You might be wondering what exactly is an unplugged ceremony?
An unplugged ceremony is when the bride and groom ask their guests to ditch / tuck away their devices (i.e. cell phones, cameras, iPads) so that they can be 100% present for the ceremony.
Outside of figuring out what to wear for your photo shoot (which is always the hardest part), I find that my client’s aren’t sure where to take their photos at.
Over the years, I have photographed families, weddings and engagement all over Illinois, and I have found that some locations make my heart swoon every time I shoot there.
Here are my 11 favorite locations in the Chicago suburbs.
Should I have a first look or should I stick to tradition?
It is a question that nearly all of my couples are faced with.
But as first looks become more and more of the norm, I have found that I am explaining the process and benefits less and less.
Getting ready photos are some of our favorite to capture because there is so much anticipation, excitement and fun radiating through the room. When picking a hotel to get ready at, choose a space that has beautiful guest rooms, cool architectural details and a gorgeous lobby.
The hotel can double as your rain back-up plan for photos, and it will ensure that your getting ready photos are just as gorgeous as the rest of your wedding day.
Not sure where is the perfect place to get ready at? Here are 15 of our favorite hotels in Chicago (and the suburbs) to get you thinking of where you might want to spend the morning sipping on mimosas with your besties.
Rainy days are great for cuddling with your fiancé and furbaby on the couch, but when it comes to your wedding day, keeping those grey clouds away are a must! But if mother nature has other plans in mind, no need to panic. Being prepared for a day of unwanted weather can save you a big stressor and still allow you to pull off a gorgeous wedding.
So where do you take your photos at when it rains?
Everyone has a favorite spot in Chicago to soak up the gorgeous skyline. I love all of these locations for different reasons, but without a doubt, these seven places are the best locations for epic Chicago skyline views.
Chicago is packed with amazing photo locations between skyline views to gorgeous gardens. But when my clients ask me where to take their engagement or wedding photos, I always recommend these five Chicago locations.
Heather was working for a local marketing firm when she was asked to research and collect college marketing materials at a local college fair. As she gathered different brochures with her co-worker, she spotted Dan. He was working the Chicago State University booth as a favor to a friend, and Heather decided she wanted to talk to him …. so she did.
After a brief professional conversation, Heather left her business card with Dan and was delighted to receive a call from him a few days after. They talked business which led to Heather’s company’s pitch : a signed baseball that read “ready for our pitch?”. Dan, who happened to be the assistant baseball coach unknown to Heather, was intrigued. They met at Starbucks to go over Heather’s pitch which turned into a successful business meeting and then a first date.
It was a day overwhelming with love and support and entwined with elements of those they love most. Allison wore his mother’s veil. John wore a boutonniere of calla lilies like his mother’s bouquet and stephanotis like his father and grandfather’s boutonniere’s. And tucked inside Allison’s bouquet were pins from both of their late grandmother’s. Allison and John’s wedding day wasn’t merely about their love, but also their love for their friends and family around them.
As they slipped their hands into one another’s, they acknowledged that these hands will be the hands that will work together to build their future, comfort each other in times of illness and celebrate the joy and happiness of life together. The gravity of their love echoed throughout the Italian restaurant as mazel tov was cheered and the celebration continued.
Allison and John – Both your families are rare gems, and they sparkled with love and joy. Everyone made us feel like treasured guests, and I am are forever grateful that I could play a small role in your wedding day. You are the type of people who make the world better, and I am so blessed to have witnessed your love. I wish you nothing but the best! With love and gratitude – Brittany
The morning started off at a beautiful suite at the Intercontinental Chicago.
Allison’s Jimmy Choo heels were the first item she purchased for the wedding when her and John visited Paris. John also snagged his amazing wedding day socks there.
Allison surprised John’s mom when she walked down with the same veil she wore on her wedding day. His mom cried a few happy tears and hugged her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. It was so sweet!
Allison’s sisters helped her get dressed and made she everything was perfect.
Her dad was delighted when he saw his daughter for the first time.
Nicole spent the afternoon with John as he got ready to see Allison for the first time.
As Allison walked down the stairs of her suite to see John, he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
The bride and groom opted to spend time just the two of them around Chicago before their ceremony, and I was delighted we could explore the city together.
Allison and John were worried about the weather, but the universe was on our side because we managed to get through all of their photos outside just MOMENTS before the rain hit Chicago.
John is a quiet man of very few words. He lets Allison shine, but on his wedding day, I had to grab a few of him being the star.
We spent the afternoon at some of my favorite spots in the city including the insanely beautiful Lurie Gardens.
Allison and John’s wedding day flowers were very deliberately selected. John’s calla lily and stephanotis were chosen because they are the same flowers his parent’s had on their wedding day. Allison’s bouquet contained pins and a handkerchief from both of their late grandmothers.
This makes my heart melt …
The couple wed at Osteria Via Stato …. an adorable Italian restaurant in River North … surrounded by their closest friends and family.
Allison’s brother officiated their beautiful ceremony which added a special touch.
Officially husband and wife!!!
John’s aunt designed all of the beautiful centerpieces and transformed the room.
The bride and groom spent the evening in each other’s arms ….
toasting and celebrating with those they love the most,
and dancing late into the evening.
As the night got going, the couple shared on epic Hora.
And everyone showed off their best dance moves.
Allison and John snuck out for a few moments before the night ended to soak up the beauty and joy of their wedding day ….. and so we ended with this.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who created the perfect day for Allison + John.
VENUE : osteria via stato
FLORAL : gina berndt
BRIDE’S DRESS : sara seven
BRIDE’S HAIR + MAKEUP : total image bridal (christa ponzio)
EARRINGS + HAIR PINS : left bank bridal
DJ : DJUj
INVITATIONS : minted
VIDEOGRAPHER : fulcrum media (joshua havens)
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas
The house was filled with happy conversation sprinkled with Italian, English and lots of laughter. On the morning of her wedding, Concetta surrounded herself with friends and family who support and love her with all their hearts. A few blocks down, Steve put on his bow tie as he prepared to marry his best friend since junior high school. This day had been many years in the making, and everyone was delighted it was finally here.
Steve took Concetta’s hand as they stood together in St. Edmund Parish and professed his devotion to her. He promised to love, cherish, and honor her and glowing with happiness, she returned his vows. When they sealed their promise with a kiss, cheers and applause floated throughout the church.
Concetta + Steven – I am so happy the world has a couple like you in it. Your love is truly remarkable, and my heart overflows with love for you both. It was nothing short of amazing documenting your love and wedding day, and I am so grateful to have played a small part in a truly perfect day. With love and gratitude – Brittany
The morning started off at Concetta’s childhood home with the prettiest of bridal details.
Concetta’s mom and sister helped her dress.
Her dad glowed with happiness and excitement when he saw his little girl for the first time in her wedding dress.
Meanwhile, Kelly photographed Steve as he got ready.
Steve and Concetta chose to marry at St. Edmund Parish in Oak Park, and it was a gorgeous church.
Concetta smiled the whole time as Steve and her finally said I do.
The first walk as Mr. and Mrs.!!!
Concetta and Steve are well loved. Their wedding party was full of friends and family from all different times in their lives, and each person was a joy to be around.
Dominican University was the perfect location for wedding photos.
Concetta radiated with beauty on her wedding day.
I could have photographed these two all day. I mean …. their love is so beautiful!
I have known Steve since we were kids, so it was such an honor to photograph him on such an important day. He looked so handsome in his tux.
A beautiful entrance complete with sparklers!
The reception was a blast and it started off with some lovely toasts.
The newlyweds were overwhelmed with all the love and support from everyone there to celebrate their love.
The day was full of many great moments like the first dance.
And once the dance floor open, jojo + gizep kept the dance floor packed.
The reception was seeped in tradition … including Greek dancing!
A huge thank you to all of the team members who created the perfect day for Concetta + Steve.
CHURCH : st. edmund parish
VENUE : concorde banquets
BRIDE’S DRESS : jasmine
BRIDE’S HAIR : gino difranco salon (giuseppina trupiano)
BRIDE’S MAKEUP : makeup & hair artistry by francesca (francesca ortale)
DJ : jojo + gizep
ESCORT CARDS + PROGRAMS + INVITATIONS : tolu inc.
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : kelly mccue
PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas
Over looking Millennium Park, Candy and Brian wed at the Chicago Athletic Association surrounded by their friends and family. They promised to make each other better, to love each other unconditionally and to always take bike rides together. Hand-in-hand, they reaffirmed what those surrounding them already knew – that their relationship is beautiful and that they found the love of their lives in each other.
Glasses were toasted, hugs were shared, and one epic hora was enjoyed in honor of their love. They danced the evening away as husband and wife as fireworks sparkled in the Chicago night sky.
Candy + Brian – I can’t begin to express my appreciation for documenting your first day as husband and wife. You are both rare gems, and I feel incredibly lucky to have played a small part in a truly amazing day! I hope the tapas, sangria and beauty of Barcelona was just the icing on the cake and the start of a lifetime of love, happiness and new adventures. Much love and gratitude – Brittany
The afternoon started in a beautiful suite at the Chicago Athletic Association. These beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes were the start of Candy’s wedding day design, and I can see why.
Candy wore her grandmother’s diamond necklace which only added to her beauty.
Candy’s sisters ensured she looked flawless in her custom made wedding gown.
Brian patiently waited for his bride to arrive at the Art Institute Gardens for their first look.
And with one look at her, he knew the day was going to be perfect.
The gardens at the Art Institute only highlighted the beauty of Brian and Candy’s love.
Candy looked simply stunning …
Brian and Candy wanted their wedding to have a twist. Guests were invited to join them for cocktail hour before the ceremony, and then were invited to settle into their table for the ceremony.
Candy’s parents glowed with excitement as they walked her down the aisle.
The couple wrote their own personalized vows which were eloquent, loving, and beautiful.
The moment just before their first kiss as husband and wife!
Because guests were already seated at their dinner table, following the ceremony … the reception began.
Their parents shared fond memories and their love for Brian and Candy.
Brian and Candy were so thankful that their friends and family shared in their wedding day.
The first dance …
The city of Chicago glowed as nighttime arrived to get the party started.
The day wouldn’t be complete without one epic hora.
Friends and family celebrated on the dance floor …
Complete with glow sticks!
Candy and Brian spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away, surrounded by the love from friends and family…
A huge thank you to all of the team members who created the perfect day for Candy + Brian.
VENUE : Chicago Athletic Association
FLORAL : Anna Held Florist
WEDDING COORDINATOR : Christine Janda Design + Events
BRIDE’S DRESS : custom made
BRIDE’S HAIR : Studio 110
BRIDE’S JEWELRY : Vintage, bride’s grandmother’s
DJ : Toast and Jam
MUSICANS : Robyn Vitson
ESCORT CARDS : Gloria Northcutt Calligraphy
CAKE : Chicago Athletic Association
INVITATIONS : All She Wrote
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Nicole Morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas
Toussaint stood with a huge smile on his face as Marcia walked down the aisle at St. Elizabeth Seton Church toward him. He fought back the urge to kiss her in that moment and instead embraced her in the tightest hug …. only letting go so he could wrap his hand around hers and pledge his love to her.
Marcia and Toussaint are magnetic and make people around them want to get even closer. In each other they found their best friend, true love and constant cheerleader. Their vivacious personalities only brighten their love and prove that they are better together.
As they promised a lifetime of squash matches and ukulele jam sessions, love radiated throughout the room. The evening was spent toasting, celebrating and dancing in honor of one of the happiest couples ever.
Marcia and Toussaint, I don’t even know where to begin … so I’ll just jump to it … the world is better with you two in it. From our very first Skype date, I knew we would be fast friends, and I loved sharing in your day! Thank you for welcoming me into your Jamaitian family. You deserve the best, and I’m beyond thrilled to call you clients…and friends. Love and Gratitude – Brittany
The day started off with a room full of amazing (and gorgeous) ladies who love Marcia unconditionally.
As Marcia slipped into her dress, her bridesmaids cheered with excitement.
Everyone took turns buttoning Marcia’s dress. But first let’s have a moment for this dress ….
Marcia is a beautiful person inside and out. She exudes a quiet confidence, and she is always smiling.
Simply stunning ….
When Marcia and Toussaint started dated, they would de-stress from medical school with little ukulele jam sessions overlooking the Chicago skyline. I love that Toussaint played his ukulele on his wedding day to celebrate this.
Many thanks to Nicole for capturing Toussaint as he got dressed.
The couple wed at St. Elizabeth Seton church surrounded by their dearest friends and family.
Toussaint glowed with excitement as Marcia made her way to his side.
Throughout the ceremony, there was so much joy and laughter between Marcia and Toussaint.
In addition to the traditional vows, Marcia and Toussaint also wrote their own vows to each other.
Their families were thrilled to watch them become Mr. and Mrs.
Toussaint and Marcia shared lots of hugs throughout the ceremony. There is no doubt that they completely adore each other.
Officially husband and wife!
Guests celebrated their love at the historic Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet.
Marcia is the type of person who has a TON of friends. She wanted to include as many friends into her wedding day, so in addition to the traditional bridesmaids, she also had “friends-of-honor” who wore blue and doubled as her something blue. All of the ladies were so wonderful to be around.
Toussaint and his groomsmen were cool, calm and collected despite the 90 degree weather.
There are so many words that I would use to describe Toussaint : kind, genuine, smart, outgoing …. but one of my favorites is fun. He knows how to make everyone around him laugh, and he has a zest for life.
The Haley Mansion is gorgeous and it made for excellent wedding day photos for Marcia and Toussaint.
Toussaint and Marcia are best friends. He embraces her singing and her OCD personality … and loves her even more for both.
I could photograph them all day … so we soaked up the last few minutes of golden hour, and I am so glad we did.
Inside the reception, the joy and bliss continued.
Marcia has three sisters and each one of them shared a beautiful toast with the couple.
In a room full of hundreds, it was clear how loved these two are. They radiate positivity and joy, and it is impossible to not feel the same in their presence.
Marcia and Toussaint choreographed one amazing first dance.
It even had a few spins in it …
… and lots of moments of complete laughter.
Even the dances with both of Marcia and Toussaint’s parents were high energy and full of so much happiness.
The dance floor was full of amazing fashion and dance moves …. which is my kind of party.
As the newlyweds danced late into the evening, they remained at each other’s side which is exactly where they wanted to be.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who created the best day ever for Marcia + Toussaint.
VENUE : Patrick Haley Mansion
CHURCH : St. Elizabeth Seton Church
FLORAL : Floral Events Chicago
BRIDE’S HAIR : Hadney Alexander
BRIDE’S MAKEUP :Noor Farhan
BRIDE’S JEWERLY : Pam Benson Antique and Jewelry
DJ : Sounds Abound
CAKE : Naples Bakery
INVITATIONS : Ron Jones II
VIDEOGRAPHY : Ron Jones II
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Nicole Morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas
Inside her elementary school yearbook was a circled photo of him. Cathleen developed a crush on Mark when they were fourth graders learning about the solar system, multiplication, and geography. Years went by and as they grew up, they lost touch and navigated through the unknown path of adulthood … each separately entering careers that help people (Cathleen is a nurse and Mark is a firefighter / paramedic).
Over a decade and half later, a message appeared in Cathleen’s Facebook inbox from Mark. He loved that Cathleen cheered for the Chicago Cubs, listened to country music and drank whiskey. Slowly they began to talk and spend more time together which deepened their relationship and made them fall in love. On Mark’s favorite holiday, Christmas, he dropped to one knee with the promise to spend their lives together forever.
They married at Oak Hill Farm in Galena nestled along the rolling hills and country air. Cathleen and Mark pledged to support each other, to love one another unconditionally and to put their family first. It was a perfect day for two even more perfect people.
Cathleen and Mark, thank you for inviting me into your lives to share in your wedding day. Your wedding was fantastic in every way … from the beauty of Oak Hill to the outpouring of love from your friends and family. May your love grow and continue to shine over the years. Much love and gratitude – Brittany
Cathleen is a timeless beauty, and her wedding details only highlighted her classic beauty.
Cathleen chose to dress at the barn house at Oak Hill, and I was delighted as the space is perfection.
Cathleen’s mom was there to help with all of her finishing touches.
Madison, Cathleen and Mark’s daughter, beamed with happiness when she saw Cathleen dressed in her wedding gown.
Cathleen and her dad share a very special bond, and they shared an more special moment when they saw each other for the first time on her wedding day.
Simply gorgeous …
Before the ceremony, Cathleen and her bridesmaids took photos around the property.
Hyvee designed all the beautiful flowers.
Cathleen and Mark kept their day traditional so for the sake of time, we scheduled all of their photos with their bridesmaids / groomsmen before the ceremony to ensure we had plenty of time for bride and groom photos after the ceremony.
Mark has one amazing group of guy friends (who made me think their names were completely different than they actually were).
The outdoor ceremony overlooked the beauty of Oak Hill Farm.
Madison rode down the aisle in style with Mark.
… and Cathleen followed. Anxious to stand at Mark’s side.
Cathleen took Mark’s breath away as she made her way to his side.
They stood in the sunshine as they promised to spend forever together.
It was a beautiful day for an outdoor ceremony.
Officially Mr. and Mrs.
Cathleen’s dad is an extremely talented musician and he sung during the ceremony.
How sweet are they?!?!
The grounds at Oak Hill are stunning and they were the perfect backdrop for Cathleen and Mark’s first photos as husband and wife.
Guests were delighted to when Cathleen and Mark entered the reception.
The evening continued with hilarious speeches …
… a heartfelt words ….
…. but so much laughter!
Golden hour at Oak Hill is my favorite, so during dinner, Cathleen, Mark and Madison snuck out for a few photos and some time alone.
The light was as beautiful as their love.
After a few moments outside, Cathleen and Mark headed back in for their first dance as husband and wife.
They kept their eyes on one another and soaked up the beauty of this moment.
And when the dance floor opened, guests were right there to have FUN!
There was even some singing …
… and lots of laughter on the dance floor.
And no dance party is complete without a throwback to NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” …. complete with choreographed dance moves.
Cathleen and Mark were surrounded by their closest friends and family all night long … and they wouldn’t have had it any other way.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who helped create such a perfect day for Cathleen + Mark.
VENUE : Oak Hill Weddings
CATERING : The Rafters
FLORAL : Hyvee
WEDDING PLANNER : Wedding Days Exclusively, Debbie Esplin
BRIDE’S MAKEUP + HAIR : StoneDrift Salon, Eagle Ridge
OFFICIANT : Pastor Don Erickson
BAND : The Acoustic Generation
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Nicole Morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas
It was at medical school when Trisha first noticed a tall, dark and handsome student named Joey. His shoulder-length, curly hair and his go-to look of comfort (i.e. sweatpants) intrigued her, and soon her and Joey were carpooling to class regularly. They shared a love of fast cars, Irish car bombs and the South Loop.
As they navigated medical school and a long distance relationship, their pasts became intertwined with their futures, and they decided to spend forever together.
On a perfect summer day in Chicago, Trisha and Joey stood together and professed their commitment to one another. An outpouring of love and excitement surrounded them as they became husband and wife and friends and family celebrated their love.
Trisha + Joey – Thank you for trusting me to document your first day as husband and wife. Your care and compassion for others and your love for each other is remarkable. I wish you only the best as your love continues to grow. Love + Gratitude – Brittany
On a gorgeous summer day, Trisha prepared in a suite at the Palmer House hotel which was a perfect start to the day.
Trisha loves all things “sparkly” so it was no surprise that her wedding day shoes were covered in sparkle.
The bride’s friend, April, designed her beautiful jewelry for her wedding day. All of Trisha’s bridesmaids also wore April’s gorgeous pieces.
Trisha and Joey married at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago.
Trisha took Joey’s breath away …
…. and had him in tears.
Friends and family traveled near and far to be present for Trisha and Joey’s vows.
And they sealed their promise to each other with a kiss.
Following the ceremony, we headed to Buckingham Fountain for some photos.
You can tell Trisha and Joey are LOVED. They had a huge wedding party, and everyone was so much fun!
Trisha envisioned a day full of color, and the bridesmaid’s bouquets from Phillip’s Flowers delivered on it.
Now this is something rather beautiful, don’t you think?
Trisha and Joey will likely spend more time apart than they will together as the complete their residency in two different states, but on their wedding day, they spent every moment they could together.
Trisha, you are radiant and you glowed with beauty, inside and out.
I love capturing my groom playing with his wedding band, and this is why.
Trisha and Joey had the most perfect Chicago day. The day was sunny and warm and the light only highlighted their love.
Friends and family celebrated the bride and groom at Butterfield Country Club.
Amy Beck Cake Design designed the beautiful cake that was inspired by Trisha’s wedding dress.
Trisha’s dad gave the most heartfelt speech ….
that was intertwined with lots of laughs.
The couple was beyond thankful for all the love and support from their friends and family not only on their wedding day but for their whole lives.
Before dinner ended, Trisha and Joey played the newlywed game, and it kept everyone laughing and entertained.
The first dance!
And it ended with a beautiful kiss.
And then the party really got going ….
The dance floor was packed …
and full of amazing dance moves.
But Joey and Trisha stayed at each other’s side … soaking up their perfect wedding day.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who helped create such a beautiful day for Trisha and Joey.
VENUE : Butterfield Country Club
CHURCH : Old St. Mary’s Church, Fr. Paul Hensing
FLORAL : Phillip’s Flowers
BRIDE’S MAKEUP + HAIR : Brittany Mescolotto
BRIDE’S JEWERLY : April Soderstrom
DJ : A Class Act, Andy Fuzak
CAKE : Amy Beck Cake Design
INVITATIONS : Inclosed Letterpress Co.
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Nicole Morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas
It is their differences that made them a match. Her love of cooking. His art of perfecting an espresso. Her detail-orientated personality. His impeccable listening skills. Her preference to stay in. His inclination to go out. Loie and Domenic blended into each other’s lives filling the voids seamlessly ensuring a perfect match together.
On a beautiful day in Chicago, they vowed to always support one another and to make forever a reality. So often they give to others, but on their wedding day they were the center of attention. Their love shined brighter than the summer sun, and their friends and family celebrated their commitment, love, and promise to each other filling the day with even more joy.
Loie and Dom – Since our first meeting last October, I have been smitten with you two. You are beyond sweet, kind and loving, and the world is far better with you two together. Thank you for trusting me to document your first day as husband and wife. I wish you the best as you fall deeper in love and navigate the years ahead hand-in-hand!
The morning started off at the Intercontinental Hotel Chicago where Loie and her bridesmaids hung out. L Brown Design & Paperie designed the beautiful invitations.
Loie had the prettiest of bridal details including a vintage clutch that was her grandmother’s.
Loie’s bridesmaids ensured she was flawless … including tying the perfect bow.
Loie’s three younger sisters were smiles all morning and they helped Loie with her finishing touches.
Loie, you are radiant!
Loie and Domenic married at Saint Clement Parish in Lincoln Park.
Their guests traveled from across the continent from Canada to Portland to New York and more to be present for their ceremony.
Mr. and Mrs. ….. or Dr. and Dr.!
Their guests cheered and celebrated the newlyweds.
Following the ceremony, the wedding party and bride and groom hung out at Union Station for some photos.
I was completely smitten with the bouquets that Christine Janda Design and Events created.
Dom and his friends looked extra handsome in their bow ties and tuxedos.
The bride and groom were surrounded by an amazing group of friends that made the afternoon even better.
My heart melts around these two. They are beyond sweet to one another and so in love.
Loie and Dom completed medical school just a few weeks before their wedding. They were excited to celebrate not only their marriage but also their match on their residency at Northwestern.
Dom is originally from Canada. He moved to the U.S. to attend undergrad at Cornell, and then medical school at Northwestern. While Canada will always be his home, Chicago is the place where he fell in love and married Loie.
Chicago, you are beautiful!
Dom has been fascinated by architecture since he was a child. His father shared that many years ago, on a family trip to New York, Dom was practically giving an impromptu tour to tourists as he spouted off facts about the buildings and their histories. It was this love, that made him fall in love with the Murphy for their reception venue.
Christine Janda Design and Events transformed The Murphy into a springtime garden in Chicago.
Loie and Dom originally wanted to get married in a garden … so they had Christine bring the garden to them.
Dr. and Dr. …
Their families and friends celebrated their love and toasted beautiful toasts in their honor.
Loie and Dom fell into each other’s arms during their first dance …
Sway had guests jumping out of their chairs to hit the dance floor.
Loie and Domenic’s friends and family had some amazing dance moves.
No party is complete without a conga line.
The newlyweds remained by each other’s side all night long …
… and even snuck away from the party for a few kiss outside.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who ensured the best day ever for Loie and Dom.
VENUE : The Murphy
CHURCH : Saint Clement Parish
WEDDING PLANNER : Christine Janda Design and Events
FLORAL : Christine Janda Design and Events
BRIDE’S MAKEUP : Morgan Marie Beauty
BRIDE’S HAIR : Ramsay Marston
BAND : Sway
CATERING : Food For Thought
INVITATIONS + PAPER GOODS : L Brown Design & Paperie
VIDEOGRAPHY : Mirar Productions
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Nicole Morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas
The clouds hung low in the sky as the Lake Michigan waves crashed in to the shore. The possibility of rain left the air sticky, but it couldn’t deter Stephanie’s excitement for her wedding day. Nestled along the beach, Billy stood anxiously waiting to see his bride. As she walked up behind him, Stephanie hugged him tight and waited for a moment… not wanting the moment to be swept away so fast. When Billy turned to see her, they fell into each other’s embrace … only pulling away to show Billy her wedding dress.
They invited their friends and family to share in their wedding in Michigan where they became husband and wife overlooking a beautiful vineyard. Stephanie and Billy promised to make each other better, to perfect the process of loving each other, and to always support each other in their quest for their dreams. Their love left Michigan better than they found it.
Stephanie and Billy – I think you are something kind of wonderful. What I want to write is a billion words to express my gratitude, but for the sake of time, I hope a simple thank you will suffice. I feel blessed to have been such an important part of your day, and I wish you all the happiness in the world. I hope you are savoring all of paradise in French Polynesia!
Stephanie got ready at a lake house in New Buffalo …
and had lots of sparkling accessories …
Her sister and her mom helped her dress … ensuring everything was perfect.
Billy and Stephanie opted to see each other before the ceremony so they could enjoy cocktail hour with their friends and family.
Billy was clearly excited to see his future wife.
Stephanie looked gorgeous all day long …
Stephanie and Billy surrounded themselves with an amazing group of friends (and one amazing, pup, Zoey). I had a blast hanging out with them.
Oliveti Events designed all of the beautiful floral.
The guys were full of laughter and jokes all day …
And this is the sweetest / cutest flower girl, Alexa!
Stephanie and Billy set aside ample time for photographs around the Willow Harbor Vineyards for photos in this beautiful location.
A personal favorite ….
Zoey wanted to be right at her parent’s side ….
Willow Harbor Vineyards is so picturesque. I never wanted to leave.
Zoey, the couple’s rescue pup, was a part of the wedding, and she sat in the front row watching her parent’s marry.
Many thanks to Kelly, my assistant, for snapping this photo of Stephanie and her dad!
Stephanie and Billy are the type of people who put the needs of those around them first. It was no surprise that they have amassed the most amazing group of friends and family to witness their love.
Sweet vows for an even sweeter couple …
So much love ….
The moment their marriage is official!
Billy made sure their first kiss was memorable.
Stephanie and Billy snuck away for a few moments so we could document their love among the beautiful vineyards.
The light was simply perfect …
Guests enjoyed Harbor Valley’s own pinot noir during cocktail hour as they enjoyed the beauty of the venue.
Stephanie envisioned a romantic spring wedding with elements of mixed metals.
Stephanie and Billy heard some of the most heartwarming speeches … and Steph willed herself not to cry during them.
The first dance …
It is one of my favorite parts of the day to photograph … and this is why.
…. so much love and so much happy!
…. and then it was party time .. complete with lots of dancing and fun!
… and lots of fun!
As the sun set, guests enjoyed a perfect May evening in Michigan.
A huge thank you to all of the team members who ensured the best day ever for Stephanie and Billy.
VENUE : Willow Harbor Vineyards
WEDDING COORDINATOR : Lauren, Oliveti Events
FLORAL : Oliveti Events
BRIDE’S HAIR + MAKEUP : Le Roc Salon (Ashley + Melissa)
MUSICIANS : Gaska Quartet
CAKE : Wild Flour
INVITATIONS : Wedding Paper Divas
VIDEOGRAPHY : Lexoria Wedding Videography
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : Kelly Mccue
PHOTOGRAPHY : Brittany Bekas Photography
Amidst a slice of Midwestern heaven was a day basking in love. Sara and David invited their friends and family to experience the moos of the cows, the clucks of the chicken, and the fresh country air as they started forever together.
The day was an outpouring of family love and commitment including family traditions intertwined throughout. Her grandmother’s famous cinnamon thumbs. His family’s love of hunting. Blissful wedding photos of generation before. His father’s homemade maple syrup. As their pasts blurred into their futures with the promise of their own new traditions, Sara and David vowed to navigate life hand-in-hand.
Sara and David …. words fail to express how grateful I am to have documented such a personal and special day. You’re both incredibly kind and warm and deserve all the goodness that’s come your way. I am honored to have shared in the start of your happily ever after. I hope that Mexico has been the perfect transition from one amazing fiesta to another.
The morning started off at the barn house where Sara and girls hung out. Oak Hill is a private farm in Big Apple, IL (just outside of Galena). It is a photographer’s dream ….. the grounds, the fresh country air … swoon.
Sara’s brother, Andrew, designed the wedding invitations, and they set the tone of the wedding day perfectly.
Kaye, Sara’a mother, helped her dress and ensured she looked flawless.
I just loved Sara’s TOMS …. comfy AND cute!
Sara’s dad, Todd, was delighted to see his little girl for the first time on her wedding day.
Sara and David decided to see each other before the ceremony allowing us plenty of time to explore all the beauty of Oak Hill.
Sara and David’s wedding was a labor of love, and one of David’s favorite items they made were the bullet boutonnières. David, his dad and his grandfather have hunted together for years … so it was a sentimental touch to use the bullets they fired together in their wedding.
I have no words … because this makes me SO happy. I mean …. holy beautiful!
Sara was simply radiant.
David looked extra handsome in his tux… and his smile never left his face.
Special thanks to Nicole for this beautiful photo!
Sara and David’s wedding party were a complete blast …. it was non-stop laughter and fun with them.
The guys decided to have an impromptu kick line and there was no way I wasn’t encouraging it once they started.
Simple and stunning …..
Sara’s bridesmaids were beyond sweet (and super helpful, thanks again, ladies!).
The couple chose to marry at St. John’s – a little chapel on the Oak Hill property.
The chapel exploded with love, happiness and excitement as Sara and David vowed to support each other through whatever life brings their way.
So much joy as the two walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs!!!
Their guests cheered as they exited amidst a shower of bubbles.
The weather was simply perfect, and guests enjoyed cocktails and Grandma Marge’s famous cinnamon thumbs outside the barn house.
Also on the property is an old school house which was decorated with wedding photographs of Sara and David’s parents and grandparents.
There was no shortage of yummy sweets …
As a small token of something sweet, Sarah and David gave each of their guests a mason jar of homemade maple syrup. David asked Sara to marry him last March while his father was making his annual batch of homemade maple syrup at their family cabin.
Friends and family showered them with love all day long.
Ally and Mitch prepared a beautiful toast …. complete with a personalized song / rap / dance performance that had all the guests laughing.
I love to sneak out for a few minutes during golden hour for a few more bride and groom photos … and this is why. The light was beyond magical.
…. and Sara and David cuddled up as the sun glowed around them.
Their first dance …
Once the dance floor opened up …. guests showed off their favorite dance moves ….
….. and “SHOUT” always gets the crowd going …
As the sun tucked behind the country horizon, Sara and David stayed at each other’s side soaking in the perfectness of the day.
Many thanks to the wonderful team who made the day so special for Sara and David.
VENUE : oak hill weddings
CATERING : hyvee
FLORAL : diy by bride + mother of the bride
BRIDE’S HAIR + MAKEUP : arch apothecary (hair : sara / makeup : betsy)
DJ : kc fleming
CAKE : wedding day bakery
INVITATIONS : andrew sladky
VIDEOGRAPHY : neal johnson
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
Elizabeth wasn’t 100% sold on online dating, but after years of living in Chicago and not finding love, she figured why not give Tinder a try. Swipe left … swipe left … swipe left …. swipe … hmm … right … definitely, right. Eric had just moved to Chicago from Nashville, and he instantly grabbed Elizabeth’s attention.
After hours of messaging and texting back and forth, Eric and Elizabeth agreed to meet for a drink. They spent hours together that night, which morphed into days together in the following weeks, which later became months. When Eric proposed at his brother’s vineyard in Napa last September, it was the official start of forever together, but their love was destined far before that moment.
Elizabeth and Eric – From the moment we first started emailing, I knew you would be two of the sweetest, most kind, and lovely people I’ve had the chance to work with. Your love for your friends and family is admirable, and it only highlights the love you have for each other. Thank you for the honor of documenting your first day as husband and wife. I hope that Hawaii is every bit of the relaxation and excitement that you were longing for. Much love and gratitude – Brittany
The day started off at Hotel Lincoln where I documented Elizabeth’s beautiful wedding details as she finished up her hair and makeup.
I was completely smitten with Elizabeth’s vintage beaded purse. It was her mother’s, and it was simply divine.
Nicole hung out with Eric and his brother while I was upstairs with Elizabeth.
The couple opted to see each other before the ceremony – my favorite thing on a wedding day!
Eric was overcome with happiness when he saw Elizabeth as a bride.
Elizabeth, you are gorgeous, inside and out and you shined even brighter on your wedding day.
This is Eric’s favorite view in the city, so I was delighted we could snap a few photos of him and Elizabeth as they walked across the bridge.
Complete bliss ….
The couple enjoyed a few quiet moments together before the ceremony…
The trees bloomed just in time for their wedding day.
This is the reason, I love having Nicole alongside of me on a wedding day. While I was capturing the photo on the right, Nicole was off getting this creative shot on the left.
Eric and Elizabeth had a very small wedding party, so we had extra time to wander throughout Lincoln Park for bride and groom photos before the ceremony.
The couple invited their guests to Ravenswood Event Center to witness them profess their love to each other.
Many thanks to Nicole for always capturing this angle as the bride walks down the aisle. It is always a favorite.
Elizabeth’s brother, John officiated a custom ceremony for the couple.
Guests traveled to Chicago from Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey and more …just goes to show how loved these two are …
The couple wrote their own vows and promised to grow together and always support each other’s dreams.
For the first time … Mr. and Mrs!!!
The Ravenswood Event Center team was simply amazing, and they did an incredible job at transforming the room into this beautiful loft space while guests sipped on cocktails.
Flowers for Dreams designed the perfect spring flowers for their wedding day.
They enjoyed heartfelt toasts …
…. and wishes for a lifetime of bliss.
Elizabeth and Eric built the beautiful light structure that twinkled behind them.
They kept their eyes on each other the whole evening ….
…. and ended their first dance as husband and wife with a kiss.
Eric and Elizabeth envisioned a day sans formalities, so they skipped the traditional reception in favor of a relaxed evening of drinking, eating, mingling and dancing.
As the party went on, a variety of hats were passed out for friends and family to wear.
I think the hats had special dance moves stored inside of them … because everyone pulled of their craziest / best moves once they had these hats on.
Carrie from Groove is in the Heart DJs kept the dance floor packed late into the evening as friends and family celebrated the love of Eric and Elizabeth.
Many thanks to the wonderful team who made the day so special for Elizabeth and Eric.
