Camp Wandawega Wedding | Elkhorn, WI | Kelly Marie & Dave

CampWandawegaWedding_62My heart is bursting with joy as I relive Kelly Marie and Dave’s beautiful wedding day at Wandawega Lake Resort in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  And I’m even more excited to announce that their perfect day has been featured on Martha Stewart Weddings! It was such an honor to be a part of their gorgeous day, and seeing it on MSW is truly the icing on the cake and a huge milestone for me. I’m thrilled to unveil their blog post once again, now that we are officially published!

I met Kelly only a few months after moving to Chicago four years ago, and her warmth, humor, and beautiful spirit instantly won me over. She is a radiant soul, and I could not be happier that she and Dave found love and lifelong partnership in one another.  Their love story makes me smile every time I hear it- Kelly Marie, a floral designer and artist and Davey, the musician and bartender. She had noticed him several times as she sat at the bar at Lula Cafe ordering her regular drink. Her smile and laughter captured his attention instantly and he began to look forward to each time she came in. One day he sent a drink over to her, his intentions clear. Not wanting to lead him on, Kelly told Dave she wasn’t available. But she was drawn to his kindness and the two soon became friends. Dave waited patiently as their friendship grew, falling for her more and more. Seasons passed, and Kelly Marie was single again. And when the time was right, Dave pursued her again. This time she responded delightedly, for over the period of time their friendship grew, she had begun to develop feelings for Dave as well. Today these two are so in love, it’s like they’ve never known a period in their lives without each other. To me they are such a wonderful example of partnership as they both freely pursue the things that make them feel alive while supporting one another, cultivating joint passions, and building a beautiful life together. And the very bar they met at inside of Lula now sits at Fleur and serves as the counter in the flower shop!

Kelly and Dave’s celebration was also a collaboration among many of Chicago’s most talented wedding professionals who have become dear friends to them. It was such a joy to both capture the work of those I admire and spend some time outside of the normal flow of work enjoying the company of some of these incredible friends. With floral design by Kelly Marie’s very own Fleur, the decor was breathtaking. Caleb, Amy, Janelle, and Janessa worked tirelessly to make sure that the rehearsal and day of details were just perfect. And of course Kelly couldn’t resist the urge to do some of the work herself- even on her wedding day!! Heather Vickery of Greatest Expectations made sure everything went smoothly on the big day- and quite a feat having just delivered a precious baby girl!! Katie from Jayne Weddings drove up and styled the gorgeous lounge furniture from Aged Vintage Rentals and Nicole of Truffle Truffle styled the beautiful and delicious sweets display. Suzy of Lily Red Studio designed a custom Kelly and Dave wedding logo that appeared in various paper pieces she created- the invitation, a “welcome to camp” bag, a wedding “field guide,” the wedding day program, napkins and other decor throughout the celebration. Nika Vaughan did Kelly’s makeup, and she wore a lovely and simple dress from J. CrewXO Pictures was there documenting the day in cinema, and of course I had the immense pleasure of working side by side my friend, Jaclyn, to photograph such a rich celebration. Reception music was provided by the amazing Toast and Jam while everyone danced the night away!

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Whitney Lane - Ahh I love the spot!! Especially the loft style house where she got ready. Stunning!

Ashley Rogers - Gorgeous work! And I love those bouquets!

Jennifer Weems - Ummmmm, WOW. Love the details, beautiful work!

Loreen - This is the post I’ve been waiting for!!! The photos are unbelievable….the love is just radiating out of them. Your dialogue added to the images makes the whole experience 10x sweeter. Well done Jenn, well done.

Debbie M - Lovely rustic camp wedding. I want to shoot a wedding there. :)

Deb - Gorgeous!! These photos are amaaazing. Kelly looks stunning!

Alaina Bos - These are so gorgeous!! I couldn’t wait to see the photos! Kelly and Dave look so in love! And I love Camp Wandawega as a back drop for their day! Overall, it looked amazing and you captured it beautifully!!

Kelly Marie Thompson - Perfect.in.every.way!!!!!!!!! xoxoxxo!!!!!! I adore you & Jaclyn!

jenn of hello|inspira - jennifer! this is beautiful! love every single shot!

Jamie Bodo - Love this location! And you photographed it BEAUTIFULLY!

Chicago Home Tour | The Glitter Guide Feature | Cait Weingartner of Pretty and Fun

58_CaitWeingartnerCake for breakfast and bubbly for all. I think that will be my new mantra after spending an afternoon with Cait Weingartner of the lovely blog, Pretty and Fun. And believe me, she is both! I was so thrilled to photograph her beautiful Chicago loft recently for The Glitter Guide. To see more images and read her story (as well as where she soured some of these fabulous pieces), head over to The Glitter Guide now!

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Revolutionizing Microfinance Event at Revolution Brewery | Young Ambassadors of Opportunity | Opportunity International

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Ahhh, craft beer and delicious hors d’ouvres….while learning how you can change the world.  Sounds kind of perfect doesn’t it? I’ve been involved in YAO, Chicago’s local chapter of Opportunity International, for over a year now and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I wanted to get plugged in with an organization that was making a sustainable difference in the fight against global poverty, and I found that through YAO. This year I have the honor of serving on the board, and I am so excited about the events we have planned.

Opportunity International is an organization that provides access to financial solutions empowering people living in poverty to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities. By joining the Young Ambassadors for Opportunity, or YAO, you can be involved with Opportunity International on a local level.  As a member of the Chicago chapter of YAO, you’ll have the chance to attend events to learn more about microfinance and the impact it’s having worldwide, to participate in fundraisers for current initiatives, and to engage with others who have similar interests.

Our first quarterly event is our Kick Off at Revolution Brewing, and it will be a great chance to meet other young professionals who care about giving back. Some of Revolution’s best flavors, including Anti Hero IPA and Bottom Up Wit, will be available as part of admission. And have you ever TRIED their food? It’s pretty dang amazing. To learn more information and to purchase a ticket, please check out our event page!

 

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Chicago Art Institute Garden & Naperville Wedding Photography | Chicago, IL | Marina & Paul Part II: The Full Story

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Marina had been going to the same gym Paul was working at for two whole years before he mustered up the nerve to talk to her. One can hardly blame him for watching her from afar. Marina’s vibrant smile, her fierce blue eyes and her sparkling laughter would be enough to make any guy nervous. But Paul’s crush continued to develop, and one day his overcame his intimidation and made his move.  Hiding his apprehension behind a smooth saunter and a big grin, he walked right up to her and asked if she’d like to work out with him. Lucky for Paul, Marina had noticed him too. She had seen his dimpled smile as he talked with coworkers and had heard the warmth in his voice as he spoke with other clients.  A few workouts led to a few dates…which led to forever. Paul adored her athleticism, her warm and witty personality, and her drive for life. She was swept off her feet by his humor and the way he just made her feel so safe, so loved. They discovered they worked well together in everything they did.

They both value quality time with their families, something that is of utmost importance to both of them. They are both fiercely independent and love that about each other, but also genuinely believe that they are better together than they are apart. Six months into their relationship, they knew they had found a true partnership. And when Paul proposed in the park where they had their first kiss, Marina didn’t hesitate for a moment to tell him that there is no one else she’d rather build her life with. This past summer I had the joy of telling the next chapter of their story. And I know it is just the beginning…

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I spy the fabulous Shannon Gail, who played the role of event planner AND bridesmaid. This girl can do it ALL!

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Paul was looking mighty dapper!ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0009ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0013

Marina, you are simply stunning.

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Paul, always the funny guy, was more than ready to see his bride.ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0017ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0019

Ok, is your heart melting a bit right now?ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0020

The Art Institute Garden is by far one of my MOST favorite places in Chicago for a First Look.ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0021ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0023

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Oh these two. The light, their love. Just so beautiful.ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0025

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ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0074ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0027ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0028ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0029ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0030ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0031ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0032Oh Chicago brides, how I love thee. Still.

ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0033ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0034ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0035Be smooth, be smooth….oh, nevermind!ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0036ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0037ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0038ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0039ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0041

With gorgeous decor like this, we HAD to do a few aisle shots.ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0040ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0042ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0043ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0044

There was a LOT of laughing during the ceremony.ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0045ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0046ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0047ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0048ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0049

Yesssss!!!!ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0050ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0051ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0052ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0053ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0054ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0055ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0056ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0057ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0058ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0059ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0060ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0061ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0062ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0063ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0064ArtInstituteChicagoWedding_0065

And to close it out, yes, a dipping shot. We were at the Chicago Board of Trade- how could he have not?!

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Thank you, Marina and Paul, for trusting me with your memories!!

I am also incredibly thankful to the following wedding professionals who made Marina and Paul’s day everything they imagined:

Event Planner: Shannon Gail
Officiant: Jarrod Gaither, Rev It Up!
Harpist: Dawn Bishop
Reception Venue: Hotel Arista
Florals: Stemline Creative
Cake: The Cakery
Music: Fig Media
Cinematography: Infrared Films Chicago
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