Sam and Johnny • Festive Christmas Wedding in Chicago

Welp, dear blog readers, I can officially check off “first destination wedding” from the bucket list and before anyone @s me, YES, Chicago is a destination. I freakin’ love Chicago, almost as much as I love Sam and Johnny. Full disclosure, this one was close to my heart because Sam is my husband Alex’s cousin – second cousin? Her grandfather and his grandfather were brothers. So, I think second cousin? I don’t know, I’m a photographer, not a genealogist. Anywho, it was especially fun since we got to see a whole bunch of Sandovals, and I didn’t have to schlep around all of my light stands because I had my lovely husband to help me 😀

Sam got ready that morning surrounded by her family and friends at her childhood home (and her dogs!), and from the minute I met her, it felt like I had known her for a million years. She is so bubbly, relatable and fun, and it was neat to see her get all glammed up – I guess she’s usually really low key! They had a traditional Catholic ceremony at a historic church outside of Chicago, followed by a reception in Harlem. The caterer did Polish food as a homage to Johnny’s family, which was pretty cool. She and Johnny are HUGE baseball fans – like really really big baseball fans, and have made a point to see games and visit a variety of stadiums around the country. They brought this into their big day by naming each table after a team, and putting a picture of them in front of that stadium as their centerpiece.

During the first dance Sam did with her Dad, he organized something really, really special as a surprise for her- her grandfather passed away about six months before the wedding, and they had a very close, very special relationship. He was the one who got her into baseball, and her dad knew that not having him there on the wedding day was going to be really tough for her. So, her dad found a clip of her grandfather saying “I love you” and a couple of other really special things and had them mixed into the song they danced to. It was incredibly moving, and pretty much everyone was sobbing, myself included. She and her grandma then broke it down in Abuelo’s honor and let me tell you, THOSE Sandovals can dance. We had a blast and I am so glad to have been there! Take a look below – and keep your eyes peeled at the bottom for a quick shot of me and hubs when I took a few minutes to be a guest 😀

Vendors to Love:

Ceremony:  St. James at Sag Bridge
Reception: Banquets at the Mayor’s Mansion

DJ: Tone Productions

Make Up: Allison Miller (friend of bride)

Cake & Cupcakes: Kelly Lucas

Florist: Madi Alger

Dress: David’s Bridal

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