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Category: Weddings  -  View all recent posts


Posted by Dawn

07.07.15  -  Weddings

Sammi & Lee | The Standard Club | Chicago



We are truly grateful to Stacy Saltzman for introducing us to this beautiful family. I mean, who doesn't love when you get to leave a meeting with a handful of delicious bakery goods?

Sammi's dad, Marc, is a fifth generation bakery owner. His grandparents started Leonard's Bakery in 1908 on the south side of Chicago. Marc opened the current Leonard's in Northbrook in 1987 and wow, it's incredible! You must go there and try his Kiddish Cake. It's so delicious!

We felt an instant connection with Sammi and Lee... and Marc. They were all so inviting and it was wonderful getting to know their story. Sammi and Lee met in high school and had dated for 10 years before he proposed at Walt Disney Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry. The perfect spot close to home because Sammi was a huge Disney fan!

I lost it a little bit when Sammi shared the loss of her mom. Sammi is an only child and she was best friends with her mom, Judy. They talked about wedding plans together ever since she got engaged. Judy didn't make it to Sammi's wedding but there is no doubt in my mind that her mom was there every step of the way as she planned the most magical wedding ever. Sammi and Lee celebrated her mom throughout their entire wedding with a beautiful poem, and a beautiful letter which they wrote to her. Judy became an artist in her later part of life and painted the most beautiful painting for Sammi and Lee when they moved into their apartment. They hung this painting in the room where cocktail hour was and all the guests were taking photos with it.

I could go on and on about how incredible this family is, in fact, I sit here with tear filled eyes writing this post. Bob and I are so thankful to know them and to have photographed this important day in their lives. Sammi and Lee... and Marc... thank you, thank you, thank you for trusting us with your wedding day!

Thank you to Rich Chapman for 2nd shooting this wedding with Bob! We couldn't have done this without you!

xoxo!

~ Dawn and Bob

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Posted by Dawn

07.01.15  -  Weddings

Elizabeth & Danny | Wedding | Norte Dame



When I met with Elizabeth at her condo in Chicago I knew instantly that she was just an amazing young woman. When she smiled she lit up the room. We talked for a long time and then conferenced her mom into our meeting. It was obvious to me her kind soul was inherited from her mom.

Elizabeth and Danny met as undergraduate students at Notre Dame. Their first date was at a Starbucks. They'd been dating for 5 years before Danny proposed. It was the weekend Danny graduated from Norte Dame Law School. Elizabeth thought they were just celebrating his graduation, little did she know he was going to kneel down in front of the Grotto and ask her to marry him. This is where their adventure of wedding planning began. While being a medical student in Chicago and planning a destination wedding, it was no easy task.

As you can see from their wedding at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. It was beautiful and we were so honored to have captured this important day for them!

We wish Elizabeth and Danny a lifetime of happiness together!

xoxo,

~ Dawn and Bob

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Posted by Dawn  -  06.28.15

Weddings, Photographers, Workshops

Real Wedding Workshop | Lauren & Justin | Day 1



It was a cold January night, the stars were so bright, and Lauren and Justin were game when Bob asked them if they were up for an adventure! They braved the weather and this is one of the images that he captured. One of my favorite images from the day!

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Posted by Dawn  -  06.28.15

Weddings, Photographers, Workshops

Lauren & Justin | Wedding | Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation



Ready for Day 2 of 3 of our Real Wedding Workshop? The BIG day.... Lauren and Justin's beautiful wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation. We certainly were... all 19 photographers. Yes, this is always crazy... but crazy fun!

Lauren and Justin visited Hawks Cay Resort in Florida every August around his birthday since they started dating in 2011. Little did she know when he made it a couples trip with three of her best friends and their husbands, in 2013, that he would be planning a little surprise for her that would change her life forever. Their first day there, they all spent the day boating. As they were walking back to the resort, hand in hand, she said to Justin that she wanted to make this an annual trip for them and bring their kids one day. That's when he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him with the promise that the resort would always be their special place.

