Winter Engagement Session – Emily & Calvin

Winter Engagement Session – Emily & Calvin

Hey, Chicago friends — do you you need a little warmth this week? We’ve got a romantic engagement session that will melt your heart and shake those winter blues!  Meet Emily & Calvin, the cutest couple to brave the Chicago winter to celebrate their upcoming nuptials! We first met these two at a bridal show last spring, and knew immediately that their story was special.  The way they look at each, the way they make each other smile – it’s L-O-V-E! We took a stroll along Lake Michigan, visiting some of our favorite spots. Being right beside the lake only added to the sense of winter drama & romance.  Don’t get us wrong — it was cold! But it was oh-so-worth-it to see Emily & Calvin against the backdrop of snow, ice, and the majestic Chicago skyline! And they did an excellent job of staying cozy and making it all look so easy!

Winter engagement sessions aren’t all coats & cold. It’s an excellent opportunity for snuggling, keeping each other warm, and seasonal fashion statements. We love the subtle complimentary plaids of Emily’s scarf and Calvin’s shirt. The pop of red in Emily’s nails is picture perfect, a bold stroke of genius in this winter wonderland!  We had so much fun getting to spend time with these lovebirds, and we know you will too! Join us in congratulating them, and celebrating their love!  Cheers to warm hearts and lots of love — any time of year!


Looking for more winter wedding inspiration? Yes, please!

Chicago Winter Wedding: Kylie & Matt

Chicago Winter Wedding: Kylie & Matt

I hope you all have your warm blankets, a mug of cocoa, and your best cuddle buddy! It’s time for a fabulous winter wedding!

Kylie & Matt have the kind of love we all dream about — that sort of “can’t stop, won’t stop” love! They take every opportunity to share with each other, and to make sure the other feels like the most important person in the world. From the love notes they exchanged at the beginning of this winter wedding day to the emotional vows (scroll for all of the feels!), these two spent the whole day saying I DO.

Winter in Chicago can be a challenge, but with the right amount of planning — there are magical possibilities! Get ready for Christmas lights, cute winter accessories, and a whole lot of genuine snuggle time! Kylie & Matt were so smart in their choices. They kept the schedule simple, making only a few stops between their hotel and ceremony venue (the cozy and endlessly charming Revolution Brewing). For the most part, everything was in one place. This allowed these two lovebirds to relax (as much as one can on the wedding day) and soak in every moment! And that is exactly what it’s all about!

Join us in congratulating Kylie & Matt for making winter look absolutely lovely! Cheers!


Kylie has excellent taste, and made sure everything matched her vision. Every detail was in place, down to the last rose-gold detail. Her dress, her bridesmaid gifts, her shoes — it all worked together in fab fashion! The handkerchiefs she gave her bridesmaids were hand sewn by Kylie herself! That’s just one of the unique details that makes this winter wedding one-of-a-kind!



So much of this wedding day was fun and heartfelt. We played it a bit by ear because…#ChicagoWeather!  Luckily, it was a beautiful day and we decided to walk to Water Tower Place.  We found some lovely photo opportunities along the way, showcasing Chicago as well as this chic bridal party. The cape, the wraps, the soft, romantic bouquets — yes!


Revolution Brewery is one of our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE places to photograph a wedding! It is perfect for intimate events, and has a cozy atmosphere that fit beautifully with this winter wedding.  Also, the Revolution staff are so so helpful and thoughtful — and that’s exactly what you want on your wedding day!



Oh, these vows! Matt went first and there were very few dry eyes in the room (including our photographers Alissa & Vanessa ) as he got choked up during his vows to Kylie. Hankies at the ready, everyone!


Meet the Team:

Hotel: Hilton Mag Mile | Venue & Caterer: Revolution Brewing | DJ: Toast & Jam | Flowers: Steve’s Flower Market | Dress: Allure from House of Brides | Hair: Hair Salon Buzz | Make-up: beGlammed 

Lake Forest Wedding: Katie & Leon

Lake Forest Wedding: Katie & Leon

Candlelight? Check. Fountains? Check. Breathtakingly dramatic staircase? CHECK! If you’re in the mood for romance that is borderline fairytale, we can’t wait for you to see Katie & Leon’s wedding day at the Armour House in Lake Forest! A good wedding venue does more than give you a place to celebrate your love. It can be an extension of your style, your story, and your vision for the day! When we asked Katie & Leon what they loved most about the Armour House in Lake Forest, we couldn’t agree more with their thoughts!

“We both loved the romantic and vintage feeling of the Armour House. There is such a variety of spaces and we like the feeling of hosting in a grand old home. We particularly love the staircase in the great hall, the fountain in the garden room and the fireplace in the great hall.”

I mean, who doesn’t love a Great Hall?! The day was perfectly planned around the intimacy and grandness of the different areas of the space. There could be intimate conversation in the Library before the party atmosphere of the Garden Room. Katie & Leon looked right at home, showcasing their story against the staircase, vaulted ceilings, and enviable natural light! Add to that all of Katie’s personal detail touches — and we’re in love! In the marble room (oh yes, the Marble Room!), there was a custom art installation made by Katie of white, pink and gold “roses.” Every candle and key was in place, leading up to a truly special first dance. Katie & Leon came ready to wow their family & friends, ending the night on a high note of elegance & romance.

Enjoy! And join us in congratulating Katie & Leon!


