February 17, 2021

High School Sweethearts Finally Tie the Knot! | Kelli + Emmitt

A Change of Scenery

As we’re all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench in every single one of our plans and our lives in the last year. As a wedding videographer, I’m not immune to the havoc induced by the virus.

Schedules have been shuffled, flights cancelled, families separated, and events postponed more times than we can care to count anymore.

I don’t know about you, but after all the navigating and redirection we’ve taken, we sure could go for some precedented times. Sit back and take a deep breath, because we have a love story that will make you forget about any unnecessary stress that’s come your way in the last year. 

All photos courtesy of the awesome husband and wife duo Adams Photography

High school sweethearts finally marry on their farm for a rustic wedding.

When I first heard from Kelli and Emmitt, I knew there was something magnetic about this couple. Nothing seems to faze them, even when they were forced to change their reception venue in the middle of planning their wedding due to the pandemic! 

What would’ve been an ideal, picturesque fall wedding in Princeton, IL, (where so many other couples including US have gotten married!) ended up being a more intimate and meaningful celebration at the Emmitt’s family farm in the small, rural town of Harmon. 

Black and white picture of couple outside their barn on their wedding day.

But before I get too ahead of myself, let me set the stage for Kelli and Emmitt’s story and how these high school sweethearts have overcome any and all adversity so they could one day say, “I do.” 

Modern Day Romeo and Juliet

Kelli and Emmitt met in high school, at just 14 and 15 years old. Kelli was an outgoing, bright, and beautiful cheerleader, while Emmitt was a football player at her rival high school.

They met in driver’s ed class (seriously, how much more rom-com can you get?) and it wasn’t hard to see how these two would end up falling in love with each other over the next 8 years.

Kelli’s smile warmed everyone on that crisp October day in Harmon. Her optimism, hope, and that always-look-for-the-silver-lining mentality is so infectious, I forgot that the world had come to a screeching halt just 8 months prior. 

Beautiful bride puts on her bridal jewelry. Shows off her bridal headpiece.

She beamed with pure love and joy, especially as she read a letter written and given to her by her soon-to-be husband just minutes before walking down the aisle with her father.

Bride cries and laughs as she reads letter from her groom.
Bride cries as she reads emotional letter from groom.

Love Manifests Miracles

By the way, let me tell you how special it was to witness the moment between Kelli and her father as she stood before him for the first time in her dress, a radiant bride. Every bride dreams of the moment her father gazes upon her in her perfect wedding dress. 

But that moment almost became impossible when Kelli’s father lost his eyesight 5 years ago. Kelli believed her dad would never be able to see her in her wedding dress. By some amazing miracle, he regained most, but not all of his sight.

Emotional first look with dad who lost his eyesight.

Capturing that sentimental moment poignantly represented how love truly conquers all. It conquers all fear, doubt, worries, and concerns one might have, especially when it comes to the fine-tuning of your wedding details. And with unpredictable fall weather and a pandemic, there were sure to be some bumps along the way.

First look with blind dad.

We’re In This Together

When Kelli and Emmitt’s original plans to have their wedding at The Barn at Hornbaker Gardens were scrapped because of COVID, they refused to let that deter them from making it to the altar. 

With just three months before the big day, Emmitt and his family decided to roll up their sleeves and completely renovate and restore the shed on Emmitt’s family farm to hold their reception. And just… look at it… 

DIY wedding decor with burgundy accents and beautiful greenery. Wedding tablescape inspiration.

This was definitely the place where Kelli and Emmitt were meant to celebrate their marriage. Look at these elegant details!

Wedding decor ideas.
Wedding welcome sign inspiration.
Stunning floral and chic centerpieces for winter or fall.

It’s hard to believe just a few months prior, there was nothing but an uneven dirt ground and old farming equipment in that shed.

Unbelievablel DIY decor for a rustic barn wedding.
Centerpiece floral chandelier at DIY barn, rustic wedding.

And now, it will be a place that will forever commemorate their unyielding devotion for each other. It was as if all the ups and downs of planning their wedding, only magnified their love for each other.

Bridal party goals with groomsmen in black suits and bridesmaids in gray lavender dresses.

When love is forever, when love it meant to be, when love is what you focus on… you know there isn’t anything that can stand in your way. 

A Wedding for the Books

Truthfully, of all the weddings I’ve shot, I’m not sure if this wedding videographer can pinpoint a favorite moment from that day. Kelli and Emmitt were surrounded by so many loving friends and family and I want to extend my warmest and most sincere congratulations and best wishes to this couple. 

Kelli especially was everything that #bridegoals are. She is the epitome of why I love this job. Kind, warm, thoughtful, fun, positive, caring and just on overall once-in-a-lifetime human being that everyone should get the chance to meet.

Bridesmaid goals with bridesmaids in gray dresses.

This is a husband and wife that will always exude that fun, innocent, high school sweetheart love for as long as they’re married. Thank you so much to Kelli and Emmitt for letting us witness such a blessed and magical wedding! P.S – BFFs for life?? #yes.

Silhouette shot of bride and groom in their family barn.

Check out more of our favorite snaps from the day!

Mom zipping up bride while bride gets ready.
Bride coming down the aisle with her dad.
Beautiful Fall wedding portraits with orange tree and wedding dress train.
Best maid of honor toast at wedding reception.
Sweet first dance with bride and groom.


  • Videographer: Anchored Films | Katie & Peter
  • Planner: Sara O’Shea | sara@so-chic.com
  • Ceremony: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
    • Reception: Hicks Family Farm
  • Photographer: Adams Photography (One of our absolute FAVORITES!!!)
  • Makeup: Makeup by Annetta
  • Hair: Kristen Altamore
  • Officiant: Fr. Keith Romke
  • String Quartet: White Lake Quartet
  • Flowers: Barb Harrison
  • DJ: Guys on the Radio
  • Photobooth: Impulse Entertainment
  • Catering: Smoked on 3rd Catering
  • Bakery: The Noble Cakery
  • Transportation: 3 Guys and a Bus
  • Invitations & Stationery: 3rd Floor Paper Co.
  • Rentals: Create a Scene Inc.

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