We flew into Chicago on a Friday morning and drove three hours west to Galena, Illinois. Outside of Chicago, the only terrain we’ve experienced have been long empty roads accompanied by rows upon rows of corn. So when we started seeing sweeping hills, valleys, and bluffs we were more than a little surprised. We kept asking each other, “Are we in Ireland?”.
What we soon discovered is that Galena sits in this small region called the Driftless Area which somehow escaped being covered, carved, and flattened by glaciers during the Ice Age. To say it’s beautiful would be an understatement.
Every mile we grew further from the city felt like the landscape was swallowing us up and spitting us out into an older era when Ulysses S. Grant and civil war generals inhibited the land. The city is rich in history and its roots certainly inspired our creativity as we showed up on Friday night to Kyle & Megan’s rehearsal dinner.
It’s a funny dynamic being the stranger with the camera. Most of the time we’re feared, avoided, and examined by the wedding guests…at least for the first few hours….but not with this family. We showed up on Friday to a house full of guests. Megan and Kyle hadn’t arrived but were greeted warmly, offered fresh margaritas, steaming tacos, introduced to grandma, hugged by distant aunts and uncles, and instantly welcomed into the family.
These were Megan and Kyle’s people. A community of friends and family from as far as Switzerland who decided to show up to this small historic town in the middle of the midwest to be present, to witness, and to encourage their new marriage.
This might just be one story, one wedding, one account of what happened on October 10, 2015 but I can say that we count ourselves extremely lucky to have stood on the same soil of this family, to have witnessed two people who changed their lives for the sake of love, and to have been a part of the abundant history in the Driftless Area.
Illinois Wedding Venue: Oak Hill Weddings | Wedding Design: Megan Koranda | Wedding Florals: Flora Chicago | Bride’s Dress: Lova Collection, Custom Design by Lovisa Tedestedt | Bride’s Veil: Theia Couture | Groom’s Suit: Alton Lane Chicago | Bridesmaids Dresses: Revolve Clothing, Brideside, Ralph Lauren | Catering: Rafters | Band: Hey Jimmy Band | Videographer: Eric Floberg