We recently had the honor of photographing two ambitious lovebirds as they tied the knot in an emotional, and truly heartfelt wedding in Chicago. As wedding photographers in Chicago, we obviously meet countless loving couples. It’s part of our job, and we love it. But rarely do we meet a pair as besotted with each other as Lindsay and Preston, a duo who recently tied the knot at the grand Hilton Chicago wedding venue, surrounded by their wonderful bunch of friends and family. Their celebration was elegant, with every little detail thought out meticulously by the perfectionist couple. Today, we are so pleased to be sharing the wedding photography from Lindsay and Preston’s Elegant Wedding at the Grand Hilton Chicago and an interview with the bride!
If you know us, we met in the most fitting way possible, playing Beer Pong! I was at Preston’s fraternity house at Indiana University’s renowned Little Five weekend. During that raucous night, we hit it off but in the craziness of the party, we didn’t really get a chance to connect. However, my bridesmaid Marcy and I certainly taught Preston and his now best man Max a thing or two about Beer Pong!
Fortunately, during the summer beach volleyball season, and its various outings, we were able to reconnect and better get to know each other. We quickly realized there was a special spark between us, and after dating away from the party scene, it was clear we were a good fit.
I am a very ambitious person, with clear goals and desires for the future. Preston is very much the same, a quality I found very attractive, as did he in me. We also share a deep love for those around us and take great care in making sure that our loved ones are happy and safe.
Travel is also a major connecting point for us. Having the best travel buddy by my side, happy to go wherever, is a gift, and it’s meant that we’ve visited 7 countries together already. Not to mention being digital nomads during our work from home status. With each day, it’s clearer we are the perfect balance for each other.
On November 6th, 2020, Preston and I went for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Chicago, Maple & Ash. Shortly after dinner, Preston popped the question, and I was in complete shock! I, of course, said yes! However, that wasn’t all that Preston had planned.
Following dinner, and the proposal, we drove out to a beautiful Michigan City Airbnb for a little weekend away. As a special surprise to me, Preston had gathered some of our closest, and most special family and friends together at the Airbnb. They were there, awaiting in person, on the phone, and via FaceTime.
Preston hadn’t told our loved ones why they were there, and most of them had no idea we were going to show up engaged! Such a wonderful night of surprises! The weekend was perfect, with so much love thanks to a lot of help, planning, support (and secrets!) from some of those we care about the most.
I actually tied the knot in the first wedding dress I tried on! Before visiting the store, Marie Gabriel Couture, I had thoroughly done my research and knew which gown I wanted to try on first. When at the store, accompanied by my mom, sister, aunt, grandma, and mother-in-law, I tried on The Gown, and we all immediately knew. To be thorough, I tried on a handful of other dresses just to make sure. But when it was time to put back on dress #1 again, it just felt so right! The extra sparkle from the belt and veil sealed the deal for me. It was such a treasured gift from my grandma, and I will be forever grateful for it.
That first look moment is one I’ll carry with me forever. There was so much excitement and anticipation all bundled up together as I walked down those stairs towards Preston. Being able to see him and those little tears of happiness in his eyes is a memory I won’t soon forget.
Considering I’m a perfectionist, it’s not often I can say, ‘I wouldn’t have changed a thing’. But my wedding was perfect. A flawless experience that I wouldn’t dream of altering. The stress, resources, and planning it took to pull off was certainly worth it even though the days, weeks, and months leading up to the day were so much more demanding than either of us could’ve ever anticipated.
What made the experience so perfect, was the team that put it all together for us. The professionals we chose gifted us the ability to fully relax on our big day, and enjoy it, without a care in the world. I am so thankful for this because it’s so true when they say ‘the day will fly by in an instant’. It really does! At least we were able to savor it knowing our team was taking care of everything.
We certainly had the A-team helping us pull off our wedding. It goes without saying that Lauren Ashley Studios was so good, and we adore our wedding photography. But there was also Yanni Design Studio. Their decor expert Paige was an absolute joy to work with, and her final design literally took my breath away when I first saw it complete! The decor was a high priority for me, and I believe their work really made our event a memorable one.
We had an absolutely spectacular DJ and entertainment crew in The DJ Firm! Those guys put together a unique mix of classic and electric violin, saxophone, and DJ entertainment throughout the evening. Their team were wonderful to work with, and the dance floor was full (of all ages!) the entire night!
The Hilton Chicago venue has such a professional, and accommodating wedding team. They did everything they could to say ‘yes’ to our requests. The venue was a perfect fit for us, our guests had a pleasurable stay, and the food was incredible. I heard so many people say how appreciative they were of the meal, and that it was actually served hot! Moreover, the pastries and desserts were delicious, and made in-house. Our Grand Hilton Chicago Wedding was something that dreams are made of.
Choose a wedding photographer you actually feel comfortable with and someone you’re happy to spend time with. This person will be sharing your most special day, and be following you around for most of it – so you need to like them! When I had an initial conversation with Lauren, I knew we should work with her. She was so fun and kind, but also really knew her business and how to run the show. Lauren and her team were such a massive part of our day, and each member of her team made the day even better because they were there.
Open communication is also key. It was wonderful that Lauren worked with us based on our actual timeline and location requests. She was very flexible throughout, and we couldn’t be happier with the photos. She captured every moment of our Grand Hilton Chicago Wedding!
The bridal party were wonderful. They were cooperative, helpful and totally drama-free. It was that group experience I had always dreamed of, and one that I wish for every couple. There was certainly no need for special prep before, apart from some tiny ‘bridezilla’ requests from me…! I asked the group if they would, please, walk slowly down the aisle, smile, and hold their bouquet below their belly button. This was the only time I made any bridezilla demands (I promise), and it was simply because I’d seen too many beautiful bridesmaids run down the aisle with a less-than-thrilled expression. Our group executed the aisle moment perfectly, and they all looked flawless in the pictures!
I’m known as a notorious procrastinator, one that ‘works well under pressure’. However, I probably should’ve broken this habit when it came to planning our wedding. I did do quite a few DIY projects that were fun, but they would’ve been much more enjoyable if they hadn’t taken place at 2am in the weeks leading up to the wedding…! During this time, all the big stuff should be done, with only minor things left to plan or prepare. So don’t be like me, plan ahead and leave yourself time to relax and enjoy the moments before your nuptials.
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. 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.
Wedding Coordinator: LOLA Productions
Florist and Designer: Yanni Designs
Bridal Salon: Marie Gabriel
Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Tuxedos: Louie’s Tux Shop
Entertainment: The DJ Firm
Hair Stylist: Beauty by Adeline
Makeup Artist: Josie Uidl