Now that i’m a wedding photographer, I don’t really know what to do with myself at a wedding when I’m just ‘invited.’ I’m like a child with out their security blanket when I don’t have a camera at a wedding! Luckily this has only happened to me once or twice in the past five years and I’ve still managed to bust out my camera here and there through out the day. So when family feels conflicted whether to invite me or hire me, I make it easy for them. HIRE ME! I’d rather give my extended family the gift of beautiful photography that sit in a seat biting my fingernails thinking crazy thoughts. Literally, I’d be staring down whoever photographed the wedding anyway, so why not make it me?
I say all of this to say that when my cousin Esther told me the good news about her engagement I immediately offered my services! I mean, I didn’t even give her a real chance to say no! She graciously obligied my crazy obsession and the whole fam agreed to fly me out to Chicago to capture Esthers wedding. Yes I was a bit pushy this round, but I needed my security blanket!I’m really kidding, I wasn’t pushy, but I did offer my services and everyone was super happy all around.
Now I had never been to Chicago, so I was so trhilled to visit the gorgeous city with my family! We spent a couple hours bashing around Chicago before the wedding festivities really began. It was so great to see everyone outside of my normal setting. All of us cousins had a great time catching up and spending some quality time together. We laughed, made silly jokes, and even named Esther’s wedding dress “Steve!”
When the day arrived there was an energy in the air! It was almost electric! Esther, of course, was GORGEOUS, man did she look good wearing Steve!Their ceremony took place in their home town Episcopal church with a sweet cookie reception to follow. The whole church and both families just engulfed Esther and Jay with love and excitement! We then jaunted off to the beautiful Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge! We spent the evening laughing, dancing, and just enjoying the company that is family. You know what I mean, those people who’ve known you since you were born, put up with your awkward phase, and supported you through all your crazy ideas. Those people, that kind of steady love that will always be there. Gosh it was such a great time! Thank you Esther and Jay for accepting my offer and taking such good care of me out there! I am fully in love with Chicago and I can’t wait to visit you all again!
How did your fiance propose? Jay proposed on a Friday afternoon after work, in the middle of his living room. It was completely unexpected! I’m pretty sure there was some jumping up and down involved. We had previously planned to go see a movie with a few friends that evening, and we decided still to go…so X-Men: First Class has a special place
in our hearts now.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): Picking the church was
easy; I’ve gone to the same church for 27 years! We wanted a unique venue for the reception, and we fell in love with Katherine Legge because of its setting in a large park and because of the lodge’s cozy atmosphere. Shopping for bridesmaid dresses and taste testing with our caterer were some of the most fun parts of the planning process. We wanted our wedding to be somewhat unique (who doesn’t?), and we were excited to book a live band, which definitely made the reception memorable!
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? Our band played a toasting song near the beginning of the dancing portion of the reception that involved wedding party participation, and they really got into it!
Funniest memory from your wedding day? Jay’s dance with his mom -everyone loved watching them tear up the dance floor!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? We would have asked for a second piece of cake! YUM!
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Try to stay calm by remembering that even if a few things go wrong, you’ll (probably) still be married at the end of the day. And bask in the sheer joy of the moment and the love of all your friends and family who have traveled from far and wide to be with you and support you.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn’s energy, professionalism, calmness, and passion. Everyone was impressed with her efficiency (it was warm outside!) and her lack of hesitation to roll around in the grass for a good picture! We booked Mabyn pretty early in our wedding planning process, and the
assurance that “at least our pictures will be gorgeous!” made the rest of our planning seem that much less stressful.
Hair: A Shear Encounter//Makeup Artist: A Shear Encounter//Dress Designer & Store Location: Casablanca Bridal; Bridal Mansion of
Lisle (Lisle, IL)//Jewelry: Pearl necklace given to my grandmother by my grandfather; pearl earrings from my bridesmaid currently living in China//Veil or Hair accessories: Egle’s Creations//Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal//Grooms Attire: Joseph A Bank//Ceremony Venue: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Downers Grove, IL//Reception Venue: Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge, Hinsdale, IL//Florist: Heritage House Florist, Downers Grove, IL//DJ: The Salt Creek Boys//Caterer: Marie’s Catering, Willowbrook, IL//Cake: Marie’s Catering//Wedding Coordinator: Victoria Brown, Marie’s Catering//Invitations & Stationary: Vistaprint