Last occupied in 2015 by the Evanston Art Center, the Harley Clarke Mansion is an English Tudor Revival-French Eclectic-style residence adjacent to the historic Grosse Point Lighthouse. It's backside overlooks Lighthouse Beach and Lake Michigan. It is listed with the national register of Historic Places. Recently, this estate has been threatened for demolition as its condition deteriorates. In 2016, Landmarks Illinois added the Harley Clarke Mansion to its list of most endangered historic places in Illinois. Not knowing what the future will bring, I wanted to capture the premises as is right now. Abandoned, overgrown, but as beautiful as it was back in 1927 when it was constructed for the wealthy Clarke family.

I had a group of great vendors that jumped on board and had the opportunity to learn about this historic place. With such a majestic and historic estate as our backdrop, we wanted to produce a modern, yet very classic atmosphere when styling this shoot. Navy, burgundy, pinks with splashes of greenery complimented the rustic nature of the ivy-covered limestone walls of the mansion.

Genevieve's Bridal Couture provided a stunning gown, with a plunging neckline and just enough glam and sparkle to remind everyone of the affluence from which the venue was born. It was also appropriate for a sunset stroll on the adjacent beach.

Nicole & Doug: thank you for letting us cover you in flower petals! You made magic happen in front of the camera. We can't thank you two enough!

Jess & Demi: thank you for making Nicole looks absolutely stunning! You girls are so talented! Look out for referrals coming your way!

Heather: thank you for your creativity and inspiration. Your talents and time were so greatly appreciated. 

Maya: thank you for allowing us to use one of your gorgeous gowns for the day. It was perfect for our venue!

Formally Modern: thank you for making Doug look like a stud that he is! 

Lisa: thank you for your time and talents and the delicious cake that Nicole got to enjoy! I'll be sure to come back for some more yummy desserts!

City of Evanston: thank you for working with me through the permitting process and sharing this beautiful space with the public. 

Sheena & Zeljka: you guys won't go unnoticed. Thank you for joining me for this crazy idea I had! Your professionalism, advice & direction, and fun personalities made the evening perfect! You girls rock!

Lastly, special thanks to my husband and my dad. That week I herniated a disc in my back. I had to power through the pain and weakness in my legs. The boys were there to help with lifting, moving and carrying equipment and props. Thank you!

Photography: Monika Thorpe

Event Designer: L & E Designs

Venue: The Harley Clarke Mansion

Floral Design: L & E Designs

Rentals: L & E Designs

Hair: Artistry Hair by Jess 

​Makeup: Beauty by Demi

Cake: Lisa Marie’s Bakery

Dress Boutique: Genevieve’s Bridal Couture

Dress Designer:  Calla Blanche

Grooms Attire: Formally Modern

Models: Nicole & Doug Lavin

Featured: CHI thee WED

Behind the Scenes...