Fall Wedding at the Shores of Turtle Creek

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Welcome to the White Quill Blog—your one stop shop for wedding planning tips + inspiration. Because, as a 6w5 with over 100 weddings under my belt, my number one goal is to make sure you're prepared in advance so you can live your wedding day to its fullest.

Hey, I’m Chelsea

Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle CreekStephanie and Eric’s love story began at a mutual friend’s Friendsgiving party. As time went on, their relationship grew from being good friends to dating to getting engaged at Rock Fest in Wisconsin (in their actually brilliant words, #GotTheRockAtRockFest). Now, they’re husband and wife after exchanging their vows at Shores of Turtle Creek in Spring Grove!

Steph and Eric found me on their own, but once we got to talking, we realized I’d been the second photographer at Steph’s sister’s brother-in-law’s wedding (yep, my brain hurts too just from writing that). Long story short, I photographed Steph’s brother-in-law giving a best man toast. It really is a small world after all.

I don’t like to play favorites when it comes to couples, but Steph and Eric hold a special place in my heart. Essentially, we figured out what it means to have a COVID wedding together. They didn’t have a wedding planner, so after their engagement session, we sat together and brainstormed options for their reception. While I’m not a wedding planner, I’ve shot enough weddings to know a thing or two about timelines. So we cracked open some drinks and teamed up to figure out how to not just replan their wedding, but how to make it awesome for their guests.

Although they were still holding their ceremony at their original venue, the Shores of Turtle Creek, they weren’t sure where they could host a safe reception given closures and restrictions. You probably remember what a hot mess it was the last two years. Rules were constantly changing, and there was a bit of back and forth.

Like many couples at the time, they considered hosting a backyard reception at their new home. But, we lucked out when the hotel let them use the hotel restaurant! It was closed due to COVID, but the hotel was super generous and let Steph and Eric still host their dinner there.

Personalized Ceremony at the Shores of Turtle Creek

Steph had a lot of fun adding some last-name puns throughout the day. Steph wore a t-shirt that read “Sunflowers & Schill” while getting ready, which really showed off how fun these two are! She rocked a gorgeous ballgown but was comfy dancing the night away in her embroidered Converse.

The wedding ceremony and the reception had two completely different vibes. Honestly, it felt perfect for a COVID wedding where everyone had to go with the flow to make it work. Steph and Eric personalized their ceremony with a note box in which they put letters to read on their one-year anniversary. They’re going to write new letters every year, and it might just be the most adorable idea I’ve ever heard.

Aside from embodying #couplegoals, the day was a true family affair. At the reception, everyone helped to load in dozens of homemade desserts (that were DELICIOUS!). Eric’s sister made the couple’s cake topper and worked on it right up until the night before. In addition, Eric’s mom did Steph and Eric’s sisters’ hair and did an amazing job. These two have some talented family members and it really paid off!

Pull up a chair, pop open a La Croix, and check out these stunning shots from Steph and Eric’s wedding!

Bride getting ready at Shores of Turtle CreekBride getting ready at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride getting ready at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride getting ready at Shores of Turtle Creek Groom getting ready at Shores of Turtle Creek Father and daughter first look Bride and groom first look Wedding ceremony underneath a wooden pergola decorated with branches and sunflowers Notebox personalized with the bride and groom's names at their wedding ceremony Fall wedding ceremony at Shores of Turtle Creek Fall wedding ceremony at Shores of Turtle Creek Notebox personalized with the bride and groom's names at their wedding ceremony Fall wedding ceremony at Shores of Turtle Creek Bridal party portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bridal party portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride holding a bouquet filled with sunflowers, ivory roses, and greenery Bride in a wedding gown with a ballroom-style tulle skirt Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Bride and groom portraits at Shores of Turtle Creek Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Table filled with homemade desserts at a wedding reception Table filled with homemade desserts at a wedding reception Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville Wedding reception at the DoubleTree Hilton - Libertyville

Kind Words from the Couple

“Chelsea has such a warm, calming, positive and chill energy that made her the perfect person to spend our special day with. She made us feel so comfortable in front of a camera and did an incredible job capturing so many special moments. The picture quality is beyond amazing. Chelsea is so talented, creative, organized, and I would recommend her to anyone and everyone! Thank you, Chelsea!”

The Wedding Vendors

Ceremony: Shores of Turtle Creek // Hotel/Reception: DoubleTree Hilton – Libertyville // DJ: Grand DJ Entertainment // Makeup: Joanna B Artistry // Bridesmaid’s Hair: Laura Cutler

Still in the market for a wedding photographer?

Well then, let’s chat and see if we’re a match made in vendor heaven!

Hey, I’m Chelsea

Growing up, I had big dreams of being a writer—but one screenwriting seminar over mac and cheese pizza changed everything. Now, with a film degree and over 100 weddings under my belt, I get to tell your real-life stories (and, trust me, they put my made-up ones to shame). 

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