Claire & Stephen Backyard Wedding Chicago IL

As seen in Modern Weddings

The Venue

Claire and Stephen reached out to me about photographing their wedding in January 2020, almost three months before the pandemic changed everything about weddings in 2020. We got to know each other coffee and Chai tea lattes in a chic downtown coffee shop; together, we made plans to document their love story in a place that was so special to both of them — the chapel at the University of Loyola. They planned to follow up their marriage ceremony with a  dinner reception at a classy suburban restaurant.

Thanks to COVID-19, Claire and Stephen had to pivot their wedding plans…more than once, in fact. Yet, two things remained constant throughout the process: Their love for each other, and their determination to tie the knot on their intended date, October 10th, 2020.

Together, we worked to make new wedding plans that would be perfect for Claire and Stephen’s love story. Claire and Stephen wrote the next chapter of their love story by getting married at Claire’s home church, St. John of the Cross Parish, and they celebrated with their closest friends and family in an intimate reception at the home of Claire’s parents.

The Bride

Claire curated bright autumn-toned florals to compliment her bridesmaids’ deep green dresses and the theme of their backyard wedding Chicago. Getting ready at her childhood home, Claire enjoyed a relaxed morning with her girlfriends and parents, filled with laughter, beautiful details, and a warm send-off from her parents.

The Groom

When I met with Claire and Stephen to finalize their details for their backyard wedding Chicago via Zoom, they had good news to share with me! They became homeowners over the summer! With the help of his mom, Stephen got ready in the space that the and Claire plan to call home for years to come.

The First Look

The next chapter of Claire and Stephen’s backyard wedding Chicago began on the front steps of their house! Claire made a game-time decision to surprise Stephen with a first look at their home. The pair shared a few sweet moments together on their porch. Stephen’s reaction was priceless! I love capturing the genuine connection between couples in moments like this, and Claire and Stephen’s first look was perfectly framed by the fall colors and soft afternoon light.

Backyard Wedding Chicago

While they couldn’t get married on campus, Claire and Stephen were able to invite a priest from the university to officiate their ceremony at St. John of the Cross Parish. The couple personalized their socially-distanced ceremony by pinning up cutouts and photos of out-of-town guests who were not able to join them in person on the day! (Some of these cutouts even made an appearance later at the backyard wedding reception!)

After they exchanged vows and rings, Claire and Stephen’s mothers accompanied them to the statue of Mary for an intimate moment of prayer and reflection.

Claire and Stephen’s intimate backyard wedding reception was filled with beautiful tablescapes and abounding with joy and laughter as their parents and friends shared heartfelt toasts to honor the new bride and groom. Though the evening was touched by autumn’s chill, that didn’t put a damper on the celebration as Claire and Stephen laughed and danced the night away!

Thank you, Claire and Stephen, for entrusting me with your beautiful backyard wedding Chicago! I am so grateful for the opportunity to tell this piece of your love story!

If you are engaged and looking for a Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, please reach out as soon as possible, as my calendar for 2021 and 2022 weddings is quickly filling up.