I met Jen probably ten years ago at a super divey Polish bar on Division Street when we were both working in media. She and I became Facebook friends but never really connected much after that, but I was so thrilled when she asked me to photograph her wedding to Ali, as they are such an amazingly fun and sweet couple and their day was an absolute joy to photograph!

The majority of the weddings I shoot are fairly fancy downtown weddings; but a few times a year, I get the chance to shoot a more relaxed, intimate, and laid-back wedding. I absolutely love these sorts of celebrations, with their focus on family, friends, and simply celebrating. Jen and Ali’s certainly fit into that wheelhouse, with many of their friends and family coming together to craft a wonderful day for them. They were married in the yard at Jen’s aunt’s horse farm, with ponies, horses,  cats and dogs roaming around throughout the wedding. As an animal lover, I was in heaven to say the least! Jen’s sister married them in one of the shortest and most relaxed ceremonies I’ve ever shot, with guests simply standing to surround and support them. A final send-off quote from RuPaul was the perfect cap to the ceremony to usher in the reception, which featured tables that were all custom made by Jen’s brother in the months leading up to the wedding, was catered by Big Star, had cocktails from a Lula bartender, included loads of Fleetwood Mac tracks, and had a little pie buffet (again, in heaven!). The reception included lots Jen and Ali got ready together, didn’t fuss with a “first look,” and spent just about a half hour on pictures, wanting to spend more time with friends and family. Overall it was one of the most laid-back and perfect celebrations I’ve photographed — I love how much fun and joy you can see in their photos, which reflected the overall feel of the day and all of their friends’ and families’ excitement for them.

jen-ali-horse-farm-weddingg backyard-wedding-chicago DIY-wedding-music jen-ali-wedding-preparations wedding-with-animals-chicago-1 jen-ali-wedding-prep-beyonce jen-ali-wedding-seeingeachother jen-ali-wedding-backyard documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-23 chicago-wedding-fall-wedding-photos candid-chicago-wedding-photographer jen-ali-wedding-farm jen-ali-wedding-portraits  jen-ali-witchfinger-wedding-portraits jen-ali-witchfinger-wedding-portraits2 jen-ali-wedding-film jen-ali-wedding-293 jen-ali-wedding-truck jen-ali-horsefarm-wedding3  jen-ali-wedding-ceremony- jen-ali-wedding-backyard-ceremony1 jen-ali-wedding-backyard-ceremony2 backyard-chicago-wedding-l2 jen-ali-wedding-backyard-ceremony3 documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-1 documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-2 documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-3 documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-283 jen-ali-wedding-family-photos jen-ali-cocktailhour-2 fun-chicago-wedding-photos  jenali-cocktail-hour michigan-wedding-cocktail-hour dogs-at-weddings  jen-ali-family-photos chicago-wedding-photographer-family-jenali flowers-for-dreams-wedding backyard-tented-wedding-chicago vintage-wedding-details-jen-ali jenali3053 DIY-wedding-bar-chicago jenali-hugs jen-ali-witchfinger-wedding-reception backyard-wedding-reception-chicago jen-ali-cocktail-hour big-star-wedding-catering jen-ali-wedding-reception-toasts jen-ali-wedding-reception-toasts-283 documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer jen-ali-wedding-toasts documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-338 jenali-wedding-toasts-reactions jen-ali-wedding-toasts-laughing jen-ali-wedding-reception-239 jen-ali-documentary-reception backyard-diy-wedding-bar jen-ali-wedding-reception-dancing documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-dancing-witchfinger documentary-chicago-wedding-photographer-dancing-20 jen-ali-wedding-reception-w0 jen-ali-reception jen-ali-wedding-reception-dancing-bw jen-ali-sunset


Vendors: Venue Double J Riding Club | Rentals, Styling and Setup Coordination: All My Favorite Things | Flowers Flowers For Dreams | Jen’s Dress: Sarah Seven; Ali’s Suit: J.Crew  | Invites Designed by Ali; Printed by: MITE Printing | Pies: First Slice Pie Cafe |Catering Dinner: Big Star | Hair & Makeup Hair: Tracey Gustave, Sparrow | Makeup: Jen Brown, Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists  | Photography: Olivia for Olivia Leigh Photographie