It’s not often enough that we’re invited up to the beautiful area that is Lake Geneva. The private residence of the Kocourek estate couldn’t have been a better spot for Nan + Wayne to tie the knot surrounded by their closest friends and (huge!) family. We knew that Nan was especially excited about capturing images of all of her grandchildren who were in attendance and soon we started to understand why. Not only was it some of their grandkids first big shin dig (think back to your first ever professional makeup do), but to be able to have 3 generations in attendance for such a huge milestone was incredibly heartwarming to say the least. Between the creative brain power of both Bliss Weddings and Events and Kehoe Designs the simplicity of this backyard wedding couldn’t have been any more elegant. And we have to admit, any wedding that ends with fireworks is a hit in our book.

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Ceremony/ Reception: Private Estate | Event Coordinator: Bliss Weddings and Events | Event Design: Kehoe | Lighting: Frost Chicago | Catering: Blue Plate Chicago

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Having been at this for awhile now, sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that not everyone knows even where to begin with the wedding planning process. And an engagement portrait session to document your recent engagement when you’ve never had a formal photo taken of you before?? Yikes. We know a lot of couples that love the idea of having a few images of just the two of them before the big wedding day and before their next big steps as a married couple; a fleeting moment when life is just a bit more about the two of them. And we wholeheartedly agree! Not only is an engagement session a great ice breaker for getting to know your photographer, but it also opens the door to an experience that allows for people like us to the capture the love you share with another human being.

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When we first sit down with our clients that have expressed an interest in our engagement portrait sessions, a few of our main goals are to get a feeling of their style and personality together. We also want to establish what their version of Chicago feels like. We learn more about our couples by sending out a super brief questionnaire in the weeks leading up to their shoot date. We genuinely want to know how you met, what your favorites characteristics about your significant other are, and what you like to do for fun! This helps us to collaborate with our clients on creating a unique experience that is truly tailored just for them.

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BUT WHAT DO I WEAR you ask?? Something that feels comfortable and suits the scene. For instance, formal wear in the park doesn’t feel as natural as something more casual. While a second outfit isn’t necessarily a must, we can certainly incorporate some time for a quick superman style outfit swap upon request. We think that matching color palettes for you two work well together and bright colors are great so don’t be shy! If wearing heels with your outfit I always suggest bringing a pair of flats along just in case.

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We’re sure you’ve heard the term, “Home is where the heart is”, and we can definitely identify with that. We’ll normally start our engagement portrait sessions at or near a clients home because honestly it’s a comfy and cozy place to begin an experience that can sometimes feel weird if you’ve never had your photo taken before! Plus, it’s likely that you won’t stay in that apartment/house/neighborhood forever. So whether it’s your first place together or your favorite tree lined street the images are sure to let your mind drift to a special place in your heart when you see them 20 years from now! Then we’ll leave together for your next location and probably spend the next hour or so relaxing, having fun, joking around, and getting to know each other. We’re not gonna lie, you’ll be super surprised at how easy-going these sessions are.

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Once our session is over hugs and handshakes might ensue while we fill you in on when you can expect your online gallery of images which is generally 2-6 weeks from the date of your shoot. Then, you’ll probably head off into the sunset and have a fantastic dinner because 1.) You already look AMAZING and 2.) You just had your photo taken professionally and totally nailed it.

Sound easy/fun/exciting/romantic? We know. It’s kind of our thing.

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Few things could have suprassed the rooptop view of the The Legacy on this beautiful June morning except that of the soon to be Mrs. Wetherell! But seriously, the sun was shining, Sophia’s smile beamed as she slipped into her beaded Jenny Packham dress, and Andrew had just realized that he had gotten the exact same card for his bride to be. The day was off to a great start. We’ve loved this couple from the minute we met them (maybe it was the Smilebooth shenanigans at our open house party) and the creativity they injected into their Salvage One ceremony + reception was just one more reason that we absolutely adore these two. Did we mention that Sophia and Andrew enlisted an amazing amount of local artisans to make their wedding that much more spectacular? The lush floral arrangements had been grown just for this event right outside of Chicago and their guests sipped local craft beers alongside Chicago’s very own Letherbee + Koval throughout the night. Cake? No way. Profiteroles and a heaping scoop of Black Dog gelato for these two.

#androphie, we heart you.

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Ceremony/Reception: Salvage One | Event Coordinator: Big Day Easy | Florist: Field and Florist | Caterer: Hearty Boys and Black Dog Gelato

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Soooo it’s no secret that we like all things fun + exciting. When we heard that a member of our amazing design team for Smilebooth was doing a writeup about us on her personal blog we were totally flattered! Not only do we get to work with Katie Jayne who literally oozes creativity, but we think there’s nothing we can’t do as long as we’re teamed up with this queen of all things crafty. Below are two of our favorite recent custom backdrops Katie Jayne made for two VERY lucky brides and grooms.

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Why do our clients gush about Katie Jayne’s handmade custom props and backdrops for Smilebooth events? Because she wants your event to be as awesome as you are! We could talk about her all day, but you should probably just check out her recent post about Smilebooth HERE.
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