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St. James Forest Preserve Elopement | Makayla and Karl

Makayla and Karl’s St. James Forest Preserve elopement was seriously straight out of a dream. We started off their intimate wedding day with a first look for Makayla and Karl. Of course their little pup had to join as well which made the moment all the more sweet. I love having a first look at a wedding, but they're not for everyone, if you're on the fence on whether or not you should have one on your wedding day check out my blog post that covers both options to see which one best fits you !

St. James

After their first look with their family, they finished setting up their ceremony space at the St. James Farm Forest Preserve and getting them ready for their ceremony. While their family finished the finishing touches, Makayla, Karl, and I spent some time walking around St. James to take some wedding portraits of the two of them.

St. James Forest Preserve has so much space for portraits, it's absolutely beautiful for any wedding or elopement. Between its brick buildings, its vast landscapes, and gorgeous tree lines, it’s one of my favorite spots for couples and newlyweds to take their portraits.

The Ceremony

For their ceremony, Makayla prepped a gorgeous arch for their wedding ceremony and framed it in one of the most iconic tree lines the forest preserve at St. James has to offer. On either side of it her family sat in a couple of chairs framing the arch. Makayla's grandfather got ordained to marry them which is honestly SO special. Her grandfather and Karl waited at the end of the aisle for Makayla so they could started their ceremony together. After the ceremony we celebrated and took some family photos then headed back to their backyard reception to meet more of their family and friends.

When we arrived at their ceremony space I was FLOORED at all of the gorgeous decorations that were incorporated in the space. Makayla put together all of the decorations on her own other than the food and hair and makeup. It was seriously SO gorgeous, and I loved all of the little details she incorporated into their day.

The Reception

For their reception they started off the evening catching up with their friends and families and then had their first dances for the evening. Everyone there had SO much love for these two. You could see it during the ceremony, first dances, and speeches. It made their day SO special. After the formalities of the day everyone let loose and danced the night away! They had SO much energy and everyone had so much fun!

Congratulations to the newlyweds! I am so obsessed with the two of you!


Venue: St James Farm Forest Preserve


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