VENUE : ravenswood event center
FLORIST : flowers for dreams
HAIR : sarah davis
MAKEUP : hillary fenton
DESSERTS : stan’s donuts
OFFICIANT : john j.b light IV
INVITATIONS : wedding paper divas
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco
PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
The sun peaked through the skyscrapers and glistened on the Chicago River. Overlooking the city where they fell in love, Carolyn laughed with her bridesmaids in her suite at the Renaissance Hotel. Her wedding day arrived in full glory and excitement radiated through her body as she slipped into her Paloma Blanca dress.
The April weather finally felt like spring as Dan stood along the riverwalk wearing a smile that never left his face. Carolyn fell into Dan’s arms the moment she saw him, which is where she remained the rest of the day. He felt like the luckiest guy in the world.
They invited their friends and family to celebrate their beautiful ceremony as their hearts grew to encompass each other’s hopes, dreams and promises. In each other they found a running buddy, a cooking partner …. and more importantly, their future. Sealed with a kiss, they promised each other forever.
Carolyn + Dan – My heart is bursting with love for you both. The respect, love and joy you share for not only each other but also your friends and family is extremely special, and it was an honor to document it. I wish you all the best as you navigate through life together. Soak up all the beauty of Maui and be sure to eat plenty of pineapple for me! With love and gratitude – Brittany
The day began with hair and makeup at the Renaissance Chicago…made better with endless champagne…
Carolyn’s bridesmaids were so much fun and full of so much joy.
I was smitten with Carolyn’s dress as it highlighted her effortless beauty.
Carolyn’s mom, Karen, was so kind and gracious…and enjoyed every minute of helping her daughter into her wedding dress…
There is nothing sweeter than capturing a proud mom when she sees her daughter on her wedding day.
While I was off with the girls, Nicole was capturing Dan and the guys.
Dan and Carolyn opted to see each other before the wedding ceremony, which allowed for plenty of time for wedding photos around Chicago.
I joked with Dan that he should save his smile, but he couldn’t wipe it off his face.
Carolyn beamed with joy when she finally saw Dan.
…. and Dan was awed by his stunning bride.
Utter happiness …
There was so much laughter, it made me giddy.
How gorgeous are these girls?! They radiated with beauty inside and out.
These blooms from Exquisite Designs were simply gorgeous.
Dan surrounds himself with guys that are funny, kind, and easy-going.
Their friends and family made us feel like we were apart of their crew.
Their love was the envy of those around them all day long.
Dan was extra handsome in his tux, but the fact that he literally smiled all day made him even more handsome.
Such a sweet love ….
Did I mention how perfect of a day we had. Chicago, thank you for showing up when it counts.
St. Alphonsus Catholic Church is beyond stunning from the outside ….
…. and the inside is even more gorgeous.
Dan was just as excited to see his stunning bride for the second time …
Everything about Carolyn walking down the aisle was beautiful.
In front of those they love the most, they committed their lives to each other.
A lovely ceremony for two even lovelier people.
For the first time as Mr. and Mrs!!!
I gasped when I saw this gold ombre cake from Amy Beck Cake Designs. And yes, it tasted just as good as it looks!
Exquisite Designs created these beautiful centerpieces and all of the gorgeous bouquets and boutonnieres.
Daniela from Lola Event Productions had every detailed covered and kept the day running ahead of schedule.
Friends toasted in their honor reminiscing about past adventures together …
… and recalling the moments they knew Carolyn and Dan would marry. Dan’s brother, Matt, knew Dan would spend forever with Carolyn when Dan started cooking. Dan never cooked more than a bowl of cereal before he was with Carolyn.
The first dance was sweet …
and a little bit of fun!
The newlyweds spent the rest of the evening on the dance floor surrounded by endless amazing dance moves.
It was one fun party as everyone gathered on the dance floor thanks to amazing jams from Answer Back Entertainment.
Carolyn and Dan snuck outside for a couple moments alone … and ended the night with a kiss under the city lights.
Many thanks to the wonderful team who made the day so special for Carolyn and Dan.
CEREMONY : st. alphonsus catholic church // VENUE : galleria marchetti // WEDDING PLANNER : lola event productions (daniela) // FLORIST : exquisite designs // MAKEUP + HAIR : tamara makeup + hair artistry // DJ : answer black enterainment // CAKE : amy beck cake designs // VIDEOGRAPHER : imagination desigers (brianne) // PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco // PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
Guests sat among a gorgeous room of gold and candles anxiously awaiting their ceremony. Brooke and Zac are the type of people who surround themselves with friends and family who celebrate all that they are and all they aspire to be. On their wedding day, they were surrounded by happiness.
As Zac’s father officiated the ceremony, they laughed, cried and felt an overwhelming amount of love. They vowed to always be each other’s favorite person, to always go on adventures, and to binge watch Netflix with their cats, Franklin and Jack. Brooke and Zac promised to always remember this moment where life is perfect.
Brooke and Zac, I am so grateful that the universe brought us together. You two have an infectious energy and a love that others envy. You deserve nothing less than a lifetime of complete bliss and amazing travel adventures … starting with Thailand! With gratitude … Brittany
The day started off in a beautiful sweet at the Blackstone hotel. Tamara of Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry glammed up all the girls.
Brooke’s dress was a hint of blush and it was divine.
Brooke has an incredible sense of style … I mean just look at all of her accessories. Mixed metals, rose gold, pearls, gems and more … swoon!
The purple and gold color scheme had me giddy with excitement … they are my two favorite colors …
Brooke’s mom and her sister were there to ensure everything was perfect.
Brooke has this sweetness to her that makes everyone around her feel calm. She radiated with happiness all day long …. I mean look at how gorgeous she is!
While I was photographing Brooke and the ladies, Nicole was hanging out with Zac and the guys.
Brooke and Zac shared a first look across the street from the Blackstone. I was delighted they opted for this because it allowed us plenty of time for natural light photos in November.
Individually, Brooke and Zac are good people. But together, they are better. The type of people you want in your life because they inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
I was completely smitten with Brooke’s fur ….
Zac was extra handsome in his bow tie and tux.
When you met Brooke and Zac, it is easy to see that their love, attention and care for those around them is simply manifestation of their love for each other.
A favorite ….
Brooke and her Dad have such a beautiful relationship. I loved watching him give her away.
Zac’s father officiated the ceremony, and his words were heartfelt, kind and beyond beautiful.
Pretty gorgeous, isn’t it?!
For the first time, as Mr. and Mrs ….. I love this moment.
The team at the Blackstone are beyond wonderful. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, they completely transformed the ballroom from the ceremony set up to this elegant, glamorous space.
Exquisite Designs designed all of the gorgeous centerpieces and floral.
The toasts were the perfect combination of fun, memorable and loving.
Officially Mr. and Mrs. and happily adorable!
Lots of little kisses were snuck in throughout the evening …
The first dance ….
And once the dance floor opened, it was crowded with all the best dance moves.
Even grandma was out there having a ball!
Many thanks to the wonderful team who made the day so special for them.
VENUE : blackstone hotel // FLORIST : exquisite designs // MAKEUP + HAIR : tamara makeup + hair artistry // BAND : the mix // CAKE : cake bakery // WEDDING DRESS : essence of australia // VIDEOGRAPHER : lexoria wedding films // PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco // PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
They pledged their love in front of their friends and family last year during a big wedding with all the bells and whistles. As they were about to start their lives together in Chicago, Erin and Connor chose to reaffirm their commitment. It was a vow renewal, but more importantly, it was a declaration of their constant love to each other … still.
Inside a small room at city hall, Connor and Erin glowed with happiness as they slipped their wedding bands on one another. They whispered their everlasting promises into each other’s ears and sealed their words with a kiss.
Erin and Connor – I am so blessed that the universe brought us together. Documenting this intimate day was beyond amazing. It was raw, authentic, and full of blissful love … just like the two of you. May the years ahead be full of health and happiness. Much love and gratitude … Brittany
The Chicago forecast called for rain, but that didn’t alter the day for Erin and Connor. It was all about their love. Once we left city hall, the afternoon drizzle stopped.
We had all of the Lurie Gardens to ourselves … the rain scared everyone else away. :)
Erin made her own baby bouquet, and I thought it was so cute!
The love that Erin and Connor share is so beautiful.
The fall colors at the Lurie Gardens were as perfect as these two ….
I love to photograph the rings solely because of what they represent … never ending love.
After spending over a year apart in a long distance relationship, Erin and Connor were beyond excited to both start new attorney jobs in Chicago.
This moment of Erin and Connor is everything ….
I met Erin and Connor for the first time just moments before we walked into city hall. Erin and I had been emailing for week, and her and Connor were even sweeter than I imagined. Their zest for life is contagious.
What I loved most about my afternoon with Erin and Connor was their genuine excitement and happiness. They exuded this energy that their love conquers all and that together they will achieve greatness.
Connor has a great sense of style … don’t you think?
As they start on this new adventure together, Chicago is home.
With her hair and makeup perfectly done, she stood at her kitchen sink and washed her goddaughter’s baby bottles. Her bridesmaids laughed and told her to sit and relax, but Joann is the the type of person who loves to help. It was only natural on her wedding day that she was bouncing about her condo checking in on everyone to make sure everything was perfect.
