These two are true high school sweethearts! Fell in love as teenagers, and now will tie the knot next fall. It was a gorgeous, mild and BRIGHT fall day at Hammel Woods where we chose to do the majority of the engagement session. The sun was indeed an obstacle, though we used it to complement each shot. These two were a ray of sunshine themselves. They were oozing all kinds of cuteness and adorableness. Too much? Not when you're in love! Many couples choose to take engagement photos at a place they first met, and Megan + Ryan were no different. We ran into the high school for a few quick shots to remember the good ol' days at PSHS. Go Cougars!
Cooper's Hawk Restaurant | Arlington Heights, Illinois | Wedding Photography | Meagan + Doug | October 9, 2015
Let's get PUMPED! #getpumped2015
What a great way to get everyone in the wedding spirit! ! As was mentioned during the ceremony (where Meagan vowed to give in for some pizza during her detox weeks - hehe), these two are anything but traditional. Meagan + Doug shared a beautiful hotel suite and shared the "getting ready" experience together. As you can imagine, their first look was immediately following, but their reactions were so genuine and heartfelt when they took those few seconds to look at each other in their wedding attire. And check out that big and gorgeous bouquet by Bella Floral!
Meagan had a vintage inspired short lace dress from ModCloth. It fit her personality perfectly. Everything was accompanied by marroon accents, including a pair of high heels, bow tie (for Doug!) and also a pair of converse shoes! The ceremony took place at Cooper's Hawk Restaurant in Arlington Heights, Illinois. This very cozy and intimate venue was perfection. Surrounded by wine barrels, dimmed lighting and a beautiful stone wall background where Meagan + Doug tied the knot! Meagan + Doug thought about every detail of their ceremony and reception, including: signature drinks, a scavenger hunt, a photo booth, and various paper accents created by the very talented bride. Congrats you two! Thank you Sheena for being my second for my last wedding of the season! And what a great way to finish off the year!!!! GET PUMPED!
When I found out my good friend Sheena was getting married, I quickly envisioned bright purples and blues. I know her well. This vision became a reality on October 3rd, when she married her best friend in front of friends and family. The venue was the Levy Center which was tucked away in it's own little suburban paradise. It was officially fall, though the ceremony space was surrounded by lush and colorful flowers and foliage. With that being said...it was fall. And we sure felt it! Though the cold was uncomfortable at times (sorry ladies!), it didn't spoil this beautiful ceremony. Together with their kids, Sheena and Jerimiah exchanged vows and poured their own grains of sand, 4 colors mixing together, never to separate. Tear!
The celebration of their love continued into the night. I would call this wedding pretty traditional, but their grand entrance and introductions were anything but that. Picture Spartans and their maidens entering to very intense Spartan instrumental music straight from the movie 300! Yep, that happened. There was also a very special first dance. Sheena + Jerimiah shared this tradition with their two children. What a sweet family!
Two Brothers Roundhouse | Prisco Center | Aurora, Illinois | Wedding | Brianna + Ashley | September 26, 2015
Brianna and Ashley couldn't have had a more perfect day. It was a warm and sunny September afternoon and these two beautiful ladies were pronounced wife + wife in front of family and friends. The ceremony took place at the Prisco Community Center, right on the Fox River in Aurora, Illinois. And that is right where Brianna + Ashley had their first look just before heading down the aisle. It was a tear jerker!
After taking advantage of the beautiful late day sun, we headed to the reception at the Two Bothers Roundhouse, which was just down the road. The venue itself was so cozy, with exposed brick and wooden beams. It fit well with Brianna + Ashley's crafty and rustic (and lime green!) touches that were scattered around the space. You girls are so talented! Everyone called it the Gibsgale wedding, a simple combination of their surnames (#youhadmeatGibsgale). The love from family and friends filled the room, especially when the girls' best men delivered emotional speeches. Yep, another tear jerker! Congratulations Bri + Ashley! Special thank you to my second, Kenny, for helping me out!
Flowers: Peggy Garvin (Garvin Gardens)
I have been waiting for this engagement session for a while. I couldn't wait to photograph this gorgeous couple and capture some of their sweetest moments. Alli + Jeff are so sweet and so in love. I think that is clear from their photos. We chose downtown Arlington Heights as our location and I couldn't be happier with the results. The urban/suburban feel was unique, different and fitting for a date night! And the evening light was truly amazing! This fellow Huskie alum and her beau will be wed next September and I'm thrilled to be able to photograph their special day at the Turnberry Country Club!
