I traveled out to Naperville a few weeks ago to spend the day with Courtney and Sean as they made their walk down the aisle. They had a big day planned, too, with a ceremony and reception held at Arrowhead Golf Club that was attended by all their family and friends. I was excited to be in their area, as I had an opportunity to visit some shooting locations I don’t get to go to very often.

The day started out at Courtney’s parent’s home. There, the bride and her attendants were having their hair and makeup styles done by teams from Mario Tricoci and Blend Beauty.

One of the couple’s two dogs, Ozzie, didn’t want to miss out on the fun! Below, she poses for a portrait with her human. Ozzie wasn’t the only family member there, either! In the images that follow, you’ll see Courtney’s nieces hanging out in Courtney’s childhood bedroom (where the bride got ready) and Courtney’s mom helping her daughter into the dress.

Courtney’s preparations were all ready, and it was time for her and Sean to share their first look. Sean was in the back yard of Courtney’s parent’s home, flanked by his groomsmen and the couple’s other dog, Lisa “Left-eye”. When word came that Courtney was ready, everyone cleared out and Sean turned his back to the house. His bride made her way out of the back door, carefully walking through the yard, and tapping Sean on the shoulder. They were so excited to see each other. After a round of hugs and kisses, they settled in for a round of portraits that ended with a family picture of the happy couple and their pups.
Next up were pre-ceremony pictures around town. Courtney and Sean practiced their camera-ready smiles (below) while I reviewed the list of stops. First up was a tour of the grounds of Cantigny Park, an absolutely gorgeous garden located just outside of Wheaton, IL. This 500-acre park was the home of famous Chicagoan Robert R. McCormick, and is now open to the public. It’s a photographic wonderland, and I couldn’t wait to get there.
There are two museums on the Cantigny campus, one of which details the history of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. Sean served our country in the armed forces, and was very enthusiastic about having a round of photos taken with the tanks just outside the museum. He and his groomsmen circled the steel beasts before climbing on and getting down to business.
When the guys were done with the tanks, I took the wedding party on an all-too-brief stroll around the park (I could shoot there for days). The following is a collection of some of my favorite portraits taken in the gardens of Cantigny.
After our time at Cantigny, we headed to one of Courtney’s favorite places- the Wheaton Public Library. A life-long lover of books, Courtney now works at the library. She even decided to incorporate a literary theme into the reception! Every table had a unique centerpiece that featured classic and rare books, and all the books shared common themes of romance and marriage. Guests could find their seating assignments using an antique card catalog, and all the details were adorned with colorful flower arrangements, designed by the team at Andrew’s Garden.
It was almost game time, so Courtney’s niece took advantage of the moment and did some stretching on the lawn (being a flower girl is hard work!). Soon after, everyone was in place and Courtney’s father was walking her down the aisle. I took a million pictures during the ceremony- it was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding!- and some of my favorites follow:
Congratulations, Courtney and Sean!
The wedding party all gathered inside of the dressing rooms to take a break before cocktails. There was a lot of party ahead of them, and relaxing for a moment was very much welcomed!
After making their grand entrance into the reception, one of the first things Courtney and Sean did was cut their cake. This sweet treat was created at Oak Mill Bakery and featured one of the bride’s favorite details from the day. The cake topper, made by artist Laurie Valko, which featured pups Ozzie and Lisa “Left-Eye”.
So cute! After the cake was cut and tasted, the wedding couple and their guests sat down for a delicious meal, prepared by the staff at Arrowhead. When the meal was finished, the newlyweds were toasted by friends and family, who shared advice and memories of the couple. Everything went off without a hitch, due in no small part to the assistance of Sarah Mault of A Posh Event, who served as the event coordinator for the wedding.
Finally, after speeches, Courtney and Sean took the floor to share their first dance as a married couple. The DJ from Sounds Abound played two of their favorite songs during the parent dances, and then opened the floor up to the rest of the guests as the dance party began.
And what a dance party it was! Guests were ready to get their boogie on and I was primed and ready to photograph it. Check out some of my favorite pictures of the partygoers:
What a party! Congratulations on your marriage, Courtney and Sean. Thank-you for sharing your day with me!