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Spread the love (by Bethany Fritz)

Spread the love (by Bethany Fritz)

I like photography…

…if you like … retro, live music, candlelight, fresh herbs, black and white photos, documentaries, world travel, good wine, microbrews, sunsets, colorful socks, literature, fireplaces, fresh-brewed coffee, yard sale cameras, thrift stores, organic, soy milk, passion, sleep, beaches, mountains, farms, late night dinners, throw rugs, cats purring, breakfast in bed, open windows, natural, heirloom tomatoes, manchego cheese, guitars, ipods, haircolor, scarves, brooches, vintage, bike riding, train rides, polaroids, stationary, laughter, wagging dog tails, lanterns, antiques, romance… (any or all of the above) we should talk.

If you are getting married and are interested in having me photograph the moments, look me up and let’s meet for a drink and a chat. Let’s do something different… hold-your-breath-kind-of-different, and totally love-inspired.

Contact: bethany@maypolestudios.com

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Happy New Year! Congrats to all of you newly-engaged couples! There are lots of new things in store for Maypole Studios, including a shiny new website. Be sure to check back later this month for a brand new update!

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BTW, did I mention I own a love bike? (come visit me at my studio and take it for a spin!)

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{My Favorite GIF Animations!}

{My Favorite GIF Animations!}

There is something so fun and whimsical about GIF Animations (Graphics Interchange Format file: a graphic image on a Web page that moves). It’s nice to not take yourself too seriously!

Don’t get me wrong, I take my job very seriously. After all, I only have ONE day to capture all the moments, the memories, the details, and all the feels. It can be a lot of pressure, but when paired with the right couples (and of course I only work with amazing couples!) they are ready to let go of the reigns and try something fun. When given the opportunity I enjoy LOVE making these quirky little animations. I don’t care if they ever go out of style, it’s super fun creating and then piecing them together. Even the simplest of actions can make for a great GIF. And I won’t lie, I get a chuckle every time I watch them (over and over again!).

So, for your viewing pleasure, I have collected a TON of my GIF’s from the last two years (over 30!). There is a mix of engagement and wedding day animations, some very simple and some more complicated. Some made with a tripod (the ideal way) and some handheld (a little shaky but you gotta use what you got). I have to warn you, there is a lot of movement in this post so scroll through slowly. If you follow me on Instagram (and if not~ you really should! @MaypoleStudios) you may have seen a few of these but certainly not all of them. Sit back and enjoy!

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{MaryEllen+Joe: Chihuahua Karaoke}

{MaryEllen+Joe: Chihuahua Karaoke}

We all get a kick over those unexpected, slow-to-blossom, love stories like Jim and Pam in The Office (Sam and Diane, Mulder and Scully).  MaryEllen and Joe worked side by side for a couple of years, little did they know that something good was brewing. At some point their shared love for Karaoke and beer sparked a flame, and now it’s full speed ahead! Matrimonial bliss was just down the road, but first we planned a fun engagement session based on their interests, the axis being their 4lb Chihuahua named Rita (definitely Dexter fans!). It was a perfect Spring day to explore one of my favorite areas- Montrose harbor and bird sanctuary. Then off to one of Joe’s favorite bars for a pint and some popcorn, even Rita joined in the snacking (she loved the popcorn!). Luckily these two were good sports when I took us the wrong way around a dark building, we had to hang on to a freshly-painted fence to make it to the other side! The smudges of black paint on our hands were quickly forgotten after another pint and a fabulous karaoke duet by M & J, “Love Shack” of course! Thanks MaryEllen and Joe for the amazing company and hours of laughs, I can’t wait for the #bestdayofjoeslife !!

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{Ashley+Ryan: Love In The Air}

{Ashley+Ryan: Love In The Air}

It’s a classic girl meets boy story… but at 30,000 feet in the air. Ryan, a commercial airline pilot, and Ashley, an airline attendant. Whether it was the high altitude, the small spaces, the recycled air, maybe even a shared bag of peanuts (just kidding, but I sure do miss those things!), these two hit it off from the start. Flying the skies and falling in love!

We were determined to make the most of the cold weather, and despite the chilly day we had a terrific time wandering Chicago’s south side, racing paper airplanes in the library, bundling up and wandering around campus, finishing up with delicious cocktails by the fire at the Promontory. Not only did we keep finding “hearts” in random places (the coins in the wishing well were pushed together in a heart shape, chalk heart drawings on the sides of buildings, etc.) but we even bumped into an anime convention which provided us with one of my all-time favorite GIFs! This engagement session is one for the record books, thanks Ashley and Ryan for a fantastic day!

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{Natalie+Steve: New Year’s Eve City Hall Elopement}

{Natalie+Steve: New Year’s Eve City Hall Elopement}

Seeing the ear-to-ear smiles on these two, you would never know it was freezing outside. Their excitement was unfazed by the single digit temperatures, if not for their rosy noses and fogged breath it might have looked like a warm Spring day!
I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie a couple of years ago at Loft On Lake and thought she was the cutest thing, in fact I may have mentioned that if she were to get engaged… call me! You can imagine my excitement when she contacted me after a conversation about eloping to City Hall with Steve, would I be interested in taking photos for them? Uhhh… ABSOLUTELY! There is something so fun and romantic about a wedding with just the two of you, like a special secret only you share (although you really want to shout it from the mountaintop!). As a fellow eloper I have a soft spot for small ceremonies, and as a photographer I feel so privileged to be one of the only witnesses. Watching Natalie and Steve say “I do” was the perfect way to wrap up 2014 and kick off 2015, roaming around Chicago on New Year’s Eve with these two was the best!
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Natalie has the best smile!!
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Magnolia Bakery was the perfect location to stop for delicious “wedding” cupcakes, complete with New Year’s decor and even Mr./Mrs. forks!
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My favorites…
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LOVE!
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We made one last stop at the Palmer House hotel to warm up, and say our goodbyes. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to kick off the new year, congrats Natalie and Steve!
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Hair and makeup: My friend Kylie Phillips
Ceremony location: City Hall!
Cupcake: Magnolia Bakery
Dress: Beholden
Accessories: Shoes: Michael Kors

Q&A with the bride and groom:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Steve: Seeing her smile after saying ‘I do’
Natalie: Oh man, the whole entire day was memorable. Probably exchanging rings and saying “I do.”

What was your favorite detail?
Natalie: Finding Magnolia Bakery!
Steve: The beautiful sunlight, despite the freezing temperatures.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Steve: All the happy Chicagoans congratulating us while walking between their work.
Natalie: Steven asked the judge if he could kiss me after we were married and his reply..” You can do anything that’s legal.”

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Steve: Don’t be afraid to elope!
Natalie: ELOPE! It was so romantic!

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Steve: Not a thing.
Natalie: No way!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Steve: Still planning it!
Natalie: Somewhere warm! :)

A little history…

How did you meet? (How long have you known each other?)
Steve: I originally saw Natalie over 8 years ago at a friends home. I thought she was absolutely gorgeous and couldn’t contain myself, however, I was incredibly shy around her. I finally got the courage to speak with her and she blew me off. Then it seemed as if she disappeared into thin air. Fast forward 7 years and she shows up at a friends again. I didn’t want to lose her, so I did everything I could in order to make her mine. I don’t quite know what I did, but now I’ve got her forever. I couldn’t be happier.
Natalie: We met at a friends party on Memorial Day. I actually didn’t want to go…I wasn’t up for a party since I had just got out of work and was very tired. Something in me said to go. When I arrived to the party, Steve stopped in complete conversation and we locked eyes. It was like a scene out of movie.

When did you know he/she was “the one”?
Steve: The very instant I saw her [both times].
Natalie: When we first met. I felt a sense of calmness…I felt different.

Describe the proposal.
Steve’s mother took me in the morning for breakfast and to get our nails done.
Steve planned a picnic at Lake Ellyn where we had our first date. He made/packed a gourmet meal with sparkling grape juice! ( Since it is illegal to drink wine in a park)
After we finished eating, he walked me over to the bench we sat on, it was the very same bench we sat and talked on, on our first date and then he got down on one knee. :) We were so excited after that!

Five words that best describe your significant other:
Steve: Independent, strong, beautiful, gentle, and genuine
Natalie: Extremely smart, hilarious, loving, kind, and CUTE!

 

{Sasha+Matt: Married at Gallery 1028}

{Sasha+Matt: Married at Gallery 1028}

The Golden Ratio, the circumference of a circle, complimentary angles… love took shape during the course of their Geometry class and these two became high school sweethearts. 10 years later, after countless memories and seeing each other through those formative years known as your early twenties, Sasha and Matt were ready to make it official and party with their nearest and dearest! With such an awesome group of mutual friends, not to mention amazing families, their wedding celebration was a guaranteed success. There were so many special touches, like the best man’s signature cocktails, delicious bites by Calihan catering, mother/daughter Christian Louboutins, and mini succulents potted by the bride and groom as favors for their guests.
Not only are Sasha and Matt a wonderful couple, I also had the pleasure of working with an all-star team on this wedding- literally! Beth Bernstein of SQN Events and Revel Decor transformed the space into a brilliant array of rich-colored florals and candles, and the Gold Coast All Stars kept the youngest to the oldest dancing for hours!! This wedding was full of joy, and most importantly all the things and people that Sasha and Matt love most. They created the perfect blueprint for what will surely be one of the best days of their lives.

Five words that best describe your significant other:
Matt’s words for Sasha: beautiful, frighteningly smart, composed, loyal, and tenacious
Sasha’s words for Matt: hilariously funny, supportive, calming, a great bartender, always pushes me to be better and try harder (ok that’s more than 5 words, sorry!)
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Meanwhile, the guys were a bit more whisky focused…
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First look…
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And then a splash of color!
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Back to Gallery 1028 for the ceremony.
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Ketubah signing!
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Congrats Sasha and Matt!
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Second photographer: Jamie Hartley

Hair and makeup: Livia Caporale (hair) and Brie Mazz of Brie Aarin Makeup (makeup)
Florist/Decor: Revel Decor
Ceremony location: Gallery 1028
Reception location: Gallery 1028
Event Planner: Beth Bernstein of SQN Events
Officiant: Rabbi Ari Moffic
Cake: Gourmet Frog Bakery (Highwood)
Caterer: Calihan Catering
Invitations/Stationary: Spilled Ink Press
Dress: Vera Wang
Accessories: Vera Wang, shoes by Christian Louboutin
Suit/Men’s accessories: Ralph Lauren

DJ/Band: Gold Coast All Stars
First Dance: “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
Parent dances: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Q&A with the bride and groom:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
S+M: It was awesome to have all the people we care about in one place at one time celebrating with us. We love looking at the photos and seeing the mix of family, high school friends, college friends, and law/medical school friends dancing and spending time together.

What was your favorite detail?
S+M: The yichud. It was nice to take a moment alone together before going out to the cocktail hour. It also gave us a chance to try the signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Sasha: My 16-year-old brother, Danny, came over to the hotel with my parents and hung out with the girls before meeting up with the boys at our apartment to get ready. He spent the whole time entertaining us by running around with not one, but two hotel shower caps on his head. When it was time for him to head over to our apartment to meet the boys, my mom told him to grab his tux out of the closet and make sure it was his and not my dads. An hour later, we get a call from him saying that he took my dad’s tux by mistake. According to Matt, they figure this out when Danny came out of the bathroom saying that something is wrong with his pants. The pants were clearly several sizes too big and looked hilarious on my super skinny brother. To save the day, we sent my guy bridesmaid, David, in a cab with the correct tuxedo.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
S+M: Take as many opportunities as you can to take it all in. The day and night will fly by before you know it.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
S+M: Nope!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
S+M: We went to Napa Valley and stayed in Yountville

A little history….

How did you meet? (How long have you known each other?)
In high school so we’ve known each other for about 10 years and have been dating for 9.

When did you know he/she was “the one”?
According to Matt, he decided it was time to propose at Thanksgiving the year before. We moved in together that summer but decided to spend Thanksgiving with our respective families and it felt wrong to be apart.

Describe the proposal.
We were sitting on the couch and the ring box was under the cushions! Then we went to a fabulous dinner at EL Ideas.

 

{Margaret+Jerel: Love You To Infinity}

{Margaret+Jerel: Love You To Infinity}

“You are one of my nicest thoughts.” -Georgia O’Keeffe

This fine couple met at Boston University 11 years ago, and it was not a rapid courtship. In fact, it kinda took Jerel ages to realize that Margaret would be an excellent girl to date and he should totally ask her out. His first one-liner was not the most impressive (“so I hear you’re from Georgia, can I call you peach?”) but Margaret was forgiving and intrigued by the man beneath the goofy facade. Jerel’s genius plan was to do something he called “stealth dating,” he would invite her out on an unassuming group outing like a hockey game followed by ice skating, but for various reasons they would be the only ones that showed up. Luckily his tricky tactics lead to a blossoming relationship, and even a return trip to Boston University a couple of years later where he got down on one knee and asked the lovely Margaret to marry him.
Which brings us to this beyond-amazing wedding day wrapped in bright blue skies… a gorgeous day for a gorgeous pair. From Margaret’s awesome makeup (Sonia Roselli killed it!) to the couple’s first look by Lake Michigan, from the Rookery and it’s architectural glamour to their friend’s serenade for the first dance… smiles were wide and laughter was plentiful. This was a great day!
Jerel describes Margaret in 5 words: passionate, gorgeous, loving, intelligent, driven
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Margaret describes Jerel in 5 words: smart, funny, giving, calming and nurturing
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Amazing “Ombre” bouquets by Vail of Enna!
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Congrats Margaret and Jerel, may your lives be filled with love and Pinkberry!!
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Second Photographer: Jamie Hartley

Hair and makeup: Sonia Roselli
Florist: Vale of Enna
Ceremony location: The Rookery
Reception location: The Rookery
Event Planner: Sweetchic Events (for day of coordination)
Officiant: Rev. Phil Landers
Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design
Caterer: Blue Plate
Invitations/Stationary: Annie Skrmetti
Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Ultimate Bride 
Accessories: Shoes – Jimmy Choo, Jewelry – Nadri
Suit/Men’s accessories: Groom’s Tuxedo – Ralph Lauren, Groomsmen – The Black Tux

DJ/Band: Ceremony – Artistrings, Reception – Toast & Jam
First Dance: Dancing Shoes by Green River Ordinance (performed by Adam Hadas and John Condakes)
Parent dances: Father/Daughter Dance – Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison; Mother/Son Dance – A Song For Mama, Boyz II Men

Q&A with the Bride and Groom:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
M+J: The most memorable moment of the day was our first dance.  It was such a strange but wonderful feeling, knowing that everyone was watching us, yet feeling like we were in our own little bubble.  And to make things even more special, we had some of our best friends sharing their talents by performing the song live.

What was your favorite detail?
M+J: The glow of the room. It must have been a combination of the interior of the Rookery, the gold decor, the mercury glass and the hundreds of candles, but the room literally glowed all evening. It was magical!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
M+J: While not necessarily from the wedding day, we had an OMG moment at the rehearsal that turned out to be a funny story in the end. We took a cab downtown to the rehearsal and brought all of our wedding materials to hand off to our coordinator, including the escort cards, programs, menus, guest book, photos. You name it, it was in this bag. We accidentally left the bag in the trunk of the cab, which we didn’t realize until the driver had pulled away down LaSalle Street. Jerel took off like a shot and chased the taxi for several blocks at a full sprint in a suit and tie! Luckily, he caught up with the taxi at a red light and the day was saved.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
M+J: Just enjoy the day.  All that time you spent planning is over in a matter of hours, so rather than stressing about every little detail on the day of, just enjoy it.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Nothing

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
M+J: Ritz Carlton Kapalua in Maui

A little history….

How did you meet? (How long have you known each other?)
We met in college through mutual friends and got to know each other better through our the a cappella community – we sang in different co-ed groups at Boston University. We were friends beginning of freshman year, but didn’t start dating until January of our senior year. We dated for almost six years and were engaged for almost two before we got married!

When did you know he/she was “the one”?
It was early on in our relationship when a health scare sent Margaret to the hospital and Jerel stayed by her side the entire time. As human beings, we care for each other and wish the best for each other, but there was just something different about that night. Jerel can’t really explain it except to say that he just wanted Margaret to be okay, and Margaret realized how much having him there made her feel at ease.

Describe the proposal.
We had just moved to Chicago from Boston that summer and were back east to celebrate New Years Eve with friends. On December 30, Jerel suggested that we spend a day back at BU, walking around campus and reminiscing. A huge snow storm the day before made for challenging weather, but after a walk around campus he dropped to one knee on Marsh Plaza and proposed. A photographer planted on the plaza caught the entire thing. After taking some time to warm up at our hotel and call our families to share the news, Jerel surprised Margaret with an engagement party with all their friends at their favorite college bar, Sunset Cantina.