A True Tinder love story! Mara + Jason both right swiped, had their very first date, and got married exactly three years later to the day. They still hold the tradition of going back to Bar Louie every year for their anniversary. Another tradition they hold is taking a trip between their birthdays every year. Their first year together they took a trip to Brazil – where they fell in love – and the following year they went to Cuba – where Jason proposed at sunset on the beach in Varadero.
Their wedding was a cold February day, but it was absolutely gorgeous. Bridgeport Art Center set the backdrop, and with the help of Fleur – it was stunning. Mara + Jason were the epitome of a happy couple – eager to do whatever the other wanted, excited to spend time with friends and family, making their way around the dance floor and greeting everyone with a smile, kiss, and a hug. It was such a pleasure to be there with everyone – and we are so happy to have captured these moments for you. Mara + Jason, here’s to a life full of traveling, awesome dance moves, delicious food, and everything else that you’ve ever dreamt of – together. Congrats!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Tuxedo Designer: Hugo Boss | Hair Stylist: April, Blohaute | Make-up Artist: Stephanie | Florist: Fleur | Quartet: Elaine Dame & Quartet | DJ: Cesar, Champion DJ’s Promotion | Paper Goods: Minted | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Bridgeport Art Center | Caterer: Cocina Fusion | Lighting: Art of Imagination
Even though Kim + Kyle both went to the University of Wisconsin La Crosse for 4 years, it wasn’t until PT school that the universe decided to bring them together. It was then that they discovered their numerous mutual friends – which made conversations feel like they’d known each other for years. After a car ride home following an anatomy lab, Kim + Kyle soon realized just how much they had in common. After two years of classes, countless hours of studying, 32 weeks of internships all over the country, three ski trips, five northwoods vacations, three road trips to Florida and Colorado, four different apartments in Chicago, and one adorable puppy – that friendship turned into great love.
On December 22nd, 2015, Kyle surprised Kim at home after work with an apartment full of rose petals, romantic candles, their favorite song playing, and their puppy Randall dressed in a white bowtie as Kyle got down on one knee and asked Kim to marry him. That incredible moment brought us to these unforgettable moments from the wedding day. Kim + Kyle, the room was filled with love for you from floor to ceiling. It was an honor to see you surrounded by all of your favorite people – and how happy that made you both. Thank you for having us there on your special day – I hope these photos help you remember all the love forever.
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Martina Liana | Tuxedo Designer: Men’s Warehouse | Hair Stylist: Thomas Quant (bride)/Allison (bridesmaids), Alan Koa Salon | Makeup Artist: Emily Stoffels | Wedding Coordinator: Fiorella Niera, Niera Event Group | Florist: Niera Event Group | Cake Artist: Neat -O’s Bake Shoppe | DJ: Celebrations Entertainment, Tristan | Paper Goods Designer: Save the Dates – Minted, Programs/Invites: Etsy | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort
New Zealand is one incredible country. I’m not even sure what to say about this trip. As I’m sitting on my ninth airplane ride in the past three weeks, my final ticket home to Chicago, I’m at a loss of words. I’m sure over the next few weeks, months, and even years, my memories will only grow more and more fond of the kiwi culture. Two weeks will never be enough time to experience the greatness of New Zealand, but we sure tried to pack it all in.
We left Chicago MDW on a Tuesday at 2:25pm, got to LAX at 4:55pm, and flew out at 10:40pm. We arrived in Tahiti PPT on Wednesday at 5:05am, then left at 7:55am for Auckland, and finally arrived to our destination at 12:45pm on Thursday (we crossed the international dateline). Yes, it was as exhausting as it sounds. We had a couple hours to kill in Auckland before heading out to our first excursion, so we walked around and explored. We settled on drinks/appetizers at Northern Steamship Co. and dinner at Depot. Both were good, neither were MUST DOs – but as you’ll see throughout this post, most of my MUST DOs are activity based. The food was overall good, but not as good as I was expecting.
