It’s no secret I love traveling for weddings, and that doesn’t always mean hiking to a mountaintop or lounging on a beach. As a destination wedding photographer, I go wherever my couples want to go, and I was more than happy to travel for this colorful wedding in downtown Chicago, especially since I know the groom!
Marc and I hung with the same skater kid crowd in high school, and he was actually my junior prom date! I’m so glad I got to meet his awesome bride Dani and capture their super fun wedding in downtown Chicago.
If you’re looking for a destination wedding photographer in Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter), just reach out!
DOWNTOWN CHICAGO DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Dani and Marc had their wedding at a venue in downtown Chicago called Carnivale. I dig rural venues just as much as the next photographer, but shooting in a city (especially a new one) is so much fun. The architecture in Chicago creates a grid of dynamic shapes and lines, and the wind adds an extra challenge! On the morning of Dani and Marc’s wedding, the wind was whipping, the sun was shining, and we were all ready for a fun day ahead.
GETTING READY FOR DOWNTOWN CHICAGO WEDDING
Dani and Marc booked a hotel near their venue to get ready. Dani and her girls got their hair and makeup done while I snuck away with the dress for a few photos. The dress’s cut was simple, but the lace overlay added this gorgeous texture and delicate shadows over the entire skirt. Dani is such a kind, mega-intelligent gal, and I thought her dress suited her perfectly.
The florals arrived while the girls were getting ready, and I was wowed. Dani’s bouquet had a classic shape but tons of bold colors and fun textures. Steve’s Flower Market did an amazing job making sure the florals were both classic and one-of-a-kind.
Before meeting Marc, Dani gave each of her bridesmaids a gift and a hand-written note. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room! I love working with such intentional, kind brides who go out of their way to make their people feel appreciated on the day of.
After drying some tears and posing with the bouquet, Dani headed out into downtown Chicago to see her groom!
FIRST LOOK IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO
Dani and Marc chose the location of their hotel because they knew they wanted to have their first look on this bridge over the river. It was only about a block away from the hotel, and the clear day offered an amazing view of the city skyline.
After a few solo photos, Dani and Marc shared their first look. They were so happy to see each other, and I love the sweet shots I got of them on this bridge. They even got cheered on by a passing tour boat!
WEDDING PHOTOS IN CHINATOWN
After the first look, we went back to the hotel for a few more portraits before meeting up with the bridal party for group shots. We headed to a different bridge for these, and once again that sunlight made all the color pop.
Next was possibly my favorite part of the day: Chinatown! Dani and Marc scheduled a few extra hours into their day for a fun stroll through Chinatown, boba with their bridal party, and lots of time to relax before the ceremony.
I was really impressed by how well Dani and Marc planned their wedding day. From the moment I arrived at their hotel to the very end of the night, everything was easy and stress-free – what every couple wants on their wedding day. They were able to relax and enjoy their wedding day without worrying about a hectic schedule. They really nailed it!
The wedding day timeline is one of the toughest details to get right. Anything can happen, so you have to have a plan (and a backup plan!). If you’re stressed about your wedding day timeline, just shoot me a message. I’m happy to help you plan!
DOWNTOWN CHICAGO WEDDING CEREMONY
If you’re planning a destination wedding in Chicago and looking for a cool venue, it doesn’t get much cooler than Carnivale. The decor in this place is insane – funky and edgy with a touch of vintage charm and lots of color. It fit Dani and Marc’s vibe perfectly!
As guests arrived, they stopped at the bar for a cocktail before taking their seats in the ceremony space. Dani walked down a massive staircase to meet her father, who then walked her down the rest of the aisle. Dani and Marc were wed in front of a larger-than-life painting, and their vows had us all in tears. I’m telling you, personal vows just get me every single time. They create this moment of vulnerability that you don’t often see between couples in a public space, and they rope all of your nearest and dearest into that space with you. I even have a theory that couples who write their own vows have better dance floors; everyone’s just more excited to be there and share in the love!
Dani and Marc exchanged rings and were pronounced husband and wife to a roar of applause. Then, it was time to party!
WEDDING RECEPTION AT CARNIVALE IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO
After the ceremony, Dani and Marc went right into their reception. They were introduced, immediately cut their cake (love that!), and sat at a sweethearts’ table in massive red velvet armchairs. They looked like the king and queen of Carnivale!
Dani and Marc treated their guests to a full-course, seated meal and open bar. As if the vibe of the restaurant wasn’t cool enough on its own, the food was incredible. Carnivale specializes in Latin fusion food and cocktails, and there wasn’t a thing I tried that didn’t amaze me.
After dinner, the bridal jumped into toasts, Dani and Marc shared their first dance, and the party got started! Because they’d already cut their cake, the dancing didn’t have to stop for anything. The guests chatted, drank, and tore it up on the dance floor for hours. At the end of the night, Dani and Marc once again thanked everyone for joining them and invited them all to an afterparty at a nearby bar. (Could these two get any cooler?!) They said a few goodbyes, and then the party poured out onto the Chicago streets for another round.
Special thanks to all the vendors who made Dani and Marc’s wedding day spectacular:
Florals- Steve’s Flower Market
Dress- Jenny Yoo
Suit- Black Tux
Hair- Noel Jubeh with So Beautiful Bridal
Makeup- Suzana Roman with So Beautiful Bridal
DJ- DJ Chicago
Cake- Sweet Mandy B’s
If you need a Chicago destination photographer (or any other destination, for that matter), I’m your gal! Head over to my contact page, shoot me a message, and let’s get to work planning your dream wedding.