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ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS + HILTON ROSEMONT WEDDING: MATT + KIMI

There’s nothing sweeter on a wedding day than when a groom gets emotional over his bride. Matt melted before he even saw Kimi! (Sorry, don’t want to rat you out Matt) (: But it was so sweet how he just stared at her card for a bit and let it all soak in: “I’m marrying my best friend” he said. Yep! And an amazing one at that. Kimi strikes the balance of “Life of the party” and “Super down-to-earth.” Together, they’re a sporting power-couple. I mean, come-on, they exited the church to a hockey stick salute! (Which was awesome by the way!) To have these kinda hard-core athletic people be so tender with others but especially each other is all the more precious. Many in their positions would maybe be tempted to “tough it out” to be “fine” but these two have no trouble showing the other how much they care. May that always continue!

CHURCH: St. Paul of the Cross: http://www.spc-church.org/

RECEPTION: Rosemont Hilton: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/illinois/hilton-rosemont-chicago-ohare-ORDHRHH/index.html

HAIR: Colours Hair Salon: http://colourshairsalon.com/

MAKEUP: Sisters Chicago: https://www.facebook.com/sisterschicago/

WEDDING BAND: The Mix Musical Services: http://www.themixmusic.com/

FLORIST: Romance in Blooms: http://romanceinblooms.com/

WEDDING DRESS: Eva’s Bridal: http://evasbridalofoaklawn.com/

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ELMHURST NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY: MEET MADELINE!

Maybe it’s because Matt & Stephanie also didn’t want to know the gender of their little one…

Maybe it’s because they were my “last” newborn shoot before my own arrives…

Maybe it’s because their little Madeline arrived a bit early…

Maybe it’s because the moment I get any sort of contraction action my first thought is: I gotta finish editing people’s images!

It’s probably all of the above but it’s been a blessing in my own pregnancy to follow and capture Steph & Matt’s. They’ve taken everything in stride and little Madeline seems to react well to that. She is the easiest newborn I perhaps have ever captured. Sleeping through hours of multiple outfit changes, being passed from mom to dad and back again without a peep. It’s probably false advertising as to what I should be expecting in my own household very soon.

Not only are they rocking parenting right off the bat, but they hosted Thanksgiving with a couple week old! What!? We generally host Christmas for my husband’s side but unless you come bearing gifts of Chinese take-out and bottles of Purell we won’t be home. (:   They too are also going through construction on their house. As my roof shakes as I type this, I’m increasingly hopeful that just maybe when our newborn arrives, it will also sleep right through the construction like Madeleine? Just maybe…

Stephanie & Matt- SO happy for you guys!! Madeline is seriously gorgeous, precious, and perfection all wrapped up into one bundle of joy. Hope your days continue to be filled with awe and excitement that your baby girl is finally here!

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OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL + RADISSON BLU CHICAGO WEDDING: KATE + TYLER

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: http://www.mt-carmel.org/

RECEPTION:  The Radisson Blu Chicago: https://www.radissonblu.com/en/aquahotel-chicago

FLORIST: Floral Expressions: http://www.floralexpressionsandgifts.net/

BAND: Connexion Band: http://www.connexionband.com/

HAIR & MAKEUP: Salon Glow: http://www.salonglowchicago.com/

 

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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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