Stefanie & Paul called me on friend’s referral to book an engagement session. Their wedding story is full of pivots, beautifully woven together in a way they will never forget. My photography froze some of these emotional moments in time, and you can feel their love through these images.
We met in Lincoln Park South Pond for some fall engagement portraits with a city vibe.
Upon arrival, we had to wait for a storm to roll over.
There was a break in the rain and we went for it!
The photos reflected their adoration for each other, piggy-back rides and all, and the tone was set for the events leading up to the wedding day.
A beautiful Arlington Heights wedding was planned for the following fall only to be delayed several times by Covid.
After all of the uncertainty and waiting, a new October date was set with some semblance of pre-Covid normalcy.
Their wedding day arrived and in true Chicago fashion, it was cold, windy, and it didn’t know if it wanted to sideways rain or blizzard. We had plans to take fall bridal portraits at Busse Woods in Schaumburg since we had some late fall colors. I was ready for anything, indoor or outdoor bridal portraits.
I met Stefanie on her wedding morning at Victoria in the Park where she and her bridesmaids were getting ready. Once the makeup artistry was complete, the champagne flowed, and the final details came together as she prepared for her first looks with her dad and Paul. The rain kept up, so we prepared for portraits inside the venue.
As her father turned around for the father-daughter first look, emotions filled the space between them. Knowing she couldn’t ruin her makeup, laughing ensued and at that very moment, the rain stopped.
Stefanie walked her way down to the foyer where Paul waited to see his bride for the first look.
Within the first reveal, they stood hand-in-hand, sharing an intimate moment to themselves before joining their party.
The clouds began to part, and Stefanie made a last second call for outdoor pictures. However, upon arrival at our photography location, sleet fell! Finally, there was a break, and we all ran out for the quickest of bridal pictures. We were set for our last group pictures when we experienced rain, sleet, then snow all while scrambling for umbrellas.
What was controlled chaos in the moment turned out to make wonderful portraits filled with personality and stunning, natural beauty.
The snow broke in time for Stefanie and Paul to run through some couple portraits and family portraits. Everyone was frozen; however, Stefanie and Paul were lost in the magic of their day and embraced the moment.
Back at Victoria in the Park, we gathered with the guys and Stefanie for a ceremonial toast of their Johnny Walker Blue in the Cognac Room.
The couple had a beautiful entrance and shared their first dance.
Then, after all the delays of their event, their party finally had the chance to share their favorite memories of the couple.
Victoria in the Park literally set the night on fire with the house performance of their flaming bananas deserts and a sparkler sendoff at the St. James Church in Arlington Heights.
Stefanie and Paul may not have had the most conventional path leading up to their wedding day, but it was certainly filled with love, beauty and, ultimately a robust gallery of beautiful images that captured their winding journey to their unforgettable big day.