Lauren and Michael’s wedding day had finally arrived, and no one was more excited than Lauren. She was absolutely glowing, surrounded by her bridesmaids as they attended to the bride’s preparations. It has already been a busy morning, with the wedding party having had their hair and makeup styled by the pros at Mixed Company Salon, and the day was just beginning. Everyone was in a great mood as they took a moment to take in Lauren and all her bridal splendor.
There were just a few final touches to make before heading out the door. And, of course, I took a round of portraits, too. With everything finished, Lauren took a deep breath and we headed out the door. A car was waiting to take us to Fourth Presbyterian Church where Michael was waiting for his first look at his bride.
Michael was waiting for Lauren’s arrival in the courtyard of the church. He was very excited to see Lauren and get the wedding celebration started. She tapped him on the shoulder, then the two hugged, took a good look at each other and shared a moment together before posing for a round of portraits in the courtyard.
The rest of the bridal party wasn’t far behind, and they were quick to jump in for their turn in front of the camera.
Lauren showed off her shoes- it was a good thing they were comfortable, because she would be doing some walking as traveled to some awesome Chicago photo destinations before the ceremony!
Our first stop was the garden at the Art Institute. Everything was so lush and green… this has always been one of my favorite places to take group portraits on the wedding day. The wedding party squeezed in close, and we got to work.
And, of course, I took a few pictures of Lauren and Michael- alone and together- in the garden.
Next stop was this fantastic view of the Board of Trade. This intersection is a great opportunity to include some of Chicago’s iconic architecture in the shoot. In my opinion, this backdrop is a must if you want a “Chicago feel” to your wedding photos.
Michael was such a gentleman, helping Lauren make sure her dress didn’t get too dirty was we walked around… there was still a lot of wedding left, and they wanted to make sure everything was as pristine as possible for the ceremony!
The LaSalle Street Bridge was just down the road, and I was glad we were able to stop here. This bridge has a fantastic view of some of buildings along the river, and I’m bummed that it’s currently closed for renovations. I’m already looking forward to checking it out when the work is finished. But things were good to go for Lauren and Michael, as I posed them in various angles around the street.
Finally, it was time for the ceremony to begin. Michael waited just outside of the sanctuary as the processional began, eventually taking his turn joining the wedding party next to the altar. Lauren and her father were the last to make the walk down the aisle and the Pastor began the ceremony. Enjoy this collection of photos from Michael and Lauren’s wedding ceremony in the gorgeous Fourth Presbyterian Church sanctuary:
Congratulations, Lauren and Michael! The newlyweds were all smiles as they walked back down the aisle and off to a secluded room to share a moment to themselves. Meanwhile, the guests gathered on the front steps of the church, waiting to applaud the couple before heading to the reception.
Michael’s father and I shared some camera talk while we waited on the big entrance. When everyone was outside, Michael and Lauren walked out the doors to the sound of cheers and applause from all their family and friends.
Lauren’s dad was applauding most loudly of all, I think.
Lauren and Michael’s reception was held at the Shedd Aquarium, and we couldn’t walk through the doors of the venue without taking a few skyline shots outside first.
I had never photographed a wedding at the Shedd before, and I was so excited to have the opportunity. As guests began to filter in for cocktail hour, the three of us took a quick tour through the aquarium to take a few portraits.
A little Beluga popped in to give its congratulations!
Amazing! I could have photographed in front of the tanks all day, but there were bigger fish to fry (I apologize for that pun) as the party was ready to start at the reception.
We headed to the reception area where the newlyweds started the party by sharing their first dance together as husband and wife. After their big finish, everyone took their seats and enjoyed a delicious meal catered by the staff at the Shedd Aquarium, followed by speeches given by their loved ones.
Michael’s brother and best friend took their turn, giving a toast in honor of the groom.
And finally, Michael and Lauren took their turn at the microphone, thanking everyone for sharing the day with them.
The bride and groom shared parent dances, and then the dance party got started! DJ Emily from Toast & Jam was there and she kept the dance jams coming!
Check out the good times with this collection of pictures from Lauren and Michael’s dance party!
What a day! What a party! Thanks for sharing it with me, Lauren and Michael, and congratulations on your marriage!