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Engagement: Jenna & Brad

These two win the troopers award for sure! A high of 55 degrees and drippy rain all day long and they still brought the cuteness to the nth degree!!! And a whole lot of silliness too! It’s safe to say I cannot wait until their wedding next year!!!

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How To Have An Amazing Wedding Day

Today’s ‘How To’ post is the first of many I plan to roll out over the fall and winter about all the various aspects that go into making your wedding day as fabulous as can be, everything from ‘Why you should do an engagement session’ to Getting Ready Tips to Wedding Party Advice, you name it and I will  be covering it at some point or another on the blog! But before I dive into the nitty gritty details of tips and advice for your engagement and wedding, I wanted to kick it off with this post on How to Have An Amazing Wedding Day regardless of all those details! Start here! Stick to these and I guarantee you that your day will be as wonderful and memorable as can be!

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1. Hire An Amazing Team of Vendors!

This is more than a plea for you to hire a wedding planner (do that too though, okay?)….as a type A control loving gal myself, I know what it is like to want to make sure things are just as they should be and obsesses over it constantly until you know it has been done correctly, but no one should have to worry about all that stress on their wedding day. Not even my fellow type A gals out there should have to do that on their own wedding day! You should be able to be in the moment. Enjoy the anticipation of your morning, the building excitement to marry your love…not be fretting over tablescapes and music cues. Leave it to the professionals! Hire amazing, talented, and experienced vendors who know what they are doing to do all that for you! People that you can trust to make your all your wedding day wishes come true without you having to micromanage and check in on it. Research your vendors, meet with them, choose the ones you connect with, make all your hopes and expectations clear, and, then let it go, trust in them to get it done and make it amazing for you! And this applies to everyone from your wedding coordinator to your florists to your DJ to your caterers to your photographer! Knowing you hand picked the best people for you and that you have a stellar team behind you making everything perfect is the best peace of mind you could give yourself on your wedding day!

2. Make it about you…BOTH of you!

Letting all your family, friends, and everybody who walks down the street weigh in on your wedding plans is all fine and good, until it starts to affect what it is that you two truly want for your wedding day. Sit down together before wedding mania begins. Discuss your hopes and dreams for your wedding days. Compromise! Come to an agreement on what you want your day to be about. You get sparkly table runners, he gets to be introduced to the Chicago Bulls theme song (I’m looking at you, Katie and Mike! Love it!). Your day should be about the both of you, let that show through! Figure out what things are most important to each of you (and as a couple!) for your wedding and don’t let anyone shake you from them. If you have to add on a few extra people to the guest list because mom and dad insist upon them being there, okay fine…but don’t get strong armed or guilt tripped into making your day about anything but the two of you…or having 400+ guests! You have to draw the line somewhere. Stick together and stand up for the wedding choices that are important to you, no matter what anyone else thinks. At the end of the day it’s your day! And you will enjoy it SO much more knowing that it is just as you wanted it to be!

3. Be in the moment!

This one is not just for the brides and bridesmaids, it’s for the mommas and the poppas, and the distant cousins too! Put down the camera, the professionals have got this! Pocket (and silence!) your cell phone, you can instagram at the reception later! And for goodness sake, please leave the iPad at home! Watch, listen, and be present in the special moments of your day! Just enjoy them! Unplugged! You have chosen a talented professional to capture the moments of your day, trust in them, and turn the devices off! I want to capture those sweet tears of joy on mom’s face as you say, ‘I do’…I don’t think you want a photo of mom with an iPad covering her entire face.

3. Let. It. Go. 

At the end of the day, your day will be perfect! It will be perfect because it has to be! It’s happening right then and there and you can either enjoy every second of it, rain or shine, or you can let all the little things that may go wrong get to you and put a damper on your once in a lifetime day. I say go with option A, no one wants to be a pouty bride (or groom)! Your day will play out as it plays out and that will be the story of your wedding day for decades to come, regardless of how much you worried or made a big deal about it, so why not enjoy the ride?! Trust in your team to make it work, bumps in the road and all, breathe, and then….LET IT GO! If it rains, it rains! It may not be ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world…and no matter how much you fret about it, it is what it is…make the best of it! You may have not hoped for it, but it happened. So, try not to get too wrapped up in being disappointed if things beyond anyone’s control go awry. Accept it and make the best of it. Breathe, smile, look into the eyes of the one you love, remember WHY you are there, and make the best wedding day memories you can! It is going to make for one heck of a story to tell your grandchildren one day!

Feel free to leave any ideas for blog posts on specific wedding day (or engagement session) tips or advice you would like to see on the blog in the comments, I will add it to the list of blogs to come! 

Kara Esbaum - September 11, 2014 - 3:19 pm

I barely even remember the rain on our wedding day, because you were such an awesome photographer and just came up with a new plan and told us all what to do instead of asking me! And I love our photos at Union Station so I’m glad we got to go there :)

Katie Glaser - September 11, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Yes! Such great advice and love the Bulls shout out!

Things I Love: Mish Mosh Edition XIV

This month’s edition of Things I Love is oh so random, just like I like it!

Online Shopping

Well, duh. I’m pretty sure you all knew I loved this! But, these days, with even LESS free time on my hands with a tyke at home, it makes it harder than ever to take leisurely shopping days that I so crave every now and again to unwind. So, when things are nonstop busy and I can’t seem to find some ‘me time’ for a little retail therapy, I just allow myself to close the office door for the night a little early, pour a big glass of wine and get my e-commerce on! Big time stress reliever! And totally happy making when those boxes show up at your door!

Family Bike Rides

We tuned up my old cruiser bike, got G a baby bike seat, and this family has hit the open road! Okay, not really, we mostly stick to side streets because I am too klutzy to be trusted on a bike too close to real busy streets, but it has become a fun little activity for us to do together and I only wish we started doing this sooner! Even if it’s just a quick ride up to the nearby park and back, it’s a relaxing little way to spend time together as a family and I am loving it. Now, I just need a cup holder for my biking cocktails….

Going Blonder

I am by no means blonde, but I did go lighter with some color in my hair a couple weeks ago and I’m a little obsessed. Thank god my hair stylist is also my friend and knows when to reign me in for my own good before I demand her dye my whole head platinum!


Okay, I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I finally decided to read #GIRLBOSS and I am totally joining the masses on singing it’s praises. I only wish it was longer! Seriously! Love Sophia Amoruso’s wit and the frankness in her writing….and the fact that I, now, feel vindicated for all the life ‘meandering’ I’ve done on my way to figuring out what it is I wanted to do. What I’ve taken away from the book? Love what you do, be unapologetically you, and hustle like there is no tomorrow! Color me motivated!


Ed Sheeran’s ‘Kiss Me’

Another late to the party love here. And a total guilty pleasure at that! I didn’t even know who Ed Sheeran and after googling him and realizing he was who sang the song ‘Kiss Me’ , I recoiled a bit, realizing I’m basically a teeny bopper by admitting I love this song so much. But I kind of can’t help it (and it’s not just because of THIS….okay, maybe it is a little bit! Gah, I just also admitted my deep Vampire Diaries obsession too, I think I AM a teeny bopper!). And I’m kind of dying for someone to choose this as their first dance song…but, maybe that means I need to be photographing weddings of 15 year olds, eeek!



The Nikon D4s

I only shoot Nikon because they come in gold boxes! Okay, not really, but it doesn’t hurt either! So excited to have this bad boy camera join my gear family, whooo! Next up, trying my hand at shooting with 2 bodies at a time, fun fun fun!


Sauza Sparkling Margaritas

Fellow margarita lovers unite! Lately, I’ve been getting my margarita swagger on to the tune of the delicious bottled Sauza Sparkling Margaritas. Super refreshing for a warm summer night. And so easy for when you can’t be bothered with ingredients and making your own cocktails, all you need is ice and a glass (and salt if you like)! They could be a tad stronger in my humble margarita loving opinion, but, maybe, it’s a good thing they are not, because I’m pretty sure I could put away a whole bottle by myself in one sitting. Forgive me in advance (okay, maybe it’s after the fact) for all my margarita wielding selfies….but, a Girlboss needs her fuel too!


