Aiasha and Charles were married last fall at one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever photographed. Having met in London, they decided to hold a destination wedding for about 50 of their closest friends and family in Chicago, where Charles had been working before starting a graduate program in California. Charles and Aiasha have a very sweet and special bond, and the day was a beautiful testament to their love and also the role of their friends and family in their lives, creating both an emotional and joyful day. My dear friends Anne Book and Natalie Walsh created absolutely stunning decor, with a garden party inspiration that made the typically stark space at the Museum of Contemporary Art warm and inviting and the small size lending itself to personal details like calligraphed place cards and rosemary sprigs waiting for guests on the long feasting tables and a picnic inspired cocktail party that included foods from back home.
You may remember Olivia and JD from their engagement session I did last summer at their home and a friend’s farm just outside Indianapolis. I fell in love with this couple’s laid-back but chic style and their wonderful senses of humor and hospitality at the session and when I returned to photograph their rehearsal dinner and wedding, I was so happy to see that all of these sensibilities carried over to the celebration. Olivia and JD chose a beautiful venue, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, for their outdoor ceremony. This property was so beautiful and reminded me so much of a beautiful mansion in Europe or the South, right in the heart of Indianapolis! The grandeur continued at the Scottish Rite, a gorgeous architectural gem in downtown Indy. Olivia and JD’s wedding was so great as just like them, it was the perfect blend of style and authenticity! Everything was beautiful but totally lacking in pretention, with them and their guests doing everything in the hopes of having a great time, from hula hooping at the reception to JD’s mom taking over the microphone during a song; a pizza truck greeting guests after the romantic sparkler exit to late night burger runs by family; and then trading in a beautiful classic car at the reception for a reception getaway in the cab of their regular driver to the Pacers basketball games. Their wedding was such a great model of how to just let go, do what you want, and have a blast.
Ceremony: Indianapolis Museum of Art | Reception: Scottish Rite | Catering: Thomas | Floral: JP Parker | Music: Emily Thompson & Dave and Rae | Second: Ben Poenisch | Video: Jet Kaiser (highly recommended!)
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with the blog, so I’m trying to post fewer photos in the hope that I can blog more weddings! I first worked with this couple on their engagement session, during which we had such a great time sailing on Lake Michigan. For their wedding, we returned to just a few blocks from the harbor, to the beautiful University Club of Chicago for their wedding reception following a ceremony at my favorite church, Saint Clement. Danielle and Mike are so sweet and kind and really a perfect balance to each other! Their wedding last spring was a very large wedding that still felt intimate, with only their siblings comprising the wedding party and Danielle and Mike sticking close throughout the wedding, enjoying champagne in their vintage car after the ceremony, dancing the night away on the floor, and then stealing out to the UCOC’s terrace for a private moment and some beautiful night photos. My sweet friend, Anne Book, beautifully designed the celebration, which was full of so many amazing details. Having met at a wine festival, their cocktail hour featured wine tastings for guests (a very cute idea you can incorporate at really any budget!) and their escort cards were beautiful compasses as a nod to their fondness for sailing. Another dear friend, Natalie Walsh of Hello Darling did the flowers, and walking into the huge Cathedral Hall at UCOC was like walking into a garden — I truly have never had a wedding smell so beautiful (sounds so weird, but is so true!). It was like being in a beautiful spring garden, right on Michigan Avenue.
Ceremony Venue: St. Clement Church || Reception Venue: The University Club of Chicago || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride’s Veil: Ultimate Bride || Bride’s Shoes: James Ciccotti || Bride’s Accessories: Gabrielle Sanchez || Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Wedding Design & Coordination: Anne Book Signature Style || Florist: Hello Darling || Stationery: Magnificent Milestones || Favors: LH Calligraphy || Rentals:Tablescapes || Entertainment: Colby Beserra and the Party Faithful || Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie