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.
Sneak Peek: Agustina and Johann’s wedding portraits in Uyuni, Bolivia
Ami and Amar’s Engagement Party
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’s Lakeside Wedding
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…
Lili and Michelle’s Wedding on Lake Michigan.
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!
Erica and Matt’s Iowa Wedding
I have a very special connection to this next wedding. The groom is my first cousin, whom I spent many summers with growing up. He met his now wife Erica at a friend’s wedding six years ago. In the first few weeks of knowing each other, Matt, a huge football fan, made a bet with Erica–if Colorado won against Nebraska, she would come visit him in Denver. If they lost, he’d be the one booking the flight.
Well Matt, being my cousin, you should know to put your money on Nebraska.
A few days after losing to Erica, Matt booked a flight to Des Moines. Even though he lost the bet and had a confirmed ticket, they were so excited to see each other, she ended up booking a ticket for the next weekend to visit him. Thus began their 2 1/2 year, long-distance relationship while Erica finished graduate school.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Erica over the years. She’s kind, patient, fun, and a perfect match for Matt. It was so special for me to photograph their wedding. They’re truly in love and it was wonderful to see them both so happy. There were plenty of tender moments and even more times of laughter.
Thank you for having me and congratulations! Can’t wait to see you soon. Oh and Matt, GO BIG RED!
Amy and Ryan’s Two Day Wedding
One of the best things about being a photographer is the intimate access to so many different lives! I LOVE that each wedding is unique and special, like Amy and Ryan’s. They split their celebration between two nights; on Friday, on a small sail boat, with the sun setting over lake Michigan, they exchanged their vows. Saturday night, they continued the party at Prairie Production with a rocking band and all their family and friends.
When I first met Amy, we shared dessert at Julius Meinl back in the Fall of 2010. From what she told me then, I knew her wedding would be 1. Lots of Fun (they were bringing in a live band to cover rock songs all night) 2. Full of laughter (Amy has such a great smile) 3. Extra Special because their two-year old daughter would be involved. In the spring, I was able to meet Hailey, a.k.a Dragon, during their engagement/family photo session. She is the best combination of two awesome people, and from the pictures, you’ll see she’s already taking after her Dad’s music skills 🙂
Amy and Ryan are a fun-loving couple who bring everyone together. For example, they made a point of introducing me to all their friends and family (who were great!) and insisted I stay for to hang after I finished shooting pictures. Within a week of her wedding, Amy had already written the nicest review on yelp!
“I used Maggie for both our family/engagement session in February 2011, and also for our wedding ceremony and reception on 8/12-13/11. All I can say is, I could not have found a more talented, hardworking and personable photographer for such an important time in our lives. As an Art Consultant, I was looking for someone who has a good eye with an artistic vision, someone who could capture the moment yet not make anything look posed or staged. She is extremely talented of knowing when to take shots…all our pictures came out beautifully and I don’t even remember having to pose for anything. All of our friends/family absolutely loved having her along for the ride, and I can’t say enough about how wonderful the experience was, and how our photos turned out. She is very quick to respond with requests, and I found that the value of the work she does for her pricepoint is unbeatable. Maggie and her photography truly made our wedding weekend special, and I can’t say enough great things about her work.”
Thank you SO SO much Amy and Ryan! I’m beyond happy for you. Congrats and all the best to you both!
Amy randomly was pulled on stage by an A cappella group. She was a great sport and they even gave her a wedding gift, their CD!
Day 2- On to Prairie Production to celebrate!
Ryan’s sister gave her speech inspired by Flight of the Concords in the form of a Rap. It was AWESOME!
Amber and Shawn’s Nebraska Wedding
I was so happy to photograph the wedding of my sister’s best friend, Amber. I can remember back to the days when she and Katie (my sister) were those super cool older high schoolers that I looked up to in awe. Not much has changed actually–Amber’s still super cool and I feel so honored to have been a part of her wedding day. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see such a kind, generous, and fun woman married to a guy like Shawn. He’s easy going, happens to be handy with tools, and a friend to everyone. Congratulations Amber and Shawn! I wish you many many years of happiness and lots of babies
Stefanie and Andrew- Chicago Wedding at Holy Family Parish and reception at Prairie Production
Stefanie and Andrew were married at Holy Family Parish in the warm glow of summer’s light coming through gorgeous stain glass windows. At their reception, the white linen tables were covered with center pieces garnished with mint and rosemary and adorned with pictures of the couple from countries across the World. At first glance, guests might have thought these were photoshopped postcards where the couple pasted smiling poses in picturesque scenes from Italy, France, Morocco, South Africa. These images were real though.
