Chicago Wedding Photographer (192)

Elise & Drew - Chicago's First Lady Cruise Wedding

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The Magnificent Mile

This morning started out at The Embassy Suites on the Mag Mile in downtown Chicago, IL. After overcoming a slight queasiness from the glass elevators, I arrived to the door of the groom! Drew was in the company of his closest friends celebrating the big day with beer pong, Bears football and customary shots. Drew is a rare kind of human, one that makes you immediately feel welcome when you’re in his presence. His good mood and high energy built up the excitement to come. Once his side of the wedding party was ready, I headed off to see the bride!

When I knocked on Elise’s door, she was in the finishing stages of hair and makeup. Her bridesmaids were much more reserved, saving their energy for the night’s festivities. Nonetheless, the room was filled with laugher and stories of the past. Once ready, we headed downstairs for an emotional first look on The Magnificent Mile. It was a special moment in time as Drew fought back tears of joy when he saw his beautiful bride to be!

Lurie Garden in Millennium Park

A Cadillac Escalade limo picked us up from our first look location. The ride was equipped with drinks, music and lights to bring the energy to that next level! We headed to Lurie Garden in the heart of Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. We were working with limited time and had to navigate tourists, but it was nothing a Chicago native couldn’t handle!

Encapsulated by the beautiful sounds of the garden, we enjoyed all that Lurie had to offer. It’s almost a surreal feeling in the thick of it. The garden has a way of making you forget you’re surrounded by skyscrapers, teeming with greenery and wildlife at every turn! We made the most of each corner as we exited on Monroe St. and found a nice green garage door that made the perfect backdrop for a few group photos. Along the way, we happened upon an ice cream truck that briefly stopped on the busy street. It was there I would take one of my favorite images to date! I called to Elise and Drew and they had no problem following my instruction after getting to know how I direct and compose my shots. And just like that, we were off to CFL cruises!

Chicago's First Lady

The limo stopped at our final destination on Wacker St. Once we headed down the steps to the Chicago River, Chicago’s Fair Lady was getting the royal treatment by K. Carlton event planning. Guests arrived as we waited by the dock, exchanging hellos with people who have been distanced by Covid-19 and ready to celebrate sweet love. The captain gave us the thumbs up and we were water bound!

Guests took their seat on the top of the Fair Lady as the wedding party stayed on the lower level awaiting their grand entrance. The yacht was sailing down the river and the ceremony was underway! After a few speeches and an exchanging of vows, they sealed their love with a kiss and the next phase of the wedding night took place.

The wedding party and their guests enjoyed a buffet of food, delicious cake and plenty of drinks. By the time everyone was done, the upper level was clear to make way for a large dance floor. The night concluded with fireworks overlooking the Chicago skyline and hours of dancing and celebration. It was a beautiful conclusion to an impactful day in this couple’s life!

The Morning

Bridal prep and first look

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Lurie Garden

The wedding party

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Chicago's Fair Lady

The cruise

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The Chicago River

The ceremony & reception

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Chicago Engagement Shoot 16

Ann & Rollin - Chicago Engagement Shoot

Would you be mine?

For this Chicago engagement shoot, we opted to head into the woods and leave the busy city behind. Ann & Rollin asked me if I would photograph them surprising their niece and nephew with news that they would be flower girl and ring bearer! I didn’t hesitate to say yes as I knew this would be a beautiful moment and a great start to our photo session.

After the kids were met with their surprise, we wandered deeper down the nature trail. One thing was very clear – Ann & Rollin have a very pure love filled with truth and trust! As I checked the back of my camera every few shots, I grew with excitement about their October wedding at the Wilder Mansion that I would be capturing. The faces on their guests as they profess their love for each other will be something to behold. This story is to be continued!

Chicago Engagement Shoot
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