Beautiful Wedding Photo Tips

Since I’ve written several posts about tips for beautiful wedding photos, I thought today would be a great day to come up with a compilation of all these tips and share them with you.

As a Chicago wedding photographer, there are many different variables to take into consideration to be sure my clients have the best experience EVER. Lighting, locations, and traffic are just a few things I’m thinking of when helping my clients with their wedding photo timeline. These things are a few of what makes a city wedding unique. I’m even more thankful when there’s a wedding planner onboard to make sure everything comes together as it should.

The following posts contain TONS of tips for making sure your day goes off without a hitch, and that your photos turn out awesome!

  • When interviewing potential wedding photographers, be sure to ask them the questions you find here.
  • Be sure to learn the benefits of doing an engagement session. (Hello super amazing time to have a no pressure “practice” session with your photographer before the big day!!)
  • Be sure to plan out the wedding day timeline with the help of your photographer and planner.
  • Decide if an “unplugged” wedding is right for you.
  • Everyone wants gorgeous wedding prep photos… Learn ways to make sure they happen here.
  • Determine whether or not a “first look” is for you…This may be a great way to reduce stress and capitalize on the time you have with your photographer.
  • Knowing what to expect from your photographer should alleviate any stress the day of. Find out how I work on a typical wedding day, here.
  • Make sure you know your options for preserving your wedding memories. I would HATE to see you lose them!
  • Learn these 7 common mistakes couples make… So you can avoid them:)

I hope you found this post helpful… If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll respond asap. What is your biggest concern regarding your wedding photos?

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If you’re looking for a wedding photographer and think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line and lets chat!

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Chicago Wedding Photography

You may remember Lindsay and Brett from their downtown Chicago engagement session, and I’m so excited to share their Spiaggia Chicago wedding photos with you today!

L & B chose Spiaggia for their celebration because they LOVE Italian food and they craft some of the best classic Italian fare in the city. Lindsay shared that Spiaggia means beach in Italian, and the private dining space overlooks Oak Street Beach. How cool is that?

Lindsay and Brett were both ecstatic to have friends and family from all over the country attend and celebrate their marriage. Most of their guests were from out-of-state (the total count was at 17), so they wanted to choose ceremony and reception venues that oozed classic Chicago. Their elegant, classic, foodie celebration did not disappoint and their guests danced away as Rendition Band performed.

The energy and love in the room was palpable as Lindsay’s parents toasted to their love, friendship, and commitment to spend their lives together. The way L & B looked at each other is too adorable for words; these two are the best of friends and it’s evident.

Lindsay & Brett, thank you so much for trusting in me to document such an important day in your history. I’ve loved getting to know you and your families and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both.

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I loved how Lindsay’s “something blue” was her shoes, and she carried the same beautiful vintage purse her mom did on her wedding day.

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This big group hug at the end of the night completely melted my heart and reminds me of mine and Jon’s relationship with my parents!!

Spiaggia Chicago Wedding Photos

VENDORS
Photography | Alaina Bos Photography
Venue | Spiaggia
Ceremony | Fourth Presbyterian, Rev. Layton Williams
Wedding Dress | Sarah Seven
Cake | Flour Cake and Pastry
Florist | StemLine Creative
Entertainment | Rendition Band
Catering | Spiaggia
Hair |Margot Wojdyla, Hairy Godmother, Margot.wojdyla@gmail.com
Makeup | Terry Rayson

Are you planning a Chicago Wedding and looking for a wedding photographer?  Drop me a line and let’s see if we’re a good match for each other.

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  • Sarah McCracken - Beautiful pictures!August 18, 2015 – 9:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Ryan Kovarik - Great pics, great dayAugust 17, 2015 – 7:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate Shumaker - Amazing pictures of an amazing day!!August 17, 2015 – 5:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike Schroeder - Awesome photos! Congrats again to Brett and Lindsay!August 16, 2015 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Jorie Larsen - You perfectly captured this gorgeous couple and this gorgeous day!August 16, 2015 – 9:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Heather - What an amazing day! So grateful to have been part of it. Lots of memories captured to reflect upon in the years to come!August 16, 2015 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Peggy Kovarik - Nice pictures.August 16, 2015 – 9:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Christy Torgler - Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures! It was a lovely wedding…and fun too!August 13, 2015 – 11:36 amReplyCancel

