Lauren Ashley Studios esplanade lakes wedding

Elegant and loving wedding at Esplanade Lakes

February 4, 2022


Finally Got Hitched at the Esplanade Lakes Wedding Venue

So many couples have struggled to arrange weddings and actually say ‘I do’ during the pandemic. For Taylor and Jon, this was their third attempt. But you know what they say, ‘third times a charm!

We knew intimately the hardship that they’d gone through to actually tie the knot and the wait they’d endured while trying to plan their reception. And so, when these two managed to exchange their vows and celebrate with their loved ones, we couldn’t have been happier for them. They are both so sweet, so full of life, that not even a little bit of rain on their big day could bring them down.

Today we thought we’d share their wedding story, and show you just how stunning the Esplanade Lakes wedding venue is as a big day backdrop.

What’s the Story Behind These Two Lovebirds?

Jon and Taylor have been together for over 4 years, but they actually met long before, back in high school, and dated briefly during that time.

These two eventually got engaged in the cutest way, with an impromptu proposal while they were moving into their new home. While in different rooms, Jon called out to Taylor and told her there was something she needed to look at. Upon walking into the room, she found Jon, on one knee, ring in hand. So sweet!

Can We Talk About Taylor’s Gorgeous Gown?

So often we hear brides say that their chosen dream dress was nothing like they had imagined before entering the bridal store and our bride Taylor was no different. “My dress was not what I was expecting to pick out. It was an A-line ball gown by Eve of Milady. I was between two, but I knew it was the one by how much I wanted to go back and put it on, while I was still trying on other dresses at Bella Bianca. It also made my mom and bridesmaids cry”, shared Taylor. We are so glad she chose that gown because it felt like it was made for her, and looked incredibly chic in the photos!

Where Did Taylor & Jon Tie the Knot?

If you’re looking for a super elegant wedding venue in the Chicago suburbs, we cannot recommend Esplanade Lakes enough. It was a dream space for Taylor and Jon, and the perfect place for them to host their vows and reception. They loved the 9,500 sq ft ballroom, with its 360 degree lakeside views and a decor that matched perfectly to their sophisticated taste. The ideal backdrop for so many precious moments throughout their big day.

Esplanade Lakes were also plentiful in their supply of expert services, with Taylor and Jon making good use of their talented crew. “From our wedding coordinator, to the servers, to the chef – everything at Esplanade Lakes was amazing”, enthused Taylor.

But we have to say that Kio Kreations also played a massive part in how chic their big day looked, with their endless floral designs back-dropping the ceremony, and family portraits. Not to mention the gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces.

Did These Guys Do a First Look? Were There Tears?

Taylor thought that Jon wouldn’t cry upon seeing her walk towards him down the aisle if they’d already had a first look. But she was very much mistaken! In fact, both of them were tearing up at different points during their vows! “There was something about finally being able to walk down that aisle that made us both cry”, said Taylor. And that is to be expected because these two waited so long, and had so many hurdles to jump over in order to actually get to that moment.

Their first look was a really special time, and one that was shared with their loved ones, some of whom had to be there virtually via video call. You could certainly still feel the emotions in the room all the same. Taylor also loved doing a first look as it allowed her to get all the group photography in early, and let the bridal party really enjoy cocktail hour!

What was the Highlight of the Wedding?

If you ask most couples what their favorite part of their big day was, they’ll probably smile, and say “it was all a blur, so, all of it!” And Taylor certainly felt, like so many brides before, that her wedding flew by. As soon as it had started, it had already finished. That is why we love what we do so much, as we get to give our Chicago couples the memories of their big day, and fill in any gaps with our wedding photography.

Even though the day was a bit of a whirlwind for Taylor, and an emotional rollercoaster after the difficulty of planning a wedding during Covid-19, there was still one moment that stands out above all else for her. “I think we just enjoyed every single moment. But if I had to pick just one – it would be when we had our reception reveal to do a private first dance”, shared Taylor. This was a uniquely beautiful, and emotionally charged scene, one that we felt privileged to be able to witness.

What Advice Would Taylor Share with Other Couples?

We’re certain that if you asked her that question directly, she’d probably laugh, and say, “don’t plan a wedding during a pandemic!” because we know the process was very stressful. 

Covid aside, Taylor did have these wise words to share with anyone planning their big day. “Enjoy every moment – take everything in. Even if it is parts that you are not totally into. Also remember, this day is just about you and your spouse and your love for each other. Things will go unplanned, but it will still be such a great day since you will be marrying the person you want to be with forever. I also highly recommend taking a moment for yourselves.” That last part, we suggest wholeheartedly. The happiest couples are always the ones who have taken a long moment together, to really soak up the occasion, and enjoy some time alone.

Taylor and Jon were also such troopers when they saw the rain coming down on their wedding morning. It was literally a nightmare scenario for them. But they trusted in their venue, and in us as their wedding photographers to capture their big day, and still make it look incredible. “I was so sad it was raining on our wedding day, but the pictures turned out amazing”, said Taylor.


Wedding Planner – Alice Veronica Events

Florist – Kio Kreations

Decor – A Posh Production

Hair Stylist – Evolve Hair Salon

Make-Up Artist – Planet Color Salon

Venue – Esplanade Lakes

We Would Love to be Your Chicago Wedding Photographers

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. My team of Chicago wedding photographers and 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 and videography 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.

Tags: chicago, illinois, lauren ashley, lauren ashley studios, marriage, wedding, wedding photography