Mara + Mike: Spiaggia, Chicago IL

Misty Winter Photography

I love listening to stories of how the couples I work with first met and the inspiration behind how they chose the creative details for their wedding day! This past week I was honored to work with Mara and Mike.  

Mara and Mike were set up on a blind date by mutual friends and instantly connected over their shared passions of travel (they plan to kick off their marriage with a six month around-the-world backpacking trip!), good food, marathon running, and most importantly, friends and family. Five years later, during a trip to Puerto Rico Mike dropped a knee as the sun set over the ocean.

Having a mutual love for the city of Chicago, they wanted to incorporate the "energy and romance" of the city into their big day. Italian restaurant Spiaggia, with its "world-class food" and a variety of stunning event spaces to choose from, was the ideal place for this couple to hold their special day.

Megan + Bryson: Engagement Shoot, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

One of the things I love about being a wedding photographer is the ability to travel to some of the most gorgeous places around the world. I find that shooting in new locations inspires creativity and it's always a thrill to arrive somewhere I've never been and scout out new places to capture unique moments.

Recently, I've been given the amazing opportunity to spend a few months in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands! One of my first projects on the island was a beautiful engagement shoot for Megan and Bryson.

"Until I had met Bryson, I had never even heard of St. Croix" Says Megan, "having grown up on the island his whole life, you can imagine how special of a place it is to him. Therefore when I was finally able to see it for myself, I was amazed. We went for our junior year spring break and I fell in love with it."

As a place that is special for both of them, St. Croix was the perfect spot for a proposal! During a pier dive in Fredericksted, Bryson asked the big question.

"While diving, we spent nearly 50 minutes exploring. There were divers everywhere, and every time we passed by one, Bryson seemed to get a little nervous. As we were ready to finish up the dive, I realized why. I felt a grab on my flipper, and I turned around to see Bryson going down on one knee while holding the slate with "Will you Marry Me?" written on it. Being underwater and all, I tried to motion yes. It was in that moment that I realized there was a photographer taking our pictures. The whole time Bryson was looking for him, and that's why he was so nervous!"

Maggie + Ben : London House, Chicago IL

Going into an engagement or wedding photo shoot, I enjoy sitting down with every couple and learning more about their vision. Discovering ways to incorporate that vision into a uniquely tailored photo shoot is always a challenge, and I love being challenged! Recently, I had the pleasure of capturing Maggie and Ben’s beautiful wedding at the stunning London House in Chicago.

An element that stood out to me about Maggie and Ben’s story was the location in which they first met. Both Maggie and Ben worked in the news industry, Ben at NBC, Maggie at the Chicago Tribune. One day, Ben was scheduled to record an interview segment that Maggie had set up. So Ben walked out of the NBC entrance, Maggie walked out of the Tribune entrance, and in the plaza between the two buildings they shook hands for the first time. “I always left work at the same time Maggie was arriving. It was six years of near-misses until that fateful morning when I had to stay a little late and Maggie had to come in a little early” (Ben). I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to creatively illustrate this life changing moment than in that very spot!

Venue: London House, Chicago IL (Mercedes Ogorek)

Bride’s Gown: Ultimate Bride (Designer-Liancarlo)

Groom’s Tux: Formally Modern

Hair: Jean Ramos

Makeup: Tran Nguyen

Wedding Planner: Big City Brides (Chrissy Magliano)

Photographer: Misty Winter Photography

Videographer: Wholehearted (Josiah)

Florist: K.LA Designs

Lighting: VLS Lighting (Mark G.)

Ceremony Musicians: Artisitstrings

DJ: Monastero Entertainment (JD)

Photobooth: Monastero Entertainment (JD)