The couple met while working at American Airlines, where they spent weekends getting to know each other as they got to know new cultures. In fact, their first date was in PuertaVallarta. Stefanie said, “we spontaneously decided to travel there one weekend with anothercouple. After only four months of dating, we took a week-long trip together toBolivia and Peru, and traveled through the Andes, Lake Titicaca, and Macchu Picchu. It was one of our most amazing experiences together.”
They’ve spent the last four years traveling to over 50 countries! It’s not surprising to hear that Andrew proposed to Stefanie on Ecuador’s foreign soil. The self-described “silly” couple has recently settled into a more stationary routine, though no less remarkable. They each just completed their masters degree from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Now they’re both done, I suspect they’ll be back in the air soon enough.
I’m in love with Stefanie’s flair. She chose white and shades of grey for her wedding colors. These shoes were a nice pop!
Stefanie’s makeup artist is also her close childhood friend. To keep from succumbing to a flood of tears, she uses the “touch the nose” tactic.
Kate and Tj’s sky high wedding
Kate and Tj’s wedding was a day filled with tears, laughter, and sky high views. They were married at St. Alphonsus Church, a stone’s throw from the bride and groom’s home. Kate and her ladies got ready at the J.W. Marriott downtown with catered Portillo’s Italian Beef sandwich’s (the brides favorite). Once the groom and groomsmen were button and tied, they walked the short distance to the church where the couple said their i-do’s. From there they continued the celebration from the 63rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). The view was to-die-for, and the party was kickin’. Thank you so so much Kate and Tj for having me be part of your wedding. It was a huge honor!
My awesome second, Tom Root! Check out his stuff at HERE.
Xiyun and Ben’s Botanical Garden’s Wedding
Xiyun and Ben have a remarkable story that spans continents and years. I feel like I’m more exotic and interesting just by photographing their wedding. Xiyun and I first started a correspondence back in March, when she e-mail me about her wedding from China. They were living in Beijing at the time, so meeting in person was impossible. I still hoped to get to know them a little more, so I asked Xiyun if she’d share more about their relationship with me. She wrote:
“Okay, and now the story of how we met. This is kind of a crazy story, which I’m sure you’ll hear many times over at the wedding. My fiance’s name is Ben Foster. He’s english (tiny little town near manchester), we met in beijing (where I was born and where I grew up until the age of seven) in the summer of 2004 while I was taking a year off from college. Within a week of meeting him, I had these crazy plans to move to Tunisia (another totally long story, which can be boiled down to: I more or less threw a dart at a map). After knowing each other for about two weeks, (I pushed back my original flight a week) he bought a flight to Tunisia to visit me. We had this insane on again off again transpacific relationship between Beijing and Tunis and then Beijing and Rhode Island while I was still in school at Brown. We split up a for two years because the thought of keeping up a relationship while I still had two years left at school was too daunting. But then i graduated, did some traveling around more random parts of the world and moved back to beijing about 3 years ago, and we’ve never looked back. And that’s the short version.” 🙂
So we now live in Beijing, where Ben runs a motion graphics studio (http://www.39degreesnorth.tv/) and I’m a translator/researcher/occasional writer for the New York Times. After the wedding, we’re moving to new york together, where I’ll be starting law school in the fall.
We generally spend our time arguing over books and movies and tv shows (he claims that I refuse to like anything great that he discovered first). I cook a lot and sometimes write about it, so he eats a lot, and we high five each other even more often for being lucky enough to eat so much. We have both traveled a lot separately in the past, but we’ve not been to enough places together, something we’re hoping to remedy in the future. He plays in a band, so I sometimes go to his gigs in an attempt to compensate for my super asian nerdy teenage years.”
That’s the short version. From the stories guests shared at their wedding and speeches from family and friends, the long version includes travel, adventure, and more chemistry than a high school science class. I feel so lucky to have photographed such an expressive, interesting, and inspiring couple. Here’s to both of you! I hope you have many many years of fun adventure together!
Cake: ROLFS PATISSERIE
Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden
Dress: custom made in Beijing
Hair stylist: Styles down the aisle