We know we’re a month into 2020, but our favorite event photos from 2019 spoke to us so strongly that we just had to share them with you. Syncing the right lighting, angles, and timing — only to tell an entire story and radiate emotion in a single photo — is no easy feat, and these skilled Chicago photographers know what it takes to get the perfect shot. We’re celebrating their incredible work and the photos that had us emotionally invested from first glance.
*In no particular order…
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Smiles
There’s nothing like going up the aisle with your new life partner — and this couple’s smiles say it all. The duo began their marriage enclosed by a stunning garden setting, lush hydrangea-lined aisle, and all of their loved ones. And the best part? Jill Tiongco Photography froze the beautiful moment in time for us to admire forever.
photographer: Jill Tiongco Photography | planner: Clementine Custom Events | design, décor & floral: Life In Bloom | venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | linen: BBJ Linen
Love at First Gasp
Sometimes it’s the simple moments that send our hearts soaring, and in this case it’s this couple’s first look. The groom’s reaction to his bride’s wedding day debut, captured by Cage and Aquarium, is all we need. We love how they spent their day-of portraits on a date, enjoying a beer and each other’s company, before starting their forever.
photography: Cage and Aquarium | floral: Fab Flora | venue: Greenhouse Loft | caterer: FIG Catering
Lights, Camera — Angle
Four decades of stunning event production is a big reason to celebrate, and HMR Designs did just that. Their space was transformed into a party paradise, as seen in Kent Drake Photography’s striking photos. Our favorite shot was of a special performance, in which the event attendees and lead singer seemingly became one. We say if the music’s that good, the band can face any which way they’d like.
photographer: Kent Drake Photography | host, design & venue: HMR Designs | entertainment: BeatMix Music, Élan Artists, Entertaining Company | linen: Nuage Designs, BBJ Linen, Tailored Elements
Shine Bright Like Chicago
Fairytale romance at its finest. These newlyweds look like royalty, only swap the castle balcony for a skyscraper rooftop. We’re swooning over the magical way LaCour Images showcased Chicago — and the bride and groom — in one breathtaking image.
photographer & videographer: LaCour Images | planner: A Fresh Event | floral: Dilly Lily | venue & caterer: Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile | entertainment: Arlen Music Productions
A Second First Look
The first glimpse at their dream wedding setting was all we needed to fall in love with this couple — and their wedding photos from Beller-Jones. Flickering candles, warm uplighting, and a chic all-white floral palette created the most romantic and angelic setting for their summer celebration. Note to our future wedding photographer: we need a first look at our reception design.
photographer: Beller-Jones | planner: Liven It Up Events | design, décor & floral: Juliet Tan Floral Design | venue: Private Club | entertainment: Larry King Orchestra
Once Upon an Anniversary
It only took one look at this children’s book-themed corporate anniversary to be taken back in time. Our childhood selves are beaming at the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar-inspired ceiling. Sheri Whitko Photography skillfully demonstrated the depth and intensity of the wow-worthy design — so we could feel like we were there even though (sadly) we weren’t on the guest list.
photographer: Sheri Whitko Photography | production: KISHBAUGH + PARTNERS | décor: Kehoe Designs | venue: WCF Events
To Have and to Hold
We can feel the love radiating from this photo — knowing absolutely nothing about the couple. That’s the magic of Andrew Weeks Photography’s ability to savor a fleeting moment. The newlyweds may as well be the only ones in the room, despite the many guests surrounding their first dance. Alexa, play Only Girl in the World.
photographer: Andrew Weeks Photography | planner: Curate Plan Style | décor & floral: Kehoe Designs | venue: The Peninsula Chicago
Can we post this photo on our own Instagram? We’re obsessed with Nakai Photography’s image, from the floor-to-ceiling color palette to the groom and his “best friend’s” matching tuxes — and the smile it put on our faces.
photographer: Nakai Photography | planner: Marquette Avenue Events | floral: Flowers for Dreams | venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
Fathers of the Brides
A sweet exchange between brides before their joint walk down the aisle is just one of the many things we love about this wedding photo. Rebecca Marie Photography knew color didn’t matter, and let the black & white photo speak for itself. The proud dads preparing to give their daughters away might just be our favorite part.
photographer: Rebecca Marie Photography | planner: Cole Drake Events | floral: EV Floral Design | venue & catering: Brasswood
Nike, is That You?
No, it’s not an inspirational Nike ad, but it sure looks like one. Ashley Galminas made a wellness bootcamp look like it belonged to a renowned fitness brand— and made us want to hit the gym. Health and wellness is one of our top party trends for 2020, and this experiential event was ahead of the game.
photographer: Ashley Galminas | venue: Low Res Studio
Can’t Resist This Bliss
What can we say when Averyhouse’s photo says it all? This couple is proof that your wedding can truly be the happiest day of your life — just look at every photo. This shot in particular has us smiling ear to ear, and planning our (currently non-existent) wedding day.
photographer: Averyhouse | planner: LK Events | décor: HMR Designs | venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago | rentals: Bowery & Bash | entertainment: Bluewater Kings Band
Rock the Runway
If there’s one thing we know about fashion, it’s that runway shows are never going out of style — and this image represents what we love so much about them. TagPrints Digital got the perfect glimpse of the models’ final strut, and we’ve never seen a photo look so sweet and fierce at the same time.
photographer: TagPrints Digital | planner: Total Event Resources | décor: Kehoe Designs | venue: The Geraghty | a/v: BlackOak Technical Productions
Here Comes the Bride
A night dedicated to eternal love and a lifetime of happiness? Who wouldn’t want to celebrate that. This bride had all eyes on her as she walked down the aisle, and later floated down the dance floor. Hands up if you love the way Dennis Lee Photography captured this genuine moment as much as we do.
photographer: Dennis Lee Photography | planner: Wendy Joblon | design: Marc Hall Design | venue: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Love Is Always Love
These brides encompass why we love weddings. Fig Media- Photography artfully captured the couple enjoying their first dance, while keeping enough distance for the moment to remain intimate and special. Glistening chandeliers, a bright spotlight, and a room full of supportive guests are a few reasons we cherish this photo.
photographer: Fig Media- Photography | design & floral: Ashland Addison Floral and Event Decor | venue: Nellcote | entertainment: Fig Media- DJ