The two met five years earlier at a birthday party but bumped into each other while Erica was walking her dog. Jerry found her on Facebook and fast forward to the weekend after Thanksgiving and the two were married and sharing their first dance to a Barry White tune (good choice, if I do say so myself.) I loved how the guests circled Erica in support as she danced alone to her late dad’s favorite country song. I loved how Erica’s nephew walked her down the aisle and I loved how Jerry’s laughter filled the room but he couldn’t hold back the tears while hearing his brother’s toast. Thank you, Erica and Jerry, for sharing your moments so openly with me.
Pre-ceremony preparations: Hyatt Place Hotel
Event planner: LaFloras Party & Event Planning
Ceremony: University of Chicago Rockefeller Chapel
Reception: Logan Center
Bridal gown: Peter Langnor
Bridal shoes: Badgley Mischka
Groom’s suit: Tommy Hilfiger
Makeup: Makeup by J. Jordan
Florist: Flowers for Dreams
Baker: Bake Me off a Piece of That
DJ: Matt Cannon
Second photographer: Jon Mills
I woke up at 2 am (with lots of strong coffee as my companion) to make the drive from Montague, Michigan to Chicago in time for a sunrise engagement shoot with Grae and Becky. Sunrise shoots are my very favorite. It’s the best light, in my opinion, but not many couples are up for looking their best so early in the morning. Even though I found the willing couple, I was met with thick fog. Not exactly what I was hoping for but after it was all said and done, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Next month I’ll be in Frankfort, Michigan photographing these two on their wedding day and no matter what weather we face, I’m guessing it will be just as fabulous.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve assisted in shooting a handful of beautiful and unique weddings with some super-talented photographers. I know that each one of them has helped me grow in some way and I’m forever grateful.
The workload from my own weddings has kept me from getting around to editing these but my computer told me in a spinning-wheel-of-death kind of way, that I needed to make room and purge some files. It’s funny how my to-do list is sometimes dictated by the squeakiest wheel.
I know I sound like a broken record when I say that I love couples that make their wedding day uniquely their own. But it’s true. Nolan and I have been friends for years. (He’s responsible, actually, for me meeting my husband – – who actually second shot with me. How serendipitous is that?!) Anyhow, I was pretty sure Nolan’s wedding would be full of artistic touches because he already has great taste (hint, hint: HILARY!) Well, I was right. They found a great artist co-op loft for the ceremony and dinner. And the dinner was before the ceremony (cool, I know) Their dog, Henry, was there for it all. He even snitched one of the desserts unbeknownst to the guests. (The secret is out now!) They wrote their own vows. Hilary said to Nolan that she will remember “that marriage is a marathon and not a sprint.” I could go on and on about how great this celebration was: they made their own centerpieces and thank you gifts, they were married by relatives, the bridal party was Hilary’s two brothers and Nolan’s two brothers, their guests made pies, Nolan’s mom made his wedding band and Hilary wore her grandmother’s, they walked over to their favorite watering hole after dancing to their favorite band. To me, it was what a wedding is supposed to be like.
Nolan and Hilary, may your marathon be long and happy.
It was because of Nolan’s encouragement and prompting with “He’s just your type, he’s wearing hiking boots and laughs a lot!” that I met my husband, Jon, over 13 years ago. It seems only appropriate that we were with Nolan to celebrate and photograph his marriage to Hilary this Saturday.
Here’s to many more years of friendship and encouragement…