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It’s probably from the life-long amount of sports I’ve played over my years but there’s so much to learn from athletics and I believe it’s a great indicator of character when the going gets tough. Clusters of wedding guests huddled around i-phones. The packed dance floor would halt like mannequins when a song would cut to announce the updated score. I took a quick look around the room of anticipation and the reception venue’s panoramic windows overseeing Chicago and thought: these people are going to go absolutely nuts if we actually win this. The whole city will for that matter! (And this was just the pennant!) This wedding was already electric but waving the W flag to blaring “GO CUBS GO! GO CUBS GO! HEY CHICAGO WHATTA YA SAY THE CUBS ARE GONNA WIN TODAY!” you just can’t plan for epic moments like that to top what is already your most incredible day of your life: your wedding! It was the highs of highs!

Then quite possibly the most epic World Series in history began to unfold. Over the coming days, we (meaning any person in their right mind who were rooting for the Cubbies!!!) were down 3-1 in the series. The odds were against us. Playing against the momentum. Would have been prime time to bail ship but people didn’t; and most certainly, the Cubs didn’t. With unwavering perseverance they dug deep. They kept encouraging each other to be the best they could be and when one failed, fingers weren’t pointed, but rather, unconditional support was right there for redemption.

This is marriage! On your wedding day, you’re on the high from all the anticipation now realized. The day is filled with epic moments that will have you cheering till you think you could burst. There will also be days where it’s hard. Days where you wonder how is this even happening right now? Let me encourage you friends, in those moments you may be down in the series but how you react will make our break the victory. Don’t bail ship. Keep encouraging your spouse in love even when they fail. Actually, ESPECIALLY when they fail! They’ll need it the most then. You are on the same team! Before you know it, all the hard work will have paid off. You will be creating once in a lifetime history with your love. Cheering through amazing milestones thinking: I can’t believe we did it!

Kate & Ty- Surely, you’ll remember your wedding day beyond the fact that the Cubbies freakin’ won the pennant that night! But as you journey on and the momentum is sometimes for and sometimes against you never forget that you’re on the same team. You’ll get through life’s losses and the victories will be more than you could ever celebrate on your own. Congrats!!

CEREMONY: Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

RECEPTION:  The Radisson Blu Chicago:

FLORIST: Floral Expressions:

BAND: Connexion Band:

HAIR & MAKEUP: Salon Glow:



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!!



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