Welcome to karenbushweddings- Officiant/Planner in Champaign Il 30+ yrs

About Us

Be an honored, stress free guest at your own wedding


We believe your hands should be carrying a bouquet, not a clipboard. Holding the hands of your true love, not the hands of your vendors. Let us be the hands to do that work for you, leaving you free to enjoy your Wedding Day.

We welcome All couples and honor All faiths, cultures, styles, partnerships and personalities.  Whoever you are, wherever you are on life's journey, you are very welcome here.

We want to partner with you to make your wedding dreams come true


Why should the happiest time in a couple's life (so far) too often be the most overwhelming and stress-filled to plan and organize for?  At Karen Bush Weddings we  will work to carefully put together a  planning partnership package that is tailored made to meet your unique goals and needs.

(Photo of Erica and Landon on their wedding day courtesy of Allegra Wentworth)

We Love Weddings!


With over 35 years experience and just about every shape, size, venue 

 of weddings in Karen's background as a wedding officiant and event planner combined with Karen and her staff's deep love for weddings and even deeper affection for engaged couples makes for a truly extraordinary team to fully to serve you.

(Photo of Sean and Katie on their wedding day with Karen Bush)

About Us

What will a professional wedding consultant do for me?

In addition to helping make your wedding dreams come true within your budget- and perhaps saving you from costly mistakes- we will save you time.  With today's hectic lifestyles, many engaged couples and their families do not have the time for the detailed planning and work that a beautiful wedding requires.

(Photo of Skye and Amy on their wedding day)

How can a wedding consultant help?

With so many couples and their parents working, a wedding consultant can handle much of the time-consuming, detailed planning for your wedding.  It has been found that even for wedding professionals between 150-200 hours can easily go into the full service planning.  

You save time, reduce stress and concentrate on having fun as your wedding approaches.  An experienced consultant can often smooth the complex relationships found when today's modern family plans a wedding.

(Photo of  Abbey and Joe on their wedding day)

Let us be your wedding "dream team"!

There are at least Five Key Ways we will have your back as your consulting team:

*1  Advisor- As experts, we know weddings, from the socially correct invitation formats through the proper planning and organization of the reception.

*2  Coordinator- Through the extensive contacts in the wedding business, we can match you with the right professionals, from the photographer to the caterer, to turn your wedding dreams into reality.

*3  Supervisor- Why should you worry about the details of planning your wedding?  We will work with the other professionals you have chosen to help ensure everything happens just as you wish.

*4  Financial planner- If you're working with a budget (and who isn't), we can help you organize your dream wedding within your budget, by suggesting ways to make your dollar go the farthest.

*5  Mediator- Caught between "ex"-families and "step"-families?  As an independent third party we can often smooth ruffled feathers and mediate disagreements. 

 Some days we may be primarily a "shoulder to cry on" to support you during the hectic days before your wedding.

www.weddingwire.com/reviews/karen-bush-weddings "Karen Bush Weddings WeddingWire Couples Choice Award Winner 2018" !

Our Partners


Contact Us

We are here on line just about 24/7. So send us your questions to ks-bush@karenbushweddings.com

(Cover photo of Abbey and Joe and their wedding party on their wedding day in Puerto Rico.  Boy oh boy did we all have fun!)


(217) 552-9505 feel free to call or text


Let's set up a first meeting so we can meet and together walk through some fun and easy first steps.  Complimentary of course. 

Please be assured we are committed to only one wedding on any given weekend.  Therefore we only take on a limited number of clients so that we might give our very best to each one.

 Contact us soon so we can belong to you completely on your special day as your wedding dream team!