Well, there you have it! Maybe my most random Things I Love post ever! I hope I didn’t lose you or scare you off by my teeny bopper tendencies. (But, let’s be honest…you cant even deny how hot Ian Somerhalder!)

So, what are YOU loving on lately?! What refreshing cocktails are you sipping? Any new music you have been playing on repeat, besides the new T. Swift song? Any new books to recommend? Throw ‘em at me!

Elizabeth Muscara Haase - September 10, 2014 - 2:08 pm

I’m about half way through #GirlBoss and its freaking amazing!

Alaina Rau Bos - September 10, 2014 - 3:00 pm

I gotta get on the #GirlBoss train!!

Christy Tyler - September 17, 2014 - 5:33 pm

I really need to get #GirlBoss. I keep meaning to read it and keep forgetting to pick it up! Everybody loves it – so I have to just do it already! :)

Wedding: Katie & Jason – Lacuna Artist Lofts

This year has been absolutely notorious for crazy unpredictable weather in Chicago and the day of Katie and Jason’s Lacuna Artist Lofts wedding was no exception as it torrentially downpoured en route to the church. But it’s nothing a chivalrous group of groomsmen and a whole lot of love and joy couldn’t fix! We pulled up to the church after a bit of a crazy ride amidst the rain to find all of the groomsmen awaiting the bride’s trolley curbside, each with a umbrella to escort the girls inside, so adorable! (…and if I wasn’t desperately trying to keep all of gear dry at the time, I’d have the picture to show you.) And with a day packed with bountiful love, happiness, and tears of joy by many, absolutely nothing could put a damper on their day! The weather cleared up just as their ceremony ended and the day was theirs, rooftop cocktail hour and all! Love!

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Tamara Lockwood - September 9, 2014 - 2:34 pm

Wow, this is breathtaking!! What a stunning venue too!!!

Christy Tyler - September 9, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Really stunning photos Amanda!! Love this so much, and can’t ever get enough of market lights at receptions!

Jenna Keller Linnell - September 9, 2014 - 4:55 pm

This is gorgeous!

Steve Casica - September 9, 2014 - 8:47 pm

Lighting by SC Lighting Design

Patricia Sullivan - September 10, 2014 - 1:37 am

Beautiful; Awesome people and photos:)

Nancy Hess Dutton - September 10, 2014 - 2:29 am

What beautiful photos! Felt like we were there!

Pam Criscione - September 10, 2014 - 2:53 am

That was absolutely breath taking. Loved the pics and your venue was so different. Congrats to u both!

Emily Stromdahl - September 10, 2014 - 5:38 am

Photos are great. Best Wishes to the couple. I love the city view. Also loved the one where his Mom was resting on his shoulder as they danced. The Bride was breathtaking.

The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery - September 11, 2014 - 5:24 am

Simply beautiful! Thanks for showcasing her wedding accessories in such a lovely way!

Linda Giovacchini Parck - September 13, 2014 - 4:35 am

Stunning! Love the combo of color and then black and white!

Christy Tyler - September 17, 2014 - 5:33 pm

Fabulous work, love! <3

Sneak Peeking Weddings

After another amazing wedding this weekend (followed by a much needed and awaited day off with my family), I am just stacking up all the pretty around here that I have to share! So instead of just going on and on about it while I glue myself to my office chair editing all this goodness to come, I thought why not start the week off with a whole slew of sneak peeks?! Highlights from all these amazing couples’ weddings are coming soon! And I cannot wait!!!

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Alaina Rau Bos - September 8, 2014 - 2:13 pm

You’ve outdone yourself!! I’m LOVING these sneak peeks!!! :)

Jenna Keller Linnell - September 8, 2014 - 6:26 pm


Kairee - September 9, 2014 - 1:07 am

Eee! Can’t wait to see more!!

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