In the church were she made all of her Catholic sacraments, Joann and Danny married surrounded by those they love most. Together they celebrated their love, clicked glasses and danced late into the night. The wedding was a blend of families, friends, and memories resulting in a day of complete perfection.
Joann + Danny – It was a complete joy to document your first day as husband and wife. I loved spending time with you and photographing your love over the last year. I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness and new adventures. Much love + gratitude … Brittany
The morning started off at Joann and Danny’s condo where Joann had all her beautiful details set aside. I loved her silver strappy shoes.
Joann’s wedding dress was beyond stunning and it looked gorgeous on her.
Joann and Danny had a custom whiskey bottle designed for their wedding.
Joann glowed with excitement all morning long but once she slipped into her dress, it was amplified.
Danny surprised Joann with two beautiful pieces of Tiffany jewelry including this gorgeous necklace.
Joann is gorgeous, and LG makeup design highlighted her beauty on her wedding day.
While I was photographing Joann and the girls, Nicole hung out with Danny and the guys before the ceremony.
Joann couldn’t wait to see Danny ….
He smiled throughout the whole ceremony …
and Joann was delighted to finally to exchange vows with her love.
I always love the moment when the bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife … it is true bliss at its finest.
I just adored the ombre bridesmaid dresses that Joann’s bridesmaid wore.
Joann and Danny’s friends and family are so much fun, and they made the photos post ceremony a blast.
It was a cold, November afternoon, but Danny kept Joann warm in his arms during our bride and groom photos.
A favorite …
The team at the Westin Chicago Northwest did an excellent job transforming the tent into Joann and Danny’s vision.
These decadent desserts were calling my name …
but so was this gorgeous cake.
These two know how to make an entrance!
The evening was complete with laughter …
and toasts that celebrated the love that Joann and Danny share.
Joann surprised Danny with the first dance song he wanted (but didn’t think the band could learn in time).
I love it when my couples have fun on the dance floor … spins encouraged.
The Lisa Rene Band rocked the wedding all night long. They had guests jumping out of their chairs to show of their best dance moves.
Fun, fun, fun.
Many thanks to the wonderful team who made the day so special for them.
CEREMONY : st. philip the apostle church // RECEPTION : westin chicago northwest // FLORIST : quasthoff’s flowers // MAKEUP : LG makeup design // HAIR : jessi semcken// BAND : lisa rene band // LIGHTING : lisa rene band // PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco // PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
They are the type of people who love to travel, who love good food, and who give with all their hearts. They are good people …. the ones you want to surround yourself with because they make you better.
Ashley and Mark planned a wedding to celebrate the love they have for their friends, family and each other … and in doing so, they set the precedent for how they will live their lives together.
Hand-in-hand, in front of those they love most, they promised to love each unconditionally. They vowed to remain at each other’s side and to always be each other’s best friend. Together they will continue to travel, eat great food and radiate love, but now they will do so as husband and wife. It was a perfect day for two people who deserve nothing less.
Ashley + Mark – Thank you for being so sweet, kind, and thoughtful! It was a joy to document your wedding day, and I feel so blessed to have shared in your first day as husband and wife. I know your lives are destined for great things because you deserve every bit of it. Much love + gratitude … Brittany
The morning started off at a beautiful suite at Hotel Allegro where Ashley had the most gorgeous of bridal details including these to-die-for Jimmy Choos.
Ashley’s closest friends and family spent the morning getting ready and ensured everything was flawless.
While I was oogling Ashley’s Jimmy Choos, I couldn’t help but also adore her reception shoes. Fun and spunky …. just like the bride-to-be.
Ashley is the epitome of effortless beauty.
Meanwhile, Mark and the guys where hanging out at the hotel …
and enjoying a Whiskey tasting. I thought this was such a fun idea!
Mark and Ashley chose to see each other before the ceremony, and I couldn’t have been happier with the amazing moment between the two of them.
After the first look, we went to the Chicago Board of Trade for some bride and groom photos.
Despite all the traffic on Lasalle Street, Ashley and Mark were completely focused on each other.
The best part of seeing each other before the ceremony is it allows ample time for different locations for wedding photos.
And a more serious shot of them ….
It was a brisk fall day, and Ashley’s fur kept her warm when she wasn’t wrapped up in Mark.
A favorite ….
Ashley and Mark kept their wedding party very intimate … only having Ashley’s best friend and Mark’s brother.
The ceremony took place at the First United Methodist Church.
Mark was thrilled to promise his love and his life to Ashley.
The stained glass and wood detail was absolutely stunning.
And Ashley beamed with happiness as she promised to love Mark no matter what comes their way.
Friends and family erupted with applause as Mark and Ashley walked down the aisle as husband and wife.
Ashley and Mark planned this wedding in less than 6 months! Mark was living in China for work during their engagement, so they decided to wait until he was back in Chicago to plan their best day ever.
Fleurs de Lisa designed all the gorgeous floral arrangements.
The ballroom at Hotel Allegro was simply gorgeous!
The night progressed perfectly, only to be outdone by perfect toasts.
There were moments of complete laughter …
…. and moments full of emotion.
The newlyweds were beyond grateful and blessed to share their happily ever after with those they love the most.
What I adore about these two, is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. During their first dance, they made sure to have fun.
The TVK Orchestra had guests jumping out of their seat once the dance floor opened.
Everyone pulled out their best moves late into the night.
Many thanks to the wedding team who helped create a flawless day for Ashley and Mark.
CEREMONY: first united methodist church // RECEPTION : hotel allegro // FLORIST : Fleurs de Lisa // HAIR + MAKEUP : // BAND : tvk orchestra // CAKE : alliance bakery // INVITATIONS : Alicia Triche, AHHA Designz // PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT : nicole morisco // PHOTOGRAPHY : brittany bekas photography
The crisp October afternoon radiated with sunshine as Robin slipped into her dress at the Chicago Yacht Club. “I don’t want to be smiling in every single photo,” she said, as she tried to contain the excitement inside, but it was impossible. The day was full of too much love, happiness and joy, and she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face.
Overlooking Lake Michigan, Robin and Dewayne proclaimed their love to each other promising to always be the best version of themselves. Both have given themselves selflessly to others – Dewayne to his country, serving two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Robin, to the children she helps everyday as a school social worker. Together, they love endlessly and support each other unconditionally.
As they walked down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time, Robin and Dewayne knew that this moment would forever be remembered as perfect.
Robin and Dewayne – You are the type of people who inspire others to be better, to give more, and to have fun along the ride. It means that world to me that you trusted me to document your first day as husband and wife. I am thrilled to have shared in your day, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both. Much love and gratitude – Brittany
The afternoon started off with Robin and the girls getting ready at the Chicago Yacht Club.
Robin’s mom, Marcia, made sure everything was perfect ….
When Robin’s dad, Rob, saw her for the first time, he was overcome with emotion.
Emily Cumings made sure Robin looked flawless with gorgeous makeup and hair.
The ceremony took place at the Chicago Yacht Club, which has beautiful views of Lake Michigan.
Robin’s dad, Rob, was so proud to give away his daughter.
Dewayne was thrilled to see Robin as she made her way into his arms, and he was even more excited to call her his wife.
The ceremony was the perfect mixture of love and laughter.
Officially Mr. and Mrs. for the first time!!!
Robin has a lovely group of friends, including a former BBP bride, Eileen. The girls were complete troopers braving the crisp, October weather for photos outside.
Dewayne is known for being a selfie king, so it was no surprise that lots of selfies were snapped on his wedding day.
Davenport Designs designed all of the beautiful bouquets.
Following the ceremony, we headed to the Lurie Gardens for some wedding party photos amidst the vibrant fall colors and city skyline.
Their love is contagious.
Dewayne exudes confidence, and he looked extra handsome in his Vera Wang tux.
No detail was left unthought of … including Dewayne’s amazing Batman socks.
Oh these two … they make my heart melt.
Robin is sweet, giving and gorgeous.
A favorite …
Robin is originally from Kansas City, but she now calls Chicago home.
As the sunset over Lake Michigan, guests enjoyed cocktails and this view.
Kate from the Chicago Yacht Club ensured all of the details were just perfect including this beautiful place card table.
A beautifully simple cake shined on the dance floor with the most adorable topper.
Guests dined along the lake in a classic, yet elegant space.
Friends and family traveled from over 13 different states to celebrate with Robin and Dewayne.
Beautiful toasts were given …
including a slideshow prepared by Robin’s three brothers that included some of Dewayne’s best selfies put to “I’m Too Sexy”.
The slideshow and heartfelt toast had everyone laughing.
All eyes were on Robin and Dewayne during their first dance.
But Robin and Dewayne were only looking at each other.
The night ended with a crowded dance floor …
and lots of amazing dance moves thanks to great music from Music By Design.
Robin and Dewayne snuck away from the party for a few photos along the pier with the twinkle of Chicago city lights in the background.
Many thanks to the wedding team who made this wedding just perfect.
Andrea and Ryan explored the Garfield Park Conservatory admiring the beauty of the plants surrounding them. It was one of their first dates, and they were just getting to know each other. As they wandered through the desert room, and Andrea swooned over the variety of cacti, they learned they both cheer for the White Sox, are total science geeks, and that they both love the outdoors. Their chemistry was instant.