  • Ken Mertz - Wonderful couple, wonderful marriage, wonderful reception and great photos.August 10, 2015 – 12:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Abbie Onlee Monteith - Thanks for sharing your special day. The photos’ are priceless. Love, Aunt Abbie Onlee MonteithAugust 9, 2015 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Abbie Onlee Monteith - Thanks for shring your special day. The photos’ are priveless. Love, Aunt Abbie Onlee MonteithAugust 9, 2015 – 3:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Carol Ann - Fabulous photos of a beautiful couple!!!August 8, 2015 – 7:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Aunt Laurie - Wow … your attention to the details will keep their wedding day and celebration alive for years to come!August 8, 2015 – 1:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Debbie Shumaker - The photographs are awesome! Thank you Alaina!August 8, 2015 – 1:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Alaina - I’m so honored to have been a part of the day Debbie! Feel free to share the post and encourage others to leave a comment so Brett and Lindsay receive a complementary canvas! They’re almost half way there with 12 comments :)August 8, 2015 – 2:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Jan Mccuen - all the photos where just beautiful, Lindsay Kovarik and Brett i wish you many wonderful happiness , but it it’s ok to have a few fights becaUSE THE MAKING UP PART IS JUST WONDERFUL.Dan Shumaker and Deborah Shumaker you raise a wonderful daughter. I wish her and Brett long, loving wonderful marriage and that it lasts as longs parents and grandparents . would love to see photos Deborah Shumaker, Kate Shumaker and Lindsay Kovarik dressAugust 6, 2015 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Beth - So pretty! It’s so great to re-live all the amazing moments through your photos!!August 6, 2015 – 9:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Tonya Lamer Harbottle - So pretty!August 6, 2015 – 9:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne - So beautiful!!August 6, 2015 – 9:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly Zens - WOW! What a beautiful couple and wedding! Congratulations!!!!August 6, 2015 – 7:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Chet King - Alaina, I have a HUGE favor to ask… Build a time machine… Then travel back to 2004 and be the photographer at my wedding. The photog we picked didn’t deliver 1/27th of the quality you do… On the bonus side, you would get to see Brett and Ryan wearing matching tuxedos as they were our handsome little ushers!August 6, 2015 – 7:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Kovarik - Love, love, love! Thank you, Alaina!!August 6, 2015 – 6:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Shepard Waite - Gorgeous couple, incredible wedding!!! We so loved being a part of it!!❤️❤️August 6, 2015 – 6:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Katie Katona - Beautiful pictures!! I absolutely loved seeing them!August 6, 2015 – 6:34 pmReplyCancel

Today’s Vendor Spotlight features Fab Flora in Chicago! Fab Flora is owned by Jori Foreman and is not only awesome because of her beautiful organic and timeless designs, she is also an eco-friendly wedding florist in Chicago that implements several “green initiatives” into her business practices. I first met Jori through an online class where we decided to pair up and be “accountability partners”. What I love most about her is her cool, calm, and collected presence. Surely anyone could benefit from that when planning a wedding! Couple that with the fact that she’s super easy to talk to and BAM, you have one wedding vendor who will ease any stress you have about the big day!

Wedding Florist Chicago

Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? We specialize in unconventional, artistic and earthy weddings.  Our typical client is a city dweller and wants something unique to represents their quirky, fun, creative personality.  We also cater to the eco-conscious couple.

Melissa HayesImage Credit: Melissa Hayes

How did you get started? I have always been involved in something creative. I studied fine arts in college and wanted to be able to use my artistic talent in a way that makes other people happy. A long time ago, back in high school, I took a career test and it actually told me I’d be a good florist! So I decided to try it and turns out, I love it! I attended floral design school back in 2010 and then worked for various flower shops and event companies in the city to gain experience. I started my business while working part-time for other shops until I finally had enough momentum to go on my own.

Rojo Photo DesignImage Credit: Rojo Foto Design

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? It’s hard to say just one so here are a few: the really cool couples I get to meet, the feeling after dropping off the bridal bouquet and seeing the bride all teary eyed, working from home in my sweatpants, and all the other amazing wedding vendors I’ve met who I now can call friends.

How would you describe your business’ style? A little bohemian mixed with vintage chic and organic.

First Blush PhotosImage Credit: First Blush Photos

How far in advance should clients book your services? It’s best to book us about 6-12 months prior to your wedding. It’s best to have your venue picked out first so you know the table count and layout. Then, it really helps to come up with a color palette and maybe Pin some images on Pinterest.

