Stacy and Michael didn’t foresee having tropical-themed wedding photos when they planned their wedding with close friends and family at St Mary’s in Riverside and their reception at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville. And really, neither did I::LOL:: But when the rain decided to thwart our plans for outside photos, creativity triumphed! You’re going to want to read further to see how this couple got some of the most unique and AWESOME photos at one of the most unlikely places in Chicagoland.
The most important thing to Stacy and Michael was that family and friends that felt like family were there for their day. Their bridal party was so tight and close-knit that at first, I thought they were all related…and they are…kinda!!! I kind of needed an infographic; one was a cousin who married a long-time friend, one was a neighbor who’s home felt like the home Stacy grew up with, one was the big sister Stacy didn’t have, Micheal had his BFF’s from grade school and beyond, and his cousin and that other friend….. You get the picture, but I have to tell you that when you get to work with people who are as close as they all are, you can really see the difference in the photos. Because not only are Stacy and Michael are beaming at each other with love, the people around them are beaming at them because they are just so DARN. HAPPY. to see these two lovebirds starting a life together. Seriously, if I can give you ANY bit of advice if you are planning a wedding choose people for your bridal party that you love and adore, and not because of some silly tradition. :::Steps off Soapbox:::
So let’s get back to the wedding day. Rain.Ugh. I mean, no one wants that for their day, but we were at least reassured that we’d get some great photos no matter what because my studio has a free bridal session (Photos taken after the wedding in your wedding attire) so we knew that no matter what we’d get some good ones. But here’s where the magic happens; when I talked to Stacy about the rain she shrugged in that good-natured way she has and said, “You’re creative. I trust you.”
:::Fist Pump::: Well, as fate had had it just a few days before I was at Lowe’s with my boyfriend while he looked for some screws or fans, or whatever, I’m not handy. I’m a creative; my DIY fix-it skills are limited to gaffer-taping up a flash to a light pole when the thingy comes off. Anyway, as I walked around Lowe’s, I was drawn to the color and light of the garden section. And the paint section. And the OOOOohhhh look at those pretty lights section! I took some photos with my cell phone thinking, “Someday I’m going to do a shoot in here.” Little did I know it would be that weekend!
The ceremony was perfect with an intimate feel that they both wanted, and their officiant Father Bandzin not only married Stacy’s parents and other family members, but he also came out of retirement for Stacy and Michael’s wedding. How cool is that? This made for a really lovely and personalized ceremony that had a few misty eyes (I’m looking at you, Stacy’s dad, ya big softy!)
Stacy said that seeing Michael at the end of the aisle with that big smile on his face was is one of the memories of the wedding she treasures the most. I just::LOVE:: that.
After the ceremony, the rain moved in so off to Lowe’s garden center did we go! What a blast that was! When we arrived, I explained to one of the employees there what we wanted to do, and though he seemed very confused at first (You want to do…what?? ::LOL::) they could not have been nicer or more accommodating. Since it was pouring out, the store was relatively empty, which means it was a blank palette to make some one-of-a-kind photos.
Best of all, Stacy and Michael were 100% trusting of the process, and their bridal party was totally on board. And the looks of the people and the workers in the store was AWESOME!! People were clapping, taking photos and yelling well wishes. It kind of kicked the reception party vibe off then and there! We took some amazing photos that I swear I could not have pulled off in any botanical garden around town. It seriously looks like we were in the middle of a rainforest!
We got to Mistwood Golf Club just in time for the skies to dry out a bit, but it was still pretty dark and cloudy, so we took advantage of that and made some dramatic and sweeping landscape inspired images using the dark and rumbly clouds and the pond and bridge. I love the look of these so much, they almost look like a wedding outside a castle in England! I’m so appreciative of clients like Stacy and Michael who not only are willing to try some crazy ideas but who don’t’ sweat the small stuff.
The reception, I’m just gonna say it. They. Threw. Down. Seriously! Stacy had decorated it so beautifully, staying on theme with the rustic vibe and touches of homemade signs and twinkle lights, but when that dancing started…all bets were off. I swear they didn’t leave the dance floor for more than a moment to catch their breath. I say it all the time, the bride and groom set the tone for the party, and this one did not disappoint.
Stacy and Micheal THANK YOU so so so much for being so amazing cool, and so amazingly willing to go with the flow to get whatever photos nature and the home improvement gods threw our way!