Mary Nisi is the owner of Toast & Jam, the most fun DJ service in all of Chicago. I was thrilled when this lively lady and her fiancee John asked me to shoot their wedding. I showed up at their home in Logan Square to photograph Mary getting ready and saw this detailed itinerary for the day in their kitchen.
Here comes the bride! Nika Vaughan, Gia Tummillo and Jennifer DelMonaco just finished with her hair and make-up and were busy finishing up the bridesmaids while Mary put on her dress.
Here’s a shot of her beautiful Carolina Herrara dress.
Meanwhile, Braxton was with John and his groomsmen as they got polished up for the wedding.
Here’s John, settling up the bill before heading back to his house for his first meeting with Mary.
When they got to the house, John took his place in the back yard. When it was time, Mary walked down the back steps to meet him.
That’s all it took for the tears to flow!
And then she could take a big sigh of relief. The big day was about to begin!
We took a picture of the whole wedding party in their backyard as the party bus was pulling up in the front of the house.
Mary led the gang to the bus…
…and grabbed one for the road.
A stocked party bus means a crazy wedding party.
Our first stop was the Logan Square monument, which was not too far from their house.
Mary let me know she was keeping an eye on me, so I better not slack off.
Here’s Mary saving my life by pointing out the oncoming traffic. She needed me alive that day.
Next stop was The Hideout, where John and Mary first met.
The staff there was awesome about letting us in to take some pictures and enjoy a drink…
…and a dance.
Wedding meets prom.
The whole gang enjoyed a drink at the bar…
…and then Mary made a quick pit stop.
While Mary was taking care of business, the gang finished up their drinks outside, enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
One last shot outside The Hideout…
…and on to the next location.
John and his groomsmen strike their JC Penny spring catalog poses for a cheesy guy portrait, per Mary’s request.
While no one was looking (except me), Mary and John snuck away for a minute…
…for a little make out session. Almost too hot for the blog.
What do you think of Mary’s veil? That incredible creation was designed by Oscar de la Renta.
Ceremony time was getting close! We rounded up the wedding party and trucked it back to Salvage One where the ceremony and reception were being held.
Mary couldn’t help but chew up the scenery.
We were having a great time…
…but it was time for the ceremony! We headed back inside before the guests started to arrive.
Here’s a shot of their programs, which were printed locally by Starshaped Press.
The ceremony began with the bridal party taking their places and John escorting his parents to their seats.
John proudly took his place at the altar and watched as his beautiful bride walked down the aisle.
Her brother gives John a quick shake…
…and then Mary’s sister, who served as the officiant for the marriage, began the service.
Mary holds back the tears.
John was glowing while he listened to Mary deliver her vows…
…and Mary was all smiles as John delivered his.
John’s best man searches for the rings…
…luckily he found both, and Mary and John exchanged them successfully.
And then they were married!
Mary and John enjoy a few moments alone together before joining the guests at the cocktail hour.
I snuck up to the second floor of Salvage One to take detail shots while everyone was downstairs enjoying cocktails.
The upstairs was decorated beautifully.
Asrai Garden did the floral design for the day, including the centerpieces for the tables.
Briana Merrill, a friend of the bride as well as an event planner, helped her pal Mary out with the details of the day.
Guests found their tables by matching the photos on the tables…
…with the photo on their place card. The photos they used were from their engagement session with me.
The tables were all set and the dinner, which was planned by Molly with Entertaining Company, was good to go.
The guests left the cocktail hour downstairs and headed up for the dinner reception.
The guests found their seats and then the bridal party made their entrances. This lovely couple entered just before Mary and John. Don’t the man of honor and best man look good together?
Then the newlyweds made their first appearance as a married couple.
John’s dad was first up with the microphone to give a speech in honor of his son and new daughter-in-law.
A good friend of Mary and John’s gave an energetic speech.
She had to sit down in the middle of it to catch her breath.
The best man put on a show for the groom’s toast.
He kept everyone entertained.
Mary’s best friend and man of honor wrapped up the speeches with his toast to Mary and John.
Mary and John took their turn to thank the guests for sharing the day with them.
And then they had their first dance.
It’s hard to twirl a bride when you’re wearing a suit jacket!
And then the dance floor exploded with most epic, craziest wedding dance party of all time.
Somebody had to keep an eye on the best man. He looked like he was up to no good.
The guests were all movin’ and groovin’ to spun by a variety of Toast & Jam DJs.
Given her furious dance style, it was bound to happen.
Then the bride took her turn directing the dance party.
That kicked the party into overdrive.
Some of the guests couldn’t handle the power of the dance!
Jarrod was enjoying himself. What a mess.
Mary’s sister was showing off the dance skills that prove that the Nisi family knows how to party.
Mini-Gaga arrived in style.
What a side-eye. That’s an “oh no she didn’t” look if I’ve ever seen one.
The entire Toast and Jam crew huddled together for a group shot.
What a great party. Mary and John know how to do it up right.
There’s a lot of truth in this equation. I would probably add “to the tenth power” after awesome, though.
Thanks for sharing your day with me, Mary and John, and congratulations on your marriage. Here’s to all the great times ahead!