I first met Christine and Brent at a quiche restaurant in Grafton, Illinois. We talked about their wedding-day plans over lunch, and I was immediately excited for their rural outdoor wedding. These two had a wonderful venue lined up, and together with their awesome wedding party, threw a fun barn wedding on a beautiful, rainy Spring day.
Our trip to Michael, Illinois began with a ferry ride from Grafton across the river into Brussels. I love ferry rides, or any opportunity to be on the water.
Settled by German immigrants in the early 1800’s, Brussels is a rural village in Calhoun County, Illinois. Located on a peninsula between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Brussels is primarily a farming community and home to the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. On our drive from the ferry drop-off to town, we enjoyed scenic views and ample wildlife.
I began photography coverage at Christine and Brent’s home.
I used the soft, even light of their entry-way to stage detail images, and loved the juxtaposition of Christine’s lacy, feminine wedding gown along with Brent’s head wear in the background.
While Christine and her lovely bridesmaids continued to get ready for the wedding, we ventured to one of the groomsmen’s homes nearby, to photograph Brent with his chosen gentlemen.
After some intense (and fun) shooting practice, the stormy skies began to roll in, leaving us with lovely Mammatus clouds! I have always wanted to photograph Mammatus cloud formations, so I was especially excited to see them in person.
Back at the Schulze household, the ladies put on their finishing touches and prepared for the ceremony.
Christine and Brent chose the historic Mount Hope Barn to host their ceremony and reception. Mount Hope Barn is an incredibly beautiful and versatile venue, maintained by the White Family, of “Billy-Bob Teeth” fame. Their daughter, Sydney, runs the venue rentals and has great visions for the future of Mount Hope Barn. The White Family only recently purchased the property, and have already made massive renovations and will continue to make their property one of the most beautiful, all-inclusive venues in the area. Read more about the interesting history of Mount Hope Barn here.
While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the Wedding Party ventured out into the adjoining field to take a few creative portraits. As a photographer, I loved how Mount Hope Barn has so much versatility to offer. We were able to create a lot of imagery in a short amount of time.
I had a great time working with their Wedding Party. It really brings me joy when I work with wedding parties that are so happy for both the Bride and Groom. What a great group of friends they have!
Christine and her Bridesmaids looked STUNNING.
Just behind the barn, there is a lovely koi pond. After my initial site visit before their wedding, I knew we had to create a stunning landscape image using this location.
I could immediately tell that Christine poured every last detail into her reception decor. A lovely mix of florals and rustic accents, the decor complimented the barn so perfectly.
The Best Man and Maid of Honor delivered touching speeches to celebrate their best friends.
After the speeches, guests enjoyed a slideshow presentation showing images of Brent and Christine’s childhoods, along with photographs of their relationship over the years.
As we left for the evening, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset. We were in awe; the photograph doesn’t do the scene justice.
It was such a pleasure working with you and your friends and families.
Many congratulations and blessings to Mr. & Mrs. Brent Schulze!
Venue : Mt. Hope Barn Weddings
Catering : Chef Bob
Officiant : Jason Barnes
Cake : Martha Bick
Videography : Mayde with Love Productions
Hair & Make Up : Brittany Sanders, Kristen Woelfel, Morgan Cooperider
Florist : Bride & Bride’s Mother
DJ: Kirstan Grey
Bridal Gowns : Various
Menswear : J.C. Penney