It was Chelsea and Dave’s wedding day! Her dress, custom designed by Dame Couture here in Evanston, was hanging up and ready to go.
And Chelsea, with her hair and make-up done, was ready to go, too!
Her sister helped her with buttoning up the beautiful gown.
What a gorgeous bride.
Her mom thought so, too.
Chelsea even had a back-up dress to wear during the party. With dress in hand we headed out the door to go meet up with Dave.
Dave, meanwhile, was getting ready with his guys and opening a letter Chelsea had written him.
Dave waited for his bride across the street from the Hotel Orrington in Evanston, where she got ready.
He was beyond thrilled to get his first look at Chelsea.
Her mom and aunt were thrilled, too, as they watched from the hotel room.
Chelsea and Dave posed for a few pictures in the courtyard…
…and then we rounded up the rest of the bridal party and travelled into downtown Evanston for pre-service pictures.
And what a wedding party! Chelsea and Dave are so thankful that they have so many loving friends and family.
I loved that the wind kept catching Chelsea’s veil.
It was definitely a fun group, too.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures around downtown Evanston, but there were more places that we wanted to hit.
Like the Evanston Arts Center!
The wedding party was so cooperative. Not only did they have to brave this steep climb, but the bridesmaids were out in the cold in their sleeveless dresses. What troopers!
Back on the party bus, Chelsea needed some help pulling the burrs her dress picked up during our shoot in the woods.
We got to the church a little early, and what do you do when you’re early for a wedding?
Play a drinking game, of course!
This crew was serious about the game. It was called “Thunderstruck”… I’m not sure of the rules, but it involved drinking beer. A lot of beer.
Ask this guy. He had to down two of them during his turn!
“Thunderstruck” was over, and it was time to get hitched. Chelsea led the crew into the church.
Chelsea and Dave were getting married at the Alice Millar Chapel on Northwestern’s campus.
The guests all filed in and found their seats…
…and then Chelsea’s dad walked her down the aisle.
The chapel was beautiful. I love all of the huge, stained-glass windows.
Chelsea and Dave’s wedding ceremony was planned around Lutheran tradition. After spending half my life shooting weddings, I can say one thing for sure: Lutherans sing a lot.
I took a shot of this cool stained glass art that caught my eye.
One of the bridesmaids adjusted Chelsea’s dress…
…and then they exchanged rings and vows.
A kiss sealed the deal.
We made a quick stop here after the ceremony. It’s the first place Chelsea and Dave lived together.
Next up was the Firehouse Grill where the wedding party kicked back and enjoyed a few drinks before going to the reception.
Chelsea’s cousin gave her a big hug.
Just enough time for a quick pit stop…
…and then back to the party bus.
Chelsea and Dave held their reception at Union Pizza here in Evanston.
It’s an awesome restaurant that offers a space for local musicians to perform… when they’re not hosting wedding parties.
And the interior, with it’s hanging lights, is incredibly atmospheric.
The guests wasted no time grabbing drinks as they arrived.
And there was plenty of pizza to go around, too!
These two partygoers were really into their appetizers.
Cocktail hour was a blast, but it was time for the reception. Chelsea rounded up the troops…
… and led everyone into the back room.
The cake was ready to be cut and served.
Chelsea’s dad was first up for speeches, and he encouraged everyone to take their ties off and enjoy the party.
Dave’s best man was up next with his toast for the newlyweds.
Chelsea’s two maids of honor joined forces for their speech.
And finally, Chelsea and Dave took the stage to thank everyone for enjoying the day with them.
And then they shared their first dance as a couple.
The band for the evening was Josh and the Empty Pockets, friends of Chelsea and Dave’s they’ve known since high school.
The band did a great job getting the guests on the dance floor.
And that’s where the guests stayed!
Here are some of the usual suspects from Morton Grove. Beeta and her crew were at two previous weddings that I shot- Tamara and Robert AND Andrea and Donald. I was glad to see them again, and they were happy to see me. Can’t you tell?
Chelsea’s mom and dad were still going strong as the evening wore on.
I couldn’t believe the energy of this crowd.
There’s the loosened tie Chelsea’s dad was talking about.
Dave’s dad was a party animal!
But the moms outdid them all with a special dance routine they created just for Dave and Chelsea. What a great way to end the night.
Congratulations, Dave and Chelsea! You and your crew know how to party… and I’m glad I was included in on it!