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  • Writer's pictureSarah D

An Intimate Summer Celebration: Sidebottom-Wilkinson Wedding

You always know when you have an instant connection with someone. Chemistry. Sometimes it turns into a fun night out, sometimes it turns into a friendship or sometimes it turns into a 10 year love affair. The latter is true to Ashley and Justin.

Ashley and Justin met as youngsters at Florida State University, grew up together through typical college experiences. They spent some time apart while Ashley was in grad school at Indiana State University and Justin was working for Marriott International. They both felt something was missing... and it was probably each other. The two found themselves back together in Bloomington, moved to Minnesota together where Ashley finished her Masters. They got a dog and got engaged by way of a trip to Puerto Rico. Together, the three moved to Chicago to start another adventure.

Ashley and Justin found me through another photographer’s referral (thanks Lisa!) and we connected over the phone and after 30min on the phone with Ashley, I couldn’t have been more excited to cover their day. She was so sweet, joyful and genuinely excited to work together. In June we met in Lincoln Park to finalize the schedule, walk through their shot locations and share a drink at Café Bauer.

July 2, 2016. The weather could not have been better. High 70’s, light lake breeze, sun and puffy clouds. Even the traffic cooperated. The stars were aligned for Ashley and Justin’s Wedding Day.

I started off the day with Ashley and her sister and Maid of Honor, Abby at Sine Qua Non Salon for hair and make-up. After an hour or so, the finishing touches on Ashley’s bridal look were complete. Absolutely Stunning!

On to the Renaissance Marriott to officially begin the celebrations with 18 of their most important people. The Bridal suite was filled with family, friends, laughter and champagne bubbles. Just down the hall, the Groom’s room was exactly the same but with a little whiskey.

Ashley and Justin chose the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond in Lincoln Park for their ceremony location. A beautiful and magical location that is tucked away between the lake and the skyscrapers. During the ceremony readings and nuptials delivered by one of their closets friends, you forgot you were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the big city. We stayed local to the Lily Pond for family and bridal party photos before heading on our tour through Lincoln Park proper for some more fun with the Bride, Groom, Best Man and Maid of Honor.

On to Quartino for the reception. The food, atmosphere and details were all perfect for their family and friends. Every speech was heartfelt, funny and touching. Every course of the meal more delicious than the next. Sidebottom Family dance parties. Mustache straws. Feeding each other dessert. So many cute memories from the evening.

I was spoiled in so many ways throughout the day... I was given a beautiful card and necklace from the Bride at the start of the day. I had 2 amazing assistants Abby and David, better known as the Maid of Honor and Best Man. I was force fed meatballs, wine and cake. By the end of the day, I was touched by 20 amazing people that love and support each other without questions. July 2nd reinforced my love for covering small weddings. I was spoiled to be part of such a romantic and perfect day. Congrats Ashley and Justin!

Hair and Make-up: Sine Qua Non Salon +Sine Qua Non Salon

Flowers: Tra Blume @trablume

Dress: Nhakhanh Bridal Gown - Rent the Runway

Cake: Bittersweet Bakery

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