Zoe + Sean. Where do I begin? If you were in attendance at their wedding and expected a beautiful, elegant event featuring two amazing people in love...you got it. But if you really knew Zoe + Sean you had to also expect some surprises, some wacky stories, creative dancing and tons of fun! If the cake and first dance didn't define their personalities, then their bridal party photos sure did! I won't post all them here, however you should know these two have personalities that were made for each other. I can see them smiling and laughing and enjoying life together until they are old and gray.
Zoe + Sean's lives had them uprooting a few times. New York, Illinois, Florida and Arizona! Wherever their lives took them, they met people that would be part of their lives forever. Friends and family from near and far joined them for a joyful and teary-eyed ceremony at St, Timothy Lutheran Church and a reception following at the grand Meson Sabika in Naperville, Illinois. Zoe looked stunning in her blush gown and her girls were radiant in ivory chiffon and lace dresses. The guys sported gray suits with funky, colorful socks! We can't forget their sweet daughter, Bennett, who was dressed in the cutest blush dress to compliment her mommy. Melts my heart! She is truly the apple of their eye,
Thank you Zoe + Sean for letting me capture your special day! Thank you to Shots by Sheena Photography for being my second shooter and assistant!
Venue: Meson Sabika
Flowers: Moss Fine Floral
Bride's Dress: Cosmobella
DJ: Matthew Griffo
Photography: Monika Thorpe
Trump Tower + Chicago Riverwalk | Chicago, Illinois | Engagement | Lindsay + Brian | August 15, 2015
Lindsay + Brian are due to wed September of next year in a beautiful barn in Michigan. You would never have guessed looking at these urban Chicago engagement photos! City dwellers themselves, the couple wanted to capture some of their intimate moments against the city's most beautiful and popular backdrops! We were lucky enough to go up to the Terrace at the Trump Tower for some cocktails (water for me, it was a sauna out there!) and some gorgeous captures from the 16th floor, surrounded by views of the city. LaSalle Street bridge was a must for Brian. He knew exactly the shot he wanted and I think we captured it well. No fear with this guy, even though I'm always a bit nervous shooting on major streets, even though we were on a median. Ahh! Turned out beautifully! We ended with a stroll along the Chicago River on the newly remodeled and reconstructed Chicago Riverwalk, just as the sun set a bit lower.
And yes, I forgot to mention that Lindsay + Brian were our engagement session winners from a few months back! These two lovebirds met in bartending school! How cool! Love cocktails all around! Cheers!
Prairie Center for the Arts | Schaumburg, Illinois | Maternity Photography | Ashley + Matt | August 9, 2015
Wow, 2 more weeks! Yes, two more weeks until we get to meet Ashley + Matt's little dude! Although dad will raise him to be a Packer's fan (boooooo), I will love him just the same. Go Bears! Ashley already had a mini session right before her shower at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois. This time we included the hubby and went a bit more casual. Always a fun time with these two!
Sheena + Jeremiah are so so in love! I think it is pretty evident from the pictures! I've known this spunky, bubbly girl since I was 16. Not much has changed about her in 13 years. She's still as spunky as ever! Now she will share her bubbly personality with the man of her dreams. I couldn't be happier for these two love birds. Shooting them was so easy! Their love for each other came so naturally I hardly had to direct them or make them laugh or smile. These pictures simply unfolded by themselves. Thank you guys for making my job so easy!
Sheena + Jerimiah chose Waterglen Falls (near Argonne National Laboratory) as their engagement session location. I myself have never been there, but oh boy was I missing out. Tall trees, an overlook, creeks, trails and of course a beautiful little waterfall in the midst of it all.
Congrats Sheena + Jerimiah. I can't wait to shoot your wedding this October!
This was my last hurrah! My last wedding, and what an adorable one! Allison + Matt tied the knot at the knot at the Depree Manor in Holland, Michigan. This venue is perfect for smaller weddings and such a treat to photograph. The Rental Company provided the details that made this wedding one to talk about. Hints of orange (bride's favorite color) echoed throughout the manor, down to the bride's spectacular pumps and the groom's bright orange socks!
So many babies, so many mommas-to-be! These two are waiting for their precious bundle of joy to arrive next month! I can't wait to find out if it will be a little girl or boy! Congrats!
What a great looking couple! I've always wanted to do an engagement session at the Chicago Art Institute gardens and today was just perfect! Can't wait to photograph their special day coming up next month in Holland, Michigan! Congrats guys!
After a small break (well since Valentine's Day), I'm back! Meet Tushima and her husband who are expecting their bundle of joy next month! It was a gorgeous day in the city as the Spring thaw finally starts!
For a minute yesterday I thought "Oh, no!" we may have to cancel this session due to the weather. Instead, we had the most beautiful winter weather for this maternity session. Definitely tops my list as one of my favorites! It was truly a winter wonderland for Jen and Alan who are expecting little Hallie in just 6 short weeks! Can't wait to meet her!