Wow! I can not imagine a better way to kick off the 2018 wedding season other than the wedding of D.J. and Alexis. We traveled to Chicago on Friday evening for two reasons: first because the couple is friends of ours and were so kind to invite us to the rehearsal dinner and secondly because the wedding was 4 hours away in Chicago. We don't typically attend the rehearsal dinner but since we were there we decided to capture a few images. It really touches the heart to see two families come together and share a dinner as one. It was evident how much love and support for D.J. and Alexis there was in this room. After an evening of mingling and Portillo's, it was time for a good night's rest.
Finally, the big day had arrived! We first met with the girls at Suite 115 Salon. The salon was very modern and chic. Alexis was blessed to have one of her oldest friends styling her hair and makeup creating a stunning bridal look. From the salon, we continued onto the Four Points Sheraton for lunch. Every wedding will have a rollercoaster effect where you finally have a chance to take a breath and then you are thrown back into the chaos. Surprisingly Alexis was calm, collected, and composed through the entire day. Having that positive attitude truly allows for brides and grooms to get the most out of their big day.
Traffic in Chicago can be a bit different than what we are used to but once again the couple thought ahead and had the church right down the street from the hotel where the reception would take place. D.J. and Alexis wanted to keep that once in a lifetime moment of seeing each other for the first time as she was walking down the aisle. So instead of doing a "first look" we chose to do a "first moment". This allowed the couple to share some of their feelings and excitement of the day with each other without seeing one another. The ceremony was held at St. Beatrice Church. This had so much sentiment for Alexis' grandmother as that was her church. After a beautiful ceremony, the couple shared their first kiss as husband and wife and walked down the aisle beaming with happiness.
When you think of Chicago often times skyscrapers and Michigan Avenue are some of the first things you picture For this particular Chicago wedding we were right next to the O'Hare airport. When I say "next to" I mean next door neighbors kind of close. Which meant that we did not have that historic downtown look. Because of this, the couple was a little nervous that we would not be able to find any good photo locations in this industrial area. Not to mention it is still very much so winter meaning no leaves on the trees or pretty flowers blooming. After a couple of previous conversations with the couple, they had an idea of what we would look for when scouting out photo locations. Once again we conveniently headed down the street to Shiller Woods. We truly did not expect this much convenience in Chicago. Our couple and bridal party were such troopers. They ran through so many poses in the cold and after a short warm-up break, we went back into photos with D.J. and Alexis. We changed locations just slightly to where the setting sun was just peaking through the trees proving a beautiful warm glow.
It is always so convenient to have the ceremony and reception near each other. The reception was being held at the Four Points Sheraton The schedule allowed us more time to work with the couple before their reception entrance so we headed back to the hotel to finish up. The hotel had just recently been renovated. Stunning. Simply stunning. Most couples are not afforded the privilege to see their reception completely set up before guests arrive and use and move things. Fortunately for D.J. and Alexis, they were able to see the jaw-dropping transformation of their reception undisturbed by others. The room glowed blue from the uplighting to the two walls that had LED lights that displayed a unique design. Everything was perfection.
It was time for the big entrance! Upon the couple cheering their way into the room they made their way to the cake table to cut the cake.The night was filled with beautiful toasts from close family and friends showing their love and support, to incredible dancing all night on the dance floor, and even some crazy photobooth shots.
We always worry that the couple will be too stressed or busy to enjoy their big day that we always try to proactively minimize the opportunity of this for the couple. While we believe that every couple loves their wedding day we could see that D.J. and Alexis could not have had a better day. Thanks to their smart thinking on close by locations, to having the reception at the hotel so that all guests could safely celebrate with them all night long, to their infectious positive attitudes, we know they made the most out of their day and fully enjoyed it as a result.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Stack (the third)! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness and hope you can remember this special day through the photos we captured for years and years to come.