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An Urban Chicago Wedding at Prairie Production

As many of you know, I started my photography business when I was living in Chicago, and I love to get back there a few times a year for weddings. Stephanie and Philip were married in mid-September at Prairie Production in the West Loop, not far from where I lived before I moved back to Michigan. Their wedding day lived up to every expectation that I could have set for it.

Read Stephanie and Philip’s full wedding story below.

West loop wedding photos

wedding ring photos

West loop wedding photos (Crowne Plaza)

West loop wedding photos shoes and dress hanging

West loop wedding photos

West loop wedding photos

first look at crowne plaza chicago

Kinzie Street Bridge Wedding photos

Kinzie Street Bridge Wedding photos

Kinzie Street Bridge Wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

west loop Chicago wedding photos

Chicago urban wedding photographer

Chicago urban wedding photos

Chicago urban wedding photographer

Chicago lake el wedding photos
purple wedding bouquet inspiration
Prairie Production courtyard
Prairie Productions wedding setup

Prairie Production Wedding setup photos
Prairie Production Wedding setup photos

Prairie Production Wedding setup photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photo details
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos
Prairie Production Wedding photos

Vendors:

  • Wedding Venue: Prairie Production
  • Florist: Pollen
  • Wedding Invitations: Spilled Ink Press
  • Catering: Hearty Boys Caterers
  • Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal
  • Female Attendant Dresses: J. Crew
  • Tuxes: Black Tie Formal Wear Lincoln Park
  • Engagement Ring/Wedding Bands: Steve Quick Jewlers Lincoln Square

The Story:

We met during graduate school at Loyola University Chicago. We were both studying social work and had a few classes together throughout the program, but we never actually talked to one another until a mutual friend invited both of us out a couple weeks before graduation to celebrate. Needless to say, we hit it off from the start and never slowed down. Three plus years later, here we are today!

Philip proposed in front of some of our closest friends. I had no idea it was coming! I tried to throw him a surprise birthday party at one of our friends’ homes, but unbeknownst to me, Philip and my fellow party planners were in cahoots and turned the surprise around on me. He proposed in candlelight with rose peddles at our feet and our friends standing around us. I was speechless, but finally found my words and obviously said, “yes!”

The planning was both stressful and exciting, but everything turned out to be absolutely perfect, and many of the details were even better than we were expecting. We found the perfect venue in Prairie Production, which also doubles as a photography studio, where we had both the ceremony and reception. It offered us a blank canvas to bring in whatever we wanted, but at the same time allowed us to stay minimalistic in our design and still look stunning. In this space, less was best. We added a pop of color to the all white venue with the beautiful shades of purple flowers and 500 origami ducks with crystal beads hanging in front of the floor to ceiling windows. We wanted to keep it simple and keep the focus on our family and friends, the memories we were creating, and honoring both of our cultures in whatever details we could. We incorporated Philip’s Filipino culture into the regular ceremony by having family members come forward and present us with coins (for prosperity), place a veil over us (to unify us) and drape a cord around our shoulders (to bind us with love). We also had a brief traditional Korean ceremony at the beginning of the reception where we bowed to our parents out of respect and they offered us good wishes and advice in our marriage. I wore a traditional Korean dress and Philip wore a Filipino wedding shirt. Even the origami ducks (which symbolize a long and happy marriage in the Korean culture) and our Filipino and Korean desserts were thoughtfully chosen to reflect our identities and honor our cultures.

We didn’t feel like we had to go to great lengths to try and get our vision across to any of our vendors. They all seemed to be able to read our minds and just knew what we wanted. The shop that made our invitations was gracious and patient with us as we went back and forth making tweaks to get them just right. The owner of the venue couldn’t have been easier to work with. The food and desserts were great and the set up for the ceremony and reception couldn’t have gone smoother. The flowers were even better than we envisioned and our photographer and her assistant captured stunning photographs of the most special moments of our day.

