ally + mike | black hawk state park wedding.

There aren’t many events in our lives that are comparable to a wedding day. We spend months (years, for some) planning for this singular day – time and money and effort and creativity and love are all poured in to bring the day together. And because there are so many elements wrapped up in it, the truth is that there are SO many things that could go wrong, really. And more often than not, they will.

Ally shared something on social media in the weeks after her wedding day that reminded me of how these elements can feel for a couple. She said, “I had so many anxieties about my wedding day. What if it rains? What if the food is bad? What if we forget something? What if I get a huge zit? Out of all my wedding related anxieties over the past year, signing up for a lifetime of memories with this guy will never be one of them.”

With the weather forecast looking questionable in the days leading up to Ally and Mike’s wedding day, their ceremony (which was originally supposed to take place outdoors) was moved inside the reception venue. In addition, some things arose for a few of Mike and Ally’s family members, and they were no longer able to attend their wedding. In short, a few of the many things that could have gone wrong did. But once these two saw each other in the aisle during their ceremony, it was clear that none of those things mattered any longer. They looked at each other knowingly while their parents looked knowingly at their children, and it was evident that the most important parts of the day – the ones that really mattered – were happening right in front of us.

Later that evening, we’d again all watch as Mike and his mother would dance and cry and embrace each other on the dance floor, as well as when Ally’s father would tell the entire room, quite simply, that she was the absolute light of his life. In these moments, I watched as Ally and Mike’s anxieties continued to dissipate. And that’s the thing about wedding days that will keep me loving them; the wedding day itself will come and go, and it really will fly by like they always tell you — but these moments that happen within the day will stick with you, because they’re the ones that really involve all the lights of your life.

Venue: The Watchtower Lodge at Black Hawk State Park
Hair + Makeup: Lavish Salon
Dress: Savy’s Chic Bridal Boutique, Dixon, IL
Day of Coordinator: Aunt Sue’s Bridal
Catering and Florals: HyVee, Milan, IL
Transportation: VIP Transportation
Rentals: AAA Rents
Cake: Olde Towne Bakery
DJ: Twisted Mics

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Chicago, IL


Weddings + Engagements + Life

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