Josh and Courtney’s wedding day kicked of my 2019 with so much excitement and joy! Their wedding day started in downtown Springfield and ended up at The Homestead, a sweet, family-run venue in Central Illinois. I first met this couple for their engagement session on the football field at PORTA High School where Josh is the head coach. You’d never know that almost all of their session was right there on the school property! There were so many amazing locations. You’ll have to go check out how that session ended because it was pretty SWEET! 😉
When I met up with Courtney and her girls the morning of the wedding, everyone was so calm, relaxed and friendly. It’s not very often when I show up and most of the girls are finished getting ready, but these girls were organized and ready to go. The bridesmaids were so sweet, but my favorites were Courtney’s niece and nephews, one who was just two weeks old! This lover of babies had to stay focused and not get distracted by all the cuteness!
Once Courtney’s mom helped her into her dress, we headed out to downtown Springfield for the first look with Josh and bridal party portraits. The sun was out and it was a warm 50 degrees. (Hey, that felt warm in March for Illinois!) This wedding party was so sweet that I could have photographed them all day. They even trusted me to put them in the middle of the road for a few photos in front of the Illinois State Capitol Building. Don’t worry! That street wasn’t busy this time of year and my second photographer was watching for cars.
Since Courtney and Josh did a first look, we had plenty of time scheduled for relaxed bridal party portrait time and time to walk around with just the two of them for bride and groom photos. I just love the backdrop of this part of Springfield, especially for weddings. It adds just a little bit of class and character without being too busy.
Once portraits were complete, we headed out to The Homestead. This was my first wedding at this venue, but the inside was so unique. I love the little touches they’ve added to break up the space, but still make it flow well. Since it was spring in Illinois, the wedding ceremony was held inside at one end of the venue while the reception was set up at the other end. The ceremony was full of tears and laughter, and of course all of the cuteness of the ring bearer and flower girl. I loved when Rowen was coming down the aisle and just left his little sister behind. He went back and got her eventually. They call Courtney, Aunt Co, so during the ceremony Rowen kept calling out for Aunt Co. It was so sweet. You can really tell that she has a special bond for those little ones.
During the reception, Courtney danced with her dad and then her stepdad, followed by Josh and his mom. And THEN, Rowen TOOK. OVER. THE. DANCE. FLOOR. with his moves to Uptown Funk. I may have taken more photos of this dance then the other dances combined. This little guy has moves and all the confidence to go along with it.
As I went drove that night after the wedding, eating the handful of Starburst candies I swiped from the sweets table on the way out, I couldn’t help but smile about how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing. Courtney and Josh, I wish you all the best in life and in your marriage. Congratulations!
Photography: Karen Shoufler Photography
Venue: The Homestead
MUA: Airbrush by Jessica
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse
Catering: Nelson’s Catering
DJ: Jack Pitts DJ
Uplighting/Sound: Premiere Audio Visual
Officiant: Michael Swearingen, West Side Christian Church