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Lowes Hotel Chicago Wedding: Melissa Marie Photography: MICHAEL + KRISTIN

Whether it’s the biggest party you’ve ever been to, or an elopement, weddings…marriage…it’s personal.

There’s no more intimate act than to forever commit oneself entirely to another. Now whether that’s celebrated amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, or it’s a commitment of the heart made official at the courthouse, celebrating, cherishing, and taking in every moment are things to not let slip by. (And yet so easily can with all that a wedding day can bring.)

Kristin & Michael desired one thing. In my opinion, the most important thing: Each other.  The more they could savor the better. Their wedding was at the absolutely incredible Loews Hotel in Chicago. Honestly, some of the most jaw dropping views I’ve ever seen in my career, in their favorite city, Chicago. (And don’t even get me started on their staff. From the valet who literally ran from taxi to taxi to find the cleanest one for us. To the seamstress that came up the moment we arrived back to help sew the bride’s dress. To every waitstaff who usually I think fly under the radar but this crew genuinely loves their jobs. And Claire…By far, hands-down the most involved (in the most amazing way!) catering manager I’ve ever worked with.

So even with the all star team behind the scenes there were factors that were out of everyone’s control. Scenarios that were unchangeable and challenged the very reason they chose to have a wedding instead of an elopement. Tears of bitterness, sadness, disappointment, in all senses would have been justified, I’d even say reasonable. But what tears did Kristin + Michael have? One’s of utter gratefulness & love. Truly, a mere look at each other could well up their eyes. So here they amidst the biggest that the city can offer amidst circumstances that most would have crumbled and they stood. They stood hand-hand. Fiercely promising their forevers. Now that my friends is intimacy. That is marriage at it finest. If the could they would have chosen other circumstances perhaps but no doubt they would not change who the person on the other end of the aisle was. I’m so utterly grateful to find and capture such people. May your wedding photos be so much more. May they be images of who you. Like mirrors reflecting what is true. Your love, warmth, ability to endure, and desire to give all of yourselves fully to each other.

Thank you for allowing me to capture all of this within you.




Chicago Wedding Photographer: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel : Chris + Brittney

You wanna start your marriage out with a bang? Have your wedding on the 4th of July! Everyone is already prepped to celebrate, and a firework display that you don’t have to pay for? Umm… Yes please! I love that the light fixtures at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel even look like fireworks. (Well, at least to me they do.) (: And after a few minutes of the big firework display, Chicago decided to open up the skies and absolutely pour! So those light fixtures were all the fireworks we were gonna get for the rest of the night. (other than between Chris & Brittney of  course) (:

Thank you for allowing me to capture your amazing wedding day!

HOTEL: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel:

FLORIST: Dahlia Blooms:

DJ: Double B Entertainment:

GOWN BOUTIQUE: Wolsfelt’s Bridal:

HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties:


Melissa Marie Photography: Family Grandparent Session

This season I’ve done several family/grandparent sessions and I’m absolutely in love with the idea! A great reason to get the whole family together. (Today’s families literally flew in from different areas of the country) For my family, we’ve been fortunate to have our kids live fairly close to their grandparents but no matter if near or far, young at heart or young of age, time with our loved ones is absolutely to be treasured! So when families who aren’t all together very often get an opportunity to spend time together, those are moments I love capturing!

I know it took a lot of coordinating for you guys, but I’m so glad you all got to get together and have photos with your mom/grandma!




River Forest Family Photography: Kirk Family

There’s something to be said about endurance athletes. It’s one thing to sprint and know in a matter of seconds the push will be over. I’ve known Spencer since high school. Back then, he (and his family) were well known as elite athletes in Track & Field. Sure, many people have claim to fame’s from back in the day. But Spencer, he competes in Iron Man races! What!? Who does that!? If you’re not familiar… An Iron Man Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. Yes. Impressive. Meanwhile…He’s a doctor. Also impressive. He’s a husband. A quality one. That is a feat these days. And now…He’s a dad! Best accomplishment of them all. His beautiful wife, Krista, can keep up in the stride of life with her own medical, physical, and parental accomplishments. Oh! And amongst having an infant, they are moving! Yeah…How on earth they do it all I literally have no idea!

But one thing I do know as an athlete; hard work is one of the only factors you can control. You can’t control the conditions, the elements, or even how you may feel on a particular day. You can however, put in work. Essentially, stride by stride, effort by effort, investing in your bank of no regrets. So at the end of the race, or challenge in life, when you’re spent have nothing left to give, you can know without a shadow of a doubt that you did the best you could. To me, no regrets beats the clock or the score board any day.

One could say, this family comes from a long line of success (in many ways). Yes, that’s true. But Spencer and Krista have put in the work. When goodness knows I would have cracked, they are still standing. And in a matter of days, (if they haven’t closed already!) they’ll be standing at the doorstep of their new home with accolades, successes, degrees by the plenty, but most importantly, each other and baby Quentin!

So happy for you guys! You’ve put in the work. You’ve had life by the pavement for so long. Hope you’re able to sit back for even a short while and soak in the journey you’ve had!