Posts Tagged ‘Union Station’


September 22nd, 2011

Weddings are great with all the emotion, action and detail packed into one day.  They’re even better when you are friends with the bride and groom.  Increase the level of greatness by another million when they have a pretty awesome wedding party.  And on top of that we made it into the city for three photo locations despite the weather and everyone was a trooper!  I admit, I was obsessively checking the weather as the big day got closer and not liking the outcome.  I instructed the bride to make sure the wedding party brought along some golf umbrellas and confirmed we were cruising into the city for photo ops no matter what; that I hadn’t had a bride melt on me yet!

After arriving at the hotel on a muggy morning, I found the Renee getting her hair done and her make-up had already been flawlessly applied by Nikolina with Moya Make-Up.  She was grinning from ear to ear as the day had finally arrived!  I worked the room and met her friends and family and worked on detail shots and joked around with the girls, we all knew we were in for a fun day!  As we all boarded the limo bus, there was absolute delight in realizing it not only had stocked bars, a video screen and a light show but also a nice pole smack dab in the middle.  Good thing Renee’s mom was being chauffeured to the church by family!

Saint’s Cyril and Methodius is stunning on the inside and very well lit (photographers tend to think in different lighting scenarios) and I was very excited!  Just seeing Renee walk down that aisle with yet another huge grin on her face made me realize what a fantastic job I have.  Seeing Jim watch her walk with his eyes lit up and a tight smile as he kept emotions in check made myself and all the guests proud to be there for these two who are so much in love!  One of my favorite parts was during Flowers to Mary when Renee’s Matron of Honor sang Ave Maria, while it’s always a very powerful and moving portion of the ceremony, to have one of your closest friends sing during this tradition is just incredibly heartfelt.

About halfway through the formal family and wedding party photos at the altar after the ceremony, I heard some loud and deep rumbling, which I attributed to someone messing with a mic and the sound system.  It was later mentioned that it was really coming down outside and what I really heard was rolling thunder!  Fortunately the monsoon only delayed our departure from the church by about 10 minutes as the groomsmen had to help the bridesmaids out to the limo bus one by one, and then a crew joined together to help get our lovely bride out without getting her drenched.  I personally had to wring out the hems on my pants after a couple trips out carrying gear.  Many thanks to the kind gentleman whose umbrella I totally borrowed!

Our itinerary consisted of stops at US Cellular, Union Station and the Chicago Board of Trade – and we accomplished it all!  By the time the limo bus rolled into the parking lot at US Cellular it has stopping raining and we were able to do a great number of wedding party portraits with the stadium in the background.  Since Renee and Jim are die-hard White Sox fans it was only appropriate this be the main reason we trekked into the city from Lemont and it was totally worth it.  We also had the beauty of a lightening show just to the South of US Cellular as we were out taking pictures.  Upon finishing up there we all hopped back on the limo bus and headed towards Union Station, the light drizzle started up again so we spent time playing beneath the columns and out of the rain.  Our third and final stop entailed me having Renee and Jim gallivant around the middle of the street in front of the Board of Trade and we got some lovely umbrella shots, which not every bride and groom get to have!  Finally it was back on the bus to head towards the reception venue back in the ‘burbs.  Renee and Jim and their wedding party did a great job stocking the coolers and it was like all the time on the bus between ceremony and reception was another party just for the VIPs. (And the photographer and videographer, of course.)

When we arrived at the Crystal Grand, earlier than expected to boot, the room was completely decked out and one of Jim’s friends even did some elegant up-lighting on every wall giving it a completely different and colorful atmosphere.  My associate photographer had also set up a Photobooth and one of the bridesmaids supplied a bin of hats and other fun accouterments for dressing up.  It was a huge hit with the guests, myself included!

Click here to view the Photobooth pics.

Guests mingled and cocktailed and Renee and Jim were toasted by their closest friends with some of the most heartfelt speeches I have heard.  All around a job well done!  Finally, after a scrumptious dinner and the opening dances it was time to get the party started!  Their DJ rocked the house with dance songs, oldies and some 80′s throwback songs and there was not one single lull in the commotion on the dance floor. That’s the sign of a successful wedding reception!

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February 22nd, 2011

Never mind that February 8th was bitterly cold, with temps in the single digits.  Never mind that the carousel at the Zoo was closed for the season.  Never mind that over a foot of snow covered some of the paths we needed to get to photo ops.  I was still game for an afternoon and evening out around the city with Tracy and Marc for their engagement session.

