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Chicago Art Institute + Millenium Park Engagement Photos: COLE + LIBBY

The city of Chicago can sometimes (at least to me) feel a bit cut throat. A little hurried, a bit chaotic, and often, eyes down power through mentality. But Cole + Libby brought such life to the city this day. Eyes up exploring the city’s possibilities. Bringing laughter, and fun rejuvenated the playfulness that can sometimes get lost amidst the “serious business” of the city. I absolutely loved our day together and have no doubt that the wedding will be even better! Can’t wait!

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LOEWS HOTEL CHICAGO: UP UP + AWAY 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY: ALINA

Alina’s “Up Up & Away” 1st birthday was a smashing success! In some ways pretty literally. The stunning floral wall may or may not have fallen on her birthday cake from some windy city wind up on the rooftop of the Loews hotel. So…the smash cake started early, that’s all. (:

For real. I can’t claim that I wouldn’t be upset about it. And I can’t say that nobody noticed. But what I can say is the friends and family that came to the party “rescue”…that, and they, I noticed. It was impressive. Everyone who was there just scurried into action. Fixing, redecorating, replacing, not pretending something it wasn’t but doing their best to make it as right as possible no questions asked.

Miss Alina…You won’t remember your 1st birthday party. Though you’ll have some great photos to see how fun it was. From a bubble creator, a portable play gym with a ball pit. Treats galore! Stunning flowers fitting for any princess. One of the best skyline views in all of Chicago. It was great! But something you’ll come to know very soon as you grow is the friends and family who celebrated with you that day. Now they…they’re even better. They will tell you how it is, but be the first to come to the rescue. They’ll shower you with all the things any little girl would want, but most of all, they’ll shower you with love. This marks 1 amazing year with your family. Here’s to a lifetime more! Happy Birthday Alina!

Oh! And on the year you were born the lingo “lit” was a thing. And at your 1st birthday party the bubble creator literally let your friends and family hold bubbles and lit them on fire! Don’t think anyone else in your lifetime will be able to say that they’re party was “lit” in that way!

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Chicago Family Photographer: Lincoln Park Zoo: Melissa Marie Photography

As many people have recently sent their kids off to school, I’m reminded that my husband claims our kids are never allowed to go to school out of state. (: Ha, his theory (which I get) is that they’ll find someone, get married, and then plant roots far away from family. I get it…I can’t imagine being far away from my family but I love that this group, despite literally now living all over the world, came together in Chicago to spend a week together. I love that they not only allow but encourage each other to follow their dreams wherever that may take them, and all the while knowing they’ve got “home” within family. I also love that the said when people come to visit their actual home, they’re handed a glass of champagne! Here I’ve been offering coffee or a glass of water like a basic fool. (:

Haha! Seriously though, what a FUN, dynamic, caring, sweet family! So glad you all got to reconnect!

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Glenview Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: BAKER FAMILY

There’s something about the dynamic of sisters…And especially the role of a big sister. My older sister was and still is such a huge part of the things I know in life. She took me under her wing and let me tag-a-long on her adventures. Or so a trip to the mall seemed to be adventures when we were young. (:

So it’s so sweet to see older sister Annie, take her little sister by the hand to go explore “Princess Sarah’s house.” A.K.A the storage garage. (:

Annie, may you always have that curiosity. And Emily…That smile is absolutely contagious! The world needs more of those; so keep on shinin’ girl. Thank you for sharing the afternoon with me!

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KIMPTON HOTEL PALOMAR CHICAGO WEDDING: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: JOSH + CONNIE

Often times when atop something that may appear to be scary, people say: “Don’t look down.” Well, I beg to differ on that one. I think we’d often miss some of the most amazing views. Ones that show how hard we’ve come. What work we put in to get to where we are now. That despite it being scary, we did it anyway. It’s an investment; rather than a get rich quick scheme. What you put into it, you’ll get out and then some. So here’s to effort. Here’s to loving when it’s scary. Here’s to taking the stairs.  Here’s to being able to say; we did it!

Josh + Connie, you guys did it! May you look back on your wedding photos for decades to come (especially the gorgeous staircase at the Rookery Building) and be reminded of the journey and investment you guys have put into this now marriage! May your happiness & love be your richest asset in life.

XOXO,

Melissa

PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Marie Photography: Melissamariephotography.org

HAIR & MAKEUP: Fearless & Bella: https://www.fearlessandbella.com/

HOTEL VENUE: Kipton Palomar Chicago: https://www.hotelpalomar-chicago.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Brand-Hotel%20Name_EXT&utm_term=hotel%20palomar%20chicago&adpos={adpos}&creative=171285497195&device=c&matchtype=e&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_Pbcotyt5AIVkvhkCh0mSgxCEAAYASAAEgL9g_D_BwE

PLANNER: Lionhearted Events: http://www.lionheartedevents.com/

FLORIST: Flowers by Steen Productions: https://flowersbysteen.com/

GOWN BOUTIQUE: Weddings 826 on Armitage: https://www.weddings826.com/

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