There were so many aspects of Richelle and Kort’s wedding that made it the perfect way to start my 2022 wedding season. It was laid back, filled with love and joy, blessed with sunshine and reasonably warm temperatures (for January anyway!), and at the timeless Allerton Mansion in my hometown of Monticello, IL. There is just something soothing about starting off the year at a familiar venue, with staff I know and am comfortable around. It’s so nice to know where everything is and have an idea of where I am going to shoot before I even get there. That is ESPECIALLY true for winter weddings where, even if the sun is shinning, it is too cold to do family formals outside. I love the challenge of shooting at Allerton in that I want to give something different to every client I work with there.

It was no different when I met Richelle and Kort last summer for their engagement session at Allerton and we meandered around the grounds getting to know each other a bit. Richelle is the sweetest gal and so easy to talk to! She is easy going and the love they share is obvious. Kort was more reserved at first, but by the end of their session, I was able to get a few smiles out of him him so, from what I gathered, that was a win!

I found the girls in the bridal suite at the mansion when I arrived on wedding day. Richelle was surrounded in the quiet suite by her bridesmaids Erin and Claire (Kort’s sister), her momma Lisa, and Kort’s momma Mary. Let me just tell you, they welcomed me right in and looked so pretty all done up! I LOVED the satin pajama set Richelle and her bridesmaids were lounging in! It was hands down the most relaxed morning of my entire wedding career. They were already ahead of schedule and it continued on like that the rest of the day.

Being ahead of schedule like that so early on gave us plenty of time for portraits after their first look. I took the wedding party right outside the main library for portraits, which worked out great because the gals were able to dip right back inside to warm up while I photographed the guys. By having a first look and wedding party portraits before the ceremony, Kort and Richelle had time after the ceremony and family portraits to go back to their room to spend a few minutes together, soaking in their newlywed status. If there was one thing I’d go back and do over again at our own wedding, it would be a few minutes of alone time just the two of us after the ceremony. The day goes by in such a blur, so I can only imagine how nice it was for Richelle and Kort to take a minute to breathe. I was happy to see that they both took the opportunity to mingle with everyone during supper, too. That doesn’t always happen, but it is really nice for the couple and their guests when it does!

Mr. and Mrs. Diener, your Allerton wedding was simply perfect! I wish you many years of happiness and laughter together with your son, Nick. When the going gets tough, remember what your best man Brett said during his speech, “Marriage is like chopsticks. It looks so easy until you try it yourself. Then you realize it takes work.”

With love,

Your wedding photographer, Lisa


Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal

Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Venue: Allerton Park and Retreat Center

Catering: Blue Dragonfly Catering

Hair and Makeup: Main Street Salon

Cake: Pies by Inge

DJ: Complete Entertainment

Photographer: Lisa Shreffler Photography