Catie + Nick ~ Oak Hill ~ Galena Wedding Photography (Part 1)

I attempted to make this all one post – but then it just kept growing, and growing, and growing! So – I decided to split this into two for you guys! 🙂 (In case you forgot how much I love Catie and Nick, you should go read about it here.)


I’m not really sure where to start with describing this wedding, other than to say it was truly beautiful in every sense of the word. It was beautiful in the literal meaning of the word – the dress, the couple, the details, the venue (oh my goodness, swoon worthy details – and each piece had a history & a meaning to it, which made the details all the more beautiful. And Galena! Galena! I’m in love!)… But it was also beautiful in another way. It was beautiful in a feel good kind of way. It was beautiful seeing Catie & Nick’s genuine love and passion for each other. The way they look at each other actually takes my breath away. (Seriously, look at the photos – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!)

This wedding was unique in that Catie & Nick booked our unlimited package – so I was there from the moment Catie started getting ready with her girlfriends, until the very last dance under a beautiful star-filled Galena sky. Because of that, I experienced how the entire day unfolded, and felt oh-so-lucky to get to hang out with this amazing couple all day long. It was like spending a day with old friends of mine – just like it should be!

Anyway – I better stop talking – because I have a lot to share. As you’ll see, this couple, and their family/friends have something really special. It was an emotional, and amazing day to be a part of, and as always – I felt blessed to witness and document it all.


Love you Catie & Nick! I hope these photos bring back all the warm-fuzzies you had on your wedding day! 🙂 xo!  (Stay tuned for Part 2!)


Nick stopped by while the ladies were getting ready that morning & I snuck this shot of the two of them greeting each other – so cute! 🙂

So many details, with so much meaning – I’m afraid I’ll mess up something and tell you the wrong story behind it! But if I recall correctly – this chapel charm used to belong to Catie’s aunt (whom she was named after), which also happens to look exactly like the chapel they were to get married in that day, and they had Catie’s birthstone put on one side, and Nick’s birthstone put on the other side. I love it!

Love her shoes!!!

More and more meaningful details – – broaches & pins from Catie’s family members were put together to make Catie’s bouquet, and her garter was made of lace from her mom’s own wedding dress!

A locket that used to have Catie’s parents’ photos in it – was filled with photos of Catie and Nick by her mother…

LOVE her ring! *sigh*

(Guys’ prep photos by James!)

When I put our memory cards together after a wedding, I always sync them up by the time the photo was captured. I thought it was interesting that these photos were captured within seconds of each other. I just like the idea of the two of them getting ready, going through similar actions – unknowing that the other is doing almost the exact same thing at that moment. 🙂

**Side note – – This is not Catie’s real dress below. She wore it for the First Look in Galena because she wanted a first look and time to do photos in Galena before we headed out to Oak Hill Farm for the wedding, but she still wanted Nick to be surprised at the church when she came down the aisle. So – she didn’t tell Nick this was a decoy dress – instead she led him believe it was THE dress, which made his reaction in church when she appeared in a totally different dress even better!!!

Time for the First Look! Nick’s reaction is priceless – even though he has no idea this isn’t her real dress! 🙂 Love it.

(I captured Nick’s reaction on the left, while James captured Catie’s on the right…)

James captured a beautiful candid (on the right) of Catie grinning from ear to ear at Nick when we met up with the rest of the bridal party…

So fierce! I need to learn how to do that face! Gorgeous.

Heading out to Oak Hill Farm for the wedding!!!

How can you NOT fall in love with Galena?! Beautiful!

The REAL dress… *sigh*…


Stay tuned for Part 2!!  🙂

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!