Elmhurst Art Museum Wedding
If you want to have a unique, creative wedding that will make people go WOW, then… you should have an Elmhurst Art Museum wedding. Like Jackie and Jeff did. 🙂 We were so excited to have the opportunity shoot the wedding of Jackie and Jeff because, one, they were getting married in such an amazing place that we have enjoyed going to so many times before (non-wedding related), but also, their bridal party were their children! This definitely was a unique wedding for sure–not only for the non-traditional/artistic venue, but also for the added element of the union of these two beautiful families–the Burkes and the Strazis’. Get ready to see some really fun and raw candids below 🙂
Jackie and Jeff have a beautiful story where they actually grew up close to each other without actually knowing each other their whole childhoods! But, not only that, ironically they both lived in Switzerland for a time (few years apart), where their children went to the same schools, yet they still didn’t know each other. When they finally met online years later, you can imagine how crazy it must have been to hear this person you’re kinda diggin lived an almost parallel life to you haha. They couldn’t be more perfect for each other 🙂
Now to the day of: We wanted to make sure that there was no stress (who would?), so we told their wedding planner, Gina (from One Fine Day events), to block out several hours for us at the beginning of the day just to make sure the whole family could get ready, have fun, AND take all the epic and artsy photos without feeling rushed. She worked it like wedding magic and it was SUCH an enjoyable day, for everyone (who knew NOT feeling rushed on your wedding day could make it so fun?? ;P).
We started just as described: a super chill morning inside the family’s house, drinking some champagne, putting on some makeup, juggling oranges… wait what? Yes, you read it. Juggling oranges, and successfully spinning an electric guitar around your whole torso (that one is for you Annabelle). And after all the family fun, it came time to build their family tower of rocks together, a powerful tradition for them symbolizing their new family together (which they also performed at the ceremony). Then it was time for Jackie and Jeff to have a bit of alone time together ;)–their FIRST LOOK, duh! Jeff waited for his stunning bride just on their front porch, and it was just so lovely to see him gaze at her (she was killing it in that dress! You’ll see). Afterwards, we took some fun photos outside with the whole family, under a rustic bridge, in front of a tattoo parlor that looked super cool… haha but, as it was a December wedding in Chicagoland weather, we hurried back to the limo and headed to Elmhurst Art Museum where it would be WARM! And full of light 🙂
So: smoke machines and light sabers, you say?
Usually, as a photographer, I (Pavel) try to use as much natural light as possible, but this time was different! As mentioned, the wedding was at a museum, whose staff was kind enough to let us interact with the current exhibitions for some AMAZING PHOTOS that you’ve never seen before in your LIFE and will probably never see again! It was so perfectly timed, because the current exhibition involved–you guessed it!–smoke machines and light sabers (more like crazy light beams, but hey–they look like sabers in the photos!). It was just… a photographer’s dream. And we couldn’t have done it without the genius mind of David Wallace Haskins, the artist behind the smoke and sabers and all (so thank you to you, Mr. Haskins!).
After that, the ceremony began: and like we mentioned above, it was raw in the most beautiful way–full of uninhibited tears and roaring laughter. Jeff’s vow to Jackie was so touching as he started choking back the tears… ugh :'( And when it came time to build the family stone tower, one almost FELL! But after a huge gasp, all was swell 🙂
Guys, this is why we do weddings. This was the perfect wedding to end the year–to be able to partake in the joy and laughter and tears of this beautiful new family on one of the most powerfully symbolic days of their lives. It was just refreshing, a great way to enter the new year into. Congratulations, Jackie and Jeff!! We truly are so happy that you two finally found each other, and we wish you, Billy, Annabelle, Charlotte, and Lucy all the best <3