Amanda + Matt // New Years Eve // Cafe Brauer

The moment I saw Amanda, my heart became instantly full of love for her. I don’t know what it was about her, but you could just see the friendliness in her eyes. When Matt and Amanda saw each other for the first time, the look on his face was priceless. They embraced in the wintery cold air, and my eyes teared as I watched. It was such a simple, beautiful thing to see. As I write this, I am reminded of this quote from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Walter and Sean waited for a rare sighting of a snow leopard, and when one finally appeared, Sean waited to take a photo. When some time passed, Walter asked Sean when he would take it. And Sean responded with, “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.” This couple’s first look, for me, was one of those moments. The only difference was that I pushed the shutter. Because it’s my job. And I am grateful that this is my job.

Amanda and Matt met at Model UN in college, and moved to DC with a few of their friends to start a new chapter in their life together. According to Amanda, Matt proposed at the Lincoln Memorial and was so nervous, he dropped the engagement ring down the steps. Just adorable. Now that they’ve celebrated their New Years Eve wedding here in Chicago, they hope to see a new country every year for the rest of their lives together.

A HUGE thank you to Angela from The Willinghams who flew all the way from Denver and braved the horrible Chicago winter to shoot this wedding alongside me. She could not have been a more perfect fit for this.

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Vendors Who Made this Day Magical
Venue: Cafe Brauer
Event Coordinator: Bambi Caicedo Rogers
Hair: Joseph Michaels Salon & Spa
Cake & Dessert: Deerfield Bakery
Catering: Tiger Lily
Wedding Flowers: Kloeckner’s
Officiant: Judge Kathy Kennedy
Musicians: Greenlight
Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal
Jewelry: Grandmother’s
Shoes: J. Crew
Bridesmaids Dresses: each chose their own
Groom’s Suit: J. Crew
Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen Suits: each chose their own
Stationery: Serendipity Beyond Design
Transportation: Metropolitan Limousine
Table Letters: gLEaNingS


  1. -

    This is just so amazingly gorgeous. Their first look in the falling snow! Her kissing her dad’s nose during the father/daughter dance! Lovelove

  2. -

    There’s something special about winter weddings I really enjoy. Perhaps the colours, the mood, the love (which you captured beautifully btw) – Tis a warm and wonderful entry Caroline!

    PS: At first glance, I thought they hired Seal to sing at their wedding :)

  3. -

    Seriously loving every single image here. Everything was just spectacular. So many good moments and memories captures. Amazing job Caroline!

  4. -

    What a brave and beautiful couple! Down here in South Africa, where I’ve never seen snow, I loved looking at your photos. Your dancing shots are exceptional! Very inspirational work!

  5. -

    I love how warm and intimate everything feels for this wedding. The whole day is so carefully and beautifully captured that I hate to comment mostly on the details, but I just love your detail photos for this one – they have a sense of really being in a place and being used, but are still very focused. Beautiful work.

  6. -

    Your photography is on another level!! The photos in the snow… amazing. The photo under the cafe sign… amazing. The details and photos of the reception… amazing. The photos of the dancing… so amazing. I love every damn frame.

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  1. The Pritzlaff -

    STUNNING! I have always loved the 3rd floor and how the light pours through the windows. It’s magical! Thank you for sharing.

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First Look of the New Year

I dislike labels, so I won’t be calling this my “New Years Resolution”. Instead, I’ll be taking each day, day by day. One thing I will be striving for this year is to become a better writer, and hopefully it’ll be reflected here on my blog.

I’ve also started a #365grateful project on my Instagram with images focusing on things that I am grateful for. A friend of mine, Jasser introduced me to the 365 Grateful Project started by Hailey Bartholomew, and I knew that this was how I wanted to do it. You can follow my Instagram here.

With that said, here’s to a new year, a new beginning, and new adventures.

I leave you with a frame from Amanda & Matt’s New Year’s wedding. This was taken during their first look. Even with near record-breaking low temperatures & snowfall for Chicago, that didn’t stop these two from having their special moment.

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  1. -

    Really beautiful frame (photographically and emotionally)! Good luck with your 365 endeavor! I’ve started my first one as well–should be interesting!

  2. -

    Awe Caroline. That image is so sweet.

    I think that’s a great project for 2014. Something I think I might want to read up on and try. Sometimes we get caught up with all the stresses of life and just forget to take a moment to appreciate the good. This might be a good way for me to remember that.

    Happy New Year!

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