What can I say about Bree + Trey’s wedding other than it was utterly perfect. Everything went so smoothly, right on time, and according to plan – which from what I learned during the vows and speeches – must be attributed to Bree’s organized spreadsheets. Bree + Trey might be one of the happiest, “in-love” couples I have ever worked with. They seem to compliment each other perfectly which they so eloquently talked about in their vows. Probably one of my favorite moments of the night. Listen to them all here. Bree + Trey, thank you so much for choosing me as your wedding photographer. Not only did I LOVE shooting your sunset engagement session, but seeing you two tie the knot on your wedding day was an absolute pleasure 🙂 Best of luck to you both and I hope have a life full of spontaneous random vacations and delicious wine!
VENDOR CREDIT //
Cake Artist: Molly’s Cupcakes
Makeup Artist: Black Hearts Hair House
Wedding Dress Designer: Jenny Yoo at Nordstrom
Photographer’s Note: I’m so excited to be sharing this guest blog post from SimplyBridal.com! They recently reached out to me in hopes of collaborating – and this is what we came up with! Engagement shoots are SO important. It not only gives me and my couples time to get to know each other better, but it also lets the couple know what a JT photo session is like before the big wedding day… not to mention they get tons of pretty pictures of themselves in clothes other than their formal wedding attire. It’s kinda nice to mix up the framed photos around the new house, right? Well, since wedding season is coming to an end and it’s time for 2014 brides to be planning their engagement sessions, we put together a little inspiration list for how couples can make their engagement photos special to their relationship. Special thanks to Shelly and Kristine from SimplyBridal.com for doing such an amazing job! It was fantastic working with the both of you and hopefully we can collaborate again soon 🙂
ENGAGEMENT SHOOT INSPIRATION
When two people decide to get engaged, most of their focus is often placed on planning their wedding day. But there is also something very sentimental and special about the moment when you and your beloved made the commitment to get married to begin with. That’s why we feel it’s important to honor your engagement… and what better way to do that than with some engagement photos? The important factor to keep in mind is to add your “signature style” into your photographs to really make them your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
the location of your first date.
Now that you’re officially engaged, the location of your first date bears a lot of significance being that it’s what initially brought the two of you together in the first place. Whether it was at a restaurant, the movies or even roller skating, consider taking a couple of shots there. It’s fun, it’s out-of-the-norm and it’s a great conversation-starter when people view your photo album.
the exact place he popped the question.
For the rest of your life, people are going to ask you how you got engaged; so why not have some pictures on hand that will help to tell the story? It’s definitely a way to make you feel like it was “just like yesterday” even on your first, fifth and 10th anniversary.
doing your favorite things.
If you’d like to take some shots that look a bit more candid, how about taking some pictures doing your favorite things together. It could be eating pizza or cuddling on your back porch watching the sunset or even hiking or canoeing. Remember, engagement pictures showcase the fact that the two of you intend to get married. There are no rules that state that you have to take formal pictures to indicate that.
playing with your pets.
Are you and your fiancé pet people? If so, it would be really cute to take some pictures with your beloved dogs, cats or even birds. Think of it as being a bit of a “family photo” that will show everyone how you and your pets intended to become a bit of a “blended family” following your wedding ceremony.
pictures in the park.
Even if you’re not really outdoorsy type of people, having a few outdoor shots in a scenic park is always a great option. And it doesn’t matter what time of the year you take your engagement photos, cause winter and fall outdoor shots are just as stunning as spring and summer! Try and find a park or area that means something to you and your fiancé. This will make the photos a little bit more special to you both.
Of course, these are just a few prop ideas to inspire you for your own engagement shoot. Whatever you decide, just remember that this is your time. You can commemorate this occasion in just about any way that you’d like, so don’t feel like you need to follow any guidelines or rules when it comes to deciding what type of photographs you want.
SimplyBridal.com in an online retailer of quality wedding dresses, bridesmaid gowns, and wedding accessories. SimplyBridal now delivers to North America, much of Europe, and parts of Asia. There are over 400 wedding dress styles and bridesmaid dresses come in 28 colors.
I used to live across the cul-de-sac from Tiffany’s family growing up. When it was report card day, Brittany (Tiffany’s younger sister that I grew up playing with) used to have me steal her report card out of their mailbox and hide it from her parents… ohhhhh kids 🙂 But fast-forward 15 years later, and here we were… Tiffany getting married and me capturing all the special moments.