After dinner we drove 3 hours to Waitomo to spend the night at YHA Waitomo Juno Hall. At this point, we had been traveling for over 24 hours so we were pretty much zombies and passed out. The next day, we had breakfast at The General Store. This place is a MUST DO. It was the cutest little shop/cafe in Waitomo, and probably one of my favorite breakfasts of the entire trip. We also purchased local art from the shop which I loved.
After breakfast we did the Waitomo Caves Black Abyss Tour. MUST DO. This was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. We started the adventure by rappelling down into a cave, one of the parts was so narrow that you could only fit one person a time and it was pretty tight. If you’re claustrophobic at all – this might not be the adventure for you. Once we were down there, you could see the glow worms lining the walls of the cave. Then they took us down to a part of the cave where we flying squirreled in the dark (basically a zip line except you can spin 360 degrees around). After that we jumped off a cliff into inner tubes pulled ourselves through the water, then we all connected and floated down the river in the cave in the dark to look at the glow worms. We walked through the cave knee deep in water, army crawled through some tight spots, and even climbed waterfalls before finally getting back to the surface. Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds – but it was incredible and I highly recommend it.
After the tour we drove back to Auckland for the night. We stayed at the Novotel Airport Hotel because well, after traveling for 24+ hours and caving, we needed a nice hot shower and clean beds. The next morning we took the ferry to Waiheke Island for our Zip, Wine and Dine tour. This day was so much fun and I would say Waiheke Island is a MUST DO. It was the cutest little island filled with wineries, friendly locals, great shopping, and delicious food. Our tour started with 3 ziplines over the vineyards and then a short hike through the rain forest where the tree that inspired the movie Avatar grows. Throughout the winery tour we stopped at Stonyridge Vineyard, Rangihoua Estate, and Casita Miro – all delicious wines, all beautiful landscapes. Shoutout to Evelyn for being the best bus driver/tour guide ever. After the tour we walked around the Waiheke Island shops; ate fish and chips/burgers at The Local with our new Aussie friends Lisa/Jari, and ended the day with a sunset cruise ferry trip back to Auckland to crash for the night.
The next morning we flew from Auckland down to Wellington for explore the city for a day. It was like a little kiwi Portland – filled with hipster bars and little shops. We had breakfast at Enigma, shopped Cuba Street (tons of little shops, highly recommend) lunch at Mt. Vic Chippery (delicious fish and chips), got drinks at Goldings Free Dive (hidden dive bar in an alley, had a Chicago flag hanging – highly recommeneded), drinks at Ekim Burgers and Havana; and got dinner at Mac’s Brewbar on the water because everything else was closed. It rained all day so a lot of the waterfront shops didn’t open. The farmers market and food trucks were great though. We stayed at YHA Wellington City Hostel which was GREAT and comes highly recommended for a clean, safe place to sleep on a budget.
And that ended our adventures on the North Island as we headed to Christchurch the following morning. If I would add anything else to the North Island – I’d maybe see Rotorua for the hot springs, but it wasn’t high on our priority list. People we talked throughout our travels were split. Some people said they loved it and some said we weren’t missing anything. That and I would do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Volcano Hike. It wasn’t in the cards for us – but look into it, supposedly it’s the best one-day hiking in New Zealand. Anyway, we spent just a few hours in Christchurch, shopping at the RE-Start Mall where all the stores are inside shipping crates. There were a few cool shops and a couple food trucks – I got a kebob and it was delicious. Meghan got a pizza from another truck and it was not. Could be the Chicago in us, but it was hard to find a good pizza in NZ. After lunch, we drove to Mt. Cook with a few stops along the way. This was a long day of driving, but the incredible sights along the way made it all worth it. We saw Hokikita Gorge, Lake Tekapo, and Lake Pukaki. The water color was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures…
When we finally arrived to Mt. Cook, it was really cloudy so we couldn’t see the tops of the mountains. We just settled into our room at the Mt. Cook Lodge & Motels and ate there. Mt. Cook is such a small little village in the middle of a national park, so there really wasn’t anything other than the resorts and the resort restaurants. We went to bed hopeful that the forecast of rain tomorrow would change, but unfortunately it did not. Our scenic flight/heli-hike of Tasman Glacier got cancelled due to weather issues. Luckily, Charlie – the owner of the Old Mountaineers Café in Mt. Cook who also runs the tours was flexible and rescheduled us for Friday when the weather was looking better. (MUST DO, even if you don’t do the heli hike or tours, drive through Mt. Cook and go to this Café – it might be my favorite place in the world). TIP: When booking rooms in advance, it’s definitely worth it pay the extra $2 for flexible booking. We had to change our reservations quite a bit around the weather. Locals said they hadn’t seen rain like this during a NZ summer in over 15 years!
Anyway, we decided we’d rather explore Queenstown/Lake Wanaka in the rain than Mt. Cook, so the next day we decided to drive to Lake Wanaka. We found this adorable café about an hour outside of Mt. Cook in Omarama called Kahu Café (MUST DO). Meghan and I both agree this was the best meal we had in New Zealand – it was simple, fresh, delicious, and the surroundings could not have been better. A few hours later, we made it to Lake Wanaka to see the Wanaka Tree, then shipped off to Queenstown for a few nights. We had dinner at Ballarat Trading Co. (just alright, wouldn’t call it a MUST DO) before calling it a night in our Queenstown Hill Air BnB (this area is about a 20 minute walk from downtown Queenstown but had an awesome view overlooking Lake Wakitapu where you could see the airplanes flying in and out of the Queenstown Airport.
The next morning was still cold and gloomy, and it definitely started to affect our spirits a little. We spent the day walking around Queenstown with our hoods up shopping, exploring, eating, and drinking… stops throughout the day included: Ivy’s Box Art Gallery (cute gallery along the Lake Wakitapu path covered in ivy), brunch at Joe’s Garage (where I realized NZ breakfast sauasage was not the same as American breakfast sausage), drinks at Surreal Bar (where the bartender made fun of my accent when I ordered a ‘s-eye-derrrrrr”, and Patagonia Ice Cream (which quickly became a favorite of ours and part of our daily routine). A last minute boat cruise around Lake Wakitapu capped off the afternoon before heading to drinks/apps at Eicharts (historic, cool spot, good food, friendly servers), drinks at Harry’s Pool Bar (a locals bar recommended to us from the bartender who made fun of the way I said cider), and a delicious steak and seafood dinner at Jervois Steak House. Lots of drinks and all of the food later, we made our way back up Queenstown Hill with hopes for better weather to come.
The next day, the weather still wasn’t cooperating so we decided to go for a white water rafting trip on the Shotover River (apparently rafting is the best when it’s raining). We had brunch at Captain’s Restaurant in town (pretty good food, not my favorite ambiance though) before our trip. White water rafting in Queenstown is a MUST DO. The drive on the bus alone was worth it. They took us through windy roads on the sides of mountains that felt like we were going to topple off of at any moment. We saw the rock that inspired King Kong. It was the stuff straight out of movies. And this was even before our rafting trip started. Because of the rain (silver lining) the conditions were so good that day that even the off-duty employees came in to raft with us. The rapids were so intense that 6 out of 9 rafts had flipped in the morning session, so the guides were pretty good about preparing us for that situation. Luckily, our raft never flipped and we made it through – but I can’t say enough how fun this day was. Highly, highly recommended. By the time we came home, we were exhausted – so we just grabbed a drink and dinner at Coalfire BBQ (good, again not the best BBQ I’ve ever had, but pretty tasty) and called it a night.
It was another early morning for us as we drove 3 hours back to Mt. Cook for our heli-hike. On the way there (sidenote: we drove through Lindis Pass which was a curvy road in the middle of rolling hills lined with lavender and wild flowers – really pretty drive – I’d recommended taking it if it’s on your route!), we stopped at the little shop (New Zealand Apline Lavender Farm and Shop) we had driven past on our way in/out of Mt. Cook the first time, but it was so small that by the time we saw it, it was too late to stop. Luckily, we had our eyes peeled for it this time. I highly recommend checking this place out. It was a tiny, one-wall store inside a shipping crate in the middle of a huge lavender field. They sold everything ranging from lotion to candles to lip balm to lavender oils – all of it smelling sooooo good and made right from the lavender in that field.
After we shopped, we drove a little further to Mt. Cook for our Heli Hike. It was INCREDIBLE. We flew in a tiny little ski plane through the mountains (probably the most scared I was the entire trip – super rocky flight, the plane was tiny so every gust of wind felt like it was going to take down the plane. Once we got to the top of the glacier, we snowshoed as a group all tied together in case the glacier cracked any of us fell down into a hole. It was one of the most jaw dropping, humbling things I’ve ever experienced. After a few hours we flew back into Mt. Cook where we had dinner at The Old Mountaineers Café – quite possibly my favorite place on earth. Definitely a MUST DO regardless if you do the heli hike or not. Find Charlie, exchange stories, and tell him I said hi.
The next morning, we hiked Hooker Valley. It was a fairly easy hike that takes around 3-4 hours, has great views of the mountains, you cross 3 wobbly cable bridges, and ends with an overlook of Tasman Lake w/ some glacier pieces floating in it (30 years ago, this lake didn’t exist because it was still completely frozen).
We had to be in Milford Sound in two days, so we started our drive with a planned overnight stay in Queenstown to break up the drive. Of course, we stopped at Kahu Café on the way out because it was that good. Seriously, go there. Omarama. Check out the weird antique store in town, too. Anyway, on our way back to Queenstown we stopped in historic Arrowtown to do a little shopping. Tons of great little shops, only takes an hour or so to do it all and we had plenty of time to head back to Queenstown for drinks/dinner. FYI – we were told that Devil Burger is as good as Fergberger without the wait by a local bartender… we tried both. Fergberger for the win.
The next morning, we left at 5am to drive to Milford Sound. It takes about 4 hours winding through mountain roads so make sure to give yourself enough time. We stopped at Sandfly Café in Te Anu for coffee/breakfast (warning: Queenstown/all the towns before Te Anu had nothing open before 9am – even the coffee shops don’t open until then; also this place wasn’t the best if you can find anything else open). We got to Milford and did the 10:30am cruise and then the sunset kayak trip. The cruise was gorgeous – I would definitely do it again and highly recommend it. The kayak trip was really long 4 hours (we did about 10 miles and it was pretty choppy water), so it was kind of difficult but worth seeing the sunset through the cliffs. If you’re up for a challenge, do it. If not, there are other shorter kayak trips you could try. The cruise was better for taking pictures, the kayak trip was more for a workout/adventure. We saw dolphins and seals on the cruise, and penguin during the kayak trip (as well as the seals up close and personal). We stayed at the Milford Sound Lodge which was basically a cabin in the middle of the woods. It was the only restaurant and it closes at 9 so make sure to stop and get gas and/or groceries before getting to Milford if you’ll need it.
We spent our last few days in New Zealand gallivanting around Queenstown. We stayed at Hurley’s (highly recommended, good price, clean, friendly staff, laundry available, and located just 5-10 minute walk off the downtown area). We did the gondola and took the luge down (very touristy; buy tickets ahead of time to cut the line; the luge was kind of random but fun – I wouldn’t say it’s a must do but if you have the time, why not?), had dinner at Fergberger (MUST DO; we were told to call our order in ahead of time and pick it up but every time we called the line was busy so we waited about 20 minutes to order and then another 20 minutes for our food – it wasn’t as bad as it looked – every time we drove/walked past Fergberger there was a line out the door). We also went bungy jumping off the Kuwaru Bridge in the morning – I would highly recommend this or the cliff swing in Queenstown. As you can tell from the pictures below, bungy jumping was awesome, and actually not as scary as you might think. It all happened so fast that you don’t really have time to be scared! Warning: I asked to dip my hands in the water, and I ended up going waist deep!
After bungy, we went to this adorable breakfast spot on Lake Wakitapu called Boatshed Café. The food was great and the view was even better. The rest of the day we spent packing and getting ready for our travels home. Travel Tip: there’s a little mall just outside Queenstown that has a Pak n Save, Briscoe’s, etc. (the equivalent of a Costco, Jewel, and Bed Bath and Beyond). It was great for buying cheap groceries, local beers, or pretty much anything you would need – we needed to get extra duffle bags to carry all our souvenirs home and Briscoe’s was perfect for that. Our last night in Qtown we got drinks at Pog Mahones (little Irish Pub, I wouldn’t recommend it, but we just wanted to sit near the water – instead you should go to the Ice Bar, which we completely forgot about!) and dinner at Fishbone. If you go to Fishbone get the Octopus Tacos. Seriously, maybe even get two orders (it’s an appetizer) and eat them as your meal. They’re that good.
After we left New Zealand we spent 3 days soaking up the sun in Tahiti. A 3-night stay at Manava Suite Resort was included in our flight deal. The resort was just okay. The food was expensive and mediocre, but there was an AWESOME food truck across the street that was cheap and delicious. It opens for dinner at 6:30 and I’d recommend eating every dinner there it was that good. Simple, authentic, delicious. We stayed in Papeete, but if you have the time, go to Moorea or any of the other Tahitian Islands.
That’s it! It was an incredible 3 weeks, let me know if you’re planning a similar trip and have any questions on New Zealand – I’d be happy to help or provide more recommendations. I’m also going to be selling some of my prints from New Zealand so I’ll have more on that soon
Looking back through 2016 – I’m at a loss of words. Like most years, it was a whirlwind. I blinked and it was Christmas. I remember being at the mid-point of the season thinking, ‘okay – I have 10 weddings left.’ Then all of a sudden it was 3, 2, 1… and here we are. From my first wedding of the year with Christina + Jimmy to my last with Dani + Jim… so much has happened. I’ve already started working with my 2017 couples, too. Meeting with the newly engaged, planning for the wedding, shooting their engagement sessions… 2016 is over, and 2017 is officially on its way. But before I close the books, I had to recap some of my favorite moments of this incredible year. Over 100,000 photos have been taken. All of the emotions have been felt. The tears, the laughs, the hugs, the smiles. The horrible dance moves, embarrassingly true speeches, and the wedding day surprises that make the best stories the next morning.
So many great memories have been made, and it amazes me every year that I was chosen, out of hundreds of perfectly capable photographers, to capture it all. It’s a humbling experience to revisit all of this year’s weddings, to think about my awesome couples, and reminisce about the personal moments that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. These are some of my favorites – and it was nearly impossible to narrow it down. Each and every one of my couples, both pictured and not pictured here, hold a very special place in my heart and I am so thankful to have been a part of your lives. Have a blessed and safe new year – and here’s to all the good things that 2017 will bring!
I absolutely adore when couples take the time to think of a spot for their engagement session that truly represents them and their relationship. For Melissa + Jack, it was Heritage Bicycles and a few stops outside for some Christmas tree scenery. Jack is an avid cyclist, and Melissa loves Christmas, so we hit up a few spots that really spoke to them as a couple. As we got to know each other throughout the session, I was like a kid in a candy store. Super cool couple, check. Awesome backdrop with tons of little details and personality, check. Greenery filled lot overflowing with Christmas trees, check. Love these two, love what they bring out of each other, and love that I get to shoot their wedding next year. Congrats you guys, stay warm and have a happy new year celebrating your engagement!
She gave him the wrong number, and now they’re married. Emily and Matt met during college at a friend’s place. After chatting it up the whole night, Emily accidentally gave Matt the wrong number – leading Matt to call a random person! Luckily, fate brought them together again to fix the little misstep, and now they’re married! Matt asked Emily to marry him with the Chicago skyline in the background. He then surprised her with all of her family and closest friends to celebrate!
Emily + Matt, chose to spend their big day where their relationship bloomed. The ceremony took place on the gorgeous Notre Dame campus at the Basillica of the Sacred Heart – where we hopped along a few places on the quad and reminisced about memories from college. The cocktail and reception were at the amazing St. Joseph’s Farm – I could have shot there all day had the sun not been breathing down our backs – but what we got was absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t be happier to share these photos with Emily + Matt. Congrats to the happy newlyweds – enjoy your first holiday together as a married couple!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Cosmobella Milano, from Wedding Belles | Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: J.Crew | Tuxedo Designer: Joseph A. Banks | Hair Stylist: Nicholas J. Salon and Spa | Make-up Artist: Nicholas J. Salon and Spa | Wedding Coordinator: Kathleen Buckley, Buckley Events | Florist: Deborah Strand Designs | Cake Artist: Indulgence Pastry Shop | DJ: ProShow Events | Paper Goods: Michaels | Ceremony Venue: Basilica of the Sacred Heart | Reception Venue: St. Joe’s Farm | Caterer: LaSalle Grill
sarah + cory met 7 1/2 years ago at echo global logistics, where they still work on the same team today. it was a classic love story: boy meets girl. boy thinks girl is cute. girl thinks boy has bad jokes. girl ignores boy. girl accepts boy’s bad jokes and they become best friends. boy finally makes a move and asks girl out. girl and boy fall in love. boy asks girl to marry him in saugatuck, mi. boy and girl throw a huge wedding to celebrate love with friends and family. photographer takes pictures. does that pretty much sum it up? sarah + cory, you two (and your army of a wedding party) were a BLAST to work with. my team and i had such a fun time capturing your wedding day – and hope you cherish these photos and relive your wedding day for the rest of your lives. all the best!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Alyne by Rita Vinieris – Everly | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaid; Jenny Yoo, V2V | Tuxedo Designer: Indochino | Groomsmen Suit Designer: Joseph A. Bank | Hair Stylist: Amanda Diedrich, Biohaute | Make-Up Artist: Shannon O’Brien | Wedding Coordinator: Joan, Five Grain Events | Videographer: Scott Tracy, Reel Motion | Florist: Erin Foster-Olszewski, A Stem Above | Cake Artist: Sweet Mandy B’s | Donuts: Glazed and Infused | DJ: Style Matters | Paper Goods: Minted | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Galleria Marchetti | Caterer:Galleria Marchetti | Drapery: MDM Entertainment
Erin and Corey met in the fall of 2007 at The Summit Bar & Restaurant while attending The University of Iowa. Erin was enjoying herself on the dance floor when an uninvited gentleman tried joining her for a dance. A wave of panic immediately came over Erin as her would-be dance partner came in for the kill. As luck would have it, at that very same moment, Corey was walking across that same dance floor. Erin saw her opportunity for salvation and immediately grabbed Corey’s arm. Corey, taken by surprise, looked down to find a short little freshman attached to his arm. Without even introducing herself, Erin introduced Corey as her boyfriend to escape her impending doom. With Corey’s interest piqued, he decided to play along with the charade just so he could learn more about this intriguing girl. That was the first day of the rest of his life.
A few years later, Corey proposed to Erin on a rainy day at one of their favorite spots in Chicago. The Kinzie Street Bridge was one of the first places they fell in love with when they moved in together – and Corey knew it was the perfect backdrop to start the rest of their lives together. I was lucky enough to see photos from the proposal during a slideshow at the reception — and the looks on their faces showed their excitement to marry each other. Months later during the engagement session, and then even more months later on their wedding day — nothing had changed. The love that Erin + Corey have for each other is obvious – I swear I have 50 pictures of Corey just staring lovingly at Erin… and Erin, right back at Corey. To the new Humphreys, congratulations and thank you for choosing me to document your love story. Yours was one of my favorites to tell, and I swear it wasn’t just because the Cubs clinched to go to the World Series that night 🙂 You are both two of the most genuine people I know, and reminded me exactly why I love what I do.
