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month: October 2011

Bride and Groom, Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania

Here are some favorite photos from my trip to Transylvania earlier this year. I thought this would be a good theme for today. Happy Halloween!!!

Please leave a comment 🙂

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago Illinois wedding | Kara and Jimmy Wedding [1]

If  you know Kara, you know exactly what she wants because she’s not shy about her opinions. So when planning her wedding she made sure she got just what she wanted, the wedding of her dreams 🙂

I die for her ring, seriously it’s a jaw dropper, made by International Art Jewelers on Wabash. (Ring design by Michele)

Dress by Allure Bridals.

Gorgeous! Hair and make up by Mylissa’s Little Gallery in Chicago.

Needless to say I was a big fan of the flowers.

Shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Any guesses where you get the most incredible views in the City of Chicago? From the balcony of the Trump International Hotel of course!

Kara and Jimmy, thank you for doing a first look so we can have time to do most of the photos before the wedding.

Hey look everyone, I got Jimmy to smile 😉

I may not like his hair, but I d love his buildings.

Carol got this of me, taking the photo above.

I’m lucky that Kara shares my love for red. I adore this photo below!!

I appreciate the planning that went into looking for a unique place to do the photos before the ceremony, but what I appreciate even more is that there was enough time for photos. Jimmy even had one of his buddies bring his Harley Davidson by. Yes, I do have the most awesome clients 🙂



More photos coming in part 2. Kara….You. Are. Welcome!



Evanston IL engagement session, [fun couple portraits] Betsy and Will

When I met up with Betsy and Will for their shoot it was raining. Betsy looked so disappointed, but I told her we’re going to go ahead with the session anyway if they were game and I’m very glad they were 🙂

There was some gorgeous light under the covered picnic area….and the fact that they laughed at my jokes was a bonus 😉


Such good sports.

What a cute couple!

The rain let up long enough to ditch the umbrellas and play on the beach.

This is their furry child Lucy, she’s just as photogenic as her parents.

There’s something about this one I love so much.

More photos on FB 🙂

Photo of the week, Bride and Groom with flying sock monkey

It’s all fun and games till the flying sock monkey attacks 😉 No photoshop was used in creating this image, and no Brides or Grooms were hurt during the process 🙂

Metropolis Ballroom, Arlington Heights IL wedding reception | Cori and Steve [2]

Cori & Steve’s wedding and reception both took place at the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights. The ceremony was performed by one of my favorite officiants Anita Vaughan. She’s so great at what she does and it clearly shows, everyone was talking about how fun and meaningful the ceremony was 🙂

Beata from Paradise Flowers really outdid herself this time! Her flowers are always fantastic, but Cori’s bouquet is my favorite ever!!! I love me some color in bridal bouquets 🙂

The girls bouquets were pretty outstanding as well!

Right after the ceremony.

A toast to the newlyweds!

See how awesome Anita is? She only works with fun couples like Cori and Steve, so if you’re grumpy or mean you need to call someone else 😉

What a fantastic bridal party! They were supportive, fun, easy-going and cooperative…thank you all!!!

A quick little photo shoot after the ceremony, love this photo!!! They are so cute!!!

Didn’t have to try too hard to convince them to do this photo 😉  I love you guys!!

Isn’t this a great idea?


The Bride’s two brothers made quite an entrance.

The Blackhawks played a big part in Cori and Steve’s love story. Click here to read about it.

Personalized cake topper from Etsy.

Fist dance.

From Cori….

Location: Metropolis Ballroom- Arlington Heights, IL
The Metropolis and all their staff were absolutely amazing for our wedding. From the first time Steve and I saw the space, we were hooked. The location is perfect, and the venue is absolutely beautiful. We loved that they only have one event per night so literally all the attention is given to your wedding rather than some hotels where they were going to have 6+ weddings the night of our wedding. The night of our wedding was absolutely perfect. Everything went as planned and the staff was amazing. Helena was our event manager for the night, and she was beyond awesome.  Without hesitation I would recommend the Metropolis to any couple looking for a unique venue. It’s not going to be the cheapest venue out there by any means, but you pay for what you get. Your money will be very well spent at the Metropolis.  AND you’ll probably have a lot of fun stories about working with Michael! 😉