A year and a half later, their wedding day had arrived. The most beautiful day - picture perfect! The sun was shining and everyone was smiling. Lauren and her bridesmaids have an incredible bond, they love each other like they are sisters. Justin and his boys are equally tight, and his dad was his best man. How cool is that? The love that surrounds them is undeniable. Lauren looked incredibly beautiful in her stunning Rivini gown with a gorgeous pair of satin red Badgley Mischka shoes with an embellished peep toe. The Rivini jewelry she wore was equally beautifully. All her college friends have been passing down a Gator garter, and they each have it monogramed after wearing it. I mean seriously, that is the best! Her girls all wore Amsale with a faux fur grey wrap, while Justin and his boys were looking dapper in their slim fit tuxes by Black by Vera Wang. I'd say this was a beautiful bridal party!

Their first look was like no other! It took place on a spectacular bridge, surrounded by trees everywhere which made for a romantic setting and so many photographic opportunities. Lauren and her daddy headed to the Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church in a white 1966 RR Princess Vanden Plas. Can it get any better than this? The service was beautiful. I think I cried through the whole thing, it's a good thing I wasn't holding a camera... lol.

The cocktail hour took place in The Forest on the Ritz property, with hanging bistro lights, beautiful lanterns everywhere, and beautiful lounge furniture, not to mention the view of the lake in the background. The cocktail hour music was dedicated to Lauren's late Grandmother who loved Frank Sinatra. The food served had a southern flare including tomato soup with heart shaped grilled cheese... just incredible!!! Their winter southern wedding was romantic and classical with beautiful red roses everywhere! Their reception was in the Ballroom and the decor took your breath away when you walked in. The entertainment, the cake, the dessert table, the first dance, the speeches, the sparkler exit... OMG...

I think I've said too much.... so why not discover for yourselves how incredibly beautiful this wedding was. A huge thank you to Lauren and Justin and their families for welcoming our group with open arms. They treated us with such grace and I just can't thank them enough for all their kindness. Same to Ashley Scott at the Ritz, who was truly an amazing coordinator! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Then we have Tracey Taylor and Dee Green who also assisted us as well. They came all the way from Japan to help us. We met them at our 3rd Real Wedding Workshop in Nashville, and these beauties have become dear friends. Without this them, we would the coverage of this wedding would never be what it is... so thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

Lauren and Justin, we love you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness together!!!!

xxoo!!!

~ Dawn and Bob

Ps: Be ready for Day 3 of the workshop up next...

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Posted by Dawn  -  06.28.15

Weddings, Photographers, Workshops

Real Wedding Workshop | Lauren & Justin | Day 3



After an incredible wedding day, we began Day 3 of our Real Wedding Workshop reviewing images from the wedding. Also, recapping what Bob had shared on Day 1 and the wedding day. After that, I shared how we grew our small town business to success and my love for sales, marketing and branding. It's awesome when you learn how to attract the client that appreciates your talents and doesn't try to micro manage your business.

We're certainly not perfect, but with the mistakes we've made we have constructed building blocks that have brought us further than we ever imagined. I believe that everything happens for a reason and if we look at mistakes as lessons learned, they are not mistakes at all. It's like dating someone that is not good and breaks your heart. You learn what is not acceptable for your next relationship. And if you're lucky, you'll meet the person of your dreams. I've had a few not-so-good relationships that weren't right for me. But they all prepared me for what I knew I wanted in my husband. I'm a lucky girl.

Anyway, we spent the morning talking business. I know it's not every photographer's favorite thing, but it's a necessity. Most would rather be out shooting and learning how to take better photos. That's great, but truth be told, you can be the best photographer in the world and fail if you don't know how to run a business. It's equally important, if not more, to learn the business side.

