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month: November 2010

Chicago IL Engagement session |Montrose Avenue Beach | Christopher and Nicole

I had a great time with Christopher and Nicole, they even came prepared with props! (more on that later) 🙂

I have a special radar for red doors 😉

Love the cool shadow frames!

So cute!

Oh yes, full moon at dusk = perfection.


How cute is the little old man checking them out?

The sky changes within minutes at sunset, giving us lots of options for unique colors and backdrops, YEY!

The balloons are their wedding colors, totally their idea…making them fly over Chicago…mine 😉

It’s OK to be jealous if you don’t live here, we have the coolest City in the world!

I’m pretty sure the wedding is going to be pretty awesome, with such an adventurous  couple how could it not be…I can’t wait!!!

Hilda Burke, Chicago IL Engagement photography

Emmett’s Ale House in Downers Grove| Suburban Wedding | Kristine and Rob

Kristine & Rob had the wedding they wanted, not what some magazine or website dictates 😉  So what if the their favorite restaurant never hosted a wedding before…how could they say no to such a sweet couple 🙂

I usually use whatever prop I find around the house, in this case Mr. Shark with a sombrero was nice enough to help me out with the bracelet.

Rob surprised Kristine with this incredible stunning necklace. [High-five Rob!]

We had about 5 minutes for portraits, but I made it work… I had a pretty model how could I go wrong?

These two ring bearers were so cute!

The flower girl  did her job perfectly while being adorable.

Despite the rain the bridal party were troopers…

…and fun!


Got my color fix at this cute little candy store.

Favorite 2!

The photo ops were endless with these characters.

The food, OH the foooood!!!! Bruschetta with real garlic, yum!

There were many different kinds of pan pizza, beef, sausage and fries…and now I have to stop writing about the food because I’m going to start chewing on my keyboard.

And thanks to the Downers Grove Fire Department, I got my red fix as well 🙂

From Kristine…

Favorite Wedding Moments:So many to choose from, but here is a couple:

  • Hilda taking beautiful pictures on the small peninsula next to the river while it was drizzling.
  • Standing on the alter after lighting the Unity Candle and waiting awkwardly for the song to finish.  We looked at each other , smiled , and then laughed and that made our friends and family laugh as well.
  • Two words: Party Bus!
  • Eating deep dish pizza and French fries for dinner.
  • First Dance and Father-Daughter Dance.
  • Seeing all of our Friends and Family having a great time!

Something we would have done differently:

I would have started the day much early than I did so that we wouldn’t have been rushing around before going to the church.  Also we would have made sure that we had some appetizers because that’s the one food item that we didn’t get to try!

Best Wedding Related Purchase:

#1  The morning of our wedding, Rob (via my sister) surprised me with a beautiful necklace to wear that day!

#2  Purchasing Emmett’s pint glasses as wedding favors and having them put our wedding logo on the one side.

List of Vendors:

Photography: Angel Eyes of course!  http://www.angeleyesphotography.com/ When we met Hilda, we knew that she was a perfect match for us.

Reception: Emmett’s Ale House in Downers Grove     www.emmettsalehouse.com (We couldn’t have picked a more suitable place for our reception.)

Dresses & Tuxes:  Royal Bridal & Tuxedo    www.royal-bridal.com (Vera did a wonderful job with my dress and my bridesmaids dresses!)

Cake: Busy Bee Bakery in Downers Grove   www.ingramsbusybee.com (The cake was phenomenal.)

Flowers:  Groveside Flowers in Downers Grove   www.grovesideflowers.com (The bouquets and boutonnieres were perfect.)

Dj:  DJ Teebot   www.djteebot.com (Torbin kept everyone on the dance floor.  Even my Aunt from New York (she is in her 70s) couldn’t get enough of the music).

Hair:  Our friend Al did a wonderful job. Thanks Al!!!

Makeup:  One of my bridesmaids and friend since high school, Ida did a fabulous job on me, my sister, my mom and my aunt.  Thanks again Ida!


We both had a great time at our wedding and remember every bit of it.  The food was great, the music kept people dancing, and the overall atmosphere of Emmett’s was exactly what we were looking for. We are so glad that all of our family and friends could come and celebrate this day with us.  Thanks everyone for making it an amazing day!  Special thanks to Emmett’s for creating our custom menu and for letting us rent out the entire restaurant for a Saturday night!

Saint Clement Chicago Wedding |Ravenswood Event Center reception | Jennifer and Jake

Jake and Jennifer’s wedding was filled with fantastic locations, classic cars,  great food, fun and of course LOVE!

Jennifer got ready at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. Dress: Palazzo Bridal http://www.palazzobridal.com/

You know I love unique and cute shoes!

This was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen…Jennifer’s dad helping her put her shoes on 😀


Meanwhile back at their house there was a lot of cuteness going on 🙂

Love this shot!

Saint Clement is one of the most beautiful Churches in the City of Chicago without a doubt!

Stopped by Lincoln Park for some photos after the ceremony. I will say it till I’m blue in the face, if you want fun portraits and amazing photos like these below, I need time. If I’m not your photographer, your photographer needs time. Time, time, time;  either before the ceremony of after it doesn’t matter…but just remember, Good photographer + time = Fun/Fantastic/Fotos  …umm…photos 😉

How cute are they?


These lucky ladies got to pick out their own dresses.

The reception was at one of the most unique venues in the City, Ravenswood Event Center.

Cake: Luscious Layers

Oh yeah, one of the perks of having your wedding at the Ravenswood Event Center is that you get to go hang out at the garage next door, the Showroom is home to one of America’s most impressive collections of prestige automobile & sports cars.

Love this, a LOT!!!

Another favorite!!!

Flowers: Topiarius

DJ: Style Matters Dustin was a very talented DJ.

First dance.

Jennifer and her Dad.

Jake and his Mom.

Some delicious after dinner snacks, mini milkshakes…

…and burgers &  tater-tots, Yum!

What a fun wedding, thanks so much for having me 🙂

Jennifer thank you for that first paragraph, I truly appreciate it 🙂

From Jennifer…

Best wedding-related purchase:
Our top wedding-related purchase was you (or your time anyway). 🙂  We wanted to make sure we had the best for capturing the moments of our wedding and our expectations have definitely been exceeded. 

And a second “purchase” would be having treats/snacks distributed near the dance floor towards the end of the reception – as people were starting to get tired, they appreciated the sliders, shakes and tater tots!

List of Vendors:
Hair and Makeup: Asha Salon – http://www.ashasalonspa.com/ (Nomi did my hair and he’s awesome.)
Flowers: Topiarius – http://www.topiarius.com/ (Kim and Sara were wonderful – kind & calm and their work was just what we were looking for.)
DJ: Style Matters – http:// www.stylemattersdjs.com/ (Dustin was our DJ from the Style Matters crew and his skills were amazing!)
Caterer: Blue Rooster Catering (when you sign the venue, you automatically get their caterer.  Andy Kalish is a dream to work with and people still talk about how good the food was at our wedding!) –http://www.ravenswoodeventcenter.com/hospitality/hospitality.html
Cake: Luscious Layers – http://www.lusciouslayers.com/ (Ashley brought our dream cake to life!)

As Jake and I started to think about our wedding, we had certain priorities: unique venue, amazing photography and good food.  We were able to find all three and now that our wedding is over, we couldn’t be more satisfied with the way it turned out.  It was the perfect beginning to our new life together.


Favorite Wedding Moments:
I have a bunch of favorite wedding moments that stick out in my mind:
–  our vows and ceremony (which I guess is a bit of a “duh” favorite moment) – Fr. Simpson at St. Clement is wonderful!


–  my parents’ speeches – I had no idea what they were going to say beforehand and just listening to my Mom and Dad made me feel so loved and so honored that they were my parents.

– all the special dances – first dance, father/daughter, mother/son – I loved watching Jake dance with his mom and I’m so glad I got a few moments with my Dad.

–  watching all our friends and family have an awesome time on the dance floor!

And I asked Jake and his reply was, “you walking down the aisle.”  🙂

As for something I would have done differently, I probably would have made sure to have some of our appetizers! Everyone reminds you to eat dinner, which we did, but they forget about the fun hors d’oeuvres!

A wedding is a big day in anyone’s life – Jake and I were thrilled to share it with our friends and family.  We trusted our vendors to do what they do best and their skills shined on our special day.  The result was spectacular and it will be remembered fondly!

The Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca|Katy and Brendan | Westin Itasca IL Wedding

I was so looking forward to shooting Katy and Brendan’s wedding, and I must say it did not disappoint. The day started with some rain, but by the time the ceremony rolled around  the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining. After checking in with Katie, I decided to take the dress for a little walk. And I must say I’m pretty proud of this shot, we had to kick some people out of the elevator, but it was worth it 😉                (yes, I am joking)

The getting ready, the ceremony and the reception all took place at the The Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca. They are pet friendly, so Katy could bring her baby to enjoy part of the day with them 🙂

For future Brides please take note, it’s super helpful if you have the rings with you  while you’re getting ready. Since I’ll be there taking photos of you anyway, I can shoot the rings at the same time!

The ‘A’ is for her maiden name and the ‘C’ is for her married name.

But I like this shot better.

Once again I had the pleasure of working with Patti Herioux who made sure everything went off without a hitch. She even had super glue when I needed it for my shoes.

Favorite! Katie, you looked stunning 🙂

Flowers by http://www.homewoodflorist.com/

It’s so cute how 2 of the guys are looking at Brendan to see his reaction to Katy walking down the isle.

And the closer she got the bigger his smile got 😀

The ceremony was beautifully performed by Toni Hassett http://tonihassett.com/

After ceremony photos… I LOVE this one, it reminds me of  this one from their engagement session.

Oh long veils how I love thee….

Another favorite, WOW!

…back to my veil obsession.

Everyone in the bridal party was super nice and very cooperative, and it’s very much appreciated, thank you!

They went from the intros right into the first dance.

(It’s always a very good idea to go right into the first dance after the intros…everyone’s attention in on you and the air is charged with excitement. It’s really hard to get everyone focused back on the dance floor if they are chatting/eating/standing in line at the bar.)

Music and lighting by MDM, super great DJ highly recommended.

When the dancing started it never stopped, Katy and her friends tore up the dance floor it was so great to see everyone have blast.


…JUMP!  (can someone  e-mail me the background on this dude please? He must be a professional dancer or something.)

Charlie came  down to the party for a few portraits he was just so cute! Not only did he have a bow tie, he had a little doggy tuxedo.

Last slow dance, the perfect ending to a perfect day!

From Katy…

Oh Hilda, I could go on and on and on with my favorite moments…. How do I choose? I loved everything about our night! If I could, I would say every moment was my favorite 🙂 But to help you narrow it down, some of my favorite wedding moments included:

-Seeing my Dad and Brendan’s face for the first time.

-Standing in our suite looking out the window at our ceremony setup with everyone sitting there waiting for me to walk down the aisle. It made me realize that all those people were there for us. That was truly amazing.

-Standing in the middle of the dance floor looking at the setup of the tent trying to take a mental picture of it all before anyone came in. I want to never forget that tent.

-Sitting at the sweetheart table with my new husband staring out at all our guests realizing this was the best party we have ever had and these people are the ones that mattered most in our lives. I loved seeing all our friends and family finally in one place together.

-Father daughter dance, and first dance, with the two men I love most in this world!

-One of my other favs was having my little pup Charlie there at the end of the night to take pics with his now official mama and papa on their wedding night. Thanks Hilda!

Brendan said his favorite moments including seeing me for the first time walk down the aisle and also seeing me dancing and enjoying myself. He loves to watch me dance. He also said he enjoyed walking around seeing all of our ideas put together as a whole in the room. He really enjoyed that the dance floor stayed full all night long. I agreed 🙂

Our best wedding related purchase was Patti! If it wasn’t for her I could have never had the wedding I did. I would have never found my dress, and for super cheap! I would have never met the majority of my vendors including my amazing photographer and DJ 🙂 She kept me sane and was always there to add such great input and offer so many different ideas. She was organized, timely, patient, kind and amongst many other things very dedicated and passionate about what she does. She was always there to help even if it meant gluing paper together to letting me borrow her paper slicer to removing the buttons off her wedding dress to sew onto mine the night before the wedding.
Patti was worth every cent invested because aside from business we became close friends. I talked with Patti about more than just wedding planning. She’s a great person and I can honestly say she was truly there for me every step of the way.

Overall, Brendan and I agree that it was by far the best night of our lives. My fairytale wedding has come and gone and It couldn’t have been more perfect! The reception pavilion was gorgeous! The ceremony was unique and specific to us, which is exactly what we wanted. The food was amazing; the music kept everyone dancing and wanting more; the photo booth was a blast that kept people coming back; the weather was perfect and the best part of all of it was that at the end of the day we were finally, after 10 years, husband and wife and we were able to spend our magical day with the people we loved most, our closest friends and family.

Hilda Burke, Chicago IL Wedding Photographer

Becky and Ian Engagement Session

Becky and Ian are getting married on New Year’s Eve, from what I’ve been hearing about the plans I’m expecting it to be quite the party 🙂   Usually my New Years Eve consists of watching the countdown on TV and going to bed at 12 :30 so being at their wedding is going to be exciting and I’m very much looking forward to it.

My favorite photo of the session, the light was sooo perfect!

Another favorite!

They are both huge baseball fans so we did some more sporty and fun photos. (Ian’s a Cub’s fan and Becky likes the Sox)

Impressive, no?

Hilda Burke, Chicago IL Wedding/Engagement photographer