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Chicago Wedding Photography at Palmer House and Holy Name Catheral – Matt and Carmela

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We’ve been very lucky this wedding season to be able to photograph some very decadent and luxurious wedding venues in and around Chicago, and we continued our tour of elegance with Matt and Carmela’s wedding ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral and reception at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago.  Matt and Carmela are the quintessential urban Chicago couple, and their special day reflected their big city lifestyle.

Sweethearts since their junior year of high school, Matt and Carmela have spent the last seven years learning to love each other, maturing together, developing private jokes, and building a life to share.  As their relationship grew more serious, Matt realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Carmela.  On an annual family holiday to Calabria, Italy – Carmela’s father’s hometown – Matt surprised Carmela with a beautiful engagement ring and asked her to be his wife.

We met up with Carmela and her entourage at the Palmer House Hilton on a bright and cheerful Saturday morning.  They had reserved a large suite for their wedding day headquarters and preparations were well under way.  The team from Appease already had Carmela in the chair to highlight her European bone structure and tease her long hair into ringlets, and the hairspray mingled with the aroma from the roses, perfumes, and faint hints of leather.  While the girls were finishing hair and makeup, we had a little photo shoot with Carmela’s gorgeous accessories.   She had several strands of heirloom pearls to compliment her stunning Vera Wang gown, and the ladies had fun deciding on the perfect necklace length while Carmela wound a strand around her wrist. With some help from her bridesmaids, she slid into her sparkly shoes and her transformation into a beautiful bride was complete.

We caught up with Matt and his Groomsmen in their suite at the Palmer House as they were enjoying a little lunch while getting ready.  We could already tell that it was not going to be a dull day with the shenanigans already taking place – these guys were a riot!  Matt put the finishing touches on his attire – love the Burberry cufflinks – and we were ready to head over to Holy Name Cathedral.

Words cannot describe the sense of awe and grandeur behind the large bronze doors of the Holy Name Cathedral.  Seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the Holy Name Cathedral has served the Chicago area for 137 years and has a history as colorful as its stained glass windows.  Carmela joined her father and made her way down the aisle to Matt to the melody from the beautiful organ above.  Surrounded by family and friends under the soaring wooden ceilings, Matt and Carmela became husband and wife.

Chicago Wedding Photography - Photographer Palmer House (31)

Matt and Carmela wisely chose to have all of their festivities in downtown Chicago, so we had plenty of time to take some fun photos with the bridal party in the city and on the shore of Lake Michigan between the ceremony and reception.  It was such a bright and sunny day – with not a cloud in the sky – and those lake breezes were incredibly refreshing.  Everyone relaxed once the ceremony was complete, and we had some good times goofing around with bridal party.  The faint sounds of music and laughter drifted over from the boats on the lake and the city skyline loomed behind the couple, an incredible urban backdrop.  Special thanks go to Matt’s father, Tom, for his calm and perseverance when dealing with the Chicago traffic cops – he definitely earned his drinks at the cocktail hour!

After a cocktail hour that was held in the spacious balconies and alcoves that overlooked the lobby at the Palmer House, white-gloved staff lined the staircase to The Empire room, welcoming guests into the reception with glasses of champagne.  Inside, the crystal chandeliers softly illuminated tables that were decorated with lovely hydrangea and orchid centerpieces courtesy of Floral Events.  Matt and Carmela chose to keep their guest favors simple and elegant, with the traditional Jordan almonds and a note on each table indicating that a donation had been made on behalf of the guests to the Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Chicago Wedding Photography - Photographer Palmer House (19)

Chicago Wedding Photography - Photographer Palmer House (12)

In between courses, guests were treated to several funny and touching toasts, as well as a special dance performance by Carmela’s younger sister, Gioia.  We were absolutely blown away by this young lady’s talent and grace, and we’re certain that her future holds a lead role in a world-renowned dance troupe.

After dinner and entertainment, Peter from AdmitOne DJ opened up the dance floor for guests to join Matt and Carmela.  We’re pretty sure that we witnessed ‘The Worm’ at one point, and everyone was having a great time.  Matt and Carmela, thank you so much for inviting us to photograph your wonderful downtown Chicago wedding!  We had an absolute blast spending the day with you and your amazing group of people, 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.

  • July 6, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Carmela Zappani - These pictures are absolutely beautiful! Our wedding day could not have been captured in a better way 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2012 - 2:10 am

    Agata Zappani - Joshua, I don`t know when and where but one thing is sure that you are mine photographer for my next three daughters. You are absolutely amazing in what you do. I am so glad we found you. Carmela`s wedding dress, flowers and photographer were our first picks. You proved us that first picks are always the best. We fell in love with your artwork instantly. Thank you for capturing every moment and giving me the opportunity of reliving this day all over again.ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    Jan Pedersen - Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 3:41 am

    Crystal Muehlschlegel - OMG–Joshua is an amazing artist!! I’ve been so looking forward to seeing these and you have not disappointed!! What a vision you have…thanks so much for capturing it all for us! Can’t wait to see the rest of them!!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Francesca De Luca - These pictures are beautiful! You captured the emotion of a magical day!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Jordan Heehler - Carmela and Matt, your wedding looked beautiful!!!! Best wishes to the both of you!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    Heather Begley - These pictures are gorgeous! So happy for you two – congratulations again!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    Kristin Moon - I love the pictures! Can’t wait to see all of them!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    Dotty - Lovely photo’s of a memorable day.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 7:20 pm

    Kelly Simmons - These pictures are beyond beautiful.

