Although Christina + Tom grew up in neighboring suburbs and had several mutual friends, they didn’t meet until four years after college. Good old-fashioned kickball brought them together… and through mutual friends and a couple of seasons of post-game partying, Christina + Tom officially started dating in 2013. As they rang in the new year together last year… everything came together in the first few hours of 2017. Christina + Tom had just returned from dinner with friends, and as Christina did the dishes, she thought she heard Tom say something, so she yelled out, “Was there something you wanted to ask me?” And as she turned around, she found Tom – down on one knee, and he responded, “Actually, there is something I wanted to ask you…”
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Enzoani, Reddington Bridal | Bridesmiad Dresses Designer: Bill Levkoff, Reddington Bridal | Tuxedo Designer: Jos. A. Bank | Hair Stylist: Amanda Diedrich, Blohaute | Make-up Artist: Joanna B. Artistry | Wedding Coordinator: Veasna Kim, Ravenswood Event Center | Florist: Erin McLoraine, Life in Bloom | Cake Artist: Do-Rite Donuts | DJ: Style Matters DJs, Inc. | Paper Goods Designer: Ann Kate Design | Ceremony Venue: Queen of All Sants Basillica | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center | Caterer: Ravenswood Event Center
things got away from me with the holidays at the end of the year, but i can’t talk about 2017 (season wrap up coming next on the blog!) without mentioning jen + tyler’s incredible wedding. as their friend, i had the pleasure to photograph the first part of the day, then hand off the baton to my associates for the second half of the night so i could celebrate with them! it was so special for me to participate in their wedding day this way, and i’m excited to share some of my favorite moments… special thanks to team JTP (allie and nicki) for crushing the reception photos! congrats jen + tyler!!! hope these photos bring you right back to that amazing day!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Gown Designer: Theia (Devon), Lovely Bride | Tuxedo Designer: Black Tie Formalwear | Hair Stylist: Julianne’s Salon & Day Spa | Make-up Artist: Joey Claeyssen | Videographer: Rhys Ladhani Media | Florist: Flower Fantasy | Cake Artist: Urban Icing | DJ: DJ Chicago | Paper Goods: The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly | Ceremony: St. Josaphat | Reception Venue: River Roast
Nikki + Grant. What can I say about these two? Their engagement and wedding day were both SO fun to capture. Couples like these two are the reason I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do and have an absolute blast doing it. I’ll keep this short because the photos are just stunning. From their smiling faces, to the decor and florals, to that deep red color that I love so much… this one was definitely a favorite of 2017 – and what a great way to bring our wedding season to a close. One of the last of the year, and it was a cooooold one, but everything was totally worth it. Nikki + Grant, I wish you all of the best and I hope to stay in touch in the future!!
This one slipped through the cracks of the busy season and never got blogged – which is silly because it’s one of my favorites – not just of the year, but EVER. It was my first time shooting at the Field Museum and oooooh boy could I shoot there every single day. Ashley + Vince, you know how I feel about you guys – love you both, you’re the sweetest… your day was nothing short of a Party with a capital P. We’ve already talked and I know you love the photos (yayyy!), but I still wanted to share a few of my faves on the blog. All the best to you guys – and I hope this isn’t the last time our paths cross!
Melissa + Jack’s wedding day was one of those rainy Saturdays that you kept hoping the rain was going to let up, but it never did. It stormed all day long – the wind made it feel like it was raining sideways and rain drops just falling heavier and heavier – but Melissa + Jack smiled through it all and with the help of their amazing wedding party (see trolley pictures below) the party never stopped. Our original plan was to shoot at the Lincoln Park South Pond. When the rain made that impossible, our plan B was to go to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which is a covered greenhouse. Well, the rain still somehow made it’s way inside – forcing us to plan C… staying at the hotel. And this is when the rain became a blessing in disguise. Aside from being ‘good luck’ on your wedding day, this particular day of rain forced us to shoot inside Hotel Lincoln and the J. Parker rooftop. It gave us a chance to get something different and unique (and stay dry!). Melissa + Jack, THANK YOU for keeping such a positive attitude all day and being up for anything. Your wedding day wasn’t about the rain — it was about your love for each other, sharing it with your family and friends, and dancing the night away. Here’s to a happy life together filled with rainy and sunshiny days 🙂
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Morilee | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Watters | Groom Tuxedo: Tie Bar | Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux | Hair Stylist: Tina Morales, Three One Two Bridal | Make-up Artist: Casey Dickenson | Videographer: Amor in Motion, Karis Vazquez | DJ: Fig Media | Paper Goods: Christina Sinopoli | Ceremony Venue: St. Alphonsus | Reception Venue: Greenhouse Loft | Caterer: Food for Thought, Lisa Ware
Em + Nick came in from London to get married in Chicago at City Hall. Before celebrating at a small dinner with their families, we explored the West Loop and snapped a few pics. They wanted to keep it simple, clean, and focus on them being natural – so we did just that and they look BEAUTIFUL. Here are a few of my favorites from their mini session on the way to Piccolo Sogno for a yummy dinner. Congrats Em + Nick!
Ali is not the best at keeping up with sports. Alex having knowledge of this, took advantage of it. He told Ali that his company was doing a March Madness Bracket Tournament like they did the previous year. One day he calls Ali and says he found out the prizes for winning March Madness. He said 3rd place would receive a $1,000 gift card, 2nd place would receive box tickets at the United Center, and 1st place would be given a helicopter tour of the city. Ali quickly responded with enthusiasm about the helicopter ride because she had always wanted to do it! However, Alex stayed calm and said he wasn’t sure he would win.
Weeks went by and Alex called Ali on his way home from work saying pretty much everyone in his office was out of the tournament because their teams had lost. Ali being gullible and not caught up to date with sports was ecstatic! Alex and Ali went to Chicago Helicopter Tours and everything seemed normal. As the helicopter went up in the air Ali had her face pressed to the window in amazement. However, just as they were overlooking the sun setting behind the Chicago skyline, Alex spoke into his headphone.”Alexandra will you marry me?” Ali said YES and there was a whole lot of crying and kissing! Once they landed Alex had a limo waiting for them to take them “somewhere.” Alex told Ali it was a surprise who at this point was in pure shock and hysterics. The limo pulled up to Bull and Bear (where it all began) and Ali and Alex’s family and friends were there waiting to greet them and celebrate! It was a night that neither of them will ever forget. PS- Alex never even filled out a March Madness bracket! Ha!
Ali + Alex are two of the sweetest, most beautiful souls. From our first meeting, to the engagement session, to the boudoir session, to the wedding day – I loved every minute of working with them. I loved them so much, that I found myself celebrating along with them on their wedding day. Laughing when they laughed, crying when they cried, dancing when they danced – all while snapping photos and capturing these moments for them forever.
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Alyne by Rivini, Eloise, Bella Bianca Bridal Couture | Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Vera Wang, David’s Bridal | Tuxedo Designer: Jos. A. Bank | Hair and Makeup Stylist: Brittany, BM Hair and Makeup Design | Wedding Coordinator: Jamie Bacon, City View Loft | Videographer: George Street Photo & Video | Florist: May Floral | DJ: DJ Intel, Style Matters | Paper Goods Designer: Paperless Post | Ceremony/Reception Venue: City View Loft
Xin Xin + Ryan met five years ago, and last August they got engaged. Here’s their love story the way Ryan lovingly describes it:
“Mutual friends of ours at DePaul introduced Xin Xin and I in the summer of 2012. The first night we met was at The Original Mother’s, an incredibly sloppy, late-night dive bar. Anyone who knows Xin Xin can tell you she’s anything but a drinker, so this was probably the last place I should’ve suggested meeting. Nevertheless, we talked for hours and had a great conversation…”
They obviously hit it off and things went well, because after a few years of dating, Ryan decided it was time to ask Xin Xin to marry him.
