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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Emily & Robert- Just Like Heaven

Emily & Robert- Just Like Heaven

Emily walked down the aisle to a Sigur Ros song and Robert couldn’t have looked any happier. They have a wonderful relationship and friendship that spans beyond their good taste in music, tv shows, and movies. They are each other’s best companion, and marriage was just the right fit. On a day that could have been cold and rainy, we lucked out with beautiful sunny skies. They had their first look in Mariano Park off of Rush Street, then we headed around town for photos. The ceremony was the perfect blend of both their backgrounds, complete with a Pastor and a Rabbi. When the dancing started everyone got on their feet, even the older guests danced until the last song played (thanks to Carrie of Toast and Jam DJ’s).

The girls got ready at the Black Hearts Hair Salon.

Jamie caught up with Robert and the guys, they were pretty relaxed drinking some Daisy Cutter beer and watching TV.

They had these awesome Marvel comic cuff links made for the wedding.

Time for the first look!

They had a bit of an audience…

We headed around town with the wedding party for some photos.

Beautiful Fall colors.

Time for the wedding…

The ketubah is signed, it’s official!


Start the party!

Go Carrie!

Congrats Emily and Rob, just like the Cure sang- may your life together always feel “just like Heaven!”

Second photographer: Jamie Hartley

Hair and makeup: Black Hearts Hair House
Florist: Southport Blooms
Ceremony location: Salvatore’s Restaurant
Reception location: Salvatore’s Restaurant
Officiant: Rev. Matthew Johnson and Rabbi Michael Sternfield
Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie
Caterer: Salvatore’s
Dress: Watters (purchased at the Bridal Salon at Macy’s State Street)
Accessories: Hair Jewel = The Left Bank, veil = Marisola Paricio on Etsy, necklace = Susan G. Allen. Cufflinks = Comic Salvage on Etsy. The rest of my jewelry was a mix of my own and pieces borrowed from family.

DJ/Band: Toast and Jam (Carrie Grucz)
First Dance: “No One’s Gonna Love You” Band of Horses
Father/daughter:  “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” Elton John

Q&A with the bride:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Emily: The first look which still felt intimate despite lots of family members and the entire city of Chicago standing around watching. Or hearing the opening notes of the ceremony music ( Sigur Ros’ Staralfur) when I realized it was really happening.

What was your favorite detail?
Emily: The vintage suitcase my mom put together with photos of Rob and I from various life stages (both cute and embarrassing) along with wedding photos from our friends and family members.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Emily: Definitely Josh, the ring bearer being the first one out on the dance floor and stealing the show with his Michael Jackson-inspired dance routine to “Billie Jean.”

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Emily: All the cliched advice is actually pretty sage, so I’ll echo the advice to let the little stresses go and try to enjoy and savor little moments throughout the day as much as you can. Start saying hello first to the people you know will leave early, save your closest friends for dance floor chatting.  Make sure you get a piece of the cake, and perhaps practice your cake cutting before you do it in front of an audience. Wear comfortable shoes and make sure you know how to bustle your gown before you leave the store (or take someone with you who will remember).

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Emily: Probably not.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Emily: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Puppies and ice cream…

Puppies and ice cream…

Photographing the Nowak family was a blast! I have known Linnea for a couple of years and was so flattered when she asked me to photograph her family. Not only are her daughters adorable, but the newest member of the family came along to add even more cuteness- Darla the pug puppy! We had so much fun running through the grassy fields of Lincoln park, playing in the leaves, and then sharing some ice cream. Linnea (also a photographer) did a great job coordinating their outfits and even had a few photo ideas- I am totally in love with the results. What a great family!

Meet Darla…

I love this one.

Clara spotted her favorite animal…

Not a bad owl impression.

It’s not easy trying to make a puppy sit still for the perfect family photo…

The girls were very excited for our next stop- ice cream!

It started to get messy…

Some “robot” goofing around…

I showed Beth how to use my polaroid camera so she could take some photos…

Best friends!

Thanks again Nowak family for a wonderful photo session!


Kristen and Derek are engaged!

Kristen and Derek are engaged!

