Be it an LGBTQ wedding or not, planning a big day is stressful, and anxiety inducing. There’s no getting around that. But what Nikki & Crystin learned on their wedding day, was that time simply flies by. And all that pent-up worry and fear (for the most part) simply fade away as long as you have the right team around you. Alongside loved ones who support you.
Nikki & Crystin held their LGBTQ wedding back in mid-October 2021, at the Tinley Park Convention Center, and we had the privilege of being their photography team.
The couple has been together for over 4 years, after a serendipitous first meeting through work. Crystin asked Nikki to marry her on Northerly Island after attending the Hamilton Exhibition, a story, and a musical that they are both so fond of. Once the pair got over the initial excitement of the engagement and had shared the news with friends and family. They set about planning the perfect LGBTQ wedding.
Early on, one of the wisest decisions Nikki & Crystin made was to hire an LGBTQ friendly wedding planner. A step that not all couples feel comfortable in making, but one that certainly alleviates some stress, as long as you’re able to let someone else take the reins. A good planner will be able to take on a lot of responsibility, and in turn, allow you the freedom to enjoy the creative parts involved in wedding planning. Like, designing a wedding dress, something Nikki knew she wanted to do from the very beginning. And she chose the talented Daniela from Dame Couture to help her bring her bridal dreams to life. Together, they crafted a custom-made black bridal gown from scratch that not only delivered the look that Nikki was longing for, but also a fit that was beyond compare.
Crystin was not left out in the cold in the style department, oh no, as she also had her big day look custom-made. After a consultation with Donnie at Formally Modern Tuxedo in Chicago, Crystin and he created a magnificent blue suit that fitted like a glove. She looked fantastic, and together with Nikki and her black wedding dress, they formed a statement LGBTQ look that came across so well in their photography.
Before the big day, Nikki in particular was especially anxious about the process of having her hair and makeup done, and also being photographed. As a wedding photographer in Chicago, I can comfortably say this is beyond normal, and almost to be expected. Unless you are a professional model, the whole process of professional beauty and modeling for the camera will feel pretty alien. What this LGBTQ couple did was make sure that their wedding team was briefed on their concerns, which in turn helped their professionals to not only make them look incredible, but feel comfortable too.
For us, as photographers and videographers, we simply made sure that our capturing of their big day was as unobtrusive as possible. Which allowed Nikki and Crystin the freedom to enjoy their celebration, without feeling like they were being followed! And when taking their portraits, we offered simple, calm advice that helped them get into natural poses.
Overall, the big day was a triumph for Nikki and Crystin, and for us, their first dances were especially memorable. The first wife and wife dance was to Kiss the girl from My Little Mermaid, a very sweet and unexpected moment that we all adored. While Nikki’s dance with her son was to Dear Theodosa from Hamilton. And then Crystin and her dad danced to My Fathers Daughter by Dolly Parton and Jewel. All of which was so moving, and together with a fitting celebration to this wonderful LGBTQ wedding.
One last piece of advice from Nikki, ‘Pick people who want to be a part of your happiness, your day and want to support your journey.’ Oh, and pack safety pins!
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. I and my team of Chicago wedding photographers at videographers at Lauren Ashley Studios will go above and beyond to capture the atmosphere of your special occasion and share it with passion and authenticity.
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