Perhaps the fact that the carousel was closed made an even better photo op?

Lucky for them they have longer legs than I do so climbing over the locked gate did not land them butt first in the snow like their photographer.

My sides seriously hurt after this session, from all the laughing!

Kids – don’t try this at home . . . ducking into the Conservatory when it’s 10 outside WILL fog up your elements. I always say I like to do special effects in camera and not relying on Photoshop.

LOOK! For some reason there was a T-rex in the bushes but I much prefer to point at my subjects.

All aboard! Next stop, Union Station.

Time for a cocktail break, all this engagement posing is hard work!

I know it’s cold, but trust me we need to go back outside!

So worth it!

Yes, very worth it!


No animals were harmed during this production but one of the subjects did suffer minor windburn.

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Courtney & Miguel 10.03.09

January 6th, 2010

Sometimes you have a dress bride. Sometimes you have a hair bride. Sometimes you have a shoe bride (see previous post). And few and far between you sometimes get a food bride.  If I had to sum up the food at the reception it would be – flowing, flavorful and oh my goodness – there’s more?!  Food is one detail that Courtney emphasized at her wedding reception and not one guest (or vendor) was unimpressed. From the passed hors d’oeuvres to the cocktail room with the gourmet seafood hors d’oeuvres stations to the main reception room with the fresh sliced proscuitto, breads, spreads and veggies to the three meal choices which included bone-in fillet as an option to a delicious wedding cake served for dessert and ending with the fabulous spread of sweets, fruit and delectables at the chocolate fountain.

I was surprised and stuffed after dinner and made a comment to the bride and she simply smiled and mentioned that she didn’t want anyone to be hungry.  Not a chance of that at all!

Earlier in the day Courtney and Miguel had a beautifully sweet ceremony at Old Saint Pat’s and their son Ezra stole the show as he was wheeled down the aisle in a wagon for the processional. After the ceremony the wedding party and I attempted a quick stop at Olive Park but our plans were foiled by precipitation so we headed over to Union Station instead and beat the mad rush of wedding parties. I think there were two other wedding parties in the Great Hall when we arrived and no less than 10 with two more trolleys pulling up as we made our exit.

Courtney and Miguel’s wedding day was a long time coming for me, as we originally met and finalized the contract in the fall of 2007!
















Ceremony: Old Saint Pat’s, Chicago, IL

Reception: Venuti’s, Addison, IL

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November 2nd, 2009

This is my first Emily & Michael of 2009.  What’s really funny is that I was anticipating this particular Emily’s email inquiry for wedding photography last summer. I finally got an email from Emily getting married at the end of summer and I wrote back immediately thanking her and telling her I was waiting for her email! But oops, wrong Emily!  (Don’t worry, she booked me too!) The right Emily finally emailed a few weeks later and we got it all sorted out.

Emily and Michael had a wonderfully intimate ceremony at Old Saint Patrick’s followed by a quick stop with the wedding party at Union Station and a longer, but animated and fun limo bus ride to the Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge in Hinsdale for the reception. And I must point out their wedding party had the best snacks I have ever witnessed on the limo bus.

Some people like cake and some people don’t. Emily and Michael fall under the latter category and decided to go all out on pie. They had a pie buffet with Chocolate Silk, Lemon Meringue AND Key Lime pies. They were all delicious. Yes, I tasted all three flavors.

After all the guests devoured the pies, everyone headed upstairs for more cocktails and dancing and talk about a rip roaring party, the dance floor is an entire room on the second floor of the lodge and it was packed the entire time!


























View full gallery and slide show

Ceremony: Old Saint Patrick’s, Chicago, IL

Reception: Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge, Hinsdale, IL

Band: 312 Chicago from Stitely Entertainment, Chicago, IL

Caterer: D’Masti Catering, Blue Island, IL

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Perfect Union

June 18th, 2009

Emily and Mike are getting married in Chicago in September, yet they reside in Portland.  The engagement session was a last minute decision as they had a quick visit to Chicago planned. We intended to shoot the engagement session near the Museum Campus downtown but sadly Mother Nature put the kibosh on that idea.  My back-up plan was Union Station.  Emily, Mike and I had a blast cavorting around the exterior and interior and playing off the architecture. (And only one derelict interrupted the shoot!) Bookmark the blog and check back after their wedding in September for their next appearance in full wedding regalia!


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