Ali and Matthew’s wedding day had finally arrived, and what a day it was, too!! They had quite the party planned and I was excited to be with them, documenting all the fun. The event began in the bridal suite at the Dana Hotel downtown, where Ali and her bridesmaids were getting ready. The team from Sonia Roselli had finished with everyone’s hair and make-up, leaving us with plenty of time to take some fun getting ready pictures with the group.
Each bridesmaid got their own super-comfy bathrobe to use while getting ready.
Ali’s mom looks very happy with how her hair and make-up turned out!
All that was left to do was for Ali to slip into her Jenny Packham gown and attend to a few final details before we headed out the door.
Ali’s mom was on had to make sure everything was fastened, secured and looking perfect.
This special patch was created and sewn into Ali’s gown. She shares: “That was something my mom had made. It contains pieces from both of my grandmother’s wedding dresses (my deceased paternal grandmother Marie and my maternal grandmother Treva), my dad’s tie, my sister’s prom dress, and my mom’s wedding dress. It’s in the shape of a heart, and their names are embroidered over their piece. Our friend Annita was the one who stitched it together.”
Gorgeous! Ali was ready to go!
The gang made its way down the elevator, through the lobby and on to the party bus. Excitement was high and this crew was full of energy as we drove to the church.
Before we knew it, Ali was walking down the aisle of St. Michael’s Church in Old Town. Matthew was, of course, waiting for her at the altar, and once the bride joined her groom, the ceremony began. It was a beautiful, traditional Catholic ceremony held in an equally beautiful church. Enjoy these pictures from Ali and Matt’s ceremony!:
After vows, rings and a first kiss were exchanged, Matt and Ali spent a few minutes alone together in the wings while their guests exited the church. When everyone was outside on the sidewalk, the newlyweds appeared, met by cheers and applause from their loved ones.
The bridal party and I boarded the party bus and set out to take portraits before the reception. It was a gorgeous day, and it made perfect sense to go to the lakeshore for skyline shots. And of course, selfies!
You probably recognize this particular stretch of lakeshore to be near Adler Planetarium. There’s a reason it’s so popular- it boasts one of the best unblocked views of the city’s iconic skyline. As gorgeous as it already is, the view is even more striking on a day when there are no clouds in the sky- just like we had on the day of this wedding. We took advantage of the backdrop and took care of most of the group portraits in this spot.
Next stop: United Center! Matt is a HUGE Chicago Bulls fan, and Ali tells me that she and Matt watch every single game from pre season to summer league games.”
As much as I hated to do it, I had to pry Matt away from one of his favorite places…
…and go to one of mine! This is a favorite destination for many of my clients- the Metra rail in the West Loop.
From the West Loop back to the North Branch, where the groomsmen stretched their legs a bit by climbing on the Kinzie Street Bridge. Once the guys burned off a bit of energy, the rest of the wedding party filed in for a few group portraits.
That’s a wrap! It was time to meet up with guests at the cocktails location.
Matt and Ali met at Moe’s Cantinaof on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011. It made perfect sense to host a cocktail party at Moe’s for guests to enjoy between the ceremony and reception.
I left these two to grab a drink and begin greeting guests, setting out to take a few pictures of the fun!
After cocktails, it was time to move to Morgan Manufacturing for the rest of the reception. Energy was high and the group shared a lot of laughs on the bus ride over.
The Hulk even made an appearance, with one of the groomsmen handing out stickers featuring the super hero.
When we arrived at the venue, the groomsmen were ready to tear stuff up! And by that, I mean, they were ready to party. While they worked on getting their game faces ready, I set out to take pictures of details.
And boy, were there ever a ton of gorgeous details to photograph! Melissa from Clementine Custom Events served as coordinator, helping Ali and Matt organize every aspect of the day.

When I asked Ali if there was a theme to the reception, she told me: “In general we just wanted the decor to reflect our personal style, kind of vintage and eclectic.”
They had a special logo made for the day, seen here on this centerpiece bottle. The wolf featured in the logo is a play on their shared last name- Wolfe.
The logo was designed by the same company that printed the menus, and of that printing company, Ali had this to say:

“All the paper products we had made by a local paper company in Columbus called On Paper, and they were really great to work with. We used post cards for the guest book, and my mom took them at the end of the night and has since been mailing them to us a few a week for the first year of our marriage, which has been fun!”
There were beautiful plants everywhere, which were designed by Revel Decor.
Ali shares: “My mom painted all the signs (the signs at the food stations, the signs on the bar, the signs around the glasses display) she’s an amazing artist!!”
There were so many details, large and small, to take in!
A close-up of Ali’s bouquet, which was also created by the staff at Revel Decor.
The bouquet featured a lace-wrapped handle. Ali explained: “The lace portion of it is made of the long glove things that my mom wore to her wedding. The gold ring and K piece is something my mom had made after my dad and sister passed away, and she usually wears it on a necklace. The gold ring is my dad’s wedding band. The “k” was from a necklace that my sister always wore (her name was Kacie). She had the ring and “k” kind of melded together, and wears that as a necklace.”
The dinner tables were set and ready for Limelight Catering to serve a delicious meal to guests.
And speaking of delicious… check out this beauty of a cake! It was baked by the pros at Elysia Root Cakes.
This is a picture of Ali’s father and sister, both of whom have passed away. They were very much missed and remembered on this important day!
Guests enjoyed dinner and watched as Matt and Ali began the party by sharing their first dance.
Next up were speeches, which kicked off with Ali’s mother’s toast. The newlyweds listened intently to all the words of love and support given by all who gave speeches.
And each speech was toasted with champagne. Ali let me know that her godmother Elaine gave the couple the champagne flutes they used during the reception.
The dancing party started with a live performance which got everybody out on to the floor.
And then Ruby from Toast & Jam kicked the party into high gear, playing the songs that kept everyone dancing into the night!
Here’s a collection of some of my favorite images from Matt and Ali’s dance party:
What a party!! Matt, Ali and their guests were still partying at full force as I left the venue.
On my way out, I took one last picture- their rings.
Congratulations on your marriage, Matt and Ali! You guys really know how to throw a party– thank-you for including me!