Crystal Grand Banquets Lauren Ashley Studios

Elegant and Fun Wedding at Crystal Grand Banquets

February 21, 2023


Prepare to be wow’d by this super sophisticated, yet opulent November celebration! This elegant and fun wedding is one for the books.

Before you start frantically scrolling down the page to check out the images, we’ll tell you now, there’s more than one Lauren Ashley! Coincidences aside, we’re so pleased to be sharing the pictures from Lauren and Joseph’s wedding at Crystal Grand Banquets today. These two were such a sweet couple, who put together a really welcoming and fun celebration that we felt blessed to be a part of.

Our newly-weds have actually been together for 8 years now, choosing to buy a house and save money before going ahead and tying the knot. As a couple, they complement each other perfectly, and you can tell from the moment you meet them why their relationship is so strong. A real yin and yang team.

As you’ll see from the pictures, Lauren and Joseph created a spectacular wedding day filled with fun, and laughter. Read on and discover their journey to this point, and how they put together such a magical celebration.

What’s your engagement story?

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We went out to dinner for the first time in months (it was December 2020), and then walked across the street to where Art on the Mart was playing. Joe asked a stranger to take a photo of us, when actually he had started a video to record the entire surprise proposal. I was shocked and obviously said yes, after asking, “right now?!”

How would you describe each other?

Joe is the calm, cool guy who never gets stressed out or shows if he’s flustered, and is perfectly fine with staying in all the time. Whereas I’m the crazy, loud, outgoing one who’s constantly looking for a good time! The two of us even each other out. We’re both open to experiencing and trying new things, from food to music to whatever. We’ve certainly both showed one another many new and different things throughout our relationship. And we hope to continue to do so in our marriage, along with our son.

The Perfect Dress

Crystal Grand Banquets Lauren Ashley Studios

I knew I wanted my wedding dress to have sleeves, lace, and maybe a bit of sparkle. But, I was also looking for an epic back and train combo! I wasn’t confident I’d find a style that had every detail I wanted, especially after going to a few of the chain wedding dress stores. But then we went to Bella Sposa in Tinley Park, and they had SO many options for me.

The gown I chose had every element I was looking for, and really gave my friends and family that ‘wow’ factor when I tried it on for the first time.

No First Look?

We didn’t see each other before the ceremony, which I know made things a little more complicated with our timeline, but we were able to adjust a few things to make it work. I loved how surprised we were to see each other at the altar, as did he, and that’s why we decided not to do a first look.

I know doing things that way may not work for everyone, and maybe it wasn’t as fun for our wedding party, having to wait around for us to get our couple shots. But we liked having our moment at the end of the aisle.

Photo Time

Crystal Grand Banquets Lauren Ashley Studios

Our wedding day was amazing. Perfect. Wonderful. Any extraordinary adjective I can think of, was the definition of Lauren Ashley and her crew on my wedding day. We can’t thank them enough for not only making it fun to take photos outside in the cold, but for also enjoying our day with us and capturing the most beautiful shots of the day.

Picture Advice

Have fun and don’t overthink it. If you’re shooting with Lauren Ashley, she’s going to make you guys look spectacular no matter what! Also, don’t forget to ask for specific shots with certain people if that’s important to you. I probably should have requested more one-on-ones with some of my immediate family members.

You may also have to remind the wedding party to constantly smile! For us, whether they were walking down the aisle, waiting to do something, or even just getting ready to take pictures, some of the wedding party (mainly the guys) weren’t always ready to have their picture taken.

General Advice

Crystal Grand Banquets Lauren Ashley Studios

Bring a hair and beauty kit for touch ups throughout the day, a change of shoes if you’re wearing high heels that aren’t super comfortable and a mini sewing kit for any wardrobe malfunctions… Luckily, this wasn’t necessary on my big day, but I’ve been to plenty of weddings where a dress rips, or a strap has come off.

In general, try not to stress about every tiny detail. There will always be hiccups, some small, some big, but just enjoy it. Expect the unexpected. Have fun planning your special day and it’ll all work out.

Vendor Shout-Outs

Ken Murphy from Amp Events was amazing! A DJ who took his production to the next level, with professional lighting, dry ice for our first dance, a picture slideshow, and he even played back parts of the speeches during the last dance.

Ryan Cassell from Castle Light Productions  was our videographer, and not only did he capture our entire wedding day, but he also met with us before the big day to create a quick little video to be shown at our wedding. No one had ever seen the video, including myself and Joe! Definitely a funny and entertaining clip for our loved ones to see before we started the party!

What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?

Crystal Grand Banquets Lauren Ashley Studios

Finally getting to enjoy our new little family, now we don’t have to worry about wedding planning. Eventually, we hope to grow our family more, but not for a while, since our hands are already full, what with our two fur daughters, Bella & Cardi, and our almost 6-month-old son, Perry. We purchased our home back in May 2022, so we’re excited to finally start renovating the place too.

Honeymoon Plans?

We put the honeymoon on hold as we had countless financial expenses back in 2022, what with the purchase of our house, having a baby, and our wedding all happening within 6 months of each other. However, we hope to go to Europe sometime in 2023, Croatia specifically, as it’s a part of both our heritages.

We Would Love to be Your Chicago Wedding Photographer

It would be an honor to become a part of your wedding team, and create that timeless keepsake of your big day you’ll love forever. Myself 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.

We welcome you to browse our portfolio of wedding photography, videography and if you would like any 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.