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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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Melissa Marie Photography: Humboldt Park Boathouse Engagement: +MATT + CLARE

There was exactly 2 hours predicated to not have rain and we went for it! Of course it wasn’t until we were at the furthest from shelter spot that it decided 1 hour was enough and started to rain on us. (:

Totally worth the dreamy overcast skies. (And more importantly, not sweating, squinting, and shadows all over the place!) Having the place to ourselves to capture the super cool architecture of the boat house was unexpected, and ended up being some of my favorite images from the day. Clare, I know you’re a planner at heart, and I know we couldn’t have “planned” for some of the elements but so glad ya’ll went for it! So stoked for the wedding day.

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Melissa Marie Photography: Chicago Engagement Photos: BOBBY + ERIN

Some people don’t talk politics. Some people don’t talk religion. Some don’t talk about money. These two? Well it’s baseball. Both die-hard fans of the game but unfortunately for different teams. They legit said when the Cubs won they almost broke up. Haha. Oh my. They obviously worked through it as they’re now engaged! They may have opposing teams they’re cheerin’ for now, but come August, these two will be on the same team. (At least in life) (:

Had so much fun with you guys. Love your bantering. Love your admiration for random facts. Love your history of Ohio. (: Can’t wait for the fun to continue with bocce & bowling on the big day!

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: Cantigny Park Wheaton: MADDIE

I am a complete sucker for “where are they now?” type shows. If a show I’m hooked on doesn’t have one, you better believe I’m googling like a mad woman about what they’re up to now? That’s probably why catching up with families who I’ve captured over the years is one of my favorite parts of what I get to do everyday. Last time I captured little Maddy, she was maybe 2 weeks old?  She’s now 18 months! What!?  She’s always had piercing eyes and has been cute as a button, but to now see her so full of vibrant, playful energy, is so fun! Besides, what kid makes it through 2 hours of photos without one (NOT ONE!) meltdown? She just played in the Cantigny gardens, smelling the flowers, plucking the petals, making us all laugh. It all makes me nostalgic. (And all the more appreciative of the gift that photos gives us) She’s grown so much in what seems like a blink of an eye. And the next time I see her, she’ll have a whole new set of things she’s into. Soon enough, I’ll be taking her senior photos. Okay, slow my roll. But really, it’s so sweet to be able to see “where this family is now” and get little previews of what’s to come. Can’t wait till next time!

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University of Chicago Engagement Photos: Melissa Marie Photography: BRIANNE & GEORGE

First things first…Did or did not the filming of Harry Potter’s Hogwart scenes take place at the University of Chicago? (Okay, I’m not even gonna pretend like I’ve made it through that movie. I’ve tried like three times and I fall asleep every time; I just can’t.) But for real this campus (George’s alma mater) is insanely gorgeous. It’s crazy to see kids in sweatpants lounging on the manicured garden lawns like well…normal college students. Every bit of this place, even the cafeteria looks like it’s a cathedral in Europe. So it was fitting that these two brought their own booze. (Hey, it’s college. But actually grown up and sophisticated now so whisky in grandfather’s flask will do the trick.) These two are absolutely fascinating! The more I get to know them the more I’m enamored. From their life goals to their world travels. From their foodie passion for cooking, to their love of the game Cribbage. I mean that’s the perfect example. Who actually knows how to play cribbage? They do! I’m tellin’ ya, they are absolutely fascinating people! They’re incredibly intelligent, but they’re also warm & inviting. I truly cannot wait a City View Loft wedding with two of the most interesting people!

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