Maggie + Charlie // Chicago Wedding

Maggie and Charlie got married back in October 2013, so I am way overdue on sharing their wedding. When Alin and I first walked into their home, we were welcomed into their family with good old fashioned Midwestern hospitality. (It’s not just the South that knows how to give it, y’all). While I watched Maggie get ready, I loved seeing her interact with her mom, who is just one of the dearest women I’ve ever met. She has a smile so infectious, it is impossible not to find yourself smiling too. And the way the siblings loved on each other, with meaningful looks and gripping hugs, it touched me deeply. I am so grateful for having met this family and witnessing all that I did that day.

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Huge thank you to my husband Alin for tagging along that day and being a huge help like he always is, with carrying my equipment and lighting my dance floors like a bawce. Another shout out to Eddie for second-shooting this one with me as well. Eddie, thank you so much for your hard work and gifting my clients your creative take on their beautiful wedding.

Comments

  1. -

    Wow, you had me at the ring shot. Love this set, absolutely love it. And absolutely love the ring shot, big time.

    Also the veil flying out, love that basketball hoop being there, would have been oh so easy to take that out, but it just works great in there.

    Thanks for the post :)

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Pack 34

Where is home for me?

Six months ago, we packed up our life in Highland Park, and moved to Phoenix. We had our last breakfast at Once Upon a Bagel, and then got in our cars and headed West. As we were leaving Highland Park for the last time, I broke down and cried. You know, the kind of sobbing with the hiccups, ugly-cry-face, and snot coming down out of your nose? My kids were in the back and the more I tried to hide it from them, the more it came out.

I didn’t want to leave.

I’ve lived in at least 10 homes in the first 20 years of my life, and around 6 more since Alin and I have been married. I don’t know what it’s like to have “roots” laid down in one place. For a while I thought that maybe I was part gypsy (I’m Romanian, so it would make sense), and that our family would eventually just buy an RV and live in as many places as we could until the kids grew up and moved out.

But after leaving Highland Park that chilly morning in December, something happened in me that I have not been able to shake since. Every day, I think about the life we made there. Oliver created a special bond with his drum instructor Dave who helped him grow and develop his love for drums. Tristan played baseball in Highwood, and was the happiest I’d ever seen him doing something he loved so much. On nice days, (anytime it was between 35-78 degrees), we would go for long walks around our little town, and up the trails by the lake. Often times, we would have picnics on the beach, or lay out a blanket at Sunset Woods Park and let the kids get lost for hours. We would eat together at Walker Bros Pancake House, and also remember the days I used to go there after Homecoming to treat our dates from the night before. When it snowed, we would walk around downtown Highland Park at night and I would feel like James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. It was like we were inside one of God’s personal snow globes. The kids played chess twice a week after school, and learned from the best, Jerry. They even tried their hand at Gaelic Football for a season, and we’re not even Irish. We attended Chicago Tabernacle, which was the first time in my life I really felt like it was “the church” for us. We walked the streets of Michigan Avenue so many times, you would think we would have tired of it. But we never did. We tried different restaurants, we went to fairs, farmer’s markets, Six Flags…

I love my family here in Phoenix, but I miss Highland Park. After living in so many homes and cities, for the first time in my life, I know where “home” is to me. Where I want to raise my kids and set roots. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I truly hope and pray that we will be back in Highland Park for good this time.

For now, I wanted to share some images from one of my very favorite experiences we had together as a family back in Highland Park. Our boys were in Cub Scouts, and not only did they melt my heart every time they put their outfits on, but seeing their faces light up when they learned something or tried a new experience, was priceless. The dedication and heart that these cub scout leaders put into this pack, is something I’ll never forget and will forever be grateful for. These photos were taken about a year ago at my boys’ Crossover Ceremony. Revisiting these memories today brought on a flood of emotions and I felt the need to share them as well as what has been on my mind lately.

Where is home to you?

