Fanciful, Floral Chicago Wedding

 
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If you spend eight years of life attending, celebrating, observing and wholeheartedly participating in weddings, you might come to a fork in the road. On paper, wedding days may first appear to follow the same general structure: dressing of the bride, first kiss, presentation of the newlyweds, first dance... Experientially, of course, each day presents in a wholly unique manner, with personal touches and intimate moments that honor the story of the individual couple. As a photographer, I've found rest in this- documenting the details and moments that are rooted in personal meaning for my clients. I consider it the depth of this work to engage in each couple's perspective and witness the day in their eyes. Now for the fork in the path...

I will remember May & June of 2018 as one of the most transformative seasons of my work and life. Not because we've had a wedding every weekend or because these weddings have been particularly personally meaningful to me. (Oh my heart, and how!) This season has been an opportunity for renewal of the love that I have for this pursuit, and an opportunity to interpret wedding days through a more poetic, emotionally evocative lens rather than strictly documentarian. In the past, I have intentionally created and curated a final collection of images for clients that visually answer the question: "What happened, and who was there?"

However, as a creative, I've followed a journey from identifying as a "craftsman" to now finding integrity as an "artist" in this pursuit. Good art evokes feeling, triggers thought, connects spiritually, illustrates memory. Photography itself has fought a long battle to be considered a "fine art" peer of painting and sculpture. Wedding photography, even more so. After an off-season of contemplating what elevates wedding photography and how to get there, I've pursued wedding days this summer with a radically different question: "How do we love?"

ALL OF THAT TO SAY: I owe everything to the couples who have embraced and encouraged my work as artistry- and none so much as Taylor Dahlstrom & Dan Rehor. I had the privilege to be present for Dan's proposal one wintery day in 2017, walk through the planning and dreaming with Taylor (she's the visionary behind Amelia Cole Events) and ultimately celebrate their first day as a married couple on June 16, 2018. I'm deeply grateful to share this first look into their wedding day at Patrick Haley Mansion. Congratulations, loves!!!

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Wedding Planner: Amelia Cole Events / Venue: Patrick Haley Mansion / Florist: Life in Bloom / Beauty: Bianca Sansosti Artistry / DJ: Charizma Entertainment / Acoustic Singer: Zach Wcislo / Videography: Courtney Cimo / Wedding Cake: Amy Beck Design / Donuts: Do-Rite / Photobooth: TagPrints Digital / Transportation: M&M Limos

 

Rustic Dahlia Chicago Riverfront Wedding

When I first spoke with Amy, she talked about the life and love that she, Matthew and her daughter Jillian share in Tucson, Arizona. She described her vision for their destination wedding here in the Chicago Loop as an intimate celebration with their nearest and dearest family and friends. Matt's family is well-connected with Chicago and he himself is a die-hard Cubs fan (is there really any other kind? #flytheW!). 

Amy's parents and bridesmaids were on hand for pre-ceremony preparations at ALoft Chicago City Center Hotel, with the ceremony and reception hosted at Rivers Restaurant. Taylor Dahlstrom of Amelia Cole Events curated a dream team of vendors and brought together Amy's vision of a truly lovely wedding atmosphere with blush and gold accents, succulents, cafe au lait dahlias, and strings of cafe lights on the riverfront in downtown Chicago. 

For Amy & Matt's wedding day, our light-washed documentary fine art photography style was designed to complement the warmth and affection of this wedding on such a perfectly crips fall October day in Chicago. Marla Kopkie, Amy's maid of honor and Tucson hair salon owner, styled the bride's and maids' hair. Many thanks to Ashbark Florals, A Posh Production, Chicago Farm Tables, and also Sugar Fixe for an especially lovely wedding cake.