After lunch, we later joined Lauren and Justin for a final photo shoot, this time on the Ritz ice skating rink. They were champs, they partied all night and were still up for more photos the next day! How cute are they?

Another once in a lifetime experience. Thank you to all our amazing photographers who joined us. Jensen Bell, Pam Bell, Whitney Bower, Marisa Carey, Christina Corneau, Melissa Del Vecchio, Greg & Theresa Favello, Jasleen Kaur, Chrissy Kruger-Gruendyke, Greg Moran, Sebastian Orr, Felix Peter, Shayla Samples, and Rochelle Wilhelms WE LOVE YOU ALL...!

Bob, I, and our team, Michele, Tracey Taylor and Dee Green left exhausted, as I'm sure they did as well, but we left with such happy hearts. We had many repeats attendees and made several new friends. We are blessed and so happy to share our love in an industry that is filled with so many creative people!

Lauren, Justin, and your families.... thank you again for trusting us with your wedding! And letting all our photographers share in your day! We love you and can't thank you enough for your kindness!!!

All our love,

~ Dawn and Bob

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Posted by Dawn

06.22.15  -  Weddings

Caroline & Jack | Chicago Wedding | Four Seasons Hotel



To say that this wedding was beautiful is an understatement! When the talented, Reva Nathan reached out to see if we were available December 31, 2014 for a New Year's Eve wedding at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago we couldn't be more thrilled to have the date open. And when we met with Caroline, her mom and sister at their home in Hinsdale, we knew this was going to be an amazing wedding! They are the nicest family and graciously welcomed us into their home and we loved getting to know them.

Though Jack says he knew Caroline in high school, Caroline says the officially met when her sister, Margaret got engaged to Jack's best friend, Phil. How cool is that? Even though they talked all night about the mutual friends they shared from their days of water polo at Fenwick, a year had past since they ran into each other again at Margaret and Phil's wedding shower. A few weeks later they met up at a Blackhawks game and talk all through the game, but still didn't see each other again for a few months. I guess that is how long it took Jack to get the nerve to ask Caroline to a party. She dragged all her friends with her because she had a crush on Jack... and that is when their love story began. They dated a little over a year and half before Jack popped the question at Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and a little over a year later, they said "I do!" I would say their love was worth the wait...!!!

Caroline's mom, Lisa was instrumental in helping her daughter plan for their big day. They said "I Do" in the evening at St. James Chapel. One of my favorite churches in the city of Chicago! Reva Nathan & Associates and Rishi Patel and his team at HMR Designs did an outstanding job transforming Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and bringing Caroline and Jack's NYE dream wedding to fruition. It couldn't have been anymore beautiful and FUN! Caroline looked stunning her Pnina Tornai gown that she purchased at Kleinfeld. Of course, having one of the BEST in Chicago, Caroline Shaw owner of The Wedding Dresser help everyone get into their gowns is always a plus!

Everyone danced the night away while Rendezvous Music entertained the crowd, not a moment the dance floor wasn't rockin'.

Caroline and Jack, we wish you both so much happiness. Marriage is wonderful, Bob and I know this after being married almost 23 years. Thank you for inviting us into your lives and trusting us with one of the most special days the two of you will share with all your friends and family!

xoxo!

~ Dawn and Bob

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Posted by Dawn

05.01.15  -  Weddings

Celeste & Jim | Wedding | The Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago



One of the sweetest "Mr. + Mrs" ever. Thank you to Marcy Glink at Great Events who introduced us to Celeste and Jim .

They booked us to photograph their wedding at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago. They were blending families and didn't want to have the traditional wedding so they hired Sue Cronin's Impulse Talent Group to perform to a "decades" theme and it was such a fun wedding!

We even did a "decades" photoshoot before their wedding. Then we designed a book with the photos and decade quotes and all 230 dinner plates at the wedding had a 6"x6" book on it. So fun!!!

Always an honor to photograph a beautiful wedding but when it's a family who is this appreciative, it makes it a million times more special. We love you Celeste and Jim!

xoxox!! ~ Dawn and Bob

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Posted by Dawn  -  04.01.15

Weddings, News / Press

Inside Weddings | Spring 2015 | Ashley Jarol & Michael Scott



Be still my heart, the team at Inside Weddings is just AMAZING. We can't thank Walt, Art, and Nicole enough for publishing Ashley and Michael's wedding. Truly one of thee BEST luxury bridal magazines on the stands!

And a huge thank you to event planner extraordinaire, Marina Birch of Birch Design Studio who brought this wedding to life along with the brilliant team at Kehoe Designs. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago was the perfect venue for this gorgeous garden wedding.

Happy Spring everyone!

xoxox!

~ Dawn

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Posted by Dawn  -  03.18.15

Weddings, News / Press

The Knot Chicago | Spring-Summer 2015 Edition | Jillian & Matt



Ahhhhh absolutely excited for our sweet couple Jillian and Matt. To have a wedding featured in a bridal magazine is any photographer's dream. We can't thank Rebecca Crumley at The Knot Chicago enough for featuring this beautiful wedding in the Spring/Summer 2015 edition. A huge thank you to the gorgeous and talented Susan Cordogan at Big City Bride for introducing us to this family! Big hugs girlie!

You can see Jillian and Matt's blog post featuring many photos from their wedding here.

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Posted by Dawn

03.18.15  -  Weddings

Jillian + Mathew | Private Estate Wedding



This wedding.... ohhhh my, melt my heart! We were introduced to Jillian and Matt through their event planner, Susan Cordogan of Big City Bride . If you haven't met Susan, she's a hoot! You will love her; she's sweet, she's beautiful and so talented. She collaborated with the super creative, Rishi Patel, of HMR Designs to bring this wedding to life! And wow.... did they ever!

Jillian and Matt first met in high school at a festival in downtown Geneva. However, their love story began a decade later, when one summer day, Jillian was driving along the river, windows down, the song "tangerine" blaring to the beat when she noticed a cute guy jogging, and it happened to be Matt. She sent him a text and he invited her out on a date. She recalls it being the best date she had ever been on. Matt didn't wait long to ask his love to marry him. We posted their engagement session last summer, you can check tthat out here.

They decided to get married on her father's property which made a gorgeous backdrop for their wedding. Jillian chose a beautiful Lazaro gown by JLM Couture, with a lace bodice and 13 layers of buttercup chiffon and just the right about of lace towards the bottom. Her veil was cathedral length and has a sweet delicate edge... so pretty! She wore Jimmy Choo shoes and diamond earrings that her groom gave to her, along with a borrowed bracelet from a family friend. Her hair, half up in a twist that connected and long waves, was styled by Ashley Young. Jillian was inspired by Khaleesi's hair from Game of Thrones. I'd say she looked even better! Her bridesmaids all wore soft plum dresses by BHLDN which were gorgeous! Matt and his boys all had a James Bond look going on as they all wore black tuxes from GQ Formalwear.

Jillian and Matt said "I do" at St. John Neumann in a full Catholic mass. Then headed back on a Flying Lady trolley to celebrate thier love with friends and family. Guests entered the wedding through a lounge where everyone had their photo taken on a swanky white sofa. During cocktail hour, signature drinks were served, named after their two dogs Bella and Jack. Guests enjoyed a raw bar, a craft beer station, Sonoma wines, cheeses, and a Mediterranean bar. Toasts were made, and everyone danced to The Chicago Players who rocked the night away.

We couldn't have photographed this wedding so well without the help of our team, Christine Bentley, and Diego Ivan Martirena of Maplewood Photogrpaphy. Thank you so much for your love and support!

Bob and I hope you enjoy looking through the images from this beauttiful wedding. Jillian and Matt, thank you with all our heart and soul for trusting us with this very special day in your lives!!!

Enjoy!

~ Dawn

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