Angela & Billy | Montrose Harbor Engagement Session

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I had only spoken with Angela on the phone before our session, so I was so excited to meet her and Billy and see how sweet they were together in person. Angela and Billy met and live in Virginia and she wanted an extremely naturey session that looked more like where they live versus anything too Chicago. Montrose Harbor was a great fit, as this is my favorite place to shoot sessions in the summer and fall as it looks like the most beautiful, romantic and peaceful setting in photographs. I loved working with these two and can’t wait for their wedding next year at the beautiful Armour House.

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Winter Greenhouse Loft Wedding | Lauren & Jeff

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While it may seem a little incongruous to post a wintery wedding on one of the hottest weeks of the year, I’m deep in winter wedding booking season and was sharing these photos with another couple recently when I thought it was such a shame I never posted them! This couple, Lauren & Jeff, became one of the couples I grew most close to in my entire career! After our first meeting, I immediately thought i wanted them not only as clients, but as friends, and I later found out Lauren told Jeff after our consult that we would end up being friends. Jeff thought she was nuts, but  almost two years later my boyfriend and I have become good friends with Lauren and Jeff, celebrating at parties, sharing dinners in Paris, and eating too much cheese at our home. I am so grateful I was able to photograph their day (and several other shoots) as weddings like these remind me of why I love my job as much as I do! They both have such wonderful, positive, joyful energy that is so fun to capture. Their wedding fell in January, always an iffy time in Chicago, sometimes totally freezing and gray and other times beautiful and romantic. Lauren and Jeff totally lucked out, with the first day of the “snowpocalypse” starting the day of their wedding. While the next few days were a pain, their day was glorious, with nice chilly but pleasant temperatures outside and beautiful snowfall starting the minute they walked out of the church. It was so romantic and from inside the cozy and warm setting of Greenhouse Loft made for a stunning sight as we watched the snow fall down beyond all the candlelight in the room. A perfect day for a perfect couple! :)

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Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie (Olivia & Jacqueline) | Florist: Asrai Garden | Day of Coordinator: Estera Events | Dress: Sarah Seven | Church: St. Hedwig | Reception Venue: Greenhouse Loft | Cake: Bittersweet | DJ: Toast & Jam | Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Invitations and Printed Pieces: DIY

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Jenny & Mike

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If all couples could be as down to earth as Jenny and Mike, I think the term “bridezilla” would be eradicated from the dictionary! They met growing up in the U.P. of Michigan, and I’ve found that all my clients from this area are just the kindest and most easygoing people (so if you are from the U.P., please hire me! :). Jenny was so sweet and excited about her shoot, really leaving locations up to me. We had a big  downtown shoot planned, and on the morning of their sunrise shoot, I woke up and literally gasped as I look outside of my window. Typically we can see tons of views of the city, but that morning looked like it was snowing as the fog was so thick that I could barely see five feet in front of me. Jenny and Mike were so flexible and waited for an hour as the fog rolled out a little bit, and they were so accommodating when I suggested an alternative location that I knew would look so beautiful, even with more overcast skies, and create a romantic and dreamy feel. I was so elated with our little pivot to this location and am just so excited to work with them on their wedding in just over a week at the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden.

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Let’s Get Lost

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More from this gorgeous cloudy-day shoot soon. 

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Chicago Cultural Center Wedding | Courtney & Mike

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Courtney & Mike booked me about a year before their celebration and we didn’t see one another until the day of the wedding. It’s always interesting to “remeet” a couple like this as it’s a bit of a surprise what the energy between the couple will be since it’s been so long since I last saw them! Courtney and Mike were such a treat to spend the day with as they were so radiant together. I just loved photographing the energy between them and adored how they were able to let their guards down and be themselves. I hope the photos capture the excitement and joy that were so prominent on the day of as it was overflowing! Beyond the sweet relationship of the couple, this was also a sentimental and celebratory affair! Courtney was escorted by her brother down the aisle at my favorite church, Rockefeller Chapel, and danced with her grandfather at the reception, two incredibly sweet and touching moments during the day. The reception that followed was an enormous party, which you’d expect with a wedding party of 31, my largest ever. I almost never have a couple hire me to stay til the end of the reception as the photos can be a little repetitive, but this was one where I was so elated they had me stay through the end as it was one of the most fun and crazy parties I’ve ever photographed that just kept going on and on! The Irish Rovers did a little concert which was such a fun treat for guests, with the bagpipers and drummers walking up the steps of the majestic Chicago Cultural Center; the families dancing the Tarantella, an Italian family dance; and the most fun guests ever tearing up the dance floor. It was a day that was a true perfect blend of excitement and sweetness!

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Florist:  Fleur du Jour | Dress: Jenny Packham |Groom’s attire: Ralph Lauren | Caterer: Wolfgang Puck | Officiant: Fr. Francis Bitterman | Cake: Bittersweet | Band: Indigo, Ken Arlen | Videography: Smiling Toad | Coordinators: Anticipation Events (Elizabeth), The Savvy Event (Katie McFarlan) | Sweets Table: Sweet Mandy B’s | Lighting: Sound Investment | Bride’s jewelry and veil – Left Bank | Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale | Various Decor & Accessories: Etsy | Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Second Photographer: Julia Franzosa

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