Lauren + Jaden’s wedding was one that I had been looking forward to for a while now. After our super fun engagement session along the Chicago Riverwalk, I knew this was going to be a memorable day. Let’s start with the sweet, sweet couple. Lauren + Jaden are one of those couples that just go with the flow… take pictures for as long as I want… pose wherever I put them – and this includes having them walk down the middle of a busy street in Chicago with cars coming at them and having them stand on a 2ft. wide rock just steps away from a gushing waterfall. They’re the type of people that when it comes to dinner time at the reception, say something like, “Please, sit down and eat and relax.” They’re the type of people that invite me to put my camera down at 10pm and stay and dance with them. But most of all, they’re the type of people who steal sweet glances at each other and little kisses when no one’s looking.
I’ll tell you what they’re not. They aren’t the type of people to let a little rain ruin their wedding day. After a dreary (but perfectly lit for photos) morning, the skies descended upon us and pushed the ceremony time back a little bit with heavy rains. Luckily, the ceremony was covered under a pavilion, and even luckier – the rain suddenly stopped as soon as the ceremony ended. It was one of those perfect moments, where my prayers had been answered (because you better believe I was praying that entire time for it to stop raining – just downright shamefully begging). And we got to shoot around the beautiful, and I mean BEAUTIFUL, Anderson Japanese Gardens. I won’t say much else because these photos can speak for themselves… but I do want to say – Lauren + Jaden, thank you for being so wonderful. Throughout the entire process, you were fun, easy-going and put your full trust in me. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to work with you guys, and I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Augusta Jones, Macy’s | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: WToo Maids | Tuxedo Designer: Vera Wang, Men’s Warehouse | Hair Stylist: Erica, The Experience Salon | Make-up Artist: Laurie, The Experience Salon | Wedding Coordinator: Lori Poticha | Videographer: RJO Photo | Florist: Event Floral | Cake Artist: Rachel Barr | DJ: Luxe Productions | Paper Goods Designer: Jen Pramenko, withGrace | Ceremony Venue: Anderson Japanese Gardens | Reception Venue: Giovanni’s Restaurant | Engagement Ring/Wedding Bands: Dimend Scassi
Monica + PJ’s wedding was one that lies close to my heart. Not only have I know Monica and PJ for a few years now (Mon since grade school and PJ since high school), but they also got married at St. Charles Borromeo – which is where I (and my 2 older brothers) went to K-8. Walking into the church where I spent so many Friday and Sunday masses, not to mention the endless hours at Stations of the Cross growing up brought back a lot of fond memories… but to see Monica and PJ saying their vows to each other there made it all the more special.
There were a lot of familiar faces at the reception, all of them expressing how much they love Monica and PJ. How passionate PJ is about everything he pursues in life. How Monica’s younger sister has always looked up to her and strives to be like her. It was a day full of love for the beautiful couple… but it was also a day about having fun and celebrating family and friends. Irish bagpipers and an up-and-coming pop-star performed… I mean, it doesn’t get much more fun than that! It was a day that no one will forget and I am so happy to have been there for Monica + PJ. I wish you guys nothing but happiness for the rest of your lives and I hope that starts with an amazing honeymoon in Hawaii 🙂
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sotterro // Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Belsoie (Jasmine Galleria) // Tuxedo Designer: GQ // Hair Stylist: Ian Acosta // Make-up Artist: Tamara Make-up // Videographer: Essence Photo & Video // Florist: The Village Flower Shop // Cake Artist: Oakmill Bakery // DJ: A-List DJ’s // Ceremony Venue: St. Charles Borromeo // Reception Venue: Eaglewood Resort & Spa
I met Kristen + Conor for drinks about a month ago at Fountainhead in Ravenswood. We chatted about work, their wedding, how they met, and what they wanted to do for their wedding and engagement photos. I immediately thought they were one of the sweetest couples I’d ever met – and I couldn’t wait to work with them!
For the engagement session, they wanted to shoot in their neighborhood, Ravenswood. They live just down the street from their wedding venue, Ravenswood Event Center and they often walk past the venue to get to the train… so what better place to capture a few moments of the couple?! We lucked out and missed the rain by about 15 minutes… but it gave us the most amazing, even overcast light 🙂 We also found this little hidden gem area to shoot – up on the train tracks and along the ivy lined fences on Ravenswood. We’ll definitely be hitting these places up again on the wedding day in March! Kristen + Conor, thanks for being so much fun to work with! I’m so glad we got a chance to work together before the wedding day, and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with you in just a few months… see you in March!