Wedding Packages


*B* Classic Wedding Package (Full Service) -$2800

 -Develop and execute a wedding plan customized to the couple's needs


      *task list


      *wedding expense sheet

      *calendar of vendor payments

      *wedding itinerary for all vendors

      *information for wedding party members (handed out at rehearsal)

  -1-3 vendor referrals per category

  -Mail couple's payments to the vendors on appropriate due date

  -Call to interview vendors on availability; set initial appointments with vendors for couple

  -Staff attends interview and planning meeting with 3 main vendors

  -1 one-hour consulting meeting per month with couple (more as needed)

  -Contribute ideas to coordinate each vendor's services with the couple's desires

  -Attend detail finalization appointment with each vendor

  -Check all wedding contracts for accuracy

  -Keep in close contact with all vendors on changing aspects of wedding plans

  -Be actively involved in all creative aspects of wedding

  -Send vendor itinerary letters the week of the wedding

  -Follow up phone calls to vendors the day of the wedding

  -Coordinate and plan wedding events with vendors, the couple and wedding party

  -Attend wedding rehearsal and conduct rehearsal as needed

  -Assist with details of rehearsal dinner

     *creation of menu

     *floor plan

     *selection of rental items , wedding stationary, tuxedos, ceremony and reception music

  -Create announcements for up to two newspapers and mail with engagement picture to appropriate address

  -Deliver color swatches to florist

  - Arrange hotel room block reservations (up to three hotels)

Day of Wedding Services

  -2 staff members present on the wedding day

  -Execute all the wedding plans and details with vendors, families and guests

  -Deliver couple's attire to wedding site

  -Pin flowers on attendants and distribute bouquets

  -Assist bride/s, groom/s and wedding party

  -Transport personal items of the wedding party to reception

  -Transport decorations to reception site for reuse (size and weight restrictions apply)

  -Bustle wedding gown at reception

  -Load gifts into designated guest cars

  -Coordinate all events and activities with the couple, wedding party and vendors at the ceremony and reception

  -Gather up keepsakes and belongings at reception

  -Distribute tossing items to guests

  -Box additional wedding cake

  -Handle any last minute emergencies

  -Use of extensive emergency kit

Post Wedding Services

  -Return florist rental items

  -Return baker rental items

  -Return tuxedos (they need to be gathered in one location the following day)

  -Deliver wedding gown to cleaners for preservation

*C* Premiere Wedding Package (Full Service Plus) - $3500

Includes all services listed in our "Classic Wedding Package" in addition to items below:

- Staff attends interview and planning meeting with all vendors

-Assist couple at preceding photo sessions for wedding portrait

-Deliver gown to portrait site

-Address in calligraphy up to 100 invitations (added price per invitation over 100; complete guest list to be given on  schedule)

- Assemble and send invitations (cost of stamps not included)

*D* Renewal of Vows Package (Price TBD)

One of life's greatest treasures (and achievements) is a life long loving, healthy marriage.   Many couples have found it to be a powerful and beautiful experience to stand in front of each other and in front of loved ones (including their children).. and to once again... now years later... to declare their intentions, offer their vows and proclaim their love for and to each other again.  Whether a simple service in the back yard or a lavish affair  at a church and hotel, Renewal of Vows Celebrations are definitely on our favorite things list.  Our Renewal of Vows Package is created completely around your wishes and needs.

*E* Officiant Services Package- $500/$700

We are the Only wedding consulting service in Central Illinois that has our very own wedding officiant on staff!

Karen Bush is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ.  As such she is qualified to facilitate any premarital counseling preparation you would like to have.  (Reverend) Karen loves  working with the couple to create the actual service itself so that it reflect their unique personalities, faiths, cultures and relationships.  She is also enabled to officiate the service and sign the legal documents.  Be sure to bring this up with Karen if you would like any part or all of these services added to your package.

Bluestem Hall, Urbana -- see photo above

Did you know a brand new stunningly beautiful event venue is opening this fall? Located only 2 miles south from UIUC campus right on the edge of 100 acres of a mature prairie with a panoramic view of the western skies at sunset Bluestem Hall promises to be a true treasure right here in our community.  Premiere wedding weekends are already booking out so don't wait to claim your wedding date soon!  

