Christina and Jimmy had a photographer’s dream celebration — 1) Outdoor reception? Check. 2) Unique, modern style and decor? Check. 3) Sweet couple, friends and family? Check, check, check. Overall, their day was a perfect blend of the classic tradition we often get in Chicago — with a beautiful ceremony at my favorite church, St. Clement — and a fresh, modern reception outdoors on the terrace at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which needless to say, we do not get a lot of in Chicago. They were blessed with a truly beautiful summer day that complemented the bright, modern palette Christina chose for the celebration that was brought to life by La Belle Fleur Events and Life in Bloom. Jimmy loves music, and Sarah Zimmer designed beautiful table numbers featuring all the couples favorite bands. Guests celebrated on the terrace, danced indoors, and then whisked the couple off with a sparkler exit on the front steps before enjoying ice cream from a Jeni’s ice cream truck. Such a fun day!
This wedding was also featured on Martha Stewart Weddings
I can’t believe how terrible I have been at blogging this year. Already halfway through my season, I’ve photographed so many wonderful couples this year and have so much work from this year (and last!) to share. Claire and Albert met up with me in Lincoln Park for their Chicago engagement session a few months ago. I had such a fantastic time working with them — they are both so sweet and relaxed, my favorite type of couple. I can’t wait for their wedding coming up this fall at one of my favorite venues, the Armour House.
Last spring, my sweet friend Kelly Marie and I got together to plan an inspiration shoot. Every once in a while, I love doing these shoots as we are able to collaborate with a team of our amazing friends and creative partners to bring a “wedding style vision” to life. This is always a fun and collaborative process and gives all of us a chance to work outside of our boxes a little bit and bring some different visions to life! Kelly and I share a love of rich and romantic colors, and we came up with a vision based on classic still life paintings with an Italian countryside feel to still keep it outdoorsy and light. The past few years have seen a return to soft, classic and romantic palettes — which are all so beautiful of course! — and we hoped to showcase more rich, contrasting tones. Often when I see more bold colors at weddings they are done in a more whimsical, “fun” style (which again, fabulous!), but we wanted to show that you could incorporate rich tones like peacock blue and dark berry colors to create a strong palette that still feels romantic. I loved collaborating with this amazing team, and I also loved being able to shoot so much film (these are all film images), as the it showcased the beautiful colors and the romantic feeling so well. We had the *most* amazing team, including a ridiculously gorgeous cake by Elysia Root, stunning calligraphy by Feast and amazing looks in hair, makeup and dress. All the amazing vendors listed below!
Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Floral Styling and Creative Direction: Fleur | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Bridesmaid Dress: BHLDN| Hair: Danielle Keller of Dual Attraction | Makeup: Shannon O’Brien | Groom’s Suit: Paul Smith | Wedding Cake: Elysia Root| Rentals: re:find Joy| Additional Tabletop Rentals: Nimble Well| Calligraphy and Paper Goods: Feast Calligraphy| Model: Hayley Finkelman
Many of my clients live outside of Chicago, and most of them end up having me to come to them for their engagement photos. Elizabeth and Enrique live in DC and had me come out there in April — such a pretty time in the city! Though we missed the cherry blossoms by a week, the scenery was still so gorgeous, with wisteria, dogwoods and other flowers all in bloom. I interned in DC twice in college, thinking I wanted to work in politics (what a different field, right?), and it was such fun to return almost 10 years later to see how different the city had become. We had such a great time on this shoot, opting to go out for dinner and drinks afterwards and somehow staying out til almost 11:30! I cannot wait to see Elizabeth and Enrique again this summer at their wedding in the gardens of the Art Institute, pretty much my dream chicago venue!
I love weddings that remind me of why I love to do what I do. Carissa and Kevin’s celebration was one just like that — held in the midst of a very busy August and having that perfect combination of sentiment and fun that I just love to photograph. Together, C&K are so much FUN and so clearly had a wonderful time together on their wedding day, with Kevin shedding a few tears during their first look and Carissa beaming her amazing smile throughout the day! I loved Carissa and Kevin’s style, with a flattering v-neck lace gown for Carissa and a unique custom suit for Kevin. The soft pastels for the bridesmaids and lace ribbons on the colorful bouquet were such nice touches, as well. The ceremony on the patio at the Museum included several gorgeous songs by friends, and while we avoided planes for most of the day on Air & Water Show weekend, we found some paper airplanes in the park post-ceremony — one of my favorite moments on the day. Thank you again for having me, you two! xoxo
Ceremony Venue: Chicago History Museum - Uihlein Plaza | Reception Venue: Chicago History Museum - The Chicago Room | Florist: Pistil & Vine | Dress: Robert Bullock | Groom’s Attire: Tom James (custom) | Caterer: Berghoff Catering | Coordination: Whitney Jenner | Cake: Molly’s Cupcakes | Music: Spoken Four (band), Alain DeCourtney and Gia Margaret (singers), Katrina Viskneska (violinist), Kevin Fort (pianist) | Invitations: Minted | Hotel: The Public Hotel | Hairstylist: Jacki at Sonia Roselli | Makeup: Lauren Frenden | Photography: Olivia Leigh & Yazy Raclawski for Olivia Leigh Photographie