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Emily + Russell

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Fate was smiling down when Emily moved into Russell’s apartment building, living only one floor apart they were destined to meet. They couldn’t deny the butterflies in their stomachs, and only 2 short months later Russell knew he was in love. When you know, you know! They get each other’s humor, even when they are the only ones in the room laughing. They are the best of friends, and they are sticking together no matter where life takes them. Their wedding was perfect- great weather, great friends and family, great times! Congrats Emily and Russell, may you have a lifetime of TGIFridates and always make each other laugh!

Russell sent Emily this awesome letter detailing all the major moments in their relationship.

Emily’s mom couldn’t help tearing up.

All that posing was getting too serious.

Meanwhile the guys were getting ready a few floors below.

Before letting Russell see his bride, the guys challenged him to a poker game.

Love this!

Emily and Russell live in California, and luckily they trusted me to help choose our photo locations. The Cancer Survivor’s garden was our first stop.

This group had a hard timing staying serious.

Ummm… gorgeous!

Love this!

Then we were off to the North Avenue beach for some Chicago skyline.

Time to get married!

Happy tears…

More happy tears…

Get on your dancing shoes!

Love is messy.


There’s always one in the mix that’s been waiting all night to do the splits…

Call me, Maybe?!

Congrats Emily and Russell!

Second photographer: Dana Loftus

Hair and makeup: The Elysian Spa
Florist: Tina and Dollie
Ceremony location: Hotel Allegro
Reception location: Hotel Allegro
Event Planner: K.T. Thompson (Dir. of Catering at the Hotel Allegro)
Officiant: John Ley
Cake: Alliance Bakery
Caterer: Hotel Allegro
Dress: Justin Alexander
Accessories: Blue Shoes are Guess, vintage diamond watch borrowed from a friend, earrings and necklace from macy’s, clutch by Davie and Chiyo (via Etsy). Russell’s shoes by Hugo Boss, tuxedo by Calvin Klein

DJ/Band: DJ Chicago
First Dance: “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
Father/daughter: “My Girl” by the Temptations
Mother/son: “Beer Barrel Polka”

Q&A with the bride and groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Emily: Russell had a present delivered to my room while I was getting ready. Attached to it was a letter that was formatted as a timeline highlighting the dates of milestones in our relationship. It was so special to spend a couple of minutes reflecting on our shared history, and I really appreciated the thought and effort put into it.
Russell: Seeing everyone that we love and care about all in the same room for the first time as we walked into the ceremony.

What was your favorite detail?
Emily: There was a beautiful mirror in the ballroom where we got married, and during the beginning of our ceremony I could see our guests’ reflections. It was so neat to see all of my favorite people come together in support of our marriage.
Russell: The chandeliers/windows

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Emily: The groom and his mother surprised everyone by choosing a polka for their mother/son dance. It was awesome! And hilarious.
Russell: I remember having a glass of champagne, a gin & tonic, and a cup of coffee in front of me at some point and not knowing which one i wanted….so I had them all in order, and then realized how silly that was.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Emily: We chose to have a ‘wedding-themed wedding’ and kept it super simple. It helped us to stay (relatively) relaxed throughout the planning process.
Russell: Invite fun & social guests into the mix, they will help create a great evening regardless of everything else.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Emily: Nope!
Russell: More pizza

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Secrets Maroma Beach Resort in Cancun

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