Cody and Kelly had the most amazing wedding day at Pear Tree Estate in Champaign on June 25th.  But the excitement for us as their wedding photographers actually started the night before. Kelly has been growing her hair out for 3 years for her wedding day.  While Cody had never seen Kelly in short hair he had seen many pictures and always commented on how much he liked her with short hair and asked on multiple occasions when she would cut it.  As a special surprise to Cody, Kelly went to BJ Grand Salon and Spa less than 24 hours before she said ‘I do’ and cut 11 inches off.  That takes a lot of nerve!  And it was done with a lot of love for Cody and given to Locks of Love! While there, I learned this wasn’t the first time Kelly has cut her hair off to donate to Locks of Love.  As a school teacher she meets new kids every year and some of those take a special place in her heart.  There was a little girl named Caity who was in her class 4 years ago, Kelly’s first year teaching at Parkside.  Kelly said Caity had a heart of gold and Caity had donated her hair multiple times.  While in Kelly’s class, this little girl died suddenly from pneumonia.  As a mom, I can’t even imagine the shock, pain and sadness Caity’s parents feel losing a child.  Loss of any kind is not easy, but I don’t think there could be anything worse than losing a child.  I prayed for Caity’s family and hugged my boys a little tighter when I tucked them in that night.  Kelly, after the passing of her student, decided to donate her own hair again in Caity’s honor.  Hearing that story as we sat at the hair salon the night before Kelly’s wedding made me love her gesture even more.

The first look between Cody and Kelly before the wedding had a little extra excitement in the air as we were all eager to see his reaction not only to his beautiful bride but her new hair do as well. He was surprised and he loved it! Nice job Kelly! He was grinning from ear to ear, the love for her and her hair cut were evident. 🙂 The first look, the bridal party, the ceremony and reception were all awesome!  Wedding days are always fun for us and it’s exciting to see the personal touches each couple puts into their vows, decorations, and other details and their wedding day did not disappoint.

From the dessert tables with never ending bite size treats, personalized sunglasses, ‘fan’ wedding programs perfect for the 95 degree day, sparkly gold table decorations, and a ‘guest book’ made out of a pallet was just the beginning of the details that made the day unique.

The most unique and personal touch I’ve seen at a wedding resulted from sadness unfortunately.  Kelly’s father died just a couple months before their wedding day.  The dream of her father walking her down the aisle was dashed.  I lost my own father in a farming accident when I was in high school so when a bride is missing their dad on their wedding day, it tugs at my heart.  Kelly’s dad was not physically in attendance but his presence was certainly felt.  Cody giving Kelly a sentimental necklace before the wedding, her mother walking her down the aisle with very few dry eyes watching, talking about him in speeches, and her dancing with many important men in her life while a video of pics of her and her father played on the projection during the ‘father-daughter’ dance were just a few of the ways in which her dad was remembered and honored.

Lots of special touches in the day.  Lots of love.  Lots of fun.  Lots of smiles.  And a few tears.  Lots of memories made on the day that Cody and Kelly became Mr. and Mrs. Rust.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful wedding day!


Heather & Kristin

Contact Sweet Darling WeddingsWebsiteFacebookInstagram

Ceremony & Reception Location- Pear Tree Estate

Caterer- L.A. Gourmet

DJ- Crash Events

Videographer- Complete Entertainment

Bridal Gown- Elite Bridal

Hair and Make-Up- BJ Grand Salon & Spa

Groom’s Attire- Men’s Wearhouse

Engagement ring- Jack Lewis Jewelers

Wedding Bands- Bremer Jewelry

Ceremony arch- Old Oak Vintage Rentals

Florals- Campus Florist

Desserts- Stephanie Shively

Photographer-Sweet Darling Weddings

June 25, 2016