The big day had finally arrived for Marissa and Michael! I was excited and happy to be with them for the day, photographing the celebration, which started at the hotel where Marissa was making her preparations. She was joined by her bridesmaids, too, who tended to the bride’s every need. When everyone was dressed and ready, Marissa took a moment to open a letter written to her by Michael. It was a perfect way to kick off the festivities!
Speaking of kicking, Marissa gifted all her bridesmaids Nike sneakers before we left the hotel. The bridesmaid in this picture is pregnant, so she was given a set of sneakers for the little one. Adorable!
After the bridesmaids had opened their presents, Marissa’s father took a peek into the room to have his first wedding day look at his daughter. He was smiling ear to ear, and you could just tell how happy and proud he was.
Meanwhile, Michael was with his mom and dad as he climbed into his suit. Once he was ready to go, he gave his mom and dad a hug and kiss, then we were out the door!
Michael and his groomsmen rode in the party bus to the Art Institute Garden, the location of the couple’s first look. When they arrived at the garden, Michael planted himself in the designated spot and waited for his bride to arrive. It didn’t take long before she was there, and after the two had some time to admire each other, we were off and running, taking portraits all over the garden.
Michael and Marissa were wonderful to work with, and I could have spent all day taking pictures of just them. But the wedding party needed some attention, too, and I made sure they had some time in front of the camera.
Next stop was the LaSalle St. Bridge, where the bride and groom felt adventurous and actually climbed up on the bridge’s beams! It made for a fantastic picture of the couple against the city skyline!
The ceremony and reception were held at Adler Planetarium, and you can’t have a wedding there and NOT take pictures beside the lake. For this round, the wedding party all put on the sneakers they were gifted earlier in the day, then bounced into position.
The time to start the ceremony was drawing near, so everyone ducked inside to hang out before the proceedings. Here, Marissa’s mom applies a few last-minute touch ups to the bride’s makeup. Outside the room, friends and family began to gather, laughing and visiting with each other. There was so much happiness and excitement in these minutes leading up to the ceremony!
The ceremony was held on the patio just outside the doors of the Planetarium. The day was a bit overcast and windy, but it didn’t diminish the joy of the day one ounce. The guests and family were all smiles, buzzing excitedly as everyone took their seats and the processional began. The ceremony was full of love and meaning, and Michael and Marissa were glowing throughout.
Their rings and vows were exchanged, and with the breaking of a glass, Marissa and Michael were married.
Congratulations! The bride and groom made their way down the aisle and snuck away for a few minutes alone together. The guests moved inside to begin cocktail hour and I snuck into the reception hall to take pictures of the details.
They made gorgeous use of the space. Marissa and Michael worked hard alongside Lori of Lola Event Productions to make sure that everything was perfect. Their work paid off, too, as everything came together beautifully.
The guests filed into the reception hall, and after they took their seats, Michael and Marissa made their grand entrance. They immediately took to the dance floor to share their first dance together as husband and wife. After their first dance, Marissa was joined by her father and Michael was joined by his mother for parent dances.
Marissa’s dad was the first to give speech in honor of the newlyweds. His loving tribute was followed by a toast delivered by Marissa’s three brothers, who then handed off the microphone to the Best Man and Maid of Honor. There were many laughs and happy memories shared during these moments!
Then it was time for my favorite part of the wedding- the Hora! This is always so much fun, and you can tell by these images that the guests had a blast, too. And the hora was just the start of the dancing. Michael and Marissa’s friends and family all gathered on the dance floor to show off their best moves and have a great time. Enjoy these images from the dance party!:
The party wore on into the night, and as much as I hated to take Michael and Marissa away from it, I was sure they’d appreciate a picture in front of the Chicago skyline at night.
Congratulations, Michael and Marissa! Thank you for including me in your day… it was out of this world!