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Melissa Marie Photography: LINDSEY + MIKE 5 Year Anniversary

“She’s brave. Willing to say what is needed, even when it’s difficult. I love her mind.  I love talking to her and hearing her thoughts on the news and business; She has a unique perspective.”

“Michael is a rock. He keeps me calm when things start to get crazy or stressful.”

Sure, they were in love 5 years ago when I photographed their wedding. But what is so neat to see and hear when having couples reminisce over the time since is how much more deeply rooted that is as time goes on. With traveling the world, starting businesses, and big city moves, there’s been much “going on” in the months and years since their big day. But when I asked them what their favorite things is it wasn’t the grandiose success in work, isn’t the ridiculously cool high-rise they live in that’s in the heart of the city, it wasn’t their physical attraction for the other (though that’s still evident even 5 years later)  it wasn’t something flashy but rather low-key. They both said their favorite thing is to go on a walk together first thing in the morning. I mean come on! How precious is that!? I think those walks are a key contributor to knowing and truly caring for each other deeply.

Mike & Linds, you’ll have many adventures to come. Ones you’ll never forget. But as life continues to fly by, and ambitions grow, remain the solid unit you are today. Keep taking those walks. Admire each other’s strengths, and compliment each other’s weaknesses. And as you build memories in the time-capsule of life, remember to stop and take it all in. A love like this doesn’t come by luck; but intentional choices to put the other before oneself in big and little ways each day.

Happy 5 years! Here’s to many many more!!

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ELMHURST FAMILY PHOTOS: WEST FAMILY

So….Little Asher is pretty much the most adorbs little kid! It’s no surprise considering how awesome his parents are: I photographed there wedding a few years back (crazy how time flies!) and we hit it off right from the start. Fast forward to the next beautiful stage of life, and now it’s their vibrant, curious, kind, and expressive son’s turn to melt my heart. In a land of toddler “no’s!” Asher taking my hand to lead me to put on his shoes so we could go outside was, well, precious. And even after a few hours of running around, getting wet in the fountain, muddy amidst the trees all for the sake of capturing the adventure in photos, he gave me a sweet hug to thank me for spending the day with him. I don’t yet know if I’m having a little girl or boy (though I think it’s going to be a boy) I sure hope I get a little Asher! As always, love seeing you West family. Your home, your life, and your son are all absolutely beautiful! xoxo Melissa

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DAHLGREN CHAPEL GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON D.C WEDDING: BRETT + BECKI

I love traveling for weddings! I love traveling in general but amongst the daily routine of Chicago, to transplant weddings in Washington D.C there’s things unexpected around every corner. From the fact that I didn’t expect to geek out over seeing the president’s helicopter fly right past our window while getting ready. That essentially, compared to Chicago, (in my opinion) D.C is a fairly small walkable city. We’d jump from Georgetown to Alexandria in a matter of minutes. (It also helped that the bellman at our hotel gave me the low-down on Uber) (: I always think Chicago has old architecture, but going to D.C with it’s cobblestone streets, stores in historic brick buildings, and one of my favorites, the Georgetown campus that looks like it could have been from Harry Potter (favorite not because of Harry Potter; I’ve yet to make it through that movie without falling asleep. Don’t kill me Harry Potter fans) it all makes Chicago’s architecture look like it’s still in it’s infancy. (Which in realty, it is in comparison!) Around each corner, our fresh eyes would be captivated by the beauty of D.C and it’s towns. Or is it districts? I’d assume Districts since it’s D.C?  I dunno. But each spot has it’s own vibe to it. Each one seemingly more beautiful than the next.

Georgetown reminds me of Notting Hill. No… I’ve never been to the actual Notting Hill, but from my extensive watching of the movie I think it’s pretty spot on. (: Gorgeous historic rows of little shops. A classic romantic feel. One that today’s bride and groom embody perfectly. They are class acts through and through. Brett being in the Navy was dressed to the nines in his white uniform. The bride, Becki, she has a timeless beauty about her. And I can honestly say, this may have been the most respectful wedding I’ve done. Sure, it helps that half the guests were from the Navy and they other half from medical school, so we’re dealin’ with the creme-de-la-creme but that’s the bride and groom for ya! Incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and genuine they are. And the friends and family in their life are an equal extension of that. Now that by no means is to say they don’t know how to have fun. The band barely made it through the announcing the bridal party’s names before the dance party kicked off. And that dance floor was absolutely packed the entire night!

Sure, traveling for weddings is great, but the best part is when it’s for gems like Brett & Becki! Couldn’t be happier for you guys! Thank you for having us capture your incredible day in a pretty remarkable city!

CEREMONY: Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart: https://campusministry.georgetown.edu/about/sacredspaces/dahlgren

RECEPTION: Key Bridge Marriott: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/waskb-key-bridge-marriott/

FLORIST: Twinbrook Floral Design: http://twinbrookfloraldesign.com/

BAND: Bachelor Boys Band: http://www.bachelorboysband.com/

HAIR & MAKEUP: Modern Bridal Studio: http://www.modernbridalstudio.com/

DRESS: Vera Wang: http://www.verawang.com/EN/store-locator/250-vera-wang-bride

SHOES: Badgley Mischka: http://www.badgleymischka.com/shoes/

 

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CHICAGO MATERNITY PHOTOS: STEPHANIE + MATT

Photographing maternity sessions is pretty surreal these days. With my own little one joining in a couple months, Stephanie’s soon-to-be newborn photos next month will be my last photo session before I take the winter months to cuddle my own munchkin. It’s kinda like the night before you get married, and you lay in bed and think to yourself: “This is my last night as a single person, from here on out, I’ll be married!” Well, this is my last couple as a photographer with no kids until, well, forever! Stephanie being due so close to when I am has it’s perks. (Especially since they’re so on top of things!) They’ve taken a bazillion classes, and it motivated me to sign up for one also. She looks ridiculously awesome, and inspires me to keep it together for these last weeks. (: I think things will get all the more real when Matt & Stephanie welcome their first child, knowing soon, that’ll be me! What!? Steph,  you’re already one inspirational momma! Can’t wait to meet your little one soon!!

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