With Spring just around the corner we often get requests around this time of year for many couples who have decided to tie the knot and take the next step forward in their relationship together in marriage. A few Summers ago I had recieved such news from a very good set of friends of mine. Sunni and her boyfriend (at the time) Jeff had been together for many years in Chicago. And it came as a surprise to me when Sunni decided to contact me with the proposal story. The two of them are just incredible people and a prime example of a great couple and I was just extremely elated to hear the buzzing in her voice as spoke about the details.
The wedding itself was months away but we still had much to plan and help coordinate to get the best possible photographs for them to share after the special day. So I set off and began to work with Sunni on setting up a Google document with all relevant information that we can share with each other online. Now there are many great wedding websites out there that will also help couples coordinate and schedule for the event. And I do recommend all couples at least look into them and/or contact a wedding event coordinator to help with the scheduling. For this event Sunni decided to use mywedding.com to send out information to all the guests they wanted to invite that afternoon.
Over the following months we kept in correspondence and adhered to best we could with our checklist to make sure everything would be in order on the day of the wedding. I reached out to my friend Kevin who often helps with much of the work I shoot in Chicago to be a 2nd shooter on the event.
Now you won’t always need a 2nd shooter on weddings but it never hurts to have an extra pair of hands to help with carry gear or posing groups and just giving a hand when you need a moment to catch your breath. Working with their budget I was able to subcontract out Kevin for the entire day which made my job with the primary photography much easier to handle.
The day of the wedding finally arrived in late September and I flew up to Chicago again a few days before to meet up with Kevin and do a cursory scout of the location where the ceremony and event would be held. It was a beautiful and historic landmark home in Chicago that often caters to weddings during the year for many couples. The name of the building is The Keith House and it has rich history and back story behind it that you can read here: http://www.keithhousechicago.com/
I initially met Sunni at the hotel where they were staying at for pre-ceremony photographs. She was nervous but confident as we began in the room upstairs and eventually maneuvered down into the main hotel lobby and interior space. After we gathered a good amount of photographs of Sunni and her sister and immediate family we all hopped in a taxi to the ceremony location.
The wedding itself was small and intimate with about 70 guests arriving from all across the country to congratulate and wish Sunni and Jeff the best on their special day. The ceremony was conducted outside just behind the house itself nestled in a cozy plot of land with simple white chairs adorning the aisle leading up to the front alter.
Sunni looked radiant as she walked down the steps at the beginning of the ceremony and Jeff was very dapper in his suit with a little twinkle in his eye and familiar laugh and smile as Sunni made her way down the aisle and they embraced hands. The ceremony was conducted by a good friend of theirs and the music was also coordinated by another friend. It truly was a close and personal wedding with all of their friends helping out in many small ways to be a part of the service.
After the ceremony we gathered the entire group of guests for a large photograph outside the front of the house. It was challenging to fit everyone accordingly on the steps from top to bottom but with Kevin’s help we were able to get a fun series of images.
Proceeding the group photographs I whisked Sunni and Jeff off to the park adjacent to the Keith House for about an hour and we had a great time walking through the gardens photographing together. The afternoon light was perfect and the weather just right to shoot with natural light and allowed us to gather many more photographs then we originally had planned.
After the post ceremony photographs we all returned back to the Keith House for the reception portion of the wedding. The dining hall was decorated with fresh flowers on every table and adorned with animal cutouts and place settings. The entire space had a very warm and inviting feeling that was a true representation of both Sunni and Jeff. After dinner we had a series of speeches and toasts from friends and family members that were very memorable and touching.
And as the sun finally began to set the wedding guests all moved over to the other side of the house for some fun dancing and music into the evening. The energy level of the guests was very high as the music continued onward for a few hours. Sunni and Jeff finally relaxed and settled in with their new roles together were very happy to move across the space still talking and thanking everyone who made it out that afternoon.
All together we were able to create an incredible series of photographs for Sunni and Jeff to cherish and share for many years to follow. Everyone left that evening very happy with the end results and have lasting memories to look back upon now.
For an full gallery of images from that day and more please take a look at our Wedding Portfolio:
Thank you and enjoy reading!