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Kelly Faetanini, Jenny Yoo | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Dessy, Bella Bridesmaids | Tuxedo Designer: Jos A. Bank | Hair Stylist: Lauren Logan | Make-up Artist: Alicia Salemi Brooks | Wedding Coordinator: Lindsay Green Weddings & Events | Videographer: Amor in Motion | Florist: Steve’s Flower Market | Cake Artist: Jewel Events Catering | Pie: Hoosier Mama Pie Company | DJ: Style Matters | Paper Goods: Lindsay Green Designs | Ceremony Venue: Holy Family Church | Reception Venue: Ovation Chicago
To say that this day was full of emotions is an understatement. Just thinking back on the day and looking through the photos – every single photo is jam packed with all the feels. Laughter, tears of happiness, pure joy, appreciation for each other, and nostalgia filled the garden for Suzanne + Mark. Surrounded by their closest family and friends, it was a magical day for the happy couple as they professed their love in the English Walled Garden at the Botanical Garden. A gorgeous ceremony site that rivals the beauty of their surroundings at their home in Boulder, CO – the Chicago Botanic Garden holds a special place in Suzanne + Mark’s hearts, and forever will be the site of their ‘i do’s.’ Suzanne + Mark, thank you for letting me into your life. Although we met for the first time in person on your wedding day, you immediately made my team and me feel comfortable and welcome – not only as vendors for the day – but as artists that you respected and valued as friends. It was truly a pleasure and I wish you all the best that life has to offer.
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Consultant: Jaci Weber/Monika/Melissa, Clementine Custom Events | Ceremony/Reception Venue: The Chicago Botanic Garden | Caterer: Cullinary Landscape | Rentals/Linens: BBJ | Cake: Three Tarts | Floral and Decor: Sarah, Vale of Enna | Cinematography: Tin Nguyen, Old North Film Company | DJ: DJ Matt, Okyne Medialab | Lighting: MDM | Officiant: Rick Kessler | Hair/Make-up Artist: Cynthia, Andreas Hogue Salon
Michelle + Brenton met through a mutual friend, who served as the Maid of Honor on their wedding day. It was a wedding party full of their closest friends and family – Brenton even making his three sisters his ‘groomsmaids’. The morning started at Arch Apothecary in Old Town, where Michelle got prettied up by the talented hair and makeup artists. At the same time, Brenton, his groomsmaids, and groomsmen got ready and their perfectly designed home, filled with little details that speak of the adorable couple. Throughout the day, everything was taken care of by Caitlin Brown of Blush & Luxe, as we went to the Lily Pond, the carousel at the Lincoln Par Zoo, and finally landed at our final destination, Cafe Brauer. The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were small and intimate – but the room was overflowing with love and adoration from not only the happy couple, but their family and friends as well. And they were happy guests as Michelle and Brenton chose only the best wedding food – all of their favorite things that represent them as a couple. A Chicago station offered Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Style Hotdogs, and french fries; while the Southern Comfort Food Station featured fried chicken, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. There was even a table of assorted sausages, cold cuts, dumplings to represent their family background. And let me tell you, it was ALL delicious. Michelle + Brenton, congrats on a happy life together! I loved seeing you let loose on the dance floor and enjoy your special day. Cheers!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Madison James, Wedding 826 | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Bill Levkoff | Hair Stylists: Joey, Arch Apothecary | Make-up Artist:Arch Apothecary | Wedding Coordinator: Caitlin Brown, Blush & Luxe | Florist: Colette, Flower Firm | Cake Artist: Sweet Mandy B’s | DJ: Toast and Jam | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer | Caterer: Food Evolution