Chris and Aribi are two of the sweetest people, and I was honored to have been asked to photograph their special day. I have known the beautiful bride since high school. She was one of my best friends, and I have many happy memories with her growing up making laps and just hanging out. I am so excited that she found someone like Chris. Chris is genuinely a great guy - he is a hardworker, has an awesome sense of humor, and most importantly he is crazy about his beautiful wife - if you need any reassurance of that, he moved all the way from Iowa where his friends and family live to begin a new life with her here in Southern Illinois. I wish these two all the best as they begin this new adventure together! I hope their lives are filled with lots of laughter and happiness. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bowzer! I love you guys!! :)
CEREMONY LOCATION: St. Clements Catholic Church, McLeansboro, IL
RECEPTION LOCATION: Marion Pavilion, Marion, IL
WEDDING COORDINATOR: Stacie Endrizzi
HAIR & MAKEUP: Jaralynn Murphy
CATERER: Carter & Company Catering
CAKE: Buttercup Bakery
FLORIST: Tarri's House of Flowers
VIDEOGRAPHER: Millennium Productions
DJ: Spectrum I Sounds & Light Show
Everything from the tiniest little detail was just perfect! I wouldn't expect anything else from Aribi - she has great taste! :)
My second shooter and I arrived at St. Clements Catholic Church in McLeansboro to document the girls getting ready. We started out with some detail shots of the dress, bouquet, and accessories while the girls were finishing up their makeup. We then pulled Chris and the groomsmen aside to take some shots of them together.
BEST MAN: John Bowzer
GROOMSMEN: Dylan Schneeberger, Thomas Kedley, Dustin Bengtson, and Christian Findlay
USHERS: Nick Knight & Jeff Wallace
RING BEARERS: Tyler Bowzer & Cameron Bowzer
Afterwards we took some family shots of Chris with his parents and siblings (both of whom were also in the wedding).
We went back inside to photograph the bride getting ready. Aribi's mom and sister helped her put on her dress and accessories.
Aribi got a little emotional when her dad came in to see her. Aribi and her dad are very close! He stopped in to give her a kiss on the check and present her with a rose from him.
We went back outside to take some pictures of Aribi and her bridesmaids. I loved the colors - so timeless and classic!
MAID OF HONOR: Kirsti Auten
BRIDESMAIDS: Amanda Harrawood, Jill Porter, Krystal Hamson & Shannon Findlay
FLOWER GIRLS: Arya Black & Alayna Johnson
The girls all looked gorgeous!! They made my job so easy! :)
We also took some pictures of Aribi with her parents and sister.
Aribi and the girls went back inside to hide out from the groom and arriving guests.
The wedding began at 1:30 that afternoon. It was a beautiful ceremony!
After the wedding we took some family pictures at the church before leaving for the reception venue. We stopped by the hospital to see Aribi's grandma who was a patient and therefore was unable to attend the wedding. Luckily she was able to see Chris and Aribi all dressed up!
We stopped at a park in West Frankfort to take some couple pictures and some more pictures of the wedding party. Aribi was really excited about this red bridge and I don't blame her - it was so cool and looked awesome in pictures!
Now for some of the newlyweds... :)
She brought this sign along for a few photos for their thank yous! I love this sign and need to get one to use for other weddings - it was adorable!!
Did I mention I loved this bridge?!
This location was absolutely gorgeous!! They were so sweet together! :)
We also took a few individual shots since we hadn't done these before the ceremony.
The gorgeous bride... I LOVED her flowers!! Tarri is the best! She is AMAZING at bridal bouquets (that's why she made mine four years ago!) :)
The handsome groom...
Next stop - the reception!! Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Aribi Bowzer... :)
The Pavilion was equally as gorgeous!
The couple had a small wedding cake for themselves and cupcakes by the talented ladies at Buttercup Bakery in McLeansboro! :)
Next came the toasts by the maid of honor and the best man. They were very sweet and funny speeches by two people who know the couple very well - the bride's sister and the groom's brother. During Kirsti's speech, I even turned to one of the guests and said "Yep that sounds like Aribi" - I think this was the part about eating pickles (she loves pickles lol).
The speeches were concluded with a few words from the groom. He gave such a wonderful speech thanking people for coming from all over and had the sweetest things to say about his new wife. I loved the part about doing a little math for his math teacher about how many trips around the Earth he has made driving from Iowa to Southern Illinois for her and being excited about the other journeys they will have over the years. Sorry Chris - I did not write that exactly right but that was the sweetest wedding speech ever! :)
Now for the formalities... First dance & the garter removal (which were followed by the garter/bouquet tosses)...
Next came the father/daughter dance which I'm not going to lie about made me cry. Aribi had been emotional with her dad off and on all day, and that really did touch me. I know how I was with my dad on my own wedding day, and I thought these two were so sweet together. Aribi even had a special note sewn into the jacket of his tux.
This was followed by the mother/son dance! :)
A lot of people danced at the reception! This was probably the best turn out of dancing guests of any wedding I've been too (attended or photographed). When we left my second shooter and I were still talking about how awesome it was that so many people were out there dancing! It looked like everyone had a great time! :)
I was texting the bride just yesterday, and we were talking about what a wonderful day their wedding had been. It truly was a perfect day which is exactly what you'd want for such a sweet couple like these two!
Congratulations Chris & Aribi! Thank you again for allowing me to photograph your special day!
Bowzer Wedding Video by Kate Ragan Photography
To see more photos from their wedding day, please click on the following link: http://kateraganphotography.pixieset.com/chrisaribibowzerwedding/