I was thrilled when Tiffany reached out to me a while back about working together on her wedding day. I knew it was going to be such a fun, family filled day and I couldn’t wait to be there for it all. I was not disappointed when I walked into the bridal suite in the morning – which was full of family, friends, and food – and felt right at home. The whole day was full of emotion. From the moment we stepped onto the trolley, Tiffany just could not stop crying. She cried the whole way to the church. The whole way down the aisle. And probably would have continued to cry after the ceremony if her and Marcos didn’t take a few minutes to themselves away from the chaos to just be with each other. She even said on the trolley, “I told Marcos I was gonna be crying… but not because I’m nervous to marry him!”
I think a moment that speaks wonders about how selfless and amazing this couple is, was when they brought out a birthday cake for Tiffany’s grandmother and sang happy birthday. Even on their wedding day, they took the spotlight away from themselves and honored someone so important to them. Sweetest thing ever. Tiffany + Marcos – I had an amazing time with you and all of your family and friends. Thank you so much for choosing me to be your wedding photographer. It was so wonderful working with the both of you, Tiffany – seeing your family again, and even seeing all the familiar faces throughout the day – it was like a reunion 🙂 Best wishes to you both!
VENDOR CREDIT //
Reception Venue: Oakbrook Hills Marriott Resort
Videographer: ojo Creative
Cake Artist: Allegretti’s Bakery
Florist: Shamrock Flowers
Wedding Dress Designer: Royal Bridal & Tuxedo
Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Francia Bridal
Tuxedo Designer: Men’s Warehouse
Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Ellikson at Oakbrook Hills Marriott Resort
November’s moment of the month is from Katie + Mark’s Gaelic Park Wedding. It was just too precious to not showcase. These little tots were all over the dance floor. all. night. long. But this moment in particular just makes me smile. If this scenario happened in the adult world, someone probably would have gotten a black eye and would have been escorted out of the reception. But when a little kid does it… it’s just plain adorable. “Ummm… excuse me bro, you’re dancing w/ MY girl.” Too cute.
While most of the time the bride does the majority of the wedding planning… I think sometimes we forget that the groom has his fair share of stress when putting together the actual proposal. Whether it’s keeping it a secret from all their friends and family, picking out the perfect ring that she’ll love forever, or devising an intricate plan to surprise her – the groom has this part of the process tough.
For Brett, it didn’t help that he was planning it all from New York, where him and Bonnie live. But last weekend, while Bonnie was in Chicago visiting her parents – Brett planned a night that would change their lives forever. Bonnie’s dad told her they were going to the Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond to check out her brother’s new art piece that was being showcased there. Little did Bonnie know that Brett would be waiting there with the ring.
Anyway, when Bonnie showed up with her parents and saw Brett, who was supposed to be on a plane from New York getting into Chicago later that night, waiting underneath the “Beehive” (a term Brett and I decided should be the name of the structure while we were waiting) – I heard her say something like “WHAT are you doing?!” Brett took her hands, walked her to the center of the boardwalk, told her how much he loved her, got down on one knee, and then all I heard after that was, “OF COURSE I’LL MARRY YOU!” And from there – it was all smiles, kisses, hugs, laughter, and lots and lots of love.
Brett and Bonnie – congratulations on your new engagement! I’m not going to lie – after the actual proposal moment had passed and I took the camera away from my eye for a second… I had to wipe away a teary eye. I am so happy I got to be there for this special moment in your lives and I’m even more ecstatic that I captured it with my camera 🙂
I moved to the city this past month and if you’ve been following my blog, Facebook, or Instagram… you know I’ve been living it up to the fullest. When I’m not working (and even sometimes when I am) you can find me at new restaurants, concerts, coffee shops, taking long walks, going on bike rides… you name it. But this past Sunday, I drove out to my brother’s house for a plain old BBQ, family time around the kitchen table, and of course – pictures in the park. And while I’ve LOVED every single minute of my new city life – nothing beats hanging out with this crew.
This was my third time photographing the Dautovic family. It has become a yearly tradition to get together right around Aidin’s birthday (Halloween) for their family photo session. It’s something I look forward to every year… even though the past two years have been FREEZING and all the fall leaves were gone. But this year, we got it right. It was 50+ degrees… the leaves were just changing colors… we shot in a new location in the city… and of course, Aidin was ALL SMILES. Seriously. He is one of my favorites, if not THE favorite, child to photograph. And if you follow my blog you know how much I love my nephews. But Aidin, you might be the happiest boy I’ve ever met. I love it.
Amela and Arslan, it means so much to me that you continue to reach out year after year for your family photos. We’ve worked together three years now… I’ll never forget our first year when Aidin was just PETRIFIED of his cake cried the whole time. To think about that and see where we are now… it’s like night and day. I cannot wait to see how much Aidin has grown even more next year!