Melissa HayesImage Credit: Melissa Hayes

Where does your inspiration come from? Pinterest, duh! No, honestly I follow some blogs and some really cool floral designers across the world. I especially fancy the work of a flower and farm in New York called Saipua. I also gain inspiration from my walks with my dog Lenny and our camping trips every summer.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I enjoy painting, looking at art, hanging out with my dog Lenny and my boyfriend Joe, reading funny books, hiking, camping, meditating, yoga, and spending time with my family and friends.

Coach House PicturesImage Credit: Coach House Pictures

What is one piece of advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? Relax! It’s supposed to be fun, remember?

Green Initiatives Fab Flora implements:

  • We use local flowers during the Midwest growing season to support local farms and reduce shipping energy
  • We own a fuel-efficient delivery vehicle
  • We use Earth friendly cleaning supplies to tidy our studio and flower buckets
  • We compost all of our scraps!
  • We sign all contracts electronically, zero waste
  • When local is not an option due to the season, we prefer to use Veriflora, Rainforest Alliance, Organic and Fair Trade certified flowers
  • We love renting out our own collection of vases or using vintage rental companies

How can clients connect with you?

email: iheartfabflora@gmail.com

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fabflorachicago

Instagram: Fabflorachicago

Phone: 847-363-0798

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If you’re looking for a wedding photographer and think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line and lets chat!

Tips for Planning Your Wedding

When I started featuring some of my favorite Chicago wedding vendors on the blog, I would always ask them to share their number one tip for a couple planning their wedding.

Today I’m going to showcase a roundup of all the valuable tips that have been shared over the last several months so you’re able to see them all in one spot.

8 Expert Tips for Planning Your Wedding:

Tip #1 is from Joan at Five Grain Events based in Chicago:

Five Grain Events in ChicagoBeing engaged and getting married is such an exciting time in your life! Remember that no matter what, at the end of the day, you’re going to be sharing your life with your best friend and that’s what is most important.

Click through to learn more about Five Grain Events and read the full interview.

Tip #2 is from Jennifer at Alliance Bakery who specializes in providing fine European desserts for Chicago couples:

Alliance Bakery ChicagoSet a realistic budget for all your wedding items and then splurge on the few big-ticket items you can’t do without! I may be biased, but to me the food (including sweets) is what I remember best at weddings I’ve attended!

Click through to learn more about Alliance Bakery and read thefull interview.

Tip #3 is from Caitlin at Chicago’s premier wedding Entertainers, Arlen Music:

Expert Planning Advice for your Chicago Wedding

Trusting your vendors is important. We will make sure to ask you all the right questions regarding what you envision for the evening, and then leave it up to us and enjoy yourselves!

Click through to learn more about Arlen Music and read the full interview.

Tip #4 is from Chicago 0n-location wedding hair stylist, Livia Caporale:

On Location Hair Stylist in ChicagoNo one will know if the smallest of details aren’t exactly perfect, so just enjoy. On a wedding day time flies, so always have some extra buffer built into the schedule.

Click through to learn more about Livia Caporale and read the full interview.

Tip #5 is from Stephanie of Flowers by Stem based in Chicago:

Chicago Wedding Florist-Flowers by StemDo your research so that when the time comes to hire your vendors, you can relax and trust in the knowledge that they are dedicated to putting together a beautiful day for you and your guests! Oh, and don’t plan your wedding on Pinterest every day.:)

Click through to learn more about Flowers by Stem and read the full interview.

 

Tip #6 is from Carlene who is a “green” wedding planner specializing in Chicago Weddings:

Planning tips for your Chicago WeddingFor those couples who want to be a bit “green” we suggest reducing waste. Cut back on waste by not including favors as a lot of guests do not even take them home. No matter how cool they are, we end up packing a ton left over at the end of the night.

Click through to learn more about Naturally Yours Events and read the full interview.

Tip #7 is from Loreen of Clementine Custom Events and Reenie Rose:

Wedding Planning Tips

A wedding planner allows your family and friends to relax and celebrate on your special day. Planning may seem like a job that you’re up for, but I’d hate for your Mom to be chasing down vendors to deliver final payments. That’s what I’m here for!

Click through to learn more about Loreen and read the full interview.

Tip #8 is from Courtney of Courtney Callahan Paper who specializes in creating the perfect custom invitation suite for your day:

Courtney Callahan Paper ChicagoDon’t be scared of going custom. This is a great opportunity to incorporate your personal style and reflect your journey as a couple. Although the custom invitation process is more involved than selecting a ready-made suite, the final product will be completely unique to you as a couple and often helps you zero in on what you want your wedding day experience to be.

Click through to learn more about Courtney Callahan Paper and read the full interview.

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Planning a wedding and looking for a wedding photographer? I’d love to chat…Send me a note here.

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Today’s Vendor Spotlight features Five Grain Events in Chicago! Five Grain Events specializes in providing stress-free, organized, and beautifully executed weddings in Chicago. If you know about my love of lists, post-it notes, and keeping on top of things, you’d know how much I appreciate a team with such tenacity and ambition to make your event the best ever! I was lucky enough to meet Joan at a Thursday Therapy Event a couple of years ago. It has been inspiring to watch her connect other wedding vendors in Chicago, as well as, see her grow her own business.

Five Grain Events in Chicago

Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? Five Grain Events is an event planning company, specializing in weddings.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: SHANE WELCH PHOTOGRAPHY

How did you get started? I’m a planner by nature. I started planning my family’s vacations when I was 13, and my type-A tendencies have only flourished since then – I was constantly planning get-togethers for friends and family, and my passion for precision only grew the older I got. After college, I started working in the non-profit event world, where I gained a unique perspective on event execution and design within a budget. I occasionally assisted for another wedding planner in Chicago, and just fell in love with the process. All the details that needed a watchful eye, the style and love that went into every decision – weddings are a natural fit for someone who loves people and parties as much as I do.

So in January 2010, I started Five Grain Events (based on my married name, Cinque= five, grani = grain) and quit my full-time arts administration gig in May of that year.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: JACLYN SIMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? Each and every couple that gets married is different, and every wedding has its own personality. Even when we work at the same venue time and again, there’s something unique about each event that keeps the job exciting, challenging, and full of fun. We get to help people plan an immensely personal and passionate event, and work with truly talented and creative professionals throughout the entire process.

How would you describe your business’ style? The Five Grain Events team is calm and collected with impeccable attention to detail. We know that a wedding can be stressful – all the emotion and expectation that is tied to celebrating the love of your life can cause tension. We’re an extremely friendly, calm group of planners and coordinators who take that same friendly and calm approach to connecting with everyone involved with your wedding – from you and your family, wedding party, and guests to the vendors who you’ve hired to make your celebration special.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: KATIE KETT PHOTOGRAPHY

How far in advance should clients book your services? It really depends on the kind of help you are looking for! If you want help planning your whole wedding from start to finish, it’s great to reach out to us shortly after your engagement, so we can help you weed through the noise of picking a date and finding the perfect venue. If you want to plan most of the day yourself, but know you’ll need a bit more help along the way, six to nine months in advance is a pretty good bet. But if you’re just about two months out from your wedding date and starting to freak out about all the details, you can still call us and see if we’re available for helping you coordinate your special day!

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: AVERYHOUSE

Where does your inspiration come from? We hate hearing about brides and grooms who are stressing out during their wedding planning process. We get so inspired from the personal details that make each wedding different, and getting to know our couples throughout the planning process makes it really special for us, too! We love knowing that we can help bring an idea to life and take the worry out of the equation.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: PETER WYNN THOMPSON

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I’m a mother of two young girls, so when I’m not working, I try to spend as much time with my family as I can! I also co-host Thursday Therapy with Bethany Fritz of Maypole Studios – it’s a monthly event where wedding vendors get together to mix and mingle, and has been so helpful in helping us meet all the new and veteran professionals in our industry.

What is one piece of advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? Being engaged and getting married is such an exciting time in your life! Be sure to savor every moment. Remember that no matter what, at the end of the day, you’re going to be sharing your life with your best friend and that’s what is most important.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: ELENA BAZINI PHOTOGRAPHY

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Be sure to check out our blog here where we feature all our weddings; it’s a great place to see pictures from a venue you might be considering, or looking through all the different kinds of styles weddings can have. If there’s anything we can do to make your wedding planning process more enjoyable, we’d be thrilled to help!

How can clients connect with you? If you want to know more about our services, shoot me an email at joan@fivegrainevents.com, or fill out the inquiry form on our website. We’d love to help make your dream wedding a reality!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fivegraineventsfans?_rdr

Instagram: @FiveGrainEvents

Website: www.fivegrainevents.com

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If you’re looking for a wedding photographer and think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line and lets chat!