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Kristi and Scott | Wedding @ St. Anthony of Padua Church, Effingham IL


While Doug is busy working on some upcoming wedding videos I am going to share with you the wedding of Kristi and Scott. This was a special wedding for Doug and I to shoot because Kristi and Scott share a wedding anniversary with us. There were SO many similarities between their wedding day and ours 6 years ago. Kristi and Scott got married at St. Anthony Church at 2PM on a rainy day and had their reception at the Effingham KC Hall. Doug and I, 6 years ago, did the EXACT same thing at the exact same time in the exact same places. How awesome is that? Kristi and Scott had a great day despite the rain and we were even able to squeeze in some outdoor photos and footage. Special thanks to our second shooter and right hand man Josh who got some great footage and assisted us throughout the day. Kristi and Scott were absolute joy to work with and we enjoyed reliving the day! Congrats to you both and we wish you many happy years together! For photos of their big day, check out my blog here.

-Kate (and Doug)

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How to Be a GREAT Wedding Guest | By Kate Key Photography/Key-Films


We feel strongly enough about this topic that we are taking time out of the busy June wedding season to post about wedding guests. We get to experience a large variety of different types of wedding guests and we have decided to share what we think is a great guide to being a stellar wedding guest. Please note, as we write this blog we FIRMLY believe the day is about the BRIDE and the GROOM so that will be a reoccurring theme in our suggestions………


Please, this is just common courtesy. Allow the couple and their families to be able to have an accurate head count to ensure they have ordered the adequate amount of food and have provided enough seating for everyone. We have been to weddings before where guests had no where to sit because of this very reason. Follow the instructions on the wedding invitation about proper attire and time. If you can’t do this, you probably shouldn’t attend.


If the wedding starts at 3:00pm, show up no later than 2:50. Typically parents and grandparents are seated the first 5-10 minutes prior to the ceremony start time, you really shouldn’t be the photobomb in their proud moment walking down the aisle to be seated. You ESPECIALLY don’t want to ruin the bride’s grand entrance because you are trying to enter the wedding in the same door she is. To me, the rudest thing that a guest can do is walking in as the bride comes down the aisle. If you are late, use a side door and wait for a break in the music as to not interrupt the service. Trust me, the bride WILL look back on the images of her big grand entrance and not be happy you were in the background.

3. The bridal suite is OFF LIMITS

Unless you are a direct member of the bridal party (i.e. bridesmaids) or you are the mother of the bride a quick peak into the bridal suite is a no-no. The bride has spent a lot of time preparing for her grand entrance so that everyone can see her in her bridal beauty just give her that private time to gather her nerves and relax. You can greet her and her new husband AFTER the ceremony is over.

4. Turn off your phone and any other device that makes noise

I might add to this, leave the iPad at home. This is going to sound harsh but yes, you with the iPad, you look stupid. Nothing burns me more than a beautiful shot of the bride coming down the aisle with her dad and a large iPad with a multi colored case sticking out in the aisle. Leave the photos to the professionals, turn off your phone and just enjoy the wedding.

5. It’s not about you

It is all about the bride and groom and although you may be the favorite cousin or mother of the bride it is STILL not about you. Do not monopolize the wedding day schedule or the wedding day professionals. Example: I was at a wedding once where this older gentleman kept requesting songs from the 1980’s at the reception. Well turns out, this was the EXACT type of music the bride had on her “do not play list.” The older gentleman constantly gave the DJ a hard time about this. I can assure you any professional in that situation will honor the bride. She is, after all, the one that likely paid that professionals fees and signed the contracts.

6. You are a wedding GUEST

Yes, you are a GUEST in a rented space. Leave the professional work to the professionals. You may be a FANTASTIC amateur photographer but the bride didn’t ask you to photograph her wedding so act like a wedding guest. You may be an excellent DJ but the bride didn’t ask you so don’t try and do the DJ’s job. Sit, relax. Enjoy the day. Also remember you are in a rented space, property damage will come out of the bride and grooms pocket so behave yourself.