Back in July at the Indie Wed event, both Jeremy of 3 line 9 productions and myself offered a contest. Whoever could “pin-the-stache” to the groom while blindfolded would win a free photo+video engagement session, and Kristen was our lucky winner! Jeremy and I caught up with her and Derek on a beautiful Fall day, with the perfect combination of colorful leaves and warm temperatures. Not only are Kristen and Derek at ease in front of the camera with their relaxed personalities and sparkling smiles, but they are just adorable! We had a wonderful time wandering through the forest preserve and then headed back to their place for a little mock study session. They are both pursuing work in the medical field, they have supported each other through countless hours of studying and preparing, so I thought it would be fitting to capture them with some of the many books they have read. It was great to be in the company of two very smart people, I hope some of it rubbed off on me! I am excited to be a part of their wedding next year at the Danada House- it’s going to be lovely spending more time with these two.

Yep, they’re pretty smart…

Derek wrote a note to Kristen.

Hilarious! (Derek is actually just referring to the salivary glands and a cranial nerve, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Congrats again Kristen and Derek, I can’t wait to see the engagement video!


Diana + Kyle = Sweet, sweet love

Diana + Kyle = Sweet, sweet love

Young love is sweet, sweet enough to make your whole face light up in a smile or feel like your heart might burst right out of your chest. When you look at Diana and Kyle you can see just that, a whole-hearted commitment to each other. It’s not phased by the silly antics of their friends, or when Kyle tried to pour some sparkling wine into the lake for the fish, or when the groomsmen snapped their suspenders as they surrounded Diana on the dance floor, in fact the goofiness is one of the best parts. Life should be filled with fun and happy memories, and Diana and Kyle have found the perfect person to share that fun with. The best part is that this is just the beginning!

Getting ready…

The ring bearer was a little overwhelmed.

Kyle’s grandparents were all smiles.

We arrived at the lake right as the sun was setting…

Even their dad’s had special suspenders!

Drinking ’round the bride!

Best part about this picture… the girl being hoisted up in the back ground.

She needed a place to rest her head…

This took a couple of tries- we had just enough people in the bridal party to spell out DIANA+KYLE10.22.11

Congrats Diana and Kyle!

Hair and makeup: Avalon Salon and Day Spa – Deer Park, IL
Florist: Donna’s Custom Flowers – Mundelein, IL
Ceremony location: St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church – Lake Zurich, IL
Reception location: Concorde Banquets – Kildeer, IL
Event Planner: ME!
Cake: Concorde Banquets – Kildeer, IL
Caterer: Concorde Banquets – Kildeer, IL
Dress: David’s Bridal
Accessories: Headband from AmieNoelDesigns on Etsy.com; Clutch from Yensew on Etsy.com; Sashes from ProjectU on Etsy.com; Nina Shoes; Crislu Jewelry from Lord & Taylor; Groom’s suspenders from suspenderstore.com

DJ/Band: Medleys in Motion
First Dance: “Then” – Brad Paisley
Father/daughter: “Father and Daughter” – Paul Simon
Mother/son: “In my Life” – The Beatles

Q&A with the Bride and Groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Diana: Honestly, the most memorable parts of the day happened at the beginning and the end! When I started my walk down the aisle with my Dad and saw Kyle standing there, all my anxiety disappeared and I felt a wave of calm. I knew, right then and there, that no matter how the rest of the day went, it would be the best day of my life. At the end of the night, the DJ’s played “Piano Man” and Kyle and I danced while everyone formed a circle around us. It was an amazing feeling to have so many friends and family members there to the very end of the night to support us. (And when Kyle dipped me during that dance, I really thought I was going to hit the floor – little did I know, my wonderful husband would never let that happen!)
Kyle: Popping the bottle of champagne with Diana and the wedding party on the pier of Lake Zurich overlooking a gorgeous sunset.

What was your favorite detail?
Diana: The accessories worn by our bridal party! I think its the little details that really make everything come together. I loved the suspenders that the guys wore! We put A LOT of work into choosing suspenders that were specific to each groomsman and his unique personality. I also loved the sashes worn by the bridesmaids and flower girls. We ordered those from Etsy and they definitely added something to the overall look of the wedding party.
Kyle: The individualized suspenders of the groomsmen, thank you Katie Costello for the idea!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Diana: I don’t want to get into much detail here, but it was a game we played after the reception with our college friends called “Drinkin’ Round the Bride.” I have a sneaky suspicion that its going to become a tradition at many of our friends’ weddings.
Kyle: We had a lot laughs on the limo during pictures – but I think everyone enjoyed Laura and Doug Ogurek’s crazy dancing.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Diana: No doubt that during the planning process there will be days when you get overwhelmed. Its okay to feel that way – just remember that on the day of, it won’t matter. You’ll be too busy taking the day in and enjoying every minute of it. Honestly, Kyle and I both agreed that it was the best day of our lives.
Kyle: Enjoy it…how many times do you get to throw a party with all your friends and family in attendance?

