After the cake is cut and the bouquet has been thrown, you and your love finally get to exhale. You did it! You’re married! And while your relationship with most of your vendors comes to an end, our time with you is just beginning. We edit the photos, relive the memories, and put together galleries and slideshows for you to share with family & friends. But our job isn’t yet done. The art of photography is all about legacy, about preserving your story for future generations. The best way to capture the essence of your day is with a gorgeous Heirloom album.
Your wedding day is packed with those “a picture is worth a thousand words” moments. And while digital media is great for sharing (we’re all about Facebook posts and Instagram sneak peeks), you can’t put them on your coffee table. You can’t hold a USB in your hand on your anniversary, and flip through it with a glass of wine. Even in the past few years, we’ve seen technology undergo so many changes (from discs to USBs to direct downloads). One thing has been consistent: the quality of our Heirloom albums.
One of the best parts of the Gold Grid experience is your ordering party. We bring you into the studio and showcase all of your photos for the first time. There’s champagne, a fab slideshow, and a relaxing time to relive your day. It’s also a perfect opportunity to create your wedding album. We put together a pre-design that shows the highlights of your day, and utilize our software to make adjustments in real time. You can swap photos, ask for revisions, and by the time you leave — your album is ready to order! Most Gold Grid couples have their wedding album in hand three months after the wedding. The honeymoon phase is still in full blossom, and you already have a keepsake with a lifetime guarantee.
As you can see, we customize everything from the album cover, color, page number, and text — each album we create is unique to the couple and their story. Shall we help you tell yours?
Learn more about Gold Grid Studios!
When you’re getting ready to move to Chicago, you tend to hear two things about the weather. The winter is terrible, and the summers are so amazing that it makes the winters worth it! We can’t really disagree with either sentiment (though winter certainly has its perks). Summer in Chicago is an absolute dream. In addition to being prime time for weddings, engagement session, and fun outdoor shoots — THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO! The city is alive with vibrant events, and we’d like to put in a good word for at least a few of them. On any given summer day in Chicago, you can stay in, go out, make friends or fly solo on any budget!
Take a look at some of these August highlights, and plan your next day off! Or hang onto this list for a cold December night, when you need to remember that another fabulous city summer is just around the corner!
THROW A PARTY FOR YOUR TASTE BUDS
Who doesn’t adore a sweet treat? Tis the season for fro-yo, ice cream, margaritas, and white wine. If it’s chilled, it’s a yes! There is no shortage of local shops in Chicago when it comes to quieting your sweet tooth. Everyone in the Windy City has a favorite parlor. What’s yours?
TAKE A WALK
Chicago is a pedestrian’s city, and summer is ideal for a sunlit stroll. Explore your neighborhood, pick a CTA stop to discover, or try one of these hot spots! It’s a good excuse to get a little exercise, and to remind yourself that fun can be found anywhere in this gorgeous city.
HAVE A BEACH DAY
From Promontory Point to Montrose Beach, find a little slice of sand to call your own. It’s easy to forget how close Lake Michigan is to us. Take advantage of the tranquility and relaxation a little trip to to the lake can provide. And oh the sunsets!
RETAIL THERAPY WITH YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day…these are just three excuses for HUGE sales! Whether or not you’re in planning mode, a trip to Michigan Avenue with you best pals can be very therapeutic. Window shop, find some inspiration, and treat yourself!
SEE MOVIES WITH ACTUAL STARS
Oh, how we adore Chicago’s Movies in the Park. The release of each year’s schedule is a highlight of the spring, and the addition of neighborhood screens means you don’t have to venture downtown. You can just take your blanket and cooler to the nearest park, and have an enchanted evening! With sunset happening so late, a dusk date with your favorite movie is perfectly paired with a walk about town!
Feeling the summer vibes? Take a look at our most recent sunset session!
When it comes to engagement sessions, the number one question is always “What to wear?” We know it can be difficult enough to find the perfect outfit just for you, so the challenge is doubled for an engagement session. As hard as it might feel, and as much as you may just want to toss on your favorite fitted tee and call it done, I promise it’s worth going the extra step to coordinate and look like you’re having a wonderful, snazzy time!
Some general lessons that we have learned:
- Avoid being too matchy-matchy, but look like you’re in the same catalog
- Prioritize comfort and confidence. Wear something you know makes you feel fabulous!
- Think about the head-to-toe look, from the hair to the shoes
Should we change outfits?
Sure! Bringing options to your session is a great way to get different looks. We can coordinate the changes into our plan for the session, to make sure everything runs smoothly. And keep in mind that minor changes (scarves, layers, accessories) are great, too! Lana & Mike decided on a few different looks that reflected their personality. Do you have a favorite?
