For those of you who don’t know, Dan and I got engaged back in May over Memorial Day Weekend – and since then have been planning our wedding! We decided we wanted to celebrate with our family and friends up in the northwoods of Wisconsin (where Dan proposed, his family owns a cabin up there, it’s where we got Boyd our cat, we spend a lot of time up there, etc.) this October 27th 🙂 Unfortunately, though – our grandparents can’t make the drive up there (it’s a 6.5 hour drive from Chicago, wayyyy up there). We definitely wanted to celebrate with them too though, so we are doing a small ceremony in my parents’ backyard with just our immediate families THIS SUNDAY!
I can’t believe it’s here already. It has been a whirlwind of a summer to say the least. Planning two weddings in less than five months in the middle of my busy wedding season has proven to be harder than I expected. Thankfully, our families and friends have all rallied around us to help pull everything together so quickly, and we’ve definitely been trying to enjoy some of the little moments leading up to the big day.
One of my favorite days of the summer was August 1st – our Engagement Session. Our good friend and JTP Team Photog, Nicki, spent the day with us at some of our favorite spots. We wanted the session to document who we are today – in this home, in this neighborhood. We know we’re not going to live here forever, so to capture our first home together was super important. We wanted to of course have some pics with the cats (Boyd and Butters)…
…Boyd wasn’t that happy about it. He’s a grumpy kitty but we love him anyways. He looks SO mad in this picture and I love it.
This is pretty standard – Dan and I watching something on Netflix and the cats chasing each other around and wrestling.
This is Butters’ favorite spot to sit. She’ll literally climb over me to sit on Dan.
When I’m lucky, Dan also humors me and dances with me in the kitchen. Boyd is usually my first choice dance partner, but he ends up growling after a few twirls.
We also make avocado toast fairly often – with all the goodies, too. Sprouts, cucumbers, tomato, onion, red pepper for me… and cream cheese (of course) for Dan.
Per usual, Boyd begs for food or bites our toes while we cook.
We also bike everywhere. We’re always on the 606, and it’s right next to our building so we had to capture some moments up there. Fun fact: our building is an old wood furniture factory that was converted into condos – kind of fitting for Mr. DMHwoodwork! You can usually catch us biking to any street fests, the gym, to work, to hang with friends – if it’s nice out – we’re biking.
Another (not so) fun fact – I lost my necklace during the shoot, and Dan’s bike (pictured above) got stolen shortly after this shoot 🙁 he has since replaced it with the exact same bike and never locks it up outside anymore (sighhh Chicago life).
Parson’s Chicken and Fish is one of our go to spots for frozen drinks and patio hangs in the neighborhood. Dan likes their chicken so much he once ate two still cold chicken wings without noticing – until I bit into one and realized it was still cold.
The Freeze is also a summertime neighborhood favorite. Dan’s go to order: pistachio soft serve dipped in butterscotch. It looks like poo but actually tastes pretty delicious. Me? I’m a wildcard and usually panic and order something different every time – but I’m never disappointed.
We opted for the pistachio dipped in birthday cake so it wouldn’t look so gross for pics 😉
I swear we do other things than eat and drink… but this session wouldn’t have been complete with a stop at Small Cheval. We’ve ended more than a drunken night or two at Small Cheval and a quick walk home on the 606. Also, that’s our blue line train in the top left corner. All of the meaningful things!
Ahhh Alta. I used to live in this building. It’s where I still lived when Dan and I first started dating. This pool was where Dan confessed all of his feelings after all of these years of friendship. And shortly after I realized that this was a real thing – and two years later – we got engaged, and we’re getting married this weekend! CRAZY. But it all started here.
And of course we had to end the session at Diversey Riverbowl – we spend more time here than I like to admit (between bowling league with the Bobo Dawgs, date nights, and somehow most nights out with friends end up at the bowling alley) – I even have my own bowling ball and shoes. Although it might not be the prettiest location for an engagement session – these moments with our friends are important to us, and ones we never want to forget… even though I may have gotten hit in the head with a bowling ball this time.