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Diana: Not a thing – everything went as perfectly as we could have imagined!
Kyle: Absolutely not, thanks to all that played a part in the decorations, ceremony, and reception. Hands down, best day of my life!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Diana: Back to work! Because of Kyle’s schedule, we didn’t get to take a honeymoon. We do plan to head to Florida in the next 6 months as we were given a week in a relative’s condo in the Gulf for a wedding gift!
Kyle: To be determined, springtime.


Kelly + Jon

Kelly + Jon

Who knew that a volleyball could mean so much… if we all thought we could meet our soul mate just by joining a volleyball team the beaches would be overrun. But lucky for Jon and Kelly a few long summer days and some well timed serves did just that, they fell in love and now they are married! The sun was shining all day for us, we had an awesome time visiting some Chicago landmarks with the bridal party, then we headed to the church to get them hitched. The reception was not only at the very unique Architectural Artifacts, but Jon’s attention to detail was well received from the awesome comment cards to the well-chosen rock-a-billy band. And I must also mention Jon’s suit was superb- easily the best one I have seen all year. I have a feeling that their love story may inspire quite a few new sign-ups on the team this summer, congratulations Kelly and Jon!

Michael started out with the guys at Southport lanes (great idea!).

The girls were having fun getting ready at the hotel.

Time for the first look! (some great tilt-shift shots captured by Michael)

Kelly’s dad got stuck with all the coats…

Then we headed to the North Avenue beach where Kelly and Jon first met.

Wedding day volleyball!

They had the coolest food stations for each variety in Chicago (chinatown, little italy, etc.).

The Cadillac Casanovas did an excellent job with the music (and the singer’s hair is truly impressive).

We gathered everyone for a giant group photo…

Congrats Kelly and Jon!

Second photographer: Michael Litchfield
Hair and makeup: Teri Kuhlman and Kerre from The Bridal Team
Florist: Cattails for bouquets and boutonnieres. Centerpieces by Jon’s mom.
Ceremony location: Bethany United Church in Chicago
Reception location: Architectural Artifacts
Officiant: Pastor William Bordonaro
Cake: Sweet Mandy Bs
Caterer: C Catering Boutique (they are fantastic!)
Dress: House of Brides
Accessories: Nordstrom

Band: The Cadillac Casanovas
First Dance: Love Me Tender by Elvis (performed by The Cadillac Casanovas)
Father/daughter & Mother/son: Sleepwalk (rockabilly instrumental performed by The Cadillac Casanovas)

Q&A with the bride and groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Kelly: Starting the day with photos and the first look. I was so excited to see Jon!
Jon: Seeing Kelly and her dad walking down the aisle. Kelly looked beautiful and her dad was bawling.

What was your favorite detail?
Kelly: Architectural Artifacts just happened to put to comfy red chairs by the stage that wound up being the perfect place for Jon and I to sit during the speeches. It was a happy accident.
Jon: We had a very extensive menu, so we named all of our different dishes after family and friends. It was so easy to do and people loved it.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Kelly: Jon and I just acting goofy during the photos.
Jon: Kelly’s dad and one of my groomsmen dancing together. I was quite a sight.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Kelly: Focus your wedding on making your guests happy. If your guests are having a great time, you will have great time.
Jon: Make your engagement as short as possible. Six months is plenty of time to plan a wedding and our friends who did one or two year engagements just extended the hassle and challenges of planning a wedding.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Kelly: I would have had a microphone by Jon and I for the vows. Some people could not hear them.
Jon: I would have invited more guests. We didn’t believe the standard “15% of guests decline” or that guests would back out at the last minute but it happens. I feel bad when think I about the people we could have invited but didn’t in order to could keep the head count manageable.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We spent a week in Playa Del Carmen right after the wedding. We leave for two weeks in Italy in March.