Can casual work?
Yes! Your engagement session doesn’t need to be a black-tie affair. You do want to look comfortable, relaxed, and at home in your surroundings. From the pop of pink in her dress to the close-up character in their choice of shoes, Amy & Jon look totally natural at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. For Mike & Phil, a walk around their neighborhood was the ideal session, and their outfits reflected how close they were to home.
Should there be a theme?
Sure! If it suits your personality (or the personality of your wedding), a theme can be a great way to get creative and show friends & family who you are! Erin & Alex are both artists, and their speakeasy-inspired session was an absolute blast! They even brought clown noses, which were the perfect touch to an already laughter-filled session!
Do multiple locations mean multiple outfits?
Not necessarily! One of the great things about Chicago is the endless amount of photo locations. Choosing different backdrops does not mean you have to keep changing outfits. Allison & Benjamin look smart and snazzy, whether they’re in front of architecture or the changing autumn leaves. The rich tones of Allison’s dress and the sleek color of Ben’s shirt and slacks go with everything!
Check out more engagement favorites in the Gold Grid Studios portfolio now!
Of all the important moments that create a wedding day, the first look is perhaps the most emotional. All of the planning and decision-making fall away for a bit. You’re able to focus on one thing: the person you’re about to marry. Well, maybe two things: the person, and how unbelievably perfect they look!
The first look is an exciting part of the day for your photographer, too. It gives us an opportunity to help choreograph one of the most beautiful dances of the day. We are able to scout the perfect location for you, and coordinate with the team to find the ideal time. Your venue may be a good option, or we can explore the surrounding area. We can make sure that this first look moment will be just for the two of you. No one else will be around, so you’re able to feel all of the feels!
Whether he gasps…
Or in case she cries…
You will want to see this moment from both sides…
And from every possible angle…
Because your first look is just for the two of you…and it’s just too good to miss!
Take a look at other parts of the wedding day on the Gold Grid blog now!
When you start planning your wedding, you’ll find that there are a seemingly endless number of Chicago venues! So how do you find the one that’s right for you? Any painter will tell you that the first step to a great painting is selecting the right canvas. Every detail you add and every choice you make is aided by having the perfect backdrop. If a wedding day is a work of art (and it is), then your wedding venue is your canvas. This is where you start to create the mood and aesthetic of your day. The venue is usually one of the first decisions made in wedding planning. They provide the solid foundations for all other decision making.
These are some of our favorite wedding venues in Chicago! We recommend them, not only because of their beauty, but because of the professionalism of their teams. Communication and organization are so important when it comes to your wedding day. The staff at these venues could not be better. These fabulous venues have the Gold Grid stamp of approval! Enjoy!
For natural light in a natural setting – COLUMBUS PARK REFECTORY
For a little history in the heart of River North – NEWBERRY LIBRARY
For downtown class and artistic excellence – SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE
For a sleek and modern affair – CHEZ EVENT SPACE
For stained glass enthusiasts – ALICE MILLAR CHAPEL – NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
For bold pops of color and fabulous flair – CARNIVALE
For a classic, timeless ceremony – ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH
For a Rogers Park hidden gem – MAYNE STAGE
For a touch of campus class – LOYOLA UNIVERSITY
For breathtaking Chicago architecture – THE ROOKERY
Need more help with wedding plan decisions? Check out Gold Grid Recommends, our exclusive list of our favorite collaborators!
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life…and it starts before the ceremony. There are important hours of emotion and memory that begin long before you walk down the aisle. Whether you’re getting ready at home or in a bridal suite, this getting ready time is an important piece of your story. The start of the day is the perfect time to capture details such as your dress, veil, and jewelry. It is also an opportunity to document some of the most memorable candid moments of your day.
Getting ready for your wedding is a ritual. You are often surrounded by some of the most special people you know. You are preparing for a long day, and emotions can run high. We look forward to seeing the laughter and the happy tears, and to hearing all of the stories and memories shared in the bridal suite.
After the wedding, some of the best surprises come when you two get to see what the other was doing before your first look or ceremony. Those last few moments before becoming newlyweds are some of our favorites. We always recommend making time in your day to capture them. A look at the gorgeous moments below will show you why!
You get to reflect on those helping hands that got you to this day…
Take a look at what your fiancee was up to before the ceremony…
And (maybe) most importantly, you get a few moments all to yourself…
To see more of these beautiful weddings, check out our Featured Couples on the Gold Grid blog!