Yay, I’m honored to share this fairytale Chicagoland wedding day on the blog! That’s right, Sarah and Gene’s wedding day was just that… A fairytale!
Two of my favorites, Colette and Alfonso, connected me to this couple, and I am forever grateful. And I’m guessing you remember this gorgeous couple from their engagement session last fall. I remember wrapping up their engagement photos and thinking… If this is any indication of their wedding day, it will be a dream!
Gene and I have actually known of each other since high school. Fast-forward 10 years… I am a teacher, and over the summer I work at a golf course. Gene happens to golf at that golf course almost every weekend. One day I was driving around the golf course and I saw him and my heart dropped! I don’t know why, I can’t explain it. After seeing each other at the golf course all summer, we became pretty good friends and would talk all the time. Over time our relationship started. We then discovered that we lived on the same block as kids and would play sports outside together. We both believe in fate and know that even though we were born over 5,000 miles away, we were slightly connected throughout our lives, and we were meant to be together.
Sarah and Gene like to take staycations for their anniversaries. So on their third dating anniversary, they planned a staycation on Wonder Lake. Gene knows that Sarah loves pretty sunsets and gorgeous photos (my kinda bride!). So he rented a house that would have great opportunities for both of those things. Before heading out for their anniversary dinner after a day at the lake, Gene poured each of them a glass of wine to toast their three year dating anniversary. The next thing Sarah knew, Gene was down on one knee asking her to marry him! The proposal completely shocked and surprised Sarah. And to top it all off, then their families and closest friends walked through the door to celebrate with them, too. This sweet proposal warms my heart and makes me smile!
Over the last year, it has a been a joy to be a photographer and friend to Sarah and Gene as they’ve planned their fairytale Chicagoland wedding day. We’ve shared countless emails, texts, and FaceTime dates, and I’m thankful for this couple. In being around them for just a few minutes or a few hours, it’s so easy to tell that they are deeply in love and will share a beautiful life together.
On the morning of their wedding day, I loved arriving at Sarah and Gene’s new dream home where the girls were busy getting ready. And when I arrived, I was greeted with another little surprise from Sarah… She had “how they met” chalkboards for her bridesmaids and saved one for me for a photo as her photog. I love her dearly! In this moment Sarah’s mom said that she couldn’t believe Sarah and I had only met through engagement and wedding photography. It is a joy to feel like part of the family like this on wedding days!
Before we knew it, it was time to get Sarah dressed and whisk her away to the Chicago Botanic Garden for her first look with Gene. This was my first visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden for wedding photos. And I’m sure you can imagine it was beautiful and BUSY on this cloudy Saturday! Though the thing I loved most about this location was that it was so easy to choose beautiful backdrops for photos with Sarah, Gene, and their bridal party. Everywhere you turned there was another beautiful scene!
As photos wrapped up, we traveled to Sarah’s Armenian church where their traditional ceremony would take place. I loved photographing and experiencing their ceremony that was rich with Armenian culture as they became husband and wife. Next up, we traveled to Petergof in Northbrook where the reception would be taking place. Since Gene was born in Russia and lived there in his early childhood, their reception celebration naturally took place at a Russian event venue. This fairytale Chicagoland wedding day truly represented marrying two cultures – Armenian and Russian.
Some of my favorite details throughout this day… The moment Sarah read Gene’s letter with tears in her eyes. Their fairytale details from the pinks and golds to the sophisticated twist on Beauty and The Beast. This big bridal party – they were my second largest bridal party from over the years, and they are an AMAZING group of people! And finally, photographing the reception celebration and most exciting dance floor we’ve ever seen!
Sarah + Gene – thank you for sharing your best day yet with us! We have loved getting to know you two and can’t wait to see you continue to grow in your married life together. 💛
Bride’s Attire: Here Comes the Bride Bridal Boutique – Addison, IL | Bridesmaid Attire: Various Designers – Lulus, Show Me Your Mumu, Azazie, Adrianna Papell | Hair: April Galinski | Makeup: Sophie Mucha | Getting Ready Location: Bride & Groom’s Home | Ceremony: Armenian All Saints Church – Glenview, IL | Reception Venue: Petergof Banquets – Northbrook, IL | Florist: Sanimar Decor Studio – Northbrook, IL | DJ: Vibe Dance & Entertainment – Skokie, IL | Transportation: Emperor Party Bus – Addison, IL | Videographer: Slavio S. | Catering: Petergof Banquets – Northbrook, IL | Cake: Candice Chislof of Karmas Kreations – Wheeling, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Carlson Craft
P.S. – Wanna read more love stories and get wedding inspiration? I love sharing more wedding days here!