Family and friends crowded into the Buddha room at Chicago’s Primitive museum and store, where Sarah and Stewart signed their Kuttubah, taking the first step in their wedding. In between the shadows and faces of the crowd, bronze and marble statues of SE Asian Gods were spotlighted. Their praying figures seated in lotus position, were like ancient onlookers in support of the union.
After the Kuttubah signing, the group moved out of the room, past the wishing lingam and into a larger space. Along the way, guests were able to take in the artifacts within the four floor gallery space. In one such artifact–an ornamental bridal bedroom, the couple exchanged their vows.
Sarah and Stewart met years ago when she was a clerk for Stuart, who was then an attorney. Sarah has since become an attorney as well and said about their common career path, “We laugh about the times we have had to work into the early morning hours or all night–anything is better with you best friend.”
Their friendship was infectious. They have so much fun together and in turn, create a great atmosphere around them.
I’m so happy for you both and wish you all the best!
Also, big thanks to Stephanie Kitts for shooting with me!
Thank you to all the vendors who worked hard at this wedding!
One of my second photographers,Tom Root and I went out shooting on Sunday to stir the creative juices and talk about the upcoming session. We’re both closet hipsters, or wait no, were real artist, or does calling ourselves artist therefore make us hipsters? Either way, we love urban settings, graffiti, chain link fences, cool texture, and exploring-so, I guess according to that description, we might have hipster tendencies 🙂 No matter–if in fact we are, than I’m embracing it!
Chicago Ave. was our location of choice for this adventure. If you follow the train tracks beneath the overpass, you find a walls of graffiti and remnants of vagabonds. The light poured in like one big, oversized soft box, creating a perfect source for going over different descriptions. I made Tom turn this way, that way, then all the way back around again while I showed him hatchet, Rembrandt, and back, rim, and beauty light.
We had a blast shooting-(though our next workshop we’re happily accepting volunteer models). We channeled scenes from Stand By Me-balancing on the rails like gymnast on a beam. We took the tracks one direction, than back the other. After about an hour or so, our fingers were numb from the cold and it was time to go back. I’m already looking forward to our next workshop adventure!
“We have been a couple since before either of us was of a legal drinking age. We met at the recreation center of our college.”
Eleven years later, the couple, who scored higher than anyone EVER for knowing the other best in their marriage preparation class, sealed the deal. This self-described quiet, introverted couple, said their vows in an intimate winter ceremony in front of their immediate family and very close friends.
In an e-mail to me before their wedding, Patti wrote, “we really just enjoy each other’s company.” I could see this from our first meeting. They laugh easy, and seem utterly comfortable with each other. It was a joy to see them marry and celebrate at their reception afterwards.
I have to give the couple props (especially Patti-you’ll see why in the pictures) for bearing the cold during their portrait session. They were troopers! Thankfully, their reception was quite cozy at the Keith House also known as the Prairie Avenue Gallery. In this beautiful building in one of Chicago’s historical districts, they shared in laughs, cheers, dancing, and even a little karaoke! Congrats Patti and Alfred. All the best to you both!
A few days after Agustina and Johann’s wedding, we jumped in a pickup truck with our guides, Joaquin and Dani, gas tank loaded on the back of the bed, and headed North. After two days of driving, we arrived in Uyuni, Bolivia. Llama farms dotted the countryside and locals sold hand woven fabrics along the road. After having a quick bite of local fare, we headed outside of town to the salt flats. This celestial terrain stretches for miles as far as the eye can see. The expanse of salt is remnants left over from what once was an ocean or sea.
On the dry cracked land, dressed in their wedding attire, I snapped pictures of the newlyweds. It was a beautiful setting for a couple that radiates. Thank you for having me along to document your wedding and experience Bolivia and Argentina!
A few Outtakes:Our guide Dani strikes a pose. He wanted to be a part of the portrait session. Dani and Joaquin smile for a photo.
Dani uses a stick and plastic tube to siphon gas into the tank. This was a first for me!
A little more than a year ago I met with Agustina for the first time in a small coffee shop in Lincoln Square. She friended me on facebook earlier when she say pictures from one of my trips. She mentioned she was going to be married in a Argentina the following year and was interested in having me photograph the union. Since then we’ve become great friends, so this trip to South America was extra special for me. Not only was I taking pictures and exploring Argentina and Bolivia (those photos to come in a few blog posts), but I was sharing the experience with two great people!
Argentina was stunning, full of joyful laughter, and inviting. Agustina’s family was incredibly warm and sweet. It was amazing to meet them in person after hearing so many stories!
Check back soon for Johann and Agustina’s day after session in Uyuni, Bolivia.
I thought I’d share a few images of the remarkable vistas just a short drive outside of Agustina’s hometown, Salta.
Salta is famous for traditional gauchos, cowboy’s who herd the native horses.
The Wedding Day:
On the way to the venue where Agustina was to get ready, a person driving beside pointed out a low tire on the vehicle. “Do you think I should pull over?” Agust asked. “I think we better. You don’t want the tire to blow out along the way.”
We pulled off at a small auto shop, where the mechanic said she’d need to change the tire. “Well ok then, but can you just try to do it fast because I’m getting married today, ” Agust said with a smile. Throughout the whole trip she referenced the Saltena lifestyle–a casual approach to things, especially schedules. For such a thing to happen in America might send the day in a tail spin, but Agustina just shrugged and carried on.
