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Laughter & Love // Elysia + Donny Married

Donny The iPod Guy

It's an honor doing what I do. Photographing my bride and groom is something I never take for granted. Elysia + Donny's wedding was particularly an honor because they are my friends - and they are totally into each other :)

I met Donny back when I was a student at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago where we were both Visual Communications (graphic design) majors. Donny was the first person I ever met that owned an iPod - remember how big and monochromatic they used to be? That pretty much made him the coolest person I knew at that point in my life. As time passed I got to know him and had the chance to work on a few jobs together. He's a brilliant person, and both compassionate and crazy talented. Yes, he's one of "those" people, the type that just get things so much quicker than most. Oh, my daughter loves him and he introduce me to Penny's Noodles. What more can I say?

So one day I hear that he and Elysia are getting married! My wife and I flipped (not literally). You see, we had secretly been hoping that they would wed. I totally wanted to shoot their wedding and was so glad that he and Elysia felt the same. They are amazing people, the kind you just want to hang with, chat, laugh, and have meals with.

Awesome Chicago Wedding Vendors

Weddings are all about collaborations. And when each do their part, amazing things happen. These Chicago wedding vendors rock:

• Floral arrangements by the amazing fleur - Kelly and her crew did an amazing job!!! • Elysia's dress was custom made by Dame Couture in Evanston. • Location: Glessner House Museum and Woman's Park and Garden in the South Loop.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Elysia + Donny's wedding:

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Elysia and Donny: thank you again for having Christina and I be a part of such an amazing day in your lives. Seeing you guys make your vows was so inspiring. I hope that you have amazing futures and that we have many more dinner dates. You guys rock!

My thanks also go to my friend Nick for assisting me. You rock Nick!

Glessner House Museum 1800 S. Prairie Avenue Chicago, IL. 60616 312.326.1480 fax - 312.326.1397

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By The Way: I always listen to and enjoy the vows made at the ceremony. This is what the wedding day is really all about! I know as photographers we want to capture those really cool and sexy photos after - but let's enjoy all aspects of the wedding day.

A Wedding with Style // Adler Planetarium Wedding Photography

I had a great time seconding shooting with my friend and fellow wedding photographer Veronica Hinojosa a few weeks back. We had the privilege of documenting Adriana & Steven's wedding. My day started over at Steven's house, over in Alsip, where I met him and his family. What a warm and funny family! I must say, I had a great time being around them. Seeing them work as a family unit was inspiring to say the least. After a few family portraits we headed over to the beautiful St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church.

After the ceremony we went around Chicago for the bridal party photos. We visited the Adler Planetarium first and then went to the Kinzie Street Bridge. The weather was a bit on the gray/gloomy side, but this was a fun group and they didn't care, so neither did we. The rains were held and the Adler Planetarium and Kinzie Street Bridge are great places to photograph, so no worries. Onwards to the reception!

The reception was held at the Chateau Bu-Sche in Alsip, IL. The decor was spot on and the reception was beautiful.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Adriana + Steven's wedding:

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My many thanks to Adriana & Steven and to their amazing families for being such a joy to be around. And a huge shout-out to V for having her own style and for having me shoot another sweet wedding with her.

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By The Way: Seconding shooting is a TON of fun. But I never forget that I am there to assist the main shooter - this helps make our days go a lot smoother.

Zion Wedding Photography // Melanie + Ashley Married

I met Melanie and Ashley through my friend Jill, whose wedding I photographed 2 years ago. It's always so cool and encouraging to get a referral from a past bride whose wedding I photographed. It means that they were willing to give my info out without me having to ask. That is good stuff indeed. So thanks Jill for introducing me to this fun and loving couple! It's been really fun getting to know Melanie and Ashley (M+A) - I liked them right away and I could tell that they really cared for each other. What was there not to like? They're both fun and creative, love to laugh (Ashley), mad comm skills (Melanie), and had custom Chuck's made for their wedding. Enough said.

Their wedding took place in Zion, Illinois at the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center. The coastline of Lake Michigan looked sweet that day - thanks dramatic clouds! It was my first commitment ceremony, so I was very excited. The day started off really rainy and overcast. I was hopeful it would get better. And then it got REALLY cold. I think it got down to like 50 degrees at one point. I was still hopeful it would get better - I had to since the wedding was to be outdoors. The rain was still coming down as M+A walked down the aisle, but I could see that the clouds were going away. It finally stopped raining as the ceremony began (finally!) and then never rained again. Awesome!

Shooting at Illinois Beach was really cool. The sand and dramatic clouds made for an amazing setting. M+A were totally up for walking around the beach and we all had a blast shooting out there. I was assisted by the talented Suzy Rohan who took some beautiful detail shots and also kept me laughing the entire day.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from M+A's wedding:

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Melanie and Ashley, thank you again for being such a joy to work with. Photographing your commitment ceremony was such an honor and I, too, had a great time. I hope that you have amazing futures, as I am sure that you will. You guys rock! My thanks to my "dos" shooter Suzy again for making that day fun. Your willingness to learn is refreshing.

Illinois Beach Resort & Conference Center 1 Lake Front Drive Zion, IL 60099 (847) 625-7300

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By The Way: Don't get too discouraged if the weather is nasty. Have a plan B and communicate it with your couple. Setting them at ease is a huge plus and a success to the rest of the day.