Abby and Stuart’s Egyptian Hills Resort wedding was so unique and full of joy! This is one of those wedding days that I’d love to relive over and over again. The details were a dream, the venue location was so beautiful and the people were all so wonderful. This blog post is full of way too many photos, but I just couldn’t help but overshare this one.
I arrived at Egyptian Hills Resort for Abby and Stuart’s wedding day not quite knowing what to expect. What I found was a cozy lakeside resort nestled in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. It’s the perfect little hidden gem that’s great for a wedding or just a little family getaway. As I walked around to get a feel for the layout of the wedding and reception, I found a beautiful patio right on the lake filled with tables decorated in such a classy, romantic style. Each table setting included self-serve communion elements for the ceremony. The private wedding veranda was decorated with pompas grass in large vases. It was the perfect place to begin photographing Abby’s dress and details.
After I photographed all of the wedding details, I joined Abby with her bridesmaids in the bridal suite. Abby’s bridesmaids were all stunning in their mismatched gowns that were the perfect color palette for this late summer/early fall wedding outside along the lake. Abby slipped into her gown and had a few sweet moments outside on the porch with her mom, sister, and soon-to-be sister-in-law.
Once the bride was all ready, I headed out to find Stuart to get him in place for the first look. I asked Stuart’s dad for a few photos of him helping Stuart into his jacket. This turned into the sweetest, emotional moment of shared words between father and son. I’m telling you, these people were the most genuine people I’ve met.
My favorite part of the day was the first look between Stuart and Abby. With the bridal party and parents looking on from a distance, Abby walked toward Stuart. As he turned around and saw his soon-to-be wife for the first time, he had the best reaction. I loved how expressive he was as he told Abby how beautiful she looked. I’m sure there was not a dry eye in the place!
After the first look, the wedding party gathered inside to cool off before photos and Stuart shared an equally emotional moment with his mom. I don’t think she knew that I caught these photos because she mentioned the moment to me later as if I had no idea it had happened. 🙂
Wedding party photos along the lake were next on the schedule. While wedding party photos can be a little chaotic, especially with a large wedding party, I had so much fun capturing these. Everyone was so happy to be there for the bride and groom that is was just really special to photograph the love they all have for each other.
The ceremony time along the lake was a testimony to the love Abby and Stuart have for each other, for the Lord, and for their friends and family. There were so many touches throughout the ceremony that were special, personal, and meaningful.
Following the ceremony and portrait time, Abby and Stuart were introduced as husband and wife to kick off the reception. Speeches were given by the best man, maid of honor and father of the bride, followed by a sweet prayer for the couple with both of their parents. A delicious dinner was served by the amazing catering staff at the resort, then the bride and groom danced their first dance as a married couple. Let me tell you, these two can dance! I could have watched them dance all night.
Abby and her dad danced next with everyone looking on with tears in their eyes. I always get emotional during father-daughter dances, so this is just to be expected now. Stuart and his mom danced next, which made it very clear where Stuart got his dancing skills.
My time ended with a fun dance by the wedding party just as storm clouds came rolling in across the lake. It was just a perfect day and I’m so happy for the new Mr and Mrs!
Venue: The Resort at Egyptian Hills
Bridal Gown Boutique: Eva’s Bridal
Bridal Gown Designer: Wona Concept
Floral: The Barefoot Florist
DJ: The Boys DJ
Officiant: Mike Pueschell, Trinity Church
Video: Brooke Elizabeth Video
To see more weddings like this Southern Illinois wedding, head here.
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