Our story with Erika and Nathan began on an incredibly hot spring day at the Popcorn Shoppe in Long Grove.
We were there to photograph an engagement session with Erika and Nathan and they had picked the perfect location – plenty of quaint shops on Main Street, backed by a nature preserve with fields, streams, and the occasional covered bridge. We spent the day exploring the area together (trying not to get too sweaty), learning more about Erika and Nathan’s relationship, and chatting about plans for their upcoming wedding. We got a chance to see the real Erika and Nathan – relaxed, before the excitements and pressures and stresses that come with all wedding days – and we found a couple who supports and encourages one another, and who love each other with a passion that they aren’t afraid to show to the world. We had so much fun getting to know them, and at the end of the day, we all enjoyed kettle corn and lemonades at the Shoppe.
So when our photography team arrived at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort on the morning of their wedding, we were so excited to see them – they are ‘hug’ people, not ‘handshake’ people! We found Erika and her ladies in the bridal suite enjoying some lunch and jamming out to Will Smith. While the girls were taking turns getting their hair teased into ringlets and noses powdered by their makeup artist, Tiffany, we had a mini photo-shoot with Erika’s gorgeous Paloma Blanca gown.
We headed over to check in with Nathan, who was calm and collected, and infinitely cooler than they guy who made up stories just for an excuse to chat online with a pretty girl he met at a party in college. He put the finishing touches on his wedding attire, fastened his cufflinks and watch from Erika, and was ready for his bride.
With some help from her bestest friends, Erika stepped into her beautiful dress, secured her jeweled headband, and slipped on her shoes. Her cheerful bouquet from Kimberose featured her favorite sunflowers and photo charms of special family members who couldn’t be present. After a moment alone to compose herself and read a letter from Nathan, she was ready.
Escorted by her mother and step-father, Erika made her way down the petal-lined aisle to a smiling Nathan. The couple was married under the bluest skies imaginable in a ceremony that incorporated some new and unique traditions, including a unity cocktail. (We think this is an excellent idea to calm nerves before that first public kiss.)
While guests enjoyed the cocktail hour on the lakeside deck, Erika and Nathan shared a private toast with custom flasks that were filled with their preferred liquors. We found an abandoned boxcar that spanned a small stream nestled in the weeping willows, and the golden glow from the evening sun perfectly illuminated the couples’ happy faces.
As dusk fell, it was time to ‘Get Jiggy With It’ and the bridal party donned their dark shades to make a grand entrance to “Men In Black,” a nod to Erika’s love for Will Smith’s tunes. They kicked off the reception by cutting into the glorious four-tier cakey-confection from Lovin Oven and sharing their First Dance together as husband and wife. One of our favorite DJs, Okyne Medialab, also provided the up-lighting that transformed the space into a dazzling wonderland. The reception was so much fun that we couldn’t help shakin’ our thangs out on the dance floor with Erika and Nathan for a song or two!
Erika and Nathan, we can’t thank you enough for choosing us to document your relationship and wedding. Your love for each other is truly inspiring, and your hospitality and warmth touched us to the core. We’re so proud to call you our friends 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.