I’ve heard all sorts of wedding nightmare stories, although I will admit most of them are actually more like a wedding hiccup than a full blown nightmare. Which is why I think I’ve actually been paying attention to stories I’ve heard or read about brides who had their dresses on hold at Eva’s Bridal shop in Oak Lawn, Il.
If you haven’t heard the story already, Eva’s is a well known dress shop that regularly gets good reviews from it’s brides, but on Nov. 17th, a fire started at the shop and the building went up in flames and the roof came down. I was tempted to write about this before, but I was busy relaunching the blog, so now a few weeks after when I heard the story about Melissa Conley, while listening to the news on the radio, I had to share this story.
It seems that not only was Melissa, one of the brides who’s dress went up in smoke, but another bridal shop lost her bride’s maids dresses and then to top it off the venue she had booked for rehearshal dinner, Harry Caray’s in Wrigleyville, closed down out of the blue.
While one might think how does a bar themed around the former voice of the Chicago Cubs go out of business just block from Wrigley Field? I’d say the real thing to think of is Melissa, if the only issue you have on your wedding day is rain.
Also, if you are already married and still have your dress, but really don’t foresee it doing anything but hanging out in your closet. Eva’s is taking donations for brides who lost dresses and are in a pinch. Visit their website for more info http://www.evasbridalsofoaklawn.com/
It had been two years since I had shot a wedding in Milwaukee, and it was nice to be back. Ironically the last wedding I photographed was the sister of the bride, and just like I had two years ago, my day started off in the town of Wauwatosa, a cute little burb of Milwaukee, nestled along the banks of the Menomonee River. What wasn’t so cute was that after having one of the most perfect Octobers ever weather wise, the forecast for the day was for serious rain.
Luckily for the both of them the weather man was wrong and the most of the rain came before the end of the ceremony. Emily & Matt had picked out a bunch of great locations outdoors for some bridal party photos, so the weather cleared at just the right time and we were even lucky enough to get some great late afternoon sun.
For more photos from this wedding please visit my Facebook page. (Don’t forget to click like).
Being a city person, I hardly get out to the suburbs unless it’s on assignment, or for a wedding. However, there is one place myself & most wedding photographers who work around the Wheaton area know all to well and that is Cantigny. I know that almost sounds like I’m rolling my eyes when I say it, but there’s a reason why this place is so popular with brides & Photographers. It’s beautiful and you’d have to photograph 2 dozen weddings there before you’d run out of new places to take pictures at and that’s not including different seasons.
While I’ve shot bridal parties inside the park before, Suzi & Dave, were my first couple who were actually having their ceremony at the park half of Cantigny. Complete with our own golf cart & driver we made our way around the park and got some great photos.
The peacefulness of the park really lent itself nicely as a back drop beyond posed photos once the ceremony started.
See more photos from this wedding on my Facebook page. (Don’t forget to like me)
I’m a big believer in serendipity when it comes to my photos. Not saying I don’t plan things out, but if you’ve ever sat down with me while I talked about my philosophy & style, “serendipity” will no doubt have come up at some point. Gwen & Jeff, might have referred to some things that happened on their wedding day as good luck; Chicago’s July 3rd fireworks show being moved to the 4th, getting extra space at their reception venue, or bumping into Ronnie Woo-Woo while posing for pictures in front of Wrigley Field.
We went to Wrigley to get a photo, since this was the place Gwen & Jeff first met (please correct me if I’m wrong), and just happened to bump into Ronnie Woo-Woo and he was kind enough to jump into a photo with them.
While I love serendipity, I’ll also say that luck is all about how you position yourself. Gwen & Jeff picked the 4th of July and the Signature Room at the John Hancock building, because they knew at least Navy Pier would be doing fireworks.Congratulations again, you planned a beautiful wedding day.
See more photos on my Facebook page.
I photograph a dozen or more weddings each year and 99% of the time I feel that I’ve formed a very good relationship with the couples I’m working with and while I’ve never had any disasters, forming a bond with the wedding party & close family doesn’t always happen as easily. With Adrianna & Jame’s wedding that was not the case.
Tagging along side of the bridemaids & groomsmen was a blast. I even have to make special mention of the bride’s sister Marika, who was a blast to be around. Just look at some of the photos from the reception which was held at the Walter Payton Round House in Aurora, and I think you’ll see how lively this group was.
On another note, I’ve had a few weddings where the groom, or bride had served, or was serving in the military, but Adrianna & James, was actually the first wedding I’ve ever shot where the groom was dressed in uniform. While a uniform isn’t an option for every groom, it a great reminder that you don’t need to stick with just the same old tux or suit. My personal favorite, mostly because it’s what I wore, is a white dinner jacket instead of a black tux jacket. This works great for summer & spring weddings.
See more photos from Adrianna & James’ wedding on my Facebook page (don’t forget to click like)
I often get calls from couples who are looking for a photographer who isn’t a traditional wedding photographer and one of the main reasons for this search is because the couple feels that they’re style, or ceremony is going to be different from the norm.
I mostly just nod in agreement and smile as couples explain exactly how different things will be from any “normal” weddings I’ve photographed and the reason I do this is, as a photographer in a major urban area I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many diverse and unique weddings, and even then, everything that can be done, has been done, unless you’re going for some Guinness World record.
The reason I bring this all up is not because Jinnel & Randy told me their wedding was going to be “so different”, but the fact that while they may have done a few things outside of the norm, it was the overall style & vibe of their wedding that truly made it feel different and unique. The Peabody Estate, had a charm & warmth, that made it feel more like you were at the summer home of a wealthy family, and the band who was hired to play swing & jazz standards was a perfect touch. Which just added to the vintage charm of Jinnel & Randy’s wedding attire, as well as most of their guests, who for lack of a better term, played dress up to go along with a swing theme.
If I can say one thing to couples looking to break out of the wedding mold, work on doing something that really speaks to who you are and not just something that nobody else is doing.
See more photos on from this wedding on my Facebook page.
I shot Delia & Eric’s wedding on what was looking to be a very gloomy April day. Luckily for them the rain only came down while they were inside of one of Chicago’s most famous churches, Holy Name Cathedral.
While the sky didn’t open up and bath us in sun, they were fortunate enough to see the rain stop and streak of light come though in the late afternoon, giving us this beautiful shot (above) as we walked around Millenium Park downtown.
I shot Amy & Mark’s wedding back in April. It was my first wedding of the year and the weather turned out to be better than what we just had this weekend in June.
While some couples are locationally or time challenged to find an outdoor location for posed & group photos, Amy & Mark did a little pre-planning and found a great spot at a local farmstead with a river & a big red barn.
Given the fact that we were in the South Wilmington/Gardner are in central Illinois, far from where I live, leaving an outdoor location up to me might not have work out as good as this. Which goes to show you, a little bit of leg work can help make your images even better, regardless of who your photographer is.