When shooting wedding photography for our Chicago couples, we are constantly looking for those shots that we know will take pride of place in their homes. Those money shots that simply jump out at you. Be it because of their vibrancy, movement, or just how the moment was captured. And while looking back through the images taken during the wedding of Kaylee and Ariel, we were thrilled at how many winners we had! You’ll discover many of them as we guide you through their big day. But for now, you have to check out the portrait of Kaylee surrounded by flowers, draped in tulle, and sitting in the tub. Sounds odd on paper, but the image is spectacular.
It was a joy to shoot the wedding photography of Chicago couple Kaylee and Ariel, even though they were both so nervous about being photographed before the big day. But after a few calming words, and some simple instructions, you never would have said these guys were shy!
Today we’re going to introduce you to our couple, share their nuptials with you, and maybe a few wise words from our bride on how to plan a wedding.
The story of Kaylee and Ariel started over 10 years ago, but not with a date or a chance meeting at a party. But through the family. Mutual connections within their families would bring these two together sporadically over a 10-year period. Each time they met, their interest and feelings towards each other would grow stronger, until one they realized they were in love. Their spark had become a fire, and the pair subsequently dated for 5 years, until Ariel finally popped the question.
In keeping with the couples’ love for family. Their engagement was immediately celebrated by their loving circle of family members. It took place right before a family party, while their dog was barking up a storm, Ariel got down on two knees and popped the question to Kaylee.
While shooting wedding photography in Chicago, you come across certain much-loved vendors time and again. People and places that are forever loved by couples. One such place is Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, a full-service bridal salon that has found the dream dress for so many of our brides. And it was here that Kaylee discovered ‘the one’.
Kaylee entered the store searching for something ‘romantic, sexy, & unique’, and dutifully Katie, one of the talented stylists at Bella Bianca put together a selection that she thought would fit the bill. Our bride tried on one, two, three gowns from the suggested list. But they were all missing something, a unique aspect. But then, the stylist brought over the fourth dress, and Kaylee’s eyes lit up. This gown was blush pink, sparkly, and calling her name from across the dressing room. It was the first style she was truly excited to be trying on, and once it was on, she never wanted to take it off. When you know, you know.
Kaylee went on to buy not just her dress at Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, but also her veil and sparkling hairpiece.
The first look shot in wedding photography is always a contentious topic for our Chicago couples. Some want to keep the tradition, and not see each other before they meet for their exchange of vows. While others appreciate having that little moment (almost) alone together before all the big day madness ensues! And the latter was certainly felt by Kaylee and Ariel.
As a couple, they loved their first look moment, and relished having a pocket of calm, right ‘before all the craziness, her words! In fact, Kaylee shared some advice and explained how her first look helped them both on their wedding day. “It is really hard to have intimate moments during your wedding day. So by taking this time (even though everyone wants to see it), for us, was one of our favorite decisions we made that day. It also helped with nerves before the ceremony because we got to wait together instead of in separate rooms.” explains Kaylee.
We’ve seen in the past how uniquely wonderful Ovation in Chicago looks in wedding photography. And it was no different for the wedding of Kaylee and Ariel.
Aesthetically, the venue is effortlessly cool. A warehouse style space that has been divided up into various celebration areas. During the day, the main room is flooded with light via huge industrial-size windows that line the walls and highlight the ceremony spot. Come evening, the space is lit romantically by carefully placed spotlights and lots of low hanging fairy lights. It has the perfect blend of historic and modern elements, and it looked incredible as the backdrop for Kaylee and Ariel’s wedding.
During the wedding, my photography team and I would check in on our Chicago lovebirds, just to make sure that everything was a-ok. And often, the response would just be ‘unreal’. These two had a ball from start to finish. Singing, dancing, and embracing their love-filled celebration. But top of their list of highlights on the day had to be their first look. It was a special moment for them as a couple who are not natural attention seekers, as it allowed them a brief respite before all eyes were on them. And it made them enjoy their ceremony all the more, the other highlight of their wedding.
Three words. ‘Get a planner’. Kaylee is naturally a very hands-on person, and so she thought that when planning a wedding, she’d be able to handle arranging all the little details. And not need a wedding planner. However, Ariel convinced her that they should hire an on-the-day coordinator, as a compromise. Not quite full on planning, but a little help where required. And for these two, it was the best decision they could’ve made.
Planning a wedding is stressful, there’s no getting around that. And so if you can find someone that will take a little weight off your shoulders, that is invaluable. Plus, it allows you to enjoy the whole process a lot more. Something which Kaylee found she was able to do once she had let go of the heavy baggage of expectation. “Do whatever you want and take care of your mental health. Guests are going to have expectations, and you can’t fulfill everyone’s.” Kaylee shared.
During the wedding, Kaylee shares this advice, “Soak it in, do everything together, and do what you want to do. If you prefer not to sit at tables, and thank people for hours, don’t! We decided the day of, if people want to hang out or talk to us, they can meet us on the dance floor. The day goes by so fast, and you should be able to enjoy it!”. Wise words.
It would be an honor to become a part of your wedding team and create that timeless keepsake of your big day that you’ll love forever. The wedding photography and videography team at Lauren Ashley Studios Chicago will go above and beyond to capture the atmosphere of your special occasion, and share it with passion and authenticity.
We welcome you to browse our portfolio of wedding photography, videography and if you would like information about our investments please click here. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Chicago, or beyond, and you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.