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So I had a couple misconceptions when it came to raising a boy. Now, to be fair, I only have a boy (for another month till baby girl arrives) to go off of for experience but for one, thought it wouldn’t be as fun to dress a boy. Wrong. I may or may not have had to convert an un-used game closet to hold all his jackets and shoes. (: And luckily for me, he loves putting on & away his shoes! The other, and way more importantly, I thought I was going to miss out on all the snuggles that’d come along with the early years. My Ry is the biggest snuggler and I’ve got it on video that he promises me that it will be that way with his momma until he’s at least 30. (:

There’s so much of Brookes that reminds me of my little Ry. Tons of energy. Super goofy but also respectful. A boy (or mama!) who knows how to dress. (: And still will allow some snuggles with his mom from time to time. These are the moments that I sear into my memory as I know there will be a day he will be over it. (And I’ll pretend like it’s okay and then secretly cry in my bathroom.)

I’ll never tire of photos of mama’s and their little guys snuggling.



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: