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Category Archive: Featured

Favorite wedding or engagement session; featured on a popular wedding blog

{Rock ‘n’ Roll Love!}

{Rock ‘n’ Roll Love!}

In case you didn’t get a chance to visit me at the Wed Local Event, let me fill you in… the Bucktown Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce created this awesome wedding event featuring over 40 terrific wedding vendors from the neighborhood (including yours truly!). Wed Local took place at the well-known rock club The Double Door, and in the weeks prior to the event a few photo shoots were put together for press. I had the pleasure of photographing the “rock and roll” themed shoot at the Double Door (we also visited the delicious new The Haute and the Dog on Damen Ave, as well as Steve Quick Jewelers on Division). Not only did Rachael Smith do a fabulous job of recruiting our models, she spent countless hours putting the details together (she even made the dress!). Big thanks to this stellar team, especially for trusting me and my bag of smoke bombs!

Models: Madeline Antic, Tom Schmitt
Photographer: Bethany Fritz
Art Director: Rachael Smith
Hair/Makeup: Leslie Hoffman and Meagan Williams of Robert Jeffrey Salon
Locations: The Double Door, Haute and the Dog, Steve Quick Jewelers
Flowers: Ryan Turner of Stemline Creative
Jewelry: Steve Quick
Assistant: Helen Tyler

Wed Local, WPB Double Door
“Love conquers all…”
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Madelin is so lovely…
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
The collection of band posters along with my moody red lighting was pretty rad…
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Tom putting on the tough guy act…
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
And then there was smoke!
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Love these so much!!
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Tom looked perfectly punk.
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
We took a stroll down to the very tasty “The Haute and the Dog,” be sure to check it out!
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
The Love Bike was the mode of transportation, of course!
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
We wrapped things up with a little jewelry shopping. The black diamonds at Steve Quick were awesome!
Wed Local, WPB Double Door
Thanks again to my wonderful team, what a great photo shoot!


Jesseme & Mike

Jesseme & Mike

Mike comes from a family of Irish pranksters, always ready for a good joke and a lot of laughs. It’s hard to keep a straight face when you’re around him and his brothers, much less know when you are being fooled. Jesseme is a no-nonsense girl, she doesn’t fool easily, but nothing lights up her smile like Mike! He knows exactly how to make her laugh, and her smile is radiant and gorgeous. Jesseme looked like a model straight out of Italian Vogue on her wedding day, together they made a smashing pair. Thanks to their amazing chemistry we accomplished some epic photos around town (and some funny ones too). Room 1520 was decked out for their reception, the room looked fantastic as the guests enjoyed mini Patron-bottle margaritas and lamb chops. And then the dancing… oh the dancing! It was easy to see that Mike won Jesseme with his dance skills (or vice-versa), these two were ready to get down!

The place to go for all things sparkly…

The girls were ready to help.

Jesseme was enjoying all the attention. Wouldn’t it be nice to have people dress you everyday?!

Umm… wow! Jesseme looked hot!

Meanwhile, Mike and the guys were getting ready.

Mike’s dad is not a touchy-feely guy, which is why his sons hug and kiss him all the time.

Mike was looking good!

His brother double checked his tie.


First look at Union Station!

I love the LaSalle St. bridge.

This might be an all-time favorite, it’s so awesome!

This family was visiting Chicago so Mike thought he’d take a photo with them.

Jesseme opted for these fabulous purses instead of bouquets.

Vogue magazine for sure!

The brothers were getting into trouble…

Time for the wedding!


Then it was time for the party at Room 1520.

Margaritas in mini Patron bottles!

Smore’s station! Best idea (from “That’s A Smore’”)

Once the drinks and the sugar kicked in, things got crazy!

Night moves on the roof.

I hope your wedding day is just the pink icing on life’s cupcake- may all your days together be as colorful and fun as this. Congrats Jesseme and Mike!

Second photographer: Jamie Hartley

Hair and makeup:  Hair:  Gina “Glamhairous”   Makeup Karissa
Florist: Evanston Florist
Ceremony location:  Notre Dame De Chicago Church
Reception location:  Room 1520
Event Planner:  Jane Allen of Jane Allen Events
Officiant:  Father Marty
Cake:  Swirlz cupcakes and Moll’ys Cupcakes
Caterer:  Food Evolution Catering
Dress:  Liancarlo From Ultimate Bride
Accessories:  The Left Bank in Lincoln Park

DJ/Band:  Style Matter’s (Dustin)
First Dance: Band:  WAH   Song:  Ma Chant (Savasana)
Father/daughter:  Beatle’s (In my Life)
Mother/son:  Beatle’s (In my Life)

Q&A with the bride:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Jesseme: Seeing my Dad and Step Mom Dancing and having a good time.  You having Mike and I standing on that bridge was pretty memorable too… haha :-)

What was your favorite detail?
Jesseme: I loved my wedding invitations, menus, table numbers, etc.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Jesseme: Mike and everyone dancing was pretty funny.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Jesseme: If your able to, hire a wedding planner and don’t let yourself get to caught up in the details.  It goes by fast so enjoy every minute of it.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Jesseme: Make it smaller.  Just family and our closest friends.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Jesseme: Mediterranean Vacation:  Sicily, Turkey, Greece, Crete, Rome.


Sally + Jesse

Sally + Jesse

“I’ve loved you for a thousand years, and I’ll love you for a thousand more…”
Sally and Jesse are the proof that soul mates exist. When around them you feel something bubbling inside, the tickle of a tear at the corner of your eye, and the warmth of a smile. They love with all that they have and all that they are. From the giant, bend-you-backward, kiss when pronounced man and wife, to the all-out dance-till-you-drop party, these two don’t do things on a small scale. It’s all or nothing, and that’s exactly how they feel about each other… all love! I feel lucky to have been there and extra lucky to know these two!

The fabulous Nika was making Sally extra beautiful (and right after delivering twins, congrats Nika!).

One of the best gifts I have ever seen… Sally gave each of her bridesmaids a bracelet engraved with the longitude and latitude of where they met or a special place from their relationship.


A little nip to start things off, why not?

Even Jesse’s mom was ready to unwind!

The girls and I stopped at the Kinzie street bridge for a few photos on our way to the beach house.

Meanwhile Jesse and the guys were getting ready…

The perfect set of wheels for such a good looking groom…

Best father-daughter photo ever!

The flower girl and Jesse were very excited to see the bride. (**side note: notice the person in the left corner with their iPhone? This is why you should ask your guests to put away their cameras and phones and trust the photographer)

Everyone was bursting with happiness…

A giant kiss and bear hug!

Mustang Sally!

Love this shot!

And all the lovely details…

Jewell catering was serving up some yummy food…

Nothing like a good sombrero to kick the party up a notch!

Ryan from Style Matters DJ’s kept the party rockin!

Best night photos ever, congrats Sally and Jesse!

Check out their wedding video trailer:

Sally + Jesse | Trailer from Shangri-La Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Second Photographer: Jamie Hartley
Videographer: Shangr-La Wedding Films

Hair and makeup: Hair –  Debbie Petrielli Makeup -Nika Vaughan nika@nikavaughan.com
Ceremony location: 63rd Street Beach House
Reception location: 63rd Street Beach House
Event Planner: Day of Planner Carlene Smith, Naturally Yours Events

Florist: Fleur du Jour Chicago

Invitations: Tweedle Press

Officiant: Rabbi Evan Moffic
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Caterer: Jewell
Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Suit: Zegna
Accessories: Shoes – Vera Wang, Earrings – Erickson Beamon, Bow Tie – TieBar

DJ/Band: Ryan Norsworthy, Style Matters  DJ’s
First Dance: Ray Lamontagne – You Are The Best Thing

Q&A with the bride and groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Sally and Jesse: We both found it very difficult to name ONE moment that stood out of thousands of amazing moments.  That being said, we both agree that if we had to choose one, it would be the moment we first saw each other.  Sally having both of her parents by her side and Jesse holding back tears ready to solidify what we already knew… that we are the luckiest people alive to be with each other for the rest of our lives.  Having our loved ones from many locations all come together as one group of the most amazing people in the world, was the best detail.  Well that, and the “kiss the bride” part ;)

What was your favorite detail?

Sally and Jesse: Everything! The location on the water and the venue were amazing.  When we saw the beach house for the first time we both got chills. We were worried about the Chicago weather but we just couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. The day was hot and so was the company!  The dancing went until then end.  We really enjoyed planning all of the little details of the wedding.  Plus it was so special that our families helped us make our vision a reality.  It was a true family effort in searching for the vintage handkerchiefs, silver, suitcases, little syrup bottles, our handmade menus, table numbers, gift bags and more!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Sally and Jesse: Fake kiss lean when we both thought the Rabbi was done, chair dancing, sombreros and mexican blanket dancing, light sabers, I think that says it all:)

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Sally and Jesse: Don’t worry too much about whether everyone else is having a good time. They are… just dance and soak up all the love.  People want to see you happy, in love, and having fun.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Sally and Jesse: Nothing, but we weren’t finished dancing.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Sally and Jesse: Didn’t go yet, but planning for November and we can’t wait!  Thailand and Cambodia – Elephants, Rainforest, Ruins (Angkor Wat) and beach, beach, beach, bliss!!!



Cherie and Henry- Across the ocean

Cherie and Henry- Across the ocean

It was such a joy to be contacted by Cherie and Henry, they had a unique situation and wanted to take some photos around Chicago. Henry is originally from Hong Kong but has been living in the states for many years. When he traveled back to visit family a couple of years ago, he fell in love with a girl named Cherie. They spent many months apart with thousands of miles between them, and with love on her side Cherie made a brave decision… she left her entire family, 2 dogs, blossoming fashion career, and hopped on a plane to the US to be with Henry. Love! With various citizenships to consider, they acquired a marriage license in Chicago with the plan to go back to Hong Kong to celebrate with family, but that left them with no wedding photos. That’s where I come in- I met up with them and we visited some of my favorite locations for a variety of photos, including a tux and a wedding dress at the oh-so-perfect Olive Park. The results are gorgeous! Thanks so much Cherie and Henry for trusting me to capture these moments, may your love for each other remain as vast as the oceans you crossed to be together.

Cherie brought along her favorite card from Henry, perfect!

Cherie had some fun with Henry’s bow tie and glasses…

She put on her wedding dress…

Then we were surrounded by dozens of bicyclists!


So wonderful.

Congrats Cherie and Henry!


Lindsay & Philip- Love in a jewelry store

Lindsay & Philip- Love in a jewelry store

There was something in the air that day when Philip walked into Shelle’s Jewelers. He not only stumbled upon a pretty girl, he met the love of his life, his Aphrodite. Lindsay and Philip have been inseparable ever since, and they vow to remain by each other’s side forever. Sparks fly when these two enter a room, they have a connection that is powerful and mesmerizing. Their wedding at Ivy Room was truly beautiful, a perfect day for two perfect people.
It’s easy to see that they are a beautiful couple, in fact a bit intimidating. Me and my camera were giddy with such gorgeous material, there was something terrific at every turn. I am so glad to have been a part of this wedding, Kara Superfine and her Bliss Wedding team did a stand up job and Event Creative transformed the space. AMAZING!

Her bunny- “Bun-Jovi”!

Stunning! Orchids in her hair- awesome!

Philip’s groomsmen helped him with some finishing touches…

Goofing around…

Ketubah is signed!

Jamie braved the fire escape for some overhead shots…


This one makes me melt…

Event Creative did an amazing job!

Then the Front of the House Band kicked it up a notch with the Hora!

Congrats Lindsay and Philip!

Second photographer: Jamie Hartley


Hair and makeup: Hair: Brenda Bonomo, Make up: Beauty on Call

Florist: Event Creative

Ceremony location: The Ivy Room

Reception location: The Ivy Room

Event Planner: Kara Superfine, Bliss Weddings and Events

Officiant: Rabbi Lowenstein

Cake: Sarah’s Bakery

Caterer: Entertaining Company

Dress: Anne Barge

Accessories: My Grandmas’


DJ/Band: Ken Arlen: Front of House

First Dance: The Promise

Father/daughter: Sunrise, Sunset


Q&A with the bride:

What was the most memorable moment of your day? 

Lindsay: All the speeches, mainly Philip’s speech; the perfect weather, spending time with everyone we love, great dancing.

What was your favorite detail? 

Lindsay: The chuppah drenched in flowers and vines.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?

Lindsay: Being raised in the chairs for the Hora.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?

Lindsay: Don’t stress, everything will fall into place just right.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything? 

Lindsay: Nope

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Lindsay: We are waiting a bit. Too much going on right now.


Danielle + Patrick- Venue Six10 Wedding

Danielle + Patrick- Venue Six10 Wedding

“Home is wherever I’m with you,” is the best description of these two. All of the wedding day gitters and stress melted away as soon as they saw each other. When you meet the right person all of sudden you start seeing the world through rose colored glasses, and this beautiful couple is no exception. Their wedding was gorgeous, we had perfect weather and a stunning venue- the new Spertus Institute’s Venue Six 10. If you love clean modern interiors flooded with natural light and great views of the city, this is the place! So many wonderful vendors contributed to making this wedding extra special, including Bambi and her BCR Events team, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Abby Hill Flowers, and the Chicago Catz. What a day!

The Blackstone Hotel is a beautiful spot to get ready…

Grandmother’s jade necklace.

Love this!

Time for the big reveal!


The bridal party was just her sister and his brother, nice and easy.

Unbelievable, so pretty!

Venue Six10, amazing views!

Beautiful room for the ketubah signing.

Her dad high-fived her on the way in, so cute!

Ingrid snagged some cool overhead shots from the balcony.

Daddy’s little girl…

Hora time!

I am convinced the Hora is the perfect opportunity for amazing candids.

Epic night shot!

Congrats Danielle and Patrick!

Second photographers: Jamie Hartley, Ingrid Bonne-Goggins

Hair and Makeup: Rachel Reiman (makeup); Ashley Young (hair)
Florist: Natalia from Abby Hill Flowers
Ceremony/Reception location: Spertus Institute, Venue Six10
Event Planner: Bambi Caicedo Rogers from BCR Events
Officiant: Rabbi Daniel Friedman (Same rabbi who married Bride’s parents 33 years ago)
Cake: Large red velvet cupcake by Wolfgang Puck
Caterer: Wolfgang Puck Catering
Dress: Nicole Miller
Accessories: Earrings- Kate Spade; Necklace- gift from the Groom’s grandmother; Jade pendant on my bouquet- borrowed from Groom’s mother; Shoes-Jimmy Choo; Swarovski crystal hair comb-Etsy

Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Music: Neil Dixon Smith
Reception Band: The Chicago Catz
First Dance: You Send Me- Sam Cooke
Father/daughter: God Bless The Child- Billie Holiday
Mother/son: This Could Be- Natalie Cole

Q&A with the bride and groom:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Danielle: So many to chose from I can’t pick just one- (1) Right before I walked down the aisle when I was all by myself in a room that overlooked the lake and Grant Park and just had time to reflect and anticipate everything to come; (2) listening to all the amazing toasts; and (3) when the band played “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and all of our friends formed a tight circle around us on the dance floor and jumped around us during the entire song.
Patrick: Short and sweet: watching her walk down the aisle.

What was your favorite detail?
Danielle: There wasn’t one specific detail that was my favorite- it was the fact that the entire night was filled with tons of details that were celebrating “us” as a couple and as individuals.  We incorporated various aspects into the wedding that made our relationship special and celebrated our ethnicities (Mexican, Jewish, Chinese and Irish) into our day in different ways- the food and drinks, the music and the decor so that everyone would know that this was our day.

Patrick: During the bands break, they played an ipod that I had loaded with a playlist I prepared especially for the wedding with special songs with lots of meaning to our relationship – everything from the song from the British Office “Free Love Freeway” by Ricky Gervais to “Save Room” by John Legend.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?

Danielle: Watching everyone go crazy on the dance floor and make fools of themselves.

Patrick: Watching my mom being lifted up and down on a chair during the Hora.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Danielle: Remember that this is a happy day that’s about celebrating you and your significant other and your relationship.  Don’t waste time and energy stressing over the bumps in the road during the planning process- just try to breathe and know everything really does work itself out in the end!

Patrick: Create pre-formatted thank you letters to make your life easier after the wedding.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Both: Making the weekend last even longer so we had more time to spend with all of our guests.  It went by so incredibly fast!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We are still deciding, but we are thinking Hong Kong and Bali.