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!
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
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