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MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: SMASH CAKE SESSION: MAX + OWEN

So my husband is a twin and throughout our whole relationship I’ve heard his mom tell countless stories of their family “mayhem.” My favorite being that when the twins were about two years old they couldn’t find Bart (my now husband). They were calling and calling and calling for him even started to search around the outside of the house but couldn’t find him. But low and behold who climbed the kitchen cabinets to get on top of the refrigerator to sit and eat a full box of cookies watching everyone’s search for him.

Hearing the stories over the years has been funny. And if I’m being honest, I may have thought a time or two that the saga of having twins was a bit dramatic. Well, I got to spend the afternoon with a dear family I’ve photographed over the years who are celebrating their twins first birthdays. Beth, to me, is a super mom. How she does it all I’m always in awe. Well, I got to see firsthand a bit of that for a couple hours while rotating through her three kiddos. And let me tell you, I have a new appreciation for moms in general but especially those rocking the daily life with multiples. So I feel like the first birthday was and is not only a mile stone for the little ones but also for the parents. The ones who day in and day out have selflessly, patiently, and most importantly lovingly been there for their kids day in and day out. So happy one year celebration you guys!

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Melissa Marie Photography: Independence Grove Libertyville Wedding: RYAN + CHRISTINE

First of all can we talk about how ridiculously beautiful Ryan & Christine are!? It’s jaw droopingly obvious the first time you see them, but it also doesn’t take long to see their hearts match their outside. Kiddos flock to Christine like animals in a Disney movie. She’s warm. Inviting. And kids (and adults alike) adore her! Ryan, he’s what I call a secret softy. Doesn’t show his emotion too quickly but one thing that so obviously has his heart are the people he loves. One of the most telling examples in a speech during the reception. When Sundays call for Football, BBQ’s, sleeping-in, hanging out, Ryan would get together with his grandpa every Sunday. These two love others well. That love so obviously extends to one another. The spin of the wedding day world stops when they are together. It’s not just infatuation with each other’s beauty. (Though, that’s an added perk right?) (: Their cards to one another, their vows, the way they speak to each other. It comes from the right priorities. Their focus was (and is) people over things. Now that’s something to take along this lifelong journey you’re on in marriage.

VENUE: Independence Grove Libertyville: https://eventsatindependencegrove.com/wedding/

FLORIST: Aberdeen’s Wedding Florist: http://www.aberdeens.com/

DJ: Mike Staff Productions: https://mikestaff.com/

HAIR & MAKEUP: Misano Salon:  https://www.misanosalon.com/

DRESS BOUTIQUE: Volles Bridal: https://vollesbridal.com/

CATERER: Catering By Michaels: https://www.cateringbymichaels.com/

HOTEL: Holiday Inn Express Libertyville: 

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Chicago Newborn Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: Meet Connor!

Having kids is what I call a perspective adjuster. What mattered before either just doesn’t anymore (at least in comparison). What occupied your thoughts, time, money, dreams, all are now in a sense recalibrated to that bundle of joy you now live & breathe for. In a way, there’s amazing freedom in that as it really just boils down to, your kid comes first, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s also terrifying as you realize that most everything of actual value is now in the must vulnerable little body. But oh how worth it they are! So happy for you guys! Thanks for sharing precious time with me to capture Connor in his first days!

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Love this image of Connor in his Cubbies Onsie. Caption contest for it on my Instagram Page:  @Melissamariephoto

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Melissa Marie Photography: Chicago Trump Tower Engagement Session: CHARLES +MEGAN

You ever wonder what wedding planners weddings look like when they get married? Wedding photographers photos look like when it’s their big day? Even with me living and breathing weddings everyday I still get curious to see what people in the “industry” do when it becomes their turn. Well, today, I got to photograph Charles & Megan. The creative owners of Charles Jewelry  who’s timeless, handcrafted designs are honestly jaw-dropping! So of course it took me .2 seconds to see Megan’s sparkling gem on her finger. WOW! WOW! WOW! Umm…Did I say wow!? They make custom made jewelry pieces so to see a ring so classically beautiful yet unlike any other was a perfect reflection of Megan!

Now these two have an edge to them. Literally. Her of course, one of a kind  Louboutins (he was rockin’ em too) which Charles window shopped for her when he took her to Paris (Yeah, is this not like a ridiculously amazing romantic scene) are literally studded from heal to toe. Again, that cross-position between such a unique, handcrafted design, on such classically beautiful girl. And speaking of edge…These two could cut with their muscles. They are fit fit fit! But they still eat. Megan a foodie chef of the house had pork chops waiting for them back at their place to be made after our shoot.

I literally cannot wait to see and capture their wedding!! And on the day to day, seeing their gorgeous jewelry on their insta page @Charlesjewelry 

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Melissa Marie Photography: Acquaviva Winery: JEFF + BETHY

A wine picnic amongst the vineyard. Dreamy right? Okay… Real talk. It was hot. Like real hot. Was supposed to be overcast to the point of flirting with rain but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Which actually makes things tricky. It means it’ll be roasty toasty for you, (Which Jeff + Bethy, ya’ll were troopers!) and shadow challenges for me. So next time you have photos don’t root for that bright sunny day, but rather clouds.
But don’t sympathize too hard for us. A sprawling vineyard in Illinois is already a rare experience but they even got a private wine tasting and better yet, we got private access to where they age and store the wine! Brings new meaning to Rose’ all day! Which that was both their favorites by the way if you ever stop by for a tasting. Cheers you guys! Can’t wait for the big day!

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