Facebook button
month: December 2010

Oak Brook IL | Wedding at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus | Amy and Dan

I’ve been saving this blog post for the Christmas season because it’s got red 🙂 Sorry Amy to make you wait…one thing I want to tell you about Amy is that she’s the hardest working Bride I’ve ever met, every suggestion I threw her way was met with enthusiasm and then some. Of course we can’t forget about Dan, who in the end ended up being such a trooper that he even surprised Amy, thank you Dan!

Shoes by Manolo Blahnik

Both Dresses were from Belle Vie Bridal Couture in Chicago.

Before the ceremony, we took the party dress out for a little photo shoot around the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook where both the wedding and the ceremony took place.

Work it Amy!


Officiant, Rev. Bruce Otto did a great job with the ceremony.

After the ceremony photos.

How cute is Dan fixing Amy’s veil?

Favorite 1!

Favorite 2!

First dance.

Love the beautiful crystals on her veil, I was kind of obsessed with it actually…

….one last photo before changing into the party dress which was perfect for dancing.

The changing of the bride 😉

Party time!

Yeah, she was kind of shy and reserved 😉

Favorite 3! Thank you Dan and Amy for trusting me, no wedding dresses were harmed in the making of this photo 🙂

From Amy…

Hyatt Lodge Oakbrook….very positive experience, good setting, great photo ops!

Officiant, Rev. Bruce Otto. Funny, charming, professional, one-of-a-kind…made the ceremony very special for us and our parents. http://www.spiritedweddings.com/

Belle Vie Bridal….Jenna/consultant. Reem Acra designer of ball gown, known as “Alice in Wonderland”, veil by Toni Federici, reception dress by Vineyard for Priscilla of Boston shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

Hair by Litsa Tspralis, Owner Anasas Salon. Litsa is a dear family friend who went over and above the call of duty on our Big Day. http://anasasalon.com/staff/litsa-tsapralis/7749/

Makeup by Agnes Buda-Milewski –an absolute perfectionist that got Hilda a tiny bit off schedule but was well worth the wait! Also a VERY lovely person and so fun to be around. 773-931-7771 (she’s cool with you listing her phone number)

Flowers by Chris Sheffield of Ashland Addison Florist, an old family friend who came through for us in a big way. Did you SEE my roses? I’m spending hundreds now after the fact to preserve the bouquet because it is was too beautiful to let go of.http://www.ashaddflorist.com/index.htm

Bridal Jewelry from Tiffany and Co, Oakbrook… thanks to Alicia Capraro.

My Advice for Future Brides:

Make sure you have a couple of unofficial bridesmaids there for you…..my cousin and and close friend who were not in the bridal party ended up saving the day for us in so many little ways.
The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a kid’ can easily be applied to a bride on her big day!! It took a village PLUS for this bride! My bridesmaid’s were wonderful but I needed an army of dedicated gals.

TRUST Hilda with your time line for the day. She knows what she is doing, and knows whatshe needs to get the best shots..LISTEN TO HER, and it’s a bonus if your groom is on board
with this as well. The bridal party loved her and all the innovative ideas that she (and Carol) had for us that day.
I also researched different shots months before that I wanted and Hilda came prepared to make my wishes come true!

As much as you can, let go of your inhibitions and let your inner-model free to get the most amazing shots that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Arlington Heights Engagement session | Adria and Paul

This is the most romantic couple I know…I’m friends with them on Facebook, and the sweet little notes they write to each other are just the cutest.  I especially love how exited Paul is to marry Adria, and counts down the months/weeks till the wedding.

This lovely fall day was perfect for their engagement session.



Can’t wait till March 2011, they are going to be my fist wedding for the 2011 season 🙂

Promontory Point Chicago Illinois Wedding| Kami & Matt

Kami loves yellow, as much as I love red. I was just happy to be photographing so much beautiful color, it was the perfect accent to a beautiful fall day.

Kami’s dad seeing her for the fist time in her dress.

I loved her hair piece and birdcage veil.



The ceremony and reception were at Promontory Point in Chicago. The Point is ideal for couples looking for a unique location in the City, it’s just beautiful. This is the view from there, not too shabby right? (This Chicago Park District Park is open to the public, it’s one of these hidden gems that not too many people know about and I highly recommend going there for a picnic with your friends and family.)

One little lady carried the rings, and the other one threw the petals, so cute!

The grooms best ‘person’ was his sister, isn’t that just the sweetest? I loved that idea 🙂

I have 2 favorites and I just LOVE the colors, oh happy fall days how I miss you.


I think this might be my favorite shot my assistant ever took, great job Carol!

OK, I lied I have 3 favorites, how cute are they?

All the wedding details were done by the couple personally, and they looked fantastic!

Best idea for the cards I’ve ever seen!

First dance.

It was so fun to see everyone on the dance floor, thanks to DJ: Laura Jellum from Toast and Jam DJs.

From Kami and Matt…

‘For both Matt and I, the ceremony was our favorite part of the day. It was so personal. We had just our sisters stand up and the judge who Matt works for performed our ceremony. We also wrote our own vows and I, especially, got pretty emotional after my Mom did a reading and then I had to read my vows to Matt (I didn’t think I would be a crier!). We also had a “passing of the rings” as part of the ceremony. We put our wedding bands in a small bag and they were passed around to all of our guests, who could give them a blessing or a wish. The most amazing thing was when I got Matt’s ring back from the passing, it was actually HOT, like red hot! All of that love and energy from our friends and family was physically present in our rings. That was such a special moment. The amount of love surrounding us that day was amazing. We felt so lucky!


Our other favorite moments throughout the day were:

-Reading our cards from each other before the ceremony

-Waking up and realizing that we were getting an 80 degree, sunny October 9th (yippee!)

-Listening to our families give their toasts

-My Dad seeing me all dressed up for the first time

-Our first dance

-Actually make that ALL the dancing!

-Taking the bus back downtown with family and friends after the wedding, and then walking down Michigan Avenue (still dressed up) to a lot of honking horns!

We have to give a huge THANK YOU and shout out to all of our vendors. They made our dream day possible. We had a rock star crew!

Our caterer was Food for Thought with Brian Kiefer leading the team. They did such a seamless job from front to back. Brian went above and beyond to help set everything up, made sure Matt and I were taken care of with food and drinks all night, and even cued people before the ceremony. He and all of his staff did such an amazing job and we got so many compliments on our delicious food.

We so appreciated Hilda’s creativity. She did not stop all night! She was always looking for those unique, amazing shots (you just knew they were going to be great as she was taking them!). It was nice to have Hilda and Carol pulling us away every so often throughout the reception for a super-quick photo. It helped us to pause and really enjoy the moment, to step back and see it all from the outside for a bit. Hilda was there to help with my bustle, tell me if my hair was sticking up, to keep us on schedule and was always her great, professional and upbeat self! Thank you, Hilda!

Some of our best memories of the night were from the dancing. It was awesome to see all of our family and friends mixing it up and having a great time! Laura Jellum from Toast and Jam DJs did such a wonderful job of getting everyone out to the dance floor and keeping them there. I have no idea how she does it, but she’s amazing at her job! There was this moment at the very beginning of the dancing when a new song came on and Matt was looking over my shoulder…he said the tables completely cleared with everyone hurrying to the dance floor! We had so much fun and those memories are priceless.

My dress was from Country Lace Bridal in Bloomington, Illinois. My older sister purchased her dress from this store, so as a bit of “family tradition” I went there first when I started dress shopping. The very first bridal gown I ever tried on is the one that I bought! My birdcage veil and hair pin are from the same store (the owner, Patsy, has a great eye). My shoes were a custom online order from Nina Shoes (yellow! I just might love yellow as much as Hilda loves red!). Matt’s suit was from Hugo Boss.

We personally created a lot of the wedding day details because, well, that’s just the sort of people we are! We really wanted to focus our finances on the big things: food, photography and music! So creating the details became the way for us to put our personal touch on things while still sticking to the budget. It doesn’t hurt that I’m pretty crafty and a graphic designer! We created our own invitations, cake topper, table numbers, bouquets, centerpieces, some signs and shopped around for (and spray painted!) a lot of stuff. It was so much fun to picture our big day and try to bring that vision to reality. It helped that our location, Promontory Point, has so much character that we didn’t have to go too far with the decorating. Putting the whole day together successfully was something that could not have happened without our families. They were wonderfully patient, helpful and creative. We love and appreciate them so much!

My advice for other brides is to plan, plan, plan and then (poof!) let it go. Just let the day happen, because it’s going to be glorious, love-filled and wonderful even if something goes wrong. Have fun! Try to get some sleep in the two weeks before your wedding. Hire great vendors that you trust. Be decisive throughout the planning process. Stick to your budget. Pick the right guy! 🙂

All of Our Rock Star Vendors:Hair and Makeup: Bridal Beauty Chicago / Krystyn and Samara. They made me feel gorgeous! (http://www.bridalbeautychicago.com/)

DJ: Laura Jellum from Toast and Jam DJs. Just do yourself a favor and book them now! (http://www.toastandjamdjs.com/)

Caterer: Food for Thought Catering, with Brian Kiefer as our representative extraordinaire (www.foodforthought-chicago.com)

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Rosemary Reed ( http://www.classicpartyrentals.com/)

Ceremony Musician: Sarah Frisof (friend of the family) / Keyboard Rental: Andy’s Pro Hire

Cake: Luscious Layers. All of the flavors were delicious and they let me design my own cake! What designer doesn’t love that? (http://www.lusciouslayers.com/)

Flowers: put together by me (and the lovely ladies of my family!)

Day-of-Coordinator/Awesome Aunt: Debby Lienhop

Bride’s Dress & Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Country Lace Bridal (Bloomington, IL)

Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss

Location: Promontory Point, Chicago Park District

Photography by Hilda Burke Angel Eyes Photography ( http://www.angeleyesphotography.com/)

Published!!! My Photo featured in Chicago Social Brides :D

A couple of weeks ago I did a shoot for Loli  jewely at the Belle Vie Bridal couture store in downtown Chicago. I’m so exited that the photo was used in a full page ad in the brand new issue of Chicago Social Brides!!! If you have a copy it’s on page 10, you can also click *here* to see the issue on line.


Rebecca and Tyler, Chicago Engagement Session

I met up with two lovebirds in Chicago…With no specific locations to shoot, we just went for a walk. These are my favorite kinds of shoots just winging it and discovering treasures around the neighborhood. Rebecca and Tyler are super good sports, no hesitation at all about sitting on the ground to give me my red fix 😉

A wider shot of the same spot, I love the two pairs of feet on either side of them.

And speaking of feet…love this shot!

I love finding random murals in the City….all within a few blocks of each other.


This is one of my faves!

How perfect is that little heart on her sweater?


Yes, they are pretty cute…

….and completely hysterical. Since they met at a Halloween party, and we did  the photo shoot just before Halloween, they were all up for this idea. Thanks for trusting me!


Hilda Burke Chicago IL Photographer

Holy Name Cathedral wedding ceremony|Palmer House Hilton Chicago reception | Aly and Alex

What happens when you marry your best friend? You get your happily ever after! Aly and Alex got just that. They are the couple that high-five each other, not the overly romantic kind. Aly sent me an e-mail after reading my blog a few weeks back and she said she wished that her and Alex were more like the ‘lovey-dovey’ couples on my blog. And even though they are not too much like that, I think their love and affection clearly shows for one another 🙂 There was non stop laughter and fun the entire day, even during the most chaotic moments they both just enjoyed themselves, it was truly beautiful to see.

Wedding Planner; Patti/With Love Bridal

Shoes:  Enzo Angiolini, Nordstrom

Flowers: Paradise Flowers, Beata Orwat

Hair:  Vanessa Love | Makeup:  Tracy Ballog

Dress:  Marisa, purchased at Wedding Belles | Belt: Monique Lhuillier

Do I  know how to work a red wall or what? Aly wasn’t too bad either 😉

This photo reminds me of the old Hollywood starlets, which is quite appropriate since a lot of Hollywood stars of the golden age used to visit the Palmer House.

I love this moment when Aly’s dad hands her off to Alex. Reason # 801 why it’s helpful to have an assistant…at this moment she just had the better angle, great job Carol!

Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago just leaves me freaking speechless.

A darling little guest admires the grandness of the Cathedral.

Anther favorite !!

I love the joy right after the ceremony, I’m just so honored to be a witness to moments like this.

It was freezing for the photo shoot part of our day, but everyone was great  sport, no whining or complaining from this group!

The reception was at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Since Alex got to pick the cake cutting song, Aly got to pick the cake topper, I love it!

The belly dancers (ACE Entertainment) were so much fun, they were a huge hit with the guests.

They taught Aly and Alex some cool moves…

…although Alex’s dad didn’t need any lessons, he had plenty of his own moves 😀

And if you thought that he wasn’t going to keep up with the sword dance, you’d be wrong 🙂

DJ Mike from MDM  Entertainment did what he does best, keeping the dance floor packed all night.

I could tell you the story behind this photo, but it’s just more fun if I don’t  😉

Can you believe I got the grooms ring on the swan’s neck without braking it off? I had people watching me do this, I’m I’m pretty sure they thought I was nuts, but I like it 😉

I would love some comments  on this or any of my blog posts 😀

Hilda Burke, Chicago IL Photographer

From Aly 🙂

*It was the fastest day of my life…don’t know how that happened, but it went by in a flash.

*Hilda, you were so unbelievably amazing – I would have never expected you to be so helpful!  You were my saving grace (well, you and Patti).  Every time I needed something or whatever, you were right there to help me out!  (From getting my drinks, to calming me down, to keeping me on schedule, to making me laugh…on and on…you were my rock).  You were so professional, but so fun at the same time.  I knew you were awesome, but you went above and beyond for us.  And I was soooooo comfortable with you in front of that camera (as you could plainly see…ha!).  You made the whole process SO much fun when it could have been stressful and scary.  You put us at ease the whole time…the photos were definitely one of the best parts of the day.  I’m sure you know I could have posed for you all day long.  And you TOTALLY understood my weird vision of under the train tracks idea for the photo shoot.

*My mom loves Hilda…LOVES HER…and that says A LOT.

*LADIES:  Listen to our Hilda…she needs TIME to make the best shots…we ran around the Palmer House and the few places outside so fast!  I wish we could have had more time to take more shots, but we were on a tight schedule.  I knew Hilda would do a fantastic job so I wasn’t worried about that, but it’s definitely worth having more time for photos…

*Hands down, would have never enjoyed the wedding without Patti’s help.  I could have never, ever pulled off a wedding like that with all the vendors and setting up…never.  Thanks to Patti, I only had to worry about myself, family and friends (which turned out to be quite a task in itself).  The only way to truly enjoy the day is to have a Patti to help…worth every penny.  And she also made the wedding process a fun activity – weddings are not my thing so she was amazing in that respect. >>>>>>>>>>>http://withlovebridal.com/<<<<<<<<<<<<<

*Loved marrying my best friend…thought I would cry, but I was laughing too much!  Guess that’s still a good thing.

*DJ Mike kept people on the dance floor throughout the night…he was fantastic.  SO nice and was able to change things up last minute.

*One of my most memorable moments was when DJ Mike introduced the next song (Beatles, Oh Darlin) to Alex from me and he wasn’t in the room…ahahhaha!  I had to stand in the middle of the dance floor all by myself!  It was a great laugh for the guests.  He was outside with the boys smoking a cigar.

*I would advise any of my friends to get everything organized a few days beforehand (food, drinks, etc for the room on the day of, etc).

*Another moment was when the belly dancer tried to show Alex and I how to shake and move our hips (in front of everyone) and Alex started to do the “robot”!!  Loved it!  He’s a silly one…

*Another piece of advice – the more entertainment you provide guests, the less likely they will do the little “clinks” on their glasses to make the bride and groom kiss!!  I think they did that ONCE!

A few teasers from Aly and Alex’s Wedding

I was getting my next blog post ready when I came across a couple of photos I just couldn’t wait to share…I’d love to know which version my blog readers prefer 1 or 2? Please leave your comments below.



I love them both!