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

 

Epic Greek Orthodox Chicago Wedding

May 27, 2017 has been marked with a big red heart on my calendar for over a year. Carly and Chris planned a wedding day packed full of celebratory details, surprises and special moments. Kicking off the day with a wedding gift of Christian Louboutin pumps and a mother-daughter whiskey toast, this couple honored family tradition and faith with a Greek Orthodox ceremony at St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines. Following a rose petal-showered church exit, the party bus stopped by Catherine Chevalier Woods for photos of the wedding party and Chris and Carly. Wedding guests enjoyed cocktail hour at The Empress in Addison until the bridal party welcomed the bride and groom with a stunning sparkler entrance to the ballroom. 

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A terrific team of vendors included Gaby Raguso of GLAMD, Flowers for Dreams, I Do Video by Leo, Mario Tricoci: Oak Brook all coordinated by Ashley Nicole Events.

Metropolis Ballroom Winter Wedding

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, Caitlin & Brian married at St. Raymond de Penafort in Mount Prospect and celebrated with friends and family at the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

As a wedding photographer, I have the privilege to witness emotional moments and remarkable relationships. I often tear up like the rest of you (especially when reliving moments while editing a wedding)- but it was definitely a first when I teared up at Caitlin and Brian's wedding consult. These meetings are one of my favorite parts of my work- it's a time for a couple to share their story and talk about their vision for their wedding and for me to share a little about myself and photography philosophy. Brian and Caitlin asked such thoughtful, considerate questions about my work and wedding photography that I found myself sharing more of my own personal reflection on weddings & love than usual. As I discovered throughout the next seven months of planning for their day, these two possess a warmth and charm together that can only arise from a open-hearted commitment to friends and family and a strength found in a shared love and trust.

As anyone who celebrated their wedding at the Metropolis Ballroom would tell you, this wedding was inspiring, infectiously joyful and full of beautiful light, delightful details and fabulous food.

Many thanks to the vendors who made such a special day so lovely!

DJ: Toast & Jam

Makeup Artist: Carly Pribich Palmer

Photo Booth: Fox and Harrison 

Reception Hall & Wedding Cake: Metropolis Ballroom

Floral Design: Robert's Floral Design Studio

 

Lifestyle Edit: Logan Square, Chicago

Makeup: Carly Pribich Palmer

Styling & Wardrobe: Free People & Zara

Loft: Alisha Siegel

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab