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George & Brianne aren’t ones to have too many words, but as the saying goes: “Actions speak louder than words.” And parents speeches about their kids speak louder than actions. Okay, I made the second one up. But it could be true! At least for these two it could be. They are: Poised,  mindful, and  respectful. Extremely well traveled & accomplished yet you’d never hear of it as they aren’t the boastful type. Their parents however, get a free ticket to brag on their kids. And both sets of parents gave amazing speeches! Seriously, I don’t know how parents do it. I cried seeing a snip-it of a mom’s letter to her daughter in a photo I was editing today and lost it.  These two are respected and loved by so many. Love that on a wedding day so many are gathered in one room to give back a bit of the love they’ve shown to others. So happy for you guys! Congratulations!



HOTEL: Hotel Palomar:

VENUE: City View Loft:


DJ: Toast & Jam:

CATERING:  L&M Catering:

HAIR & MAKEUP: Elana Darrus Makeup & Hair:



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: