I met Yezenia through my Facebook page. We met at a Starbucks near Hinsdale and hit it off. I was finally able to meet Vic a few moths after that at yet another Starbucks, this one near Lamont - thanks Starbucks! I knew this would be a chilled out wedding because both Yezenia and Vic are both down-to-earth and easy to be around. The ceremony took place at the beautiful St Agnes of Bohemia church on Chicago's south side. The Catholic ceremony included some Hispanic traditional moments like the tying of the Rosary around the couple by a beloved family member. Yezenia and I had previously decided to visit the IIT campus for the bridal portraits. We were on a tight deadline, so things had to move quickly. The extreme heat also made things move quickly! I had done a little IIT campus reconnaissance in the morning, so a couple of places had been designated to shoot the bridal portraits.
Custom Converse Shoes
Kelli and Shaun are crazy in love - the post-ceremony photo below of them walking up the aisle says it all. I love it when my bride and groom are crazy in love with each other. It fires me up to be their wedding photographer and gives me all sorts of energy the day of their wedding. Their hands are pumped-up and their smile expresses pure jubilation - I love that about them. Shaun was so in the moment that he just could't stop from dancing, high-fiving, moving and smiling. He basically hammed it up all day long and was brilliant! Kelli looked so beautiful and was excited herself, but next to Shaun seemed really chilled and relaxed. Having a jubilant couple and a fantastic bridal party takes me to my happy place :)
Star Wars and an epic battle scene. I must admit that these two ideas/visuals never come to mind when I think about photographing a wedding. But lo and behold, Kelly and Corey's wedding provided both, and a ton of laughter and warmth to boot. Just look below to see what I'm talking about. I can easily say that this was one of the most enjoyable weddings I photographed this year. Kelly was such a beautiful and cool bride that being around her was great. I could't take a bad photo of her. There was so much energy and buzz that from the moment I arrived I knew it was going to be a fun wedding. Kelly was surrounded by her fun loving/energetic/emotional sisters and her cousin, and they were something else all on their own.
After the ceremony we drove to a family friends house where we were able to settle for a second (literally) and set-up for the epic battle scene. Yes, the men had axes while the women had flowers - not a very fair fight. I was cracking up amidst the crazy heat and intense sun right in my lens - good times indeed. I seriously couldn't believe that they guys had axes! We get to the reception and here is Darth Vader walking towards Kelly and Corey... umm, that was a little weird. Kelly and Corey weren't expecting this Sith Lord as a guest, so I hadn't heard of this until I saw him in fornt of us. We were all a bit surprised and weirded out. Darth Vader was very welcoming and disappeared as quickly as he arrived. Their wedding cake had a Han Solo and Princess Leia topper, which tied the Star Wars theme together nicely.
I photographed Jenn and Terry's engagement earlier this year and had a blast. I was left with a real excitement for their wedding. I kept thinking after the engagement session "these two will make a great couple". It's amazing how a connection can grow so quickly in such a small amount of time - the engagement session was just a few hours and I felt like I really knew these guys. They are just a great couple to spend time with: they laugh a ton and really keep the conversation fresh and honest. The wedding ceremony took place at the beautiful Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL. It's a massive structure with really great church architecture. I enjoy photographing the pre-ceremony moments because of all of the raw nerves and excitement coursing through everyone. But I know in just a few short hours everyone will be dancing and having a great time at the reception, so I keep that perspective and love getting to know everyone.
After the ceremony we drove around Riverside and hung out at Guthrie Park and found a few trails to take the bridal party portraits. Just look at a few of the photos below and you'll see that this was an amazing group to be around. They were cracking each other up and I was there to capture a bunch of those crazy moments. A few photos I cannot share on this wedding blog since I try to keep it at least PG. It was a great afternoon to be out and to be with this cool group of people.