This is one of the sweetest weddings we’ve had the opportunity to document. We love this couple and could not be happier that we’ve got the chance to get to know both of them. We are so happy for you, Bryon and Kelsie! We wish you countless years of joy in your marriage. Thank you for asking us to be part of your big day!
Bryon and I are high school sweethearts. We met spending summers together with friends at the local swimming pool. When I was a freshman, he asked me to go to Homecoming, and I was already going to the dance with someone else. My date wasn’t into dancing, and Bryon and I spent the entire night tearing up the dance floor ☺. After the dance, he asked me on our first date to the movies. Three quick months later, we fell in love, and dated for 4 ½ years throughout the rest of high school and into college.
My sophomore year of college, we decided to break things off and go our separate ways, as we had only ever dated each other. We always knew if we were meant to be together, everything would fall into place. Five years later, I still had feelings for Bryon and could not stop thinking about him. We planned to meet up at an Eric Church concert at the state fair, and it was a night I will never forget. We had a blast singing every word to our favorite country artist. The next night we went on our “second” first date to get sushi and putt putt golf.
A year and two months later, Bryon proposed to me on a family “wine hop” in Grafton, Illinois. My family arranged for a party bus to pick us up for the occasion, knowing it would be a special day for all of us. After spending time at the first winery, the bus struggled up a steep incline to the top of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Tucked away in the trees is a little winery called the Aries Winery. It was a gorgeous fall day, my favorite time of year! Bryon and I stood in front of the beautiful backdrop to get a picture, when he turned to me, dropped down on one knee and popped the question in front of our families. It was the PERFECT day and the PERFECT proposal! We spent the rest of the day celebrating!
I’m not sure how it’s possible, but every day I fall more and more in love. Growing up, my dad always taught me that a man should make you laugh, make you feel loved, challenge you, but most importantly, bring out the best in you. Bryon is such a kind, laid-back, passionate person, and he compliments me in every way possible. I could not imagine anyone more perfect for me, and I look forward a lifetime of happiness together.
I first met Kels at Edgewood Pool, hanging out with mutual friends, which was how we spent most of our summers growing up. Her laugh, humor, intelligence, passion, giving and caring nature are all things that drew me to her at the beginning, and they are things that I fall more in love with every day. I chased after her for a while we were in high school, asking her to Homecoming my junior year, only to find out she already had a date. Fortunately for me, that never worked out, and we were able to have fun together at that dance. This lead up to our first date…
Our first date was a trip to the movies, and I honestly cannot remember another time in my life I was more nervous. I’m not sure what it was, but for some reason that date seemed very special, and we were together for the next 4 ½ years. Throughout that time, there were many memories made, but there were two dates that were huge and still stick out in my mind; our first two dances, Homecoming and The Sweetheart Dance. There were so many events, dates, dances, and other things that Kels and I did together. With each memory made, I fell more and more in love.
As we were going through college, we decided to take some time apart, which was crucial in realizing how much Kels meant to me. I believe it helped me grow as a person. I achieved many things as an individual while we were apart – graduating college, moving up in my career, buying a house – but none of these accomplishments felt whole without her in my life. Five years after we went our separate ways, I received a text message that would soon change my life forever.
My second chance was finally here! Kels and I planned on meeting up at an Eric Church concert, which turned out to be one of our most memorable nights. We went out on what we now call our “second, first date” the next night, and it was nothing short of cliché - miniature golf and dinner. I couldn’t remember a time I was ever happier to have the girl of my dreams back in my life. After many trips between Chicago and Southern Illinois, Kels moved back to Auburn to take a job in Springfield. This justified the feelings I already had, and it was time to ask permission to make her my wife.
Kels had shown me a ring while she lived in Chicago that she said was “perfect!” Of course, I took serious note, saved the pictures in my phone, and made sure I had them for later. When the timing was right, I made a trip to her parents’ jewelry store, to ask for their blessing. After hugs, congratulatory comments, and a “it’s really going to happen” comment from her mother, planning began. Her twin sister, Kylie, helped me and we decided to use a family trip to Grafton Wineries as a cover. On October 23rd, 2013, I got down on my knee on top of a hill outside Aeries Winery in Grafton and asked Kels to be my wife…in front of her both of our families.
Our wedding was the happiest day of my life. Kels looked more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Of course, not everything went as planned, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. There was laughing, crying, and many blessings shared. Our entire wedding weekend is a blur of memories and emotions, but there is one thing I’ll never forget – how I felt that day and the way Kels looked when I saw her walking down the aisle.
Pear Tree Estate
Jamies The Diamond Mine