Catherine + Mike {Wedding} Sneak Peek

February 16th was a beautiful day. Both for Catherine and Mike on their wedding day, and Catherine’s grandparents who were married on February 16th many years ago. Though they have passed away, their spirit remained a huge part of the lovely wedding of their granddaughter. It was such a precious way to honor them. Not only was the date the same, but they had their cake replicated as well!

So many of the personal touches were thoughtful and sentimental. The flowers were put together by the mother and uncle of the bride and they were some of the most gorgeous arrangements I’ve seen! Catherine’s something blue was an heirloom from her great grandmother that sparkled brightly on her finger. This bride and groom made their day special not only for themselves, but for everyone involved. It spoke volumes to their kind, loving and compassionate characters.

It was very obvious how deeply they cared for their family and friends, and it was definitely reciprocated. The toasts given by their friends and family members were heartfelt and sincere. They could not say enough wonderful things about the newlyweds. It was truly an honor for me to be there to document the start of Mr & Mrs Steigerwald’s next chapter.

Thank you to the fabulous creative team that made this beautiful wedding possible!

Cake + Catering | Krumpets, Fulton, IL |

Hair | Salon Halo, Bettendorf, IA |

Ceremony Music | Kristen Jones, Clinton, IA |

DJ | Anytime Event Service |

Special shoutout to the very talented mother and uncle of the bride who put together all of the gorgeous flowers. I was seriously blown away by how wonderful of a job they did!

What do you think about this modern wedding tradition?

The old superstition that it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding is just that, an old superstition. Nowadays, many couples are choosing to throw it out the window and set up a special, intimate first look before the craziness of the day takes over. And you'd be hard pressed to find a wedding photographer that is not IN LOVE with this new tradition. 

Why? There are actually some pretty big advantages to a first look prior to the wedding. Not only are the bride, groom, bridal party and family in top form, the bride and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup are fresh, and the groom and groomsmen are still okay with being in their tuxes. It's also nice to set aside a few minutes of alone time following the first look. These private moments, before you start taking more formal portraits are often the most special for the happy couple. You are able to say a prayer together, exchange meaningful gifts, or simply relax and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This healthy pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events. Getting this step out of the way early in the day frees up the rest of the time to spend with your guests. 

All of that being said, I know there are still some couples who are not keen on the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony. Not just because it could be "bad luck," but because they don't want to ruin the surprise of seeing each other at the altar. But let me tell you something...after all the weddings I have photographed, one thing I can guarantee is that the moment you walk down the aisle toward your husband-to-be and exchange glances for the last time before the marriage ceremony begins - this moment - will never not be an unbelievably special, important, and memorable event in your lives. No matter what has happened in the day so far, whether you've seen each other or not, that moment will be remembered forever. It's never about the dress, the hair, the makeup...believe me, in that moment, he IS seeing you for the first time - as the woman who will be his wife, the woman who will make him a husband.

Plus...after you both say I do, I know you'll just want to party!