Kayla + Jonathan
June 13, 2020
Pat & April Doolin's Home | Lincoln, IL
Kayla and Jonathan had originally planned on getting married at Redeemer Lutheran (their home church of Bethany Community Church in Washington was remodeling), and having over two hundred guests for their reception at Venue Chisca. Then.... Covid-19 hit, and like many couples, Kayla and Jon rightfully decided to postpone their big reception. However, they still wanted to get married! With all of their vendors on board, they came to me with a new plan; a small ceremony and dinner at Kayla's Aunt & Uncle's home in Lincoln, IL. Scroll through to hear more about their wedding day, see all of the stunning photos by Stephanie Bartman, and definitely don't miss watching their wedding day video by Jake Sutton!
Ceremony & Reception: Private Property, Lincoln, IL
Florals: Heaven on Earth Floral Design
Photography: Stephanie Bartman Photography
Videography: Jake Sutton Media
Rentals: Peoria Rentals
Linen Draping: Willow & Ivory Events
Planning: Greater Joy Events - Wedding Day Coordination
Caterer: Tim Cleaton, Family Friend
Cake: Liv's Bakes
Dress: Adore Bridal
Hair: Brooke Joos
Makeup: Makeup by Adrie (Kayla's cousin, and one of her bridesmaids!)
Kayla, Jonathan, and their bridal party got ready at Kayla's Aunt & Uncle's home, on a gorgeous piece of property that included a lake, horse barns, and the most beautifully landscaped back yard. The guys spent some time fishing in the morning, got ready in the basement, and even graciously offered to help me with setup in the morning. They had strict instructions to not come upstairs, which was where Kayla and her bridesmaids were getting ready (with one of her bridesmaids doing everyone's makeup!). I personally loved the special touches Kayla added to her wedding day. She had a heart cut out of one of her late grandfather's shirts and stitched it into the inside of her dress. She also wore a special family ring, made from diamonds from her great-great-grandmother and her great-grandmother's wedding rings.
Kayla and her dad have one of the most fun father/daughter relationships I've witnessed to date. Watch the whole video from Jake Sutton for their surprise on the dance floor during their first dance, and you'll see why! Kayla chose to have first looks with her dad and brother, which were both the absolute sweetest family first looks. Kayla and Jonathan chose to have their first look be when Kayla walked down the aisle, so instead they met around a corner of the home and read letters to each other privately. Then, they each had a moment with their families before their ceremony started. These quiet moments together don't just happen magically - they happen when the couple and their families are intentional and meaningful about their time (and when you have someone like me setting up instead of your parents worrying about last minute setup).
Kayla and Jon were married under a beautifully draped arbor with a calm pond as their backdrop. Talk about a peaceful ceremony! Phil Smith from Bethany Community Church officiated their ceremony. From the multiple photos of family members drying their eyes, I'm guessing it was the most beautiful and heartfelt ceremony. I wish I could have witnessed it! However, right as I sent Kayla and her dad down the aisle, I hustled straight back to the reception space. Kayla and Jon had opted for all disposable dinnerware due to Covid, which didn't want to stay put with the slight breeze blowing through the back yard. Kayla also hand lettered each individual name card. It was my mission to keep each of those nam ecards in place during the ceremony! I also welcomed the catering team, packed fresh ice into the coolers, and put the last touches on their memorial table. I was so glad to be working on these things behind the scenes while all of their family members could focus solely on Kayla and Jon's wedding ceremony.
One thing I did love about Kayla & Jon's ceremony is that Jon's siblings stepped in to sing two worship songs while Kayla & Jon lit their unity candle. The songs were beautiful, and I'm sure hearing them again in the future will bring Kayla and Jon right back to this spot where they said their vows.
After their ceremony, Kayla, Jon, and their wedding party went to a nearby park for a few quick photos. I'm absolutely in love with the lush greenery paired with the navy suits and light gray dresses. The flowers pop, and the smiles on their wedding party's faces say it all! I mean, you can just see the pure joy and happiness on Kayla & Jon's faces here. This is why I absolutely love my job!
For their reception, Kayla and Jon were able to have about fifty of their close relatives and friends join them for a small dinner reception. They still wanted to do all of the wedding day classics - like cutting their cake, speeches, and first dances. We set up a memorial table, a table for cards & gifts, and a cake table. Everything was 100% outdoors - so thank goodness it was the most gorgeous summer day! The tables had centerpieces featuring photos of Kayla and Jon throughout their dating relationship, from a high school dance to a weekend home from college.
A family friend catered dinner, and their officiant said a wonderful grace before they all sat down to eat. Kayla's dad brought out a paper heart that Kayla made for him when she was little, to which Jon responded by pulling out his own heart that he had made for Kayla to mimic her old one. Jon's brother then called Kayla a "knucklehead" during his speech (that definitely made me laugh out loud), and Kayla's cousin recounted the times they spent together as little girls talking about their wedding days.
Lastly, Kayla and Jon shared their first dance on the upper patio of the home under dreamy string lights. I couldn't help but tear up at their dance - it had just been the perfect day for the perfect couple! Jon and his mom shared their first dance, and the Kayla and her dad stunned us all with their switch from slow dance to a surprise choreographed dance! Kayla and her dad didn't tell anyone, not even me! Although I should have known something was up - I gave Kayla and her dad a 5-minute warning for first dances, and they instantly said to wait a little longer because they had to go practice. I just thought they were nervous! To see more of their surprise, watch Jake Sutton's video!