Lydia + Peter

June 20, 2020

Sacred Heart Catholic Church | Mansion on Moss

When I initially met with Peter and Lydia in the summer of 2019, we decided that they had enough help from family members (Peter has seven siblings!) that they wouldn’t need any extra assistance the day of their wedding. Then 2020 happened, and Covid-19 prevented them from having their wedding day as originally planned. Lydia reached out again to ask if I could help with their “Plan B,” which really turned into a spectacular wedding day. Lydia and Peter’s wedding day reminded me so much of my own, which was fitting because their wedding day was my husband's and my 5th wedding anniversary! I had such a wonderful time coordinating their day, which is why this is my longest wedding day recap ever! I was so impressed with Lydia & Peter's resilience and adaptability throughout both the planning process and their wedding day (read more to see why!). I am so confident that they will have a long, beautiful, and loving marriage together!

Ceremony: Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Reception: Private Property, Mansion on Moss (it's for sale!)

Florals & Table Decor: Create a Scene

Rentals: Peoria Rentals & I Do Events

Photography: Erika Taphorn

Videography & DJ: Family & Friends

Planning: Greater Joy Events - Wedding Day Coordination

Caterer: Cracked Pepper Catering

Paper Suite: The Copy Shop

Trolley: Elite Entertainment

Hair & Makeup: Pair Bridal

Dress: Cloud Nine Peoria 

Cake: Designer Cake Shop

Cookies: Kate's Cookies (sister-in-law of the groom!)

Peter got ready for the day at his childhood home with his groomsmen, made up of entirely brothers – five of his own and two brothers-in-law! They even fit in a quick basketball game. Peter was a member of the Bradley Braves basketball team all throughout college, so that was a must! Lydia got ready with her bridesmaids at the historic Mansion on Moss, where their reception was held later that day.

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Hanley Getting Ready-43_websize.jpg

Peter and Lydia wrote each other letters to exchange on the morning of their wedding. They’re familiar with writing letters, because they dated long distance for three and a half years and constantly were mailing each other letters (how cute!). They didn’t text, call, talk, or see each other that day until Lydia walked down the aisle. Lydia also wrote a message on the back of Peter’s watch that read “I love you forever and I’ll see you at the altar.” Peter gifted Lydia a blue rosary, which was her “something blue.” She carried it in her bouquet throughout the entire day.

Lydia designed their invitations and programs entirely from scratch, with the help of the Copy Shop. She wanted something timeless, soft, and a little modern. I absolutely loved them! A favorite detail was definitely the gold wax seals. Peter and Lydia personally stamped each seal on every envelope for their guests. The cursive “H” was the perfect classic touch. Another special detail was the Chanel perfume that Lydia picked out especially for her wedding day – that way, when she wears it in the future, she’ll always be reminded of her wedding day!

Their ceremony (and their whole day, really) was a family affair! Lydia’s uncle, Fr. Brian, said their homily. Peter’s cousin, Patrick Wille, who is currently studying in the seminary, served as a server during their ceremony. As I mentioned earlier, Peter’s groomsmen were all his brothers. Peter’s sisters read the readings, and his sister-in-law sang the Ave Maria. Even their flower girls and ring bearers were all nieces and nephews!

One of Peter and Lydia’s must-haves for their wedding day was an open-air trolley. Their trolley came all the way from Champaign and ended up being the same trolley that Peter’s brother used for his wedding day back in 2016! The trolley ride around Peoria ended up being one of their favorite parts of the day. They even played “Forever” by Chris Brown and reenacted the Office scene from Jim & Pam’s wedding. How fun! Peter and Lydia’s photographer, Erika Taphorn, made a last-minute decision to take their wedding party photos at Donovan Park. Their photos turned out amazing! Lastly, they made a special stop at the Red Tower in Peoria Heights. Peter asked Lydia to marry him at the top of the tower, so Erika snapped a few photos of just the two of them.

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After all of the craziness of switching venues, redoing layouts, basically starting over three weeks before their wedding day, and then switching to a rain plain just 24 hours before their wedding day, Peter and Lydia walked into their reception and realized it was better than what they had always dreamt their wedding day to be. From the classic rentals from Peoria Rentals, to the beautiful décor and floral arrangements from Create-a-Scene, to the stunning cake placed on top of the Grand Piano from Designer Cake Shoppe, it all came together perfectly. Side note - the Mansion on Moss is a historical mansion on Moss Avenue in Peoria, and is currently for sale! If anyone wants to turn this into a wedding reception venue, just let me know. It was absolutely perfect!

After taking a few more photos on the grounds, Peter and Lydia snuck upstairs during the cocktail hour to enjoy some food together, just the two of them. And then, right before wedding party introductions, speeches, and dinner, a huge rainstorm came through… and knocked out the power! Lydia and Peter didn’t have time to panic, and instead they just kept going! Their groomsmen handled the introductions without a microphone, and there was just enough natural light coming in through the windows to light the room. Cracked Pepper had dinner under control, so we set up a Bluetooth speaker for background music and rolled with the punches!

If anyone knows the Hanley family, they know there are some bright minds at work! Lydia and Peter had imagined their first dance on the dance floor under the twinkle lights on the back terrace. Peter’s dad came up with the idea to back in their minivan and power the speaker and lights through the running car. It worked! We had just enough power to light the dancefloor and play their first dance songs. Peter and Lydia danced to “The Gambler” by Fun. It was simply perfect !


At the end of the night (when the power came back on… 4 hours later!) Peter & Lydia’s wedding party surprised them with a video compilation of short videos from all of their guests who couldn’t make it due to Covid restrictions. They were so surprised and blown away by all of the well wishes they received. They ended the night with the classic final songs of most Hanley weddings, “Good Riddance – Time of Your Life” by Green Day, and “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles. I’m good friends with Peter’s older brothers, so I can confirm that these two are must-haves for the end of a Hanley wedding!