lauren & sam | chapel hill wedding.

One thing I often try to stress to my couples is the importance of being completely present on their wedding day (which let’s be honest, is always easier said than done). I cannot say enough how important it is that the bride halts the planning and organizing, despite how much she wants everything to go according to plan – that she looks around the room at her girlfriends surrounding her with a mixture of admiration and awe once she’s in her dress, and soaks that moment in rather than fretting about the timeline or when the flowers will arrive. And how important it is for the groom to not worry about whether or not their wedding guests see the sweat on his brow or the tears in his eyes, but instead, just focuses on seeing her – really seeing her – when she walks toward him down the aisle, or during their first look. Being fully present is absolutely the most important aspect of a wedding day, and the thing about Lauren and Sam is that they didn’t need their photographer to remind them of this – these two were fully present and absolutely immersed in their wedding day for every single second, and I just stood back and snapped away, cheesing from behind my camera.

I’ve worked with Lauren’s family before at her cousin’s wedding, and if there’s one word I can use to describe this crew, it’d be infectious – and Lauren and Sam epitomize that, too. They’re so full of enthusiasm and love for everyone surrounding them, and there were beers chugged and dance moves breaking out and cheers upon cheers for these high school sweethearts who so many people know and love. The thing about a couple like Lauren and Sam is that after being together for so many years, their families are each others’ families, and their friends are each others’ friends. They’ve established this community of people who they love and who love them just as much in return, and they finally got to celebrate the fact that their big, unofficial family-community just became official – and it really doesn’t get better than that.

Ceremony: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Chapel Hill Golf Course and Event Center
Dress Shop: Marien Mae Bridal
Hair + Makeup: Sophisticuts Salon and Spa
Coordinating + Decor: Jacqui Grant
DJ: Memories Productions
Florals, Catering, Cake: HyVee
Menswear: Something Different
Party Bus: Elite Luxury Bus Rental

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Chicago, IL


Weddings + Engagements + Life

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