Photographer- Angel Eyes Photography (Duh!)
Wedding Wire asks what service this vendor provided, and only gives photography as an option. It should be photography, day of support, friendship, hours of laughs… Hilda is more than a photographer, she is an amazing person and artist! I had previous experience with Hilda through various photo shoots she had done for my family so I had absolutely NO doubt that she is who I wanted to photograph my wedding. She went above and beyond every expectation I could have had for her. From the moment she showed up at my parents house to begin shooting pictures of us girls while we got ready, to the moment she left at the end of the night she was awesome! Both Hilda AND Carol were at the top of their game that day. Carol is an amazing assistant, and between the two of them we have no doubts they got pictures of EVERYTHING (and more) that we could have hoped for. Throughout the entire day both Hilda and Carol asked on many occasions if there was anything I needed… they are the photographers, and they were concerned with how I was feeling that day. That really says something about a person! They are not only concerned with getting awesome pictures; they want you to have an amazing day as well.

Flowers: Paradise Flowers
Paradise Flowers was absolutely amazing for our wedding! Beata is the BEST! She was professional, caring, and just plain awesome throughout the whole planning process. We told her what colors, and an idea of some flowers we wanted and she went to town! She came up with amazing bouquets and arrangements! The flowers were so beyond beautiful! So many of our guests were raving about how amazing my bouquet and my girls bouquets were. The flowers looked too perfect to be real, but they were! Beata went above and beyond for us. The flowers were delivered on time with absolutely no issues. We couldn’t have asked for anything more!

Celebrant: Anita Vaughan
Anita was absolutely AMAZING! Of all the vendors we used for the wedding she was definitely one of our favorites. From the first time we met at a coffee house to the day she performed our ceremony we had absolutely zero issues with her. She really made an effort to get to know us as individual people, and of course as a couple. The ceremony she wrote for us was phenomenal! A month before the wedding she sent us her first draft, and was more than willing to change anything we wanted till it was absolutely perfect. We weren’t exactly sure what we wanted to use as a unity ceremony so she went through some options for us, and we chose what we liked best. We ended up choosing a unity ceremony we had never seen performed, nor had most of our guests. It was awesome. We got so many compliments from everyone about how enjoyable the ceremony was, and we have Anita to thank for that! We love Anita, and will definitely be keeping in touch with her even though the wedding is done! We would DEFINITELY recommend her to anyone needing a celebrant for their big day! Thank you Anita, from the bottom of our hearts; you made our special day extraordinarily amazing!

Dress/The Amazing Patti: My dress was a Maggie Sottero dress that was actually ordered through a wholesaler so I never saw it or tried it on till it was delivered to my door.  It’s so “me” to take a chance like that.  Once I saw the dress online I knew I wanted it, and when I couldn’t find it in any store I just decided to go for it.  From the time I ordered it to the day of the wedding though I lost almost 30 lbs which meant it needed A LOT of alterations.  I have to give every amount of praise and credit to the AMAZING Patti Herioux from With Love Bridal for saving the day with my dress.  We started the alteration process about a month before the wedding. It took MANY fittings and so many hours on Patti’s part to get the dress perfect.  I have to admit the day I tried it on and it was falling off of me I was terrified I was going to need to buy another dress, but Patti made sure that wasn’t the case.  Throughout our entire wedding process Patti was nothing short of amazing.  She guided us in the right direction, but totally let us do our thing, and was so proud of us when we did things right! 😉   Thanks for backing us up, P!  Patti also altered my girls’ dresses which was comical in itself.  The day before the wedding two of the girls’ dresses didn’t fit, so a quick overnight alteration by by Patti, we were good to go by Saturday!  🙂 http://www.withlovebridal.com/

Tuxes:  The guys got their tuxes at Mr. Tux in Lake Zurich.  They were pretty good/easy to deal with.  Steve lost even more weight than I did, so they were good about changing out his tux to two sizes smaller.  It was nice they have tuxes on the premises, so if something didn’t fit, they could switch it out very easily.

Overall, our wedding was definitely the greatest day of our lives.  I am not sure that either of us could choose a favorite moment, it was all amazing.  Even when things went wrong (Like the bus driver taking out the awning at the WRONG hotel and ripping the emergency latch off the top of the bus), we laughed, and now look back and laugh even more.  Your wedding day will not be perfect, but it’s the imperfections that make the day what it is.  We had the time of our lives with some of the greatest friends/family we could have ever hoped to have.  Our wedding party was absolutely amazing and each one of them made our day that much better.  If I had to choose a favorite part though, it would probably be the ceremony.  Even though I was a little nervous standing up there while everyone looked at us, the ceremony was perfect.  As soon as we heard that first laugh out of our crowd of guests we knew we did something right.  We didn’t want the traditional ceremony we’ve seen so many times, so it was written for us, and included stories about us, and our ridiculously awesome relationship! 😉

Can we count Hilda as our favorite wedding purchase? We loved so many of the details we got for the wedding (Future couples: MANY of our wedding purchases were from Etsy.  USE that site!  You can find so many awesome things on there while supporting local artists!), but Hilda (and Carol) were able to capture it all in pictures that we’ll cherish forever.  Not all our wedding items will be around forever, but our pictures will.

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Danada House Wedding Reception in Wheaton IL | Christopher & Nicole [2]

People often ask me what my favorite venue is for Wedding receptions. I could never give them an answer because I see so many beautiful ones I truly never had a favorite, until I stepped foot in the Danada House in Wheaton. It’s a gorgeous mansion from the outside, but when you walk in the main room it’s just breathtaking. Photos do not do it justice, brides-to-be you have to go see it in person.

I’m usually not a big fan of bridal party jumping shots, but this group had so much fun energy it was perfect for them 🙂  See my shadow in the middle of the grass with the camera? Check out one of the ushers shadows on the left side of the photo, jumping next to me 😉

Click *here* to see part one of their blog post 🙂

They were so much fun!!!

Took full advantage of the amazing light and their beautiful grounds.

Gorgeous!!! I love everything about this photo, the light, the couple, her veil, their expressions, definitely a favorite!!!

The bridal dressing room upstairs, I could have spent hours just in that room.

The atrium, freaking spectacular! Windows all around letting in nature. Great call going with the green centerpieces.


The adorable ring bearers get ready for the intros. That kid sure has some expressive eyes.

First dance.

Whenever you see a packed dance floor like this, it must be Toast and Jam, (DJ Kate Porter) my favorite DJ’s Rocking the wedding.

They were even dancing while in line for the photo booth.



It was sooo humid that might that my lenses fogged up in 5 seconds…but I just went with it and I like how it makes the scene all dreamy and surreal.

From Nicole and Christopher…

Chris and I got married at Century Memorial Chapel at Naper Settlement in Naperville, IL.  The reception was at Danada House in Wheaton.  We both had been to ceremonies at the chapel and really liked it.  When we saw Danada House, we knew we found the perfect combination as the setting for our wedding.  The grounds at Danada House are beautiful and romantic, but so is the space inside!

The flowers were done by Kim Sproule at Blooming Creations.  She did a fabulous job and really captured the style we were going for.  I was very specific with the types of containers I wanted for the centerpieces, and the flowers that I wanted to use for different things, and she certainly did not disappoint!  The flowers even lasted much longer than we expected after the wedding which was an added bonus.
The tuxes were from Emanuele Tuxedo and Peter totally outdid himself.  We had lots of questions and his customer service was top notch and efficient. Peter even delivered the tuxes to the hotel where we were staying and picked them up after the wedding which was really a nice touch.
I bought my dress at House of Brides Couture in Chicago.  When I put on my dress, I knew it was the one!  They did a great job with alterations as well.  My headpiece was from The Left Bank and I could’ve spent hours in that store pouring over all their accessories.  They were also very helpful in helping me choose my veil.
My hair and makeup was done by Catroina Lapinskie, and she also did some of the bridesmaid’s hair as well.  She certainly worked magic and I was very pleased with the results – I felt so gorgeous!
The DJ was Kate Porter at Toast & Jam, and she kept the party going all night long!  She understood the vibe we were going for and did a great job with the music selection from start to finish.  She was also very accommodating with a slideshow we had prepared and helped us run that as well.
We had a photo-booth from The Traveling Photobooth – it was so much fun and the attendant did a great job handling all the guests and putting together our scrapbook of photos.
I truly enjoyed the whole day so it is really hard to pick one favorite memory!  I enjoyed the ceremony the most; especially when the doors opened and I walked down the aisle with my dad to meet Chris at the end.  I was really excited to see Chris and say our vows to each other.
Last but definitely not least…our photographer was one of our top priorities for the day and Hilda Burke of Angel Eyes Photography went above and beyond our expectations.  The pictures are one of the only things from the wedding that will we have forever so we spent a lot of time researching photographers. Working with Hilda was lovely; she is genuine, honest and straightforward, which are qualities we appreciated in a vendor.  I knew that when I asked her questions, or for suggestions, she would answer truthfully with what she felt was best for us.  Hilda made us feel so comfortable when we did the engagement photos (and oh man were we excited after that for the wedding photos!!!) that she really put us at ease and made us feel special.  She obviously is a pro at what she does and goes beyond just being a photographer.  We cannot put it all into words with how happy we were with her services (and hopefully future ones!).  And Hilda’s assistant Carol was a perfect complement; she was wonderful to work with too!!
This is from Chris:
My favorite memory from the wedding was the ceremony in general.  Everything from when the chapel doors opened and I saw my beautiful bride, bathed in light, walking down the aisle, to hearing her heart felt words as she read her love letter to me.  It was truly an unforgettable day!
Nicole & Chris


If you want to see more photos please friend me on Facebook 🙂

…one more…

Wipe, snap, done…4 seconds 😉

Photo of the week Betsy & Will, Evanston engagement photos

A little rain didn’t bring this cute couple down, they just rolled with my plan to keep shooting despite the weather. Love this photo 🙂


Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove Illinois Wedding | Cori and Steve [1]

Cori is the most relaxed Bride I’ve ever seen, she was just hanging out chatting with her Grandma when I showed up, no hint of nervousness whatsoever. All the getting ready photos were done at her parents amazing property. I could have never dreamed of a more picturesque location.

Love this!

This is Cori and Steve’s baby Cali. She clearly did not enjoy the bows in her hair 😉

The lovely ladies help the Bride get dressed.

Another friend steps in to land a hand, um I mean paw.


I freaking LOVE this photo!  Large canvas print for the parent’s house, yes?

I mean come on! I could have spend days here….Richard I’m coming back 😉

How cute are they? Thank you for doing a first look!


Favorite 2!

Favorite 3!

More photos coming in part two 🙂 Click here and LIKE and you’ll be the first to know when more photos are posted, thank you 🙂

Photo of the week, Amy & Dave [Chicago Illinois wedding photographer]

Huge kudos to Amy and Dave for going on a photo scouting location before their wedding and finding this fantastic spot! Thank you bridal party for climbing over weeds, branches and creatures in the grass to get to the tree stump. Get this people, this photo-shoot took place before the wedding!! Amy is one brave Bride and she did it in high heels …totally worth it, no?

Century Memorial Chapel Wedding at Naper Settlement, Naperville IL | Christopher & Nicole [1]

Nicole and Christopher are very serious about their photography. As I got to know them it was very clear to me that choosing a photographer for their wedding was a decision they did not take lightly. I am honored to have made the final cut, and it was truly a joy and a privilege to photograph their beautiful wedding! Click here < to see their engagement session.

I am obsessed with Nicole’s dress. Truly one of my all time favorites. LOVE the one shoulder look, but the back that’s my favorite!! That’s why you will see more than the average ‘back of the dress’ shots.

House of Brides Couture in Chicago.

Freaking awesome shoes by Badgley Mischka.

I love how her Mom and the bridesmaid are beaming with happiness 🙂 Hair and make up by Catriona Lapinskie. (please contact me for her info)

The gorgeous flowers were done by Kim Sproule at Blooming Creations.

So what if the bus was late? I’m all about making lemonade 😉 I used that time to do some gorgeous bridal portraits 🙂

One of my many favorites, don’t you love her veil? Nicole you’re gorgeous!!

Veil and headpiece from The Left Bank, Chicago.

Hello sexy ladies!!! You all are beautiful inside and out!!!

Looking good Christopher 😉

This photo totally cracks me up.  The tuxes by Emanuele Tuxedo.

Great shot of the men by Carol 🙂

The wedding ceremony took place at the Century Memorial Chapel at Naper Settlement in Naperville, IL

This was the cutest idea for the ‘ring bearers’  they carried a ‘Here Comes the Bride sign, LOVE it!!

My view of the Bride entering the Church…

…and Carol’s view.

Carol getting her flare on 😉

The happy adorable couple 🙂

I love this photo so much I have no words to express it. LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE, there I found one.

Another favorite, it’s OK I can pick as many as I want…it’s my blog I make the rules 😉

More photos coming in part 2! Please click  L*I*K*E and you’ll be the first one to know when new photos are posted 🙂