Patrick Haley Mansion Wedding | Joliet, IL | Whitney & Vince

15_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingThe tears fell freely as Whitney read Vince’s letter to her the morning of their wedding day. She smiled, and her voice trembled as she read aloud from his precious note.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Jess C. Scott

She paused as she let the tenderness of these words and the weight of Vincent’s sentiments fill her heart before opening up the most beautiful pearl and diamond cluster earrings with a gorgeous matching necklace and bracelet.03_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding03b_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingWhitney’s wedding dress was expertly redesigned by the incredibly talented Alice Padrul from the bridal gown that had been passed down from her mother and grandmother. It was made in three pieces- the gorgeous lace top, a long skirt that was Whitney’s ceremony gown, and a shorter skirt that she changed into for the reception. Once again, Alice’s artistry was incredible to behold.01_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding04_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding05_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding08_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding07_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingMeanwhile, Vince was reading Whitney’s adoring letter to him and opening a stunning new watch to mark the day they would exchange vows of love and devotion. When he saw his beautiful bride for the first time before the ceremony, he shed a few tears of his own.06_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding02_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingI love that a First Look gives couples a chance to soak in those first beautiful moments together. It’s an opportunity to ground yourselves in the present and to have a few sacred moments alone while holding one another close, laughing nervously, and whispering lovingly to one another in preparation for the beauty of the day ahead. Being able to capture these sentiments unfolding between Whitney and Vince stirred my heart with joy as I thought back to the first time I met them and they shared their love story. Vince and Whitney are the kind of people who open their hearts to everyone that comes into their lives, and building a relationship with them is something I have truly cherished. It is a rare and beautiful thing, and I feel so very fortunate to call them friends.09_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding10_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding11_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding13_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding14_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding
12_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding16_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding17_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding18_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding19_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding21_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding22_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding23_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding24_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding25_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding26_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding28_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding27_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding31_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding29_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingKristen Janes of Kio Kreations designed these stunning bouquets and the elaborate ceremony and reception decor at Patrick Haley Mansion. The colors and romantic feel were perfect for Vince and Whitney’s wedding.30_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding32_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding34_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding33_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding34_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding35_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding36_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding37_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding38_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding39_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding40_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding41_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding42_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding

When the time came for them to speak their vows, they did so ardently, and there wasn’t a dry eye among us, including me. With emotion in her voice, Whitney pledged: “I promise to give you the best of my self, my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care. I will forever be there to lend you strength to pursue your dreams, support you in times of trouble, and rejoice with you in times of happiness. Through the pressures of the present and uncertainties of the future, through all our adventures in life together, my heart will be your shelter, my arms will be your home. For all our remaining days, I will love you with every breath and I vow that my last breath will be to tell you that I love you.”

The portico of the Patrick Haley Mansion laden with floral filled lanterns was the perfect backdrop for their profession of love. With the humor that first drew Whitney to him and with great passion, Vince professed his own promise. “Whitney, the first pair of shoes showed my faith in my perfect match in fashion. The first text conversation proved you to be my perfect match in humor. The first dinner showed my perfect match in food and drink, and ‘I love you’ proved a perfect match for my heart and soul. Whitney, I will always love you, cherish you, support you, and protect you as long as there is breath in my lungs. You are my perfect match, my everything, my life.”43_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding44_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding45_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding46_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding47_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding48_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding49_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding50_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding51_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding52_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding53_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding

The tables were graced with Kio Kreations gorgeous florals and a personal touch- a different pair of shoes on each one. A love of shoes brought them together, so what better way to incorporate their story into such a special day? Vincent raises money every year for St. Baldrick’s and shaves his head at the end, and so they decided that instead of kissing when glasses were clanked, guests must donate money to their “Kisses Against Cancer” jar.

54_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding55_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding56_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding57_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding58_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding59_PatrickHaleyMansionWedding60_PatrickHaleyMansionWeddingWhitney and Vince, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for inviting me into your lives so warmly and for choosing me to capture your love story. I am not only honored; I am touched. Thank you for the hours of conversation and laughter over good wine and food. I am so happy for you both, and I know you will have many adventures together in the years to come!

Joan, I am ever so grateful to you for introducing me to Vince and Whitney! I have truly loved working with you and the two of them. Thank you for your incredible intuition in knowing we would hit it off. Each of your clients are so lucky to have you, and I can’t wait to work with you again. I also want to thank Suzzane Brown who assisted me as the second photographer at this wedding. I so appreciate your talent and warm spirit!

To view more of their wedding day magic, check out this fantastic feature film from DeLack Media Group.

 

Event Planner: Joan Cinquegrani, Five Grain Events

Dress Designer: Alice Padrul

Hair & Makeup: Blend Beauty

Florals: Kio Kreations

Officiant: Rev. Kitty Benson, Unity in Naperville

Ceremony Music: Great Life Music

Reception Music: The Party Faithful (Great Life Music)

Cake: La La Li Bakery & Patisserie

Cinematography: DeLack Media Group

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Arlington Heights Wedding | Jessika & Mark Preview

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May was a month full of sunshine, anticipation of summer, and the sweetness of true love. And Mark and Jessika’s wedding embodied that energy fully. They have both touched my heart immensely, and I feel blessed by their presence every time we get together. To take part in their wedding was an incredible gift, and as I put the finishing touches on their images, I just have to share some of their first few moments they spent together on their wedding day.02_JessikaMarkPreview01_JessikaMarkPreview04_JessikaMarkPreview

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Hinsdale Engagement Session | Lindsay & Damon

057_Lindsay&DamonWhen Lindsay and Damon were in college, people always commented on how great they were together. The way they laughed together, talked at length, cracked jokes, and how they just seemed to have known each other forever…all the signs told the same story. One time someone passed them walking together down the sidewalk and whispered to them, “Don’t ever break up.” But what none of their random observers knew was that they weren’t actually dating. Lindsay and Damon had met three years earlier through Young Life, a ministry for adolescents and teens, and through their work together in such a tight knit community they formed a friendship. As they served together in leadership on the same Young Life team, their friendship blossomed and grew deeper. “The YL vision got us hooked,” Damon told me. “It developed our faiths and our world visions in similar fashions, and it brought us together on a small campus far from both of our homes. Without it we might have never met. Without it we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to realize all we have in common. Without Young Life we never would have developed a real and meaningful friendship.”  What they didn’t yet conceive is that they were building a foundation for a lasting relationship. When Damon asked Lindsay out their last year of college, she could hardly believe it. She had thought he was cute for quite some time and even found herself noticing that he had a lot of qualities she really wanted in a partner. But because they were just friends (and he had dated another girl for awhile) she didn’t ever really let herself consider a romantic relationship with him. Initially they both approached dating with caution, particularly because they had no idea where they would end up after college. But when Damon relocated to Texas after graduation and still wanted to pursue their relationship long distance, they knew how serious they had become. Shortly thereafter Lindsay’s job brought her to the Lone Star state as well, only four hours from Damon, and it was all the confirmation they needed. Though still long distance and certainly not easy, their season in Texas served to strengthen and deepen their connection. Only two years after dating, they both knew they wanted to spend their lives together. And one star studded night on the docks at the Young Life Castaway camp in Minnesota, Damon got on one knee and asked Lindsay to be his wife. She, of course, said yes.

We met up at Lindsay’s childhood home in Hinsdale for their engagement session. The light through the weeping willow and wooded back yard was simply perfect. And their love was as vibrant as ever. Today this sweet couple will say, “I do” at the Hindsale Golf Club and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to photograph their beautiful wedding day unfold! I’m also incredibly excited to be working with the lovely Nicole Zenner of LK Events!001b_Lindsay&Damon
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New York City Engagement Session | Madison Square Park | Tiffanie & Anthony: A Preview

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I am working on Tiffanie and Anthony’s New York City engagement session today, and just HAD to share a few sweet images.  I feel so lucky to have spent the evening laughing and hanging out with them, and I truly cannot wait until their wedding this summer!

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Ami - I love her pretty dress and statement necklace!

Life These Days and Thoughts on Happiness

 

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Nyhavn neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark

Already half way through the year and with wedding season officially in full swing, I took some time this morning to sip my Chemex coconut milk iced coffee and quietly reflect on all the loveliness that has already taken place in 2014.  A trip to California, Dublin and Copenhagen, numerous trips to my beloved NY, time with family in NJ, some visits with my brother and sweet soon-to-be sister in Philly, so many rich experiences with my dear friends in Chicago, and some incredible shoots and weddings have already imprinted their mark on this year.  It may sound trite, but I truly give thanks for the opportunities that have filled my life since starting my own business, particularly this year.

I’ve talked a lot in the past about dreaming out loud, pursuing my passion, and living a life I love. It’s not all been sunshine and smiles, vacations and adventures, however. Social media sure can make life look pretty perfect. So perfect, in fact, that sometimes I start feeling a tinge of envy toward others as I compare myself. The truth is there have been some immense challenges I’ve had to face that I just don’t talk about.  l spent a chunk of last year going through it, and the striving towards the “ideal life” was leaving me feeling a sense of lack, rather than taking pleasure in the present-  a life that very much calls for gratefulness. But I began taking note of the good things in my life and consciously being thankful for them. I also took inventory of the actions I needed to take to actually see change. And probably most importantly, I became aware of the pesky thoughts of negativity that I had allowed to become such a habit in my mind- and I worked on shifting my perspective. I believe emotional quality of life is made up of many habits that form over time- habits that are my thoughts, emotions, and daily routines that eventually affect my physical quality of life. I still daily have to choose to focus on what’s important. Some days are better than others, of course, but I feel better equipped when I come face to face with those negative thoughts now. And it really has made all the difference.

I’d be lying to say my life always looked Instagram gorgeous and Pinterest perfect. (Ha, it actually rarely does, if I’m being really honest!) But, today, I breathe deep and smile with gratitude for all the beauty that is in my life. I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on the joys in your world too.

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Dublin, Ireland

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Connemara, Ireland

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Connemara, Ireland

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Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

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Galway, Ireland

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Copenhagen, Denmark

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Copenhagen, Denmark

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Chelsea, New York City

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Sweet couple’s session in Soho, New York City

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Head shot of my dear friend, Theresa, in SOHO

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Brooklyn, NY

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Lifestyle session with my sweet college friend, Denise in Brooklyn

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Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom, New York

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The Nolitan in Nolita, New York City

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FORM Art + Floral 2014 at Room 1520

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Live Below the Line at Kitchen Chicago

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Aloe Blacc | Global Citizen concert at The Vic Theatre, Chicago

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Aloe Blacc | Global Citizen concert at The Vic Theatre, Chicago

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Alaina Kaczmarski’s Lincoln Park Apartment Tour on The Everygirl

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Alaina Kaczmarski’s Lincoln Park Apartment Tour on The Everygirl

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Whitney and Vince | Patrick Haley Mansion Wedding

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Mark and Jessika’s First Look | Arlington Heights Wedding

 

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Loreen - What an awesome “halfway through the year” post! It makes the rest of 2014 so much more exciting! Xoxo