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Comments

  1. -

    Genaro is one of my best friends out here and Emily (my wife) and I have been wanting to meet you guys for a while now (let’s make that happen sometime ;). Going into the summer here can be SO depressing. I’ve been here for 12 years now and wanted to say it gets better. I LOVE Phoenix now (something I NEVER thought I would ever say… EVER). Sure, the summers suck, but kids make time fly by lightning fast so it’s over before you know it :)

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Bianca + Tad // Michigan Wedding

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Bianca and Tad are some of the most creative people I’ve ever met, so being the one who got to photograph their incredibly unique wedding was an honor for me. The entire wedding weekend took place at a farm they purchased three years ago in Benton Harbor, Michigan and both have spent the last two and a half years renovating it. Friends and family got to spend the weekend at their Michigreen Farm; and some even brought their RV’s, that’s how laid-back all of it was.

Bianca and Tad are all about sustainability and living an eco-friendly lifestyle, so re-using things they already owned was a huge influence in their wedding decor. Bianca picked and dried up her own Fall flowers, and used books from inside their own home for table decorations. For the wedding ceremony they borrowed hay bales from their next door neighbor for their guests to sit on. They picked apples from the orchard next door, bought gourds from the local farmer’s market, and tied corn stalks to the tent posts to give everything a more natural feel. They also painted quotes that were meaningful to them onto old vintage windows, and used old wooden pallets for signs. By hand, they molded letters out of old rusty tools to read: “Let Love Grow”, and for the wedding altar they handmade the dreamcatchers from dried up branches, feathers and doilies. But the most impressive part of it all was their own solar-powered mobile sound stage they created called SolarBeatz. How amazing is that?!

During the ceremony, their friend Dustin officiated the wedding and instead of exchanging rings, Bianca and Tad fed each other honey. “One of the most appropriate metaphors for love, honey is a universal symbol for the sweetness of life. For centuries, cultures around the world have incorporated the delicious nectar into their celebrations. For Tad and Bianca, it is their first taste together of the sweet life that lies ahead. As together you now share this honey, so may you now share perfect love and devotion to each other, share your lives together, and thereby may you find life’s joys doubly gladdened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by time, companionship and love.” -Dustin

Bianca and Tad, thank you so much for having Alin and I be a part of this beautiful, unique wedding experience. You both have left a huge impression on our hearts. The guys over at Sights & Sounds created one of the most awesome wedding videos I have ever seen, so click here to go see Bianca and Tad’s wedding film.

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People Who Made this Day Magical
Videographers: Sights & Sounds Media House
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Michigreen Farm
Wedding Dress: Custom Made by Julia Needleman & Designed by Bride
Feather Accessories: SpiritTribe
Bride’s Ring: Bambi Knight & Bride designed together
Event Designer/Coordinator: Bride
Makeup: Bride
Hair: Matthew Robert Blashka from Milano Hair Design
Groom’s Suit: Zara
Wedding Cake/Dessert: West Town Bakery
Seasonally Gluten-Free Foods: Gorilla Gourmet + Dan Fry Hog Roast + Smoothie Operator
Florals & Decor: Bride
Bouquet & Boutonniere: AFoxWedding
Officiant: Dustin Puttuck (friend of Bride & Groom)
Ceremony Music: “One Love” + “Sweet Caroline” + “Que Sera”
DJ: Playlists by Bride & Groom
Solar Powered Sound & Lighting: SolarBeatz
Online Invitations: Greenvelope
Registry: Simple Registry

Comments

  1. -

    This is what being a wedding photographer is all about, experiences like this! Beautifully, and creatively captured Caroline…

  2. -

    This wedding is insane and gorgeous, I remember seeing that b&w honey shot on your fb and waiting for the blog post and it did not disappoint. Absolutely perfect.

  3. -

    Caroline, I must say you are a genius. I just love your work, these images are so beautiful and captured well. Thanks for sharing your lovely work.

  4. -

    I love the wedding theme. The photography done for this wedding is absolute adorable and captured the moments so perfectly.

  5. -

    So glad it didn’t disappoint Sarah! That’s one of my very favorite wedding images because the story behind it is just the best! :)

  6. -

    Mercedes thank you so much! That’s what I hope people experience more than anything when seeing my images so that you for sharing that. Means a lot!

  7. -

    Katherine I don’t know about being a genius, lol, but I do put my heart and soul into every wedding, Thank you so much for the kind words!

  8. -

    Gorgeous images and wonderful wedding ceremony! They’re so fresh and timeless. Beautiful styling and beautiful images. Thanks for sharing!

  9. -

    The lighting in these photos really captures the energy around the party. The mood is almost contagious. Thank you for posting.

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