My sister-in-law, Mollie Barnum, and her husband Nick Ficarella were married over the summer on Ana Maria Island, near Bradenton, FL. Destination weddings are always a refreshing change of pace because we get to photograph in a location that we may never have had an opportunity to photograph in. I'll admit, the day was pretty hot, but it's a small price to pay when you get to use the Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop. Since it was a beach wedding, I though it would be fun to do photo that was sort of vintage inspired and had a bit of a 'Ricky and Lucy' feel.
The destination wedding spree continues! Ben Taylor and Laura Dyer were married in a beautiful park in Petosky, MI, which is one of Michigan's truly hidden gems. They had an intimate ceremony in the park and then celebrated with a very relaxed, family-focused reception. In between, we were able to get them to the lake shore for some really fun, casual photos that I think really showed their laid-back style.
Jeff Greene and Amy Bishop were married at Rockefeller Chapel on the Uiversity of Chicago campus. It was a really great surprise to see such a beautiful, almost cathedral-like church in the middle of a school. They followed it up with cocktails on the terrace at the Peninsula Hotel downtown and a very relaxed reception in one of the Peninsula's beautiful ballrooms.
Steve Hunt and Susan Nepote were married at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago and followed it up with an amazing reception at the Ritz-Carlton. I'm a pretty firm believer in the fact that Chicago has THE best skyline in the world. I know, I'm biased. And the great thing about the Lincoln Park area is that you get a very cool juxtaposition of water and foliage in the actual park against the concrete and steel of the skyline. An amazing couple in an amazing setting is always a win-win situation!
Bill Albor and Julia Mancuso were married at Riviera Country Club in Orland Park, IL. It was another wedding where we were able to photograph a second-generation wedding, since my father photographed Bill's parents' wedding. Bill and Julia opted for having the ceremony and reception within the same venue, which is always really cool. I think having a ceremony/reception combination within one venue allows the bride and groom to unwind a bit more. There's no stressing over transportaion between, say, a church ceremony and a reception hall. It also make the timeline for your big day a bit more loose and allows you to maybe enjoy yourself a little more.
Mike Paterno and Katelyn Graeffen had an awesome reception at Ruffled Feathers in Lemont after a beautiful wedding at St. Mary's in Mokena. We lucked out with some amazing weather for a May wedding. You never know what Mother Nature has in store for you in May. The cool thing about photographing on a golf course is that you have access to hills and valleys, so you can get some really nice perspectives for certain shots.
Every once in a while, you get the opportunity to photograph a wedding for a couple that are more than just clients. Matt Quigley and Lindsey Spiess were married at the Hotel Intercontinental in Chicago on New Years Eve. It was just an awesome experience to say the least, and not just because of the amazing venue and the holiday atmosphere. Almost 35 years ago, my dad photographed Lindsey's parents' wedding in Mokena, IL and our parents have been close friends for longer than I can remember. Fast-forward to 2010 and I was given the opportunity to serve as one of Matt and Lindsey's photographers. It's just a really cool experience when you can transcend the generations like that. Needless to say, their wedding was fantastic and I'll always remember it as the first time I got to photograph the wedding of a family's next generation. What a way to ring in the New Year!