buddies dancing was comical, dramatic leg kicks, doing the splits - they're such morons.

Any advice for future brides/grooms? Beth: To just enjoy the night.  It goes by so fast, which was one of the nice things about going away to Starved Rock -  you have multiple days to hang out with your loved ones.  Which is one reason to not stress over details, it flies by anyways.  People that are all consumed with planning a wedding often forget about the purpose - to make official the love you have for one another by throwing a big ass party.  So many people asked, "are you stressing out," and my answer (until 12:00 on the day of the wedding) was "nope."  Don't sweat the small stuff, because it's nothing in the scheme of things.  

If you could do it all over, would you change anything? Beth: Being able to control the weather would have been nice.  Getting more pictures with Damen - he was so overwhelmed that night, I felt bad, but we wouldn't have been able to keep him still anyways.  Having every person in his little life in one room was crazy for him.  He was such a tired guy the next day, but jeez is he cute.  I wish Ben and I would have gone around and talked to each table during dinner.  I feel like there were people we never even said hi to, but part of that was due to us going out and taking pictures during dinner - which was worth it, don't get me wrong!  And I wish we could have gotten married in a less formal place, but that was the closest we could get to make it convenient for everyone.  I would have preferred out on a farm, with kegs of beer, under a big white tent...

Where did you go on your honeymoon? Beth: 
So we went back to Burlington on Monday with Damen, Brynn and Madi (Brynn's friend) and Ben and I hit the road Tuesday.  We were originally planning to go down to southern Illinois to Shawnee National Forest, but the weather looked terrible, rainy and really hot.  Instead, we just started driving north along the river road, following the Mississippi.  No plans, no map, just drove, stopped when we were hungry, stopping for beer at little river town bars when we were thirsty, finding campgrounds along the way.  We stayed at Mississippi Palisades State Park (just south of Galena) and Nelson Dewey State Park in southwest Wisconsin - two great finds we just randomly ran into.  We camped at night, drinking beer, sitting around a fire.  Went hiking during the day.  Tons of bluffs and beautiful weather.  So it was great to decompress after such a hectic weekend, just the two of us, making babies in the wilderness.  

1 comment:

  1. I love Starved Rock! What a beautiful wedding! Well done, ladies!!


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