June 21, 2015   |   wedding

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Christy and Matt were married this past weekend at the Allerton hotel in downtown Chicago. Since they got ready at the hotel, had the ceremony at the hotel, had their reception at the hotel, and didn’t want to go off-site for photos, it was a super smooth day.

When these two first contacted me about shooting their wedding, they were quick to tell me that they “weren’t photo people,” and they wanted me to know that they weren’t interested in doing portraits; they really just wanted to get candid shots of them enjoying their full day–no interruptions! (They also asked me if I was afraid of heights, but we’ll get to that later.)

So, I made sure to give them exactly what they wanted. We spent a grand total of maybe 30-45 minutes photographing their first look, taking about 5 minutes of portraits, shooting the wedding party and the family, and then getting back to more exciting stuff!

I sometimes get a little nervous, wondering whether or not couples will regret not having the perfect picture of them on their wedding day. Then, I have to remember that there’s no such thing as perfect, and being fully present on their day SHOULD be the most important thing.

And it’s worth mentioning that I rarely see a couple enjoy their own wedding as much as Christy and Matt did. Here are some sneak peeks from a couple who could teach all of us a thing or two about just letting go and having fun!

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Since the whole plan was to be easy, we did most of the photos in the ceremony space, including this first look.

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Still every bit as sweet and special!

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Remember that question about my fearing heights? Yeah, well–this is why! The one shot they knew they wanted was on this fire escape. 24 stories high. (Even Christy started second-guessing this once we stepped out, but we all toughed it out for this awesome shot!)

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I was in love with the girls’ dresses and bouquets. I love the mixed shades trend!

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Ceremony time!

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There were lots of laughs!

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And also some touching moments. Christy helped Matt along when he got choked up during vows. (Look at those peeping bridesmaids. How cute are they?!)

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Married!

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Some reception details…

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And, of course, I couldn’t blog this wedding without including this shot, showing just how much Matt LOVES Meatloaf sing-alongs! :)

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June 8, 2015   |   wedding

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Perrin and Michelle are fellow poets and, when they contacted me last year about shooting their small-town Michigan wedding, I wasn’t sure I could commit. I knew I’d have a super preggo wife by June, and I was nervous about the timing of their affair

After meeting them for one of their Saturday morning pastry dates, I agreed. They’re poets who love pastries, after all! What more could I ask for?

The truth was, I was excited to shoot in a new place. I love Chicago, but–by request–I frequent a lot of the same spots. So, it’s nice to be inspired by a new place. Also, I just could tell that Perrin and Michelle’s wedding was going to be intimate, special, and SO THEM.

Well, they didn’t disappoint. These two planned the perfect lakeside wedding day. They ceremony was at the Lakebluff Bird Sanctuary in Manistee, MI, and a reception followed at a harbor-side restaurant in Ludington.

The setting was gorgeous, yes, but what really inspired me was just how over-the-moon these two are when they are together. Here are some sneak peeks that I’m VERY excited to share!

When I walked in and saw this wallpaper, I knew we were going to have a good day.

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Got to love a bride who gets herself ready–while listening to N’Sync and Brittany Spears, no less!

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OHMYGAWD. That’s all I could think as I was totally photo-geeking while shooting these bridal portraits. Can you even handle it? I can’t.

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I caught Michelle looking out the window, anxiously awaiting what was to come.

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Meanwhile, I ran downstairs to capture Perrin’s finishing touches.

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The sweetness begins with these shots from the first look.

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Michelle proposed to Perrin (yeah, you heard me) with this bottle cap, which he still wears. SWOON.

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Time for the ceremony!

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Which, of course, just included more sweetness.

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After the ceremony, we headed to the lake house that they are renting for the week and did more photos around the property. We just happened upon this structure, which must’ve been used for a wedding at some point. Lucky find, right?!

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They had a hard time keeping a straight face for photos, especially with Perrin’s silliness.

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And, finally, a couple shots from the dances at the reception, proving, yet again, that Michelle is the world’s most joyful bride!

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June 3, 2015   |   engagement

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You give me a good location, great light, and a couple with some chemistry, and I am one happy photographer!

I got so lucky yesterday at Brent and Ellyn’s engagement session in Lincoln Park. We met at Cafe Brauer and followed the light throughout the park. The light was absolutely magical, and I was quickly reminded why that is one of my favorite spots in the city!

This shoot is full of everything I love: late spring evenings, sunsets, Chicago parks, and sweet couples. I hope you enjoy looking at these sneak peeks even half as much as I enjoyed shooting them!

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LOVE this photo!

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And these!

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My gosh, Chicago, you’re pretty this time of year. (And you aren’t so bad either, Ellyn and Brent!) ;)

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