Even though we at Karen Bush Weddings are happy to work with any venue our couples' choose to use, Karen Bush Weddings is proud to have a special partnership with this striking wedding venue.  

 It is located on Karen's beautiful family farm where she grew up And the venue itself is created and owned by her niece, Abbie Frank and her beloved fiancé Tim Voelker.    

In fact their own wedding in October will mark the very first of many future weddings held there.  Maybe even yours!

 Ask how you can book both Karen Bush Weddings and Bluestem Hall for a special package discount.

Check out Bluestem Hall's Facebook page! 

We take pride in our work and bring our absolute best to every couple we serve.

Due to the fact that we take on a very limited number of weddings a year be sure to book your complimentary initial consultation appointment with us soon.  We would love to meet you and see if we are a good match!

Planning Tips


Here are some tips from Karen for successful wedding planning:

- Secure your officiant and also locations for the ceremony and the reception BEFORE finalizing your wedding date.

- Don't forget to involve your family support team, as well as your future in-laws in planning.  It sets a great tone for your changing/growing relationship with them.

- Before committing to any expenditures, meet with everyone who is helping fund your celebration and create a budget by determining what you are able to/want to invest in each component.

- Within your budget, determine the per-person expense for each reception guest; multiply that amount by the number of guests on your list and make sure the total is within your budget.

-Remember to consult each other as a couple as you make decisions about your celebration.  Your partner might choose not to be involved in those decisions, but he/she will know you value his/her thoughts.

- To ensure beautiful and lasting memories, know that picture-taking may consume a large part of your day (and a large part of your budget).  Hire a professional with whom you feel very comfortable.

- When selecting attendants for your ceremony, remember that you don't have to have an equal number of men and women stand for you and your fiancé. Instead, simply focus on including the people who mean the most to both of you.

- Keep all contracts, vendor information, receipts, samples and other wedding-related materials in one place.

- When trying on wedding gowns, remember that you'll be wearing your dress (and shoes!) for many hours.  Make sure you can sit, walk and, of course dance, comfortably in it.

-Hire a wedding planner!


Amy and Skye have this to say about working with Karen Bush (KB)  as their officiant and wedding designer:

 "KB has a way of bringing your guests on the journey with you. Your guests will be much more than an audience. When she performed our wedding, she was able to maneuver difficult family situations with such grace and understanding, that everyone came out of the wedding a little closer together. 

She holds what is sacred close and understands how to perform a ceremony that is perfectly yours and according to your desires.  She is very flexible and will help you design your ceremony whether traditional or quirky and off-beat! Have fun and know that you are in good hands."

Wedding: 05/11/2013

Services Used: Officiant

Mallory said...
Mallory has this to say:

Karen is a joy to work with. She is loving, compassionate, and has a fabulous way of breaking down the large task of preparing a wedding ceremony into bite-sized pieces.

Wedding: 07/07/2012
Services Used: Wedding Planning

 Erica said...

When looking for the person who would officiate our wedding, our greatest concern was finding someone who would make the ceremony honest and personal. Our main problem was that we are spiritual but not religious and it was difficult to find someone who be open enough to create something that reflected that. Finally we found Karen. From the beginning, Karen was enthusiastic about getting to know us. She took the time to meet with us, together and individually, to learn about our backgrounds and beliefs, our families, how we met, and what we value most in our relationship. The result was a beautiful ceremony that was perfect for us. Karen certainly has a gift for connecting to people and celebrating who they truly are. I cannot imagine trusting anyone else with such an important role in our wedding!

Wedding: 10/17/2015

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning

Kelly said...

I can't say enough about Karen. I knew even before I proposed to my wife who I wanted to officiate my wedding. Karen met with us as a couple and individually to talk about our relationship and to get to know each of us a little better. She worked with us to plan our ceremony to be EXACTLY what we wanted, right down to the song that was playing as we walked down the aisle. She was open to our spiritual beliefs that lie outside the mainstream, and even incorporated some pagan wedding blessings into our prayer portions of the day. If you want someone to go above and beyond, look no further than Karen, you won't do better.

Wedding: 06/27/2014

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning 

 Abbey said...

We are so happy we hired Karen to officiate our wedding and help us plan our wedding ceremony. She is warm and genuine, which made the entire experience comfortable and fun. We didn't know where to start with planning our wedding ceremony! Karen laid out the basic structure of a typical ceremony for us, and then helped us personalize it by allowing us to add/remove/tweak it how we wanted. We were very happy with the process as well as the final ceremony. We do not live close to Karen (Boston, MA), so we spoke with her several times over the phone and via Skype to do our premarital counseling. She helped us talk to each other about several important things we had not considered, and it was really good for us - we learned a lot about each other through the process. Karen is very down to earth and brought a good balance of spirituality/seriousness mixed with fun and laughter to our ceremony and the rehearsal. We highly recommend her!!

Wedding: 02/18/2012

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning 

 Karin said...

Karen Bush is one of the most passionate and compassionate women I know, and I am so grateful that she has been a part of our life. Her blessing on my marriage to my wife was tangible, powerful, and deeply meaningful.

Wedding: 06/19/2011

Services Used: Unique Services (Other)

 Ellen said...

Working with Reverend Karen was a beautiful experience. She counseled us before our wedding, taking us through both one on one sessions and a session as a couple. This experience helped us forge a stronger bond and united front through the engagement. Karen listened to what we wanted out of our ceremony and helped us to choose hymns, music, Bible verses, and used the traditional Christian vows we always wanted. Thankfully, Reverend Karen was flexible enough to fly to our church venue in rural Michigan and we ultimately had the blessed wedding day we always wanted. I can't recommend Reverend Karen highly enough.

Wedding: 08/15/2009

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning 

 Paul said...

Karen Bush served as the officiant and played a key role in the planning of the service at the wedding. Her positive outlook and affability make her very easy to work with. She is very interested in making sure the ceremony encompasses what both people want and need. It has been a few years since she worked with us, so I am a little foggy on the details from the wedding, but when I heard that she was expanding her services, I just had to get on-line to share our very favorable impression of her services.

Wedding: 08/13/2009

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning 

 Kevin and Alison said...

Working with Karen for our wedding was a wonderful experience. She was much more interested in getting to know us - our history / our story / our background - than just talking about logistics for the ceremony. This allowed her to be much more personable during the wedding and to craft a message that was truly heartfelt and meaningful not only for us but for all of those attending. From her extensive experience my sense is that Karen truly knows that each couple is different, and thus does not in any want to push "her style" onto anyone. This was a breath of fresh air. We recommend Karen with absolutely no reservations.

Wedding: 09/15/2007

Services Used: Officiant, Wedding Planning 

 Sean said...

Karen was excellent to work with as we planned our wedding and helped us create a wedding ceremony that ensured our day would be special and memorable. Her message during the ceremony was thoughtful and personalized, as she had really got to know both of us individually and us as a couple during our pre-marriage sessions. In those sessions, Karen was insightful without being overbearing or intrusive. She made sure we were talking about current and potential issues and was open to discussing those issues with us without forcing herself into those conversations. We could not have been more pleased with the process of working with Karen and would enthusiastically recommend her to any couple looking for an open, progressive, thoughtful and caring wedding planner and officiant!

Wedding: 08/05/2016

Services Used: Officiant  

Payment Information

For *A* Wedding Day Of Package,  *B* Classie Wedding Package and  *C* Premiere Wedding Package and any add- on services  one-third of total cost is due at the contract signing when work begins.  Half of the balance is due at the midway point in planning and final payment is due 30 days before the event.  Check, Cash or Credit Cards welcomed.

There will be a travel fee of $.25 per mile for travel outside the Champaign-Urbana area.

Beautiful Moments

About Us