“Last August, Xin Xin and I set off for a 2 week Eurotrip traveling through London, Paris, and Rome. I knew far in advance that I was going to propose while we were in Paris, but I didn’t have specific plans for how or when I was going to do it. I was strongly regretting not having the ring on me one day when we were touring the Palace of Versailles and walking throughout this beautiful garden – so I decided I would make an excuse to go back to the hotel so I could grab the ring and propose that evening. We had a delicious and authentic French meal before walking to the Eiffel Tower to take a boat tour on the Seine River. The tour was really beautiful, although I was completely distracted thinking about what I was about to do. It was a chilly night and, after the tour Xin Xin suggested that we take a cab back to the hotel. I insisted we walk and, thankfully, she didn’t resist. As we were walking back I was scoping out the perfect place to propose. We walked upon the Pont Alexandre III bridge (which I remembered Xin Xin was admiring earlier) and, with the illuminated Eiffel Tower as our backdrop, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. I could tell right away how surprised she was. She said yes, and we basked in the moment before walking back to celebrate with some champagne and share the news with our families.”
I love sharing the words directly from my bride and groom. Nothing I could ever write or say about them would better tell their story (that’s why I stick to photos!) Their gorgeous wedding at the Langham Chicago was photographed by JTP Team Member, Nicki – and she did an AMAZING JOB capturing every moment beautifully. See for yourselves… congrats Xin Xin + Ryan!
It was the two year anniversary of Tori + Ryan’s first date. They had originally planned to go to the same restaurant (Cooper’s Hawk) – but first Ryan took Tori back to her old apartment complex. Sounds random, but it was the first time he saw her. Two years prior, he had gone to pick her up for their date, and when Ryan pulled up, Tori was outside playing with her new puppy. It was in this spot that he met the love of his life, and this very same spot is where Ryan asked Tori to marry him.
Tori + Ryan, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to not only work with you – but get to know you better. From our first meeting, to the Engagement Session, to the wedding – it was all a pleasure. I loved seeing how much you both love each other through it all. The excitement to marry each other was evident in BOTH of your tears throughout the day. Your love for each other even made me tear up a little bit behind the camera 🙂 Thanks for choosing us to capture your wedding day – we love how the photos turned out and hope you do, too!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Winnie Couture | Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Bebe | Tuxedo Designer: Formally Modern Tuxedo | Wedding Coordinator: Kacie Benjamin, The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms | Videographer: ojo Creative | Florsist: Erin Stoffregen, Event Floral | Cake Artist: Terrell Cole, Dark Horse Pastries | DJ: Frankie Novak | Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Church by the Side of the Road | Reception Venue: The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms | Caterer: Henrici’s Catering | Photo Booth: Luxe Productions
Amanda + Ryan’s story follows an interesting timeline of events. They first met at a “Throw Back to College Years” birthday party about 8 years ago. Even after a couple jello shots – there weren’t any sparks, and it seemed they were going to take the road towards friendship. Fast forward 6 years, and Ryan moved back to Chicago after playing professional baseball in Florida. They both had mutual friends, so their journey started with a solid base of friendship. Then, at 13,000ft in Breckenridge, CO – something clicked, timing was perfect, and everything aligned for them.
The following year, they were in Park City Utah. After scouting the mountain for 2 days and snowboarding with a ring in his pants, Ryan found a scenic woods setting to take their annual handstand picture. After the final picture and wipe out, Amanda stood up while Ryan stayed in the snow …but this time on one knee – asking Amanda to marry him.
Their wedding was the perfect Sunday Funday. Their friends and family gathered for an early afternoon ceremony/cocktail hour/lunch reception at Ovation. A lot of the details were DIY, and I’m talking GOOD DIY. They designed their own logo, created all the signs, made all the centerpieces full of greenery and palms, made the place cards… and they even built the structure at the front of the ceremony. But my favorite detail was that they brought all their plants from home – it was such a personal touch! They had fun, showed their love for each other, drinks were flowing, and the after-party continued at Fifty-50. After spending the day with them – I now LOVE the idea of a Sunday Wedding – it was perfect 🙂 Amanda + Ryan, all the best to you guys – and I hope to continue running into you at the Windy City Smokeout for years to come!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Justin Alexander, Weddings 826 | Tuxedo Designer: Adrian Park Custom Suits | Hair Stylist: Amanda, Blohaute | Make-up Artist: Joey Claeyssen | Donuts: Glazed and Infused | Ceremony/Reception Venue: Ovation | Caterer: Catering by Michaels