More than five years later, as the October sun dipped behind the trees at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Andrea and Ryan stood before their friends and family to pledge their love to one another. The conservatory is near and dear to their hearts, as it was the place their love began to grow, and they wanted to share this special place with those they love. As they vowed to always be each other’s best friend, they promised they could face anything life brings their way as long as they remained connected at the heart.
Andrea and Ryan – My heart is bursting at the seams for you both! You are such dear, dear friends and it means the world to me that you asked me to be such an integral part of your wedding day. I love you both so much, and I hope that Colorado was nothing short of perfection.
Andrea and the girls spent the morning hanging out at the Courtyard Marriott in River North.
I was in love with Andrea’s wedding gown.
These shoes …. well …. I was giddy with excitement when I saw them.
Andrea’s sisters are beyond sweet, and they made sure everything was perfect for Andrea.
Andrea, you are gorgeous, and you were even more stunning on your wedding day.
Meanwhile, Ryan and his groomsmen went to an old school barber shop for some straight razor shaves. Nicole was there to document it.
Ryan has some serious style, so on his wedding day, I wasn’t surprised he pulled out all the stops.
Andrea and Ryan opted for a first look at the Adler Planetarium to ensure we had plenty of time for photos.
Ryan was blown away when he saw Andrea.
I swear it was the windiest day ever during our first look, but Andrea and Ryan battled the wind so that we could capture some Chicago skyline shots.
While I was capturing these ….
Nicole snapped this moment which I just love.
We met the wedding party at the Garfield Park Conservatory for more photos. I have been friends with Ryan and most of the guys for years, so it was beyond special to photograph them for such a special occasion.
Andrea’s bridesmaids were so much fun, and they all looked so gorgeous in their mismatched dresses.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is a photographer’s dream especially when you have a great group like Ryan and Andrea’s friends with you.
Ryan looked extra handsome on his wedding day, and he was glowing with excitement to finally call Andrea his wife.
Andrea is a beautiful person, inside and out. She was extra gorgeous on her wedding day, as I knew she would be.
Ryan and Andrea planned their wedding in less than four months! Once Ryan proposed, he didn’t want to wait for Andrea to be his wife.
This bouquet designed by Carolyn of the Bread and the Butterfly in insane. Just saying.
While Andrea and Ryan both lived in Chicago and New York together, a majority of their relationship has been spent living miles apart in two separate cities. Their relationship is a testament to hard work and true love.
Friends and family gathered for an outdoor ceremony at Garfield Park Conservatory.
Andrea couldn’t wait to get down the aisle to marry Ryan.
But first, she shared this moment with her dad.
The late afternoon sun was golden and warm.
Andrea and Ryan wrote their own vows. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful their words and promises to each other were. They are two of my dearest friends, and I was fighting back the tears from behind my camera.
They have a huge passion for science, so their ceremony included information about their wedding bands from a scientific perspective like how Ryan’s ring was made from a meteorite.
The first kiss as Mr. and Mrs.
Jenna of Jewell Events Catering ensured that the reception space looked flawless, and her team created a delicious menu for Ryan and Andrea’s guests.
Amidst the greenery on the tables, little dinosaurs roamed about.
Guests dinned at long tables under this beautiful art installation.
Rather than a traditional toast, Andrea’s sisters prepared a rap about Andrea and Ryan. Andrea loves rap music, so she was delighted with their creative toast.
Friends toasted to the beauty of their relationship and their love for each other.
Friends and family indulged on a sweet candy treats, a huge Italian cannoli and Italian cookies.
The first dance …
Jay had guests dancing all night long.
As the evening went on, stunner shades were passed out to everyone on the dance floor.
venue: garfield park conservatory // catering : jewell catering // floral + centerpieces : the bread & butterfly // bride’s shoes : nordstrom // dj : jay contraveos // photography assistant : nicole morisco // photography : brittany bekas photography
I get giddy with excitement when I think about 25 years from now when my couples sit down with their kids and share their wedding album with them. It is one of the many reason why I really believe in wedding albums, and I am so grateful that my clients choose to invest in a wedding album.
Just before I delivered Stacy and Matt’s wedding album to them last month, I snapped a few photos of their beautiful 10×10 leather book in black tie to share with you all. The luxe black leather will be classic for years to come and compliments their Chicago wedding photos perfectly.
You may remember Stacy and Matt’s beautiful wedding at the Madonna Chapel at Loyola …. because these doors were everything.
In addition to their wedding book, Matt and Stacy also ordered a 10×10 linen parent album in pebble.
I love the lay flat pages of both the leather and linen books.
The September sunshine beamed through the windows and the smell of fall lingered in the air. As Bianca’s bridesmaids buzzed in and out of hair and makeup, she sat on the floor and dusted blush on her daughter’s cheeks. Excitement lingered in the air as she was about to become Joe’s forever.
While she waited to walk down the aisle, she held her bouquet close to heart and looked through the photo charms mixed in the flowers of the men who left this earth too soon, including her father and Joe’s father. She wished more than anything that they could be physically present on this day, but she felt at ease as she knew they were with her and Joe deep in their hearts … especially today.
Joe had to remind himself to breathe when he first saw Bianca. He fought back the tears of love, happiness, and excitement, as Bianca walked down the aisle with her mom at her side. Together, Bianca and Joe stood before a church full of their friends and family, both present and in spirit, and vowed to love each other unconditionally and to keep their family a top priority as they navigate life together. In that moment, the gravity of their love radiated throughout the room.
Bianca and Joe – I am beyond thrilled for you both! It was such a perfect day, and it was such a honor for me to tell the story of your wedding day. You both hold such a dear place in my heart, and I know that your happily ever after is just beginning. Congrats, friends!
Bianca and her bridesmaids spent the morning getting ready, however Bianca made sure she would have time to put makeup on her daughter.
I was in love with Bianca and Joe’s customized Converse sneakers.
Bianca’s bridesmaids helped her get dressed ensuring everything was perfect.
She glowed with excitement and happiness all morning long … especially once she was in her gorgeous wedding gown.
Nicole hung out with Joe and his groomsmen as they got ready.
Bianca surprised Joe with a beautiful pocket watch that contained a photo of Joe’s late father.
Bianca was so excited to finally walk down the aisle and see Joe for the first time.
Nicole snapped this photo of Bianca and her mom from behind …
While I was photographing them walking down the aisle towards Joe.
Joe and his mom cried with tears of happiness as Bianca made her way towards Joe.
The reaction every girl hopes for …
Joe and Bianca were surrounded by so much love during their ceremony at St. Philips Apostle Church in Addison.
The first kiss as husband and wife.
Mr and Mrs. Bubs!
Joe has a lot of really great friends, and it was so much fun to hang out with them on the wedding day.
Bianca’s bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their two-toned dresses.
The light was just dreamy doing bride and groom portraits.
I have known Joe since I was a baby. We are like family, so it was such an honor to document his wedding. Bianca makes him so happy, and I was delighted I could photograph their love.
Guests celebrated Joe and Bianca’s wedding at the Diplomat West.
Friends and family toasted to Joe and Bianca and reaffirmed to everyone in the room that Joe and Bianca are a perfect couple.
Joe’s brother, Nick, had everyone in complete laughter during his toast.
As Bianca and Joe shared their first dance, their love was the envy of their guests.
Bianca, Joe, and Gianna shared a dance together which melted my heart.
Once the dance floor was open, the dancers hit the floor.
Joe and Bianca didn’t take their eyes off each other – even on the dance floor.
The party went on all night as friends tore up the dance floor.
Many thanks to all the talented creative team members who made this day come to life …
venue : diplomat west // church : st. philips the apostle church // assistant photographer : nicole morisco // photography : brittany bekas
Laura has always followed her heart. It is one of the traits about her that her friends love most. She was living in Chicago and desperately seeking a new experience, when she decided to leave behind the predicability of her life in Chicago for a year abroad in Australia. It was an adventure to find herself and grow, and while doing so, she found the love of her life.
Their romance began in a bar in Australia. Tom and his friends from England were on a road trip across the country, when he met Laura. The conversation started over ribs, (Tom explained that the ribs at the bar were amazing), and quickly turned into an evening of chatting. They realized that a portion of their Australia travel schedules would overlap, so they made plans to meet up along the way to explore some of Australia together. Soon after, Laura and Tom were traveling together visiting exotic places like New Zealand, Bali and Thailand, and amidst their adventures, the two fell in love together.
They loved at a distance when Tom returned to the UK, and Laura was back in Chicago. And as their love grew, Laura and Tom decided to start their lives together as husband and wife in Chicago. In front of their immediate families, Laura and Tom promised to be true to each other and to love with all their hearts no matter where their adventures take them.
Laura and Tom – Your happily ever after was nothing short of perfection! Thank you for inviting me into your close group of friends and family to share in one of the happiest days of your lives. May the years ahead be full of lots of love and amazing travels. I’ll be calling you as soon as our tickets are booked to Australia. :)
Laura and Tom married at City Hall in Chicago, but before their ceremony, they shared a first look.
Tom was thrilled to see Laura, and Laura glowed with happiness.
The ceremony was extremely intimate. It was just their immediate families and the judge (and me!).