    Congratulations Carmela & Matt.

    ** I love Amelia’s note to you two btw. **ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    Gail Banek - Congratulations, Matt and Carmela! The pictures are beautiful. Loved the way there is commentary from the photographers. Matt, tell your mom she looked great!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 7:46 pm

    Joe Sprovieri - Pictures turned out great! They perfectly capture what a great day/night it was!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 8:35 pm

    susan haas - Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 8:51 pm

    Cherilynne - Beautiful photos! I love the ones of you and Gioia after she danced!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    Jorie Larsen - Absolutely stunning photos of you two, Matt and Carmela! Can’t wait to see them blown up and hanging on your walls 😉 Amazing work, Joshua.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    Katie Haas - Matt and Carmela!
    Congratulations!! These pictures are gorgeous! You both looked great. So sorry I couldn’t attend your wedding. I hope you had an amazing time and hope you have an beautiful and relaxing honeymoon!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    Shante Reyes - Congrats matt & Carmela!!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 1:12 am

    Matt Thomson - These are awesome! There’re every thing we expected and more! I can’t wait to see the rest of them!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 2:36 am

    Kate Buchanan - Such a beautiful wedding. Congratulations Carmela!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    sara Zappani - absolutely gorgeous! i cant wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    Appease Inc. - Carmela – You and your girls look STUNNING! Great pics Joshua :). It was a pleasure working with you both!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 5:30 pm

    Ashley Kwak - If these were a sneak peak, I can’t imagine what the rest of the pictures will look like! Joshua really did an amazing job of capturing your day. Congrats again, Carmela and Matt! Love you guys!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    Regina Kwak - Fabulous work! I love this lovely couple and am excited to see how you have captured rest of their Special day.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 6:22 pm

    Filomena Seva - The pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the rest. Carmela, you look beautiful, Joshua did an amazing job.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    Tina - Hi Carmela, lovely pictures. You are one classy couple 🙂 Congratulations and all the best.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    Brian Thomson - Awesome pics! Can’t wait to see the restReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 3:17 pm

    Diana Thomson - These pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!! I can’t wait to see the rest of them! I can’t believe the day came and went so fast! Now we will have these great pictures to remember a truly great day!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Tom Thomson - Thanks for capturing this special day! Great pictures! I can’t wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Zach Thomson - Can’t wait to see some pictures with me in them. Great jobReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 3:38 pm

    Megan Shore - I just started crying in my office chair like an idiot at work, and then immediately began laughing at the same time to Amelia’s note! and omg! Gioia’s point and lines are spot on! She’s going to be an amazing dancer!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Amanda Gudenkauf - These are absolutely beautiful you guys!!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    Mike Schroeder - The pictures look great! But don’t blow up any of the ones with Joe Sprovieri in them.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    Michael Castaldo - Amazing pictures !ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 7:34 pm

    Frances Castaldo - The most amazing pictures I have ever seen ! I wish you both all the happiness in the world!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 9:02 pm

    Tiffany Boncan - You have a great eye, Joshua. The way you use the light… makes for stunning photos. Can’t wait to see the rest! Congrats again, Carmela and Matt!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    Amelia Schreiber - Amazing pictures from an amazing day!! I’m so happy I got to be a part of it. Can’t wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 9:10 pm

    Andres Torres - The pictures great!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 9:24 pm

    Laura Siegman - Carmela, these pictures are absolutely beautiful!
    Congratulations to you and Matt!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 10:07 pm

    Laura Domres - These pictures really capture every detail that went into make this such a special event. I feel like i’m seeing the wedding in a whole new way! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs!!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 11:10 pm

    Jamie Buenrostro - Such a beautiful day for two beautiful people. Thank you for letting me be a part of it…love you guys so much! (Welcome to the family carmela!!!! Love ya girl)ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 12:25 am

    Anthony Sarros - These pictures are spectacular. Joshua, you really caught a special day in a unique way. You do some great work. Extremely impressed with how they all turned out. I wish Matt and Carmela all of the happiness in the world.ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 12:27 am

    Nicholas Sarros - Absolutely marvelous! Great pictures and a great looking couple!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 1:07 am

    Marissa Pasquini - Wow, congrats Matt and Carmela! I can’t believe what a beautiful wedding this was. You both deserved it and I hope the best for both of you! Amazing pictures…I can’t believe how old Gioia got haha. Congrats again 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 10:47 am

    Mary McComb - Spectacular pictures of such a beautiful day!!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 10:50 am

    Jeff McComb - I love these pictures!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Todd McComb - Beautiful pictures!(:ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Dylan Thomson - Amazing pictures! Was there any doubt that these pictures wouldn’t be great?! I can’t wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 11:00 am

    Arielle McComb - Terrific pictures! I love you guys! (:ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 11:50 am

    Ruby Bones - Beautiful pictures, Beautiful couple!!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 11:55 am

    Gigi McComb - I love these pictures and I love u guys!!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 12:01 pm

    Sophia McComb - I LOVE these pictures! They are so beautiful! Love you Guys!(:ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 12:58 pm

    Nicholas Anthony - Congratulations to two very special people! These pictures are nothing short of positively amazing.ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    Cristina Lombardini - amazing pictures! avrei tanto voluto esserci!!!ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Stylish Wedding Photography at Chicago's Palmer House Hilon by Joshua Albanese - […] floor here in the Empire Room seems to attract talented guests to perform for the bride and groom (remember Gianna’s performance at this Palmer House wedding last summer?) so we weren’t surprised when Amy’s friends picked up their instruments and formed a live band […]ReplyCancel