Because Kimmy + Nick live in Belleville, we didn’t have a chance to meet before their actual wedding day. All I knew was that Kimmy loved my work, seemed sweet through emails, and that her and Nick were getting married on a farm near St. Louis. So when their wedding day came last weekend – I packed up the car with my second shooter and drove nearly 5 hours down to Collinsville, IL and hoped for the best. Of course, I had the timeline all planned out and the details figured out in my head – but never could I have dreamed what was in store for me that day.
First of all the bride and groom… meeting Kimmy and Nick was like reuniting with old friends. They’re both down to earth, kind, and beautiful people inside and out. They met at Eastern Illinois, where Nick played football and Kimmy was an athletic trainer. From the first day that Kimmy walked into that athletic training room and Nick laid eyes on her… he wasn’t the same, and for some reason kept suffering minor injuries that required attention from the trainers… primarily Kimmy 🙂
Then come the details of the day… ohhhhh the details that made me swoon. The cowboy boots. The mason jars. The baby’s breath. The paper hearts strung throughout the barn with Christmas lights. The vintage china that Kimmy spent months gathering from different Goodwills. The rustic ladders Kimmy found in an abandoned warehouse and used to build a frame around their sweetheart table. The farm animals. Yes, I said it… the farm animals. The wedding was on a farm, complete with goats, pigs, rabbits, sheep, and chickens. Not to mention the animal masks that came out later during the reception… but I’ll let the photos speak for that one.
Aside from the decor and perfectly planned details… Kimmy + Nick and their wedding party were the best. And I mean the best in a way that they talked to me and my second shooter like we were their friends. Like we went way back. They day was already a photographer’s dream come true, but to add amazing people into the mix made it such a wonderful experience and completely worth every single minute of the 5 hour drive through the very flat, boring state of Illinois. Kimmy + Nick, congratulations to you both. Thank you for letting me tell the story of your wedding day. I had so much fun not only photographing your wedding, but just being there to celebrate with your friends and family! Wishing you all the best…
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Clarice’s Bridal // Tuxedo Designer: Jeremiah Mapes, Dillard’s // Wedding Coordinator: Heather Hayden, Wedding Rental on a Budget // Videographer: Glenn Smith // Florist: The Flower Basket // Cake: Patty Cakes // DJ: Glenn Smith // Ceremony & Reception Venue: Willoughby Farm // Caterer: Kenrick’s // Photo booth: Glenn Smith
Jena + Anthony had the perfect day in Chicago for their glamorous wedding. It was a day filled with sparkle, sophistication, familiar faces, laughter, and lots and lots of love. Before the wedding, Jena expressed her love for the columns outside Chicago Union Station, so we planned to incorporate them into the First Look and Portraits. Surrounded by their closest family and friends – we shot around Union Station and the Chicago River for a few hours – even recreating one of their favorite shots from their Engagement Session with the Chicago Theater Sign. It was an all around joyous day and I’m thrilled that I got to be there celebrating not only with Jena + Anthony… but also with their loving friends and family.
Greenhouse Loft was an awesome venue for these two. Its floor to ceiling windows and exposed vaulted ceilings set the tone for their modern wedding and reception and fit Jena + Anthony’s style to perfection. I knew Anthony a little bit from high school. and I’ve gotten to know Jena over the past few months in planning – but it wasn’t until their wedding that I really saw them together. I saw little glimpses into their love during the consult (Anthony surprised Jena with a cake pop) and Engagement Session (they were totally adorable and fun together)… but spending the entire day with the two of them gave me even more insight into how perfect they are for each other. How perfectly they mirror each other. How they compliment each other. And how they truly know and understand each other’s souls. Jena + Ant, it was an honor to witness your love unfold throughout the day and capture those special moments for you. I wish you nothing but the best in your lives and marriage, and thank you for letting me be a part of it all!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: David’s Bridal | Tuxedo Designer: Men’s Warehouse (Custom Design) | Hair Stylist: Mario Triccoci | Videographer: Luis Feliciano | Florist: Ash Add Florists | DJ: Jimmy Mastrino | Paper Goods: Minted | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Greenhouse Loft | Caterer: Pure Kitchen | Tailor: Sylvia Tailor Shop