The Wedding Day Team

Venue: The Armour House  |  Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas  |  Menus & Programs: InkAndVeil  |  Dresses: Jenny Yoo  |  Men’s Clothing: Men’s WearHouse  |  Hair/Makeup: Zaza Salon  |  Officiant: Pastor John Angle  |  Floral: Jazzy Flowers  |  DJ: Crestline Entertainment  |  Cake: Poppie’s Bakeshop  |  Photobooth: Fotio Photography 

Check out more Gold Grid couples on the Featured Couples blog!


Lincoln Park Engagement Session: Emily & Brandon

Lincoln Park Engagement Session: Emily & Brandon

You can never go wrong with Lincoln Park! It’s a popular engagement session spot for a good reason. No matter how many times you visit Lincoln Park, there are ALWAYS new discoveries to be made! New paths, a different shade of sunlight, and an assortment of events and people-watching pleasures. It’s easy to relax and get a perfect mix of cityscape and natural serenity. This makes it an ideal backdrop for smiling, laughing, and showing off just how IN LOVE you are!

Friends, meet Emily & Brandon! They win the award for amazing fall/winter accessorizing, with cozy jackets, fabulous scarves, and lots of cuddling! Get to know their love story, and join them on this stroll through Lincoln Park!


On how they met:

We met the old fashion way….an online app! Two swipes right and the rest is history. Brandon swears he messaged Emily first but Emily knows she messaged him first and is considering requesting the messaging history through the app’s legal department to win the debate. Kidding…sort of. 



Emily, on her favorite things about Brandon:

My favorite trait of Brandon’s is how deeply he cares about the things that matter the most to him. He’s extremely passionate and driven to be successful in his career. He cares deeply for his friends and family and would do anything for them.



Brandon, on what he loves about Emily:

So many things are amazing! She has amazing smile and beautiful eyes. She is intelligent, fun, outgoing, has great taste, cultured and probably the most important thing she makes me a better person!



On their favorite things to do together:

One of our favorite things to do as a couple is to explore our city. We both love trying new things together whether that’s a walking around a new neighborhood, trying a new restaurant, hitting up a local bar or whatever fun local activity is happening. We are both up for anything!



Want more engagement sessions? We’ve got you covered!

Evening Engagement Session: Kylie & Matt

Evening Engagement Session: Kylie & Matt

Nothing quite beats an evening in Chicago! From the city lights to the sunset off the buildings, it’s a perfect engagement destination. We took an evening stroll with Kylie & Matt, and got to know more about their lovely story. It all started with a SIX HOUR first date! That’s certainly not a shabby way to kick things off!

We’ll see more of these two at their wedding, which is just a few weeks away! For now, enjoy this evening walk around the Chicago River & Riverwalk, and hear what these two have to say about each other. Congrats, Kylie & Matt!


Kylie, what do love most about Matt? 

Some of my favorite traits about Matt are the way he loves me, his kind heart, his hard working attitude, his sacrifice for those around him, his values, his communication style, his sensitivity and emotional character, his loyalty, support and the way he shares in all the responsibilities of our lives. He is the best thing in my life and I can’t imagine the future without him.



Matt, what are some of your favorite things about Kylie?

Some of my favorite traits about Kylie are she has the most amazing smile, her selfless character, her ability to walk in to a room and have a conversation with everybody, she is thoughtful and caring, having her in my life pushes me both personally and professionally because I always want to do the best for her.



What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?

We enjoy cooking together, hiking, laughing, watching movies that Kylie never stays awake for, we have fun wherever we are and recently went to Boston where we saw Fenway Park, the freedom trail and walked around the city for 3 days.



What is your happiest memory together? 

Our happiest memory together is a tie between the day we moved in together and the day we got engaged. Both pushed us towards our future together and got us closer to the big day on December 16th! Our engagement was at home during one of our lazy Sundays. It was so nice that it was in the space we share together where we live and love and where we spend the normal everyday part of our lives. It was just between the two of us without a big production. Matt truly surprised Kylie (one of the only real surprises in her life to date as she tends to figure things out) it was heartfelt and full of tears for us both.



Take a look at more downtown Chicago engagement sessions!

Elegant Evanston Wedding: Sara & AJ

Elegant Evanston Wedding: Sara & AJ

Get ready for a little rainy day romance! Sara & AJ’s wedding day at the Hilton Orrington in Evanston was a showcase of love, laughter, and soft elegance. With lace details, grey tuxedos, and subtle peach and lilac florals — the cozy outdoor atmosphere was a nice touch to the intimate day. The truly ironic thing about rain on your wedding day is that it’s actually great for your photos. An overcast day means no squinting, less shadows, and a natural tendency to snuggle!

As we got ready for to enjoy the day in Evanston, we asked these two what they love most about each other. According to Sara, AJ makes her laugh all the time — and is full of “mischievous” surprises. AJ makes Sara feel like her “true” self.  Swooooon! When AJ also mentioned smiling and laughter, we knew there’d be no need to “say cheese” on this day — the smiles would already be there!

If one must stay indoors, Evanston’s Hilton Orrington is a wonderful choice. With big windows & tall ceilings, it is perfect for capturing the natural light, and for highlighting all of those wedding day feels! Please join us in congratulating Sara & AJ on their gorgeous wedding, a laughter filled celebration that made everyone happy to be inside together!

Meet the Wedding Day Team:

Venue: Hilton Orrington  |  Event Coordinator: One Fine Day Events  |  Men’s Clothing: Men’s Wearhouse  |  Bridesmaid’s Clothing: Adrianna Papell  |  Floral: Bella Flora  |  Cake: Bittersweet Pastry  |  DJ: Spinnin’ Discs  |  Transportation: Windy City Limos