Tom’s family traveled all the way from England to witness Tom marry Laura.
Laura and Tom smiled with happiness as they slipped their rings onto each other.
Officially husband and wife.
We headed to the Lurie Gardens in Millennium park for some family photos and photos of Laura and Tom. The afternoon was simply about Laura and Tom’s love for each other.
This photo makes it look like we had the whole garden to ourselves when in reality there were 3 other weddings there.
Laura is gorgeous, and I just loved her wedding dress.
Tom looked extra handsome in his navy blue suit.
And, I was completely smitten with Laura’s bouquet.
Laura and Tom don’t take themselves to seriously, so our session was full of lots of laughter.
Tom loves the “L” tracks in the loop, so we stopped for a couple quick photos before heading to Kinzie Street Bridge.
This is a favorite of mine ….
Laura and Tom were complete naturals in front of the camera.
Their Chicago wedding reception took place at an amazing loft space that was originally a candy factory. I was completely smitten with it, and I am still dreaming of how I can live there.
Laura surprised Tom with a song from Tom’s favorite football team from England as their entrance to the party. Their guests were on the catwalk welcoming them with bubbles.
The evening was full of lots of laughter.
And toasting in Laura and Tom’s honor.
Laura and Tom have a lot of great friends and family. And while Tom’s friends could not be there, they all sent a toast in which Tom’s father read.
The first dance …
Tom’s mom (or should I say, mum), had Laura join her and Tom for a portion of their dance … which I thought was beyond sweet.
Guests enjoyed dancing late into the evening.
And just before I was about to leave, Tom showed off his best moves.
Megan sipped on champagne and watched the rain trickle into the river from her suite. Rain. It wasn’t a part of her wedding day plan, but she knew that even if blue skies didn’t show up, the most important part of the day would remain the same. She would marry the love of her life, Ryan, in front of their friends and family.
Ryan stood among the skyscrapers anxiously waiting for Megan to fall into his arms. As Megan tapped him on the shoulder, Ryan beamed with happiness and fell into her embrace just as the sun peeked behind the clouds.
Hand-in-hand, Ryan and Megan vowed to love each other until the end of time. Their friends and family cheered as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife. The rest of the evening was spent toasting, dancing and celebrating the love of two of the happiest people on their perfect day.
Megan and Ryan – I hope you are enjoying all of the pasta, gelato and beauty of Italia! I am so grateful to call you my clients, and I loved being a part of your wedding day. I wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness and amazing adventures together. Much love and appreciation – Brittany
The day started off at the Westin hotel with beautiful details including these Christian Louboutin heels.
Megan’s bridesmaids made sure everything was perfect for Megan all day long.
Her mom made sure her gorgeous beaded belt was tied perfectly.
All of the bridesmaids wore black but they each picked a different style.
While I was hanging out with the girls, Nicki was downstairs with Ryan and the guys. Ryan looked extra dapper in his Calvin Klein tuxedo and bow tie.
Megan and Ryan opted for a first look so they could enjoy cocktail hour with friends and family.
They were delighted to see each other and happy that the rain held out for their photos.
We headed to Kinzie Street Bridge for photos before the ceremony.
I was so impressed that all the girls managed their way around bridge in their heels for this fun group photo.
The wedding party was a party! They were all about having fun all day long which was a joy to document.
Kloeckner Preferred Flowers designed all of the beautiful bouquets, boutonnières and centerpieces.
Guests gathered upstairs at Cafe Brauer for the ceremony.
Megan radiated with beauty as she walked towards Ryan.
The ceremony was full of lots of smiles, love and laughter.
The first kiss as husband and wife!
Their guests cheered as Megan and Ryan walked hand-in-hand down the aisle as husband and wife.
The ballroom at Cafe Brauer looked remarkable.
Ryan and Megan incorporated their fur baby, Lexi, into the wedding with their custom table features featuring their pup.
The head table had the most beautiful lace runner.
The romantic centerpieces designed by Kloeckner Preferred Flowers amplified the beauty of Cafe Brauer.
Scafuri Bakery created the beautiful cake that tasted as amazing as it looked.
The evening included so many sweet toasts from friends and family.
And toasts that had everyone laughing.
Rather than clicking their glasses, guests had to serenade Ryan and Megan with a love song so that they would kiss.
….which had the bride and groom laughing (and kissing) a lot!
The first dance from Nicki’s angle ….
and then my perspective.
Toast and Jam kept everyone dancing all night long.
Megan and Ryan snuck out from the party for a few end of the night photos and to soak up each other for a few moments.
venue: cafe brauer // catering : tiger lily catering // floral + centerpieces : kloeckner preferred flowers // bride’s dress : wolsfelt’s bridal, alyce paris // bride’s shoes : christian louboutin // bride’s necklace : tiffany // bride’s + bridal party hair : krystal mcintyre // bride’s + bridal party makeup : makeup and hair artistry by francesca // groom’s tux : calvin klein, jos a bank // bridesmaid dresses : bella bianca, jim hjelm // dj : toast and jam // wedding cake : scafuri bakery // invitations : inknlove, etsy // table numbers : diy bride + groom // videographer : ojo creative // photography assistant : nicole morisco // photography : brittany bekas photography
First dances are my favorite part of the wedding day to photograph, and I am thrilled that this special moment of Tara and Devin’s first dance could become Galleria Marchetti’s new ad. It was such an honor to see it in print in CS Brides.
View more from Tara and Devin’s Chicago wedding.
It is such an honor to see Jen and Mike’s STUNNING Chicago wedding featured in the current issue of Chicago Style Weddings. The team that worked on making their day one of the best was a dream, and I am so excited to see everyone’s hard work in this beautiful feature.
A special thank you to Tiffany of Soirée Weddings and Events for coordinating a flawless day.
View more from Jen and Mike’s Chicago wedding including the full team of vendors that made this day magical.
She walked down Michigan Avenue among a crowd of rose gold sequined bridesmaids. Strangers stopped to congratulate her, and she gracefully thanked them, but all she could think about was making her way to Matt.
Matt stood confidently along the Chicago river laughing with his best man to ease his nerves and fight off the anticipation that was building. Andi radiated with happiness as she tapped Matt on his shoulder and quickly fell into his embrace … which is where she stayed all day long.
In a beautiful church exploding with love sat their friends and family, nearly all who had traveled to Chicago to witness Andi and Matt pledge their love and their lives to one another. Over the years together, they have melded into one as they navigated all that life brought their way including moving to New York. They conquered their fears with each other’s support (Matt’s fear of missing an Iowa game and Andi’s fear of heights). They dreamed a little bigger and loved each other a little more. As their friends and family celebrated them in the city so dear to their hearts, they knew this day would forever be perfect.
Andi + Matt – Thank you for one of the best days as a wedding photographer! Your love for each other, your friends and your families is contagious, and it was so beautiful to document. The world is so much better with you two in it, and I am so happy to have met you both. Much love and gratitude – Brittany
The morning started off at the Intercontinental Hotel with the loveliest of details.
Matt surprised Andrea with a gorgeous wedding band from Tiffany.
I was completely smitten with everything about Andrea’s style for the day including her gorgeous wedding gown.
Andi and Matt currently live in New York, so her clutch couldn’t have been more perfect.
Matt and Andi opted for a first look on Michigan Ave, and Matt was delighted to see Andi.
They said their vows at St. Andrew in Chicago …. an absolutely stunning Catholic church.
Matt was just as excited to see Andi when she walked down the aisle as he was during their first look.
The ceremony was full of moments of complete laughter.
Matt was the happiest groom to be marrying his soulmate.
And there were moments of happy tears.
The new Mr. and Mrs …. for the first time!
They couldn’t resist one more kiss on the way down the aisle.
We stopped at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park for photos after the ceremony, and I couldn’t have been happier. Andi and Matt’s wedding party were amazing!!!
Bridesmaids in rose gold sequins, yes please!
Andi is absolutely stunning, and her Rosa Clara dress was divine.
Matt was extra handsome in his custom Enzo Custom suit. He credited Andi for his new found style once she entered his life.
One of the things that Andi loves most about Matt is his commitment to his family. He always makes time for them (continuously going fishing with his grandparents), and it is something that she looks forward to when her and Matt have their own family.
Matt and Andi perfectly fell into each others arms all day long.
A New Leaf designed all the flowers. Aren’t they perfection?!
Andi and Matt’s vision completely transformed Room 1520.
West Town Bakery designed two beautiful cakes including an armadillo groom’s cake.
Matt made all the escort cards himself … aren’t they so fun?
A New Leaf created some of the loveliest florals with hints of acorns and fresh fruits scattered throughout.
No detail was left unthought of including speciality cocktails.
Their guests were delighted to celebrate with them.
Friends and family toasted in their honor …. and much laughter ensued.
Matt and Andi were so thankful that so many of their friends and family could celebrate with them. All they wanted was for their guests to have an incredible time and to dance all night long.
The newlyweds snuck off for some golden hour photos before sunset on the rooftop of Room 1520.
And they danced ….
The Chicago skyline was a beautiful foggy haze.
Matt and Andi shared their first dance and it was perfectly choreographed.