Today’s wedding is an extraordinarily special one for me. I had the absolute honor of being both photographer and bridesmaid for this sweet couple and am absolutely tickled to have been able to stand by their sides and capture their day. Jen and AJ’s celebration at the beautiful Greenhouse Loft was a perfect blend of their likes – it truly felt like them. It was full of greenery, candles, a beautifully rich color palette of burgundy, navy, and emerald green, and some incredible tacos and donuts!
My relationship with Jen and AJ started when I hired them both to work for my behavior analysis program in a special education school. Yep, it seems VERY fitting that a relationship that started with me as the boss needed a wedding where I was, again, in charge 😉
It has been such a pleasure over the years to watch these two go from co-workers to a (now married!) couple. I cannot think of two people more perfect for each other and am over the moon happy for them!
Ok now for the fun part! Wedding day highlights!
A Relaxed Morning
Normally, when photographing a wedding, I show up for about an hour of prep time coverage. But today, I got to hang out with the gals all morning long getting pampered and it was SO much fun! I’m sure the guys had a great time too, but us gals had a wonderful morning full of bagels and mimosas 🙂 I had so much fun capturing all of Jen’s beautiful details and capturing those exciting final few moments of getting ready!
First Look in Lincoln Park
Leading up to the wedding, anytime I asked Jen what she was most looking forward to it was “seeing AJ for the first time!” And the morning of the wedding, as we inched closer to the first look, she repeatedly announced “I just can’t wait to see AJ!” She was so genuinely excited to get to the first look that I almost think the wedding day could have ended there and she would have been just as content!
Lincoln Park was the perfect location for their first look and portraits. It gave gorgeous city views which was important to them, but also had a very rustic, textured, organic feel. This location in winter gives off a really lovely golden glow with all the wheat-colored grasses. I knew it would really make her color palette pop!
A Rich, Winter Color Palette of Burgundy, Navy, and Emerald
Jen and AJ chose a beautiful, rich color palette that was just lovely against the neutral tones of a Chicago winter. They started with burgundy, because AJ loves that color. They added emerald because it is their birthstone Technically it’s my birthstone too – we all three have May birthdays. But I think it might be a stretch to assume they picked emerald in honor of me 😉 Then to balance it out, Jen picked out one more rich tone – navy blue!
Willrett Flower Co. brought this bold color palette to life in Jen’s gorgeous bouquet. The colors and textures of this design were absolutely incredible!
Jen’s dream was for there to be snow on her wedding day. While she didn’t have a snow-filled landscape, we did get some surprise flurries that were just the icing on the cake of their perfect day!
Organic Meets Romantic
Jen loves greenery and wanted to incorporate it as much as possible into her decor along with candles, for a cozy and romantic atmosphere. Willrett Flower Co. made a stunning greenery backdrop for the ceremony that added so much lovely texture to the room!
And in keeping with the low-waste values of Greenhouse Loft, Jen and AJ found REALLY cool plantable seating chart cards and place cards. I love how earthy and organic these were – simple and perfect!
Fun at Greenhouse Loft
Between speeches and dances, there was nonstop smiles and laughter from the couple and their guests. Jen and AJ wanted to treat their friends and family to a fun evening and they more than delivered! From the chips and guac and the amazing Mexican street food from Tamale Spaceship to the incredible array of Firecakes donuts, every element was well thought out and executed to perfection.
Jen and AJ, I love you both and am very grateful for your friendship over the years. Enjoy your sneak peeks! ~NJ
Venue: Greenhouse Loft
Coordination: Ash Best Events
Florals/Decor: Willrett Flower Co.
Catering: Tamale Spaceship
Hair: Eli Winters
Makeup: Revolution Artistry
Bridesmaid Dresses: Birdy Grey
Suits: The Groomsman Suit
Bride’s Robe: BHLDN
Bride’s Earrings: Lauren Conrad
Bridesmaid Robes: Wedding Craft Gifts
Bridesmaid Earrings: Sweetv
DJ: Style Matters
Donut Wall Rental: Lighthouse Weddings and Events
Place Cards: Blushing Bean Design
Engagement Ring: Steve Quick Jewelers
Second Shooter: Kristen Cloyd Photography