When I first arrived at the hotel on Lauren and Matt’s day, I was greeted by an excited, bubbly bride – Lauren was getting her hair done as she introduced me to some of her bridesmaids, and her comfort and giddiness for the day as a whole were immediately apparent. The ladies popped champagne and laughed over stories, and when we eventually found ourselves slightly behind schedule, Lauren did the opposite of what most brides do in that situation – while many begin to panic about the timeline and the idea of running late, Lauren instead continued to fully enjoy each moment leading up to that walk down the aisle. She didn’t rush a dang thing and it was incredibly refreshing.
Our post-ceremony afternoon was similarly chill as Lauren and Matt joined their wedding party on the bus, and we made a pit stop at a nearby forest preserve prior to heading to their venue. They had drinks and popped champagne, and I felt like I was just photographing a bunch of friends hanging out rather than posing a wedding party. Lauren had started calling me “Brookie” throughout the day, and I smiled to myself each time she did it. Brookie was my nickname growing up with most of the people who had known me for nearly my entire life, so it has always felt like a term of endearment to me – and though Lauren and I had only known each other throughout their wedding planning process, something about her calling me by that nickname felt right. And when I started to think about it, I realized that she and Matt have this way of making you feel important and loved, which was evident in the way they hugged and spoke with each member of the room full of people there to celebrate them.
It began to lightly sprinkle when we arrived at their venue, and Lauren and Matt casually waved off the use of umbrellas and decided to move forward with their outdoor cocktail hour and photos regardless. They continually made each other laugh as we walked the grounds, and did the same with their friends and family as they mingled afterward; they were not at all worried about clouds or rain or a potential need for a backup plan.
I loved a million things about how they approached their wedding day, but most of all, I loved how present they were for every element, despite changing schedules and precipitation. The two of them hit their dance floor from the moment it was open, and as I hugged them goodbye later that evening, they prepared to head back out into the sea of people celebrating with them – and that right there is one of my very favorite things to see at the end of a wedding day.
Reception Venue + Catering: Meson Sabika
Church: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Makeup: Joey Claeyssen
Hair: Taryn Schultz
Dress: The Crystal Bride
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Band: Over the Sun
Linen + Chair Rental: Satin Chair