We at Jeremy Lawson Photography love it when our friends and family get married! 2015 was an especially happy year for us, with our friends Dawn & Todd, Wendy & Nicole and Jeremy’s cousin Brittany (blog post coming soon!) all tying the knot. Also on that list of newly-wedded loved ones is Sara and Eric.

Jarrod (Jeremy’s husband) and Sara met at the University of Illinois way back in 1998 and they have been best friends ever since. A few years ago, Sara met Eric and added him to the circle of friends. The two became engaged on Valentine’s Day of last year, and after several months of careful, thoughtful planning, Sara and Eric walked the aisle in October. It was very important to the two of them that Jeremy be able to enjoy a wedding celebration without taking pictures (for the first time in years!) so they asked Braxton to document the day. And Braxton did an amazing job, as you’re about to see!

The day started as Sara and her bridesmaids got ready in the bridal suite. Nika Vaughan of Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists and her associates were the make-up artists for the day. Bridesmaid Nicole, who met Sara while they were in the same graduate program in Minnesota, was very happy with how she looked!
Speaking of happy, here’s our bride, full of joy and glad tidings on her wedding day. Isn’t she sweet?
All kidding aside, Sara looked gorgeous. And she was excited to get out of the hotel room and begin the wedding celebration!
Eric and his groomsmen got a jump start on the celebrating as they waited for the rest of the bridal party at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House in Ravenswood- the site of Sara and Eric’s first date. When they got the call that Sara was close, the guys stepped aside and Eric took his seat at the table. A few moments later, Sara walked in through the front door and the two shared their first look.
Things were off to a great start! After a few moments admiring each other, they rounded up the gang and everyone headed out for pre-ceremony photos.
First stop: Montrose Harbor, and its great views of the Chicago skyline. The day was gorgeous-especially for late October- and perfect for shooting outside.
Sara, who is a trained Body Combat instructor, dared to show off some her moves on poor, unsuspecting Eric. Hiii-yah!
And she didn’t even break a sweat.
Eric and his family have lived in Chicago their whole lives and have a lot of love for the city. There were a lot of nice Chicago-themed details to their day, including this round of photos in front of the city flag mural:
Next up, downtown, as Sara and her girls carefully treaded the city streets for a photo in front of the Chicago Theater.
It was worth the treacherous hike through construction! This picture is beautiful!
Sara was starting to get a little antsy…
…let’s get married already!!
Eric and Sara’s ceremony and reception were held at the Ravenswood Event Center where everything was all set up, ready to greet their guests. The couple put in a lot of work on the details of the day, and enlisted the help of family and friends, too.
One friend that helped out was Jarrod! He (along with bridesmaid Liz, who we’ll see in a moment) have an officiating business, Rev It Up!, and Jarrod was honored to be presiding over the ceremony.
Sara and Eric watched as Jarrod completed the marriage license, which totally happened AFTER the ceremony in accordance with Cook County ordinances.
It’s official! …almost!
Eric escorted his mother and father down the aisle and gave them both big hugs before taking his place next to Jarrod. After the bridal party took their places, all eyes were fixed on the entrance as Sara and her parents made their entrance. Once the bride was with her groom the ceremony was underway.
Sara and Eric created a special art piece during the ceremony as they each poured a vial of sand into this picture frame. Symbolizing their coming together as individuals to create a new family, the frame will remind them of their wedding day for years to come. What an easy and absolutely not-messy way to celebrate your vows!
With vows, rings and a kiss exchanged, Sara and Eric were married! They exited the ceremony to sound of cheers and applause from their guests, making their way to cocktail hour.
After enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the party moved into the ballroom for dinner. While guests finished up an amazing meal, catered by the team at Ravenswood Events, Sara’s dad kicked off speeches with a moving toast. His eyes welled up as he talked about his love for his daughter– it was very touching!
Next up was Matron of Honor April, another best friend of Sara’s from college. April did an exceptional job of delivering an entertaining and meaningful speech that excluded the more embarrassing tales of Sara’s young life. April will share those stories with you, though, if you treat her to a really nice cup of coffee and slice of pie.
Eric’s brother Brian, who served as Best Man, wrapped up speeches with his toast. Both he and his wife Tristan, who was a bridesmaid as well, have lots of happy memories of Sara and Eric. Here’s to more memories to come!
Finally, the newlyweds thanked their guests for their love and support…
…and then they shared their first dance together as husband and wife. The two ended their time with a kiss before Sara’s father took his turn dancing with his daughter.
Eric and his mother shared a dance as well, warming up the dance floor for everyone else.
Then everyone else piled on as the dance party began!
Here’s Jeremy with our friend Kelly.
Sara could hardly contain herself– she was ready to boogie!
Jarrod and Liz couldn’t stop themselves from starting a conga line when this classic hit started to play.
Pal Kelly went in for a smooch…
…before showing all those fools on the dance floor her mind-blowing dance moves. Jarrod showed admirable effort, but couldn’t keep up.
There was so much dancing…
…and signing…
…and merry making! What a celebration!
Sara and Eric, congratulations on your marriage! We are so happy for you both!!!