A Barrington Hills wedding at Makray Golf Club – Jon and Julianne’s nuptials.

I’m so happy for Jon and Julianne.  I’ve known this couple since I first moved to Chicago four years ago.  I always tell them they’re a p0wer couple.  Jon’s studying law and Julianne is going into her first year of residency as a doctor. They have more close friends than a most anyone I know, they LOVE having fun, and everyone in their presence seems to just enjoy life! Julianne said after six years, he still makes me laugh just as hard as I did on that first 3 hour car ride back from Champaign.” Also that, “Jon’s support helped keep me motivated and sane throughout medical school, and his excitement and dedication to studying law impresses me every day.”

With their wedding in Barrington Hills, I thought no better place to take them for pictures than the very location I’m set to tie the knot in a few months.  This is a pretty special place for me, and even more so for second photographer Tom Root  (thank you Tom for all your wonderful images) because it’s where he grew up and his parents still live.  The Roots, also known as farmer Jim and Aunt Bah, generously welcomed us to their land to snap the pictures. Jon, Julianne, and even a few groomsmen, enjoyed the swing set, and we found a little shade from the heat beneath the old leafy trees.

After the pictures, it was on to the ceremony, where their long time friend Brad Pnazek officiated their vows. If he was nervous, no one could tell!  He did a great job marrying this lovely couple, than rejoiced with a cold beverage afterwards.

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Morton!  I wish you both all the best!



Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery (lovinovencakery.com)

Florist: Town & Country Gardens (eventsbytcg.com)

Venue: Makray Memorial Golf Club (makraygolf.com)

Dress: Galina Signature

Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale and Priscilla of Boston

Tuxedo: DKNY

Makeup: Tracee Badway (traceebadway@gmail.com)

Hair: Desi Perna, Exquisite Brides/Maginificent Brides (onsitebydesi.com,
maginificentbrides.com)

DJ: Dustin Drase, Toast and Jam (toastandjamdjs.com)

Videography: Robert Ben Zimny (rzimny3@gmail.com)

Lindsey and Jon are married!

Lindsey and Jon’s wedding brought their closest family and friend’s together in celebration of their love. It was Jon’s grandfather, a retired pastor, who married the two. He spoke to the couple of the joy, beauty, and commitment of love. Friends and classmates at Garrett Evangelical Theology Seminary ushered guests to their seats, and one performed a song of worship that brought tears in the chapel.

From here, Lindsey and Jon will say goodbye to the Evanston campus and continue their journey in Michigan, where Lindsey will start her new pastoral position. Good luck to you both and warmest wishes to your lives together!

Lots of gratitude goes to my second, Michael Boyd. Thanks Michael!



Big Thanks to these vendors:

Florist: Flowers Flowers (Evanston, IL)

Cake: Rose’s Bakery and Oak Mill Bakery

Caterer: Hilton Garden Inn

Wedding Service: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Chapel of
the Unnamed Faithful

DJ: Enchanted Evening

Dress: Tara Keeley

Tux: Men’s Wearhouse

How Facebook Brought Them Together…

We’ve all done it…you know, facebook stalking 🙂 Well in this case, it worked out well for Engy and Jason.  She spotted his image on a friend’s facebook page.  He was part of an accounting group at their alma mater, U of I.  He caught her eye, so that when she met him the first time while out, she made sure to introduce herself.

They went from facebook stalking, to facebook poking, to being  facebook “official,” and next summer, they’ll once more update their status to “married.”

Congrats to you both!  Looking forward to the wedding this summer.

Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (1)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (6)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (4)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (9)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (8)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (2)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (3)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (5)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (10)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (11)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (7)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (12)

Ashley + Rex’s Winter Engagment Session at Millenium Park and North Ave. Beach

For weeks Rex told Ashley he wouldn’t make it to Christmas in Cincinnati with her family. The two hadbeen dating long distance since Ashely moved back to her home town to work as a pediatric physical therapist.  Because of the distance, Ashely was really hoping to see her far away love.

Two days before Christmas, her mother asked Ashley to make a last minute gift run.  The shopping route took them past Ashley and Rex’s Freshman dorms (where they met nine years ago). There, waiting on the same steps they climbed together on a daily basis, was Rex. Ashely’s mom pushed her out of the car, (she at least stopped first) leaving the two alone.  As she approached, Rex bent to one knee and amongst hundreds of glowing candles, asked Ashely to be his wife.  She happily accepted!

The Ponce Brothers for WLS 890 am

Dan and Anthony Ponce are well known local reporters for news stations WGN 9 and NBC 5, respectively. Now they’re being recognized for additional coverage on a different kind of medium, airwave-radio. Tune into WLSAM.com or a.m. 890 on Sundays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. to hear The Ponce Brothers discuss national and local topics from the week.

I refer to Ponce brother Anthony, as fiance, and Dan as my soon-to-be brother-in-law. Obviously, I know them well. So, I wasn’t surprised when they spent the entire shoot rifling off nonstop movie quotes, and cracking each other up. I’m glad they have each other, so someone thinks they’re funny. Just kidding guys, you’re great comedians, but please keep it on the radio and out of my photo shoot.

Dan and Anthony learned from their father, Phil Ponce, longtime host of Chicago Tonight. Phil will be a frequent guest on the The Ponce Brothers show, and even fill in on occasion.

Keep up the good work guys.

 

Agustina and Johann’s Day After Portrait Session in Uyuni, Bolivia

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!

Sweet Baby Reed

My sister is the proud mother of her first child, Reed Curtis Thompson, my darling nephew.  My trip back to Nebraska couldn’t come soon enough after the little guy was born.  I’m so glad I could hop on a flight and get some real quality time with Katie, Ty, and Reed before heading to South America (pictures to come in the next few days) a few short days later. Love you guys!


Leslie + Doug’s Fall Wedding

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 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

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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…