If you’re still here – thanks for reading a little bit about our love story! It’s fun (and a little scary) to put it up here with all of our JTP couples – but just wanted to share a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes these days. We’re getting married on Sunday and then taking the week to enjoy and celebrate our marriage together. Back to your regularly scheduled JTP weddings and engagements blogs the first week of October, I promise. Thanks for your patience in the meantime 🙂
Caroline + Ricky started dating their junior year of high school at Lake Zurich. Their ELEVEN year anniversary was this past June 27th just about a month before their new anniversary for the rest of their lives. They made it through years of long distance, and finally Ricky’s residency brought them back home to Chicago two years ago. On a trip with their pup, Cooper, at Caroline’s family’s lake house in Michigan – Ricky surprised her by proposing on the beach where the rest of her closest friends and family were waiting to celebrate along with them.
Their wedding was at one of our favorite wedding locations – Chicago Botanic Garden, and planned by one of the best in Chicago, Clementine Custom Events. The JTP Team (Nicki), took lead on this GORGEOUS day, and all of the photos are just stunning. I’m so happy to share some of our favorites from the day. Congrats and all our love to Caroline + Ricky!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Custom Pronovias Dress, Salon: Jade Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: BHLDN | Tuxedo Designer: Knot Standard | Hair Stylist: Kaizen Bridal | Make-up Artist: Hannah Elisabeth Beauty, Melissa Ma | Wedding Planner: Clementine Custom Events, Alicia Terran | Videographer: Taylor Kiger, byDesign Films | Florist: Vale of Enna | Cake Artist: ECBG Cake Studio | DJ: Okyne Media, Stacy Okyne| Paper Goods Designer: Minted| Ceremony/Reception Venue/Caterer (Culinary Landscape): Chicago Botanic Garden
Lauren + Frank had one of the hottest days of the summer – but went through it all with a smile on their faces! They danced, sang, laughed, and looked at each other with love as we spent the day celebrating their wedding. Their friends and family were all there to join in on the fun and surround them with all the love in the world. Galleria Marchetti, Bliss Weddings, and Life in Bloom did not disappoint and all the pretty just made my photos extra special. Congrats to Lauren + Frank!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Fabulous Frocks in Kansas City, MO | Bridesmiad Dresses Designer: Jenny Yoo | Hair/Make-up Artist: Belle Row, Elena Denning | Full Service Wedding Planner: Bliss Weddings and Events, Jordyn Vignolo | Florist: Life in Bloom; Rachel Wyffels | Cake Artist: Sweet Mandy B’s | Band: Arlen Music Productions | Paper Goods Designer: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Assumption Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Transportation: Windy City Limousine |
We always encourage couples to have their engagement session shot at a meaningful spot or in their home. It’s the most real to us – and we love to document this time of their lives by capturing some photos in spaces they actually spend time in together. Joanna + Jordan embraced this idea – and we think it was so much fun to see true happiness on their faces… inspired by Antique Taco and Jeni’s Ice Cream! We started the session walking around Wicker Park (near where they live), stopped at their favorite spots in the neighborhood – Antique Taco and Jeni’s (some of our favorites, too!), and ended the session on their rooftop. Joanna + Jordan – thanks for being your awesome selves… we can’t wait to capture more moments for you on your wedding day in October!
Nicki spent the day with Betsy + JJ at the beautiful University Club. The day was full of the most gorgeous details put together by AEG and Simply Elegant – and Betsy + JJ’s friends and family came to PARTY. We loved photographing their love story – even their little pup joined in on the celebrations! Congrats to the happy couple – we hope you enjoy scrolling through some of our favorite moments!
VENDOR CREDITS // Photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography, Nicki | Wedding Dress Designer: Mira Couture | Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Alfred Sung, Nordstrom | Tuxedo Designer: The Black Tux | Hair Stylist: Arch Apothecary, Alice Brearly | Make-up Artist: | Wedding Coordinator: Simply Elegant Group | Videographer: Turning Point Productions | Florist: AEG | Cake Artist: University Club | DJ: Bluewater Kings | Paper Goods Designer: Minted | Ceremony Venue: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church | Reception Venue: University Club | Caterer: University Club
Kelly + Austin. What can we say about these two? Their wedding was definitely one of our favorites of the year. As humans, they were so kind and fun to work with. From a vendor point of view – the entire creative team was a DREAM to work with (LOLA Event Productions – you killed it!). And it was our first time shooting at the new venue, Theater on the Lake, too – and it is so incredible. Every part of the day was so special – beginning at their loft in Lincoln Park, dodging the rain all throughout the city, and ending the portraits with p-e-r-f-e-c-t light on the lake before heading into the party. Gold Coast All Stars LIT up the stage and made the rest of the wedding day feel like a huge party/concert. It was such an epic celebration. Seriously, wedding goals y’all.
Sending all our love and happiest congratulations to Kelly + Austin… our time together was so much fun – from the initial meeting, to the engagement, to the wedding… I hope it’s not the last we see of each other!
VENDOR CREDITS // Photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography (Jill, Nicki) | Wedding Dress Designer: Essence of Australia, The Crystal Bride | Bridesmiad Dresses Designer: Bill Levkoff, Brideside Chicago | Tuxedo Designer: Suit Suppy, Custom Made Tux Jacket | Hair/Makeup Stylist: Tamara Hair and Make-up Artistry | Wedding Coordinator: LOLA Event Productions, Kristy Diana | Videographer: Smiling Toad | Florist: Exquisite Designs | Cake Artist: Food for Thought | Band: The Gold Coast All Stars | Paper Goods Designer: Steracle Press | Ceremony Venue: St. Michael’s in Old Town | Reception Venue: Theater on the Lake | Caterer: Food for Thought, Anna | Wedding Favors: Garrett’s Popcorn
Jackie + Mike started off in the friend-zone but eventually went from being just friends to dating to getting engaged in Austin! They’re getting married next July in one of the most beautiful suburban locations – Cantigny Park! So while they’re celebrating and enjoying their engagement this summer – they spent some time with Hanna at Olive Park to capture the unbeatable views. Jackie + Mike, we hope you enjoy this fun time in your lives and we can’t wait for the big day in July!
Liz + David spend a lot of time walking around the Glen Park Center in Glenview. I’d never been there before, but we spent the afternoon exploring some of their favorite spots. Thanks for showing me around your hood, Liz + David! What a gorgeous area! Good luck with the rest of wedding planning and hope to talk to you again soon!
Ashley + Nick. These special souls are two of our closest friends, and it meant everything to be there on their wedding day capturing these moments for them (I pretty much cried the whole day). For those of you reading that don’t know them… their story is definitely one straight out of a movie… high school sweethearts that went their separate ways during/after college, but randomly reconnected nearly 10 years later to find out that they lived within a few blocks of each other. It took one night of drinks catching up to realize everything they had in common in high school was still there, and more (the more being two furry pets that they adored). Ashley + Nick, we love you guys so much and hope that these photos help you look back on this day forever! Thank you for trusting us to document your day… and like Dan mentioned in his best man speech – we can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives with you, haha.
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography (Jill, Nicki, Mark) | Wedding Dress Designer: Allure Bridal from Here Comes the Bride | Bridesmiad Dresses Designer: Weddington Way | Tuxedo Designer: Alton Lane | Hair/Make-up Stylist: Tamara Makeup + Hair | Videographer: Robbie + Ryan | Florist: Steve’s Flower Market | Cake Artist: Urban Icing | DJ: TEN TWELVE ENTERTAINMENT | Paper Goods Designer: Minted | Wood Intials for Guestbook: DMH Woodwork | Ceremony/Reception Venue/Caterer: River Roast
Lauren + Mike met through friends by attending the same parties. Mike actually asked Lauren out and she turned him the first time 🙂 But after a few more occasions of hanging around at the same events, Lauren realized she had a little thing for Mike. They officially hit it off at a Zac Brown Band Concert and that eventually led them to today.
They had their first date at a Mexican restaurant called Bien Trucha in Geneva, IL. It also happens to be Mike’s favorite restaurant. He mentioned going back there to eat since it had been a while. He made a reservation on 3/31/17 to go to dinner there. The week of the dinner Lauren complained non-stop b/c she did not want to take a train all the way to Geneva just to do dinner! It’s a good thing Mike was able to convince her though, because they still went and had dinner at Bien Trucha, and Mike proposed by the river. Their beautiful wedding day was at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, WI. It was supposed to rain all day – but ended up being the most perfect summer day. Congrats Lauren + Mike!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Photography: Jill Tiongco Photography | Wedding Dress Designer: The Dessy Group from Bella Bridesmaids | Tuxedo Designer: Hugo Boss | Hair/Makeup Stylist: Luxe Traveling Hair and Makeup Team | Florist: Lilypots | Band: Triple D | Paper Goods Designer: RSVP Lake Geneva | Ceremony/Reception Venue: The Abbey Resort