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Romantic Riviera Ballroom Wedding

December 6, 2021


For their post-pandemic restrictions wedding, (almost) childhood sweethearts Julia & Mike tied the knot in the glorious surroundings of Lake Geneva.

Very rarely, as wedding photographers in Chicago, do we hear of childhood sweethearts anymore. So often these days, our couples meet at work, online, or in a bar. That’s why it was so lovely to hear how Julia and Mike got together. A couple that met by the water as kids, got engaged on a boat and said ‘I do’ with Lake Geneva as their backdrop. Today we share their love story, and how they tied the knot for the second time.

The Riviera Ballroom Wedding of Julia & Mike

For Julia and Mike, the summers of their youth were spent in the idyllic surroundings of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Both of their families had lake houses in the area and would spend as much time as possible there during the warmer months. Due to the closeness of the properties, inevitably both families became firm friends. And most days, Julia and Mike would be found playing in and around the lake together, both enjoying the tranquil freedom the area provided.
As the pair grew up together, their fondness for each other grew too, and both developed a crush for one another. It wasn’t until college that Julia and Mike finally started dating, a move that did not surprise their families at all.

A Proposal on a Boat

It was while Julia and Mike were hanging out with siblings on their family’s boat, that the question was popped. After nine and a half years together, the moment was finally right, and Mike was ring ready.
During the boat ride, the group were listening to music and chatted together. Suddenly, Julia’s ears pricked up, and she stopped talking to her family members and concentrated on the song being played. It was by one of the couple’s favorite bands, Lord Huron. The shift in music had forced her to think and she soon realized. In a sweet and emotional moment, Mike proposed to Julia surrounded by their loving family and friends. And together, they celebrated into the night.

Wedding 2.0

Like so many couples, Julia and Mike were forced to marry the first time around in a very different style than they’d originally planned. This more intimate occasion took place with only their closest family and friends, back in 2020. This small celebration was followed up by a much larger one in October 2021, the wedding we had the privilege of capturing.
Both weddings were really relaxed, and informal, with an emphasis on fun, rather than formality. And of course, due to the pandemic, many of their loved ones had been separated for a great deal of time, so there was a really jubilant ‘together again’ vibe in the air.

A Boho Bride with a Little Bit of Glitz

Julia chose a stunning bridal gown from BHLDN for her big day. And it was a style that matched the boho, casual vibe that she had wanted her wedding to have overall. Cut to a flattering A-line silhouette, and scattered with delicate, cascading lace appliques — there was no doubting that this was Julia’s gown because it felt so unique. It even had some subtle glitter incorporated into the skirt, under the layers of tulle, which gave the dress some glitz without going over the top. “It was dreamy, comfortable, and so fun to wear!” said Julia.

Surround Yourself with Talented Vendors

A successful wedding relies on the abilities of its vendors, and Julia and Mike really understood this while they were planning their big day. As a couple, they decided to hire an on-the-day coordinator who really helped to look after every small detail and ensure that the pair could relax and enjoy the day.
They also understood that their photography would be the most important investment they’d be making on their wedding day, and so they wanted to find a photographer who truly matched their very chilled personalities. Our team made sure that the couple never felt rushed, or held back during their big day. And that actually they were able to enjoy going from one emotional moment to another, without feeling like they were even being photographed!

A Love Story that has Come Full Circle, Location-wise

Julia and Mike met on the banks of Lake Geneva, and they became husband and wife in the very same place. The reception was held at The Riviera Ballroom, a historic venue in the heart of Lake Geneva with a big day backdrop that is beyond compare. A lakefront venue surrounded by water on three sides, with 20-foot-high ceilings, and giant windows overlooking the beautiful Riviera Beach.

The couple made the space their own and managed to make every guest feel at home with their informal styling and friendly vibes. The culmination of their celebrations at the ballroom was their first dance, which was soundtracked by the classic Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. A romantic tune that brought back so many good memories for the pair, and together they performed a fun, loving dance that their family adored.

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 and I 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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