While I love a huge party, an smaller celebration always has such a feeling of warmth, and intimacy that makes it such a joy to shoot. This couple selected the St. Clair ballroom for their Ritz-Carlton wedding reception, but hosting the celebration on the more relaxed day of Friday and making the list full of just their closest family and friends to ensure the intimate feel they wanted. The bride planned the entire celebration herself, and ended up with a dream of a wedding.
I was able to photograph their rehearsal dinner as well and got to know their *amazing* friends and family. Wow, this was such an amazing group of people — all incredibly smart, warm, and kind. I really felt like a part of the celebration and by the wedding day, everyone was so comfortable that I felt like I could really blend in. After shooting weddings for 12 years, I can confidently say this wedding had THE BEST toasts I have ever heard. They were all heartfelt and absolutely hilarious — I truly think everyone that spoke could give toasts for a living. I loved the reactions of their friends and family that I was able to capture during these moments!
This was also a very rare wedding that I shot completely solo — while two photographers is almost always the best fit, for some couples, having just me can be the right choice if they are okay with slightly more limited coverage, are having a smaller event, and have a more relaxed feel to the day. The couple was so trusting and when our first photo location was unexpectedly closed, they were so flexible to pivoting to another spot I had in mind that was so perfect to highlight the gorgeous fall colors and the classic feel of their event. I also loved the bride’s little outfit change, as she wore a little topper for their ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral and then removed it to show off the modern-meets-classic spaghetti strap style for portraits and the reception at the Ritz Carlton. I loved the groom’s reaction to seeing what looked like a totally new dress!
All in all, this was such a sweet celebration with so many wonderful moments. Enjoy this wedding!
Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral | Reception & Catering: Ritz Carlton Chicago | Floral Design and Decor: XO Design Co | Dress: Watters from BHLDN | Groom’s Tux: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Cocktail & Dinner Band: Martini Lunch | DJ: Style Matters | Draping & Lighting: Elegant Event Lighting | Makeup & Hair: Diem Angie | Cake: Alliance Bakery | Paper: Double Trip Press | Photography: Olivia for Olivia Leigh Photographie