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.

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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!

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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

Alison + Zach have one of those love stories from the movies. Thirteen year old boy meets girl. They date for three weeks, until Zach thinks Alison is dating him to gain popularity. Boy breaks girls heart. Until, the universe brings them together again in high school, only for them to be ripped apart again after a few years. Boy and girl go their separate ways in college, until boy comes to his senses and drives 6 hours to see girl. Girl is already dating someone else, but boy says, “I don’t care who you are with now — as long as you are with me later.” Months go by, and girl can’t stop thinking about boy. And Alison + Zach have been together ever since 🙂

Zach proposed to Alison with a picnic on the lake. He surprised her there, as she was biking by with a friend. Once she realized it was him, she immediately started laughing and crying. It was perfect. Alison + Zach, congratulations on your love story. You guys went through your hard times, but always knew you were meant to be together. Your love is stronger than ever – and it was so obvious on your wedding day. You may have won the award for most excited couple to get married 😉 All the best to you and your families – Mazel Tov!

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VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Martina Lina, Mira Couture | Hair Stylist/Make-Up Artist: Lillian Toma, Starlight Makeup | Wedding Coordinator: Kelly Cavanaugh, Clementine Events | Florist: Ramsey Jay Prince, Ashland and Addison | DJ: DJ K Sity, Cage and Aquarium | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Chicago Cultural Center | Caterer: Michaels

I met Tori + Ryan at Wheaton’s Danada House with their pup. It was a most gorgeous summer night, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful backdrop, not to mention the stunning, happy couple. Tori + Ryan, I’m super excited to work together. From our meeting at Soho House, to your emails, to the Engagement Session, every moment has been filled with fun stories and it’s clear how happy you are together. I know next July is going to be perfect and I can’t wait to be a part of your special day. Good luck with all the planning until then, even though it doesn’t seem like you need it, and I will see you behind my cameras again in the summer of 2017! Enjoy this special time in your lives 🙂

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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 🙂 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 Siobhán 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 Siobhán met at a rooftop bar in Minneapolis. Sometime later they would go on their first date in Chicago, where Siobhán’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 Siobhán’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 🙂

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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