Alexis and James’ big day at The Arbory chicago kicked off my 2023 wedding season, and boy, I hope it was a preview for the year to come! Alexis and James are as down-to-earth as it comes. From the moment I met them in person for their engagement session, I knew we would have the best time together. That turned out to be an understatement—their wedding day was one for the books!
Usually, my guys tend to be a bit shyer behind the camera and don’t like having their photos taken, but James was a natural, and he knew it (and loved it!). James’ signature grin did not leave his face the entire night, and Alexis’ infectious giggle was on repeat. It’s impossible not to love them! This dynamic duo ended up with tons of magazine-worthy shots. The camera loved them, and I loved busting out my creativity with them.
How They Met
I can’t go on about their wedding day until I give you a little backstory: these two met in college when she was dating someone in James’ fraternity! James enrolled at another school, so they didn’t see each other for years. Then, as fate would have it, their college friends wanted to meet up, and the rest was history! It’s funny how life happens.
Wedding Day at The Arbory Chicago
Complementing their laid-back style and James’ love for art and woodworking, The Arbory Chicago was the perfect venue. Once a bustling lumber yard, this historic downtown Chicago venue features a balance of wood, brick, skylights, and uplighting work to create a ‘vibe’ that feels cool yet cozy. The venue can host large weddings of up to 300 guests, but it still feels warm and inviting with overflowing greenery and warm neutral tones.
A Note From the Couple
When I asked what they were most looking forward to on their wedding day (apart from officially tying the knot, of course), they said:
“We are so excited to have a band and get people on the dance floor. For our photo memories, we are hoping to capture us with our families but also have shots of people in the moment. When we look back at an album, we want to see our memories of the day and how our guests experienced it. We just want to have the best time with our loved ones.
We love the look and feel of your photos—we feel the connection to the day and LOVE the candid style of your work. We want our album to reflect the love and fun throughout the day authentically. Your true-to-color lighting brings vibrancy to your photos that we fell in love with.”
Meg’s Favorite Moments
At each wedding, there are always things that stand out and make them extraordinary. (Yes, I think every wedding is extraordinary in its unique way.) First, Alexis’ dad rocked HIS OWN wedding tuxedo that still fit—and he looked AH-mazing. Then, during the couple’s portraits at Garfield Park Conservatory, a little girl followed us at a distance and kept saying, “A princess! A princess!” (Scroll down to peep a photo of our precious little friend.)
Not only were the portrait and wedding venues breathtaking by themselves, but @flowerchild_chicago also designed some incredible arrangements and bouquets that took it all to the next level. They know how to bring extra beauty to already-stunning venues and complement the built-in aesthetic.
Meanwhile, during the ceremony, they had the cutest dang ring security I have ever seen in my life, aka, their nephews. And after a heart-tugging ceremony, James’ siblings just had to highlight his deep love for chicken tenders in their speech—hysterical!
Then, to top it all off, they had a KILLER dance floor that nobody wanted to leave, led by @bluewaterkingsband. Needless to say, the dang Hora was LIT! 🔥 (I think Alexis’ mom was a little nervous about being lifted in her chair with all that energy going on, but she still had the biggest smile!)
That’s a Wrap!
Alexis and James’ wedding day was filled with warmth and love—completely stress-free, just as it should be. They focused on their people, the delicious food, and having the very best time on the dance floor. (In fact, when I left, James was outside cooling off and drenched in sweat from breaking it down on the dance floor!).
Cheers, Alexis and James! It was an honor to document your wedding day. Here’s to the adventures to come!
Wedding Planner: @wedicity_chi | @overygood
Ceremony & Reception Venue: @the.arbory
Photo Booth: @the.arbory
Hair Stylist: @hairs2thebride
Makeup Artist: @shaynamakeupartist
Dress Store: @genevievesbridalcouture