Jessica & Justin’s Spectacular Peoria, Illinois Wedding

PEORIA, Ill. – More than a year’s worth of preparation came down to one day, and for Jess it was finally sinking in. I’m getting married, I’m getting married, I’m getting married

She was saying this out loud to herself as much as to anyone within earshot in the hotel room and at the church, adding the footnote: I’m not nervous about getting married… I’m nervous about the process. But Jess was also her excited bubbly self throughout the morning as she got ready and made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be.

Luckily she didn’t have much to worry about. In the morning I had a chance to take a peek at the reception site, Kickapoo Creek Winery, where Jess’ idea of having wine-themed table names were showcased on the place cards themselves!

… and the respective wine bottle – each table had a different one – listed alphabetically from the front of the room to the back. They all had funky names, like the ones shown below. The “Broke Ass” table belonged to Jess and Justin.

Meanwhile, Jess was in the hotel room getting all prettied up. She and I are close in height, which made for a fun shoot especially with Jess standing on the toilet. But mostly, it was her cheerful personality that made this such a great wedding.

Justin was getting ready at the church, sporting a feather with a gold ribbon on his suit. This was a theme throughout the day – as everything a wedding would normally have as flowers was replaced with the use of feathers. What a creative concept!

Shortly before the ceremony, Jess was still a bit nervous, anxious… then moved to tears reading a beautiful card from Justin.

And then it was time. Justin proudly saw his bride-to-be for the first time, as she was escorted down the aisle by her grandfather – and holding a feather bouquet.

Their church, Trinity Lutheran, is a photographers’ dream to shoot in. There was so much beautiful natural light coming through the stained glass it was incredible.

Their ceremony was short, simple and with a homily that addressed their relationship perfectly.

After that, it was time to celebrate… and Jess and Justin gave us photographers (myself and Peoria photographer Scott Laidler) a massive time frame with the bridal party. Here’s one of my favorites from a shoot in a park.

Our next stop was a local bar, where the couple posed themselves. Seriously, they should go into modeling.

Afterward, we headed to the winery – stylin’ it for the cameras they did!

Scott took these shots, the second of which was taken just minutes before they headed into the reception.

After enjoying a cocktail hour, the guests were eagerly awaiting for them. The banquet hall had tables dressed up with ostrich plumes and candelabras, and blue accent lighting placed by the DJs. Gorgeous setup!


Their First Dance was impressive, and a wonderful display of dancing skills!

Last but not least, we had a CrazyBooth at this reception which guests thoroughly enjoyed, including Jess and Justin (bottom center).

And that was the end of our incredibly fun day. Thanks, Jess and Justin, for having me to document your fantastic event! What a privilege it was to be part of this big day! Much congrats to you both!



Wedding Notes:

Ceremony: Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria with the Pastor Mark Nelson officiating
Reception: Kickapoo Creek Winery, Edwards, Illinois
Photographer: Accent Photographics (me!), assisted by Scott Laidler
Party Bus: One Sweet Dream, Bloomington, Illinois
DJ: Absolute Light and Sound, Hudson, Illinois
First Dance Song: “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra
Feather Bouquets, Corsages, Boutonnieres & Reception Decorations: Heaven on Earth, Peoria
Ostrich Plume Centerpieces: purchased from, assembled by Jessica and Maid of Honor Katie Jurgens.
Cake: Tammy Woodmancy
Wedding Dress: Hope’s Bridal, Davenport, Iowa
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bobbie’s BridalPeoria
Tuxes: Savvi Formalwear, Peoria
Reception Linens: I Do Events, Washington, Illinois

About accentphoto
Accent Photographics specializes in on-location baby, children and family photography, and special-event photography of weddings in eastern

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