Agustina finalized the table arrangements for the reception while having her hair done.
Agustina’s grandma, Mamama, goes over last details for the day. She is an amazing woman, a classic matriarch with a big heart and impeccable taste.
Agustina had her one of a kind dress made in Salta, inspired by a dress worn Christina Applegate wore to the Oscars.
The church was overflowing with guests excited to see the couple married.
In Argentina, it’s tradition to follow the religious ceremony with a civil ceremony, which took place at the reception site.
When Agustina first came to America, she lived with The Borelli’s as their family au pair. Seven years later, they are all very close. Lisa and Mark Borelli flew in from Chicago for the occasion, to the delight of her family and friends.
Johann’s sister’s, Annie and Carina toasted the happy couple on behalf of their parents, who weren’t able to travel from Chicago, and their distant extended in the Philippines. Carina wasn’t able to hold back her tears, so Mamama, gave her a few hearty slaps to snap her out of the crying.
I’ve been in South America for the last 2 1/2 weeks where I photographed Agustina and Johann’s wedding and collected images from Bolivia and Argentina. I can’t wait to share the rest of the images once I’ve finished the editing. For now, here’s one sneak peek from the Agust and Johann’s post-wedding shoot in Uyuni, Bolivia. This stunningly stark location may look like a beach, but it’s actually miles and miles of salt, stretching as far as the eye can see.
Leslie and Doug were married earlier this month in a beautiful ceremony and reception at The Germania Place. Leslie, Doug, and their families planned a gorgeous event with thoughtful details and a touching ceremony officiated by a very eloquent speaker.When Leslie and her sister were children, her Dad read them the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. Leslie’s own Velveteen Rabbit was there for the wedding day, tattered, and worn, but still near her bedside. Her Dad read a portion of the story once more, sharing the idea of the rabbit becoming “real” because of his owner’s love no matter how long he had him, despite his aging figure or worn down appearance. Just as the rocking horse told the rabbit, the same message is meant for Leslie and Doug, “once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Here’s to Leslie and Doug! I wish you both many years of happiness.
Ami and Amar’s engagement session was featured earlier this year on my site. A month or so after that shoot, the couple reached out to me regarding their engagement party. I’m so thrilled I was able to wok with them again. They’re such a fun-loving couple with great families. I had a great time getting to know their parents and siblings a little more.
For those who aren’t familiar with Indian engagement ceremonies, the event can be just as large as most weddings. The program involves a beautiful ring ceremony where the two families agree to become one and the groom presents the bride with ‘the ring.’ Though Ami already received the ring earlier this year in a gesture of clever wit and thoughtfullness (Amar had it hidden inside the diamond exhibit at the Field Museum), the ceremony signifies that she an her family officially accept the proposal.
Following this, a friend of theirs sang a beautiful rendition of their favorite Indian song. Next, Amar’s brother Amit lead a Bollywood dance routine–it was so good, they could have been on the stage of America’s Got Talent.
It was a wonderful night, full of meaningful moments and lots of fun. I can only imagine how incredible the wedding will be!
Almond and Loretta choose to have a small ceremony overlooking Lake Michigan at the Observatory. It was a beautiful Monday–sunny, warm, and peaceful. The couple plan to have a larger wedding next year in Singapore, where Loretta is from; in the meantime, they wanted to make it official in Chicago.
Loretta told me she didn’t want the ceremony to be too formal, which is why she painted her nails neon orange (love!) and wore a simple lace dress. Even though they weren’t inside a church or in front of a large audience, the two said the experience was very emotional. Loretta shed a single tear while Almond recited his vows.
Afterward, Loretta and her mom embraced in a tender hug, silently letting the tears flow.
When we took family portraits, Almond brought out oversized plastic-framed glasses for everyone alternatively to try on. It was silly and fun! Just one example of the couples awesome, creative taste (did I mention Almond is a super talented graphic designer?).
From there, we took a walk around the Observatory for more pictures. They were so sweet with each other, hardly containing their smiles of joy.
Thank you so much Almond and Loretta for letting me share in your ceremony! It was beautiful and touching. All the best…
I don’t know if I’m more excited to share these photos or if Lili and Michelle are to see them. Either way, this was a very special day for the couple.
Amongst their closest family and friends, Lili and Michelle recited their handwritten vows. After they shared their first kiss, on-lookers watching from above on the State street bridge cheered and hooted.
The couple met at fitness class. Michelle was Lili’s trainer. It took nearly a year for Lili to crack Michelle’s professional distance. Finally, a very direct text sent a clear message, “I want to be more than friends.” Considering the seriousness of their feelings, Michelle made an exception and they began dating. Later, unbeknownst to each other, they both began ring shopping around the same time. Michelle proposed to Lili, who proposed right back a week later. Apparently they were both in it for the long run.
The love between them was palpable. At one point I was even tearing up. I’m so thankful I was able to share in the special day.
Big big thanks to Tom Root. You’ve been amazing this wedding season and your work is wonderful!
Florist – Angel Gardens Florist
Caterer and cake – Harry Caray’s – Gabi – firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue – Chicago Cruises – Debbie – email@example.com