7. Silence the Lambs (just kidding)

Nothing is more irritating during an intimate exchange of wedding vows than a screaming child. Please utilize cry rooms or take the child outside. We know that things happen but we have seen parents not even budge when a child is screaming mid ceremony. It is annoying for the guests around you and also not a fond memory the couple probably wants in their wedding video. This also goes for keeping an eye on the tots during the wedding reception. We have seen cakes go down and expensive DJ equipment fall and we have also seen some kids almost get hurt climbing on wedding décor/backdrops/etc. The damage your kids cause has to come out of someone’s pocket. Be respectful and keep an eye on the kiddos. Clear them from the dance floor so that the bride and groom can have a solo first dance. If the bride and groom request an adult only reception, don’t pout. Either leave the kids at home and enjoy an evening out as a couple or don’t go. It is THEIR wedding day and they can have a bounce house for adults only at their reception if they want. When you get married you can have things your way but for now, just respect it and move on.

8. Social Media

Do NOT post a photo of the bride on Facebook or Instagram before her groom has seen her. Make sure you have permission to post wedding photos prior to the ceremony and use proper etiquette. Don’t post unflattering photos of the bride. Chances are those are NOT the first photos she wants her friends to see of her wedding day online.

9. Sit Appropriately

The first two rows of a wedding ceremony are usually off limits to guests and are reserved for family. Don’t sit in the aisle and stick your body out. If they have assigned seating at the reception, sit at your correct table. We realize this isn’t a flight to JFK but still be respectful about where you are asked to sit. Also, when the DJ asks you to find your seat for the grand reception intros that is his nice way of telling you to sit down out of the way so that the bridal party can actually enter the door and have fun doing it. We realize you like to crowd the bar but follow instructions.

10. Enjoy yourself

The couple threw this party for everyone to have fun and enjoy the day. Just relax and be the wedding guest. The couple will appreciate far more that you were WITH them on their special day instead of on your phone or being disruptive. Bust a move, show the DJ some love, be kind to the workers and vendors of the wedding who are attending to your needs and you’ll have a great and pleasant experience.

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Energy Efficiency with America’s Select Homes


Our next interview with Roger from America’s Select Homes focuses on energy efficiency which is something Roger and his team are very passionate about. Roger talks about quality building materials when creating a tight thermal envelope as well as proper insulation that can save the home owner potentially thousands of dollars in energy costs over the life of the home. What we found interesting was that there were a lot of energy saving materials used in the homes that could not be seen on the exterior of the house but were incorporated from the foundation to the roof. Energy efficiency is becoming a standard now in home building and ensuring a home is up to current codes is the responsibility of the home builder. In building a home it is very important to consider the long term benefits of investing in energy efficiency now to save costs over the life of the home. Roger gives some excellent explanations of how America’s Select Homes creates this efficiency in their custom homes. Enjoy!


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Getting to Know America’s Select Homes |Video Interview


Today on the blog we are featuring a great interview with Roger Bloemker, Owner and Operator of America’s Select Homes about his business model as well as his approach to working with clients. Roger does an excellent job introducing his company as being a custom design firm that involves the client in every step of the process. So far, from our interviews with America’s Select Homes prior clients we have learned that Roger and his team create an enjoyable home building process for the client. America’s Select Homes can not only give you independence to make your own decisions they can also give you advice and guide you along the way so that your dream home is custom made around your needs. Another thing we have learned from speaking with Roger is they are very passionate about following energy efficiency codes to not only prolong the life of your home but to also save the client money in energy bills. As he explains, quality building is what his company is all about along with great client service and a passion for creating the perfect custom home. Check out our previous feature trailers for views inside some of these BEAUTIFUL homes. Also stay tuned for more on energy efficiency with America’s Select Homes!

-Kate and Doug


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Samantha and Derek | Wedding @ The Carriage House, Altamont IL


A great spring day, an awesome couple, and even a puppy! We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day for Samantha and Derek! We have a trailer to share with you all which includes all of the special moments of the day. One of the things we LOVED about this wedding was that it was at a FANTASTIC venue, The Carriage House in Altamont where Janet and her crew do an outstanding job turning the reception space into something special. The second thing we loved: How Derek and Samantha felt like instant friends. We loved laughing with them all day! Samantha had so many details included in her wedding day and we both loved that they included their little dog, Rocco for pictures and a little celebration. It was also great working with some of our favorite vendors including the Carriage House, Fully N Volved DJ Service, and Foxy Styles Salon in Effingham. We have so much we could say about this wedding, for further details check out my photos of the day here.

Congrats Samantha and Derek! We wish you many many years of happiness!

-Kate and Doug


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