Pear Tree Estate Wedding | Champaign, IL | Lexi & Ross


Elegant Summer Wedding at Pear Tree Estate in Champaign, Illinois by Karen Shoufler

Lexi & Ross had the most beautiful day for their Pear Tree Estate Wedding last weekend. From the weather to the wedding party to all of the details to their amazing friends & family, it was truly a perfect day.

This wedding is one of those weddings that I don’t feel adequate to describe in words. Every one of my couples have beautiful stories and I always wish I was more of a writer so that I could do their story justice. You can read a little bit about how Lexi and Ross ended up together over on the blog post from their engagement session in Greenville, South Carolina where they now live. What that blog post doesn’t tell you is how selfless and caring they are. Lexi grew up with some major health issues, including heart surgery as a teenager. That struggle led her to want to care for others and she’s now a nurse. Ross is a firefighter and just got accepting into school to become a PA. These two care deeply for people and it shows in how they interact with everyone. I always love watching couples on their wedding day and how their family and friends talk about them. It was so evident that Lexi and Ross are deeply loved, but it was also clear to me that their friends feel cherished by them as well.

Getting Ready

When I arrived at the hotel where everyone was getting ready, I got out of my car and immediately heard a bunch of guys shouting out of the window of the hotel to someone else in the parking lot. A quick glance made it obvious that it was Ross’s groomsmen. It’s always a toss up what I will find when I walk into the room where the guys are getting ready. I’ve learned along the way that’s it’s never good to show up to the guys’ room early, so I just chuckled and headed up to Lexi’s room to spend the first hour of my day with her and the girls.

When I entered the girls’ room, I was greeted by the sweetest bridesmaids and Lexi’s mom, Libby, who I’ve known from church for years. Libby actually went to school for a while with my older siblings, so it was such an honor to be photographing her little girl’s big day. Everyone in the room was so happy and relaxed, while Lexi was getting her makeup done. I started taking some photos and had moved onto the detail shots in the bedroom when Lexi’s dad came in and asked me to photograph a gift Lexi had given to him that morning. You’ll see that below, but it was the sweetest gift to a dad from his only daughter and it brought tears to my eyes.

After spending some time with the girls, I headed up to see what the guys were up to. I had heard from the videographer that they were having quite a bit of fun up there, but by the time I arrived, they were just chilling out and getting ready. Lexi and Ross had gifts for each other, so I asked Ross to open his gift while we were there. Gifts from the bride and groom on a wedding day are often things like watches, concert tickets, etc. What I didn’t know was Lexi had created this beautiful album full of photos and letters from his parents, siblings, grandparents, godparents and her parents for Ross to read on his wedding day. It was the most beautiful moment as Ross read these words of life and encouragement from the people that love him most. He did pretty good holding it together until he got to the letter from his Grandpa. What a sweet, special gift that he will cherish the rest of his life.

After finishing up with Ross, I headed back up to Lexi’s room where she opened a classy, pink purse from Ross. Then, Lexi’s mom handed her a gift. It was a similar album that she had arranged for her filled with letters from Ross, her parents, siblings and grandparents. If I remember anything from this wedding ten, twenty, thirty years down the road, it will be these albums. Lexi then got into her dress surrounded by her mom and bridesmaids. One of my favorite wedding day moments is watching the bride’s mom as her daughter becomes a bride.

Portraits & Ceremony at Pear Tree

Once everyone was ready, we headed to Pear Tree Estate. This venue is one of my favorites in the area, so I was thrilled to be photographing there again. Lexi and Ross opted not to see each other ahead of time, so we photographed her with her girls and her mom and then Ross with his guys and parents. You never know what August in Illinois will bring, but the weather was absolutely perfect.

The ceremony was outside on the back patio at Pear Tree, in front of their pond. Lexi and Ross read vows to each other that they had written, both choking back tears as they made promises to one another.

Post ceremony was filled with family photos, wedding party photos and then photos of Lexi and Ross around the Pear Tree property. I love the different looks you can find around this venue, but the sunlight coming through the trees that time of the evening was really the MVP. I could have spent hours photographing the newlyweds, but figured they wanted to get to dinner because the food by LA Gourmet Catering at Pear Tree is out of this world.

We ended the night with some photos out front as the sun was dipping below the horizon. Lexi wanted to get a few photos with the corn for her dad before we headed back in for the first dances.

Here are just a few of my many favorites that I hope tell the story of their special day.

Vendor Team:

Getting Ready Location: Wingate by Wyndham

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Pear Tree Estate

Catering: LA Gourmet Catering

Florals: Flowers by Kristine

Videography: Toast Wedding Films

Calligraphy: Apricity Ink

Cupcakes: Pattycakes Cupcakery

DJ: Crash DJ Events

MUA: Bridal Brigade

Bridal Gown: Michelle’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: Azazie


  1. Lindsay

    August 17th, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Everything about this wedding turned out SO perfect!! The colors, the flowers, even the grooms socks!!!

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