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Marathons are not for people who are weak in mind, body, and spirit. Neither are marriages. Both require an incredible amount of commitment, determination, effort, and willingness to (quite literally) go the distance. When we arrived to photograph Jill and Doug’s Oak Brook country club wedding, we discovered that they are people of substance, people who are steady and reliable, and people who are absolutely perfect for each other. Their shared understanding of all of the preparation, training, endurance, and investment required to participate in an IronMan gives them an edge to understanding the requirements of a successful marriage, and we are confident that their team will win the race.
We pulled into Jill’s parents’ neighborhood on a gorgeous Saturday morning – the temperature was just right, with the extreme heat of the summer deciding to take a break and let the cool breezes prevail. The ladies were scattered throughout the house, taking turns in front of mirrors as Maureen pinned up-dos and Face Artist Amy dusted on powder. Jill ordered bagel sandwiches for everyone (very thoughtfully including us for lunch as well), and the merry sounds of girls chatting and giggling filled the home.
While the girls were getting ready, we carefully took Jill’s delicate Anjolique gown and wedding accessories out to the lush backyard for a mini photo-shoot. Jill’s mother had hosted a bridal shower for the couple here, and the iron trellis surrounded by teacup candles provided a perfectly quaint garden courtyard setting.
A few miles away, Doug waited patiently in his room at the Marriott for the day’s festivities to begin. He took the same approach to the impending ceremony the same way we would imagine he faces any major event – deliberately and with purpose. He is a man who understands the importance of pacing, realizing that today’s union was only one transition within the larger journey he and Jill were making together. As he buttoned his vest and fastened his cufflinks he smiled in excited anticipation, more than ready to see his bride.
It was finally time. Jill’s gown was hanging up in her childhood bedroom with the light streaming in and softly illuminating the beadwork. She pulled it off the hangar and slipped in, her friends and family surrounding her to help secure the trail of buttons down the back. After a spritz of perfume and nods of approval from her bridesmaids, Jill and her girls collected their creamy rose and ivy bouquets from Phillips Flowers and departed for the church.
Loved ones filled the sanctuary at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, eager to witness Jill and Doug’s union. With happy tears in her eyes, Jill joined arms with her father and made her way down the aisle as Doug’s heart swelled in harmony with the glorious music from the organ. They were married in a touching ceremony that included guest participation in Jill and Doug’s commitment to each other.
As guests enjoyed the cocktail hour on the back patios of the Butterfield Country Club, we took advantage of the beautiful greenery and rolling hills for some fun bridal party portraits while trying to stay off the golf course (and out of sight of the staff).
Inside, the Butterfield Country Club staff was transforming the ballroom into a gorgeous, golden wedding wonderland. They did a great job interpreting the couples’ vision for the reception décor. The beautiful three-tier cake, from Kirsten’s Danish Bakery, featured an applique design that mimicked the beadwork on Jill’s gown.
The guests were welcomed inside for the reception, kicked off by an exciting entrance by the bridal party and couple of honor, followed by toasts and blessings. After dinner, Jill and Doug opened up the dance floor with their First Dance and parent dances. They chose a live band, Al Sofia, who was absolutely phenomenal. They performed a mix of modern hits and classic wedding tunes that kept the floor packed the entire evening.
This photo has got to be one of our favorite reception photos of the 2012 wedding season – this older gentleman definitely had groove and was not afraid to bust a move in the middle of the dance circle. Love it!
Jill and Doug understood that all that dancing can work up an appetite, which is why they had a late-night snack of Giordano’s Pizza delivered to the reception – proving once again that they are not only very thoughtful hosts, but also people with excellent taste in pizza.
Jill and Doug, we are so honored that you chose us to photograph and share in your beautiful wedding day. We were impressed and inspired by your dedication, passion, kindness, and love for each other. We wish you the best on your journey together and we hope to see you again soon!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Chicago to capture the memorable moments at your wedding, and interested in our availability and pricing, please drop us a line using the online inquiry form here.