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Evanston Lighthouse Beach Engagement Session

When we hear “beach” our ears perk up. We can’t help but catch the feel-good vibes of a sand and surf session, and this engagement shoot at Evanston’s Lighthouse Beach is the whole package: slow strolls by the lake, kissing in the woods, and quite possibly the most adorable couple! You won’t want to miss the full gallery filled with amazing, sun-kissed shots from Kristin La Voie Photography!

From Kristin La Voie PhotographyI knew from the minute I met Tracie and Dan at our first consultation that I wanted to work with them. With big smiles and an overall positive vibe and infectious attitudes, this is the type of couple that makes a photographer’s work a dream. Fast forward to this perfect sunny evening at one of my favorite locations, Evanston’s Lighthouse Beach. The light was magical, and these two snuggling together made everything look even dreamier. I can’t wait for their September wedding!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography | Venue: Lighthouse Beach

Kenilworth Club Wedding from Elite Photo

I’ve been known to gush a bit in my day. It’s just what I do. And honestly, it’s hard not to when you spend your day swimming in a sea of the most gorgeous weddings around. Weddings that are not only full of gorgeous details, but they are also filled with couples that could not be more in love. Just like this darling duo captured by Elite Photo. Each image shows just how thankful they are to have each other, and how can you not gush over that? See so much more here.

From Elite Photo… Reanna and Steve were married on a rainy day in July at the beautiful St. Athanasius Church in Evanston, Illinois. They chose the Kenilworth Club for their reception afterwards. The Kenilworth Club Assembly Hall, designed by noted architect George W. Maher, is the historic building that has served as Kenilworth’s community house since its construction in 1906. Kenilworth, Illinois is a perfectly manicured city just north of Chicago. The club is just blocks from Kenilworth beach. A private beach for Kenilworth residents and guests. The bride and groom received a pass for the day, so we were able to hit the beach for some fun and pretty photos in between showers. Their getaway car was a white Bonneville convertible with blue and white interior and the perfect dancing hula girl on the dashboard.

This couple was all about the details. Each table at the reception was decorated differently, but in the same rustic chic style with elegant pearls and whitewashed frames as well as vintage vases , boxes, and statues. Their invites were printed on vintage hankies and hand stamped inside of lace envelopes tied in beautiful string. The brides dress had a blush tool underneath that complimented the bride and matched the amazing brides maids dresses. The bride got ready at the chic Hotel Orrington in Evanston and enjoyed a rain-free limo ride to the church. It poured during the ceremony, which was somewhat magical. It’s really something special to be in an old church and hear the pounding rain on the roof of that large stone building.

One of the bride’s favorite and necessary photos she wanted was in front of her beautiful church. Unfortunately, the front stairs were under construction that day and so we rescheduled another day to come back and photograph them in front of the church. Of course, it rained even harder that day. We laughed the whole day during what I now call “the rain session”. Reanna and Steve spent 2 full hours in the constant rain and enjoyed every minute of it. It was magical and you can really see their love and adoration in the images from the day.


Photography: Elite Photo | Ceremony Venue: St. Athanasius Church in Evanston, Illinois | Reception Venue: Kenilworth Club in Kenilworth, Illinois | Floral Design Carol Knutsen from The Gilded Lily | Catering: Catered by Design | Wedding Cake: Deerfields Bakery | Music: John Sapsford (

Evanston Engagement Session from Jasmine Nicole Photography

This couple channeled their engagement story during their engagement shoot, which seems to me like the picture perfect way to honor popping the question! The groom-to-be played his guitar and sang a song for his bride-to-be before getting down on one knee. Throughout these photos, the two are singing that very same song with music from his guitar as accompaniment. And get this – he popped the question only two days before this shoot! The happiness is still so fresh in their eyes and expressions. Many thanks to Jasmine Nicole Photography for capturing it all in the full gallery of images right here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Jasmine Nicole PhotographyThese two are just adorable and have such a great sense of style, but even more than that, this session was taken just two days after they got engaged. I love how you can see just how happy they are! The session take place in downtown Evanston, Illinois, for the first half, and then we just went down to Lake Michigan in Evanston for the end. I love how they incorporated music into the session because these two are both incredibly musical. He was actually playing the song he sang to as her as part of the proposal in this session. I loved it! I got to hear them both sing to me on the beach, and it was pretty incredible. They had the sweetest proposal too! Tony included lots of Kelsey’s family and friends in a scavenger hunt where they all encouraged her on the way before she was going to see her fiance-to-be. He was waiting for her at a fountain on their campus surrounded by candles and picture frames. He then sang a Matt Wertz song to her and at the end, simply got down on one knee, and asked her for forever.

