Vanessa and David traveled to Chicago from the East Coast for their Mother’s Day wedding.
I arrived at the Conrad Chicago bridal suite as Vanessa was slipping into her beautiful dress, which was designed by San Franciscan Amy Kuschel.
Bride Style Beauty did a marvelous job on Vanessa’s hair and make-up…
…and two beautiful earrings finished the look. This bride was ready to meet her groom.
Speaking of the groom, here’s David as he finished getting ready.
Leah was photographing with me that day, and she accompanied David to the designated first meeting spot, where he kept a watchful eye out for Vanessa.
The happy couple shared some hugs and enjoyed the moment…
…then we jumped in my car, and were off to explore the city.
Vanessa and David’s wedding day began fairly early on a Sunday- I think I arrived at the hotel around 9 am- and I have to say, early-ish Sunday morning is THE time to pre-ceremony pictures in Chicago. There wasn’t a soul around!
It almost felt like we had free reign over the city… and we took advantage of it by hitting as many locations as we could squeeze in.
I also got to know a little bit more about the couple as we took photos.
Vanessa and David both enjoy traveling, really good food and architecture.
David is a wine enthusiast of the highest degree… in fact, he knows so much he could be a professional sommelier.
Some day down the road, he may even own his own winery.
Vanessa enjoys food and all things baking. She also has a passion for design… she says one of her dreams is to combine that passion with her favorite pastime of bargain shopping for housewares, and designing her own cake plate and dish ware line.
We were making such great time that I was able to take Vanessa and David to some of my favorite Chicago murals. Our first stop was to say ‘hi’ to the luchador. I’m trying to think up a name for this guy… I typed ‘Viva Chicago’ into the Luchador Name Generator and it gave me ‘Zorro Cansado’. Translation: Tired Zorro. What do you think?
Another one of my favorites.
I hope this mural stays here forever.
Whew! All this walking around and taking pictures requires a lot of energy. David made a pit stop to recharge.
The front page of the Sun-Times on David and Vanessa’s wedding day. Has it really been a year already, Rahm? My, how time flies.
Coffee tastes so much sweeter when you’re drinking it out of your wedding day mug.
Adequately caffeinated and ready for action, we took some photographs over the Chicago river.
Like I said before, both David and Vanessa are architecture enthusiasts. The view from the bridge allowed for some gazing and appreciation of some of Chicago’s best building design. But we didn’t have too much time for gazing…
…we had to get to The Ivy Room, where the ceremony and reception were being held. Vanessa’s mom greeted us at the door, smiling and radiant. I think this may go down as her favorite Mother’s Day ever.
We had time for a wedding party shot, so I lined them up on the fire escape.
And this is why they call The Ivy Room the Ivy Room!
The happy couple left the balcony and went inside to share their private vows before the ceremony. One of their good friends served as a witness and listened in.
Not a dry eye in the room. What an excellent way to kick off the ceremony.
Speaking of, the guests were beginning to congregate in the courtyard for the main event.
David gave his mom and dad big hugs…
…and then took his place at the altar as his bride began her walk down the aisle.
Vanessa’s father gave his daughter a hug before giving her away.
The parents found their seats, and the officiant began the ceremony.
Everything was perfect.
The ceremony arch was designed by Cornelia McNamara Flowers, who did all the florals for the wedding.
Leah made her way to one of the upstairs balconies for this overhead shot.
Vanessa and David said their vows…
…and exchanged rings.
Husband and wife made their way back inside for a few moments alone…
…while the guests began the cocktail hour.
I wonder what these two were up to…
Nothing more fun than a piggy-back ride.
Leah took this picture, and I love it.
The guests mingled and enjoyed mimosas (and other drinks).
Someone was a little camera-shy.
While the guests enjoyed themselves, I went off to capture some of the details of the day.
I couldn’t get over how beautiful the ceremony arch was.
This poster was just inside the reception spot, along with a note that asked guests to sign the leaves of the tree.
The place cards were designed with the couple’s love of cooking and baking in mind.
Their wedding cake featured some beautiful detail work. Amy Beck showed off some of her best work here.
Vanessa and David had a fun slideshow, featuring Popeye and Olive Oyl, that they screened for guests.
When everyone had found their seats, Vanessa and David made their grand entrance.
The multi-talented DJ’s from Cage and Aquarium played the first dance song.
David’s dad took the mic after the first dance, and thanked everyone for sharing the day with David, Vanessa, and their families.
David’s brother listened while his father wrapped up his speech.
Vanessa’s sister took gave a toast in honor of her sister and new brother-in-law.
Finally, the groom took the microphone to thank the guests for all their love and support.
The guests dived in to a delicious meal catered by Food for Thought, and then hit the dance floor when they were finished eating.
The guests brought their A-game dance moves to the party.
Vanessa’s mom and dad weren’t afraid to show everyone how to work a dance floor.
A good time was had by all! Before leaving, I took a shot of the rings with this map of San Francisco, the couple’s favorite city and where they first met.
I had an awesome time, David and Vanessa! Thanks for having me, and congratulations on your marriage!