All the stress and hard work paid off and I am lucky to have had a super involved fiancé who, might I add, folded probably 300 out of 500 of those origami ducks, dealt with most of the vendors, and generally kept us on a steady pace in order to get everything done in time!

And we couldn’t have done any of this without our very good friend and wedding planner extraordinaire, Kate Kusiak-Galvin. She is one of the reasons why our wedding from the beginning to the end, was so wonderful. But in the end, it was the fact that both of our families and closest friends traveled near and far to help us celebrate, that made our day so perfect!

Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

learn more about wedding and engagement photography

Jenny + Ryan: St. Michael Church and Newberry Library Chicago Wedding

I’m going to warn you now: this post will be long. Chicago weddings still hold a special place in my heart. I lived there for almost four years—I became passionate about photography thanks to the Chicago Photography Center, where I took just about every class they offered and eventually started teaching. I apprenticed under a wedding photographer there and got my feet wet photographing insanely beautiful weddings that I probably had no right to photograph in the very early days. I started planning my own wedding there before our venue went out of business and we moved the whole shindig to Mexico.

Jenny and Ryan’s wedding took me to three stellar Chicago locations—The Palmer House, where everyone got ready, St. Michael’s Church, which epitomizes the beauty of Chicago churches, and the Newberry Library, which I remember slipping into years ago to explore after reading ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife.’ On top of all this, Jenny was one of the most expressive brides I’ve ever had the honor of meeting. Her face exuded pure joy all day, from the big hug that she gave me when I arrived until the moment we said our goodbyes. The day flew by—it was nonstop fun. Jenny and Ryan, I’m honored that I was able to be a part of your special day. I wish you all the happiness back in LA.

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Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

learn more about wedding and engagement photography

Meredith + Andrew: English Inn Wedding

I’m slightly obsessed with the English Inn—it’s definitely on the list of my favorite local wedding venues. The landscape make me feel like I’m stepping into an exotic destination wedding right here in town. Meredith and Andrew managed to put together the perfect wedding—amazing couple, stunning weather (Meredith mentioned that the weather report called for zero rain and “abundant sunshine”) and the perfect setting for an intimate gathering of friends and family.

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Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

learn more about wedding and engagement photography

Kembra + Guy: Michigan Orchard Wedding

I’ll warn you now—this is one of my longer wedding blog posts. Kembra’s family hosted this amazing wedding at their orchard in Michigan, and they did an incredible job with every single detail for the day. On top of the gorgeous details, this whole group was just plain fun and super laid back. Kembra and Guy were both so sweet, and their wedding party, family and friends just radiated joy.

This was my very last wedding last year before I took a break to have Zelda (I was seven months pregnant at the time), and I was thrilled to go out with a bang with such a fun day. Huge thanks to Liz for helping out as the second photographer, and for running around to make sure every moment was captured whenever my big round tummy slowed me down.

bridesmaids getting ready

wedding dress

wedding shoes and rings

bridesmaids laughing

Michigan Orchard wedding details

Michigan farm wedding with tent

diy michigan farm wedding

groom before wedding ceremony

bridesmaids walking down the aisle

bridesmaids walking down the aisle

bride and father before wedding ceremony

bride walking to the aisle

bride walking down the aisle

outdoor farm wedding ceremony

michigan farm wedding ceremony

michigan orchard wedding

Orchard wedding photos

orchard wedding portraits

orchard wedding photos

orchard wedding photos

michigan orchard wedding portraits

bridesmaids in the orchard

bridesmaids in the orchard

outdoor wedding photo booth

vintage wedding details

michigan outdoor farm wedding

farm wedding reception

tent reception details

wedding reception diy details

caramel apple bar

caramel apple bar

shabby chic diy wedding details

grand entrance

toasts

groomsmen laughing

dessert table

shabby chic wedding cake and pies

homemade wedding desserts

cutting the cake

first dance

father daughter dance

mother son dance

reception dancing

reception dancing

wedding tent at night

Check back next Tuesday for a brand new blog post.

learn more about wedding and engagement photography

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