Despite the small bit of rain, Taraneh + James had an absolutely gorgeous day for their Heritage Prairie Farm Wedding in Elburn, IL.
“Contrary to what everyone says, you can in fact meet your partner at a bar!” Taraneh told me. “We both lived in New York City at the time and met in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at a dive bar. I had gone there to meet up with some friends after an underwhelming Tinder date. James was at the bar with a friend. Once we started talking, we realized how much we had in common: I was from Illinois, he was born in Chicago. I went to college in northern Wisconsin, he grew up in northern Wisconsin. I’m half-Iranian, he knew how to speak Farsi (Iran’s language).
I ultimately wanted to move back to the Midwest to be near family, and turns out that he also wanted to be back in the Midwest since his son is was living in Wisconsin. Needless to say, it felt like kismet. A few months after we met, Covid hit so we had a quasi long-distance thing for a while as NYC was on lockdown. Then I moved back to Illinois and James moved home to Wisconsin for a bit until we could finally find a place to live together. Now we own a house and are looking forward to our future!”
Both Taraneh + James got ready onsite in the cute little designated getting-ready spots on the farm. Because of the weather forecast, we decided to do a first look in the greenhouse. I just LOVE the look on James’ face when he saw Taraneh! After taking a few portraits and playing with a few of the barn cats, the couple hid away as guests arrived and we prepped for the ceremony. The couple walked down the aisle together to meet Taraneh’s dad, who officiated the wedding. He performed the Celtic handfasting ceremony as well as a honey dipping ceremony. I loved seeing the combination of traditions that represented both James + Taraneh’s cultures.
After the ceremony, everyone grabbed some drinks for cocktail hour and ventured around the farm. Dinner began by a speech from James, then a delicious meal. Even my second shooter and I were given what I would argue was one of the best vendor meals of all time, it was so good! Once everyone had gotten food, the couple cut the cake. We then took the LARGEST group picture in my portfolio to date– every single guest! I was so grateful that the group was very patient as I gathered and organized everyone. And what a great result! Staying true to what felt like them, the couple opted out of any traditional dances and decided to let their guests open up the dance floor. Instead, we took some amazing portraits around the property.
I absolutely loved photographing this Heritage Prairie Farm wedding. The biggest congratulations to Taraneh + James! xx