Ryan & Laura A Spring Wedding at Venue CU

In the heart of downtown Champaign, Illinois, Laura and Ryan embarked on a memorable journey, celebrating their union in a day brimming with joy, tears, and heartfelt tributes to the memories that shaped their lives.

As the sun cast its warm glow upon the restored industrial building of Venue CU, Laura found herself enveloped in the soft light of the bridal suite. Surrounded by her closest friends and family, she slipped into a gown that seemed to be woven from dreams. Its intricate lace and flowing silhouette were a testament to the love and support of those who stood by her side. With the help of her squad of bridesmaids, Laura prepared to walk down the aisle, her heart filled with anticipation and happiness.

But amidst the joyous celebrations, there lingered a tender tribute to Laura’s mother, a beloved soul who was deeply missed on this special day. Before Laura stepped into her gown, I captured sentimental detail shots, including mementos such as the portrait of Laura’s mother, their parents’ wedding rings, and their first license plate—a serendipitous link to Laura and Ryan’s own journey. These cherished mementos served as tangible reminders of the love surrounding them, weaving a tapestry of memories that would last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, in the groom suite, Ryan and his groomsmen gathered around a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon, sharing laughs and stories as they toasted to the groom’s impending nuptials. With a deck of cards in hand, they whiled away the hours, their camaraderie a testament to the bond of brotherhood that united them on this momentous day.

As guests began to arrive, they were greeted by the enchanting ambiance of Venue CU. Its brick walls were adorned with strings of soft cafe lights, casting a warm and romantic glow over the celebration. The color scheme of dusty rose, blush pink, and sage green whispered tales of romance and elegance, a harmonious backdrop for Laura and Ryan’s love story.

While Laura’s father escorted her down the aisle, she carried with her a bouquet adorned with charms, including a picture of her mother—a poignant reminder of her presence in spirit. A pin in the shape of a crab, a symbol of her mother’s love for the ocean, adorned Laura’s wedding dress, a touching tribute that she held close to her heart throughout the day.

During the ceremony, Laura and Ryan exchanged vows beneath a canopy of twinkling lights, their love story unfolding before the eyes of their cherished guests. Amidst tears and laughter, they promised to love and cherish each other for all eternity, their voices filled with emotion as they embarked on this new chapter of their lives together. From stories of Ryan’s multiple attempts to woo Laura in the early days of their courtship to the hilarious story of how he blurted out those three little words right before she left for a family vacation, only to be met with stunned silence (she was too busy being giddy to respond!), their journey to the altar was as filled with laughter as it was with love.

The ceremony’s highlight was their choice of unity, where Laura and Ryan watered a lilac shrub together, symbolizing their commitment to nurturing their relationship and watching it grow. They plan to plant it in the garden of their home as a living reminder of their wedding day and the promises they made to each other.

Later on in the day, as dinner drew to an end and the sun dipped below the horizon, Laura and Ryan took to the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. With each twirl and dip, they were surrounded by the love and support of their nearest and dearest, their hearts overflowing with happiness and gratitude.

And amidst the twirls and dips, the father-daughter dance brought a tear to the eye as Laura’s dad gently wiped away her tears with his trusty handkerchief, a tender moment that spoke volumes about the bond between father and daughter.

In the end, Laura and Ryan’s wedding day was a celebration of love, laughter, and the beautiful journey that lay ahead. As they said their vows and danced the night away, surrounded by the people who mattered most, it was clear that their love story was just beginning—a story filled with joy, tears, and countless lilacs blooming in the garden of their hearts.




These incredible vendors made Laura and Ryan’s Venue CU spring wedding possible!

Venue: Venue CU

Florals: Lings Moment

Hair and Makeup: Ippatsu Salon

DJ: Bugbee’s DJ Plus

Catering: Baxter’s American Grill

Wedding Gown: Essence of Australia, purchased from True Society

Veil: David’s Bridal

Bridal Jewelry: Olive & Piper

Wedding Rings: Flora Gems

Bridal Shoes: Glitter Keds

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie

Menswear: Men’s Warehouse

Photography: Lisa Shreffler Photography


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