Photography: Jasmine Nicole Photography / Location: Evanston, Illinois / Dress: American Eagle

Woman’s Club of Evanston Wedding from Cristina G Photography

Heartwarming.  One simple word that describes this gorgeous Evanston wedding to absolute perfection. Well, that and seriously stunning, beyond beautiful and oh-so-breathtaking.  And the combination of the four?  Literally amazing.  From the sweet minty hues to the glorious images by Cristina G Photography to a First Look that is all sorts of fabulous, it’s moment after moment of downright pretty and some serious L.O.V.E.  Ready for a swoon-fest in the gallery?  Join me there for more.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Dave and I started dating during our second year at St. Olaf College. For the first year of our relationship, we never had to travel more than a mile across campus to see each other. However, throughout the course of our seven-year relationship, we spent almost four years living apart. When we got engaged, Dave was in medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I was teaching in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than a wedding, we both kept dreaming of when we’d finally be together every day. Our engagement lasted a year and a half. I am terribly indecisive and knew that I would need ample time to consider all my options. The easiest decision was the location of the ceremony. I always knew that I wanted to get married in the church I grew up attending in Wilmette, Illinois. We looked at various reception sites near the church but fell in love with the Woman’s Club of Evanston. The ballroom has an understated elegance with a high arched ceiling, lots of big windows and beautiful, dark wood floors.

I looked at an embarrassingly large number of bridal stores before I finally found my lace Cymbeline gown at Dimitra’s Bridal in Chicago. The gown served as inspiration for the vintage look of our wedding. Lisa Shary, an independent florist who works out of her home in Evanston, made the stunning bouquets and floral arrangements at the reception. A friend from church had a hand in styling the ceremony and reception, including the church altar and the pews. Like most couples, we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our families as well as ourselves. Our families were a huge help as we prepared for our big day. My sister designed the menus, and Dave’s mom made our ceremony programs. The invitations and place cards were also a combined family effort. I come from a family with a passion for cooking and good food, so serving quality food was very important to me. Fortunately, J & L Catering was recommended to us, and they prepared a fabulous meal. Neither Dave nor I are crazy about cake, so our guests had warm chocolate chip cookie pie for dessert. Dave wanted to honor the memory of his grandfather, Buzz, by serving his cocktail of choice. It is a cross between an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, known as the “Buzzo Cocktail.” In lieu of wedding favors, we made a donation to an organization called Opportunity International, in honor of my uncle who passed away last spring. Dave loves to sing, so he surprised me with a song at our reception. It was hilarious and sweet at the same time, very much a reflection of his personality.

On our wedding day, I wanted to get ready in the comfort of my childhood home. Dave and I had our first look in the backyard of my parents’ house. Our photographer, Cristina G, knew the perfect places to take pictures that showcased the beauty of the town where I grew up. Our favorite part of our wedding day was when we said our vows. When we looked into each others’ eyes and said those words, we were overwhelmed by love for one anther. So much of our wedding day is a blur, but we will never forget that moment.

Wedding Photography: Cristina G Photography / Ceremony: Winnetka Covenant Church in Wilmette, Illinois / Reception: Woman’s Club of Evanston in Evanston, Illinois / Floral Design: Lisa Shary of Fleurs de Lisa / Styling: Linnea Johnson / Catering: J & L Catering / DJ: Ryan Meeks of Non-Stop Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Cymbeline via Dimitra’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles / Bride’s Necklace: Che Bella in St. Paul, Minnesota / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Banana Republic / Men’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Ties: J.Crew Factory Store

Northwestern University Engagement Session by Ashley Biess Photography

This playful (and studious!) couple wanted to showcase where they first met and fell in love so decided upon their university for their e-session and the results couldn’t be any cuter. They frolicked through their old classrooms, doodled on the chalkboards, and flew some brightly colored kites and if that’s not one fun e-session, I don’t know what is! Ashley Biess Photography captured their fun-loving spirits and there’s so much more right here in the full gallery!

Click here for the FULL engagement session!

From Ashley Biess PhotographyDara and Matt wanted to make their engagement photos youthful, fresh and fun — just like them! They chose Northwestern University’s campus as the setting for their session to show off the place where they first met. Despite the chilly weather, we started off on the shores of Lake Michigan to capture the beauty and peacefulness of the beach in the wintertime. Afterwards, we headed indoors and found an open classroom. Dara and Matt decided to have a fun drawing competition on one of the chalkboards to determine which of the two of them was the better artist (Dara was the winner!). We saved the best for last and ended the session by flying kites! Dara and Matt had a blast as they ran around as their brightly-colored kites flew through the sky. I just wish I had brought my own so I could have joined them! All in all, I think this session brought out the personalities of the couple, and I had a great time working with them.

Photography: Ashley Biess Photography / Engagement Session Location: Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Evanston Wedding by Jeremy Lawson Photography

The best piece of wedding advice I have ever heard is to throw out the rules. Write your wedding like you write your story – fabulous, personal, and with you at the center. When this Chicago couple could not land on the perfect wedding venue, they simply decided to hold the big event at their favorite restaurant and LOLA Event Productions was up to the task of making it perfect. When the stunning bride couldn’t find her dream dress off the rack, she turned to Dame Couture to custom design the perfect gown. And when contemplating how to capture it all, this smart couple picked Jeremy Lawson Photography. A decision we can all thank them for once visiting the gallery!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Like most couples, we wanted to have a wedding that truly represented who we are while still incorporating the traditions that are important to each other and our families. After evaluating all the standard “Chicago Wedding” locations, we knew that we would have to look at some non-traditional wedding venues for our reception.  One night, we went to our favorite local restaurant in Evanston, and we realized that we had to have our reception at the restaurant. Heather and the team at Union Pizzeria were more than accommodating, and we managed to have the “fun” wedding reception we had dreamed of! Our reception had the atmosphere of a party. We choose not to have a formal dinner but rather open seating with food served throughout the entire night. Josh and the Empty Pockets rocked the night away playing non-standard wedding music, but allowing our guests to bust a move on the beautiful dance floor of SPACE.

The women of Dame Couture, also located in Evanston, made me the most beautiful dress I could have ever imagined. When I was unable to find the exact dress I was looking for in the stores, I approached Holly at Dame Couture and without even seeing a picture of what I was looking for, she sketched my dream dress. Crizen Hasegawa very patiently did makeup and hair for the entire wedding party and made us all look absolutely radiant. Our main objective with our makeup and hair was to ensure that we kept our individual styles without looking too “overdone.” Andrea Allen provided floral arrangements that accentuated the beauty of the chapel but still had an aspect of “funk.” In addition, the subtle decor she placed through the reception venue allowed us to have the romantic feeling we were looking for, without taking away from the beauty of both Alice Millar Chapel and Union Pizzeria. LOLA Events was my absolute savior. Kristy  and her team made sure that I had nothing to worry about and made the entire day seamless. I felt as though I was working with someone that I had known for years, even though we just met that month! It was a relief to have someone you trust, ensuring the success of your wedding day. And finally — Jeremy Lawson! Really, his pictures speak for themselves. I can’t imagine anyone else shooting our wedding.

Wedding Photography: Jeremy Lawson Photography / Ceremony: Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois / Reception: Union Pizzeria + SPACE in Evanston, Illinois / Floral Design: Andrea Allen / Event Planning: LOLA Event Productions / Wedding Invitations: Lovely Paperie / Band: Josh and the Empty Pockets / Accommodations: Hilton Orrington/Evanston / Custom Wedding Dress: Dame Couture / Shoes: TOMS / Makeup: Crizen Hasegawa Hair & Makeup