Almost exactly a year ago, Brooke reached out to me for engagement photos. Her and Zhas were engaged, but not yet decided on a wedding date (or location) so, as unusual as it is for me, I shot their engagement session without having their wedding booked. If you know this couple, you can see why I quickly fell in love with them the moment I met them at the park for their photos and I’ve secretly been holding out hope for this entire past year that I’d get the chance to photograph their wedding, whenever it may happen.
So imagine my absolute delight when I got an email out of the blue from Brooke a couple of months ago wondering if I by any chance was available on September 24th to photograph their wedding in her sister’s backyard in Chicago. It was a miracle, but that date was open and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.
The night before their wedding, we hosted my client appreciation dinner and, after snatching a few hours of sleep, I hopped in the car to head to Chicago on Saturday morning. One of my favorite parts of small weddings is the relaxed calm that comes with them. Typically, the less people involved, the less stress involved and I just adored stepping into Brooke’s room that day to find her and her sister causally watching football and slowly getting ready. I cannot tell you how beautiful it is to see a truly relaxed bride. Brooke had everything laid out for me so they relaxed while I got to work photographing the wedding details.
Brooke’s mom passed away a few years ago and she has since worn her mom’s ring on her right hand. She pinned a brooch with her mom’s photo onto her bouquet.
I always have my couples fill out a questionnaire prior to their wedding with important details like addresses, names of family & bridal party, vendor info, etc. I knew much of it wouldn’t apply to this wedding day, but I sent it out as the standard form regardless. Under the listing for “wedding coordinator”, Brooke wrote, “Hah, my sister?! She owes me for planning her wedding!” I love the bond these two share though and we had many laughs throughout the day. I might’ve secretly pretended to be part of their sisterhood.
Brooke & Zhas shared a first look and this was right before he turned around to see her.
Brooke’s sister, Morgan, had indeed done her homework and scouted out some amazing places for us to photograph. This simple little dock was my absolute favorite. I will always choose light over location and the light here was absolutely stunning. (See all the light flickering through the leaves in the background? It gives so much dimension to a photo!)
Not only do these two sisters get along like best friends, but their husbands are like brothers as well. This foursome is the funniest, most charming group I’ve ever seen and I was just loving getting to see their beautiful bonds. To add to that, each couple got a dog from the same litter earlier this year, a boy and a girl.
After their reception in Kyle & Morgan’s backyard, everyone headed over to Maggiano’s Little Italy for dinner.
Brooke & Zhas, thank you for allowing me to capture your day. It was truly an honor in so many ways. I know that my couples forever cherish their wedding photos, but your makes it even a little sweeter knowing that my images are allowing Zhas’ family to share in the day with you. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you and I’m so excited for what the future holds!
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Florals: Eco Flower
Paper Suite: Zazzle
Bridal Gown: BHLDN Dresses
Maid’s Gown: JJ’s House
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Ceremony Venue: Private Residence
Reception Venue: Maggiano’s Little Italy