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 🙂
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!
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!
Sam + John met at ISU and started dating immediately. Their anniversary is December 1st, 2013… 12 + 1 = 13 (that’s how John remembers their anniversary date)! He’s gonna need a new way to remember their engagement date though – 12.16.17 (any ideas?? 4 years and 15 days later? I’m not good at this.). Anyway, Sam + John went to zoo lights for their friend’s birthday and as John pretended to take a photo by the light up cinderella ball (if you’ve ever been to zoo lights, you know exactly what I’m talking about) – John asked Sam to marry him! Hanna took them back to where John proposed for their engagement session, and they had the most fun. They’ll be heading out of Chicago up to Milwaukee for the wedding – so we had to make sure and get them some meaningful photos in Chicago. Can’t wait for the wedding!
Michelle (and soon Brian) live right on the lake, across the street from Lincoln Park, so it was the perfect spot for him to propose to Michelle. The only difference in the spot from when he proposed and when we shot the engagement photos…. was that there were actually leaves on the trees and the grass was green this time around. When Brian originally proposed, there was snow on the ground! Anyway, we walked around Lincoln Park a bit before heading to their new soon to be home together. Michelle recently moved into this spot and it’s going to be their home after the wedding. They’re not going to live there forever – so it was special to capture this moment of time in their lives. Looking forward to capturing more moments for them at their wedding in December!
Enrique + Eula are both from the Philippines (fun fact: they have a cousin named Jill Tiongco)! They met during med school, which is also why they’re doing a long distance relationship right now – Eula is Atlanta for work, and Enrique is in Chicago completing his fellowship in Chicago. They met at the Lincoln Park Zoo so we started the session there as it had some meaning for them. And even though it rained, Enrique + Eula had the BEST attitude and wanted to shoot through it, and I think it looks adorable! We ended the session near Enrique’s home in River East – they spend a lot of time in the area so it was the perfect backdrop for their Engagement Photos. Enrique + Eula, best of luck to you both – I hope you have the best wedding in the Philippines (wish I was shooting it!) – but THANK YOU for having me as your Chicago photographer 🙂 Here are a few of my favorites from the session….
Hi friends! It’s about to be busy season again – so the blog is back in action! Today’s post is featuring this adorably happy couple, Dana + Joe. They’re getting married in December so they wanted to get some Engagement Photos taken for their Save the Dates. I rarely shoot in Lincoln Park anymore – but I think I’m realizing I like it better in the winter/spring because LOOK AT THOSE TONES. The tall, not-yet-green grass looks gorgeous. And so do these two in it. We had so much fun playing some games, laughing, and just getting to know each other a little better (my favorite part about engagement sessions is that we build that connection before the wedding!). Anyway – Dana + Joe, lovvvvve that we spent this chilly spring day together. Can’t wait for the wedding!
I spent some time with Katie + Jake in Roscoe Village during their Engagement Session. We wanted to capture their new neighborhood together so we started the cold day in their apartment with their pup and walked a few blocks around their place. Katie and I have been talking about me photographing their wedding for years now, so when their date was set and we found out I was already booked – I was heart broken. BUT, I can definitely say she’s in good hands with another JTP Photog, Nicki, – and I love that I still get to be a part of Katie + Jake’s day behind the scenes, will be working on the photos after the wedding day (pretending I was there celebrating with you, of course), and that I got to (at least) shoot your engagement! so so so happy that you’re “gonna have your own JTP photos” now, katie 😉 hope you love the photos and can’t wait to see pics from the wedding next year!
Jackie + Colin didn’t let a little rain derail their plans – they decided to just go with it. To shoot their engagement session, rain or shine, cold or hot – nothing was going to stop them from having a blast. Nicole took them over to the Lincoln Park South Pond area and found the cutest little pockets of fall colors. They capped off the session with drinks on the J. Parker rooftop – and I just love the way these all turned out. Not many couples are willing to brave the rain, so Jackie + Colin – extra points to you (AND to Nicole for shooting in the rain!)! I think these turned out super special, unique, and so so beautiful – I hope you love them! Here’s to hoping for some sunshine on the wedding day, now 😉