Kristina was so ready to marry her fiancee Charles. Our bride had already put on her “I Do” shoes when I arrived at her hotel to start photographing the day.
And a gorgeous bride at that. Erin from Beauty on Call had styled Kristina’s hair and Vesna from MAC was her make-up artist.
Kristina’s mom was there to help also. Here she is helping Kristina into her dress.
Mom was careful with the buttons on the dress, which was designed by Ines DiSanto.
And check out her sparkly bracelet! She fell in love with it when she saw it at The Left Bank.
One final touch left in the process…
With perfume dabbled on, Kristina and her bridesmaids were ready to head out.
Charles was in his hotel room getting a few last minutes of relaxation when Jarrod arrived.
He and his groomsmen only took a few minutes to get suited up, though.
And Charles was ready to go!
Everyone gathered up their things and headed out, being careful to make sure Charles and Kristina didn’t see each other.
Charles arrived at the Chicago Botanic Garden and took his place in their circle garden, where he was minutes away from seeing his bride for the first time. He was so excited to see Kristina!
Kristina joined him in the circle garden.
Charles was one of the most overjoyed grooms I’ve ever seen at a first meeting… and I’ve seen a few first meetings.
What a great couple.
Kristina and Charles have been a couple for a long time.
The two of them met while they were both attending North Park University and have been a happy couple ever since.
And they are blessed with a large group of loving family and friends, some of whom were in their wedding party.
With wedding party in tow, we headed out to take full advantage of the Botanic Garden’s gorgeous scenery.
We got some awesome shots in the Rose Terrace.
I love that Kristina’s earring caught the sunlight in this picture.
The weather was in full cooperation as well… and we were worried for a bit.
The morning had been grey and stormy, but it all cleared out and became sunny and bright for the wedding.
Jarrod spotted this and couldn’t resist taking a quick picture. This may be my new favorite flower.
A quick smooch wrapped up the pre-ceremony shoot. It was time to get hitched!
Their ceremony was held in the English walled garden. Everyone grabbed a program (which doubled as a fan), a seat and…
…a cold drink!
Spanish Guitars played softly while the guests filed in and took their seats.
Charles’ adorable niece did a great job as flower girl. She led the way for Kristina…
…who was escorted down the aisle by her father.
Charles couldn’t keep his eyes off her as she entered.
Her father gave her away, and the ceremony began.
Charles’ brother, who was a groomsman, had this big smile on his face throughout the whole day.
Kristina’s bridesmaids looked so beautiful standing by her side.
And Charles was flanked by his handsome groomsmen.
The ceremony was presided over by Eli, a friend of the couple.
And the English Walled Garden made a fantastic setting for the service.
Kristina and Charles exchanged rings…
…and then finished off with a big kiss.
Congratulations! Time to party!
The reception was also held just around the corner from the ceremony site.
The tables were set and decorated. Jamey from Kehoe Designs was the go-to person for the flowers and decor.
The bride and groom’s table, which overlooked the pond and the dance floor.
Kristina and Charles had a ton of treats lined up for their guests…
…like the churro bar! My mouth watered just reading about them.
Each guest also received a set of dominos as a wedding favor.
The couple’s signature drinks were on hand at the bar for guests to enjoy as well.
Playing dominos is a family tradition, and they had a special table all set up and ready to go.
Mmmm… sangria… Kristina’s favorite!
This is Alicia Blumer of BBJ Linen. She is a friend of Kristina’s and did a great job helping out as a wedding consultant.
Charles’ mom greeted him with a big hug as he entered the reception.
Kristina’s mom shared a laugh with her daughter while they enjoyed the cocktail hour.
It’s useless! You can’t hide from my camera!
Kristina’s mom wasn’t shy about having her picture taken. She was all about it!
Charles’ brother and niece posed for a picture before sitting down for dinner.
After an amazing dinner catered by Culinary Landscapes, the Botanic Garden’s catering service, the wedding party was ready to… well… party!
Everyone got to their feet as Kristina and Charles made their entrance.
They danced their first dance together right away.
And then everyone joined in!
Kristina’s bridesmaids were up first with their toast to the couple.
Then Charles’ brothers took the mic for their speeches.
Their speeches concluded with a big group hug.
One of the many treats of the day was a cigar bar, which was a hit with the cigar aficionados in the group.
Kristina put on her dancing dress and ready to go! DJ Doug Layne was on hand to provide the music.
Kristina was all smiles as she shared a dance with her father.
The dance floor was packed….
…and everyone was showing off their best moves.
The drinks kept flowing, too, and the guests cut loose.
Kristina’s mom and dad showed everyone how it was done.
Charles is the manager of the Starfruit in Lincoln Park. They were on hand to serve up some delicious treats. If you haven’t tried out Starfruit yet, you should! It’s delicious!
This is a picture of Charles’ dad that was on the memorial table. Although he wasn’t there in person, I’m sure he was joining in on the party in spirit.
I took a picture of the rings on a model car that his dad gave Charles when he graduated from North Park University, where he and Kristina met.
Charles and Kristina, I had an amazing time hanging out with you both on your wedding day. You have an amazing group of family and friends that love you very much and I was happy I got to meet them all. Congratulations on your marriage!