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We adore love stories about high school sweethearts, and we absolutely love working with friends of friends, so we were very excited to photograph Nicole and Dan’s wedding in Chicago’s north suburbs this summer. With a relationship of nearly seven years, they’ve had a chance to grow into adults together and their wedding was sure to be filled with things that have been special to them over the years (and potentially some embarrassing high school stories during the toasts). A bond that started over an awful Calculus teacher bloomed over the years and we were so happy to be there for their delightful ‘Classic but Unique’ wedding celebration!
Nicole and Dan picked a perfect August day for their wedding, and the sun was peeking through puffy clouds as we arrived at Nicole’s house. All of her girls were there and the ladies were excitedly chatting while Rachel and Kelli from R&K Chicago applied little touches of wedding-day glamour. The light smoky eye and pink gloss gave Nicole’s flawless skin a perfect, romantic glow.
While the ladies finished their preparations, we took Nicole’s accessories outside for a mini photo shoot. Nicole and Dan chose to coordinate their wedding décor with hues of grape and mauve, accented with pops of lime green – the perfect complement for their wine-inspired theme. We loved all of the extra little details that Nicole incorporated into the wedding, especially this gorgeous wooden piece crafted by Nicole’s sister that listed some of the important dates to them, including their birthdates, engagement and wedding dates. A perfect memento to hang in their home after the wedding!
Dan is an engineer, and in our first few meetings with them, Nicole described her fiancé as a calm, reserved and rational kind of guy. We couldn’t think of a more appropriate profession for him, especially after watching his meticulous and unflappable wedding-day preparations. He finished buttoning up his tuxedo vest, tied his tie, and was ready to see his bride.
Nicole’s stunning Maggie Sottero gown featured a one-shoulder strap with ruffled floral detail and beautiful structured paneling in the train – a refreshing departure from the traditional strapless gown. Her ladies surrounded her, lacing her in and telling jokes to make her laugh and keep any nerves at bay. Ashland Addison provided the lush calla-lily and spider-mum bouquets that the girls grabbed before hopping into the limo to leave for the church.
Friends and family filled the sanctuary of the Church of the Holy Ghost, smiling warmly as Nicole and her father made their way down the aisle. Warm sunlight spilled over the couple, who kept stealing glances at each other throughout the ceremony. As they were pronounced husband and wife, Dan swept Nicole up for a passionate first kiss, melting every heart in the room.
During the break between the ceremony and reception, we gathered up the wedding party for portraits at the Skokie Lagoons. The friends they had chosen for attendants were a lively bunch and we had fun with some silly poses. The lagoons also made for some dreamy photos with just Nicole and Dan, who incorporated a little bit more of their histories with their parents’ wedding photos. We love seeing the difference in styles between the generations!
Guests started to arrive at the Arboretum Club, where they vibrant greens and purples accented the winery-inspired décor. The square carnation arrangements were unique and absolutely stunning, and corks had been integrated into much of the design scheme – our favorite being the guests’ entrée cards. The ribbon accents on the 4-tier cake from Central Continental Bakery had a very modern feel that was softened by the softened by the green orchids cascading down the sides. And if the cake wasn’t enough for the sweet-tooths at the reception, there were the guest favors decorating the tables – a tasty stack of chocolate-chip cookies for the partiers to enjoy after the festivities were over.
Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal (lemon sorbet!!!), taking breaks between each course for dancing. Nicole and Dan’s dances with their parents were both heartwarming and humorous, eliciting laughs and tears from the crowd. DJ Limit kept the dance floor packed the whole evening, spinning some great tunes that kept toes tapping and hips popping.
The final – and most awesome – touch of the evening was a late-night snack of Dominos Pizza and Dairy Queen blizzards. Nicole loves the Dairy Queen cotton-candy blizzard so much that Dan sought out the rare and coveted flavor and used it in his marriage proposal to Nicole – a thoughtful way to sway her decision. 😉 The blizzards were definitely the hit of the night!
Nicole and Dan, thank you so much for inviting us to photograph and document this part of your love story together. We ended the night with smiles on our faces and an incredible sugar buzz, and we had an absolute blast! We can’t wait to see you both 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.