elizabeth & anthony | the barn at hornbaker gardens wedding.

I had every intention originally to post Elizabeth and Anthony’s full sneak peek this past Friday, but the day ended up busier than I had anticipated. I sat down to write their sneak peek that afternoon and felt rushed and tired, and realized if I didn’t do it then, I wouldn’t have time again until after the weekend full of weddings and sessions. But I didn’t want to rush when it comes to this couple, and let me tell you why.
I didn’t know either of these two personally prior to them booking me to photograph their engagement session and wedding, despite Anthony and I having grown up in small towns that were relatively close to one another. But when I first met them at their session, they were immediately friendly, and kind, and had a warmth to them that made me leave their session with a smile on my face. Based solely on this interaction, I already knew their eventual wedding day would be a great one.
One of my favorites parts of a wedding is walking into the getting ready area for the first time that day. While the activities can vary from hair to makeup to watching a game to drinks, it’s the vibe of the room that I’m always most excited to observe. I’ve seen excited people and nervous people and frustrated people and dancing people and calm people, and as you can imagine, these vibes tend to set the tone for the hours that follow. Anthony and Elizabeth’s vibes were both that of excitement with an air of nervousness, but it was easy to see that the nerves were more specifically from not being with the one person who has a way of keeping them each calm than anything else. They both cried their way through the letters they had to written one another, and I watched as the nerves dissipated and morphed into laughs and happy tears once they saw each other during the first look.

When Elizabeth read her letter from Anthony prior to them seeing each other, it was just her and I outside on the back patio of the venue. Tears quietly streamed down her face as she read his words, and I realized I was holding my breath as I watched from behind the camera. She laughed at the end of this moment as she dabbed her face, then took a deep breath as she stood up and said, “I need a hug”. So I embraced her, and I teared up, too, because she felt a lot more like a friend than a client in that moment, and because it’s hard to feel anything but genuinely happy for someone to be marrying a man who can verbalize his love for her so well. At the end of the evening, I sought them both out on the dance floor amidst their family and friends as I was about to pack up my gear. I found Anthony and hollered my goodbye and well wishes over the music, and Anthony threw his arms around me and lifted me off the ground, cameras and all, with this giant hug. It’s so evident that these two are equally loving and sincere and particularly special, and I can honestly say that because of this, I don’t know two people who deserve one another more.

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Chicago, IL


Weddings + Engagements + Life

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