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Volkering Heritage Farm Engagement Photos: Melissa Marie Photography: MIKE + JACKIE

I think more and more what my favorite part of engagement sessions is the peeling back the layers to see glimpses of who people really are. I always say, it’s not about a pretty picture. Those are are gonna happen. But engagement sessions are a way for me to see beyond the surface level of people. What’s your families like? What makes you genuinely smile? What helps you when you’re having a bad day? Mike + Jackie are one’s that I would never have known the sides of them without their engagement session. I told them, you guys put up a pretty good B.A front but you’re actually teddy bears at heart. Behind the sarcasm, and lets say…self doubt, it just took me asking about the other person for them to open up in a really sweet way. They recognize what the other person does for them; and they may not share it externally all the time, but love that we caught glimpses of their hearts for each other during their engagement session.



Chicago Cubs Wrigley Engagement Photos: Melissa Marie Photography: BRETT + KATIE

Not sure how else to top this than to say that Brett’s dad was good friends and worked for Ernie Banks. Whhhhhat? You go outside the United Center, there’s the MJ statue. You go outside Wrigley…It’s Ernie Banks.  Well, him and Harry Carry of course! So W may as well be their family blood-type. Makes it a no brainer to then celebrate your engagement with photos at Wrigley. Love these images captured by my right-hand crew Elizabeth & Nick! 




Chicago Wedding Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: The Grove Country Club: BRANDON + CATIE

There couldn’t have been a bigger temperature difference than what Brandon & Catie had for their engagement photos to their wedding day. For their engagement session, it was like the apocalypse happened in Chicago. Literally. And I mean literally, not a single person was at the most iconic places in Chicago it was that cold. My camera froze. Literally. I took the batteries out, and the camera still didn’t turn off, and the last photo on the screen didn’t go away for 3 days! I think that’s how long it took for our limbs to thaw too. But these two, stuck it out! And not only that, but smiled the whole way through. Then fast forward to their wedding day…It was toasty! Even for a couple living in California, there was debate as to whether to take photos outside it was that hot. But I’m so glad we did! (Again, troopers!) Yes, it was hot. But absolutely beautiful! And even more than that, I love having couples get some time on their wedding day for it to just be them. The rest of the day, they’ll be wonderfully surrounded by the most important people in their life. But for just a bit…Having it be just the bride and groom. Just husband and wife…Taking a moment to take it in on their wedding day. No sweatin’ (yes, pun intended) that decision! So happy for you guys!

VENUE: The Grove Country Club:

FLORIST: Oelias Flower Shop:

BAND: Connexion band:

HAIR: Salon V’co:

DRESS: Volles:


Pinstripes Wedding Photos: Melissa Marie Photography: BOBBY + ERIN

Life has these remarkable milestones. Ones that have been dreamt of…planned for…and celebrated. Graduations. Buying a home. Getting married. Having kids. It’s these pinnacle points where in so many ways when the moments arrive, they’re more than we could have envisioned in the first place. It’s especially at these times that savoring the people who helped get us to that point is ultra sweet. But it’s also why in ways it doesn’t feel right when someone of such importance is no longer with you when one of those milestones arrives. For me, it was the sudden loss of my husbands father. Who never got to see our forever home, or hear that after 11 years of marriage we were finally having a kiddo. It just doesn’t feel right when such a big part of heart is missing at times like those. No matter how much we’d like to we can’t change certain circumstances. We can however, react in a certain way. A way that’s honoring. A way that brings memories back to life.

I love that the groom, Bobby, wanted time with just his mom who had twice the role in his life after losing his father. I love that Bobby shined his shoes, tied a knot in his tie, and fixed it even though it was perfect, because that’s what his dad would do. I love that he wore his dad’s watch. As if time were now on their side. It’s heart-breaking and filling all at once. But amidst it all, there’s this beautiful journey still moving forward. Bobby + Erin are now creating family unit in their marriage. One small memory or in today’s case one giant milestone at a time. Thank you for honoring me with capturing such a special day for you guys!

GETTING READY: Sheraton Chicago Northbrook Hotel:

CHURCH: St. Mary’s:

FLORIST: Sylvia’s:

RECEPTION: Pinstripes:

DJ: An Enchanted Evening:


DRESS: Bridal Boutique of Naperville:



Lewis University Engagement Photos: JAY + AMY

There’s so many things that made me nostalgic about Jay + Amy’s engagement session. They both were college athletes. They went to a super small college (Lewis University). By small I mean I drove 3 entire laps of the campus and stopped for directions within 10 minutes. And yes…Even on that small of a campus I got lost. (: Hey! My university had ONE academic building! We were tiny! Okay, that, and directions may not be my strong suit. (: Which is another thing I have in common with them! Well, at least Amy. (:

We also took my engagement photos in front of the willow tree that we often spent time at. (And where my husband proposed.) We also can go on our college campus as alumni and at some point bump into someone we still know. Which for Amy was like everyone! She has the most magnetic personality! Of course she’d know everyone! Which perhaps my favorite part of the session was when I was asking them get to know you questions and Jay said: “Amy’s the type of person that will go up to anybody.” Just then a car of people they knew back from school pulled up. Yep! Off she went! “Oh my gosh!!! Hey guys!” Running over to greet them. She’s also perhaps the first person to reach out on social media with congrats when I announced the gender of the little nugget I’m having in a couple months. They also got the little one the most adorable gift. I knew it from the moment we first talked, and it was affirmed when I met them. We click. (Wasn’t meant to be a camera pun, but hey…it works.) (:

Loved spending the afternoon with you guys!

Location of their first kiss! Wish mine was as cute. My now husband and my first kiss was so awkward. Hey, nearly 13 years of marriage and almost 2 kids later, we obviously got over it. (: