September 30, 2016   |   wedding

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Caitlin is best friends with Summer, who I’ve photographed quite a few times. (I’m photographing her maternity session, later this year!) Summer’s wedding, even though it was several years ago, is still one of my favorites. It was a semi-casual brunch affair, and I remember being there, thinking “this is the most I’ve ever seen people enjoy a wedding.” In fact, it was so awesome, that I stole her idea and was married in the same venue a couple of years later!

So, when Caitlin contacted me, saying she was having a low-key brunch wedding, I knew I was in for a treat! Caitlin is the anti-Bridezilla. She’s so impossibly laid-back about everything, and her and Jesse’s wedding, which was at Farmhouse in Evanston, really evoked that kind of relaxed atmosphere.

There wasn’t really any dancing or fuss or elaborate timeline or grand affair–but there were waffles! And mimosas and an open bar and plenty of fun to go around.

When it was time for the ceremony, everyone just walked up to the front; it was like a pop-up wedding in the midst of a really lively party.

Here are some photos from a wedding that centered around the important stuff: family, friends, love–and bloody marys!

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I loved Caitlin’s dress, which had a total vintage vibe.

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How cute was the tie that Caitlin’s dad wore?

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Ceremony time! Summer officiated.

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Jesse’s dad was adorable, taking photos the whole time.

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I love this photo of Caitlin’s family.

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Married!

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A few informal toasts followed…

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And then it was time to eat!

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May 8, 2016   |   wedding

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Gooooooing to the chapel, and I’m gooooooing to get marrrrrried… Okay, I couldn’t resist.

Jennifer and James were married this past Saturday at Chapel in the Pines, which is an adorably quaint little chapel in Sycamore, IL. It was the perfect setting for their romantic “love birds”-themed wedding.

All brides look forward to their wedding photos, but Jennifer had an eye on photography before a date was even set! She’s a wedding photo fan-girl–and the sweetest one you’ll ever meet. Since photos are so important to her, we were both a little panicked when rain was forecasted for their big day. However, the rain storms ended and the clouds dissipated just in time for the wedding festivities to begin. We ended up with perfect light.

And, as a bridesmaid pointed out, since their wedding color was purple and they released doves after the ceremony, they basically threw a Prince-themed wedding–whether or not those were their intentions. 😉

Here are some photos from our time together.

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Jennifer surprised James with a customized “love book.” Her dad started reading a few pages… and then quickly realized that he shouldn’t! 🙂

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James’s groomsmen tried helping him get dressed. There may or may not have been a button torn off in the process.

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I was IN LOVE with Jennifer’s vintage-inspired gown.

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These two. SO sweet.

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The bridal party deserves some love, too.

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I loved the bridesmaids dresses, too!

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Ceremony time! The chapel is TINY, but that made the ceremony very intimate.

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James nervously fumbled his vows a bit. The officiant finally reassured him by saying, “Good enough.”

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Married!

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Jennifer and James arranged to release doves. Like, REAL LIVE DOVES, after the ceremony. This was a first, for me, and I was so totally stoked. Do you know that these doves actually fly home, once released? I mean, C’MON.

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James’s face KILLS me, here.

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A little cake action.

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And an adorable moment from the first dance, to end.

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April 5, 2016   |   Photographers, wedding

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My first wedding of the year is always an exciting one, and Claire and Max were the perfect couple to kick off my 2016 wedding season!

From the second we met, sharing a beer at Hopleaf, one of my favorite neighborhood bars, I knew they’d be great to work with. They kept describing their wedding as a “big party where there happen to be some vows being exchanged.” And that’s exactly what it was!

They got married at the W–Lakeshore this past Saturday. It was one of the wackiest weather days I’ve seen, yet. There was snow. Then rain. Then sunshine. Then snow. Then more rain. Well, you get the idea!

When I arrived, Claire said she didn’t want her day to be “weather dependent.” So, we opted to stay on site for photos, only dashing outside for a quick 10-15 minutes–just the three of us! But those 10-15 minutes were magical! There were snow flurries and near-empty streets. We got a lot of goodness in that short time, and I’m glad they were troopers, willing to take some photos in the freezing cold weather.

Here are some sneak peeks from Claire and Max’s day!

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Oh, look! Sunshine!

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Claire’s girls were so excited for her. They were a small, sweet bunch!

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We managed to score a private suite for a few photos, thanks to Jessie Pare, the W’s wedding coordinator extraordinaire. This suite + Claire’s style = PERFECTION.

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I love how vintage chic she looked!

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I also love the way Max is looking at his wife-to-be, here.

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They wanted to do this silly photo, which they were recreating from a previous moment, and I love that this biker happened by.

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Cute AND sexy!

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Like everything else, Claire and Max wanted a relaxed, casual approach to photos with their friends and family.

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The ceremony, which happened AFTER everyone had enjoyed cocktail hour, was impromptu but intimate.

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…and funny.

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Married!

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I love this sweet moment with the couple and some close friends, one of whom officiated their ceremony.

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The reception was basically one long concert. Max is a musician and had friends do the entertainment. There were TWO bands–and a DJ! Everyone had a blast.

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