Kaitlyn+Adam- Officially Wed!

Kaitlyn+Adam- Officially Wed!

What’s better than one wedding? Two! After a courthouse wedding last year, this one was the “real” wedding for Kaitlyn and Adam and no detail was overlooked. Whether it was the influence of wedding blogs or various magazines (or just great taste), Kaitlyn combined all the best ideas for a wedding into the ultimate celebration, with the help of friends and LOLA events (and some beautiful weather from mother nature). This day was picture perfect… everyone sipped on Autumn punch, listened to the live music provided by The Mudflapps, then gathered for a gorgeous ceremony under a beautiful hand-knit Chuppah. And the bride and groom looked amazing, a perfect blend of casual and elegant. So much time and TLC went into every detail, even their dog Toby was brought along to be the ring bearer. This wedding is sure to turn a lot of heads! Congrats Kaitlyn and Adam, may two weddings mean twice the love (for Toby too!). (all photos by Jamie Hartley and Tuan Bui, for Maypole Studios Photography)

Toby posed with the wedding party.

But then he needed to run…

Beautiful hand-knit chuppah by their friend Chris.

Adam has great dog-whispering skills…

But Toby wasn’t budging!

Kaitlyn’s dad carried him down the aisle to make way for the bride.

Adorable box lunches by FIG catering.

Bluegrass music by the Mudflapps…


Photographers: Jamie Hartley and Tuan Bui for Maypole Studios photography

Hair and makeup: Hair: Jack at Mops Beauty Shop in Logan Square, make-up was by my sister Rebecca
Florist: Flowers were by our coordinator, Brittanie Ahrens, and my friend Chris Wojdak
Ceremony location: Shores of Turtle Creek
Reception location: Shores of Turtle Creek
Event Planner: Brittanie Ahrens of LOLA Event Productions
Officiant: Rebecca Incledon & Rebecca Thal, friends of ours
Caterer: FIG Catering
Dress: Ivy & Aster, with heavy, heavy alteration and much credit to Julia Needlman
Accessories: birdcage veiling by Preston & Olivia, though it was so windy it didn’t spend much time on my head. The only other accessories I had were pearls handed down from my grandmother.
**And really, let’s talk about Adam’s outfit, because it was fabulous and outshone me in every way (even though I get all the credit for it, since I picked it out). He was entirely decked out in J.Crew: brown tweed suit with vest, green gingham check shirt, tweed tie, with Camper boots. My boots were from Anthropologie last season, and I basically built the whole outfit (okay, hell, the whole wedding) around them because I love them so, so much.

DJ/Band: The Mudflapps, a local Chicago bluegrass band

Q&A with the bride:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Kaitlyn: Jewish wedding ceremonies involve drinking wine from the “cup of life.” Being huge beer nerds, Adam and I selected the Bruery first-anniversary Papier from our cellar to use for the ceremony instead. When we were handed the cup, however, we found GINGER BEER in it, and our fancy priceless bottle had gone missing. Ginger beer isn’t even alcoholic, so that wasn’t going to work at all. We sent a friend to go and retrieve the beer we’d brought for the ceremony, dumped the ginger beer, and just did that part over again when he returned, Papier in hand.

What was your favorite detail?
Kaitlyn: Our chuppah, which was lovingly, tirelessly hand-knit by our friend Chris.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Kaitlyn: Ah, probably seeing Toby Speedboat bound back towards my dad and I when he was supposed to have gone down the aisle with Adam. What a trouble-maker!

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Kaitlyn: Just… relax. Maybe Xanax will help. Most things will probably go wrong, or might not be how you envisioned them, but your friends and family will never notice and eventually you’ll forget about it.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Kaitlyn: Of course. But no, because there is no way we’re doing this again.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Kaitlyn: We haven’t gone yet! We decided to put our honeymoon off until March, when Adam turns 30, so we could enjoy autumn in Chicago and make an escape when we’re too tired of winter to carry on. Our travel plans will be taking us to Tahiti, Moorea, New Zealand, and South Australia. We’ll lounge on the beaches of French Polynesia, backpack through Fiordlands in New Zealand, see some of Australia’s oldest fossils, and cozy up in a cabin on Kangaroo Island to watch wildlife.