Siobhan + Jim might be one of the most in love couples I’ve ever met. And this is coming from not only their photographer, but their friend ūüôā It’s so obvious how much they love each other, and it is a beautiful thing to see. So who better to tell their story than the lovebirds themselves…

“Let’s just start by saying that many years before Jim and Siobh√°n actually met, Jim thought she was really good looking. He came across a photo of her in her old Washington, D.C. apartment and immediately told her roommate that he needed to meet “the hot blonde girl” in the picture.¬†Some five years and lots of life events later, the universe finally got its way, and Jim and Siobh√°n met at a rooftop bar in Minneapolis.¬†Sometime later they would go on their first date in Chicago, where Siobh√°n’s blue eyes and white sun dress would help Jim realize that he didn’t need any more first dates. Although, maybe the lack of food and liter of wine Jim ordered for dinner had something to do with this epiphany too.¬†

After countless road trips, a few thousand frequent flier miles, one gigantic moving van, and lots of smooches, Jim found himself in the lobby of Apple Valley Diamonds. There he crafted a ring emblematic of the coming together of what had been two separate lives. And in that vein, on August 14, 2015, he made the single smartest decision of his life.¬†On a rural bridge overlooking Yellow River, down the lane from his family cabin in Wisconsin, the rivers of Jim and Siobh√°n’s pasts reached a confluence. An old man steering a boat, with kids towing behind him, were the only ones to witness this special moment on that summer evening.”

Siobhan + Jim, THANK YOU for letting me be a part of your day and capture these moments for you. It was such a happy day and despite the rain, your love outshined the clouds made everyone feel warm inside. Congrats to the Colvins!

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VENDOR CREDITS // DJ: Midwest Sound | Cake Artist: How Sweet It Is | Florist: Meadowlark Floral | Make-up: WarPaint International | Hair: Simonson’s | Ceremony Site: Forts Folle Avoine | Reception Site: The Lodge at Crooked Lake | Caterer: Tesora | Wedding Planner: Casey, Belle Noelle Events + Design | Videographer: Patrick Conroy, Flight Productions | Light Rentals: ABC¬†

Angela + Andrew met while travelling in Ecuador. Andrew was planning to just go to the Galapagos Islands and tacked on a last minute week doing an adventure trip in mainland Ecuador, while Angela was looking to have a quick trip out of the country to get away from work. After hitting it off immediately and spending most of their days together on vacation, at the end of the trip Angela went back to Chicago and Andrew back to Dublin. They knew they wanted to see each other again,  so they traveled back and forth between Dublin and Chicago for almost two years before they were able to work out the visa for Andrew to move to Chicago permanently. Once they figured this out, it was a no brainer they were going to spend the rest of their lives together.

We started the day together at the First Look at their wedding venue, A New Leaf. Angela + Andrew again met under the most beautiful conditions – in the courtyard of A New Leaf. They had their special moment together, seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, before we shot a few different spots in Lincoln Park. It was an intimate day, spent with their closest family and friends – and it was wonderful to see how many people care and love about Angela + Andrew. Congrats to the newlyweds! I’m so happy you found each other ūüôā

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VENDOR CREDITS //¬†Wedding Dress Designer: Truvelle, Dame Couture¬†| Tuxedo Designer: Suit Supply | Hair Stylist/Make-Up Artist: Sine Qua Non¬†| Venue/Florist: A New Leaf¬†| Cake Artist: Nancy’s Creations | DJ: Toast & Jam¬†| Caterer: Big Delicious Planet

Ali + Alex. They are almost too gorgeous for words. But I will say that their beauty is matched by their inner beauty… I had an absolute blast getting to know them a little better during their Engagement Session at the Adler Planetarium. We dodged some Pokemon Go-ers, played along the lake for some skyline shots, and ended the session popping bottles on the beach. In exactly 365 days from today, Ali + Alex get to start their forever together – let the countdown begin! Can’t wait for the wedding!!

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I met Hannah + Sheamus on what started out as a beautiful summer afternoon. We had been watching the radar for days before our session and on the day of, everything looked clear. That was, until about ten¬†minutes prior to shoot time. We decided to move forward to see what we could capture, but as the minutes unfolded, the skies got darker and roars of thunder rolled over the lake. About fifteen minutes in, the rain started. But instead of running inside and being upset that the weather had ruined our plans, Hannah + Sheamus laughed and decided to make the best of it. We kept shooting through the drizzles, until the downpour was so heavy that we had to seek shelter nearby. After a few minutes of hiding in the bathrooms, the skies opened up and a beautiful double rainbow emerged. Although they had felt confident in what we had captured during the first fifteen minutes of the session – we had to shoot¬†a few more photos with the rainbow and now visible skyline (that was clouded and invisible before) since¬†we were¬†given a little gift of perfection. Hannah + Sheamus, thanks for bringing your positive energy and smiling faces to the session. I had so much fun with you both and can’t wait for the wedding next year!

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Chelsey + Zac. There isn’t much that I can say about these two that will do them justice, so I’ll keep this short so you can get to all the pretty. Hands down, one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever met. So sweet in fact, that I was caught up all in the moments with them during their wedding day – and I couldn’t stop tearing up. Their love for each other was so pure, so evident, and so genuine. Just being around them made me happy. Not to mention their impeccable taste in venue, aesthetic, food, family, friends – the entire day was a dream job. Amidst a summer of humid, dense days – we somehow were given the perfect 75 degree summer afternoon which set the backdrop for their lovely ceremony and reception.

Chelsey + Zac, it was an absolutely pleasure working with you. From your Engagement Session¬†at Restoration Hardware, to all the emails back and forth, and even the chance run-ins at the gym and around Chicago – I’m so happy to have worked with you. Chicago is going to miss you both, but California is gaining two of my favorites. All the best on the west coast!

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Venue: Willow Harbor Vineyards, New Buffalo, Michigan

The night Julie + Russ¬†met was serendipitous. Neither of them were looking to meet anyone special, but¬†their¬†path’s crossed as they¬†shared drinks with their¬†closest friends¬†in¬†Chicago. Julie was immediately attracted to Russ and tried multiple times to strike up a conversation, but Russ was reluctant because he wasn’t interested in starting a long distance relationship as he was living outside Milwaukee and Julie was in Chicago. However, the timing was perfect because once Russ found out that Julie had just interviewed for a job in Milwaukee, he reintroduced himself and they went on their first date a week later.

After four months of Julie working in Kentucky, lots of plane rides and even more FaceTimes… Julie finally landed that job in Milwaukee and 18 months later here we are. Russ brought Julie to the North Point Lighthouse (pictured below) because even though he’s afraid of heights, he wanted Julie to know that “she was¬†the light of his life, and together they can weather any storm together.” Julie + Russ, my warmest congratulations on your new marriage. Spending time with you on¬†your wedding¬†day made it clear that you are the perfect balance to each other and that life has many adventures in store for you together. Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Embling!

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VENDOR CREDITS //¬†Wedding Dress Designer: Terani Couture, Nordstrom | Bride’s Hair: Jillian Mastrino from Jillian’s salon | Hair Stylist: Make-up & Hair Artistry by Francesca, Inc. | Tuxedos: The Black Tux | Videographer:Sounds by Design, Tony¬†| Florist: Erica Blooming Inspirations | DJ: Sounds by Design, Joe¬†| Paper Goods Designer: Megan Nellis | Ceremony Venue: Old St. Mary Church | Reception Venue: The Pfister Hotel | Dessert: Purple Door Ice Cream¬†|¬†Veil: Agnes Hart London |¬†Reception Lighting:Sounds by Design

Brittany + Matt met the day before Thanksgiving 2009 at Joe’s on Weed Street. They¬†were both out celebrating the infamous Black Wednesday, probably not where most happily ever afters start. But for them, that was it. A few days later, Matt texted Brittany asking to hangout, and five years later, they got engaged.¬†The road down the aisle started back on October 25th, 2014 at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Brittany + Matt were scoping out photo spots (Matt is a photographer also)… and well, this is what happened:¬†http://www.brittany-matthew.com/the-proposal/.

Brittany + Matt, you guys are amazing. Even though we never got a chance to meet before the wedding day, you had complete trust in me and gave my team and I¬†complete creative freedom. You made everything fun, focused on what’s important, and because of that, it was such a pleasure working with you both. You are both beautiful people inside and out, and I am beyond excited to share these photos with you.¬†May these memories stay with you forever… all the best to a happy life together!

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VENDOR CREDITS //¬†Wedding Dress Designer: Inbal Dror, Dimitra’s Bridal Couture | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Adrianna Papel | Tuxedo Designer: Ike Behar, Formally Modern Tuxedo | Hair Stylist: Kristen Almerigi | Make-up Artist: Lisa Lahart | Wedding Coordinator: Misha Newgren, Liven It Up Events | Vidoegrapher: Tyler Mose, Indirap Weddings | Florist: Phil Cooper, Kehoe Designs | DJ: Jonathan Cabalfin, Remix Entertainment¬†| Cake Artist: Amy Beck Cake Design¬†| Paper Goods Designer: Amber Crudup, Suite Paper | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | Caterer: Culinary Landscape | Ceremony Music: Katie Voss, Dolce Strings

After being acquaintances at the same high school and running into each other all the time on breaks from college, Khrista + Colin¬†reconnected again at Morton Grove pre-fourth of July festival in 2011. They dated for a few years until last¬†St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Colin¬†proposed at the gazebo by the Drake Hotel – disguising it as research for his sister’s boyfriend proposal. The whole time, Khrista, starving and wanting to go to brunch already, complained about how hungry she was until her hunger became an afterthought. Colin got down on one knee, Khrista said yes, and then they went to Brunch at the Hancock where Khrista’s friends were waiting to surprise her.

Khrista + Colin, this past few years have been a blast getting to know you better together. Seeing you at friends’ weddings, chatting about Game of Thrones, and planning for your wedding has been my pleasure. I hope to continue seeing you both at upcoming weddings – until then, here’s a little sneak peek into your gorgeous wedding day! Much love.

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VENDOR CREDITS //¬†Wedding Dress Designer: BHLDN¬†| Tuxedo Designer: Men’s Warehouse¬†| Hair Stylist: Becky Erb | Make-up Artist: Becky Erb | Videographer: Aerodef Productions, Andrew Pelnar¬†| Florist: Paula Kruer, Scarlet Begonia Floral Designs¬†| DJ: Jeff Christensen, Night Society Entertainment¬†| Paper Goods Designer: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Marina Grand Resort

Sarah + Joe grew up just 5 minutes from each other in Kenosha, yet it wasn’t until a few years ago that they met in St. Paul, MN. It was a chance meeting, a friend of a friend was visiting a friend who ended up being Joe… you know how random¬†fate usually¬†plays it… but long story short, the night ended with Joe winning Sarah over with a delightful basket of popcorn.¬†When the time came for Joe to propose, it was a cold winter night in December. Sarah had a strange feeling he was going to propose that weekend and felt the need to tell him at dinner – which he quickly shrugged off while, I’m sure, freaking out inside. When they got back to their apartment, Joe took Sarah up to the rooftop and surprised her with candles, wine, and the perfect proposal which was capped off by walking into¬†their apartment to be surprised with all of their family and friends.

Although the proposal was a cold night in December, their wedding day was quite the opposite. We had a hot and humid day up in Milwaukee, but nothing stopped these two from smiling the entire day. Their energy, happiness, and spirit was contagious and my entire team happily sweat it out for them as we ran around downtown Milwaukee snapping away. Sarah + Joe, thank you for being such a delight from our first meeting up until the last photo we shot¬†and our hugs goodbye (which I think some pizza was involved in). I love love love working with people like you two, and I hope to continue seeing you both at weddings in the future! Cheers to a happy life together ūüôā

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VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer:¬†Dimitra‚Äôs Bridal Couture, Kenneth Pool (Dress Designer) |¬†Bridesmaid Dresses Designer:¬†Jenny Yoo (Style ‚Äď Annabelle) |¬†Suit¬†Designer:¬†Caravelli Italy¬†|¬†Hair/Make-Up Stylist:¬†WELL Salon + Spa¬†|¬†Videographer:¬†Nick Bodmer Videography¬†|¬†Florist:¬†Impressions by Esther Fleming |¬†Cake Artist:¬†Simma‚Äôs Bakery¬†|¬†DJ:¬†Sound by Design¬†|¬†Paper Goods Designer:¬†Jennifer Portilia |¬†Ceremony Venue:¬†Our Lady of Divine Providence ‚Äď St. Casimir¬†|¬†Reception Venue:¬†Grain Exchange¬†|¬†Caterer:¬†Bartolotta Catering Company and Events

All signs said it was going to rain. Kim and I chatted on the phone early that¬†morning, analyzing the radar, looking out our windows, trying to play meteorologist and predict whether or not the rain was going to ruin our day or allow us to shoot what I’m going to a call a dream engagement session. It was a long 3.5 hour drive from Chicago, but if I made it up to Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin that day, I knew it was going to be worth it. But the weather wasn’t looking good. So we called it and started looking at potential other dates for the shoot. Until an hour later, the skies opened up just enough for Kim to say, “let’s do this!”¬†So I left immediately. No time for make-up. No time to put on a cute shooting outfit. I left as soon as I could to make sure I got up there in time before the storm started. And aside from a little visit from the Sheriff on my drive¬†up ūüôĀ and a few light rain drops just minutes into the session, it was smooth sailing and ended up being pretty much a¬†perfect day.

Kim + Kyle, thank you for suggesting this awesome place for the session. It was a breath of fresh air to get out of the city and too shoot in a gorgeous location that the both of you have spent so much time at over the past few years. I am beyond excited for the wedding next year, and I’m so glad we had the Engagement¬†Session to hangout and get to know each other a little better. Congrats again and send Randall my love ūüėČ

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