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Pinstripes Wedding Photos: Melissa Marie Photography: BOBBY + ERIN

Life has these remarkable milestones. Ones that have been dreamt of…planned for…and celebrated. Graduations. Buying a home. Getting married. Having kids. It’s these pinnacle points where in so many ways when the moments arrive, they’re more than we could have envisioned in the first place. It’s especially at these times that savoring the people who helped get us to that point is ultra sweet. But it’s also why in ways it doesn’t feel right when someone of such importance is no longer with you when one of those milestones arrives. For me, it was the sudden loss of my husbands father. Who never got to see our forever home, or hear that after 11 years of marriage we were finally having a kiddo. It just doesn’t feel right when such a big part of heart is missing at times like those. No matter how much we’d like to we can’t change certain circumstances. We can however, react in a certain way. A way that’s honoring. A way that brings memories back to life.

I love that the groom, Bobby, wanted time with just his mom who had twice the role in his life after losing his father. I love that Bobby shined his shoes, tied a knot in his tie, and fixed it even though it was perfect, because that’s what his dad would do. I love that he wore his dad’s watch. As if time were now on their side. It’s heart-breaking and filling all at once. But amidst it all, there’s this beautiful journey still moving forward. Bobby + Erin are now creating family unit in their marriage. One small memory or in today’s case one giant milestone at a time. Thank you for honoring me with capturing such a special day for you guys!

GETTING READY: Sheraton Chicago Northbrook Hotel:

CHURCH: St. Mary’s:

FLORIST: Sylvia’s:

RECEPTION: Pinstripes:

DJ: An Enchanted Evening:


DRESS: Bridal Boutique of Naperville:



Lewis University Engagement Photos: JAY + AMY

There’s so many things that made me nostalgic about Jay + Amy’s engagement session. They both were college athletes. They went to a super small college (Lewis University). By small I mean I drove 3 entire laps of the campus and stopped for directions within 10 minutes. And yes…Even on that small of a campus I got lost. (: Hey! My university had ONE academic building! We were tiny! Okay, that, and directions may not be my strong suit. (: Which is another thing I have in common with them! Well, at least Amy. (:

We also took my engagement photos in front of the willow tree that we often spent time at. (And where my husband proposed.) We also can go on our college campus as alumni and at some point bump into someone we still know. Which for Amy was like everyone! She has the most magnetic personality! Of course she’d know everyone! Which perhaps my favorite part of the session was when I was asking them get to know you questions and Jay said: “Amy’s the type of person that will go up to anybody.” Just then a car of people they knew back from school pulled up. Yep! Off she went! “Oh my gosh!!! Hey guys!” Running over to greet them. She’s also perhaps the first person to reach out on social media with congrats when I announced the gender of the little nugget I’m having in a couple months. They also got the little one the most adorable gift. I knew it from the moment we first talked, and it was affirmed when I met them. We click. (Wasn’t meant to be a camera pun, but hey…it works.) (:

Loved spending the afternoon with you guys!

Location of their first kiss! Wish mine was as cute. My now husband and my first kiss was so awkward. Hey, nearly 13 years of marriage and almost 2 kids later, we obviously got over it. (:


Artifact Events Chicago Wedding Photography: Melissa Marie Photography: ZAK + YVONNE

First of all, if my reality weren’t that I’m a mom whose idea of actually getting dressed involves jeggings. And time out for me more often would be in nature than on the town.  My alter ego for sure would want to own the penthouse suite of the Hotel Midtown. Holy chic smokes batman the airy modern loft is straight from my modern design dreams! Absolutely stunning spot for Yvonne and her crew to get ready for the big day. But what I love is how different the ceremony & reception spot was with Architectural Events. The warm rustic woods,  and huge lead glass windows flooding in to all the character of the space. It’s so different than where Yvonne got ready but to me it totally made sense! It’s like a direct style match up to my style. Part ultra modern, straight line, symmetric chic. But then love me some eclectic, unique, cozy, welcoming, spaces too. Total opposites but that’s what I love about it. Which if you ever come to my house, it’d make sense. My living room is straight up from the Brady Bunch and my Kitchen is more like the Jetsons. (:

All this to say it was the perfect settings to get the party goin’. And yes…All weddings are a party. But honestly…Look at the size of Zak & Yvonne’s bridal party!? Ya think it was a fun night?? From music that makes your insides shake, fog machines, and sparklers, to dancing that was straight up awesome! Not just enthusiastic awesome but dang…that move was siiiick awesome! They were bumpin’ from minute one! Fun! Fun! Fun! With a heap of gorgeous!

GETTING READY: The Hotel at Midtown:


EVENT CORDINATOR: Knot my wedding

FLORIST: Farmers Market Chicago Garden Center:


DRESS: Bella Bianca Bridal Couture:

CATERER: Food First:

HAIR: Monika Lukas

MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties: 


Elmhurst Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: CORDIER FAMILY

There’s no place like home. No really… There’s no place like home to have your family photos. Photos are about memories right? About stopping time figuratively and literally. Claiming moments we don’t want to pass. For me and my family, our slow wake ups (all to early but at least they’re slow) where we have our toddler climbing on our faces to get to the baby monitor to press the buttons like it’s a gameboy. It’s the millionth banana or “nana” (as my son calls it) while I brew the strongest coffee possible. It’s the flips upside down and jumps on the bed. It’s memories. So I actually loved the last minute change from a local park to the family’s house for their session. Room to room we jumped, (ok…they jumped) ( : played, laughed, snuggled, and loved. Soaking up the moments until the very last bribed ice cream cone. Loved every bit it! Thank you for spending the afternoon with me and my camera!


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.