It’s an honor to share Alana and Zach’s City View Loft wedding on the blog! And you know what? There aren’t enough words to adequately describe this wonderful wedding day!
I adore Alana and Zach! It makes my heart happy that Julia and Ali’s wedding day brought them into my life. From getting to meet them and hear their story to their engagement session to wedding planning to their wedding day… This couple is forever one of my favorites!
We started out as friends in high school. As time went on, I (Zach) realized that Alana was something more than a friend to me. We started hanging out outside of school with friends. At that time in our lives, passing notes to friends was still a thing to do to pass the time. I courageously (maybe stupidly) decided to write my feelings down in a note that I would give Alana the next day.
On the day that we exchanged notes, I was beyond nervous. I had a feeling that maybe her note would have a small hint of the same feelings I was feeling. I was wrong. Hers was a typical note, no mind-blowing news or anything like that, and once I realized that we did not feel the same way I panicked. I avoided her the rest of the day like the plague, embarrassed and afraid of the consequences.
It wasn’t until after school when we were hanging out with friends that she pulled me aside and confirmed that she read my note and asked what we were going to do about it. She told me that she just got out of a relationship recently and she was not looking to start a new one just that second, but she wanted to remain friends and see where we were at in the future.
Fast forward 3 agonizing months later, Alana was finally my girlfriend. From that moment on, we were inseparable. We attended the same schools, let alone many of the same classes. Rode to school together, ate out everywhere together, and had the same friends and family we hung out with. In 2017, 12 long years after we first got together, she finally got her ring. And I finally stopped getting scolded by friends and family to finally “put a ring on it”!
The proposal consisted of an elaborate plan that was created by myself (Zach) and my cousin who is also a close friend of Alana’s. It was currently winter, and there is just something about the fall and winter season that always keeps Alana at ease and happy.
The plan was to have someone create a fake dinner reservation for 6 of us, and for one couple to claim they had a flat tire while we were already on the way to meeting them there. While our group was “waiting” for them to get their tire fixed, our car of 4 people would take an “impromptu” trip down one of Alana’s favorite areas.
I remembered this place fondly because two summers ago Alana and I randomly found this area and ended up walking around and getting ice cream. I made a mental note to remember this area, because I had a feeling it was the type of area that would be beautiful at night during the winter. When our group arrived, there were Christmas lights all over the place, and very little people around since it was pretty cold that night. The cold did not stop Alana from wanting to run out of the car to look at all the lights outside though.
As our group made our way to the spot that I pre-picked to be THE spot, our other group members broke off and I grabbed Alana’s hand. She was utterly confused as to why I was telling her to stop at that moment. I told her we needed to talk. At that moment she became even more confused, even asking if I was going to break up with her right then and there. I laughed, telling her it was the exact opposite.
A few words, a lot of tears, and one ring later, we were officially engaged. Right after the ring was on, we heard a burst of joy and happy yelling coming from behind us. All of our close friends and family that I invited to come to the proposal ran out from behind the specified rock I told them to hide behind to congratulate us and share in our big moment. It was a moment neither of us will ever forget.
On the morning of Alana and Zach’s wedding day, it was a joy to arrive with Kyle by my side as the bridal party was getting ready at The Guesthouse Hotel. The character of the hotel itself is unmatched, and it was the perfect place for this crew! As the finished preparing for the day, both Alana and Zach were eager to see one another.
Despite the chilly forecast, these two (and their amazing people!) were all in for outside photos – happy dancing! We started with Alana and Zach’s rooftop first look at The Guesthouse Hotel, then loaded up the bridal party and traveled to the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk for more photos with the fall foliage. The cold weather couldn’t stop us!
I loved spending time with Alana, Zach, and their most favorite people throughout this time of their wedding day. Everyone was so kind and up for anything! The location was the perfect backdrop on this cloudy wedding day. And before we knew it, it was time to travel to their City View Loft wedding ceremony and reception.
This was our first time photographing a City View Loft wedding… And it did not disappoint! The space has unmatched views of the city skyline paired with the brick walls, wood floors, and exposed high ceilings. It’s a gorgeous space and totally complimented the mauves, berries, and grays in this wedding palette. Their ceremony was perfectly Alana and Zach and performed by their dear friend, Danny – a past groomsman we’ve photographed, too! Then, guests moved into cocktail hour and the most fun party we’ve ever photographed! I mean, if you were there, you totally get that! Plus, we loved getting to catch up with our past couple, Julia and Ali, at the reception a little more.
At the end of this wedding day, Alana and Zach were married while surrounded by their loved ones… And they had a great time doing it! From the sheer joy and excitement that radiated from their bridal party and families to the heartfelt toasts to the surprise reception performance to all the moments in between – this wedding was one for the books!
I love this couple because they are the most down to earth people and so very kind. They’re the kind of people that make wedding photography not even feel like a job because they’ve become our friends! Their testament and relationship shows how they’ve chosen to grow together in their love since high school. They truly are the most loyal people to each other and their loved ones. We are the lucky ones to have them in our lives!
Alana + Zach – Thank you, thank you, thank you! We feel like we owe you all the thanks for sharing your most special day with us. We love you guys and hope for friendship together throughout the many years ahead!
Bride’s Attire: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Attire: Azazie | Menswear: The Groomsman Suit – Chicago, IL | Hair: J.A.S. Hair Artistry | Makeup: Dani Lou Beauty – Chicago, IL | Jeweler: James Allen | Getting Ready Location: The Guesthouse Hotel – Chicago, IL | Ceremony + Reception Venue: City View Loft – Chicago, IL | Wedding Officiant: Danny Kim | Guest Accommodations: The Guesthouse Hotel – Chicago, IL | Wedding Day-of Coordinator: An Affair to Remember – Woodridge, IL | Florist: Steve’s Flower Market – Chicago, IL | DJ: MODE Events – Chicago, IL | Transportation: Cloud9 Limo – Elk Grove Village, IL | Photo Booth: Tic Tac Tag – Chicago, IL | Photographer: Kara Evans Photographer – Kankakee, IL | Videographer: Blu Couture – Darien, IL | Catering + Cake: LM Catering & Events – Chicago, IL | Invitations + Paper Goods: Minted | Favors: I Do Pins