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Ray + Samantha’s Waldorf Astoria Chicago Wedding

Category: Waldorf Astoria Chicago Hotel Wedding, weddings   Mon. Aug 10. 2015

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“We love great architecture and fabulous interior decorated rooms and on Ray + Samantha’s wedding day the reception and ceremony venues had the best of both! Ray and Samantha’s wedding reception and editorial style wedding photos took place at Chicago’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A luxury, high-rise hotel featuring a stunning and glamorous vibe, the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago is one-of-a-kind. The lobby features a stunning sunburst-shaped crystal chandelier overhead modeled after a brooch by Coco Chanel. The hotel’s Hemingway Salon and Sinclair Ballroom also feature breathtaking silver chandeliers lining the Parisian decorated ballrooms. Truly every room within the Waldorf is even more elegant than the last. The Sinclair Ballroom is the ballroom where Ray and Samantha’s reception proceeded. An intimate room, the ballroom is full of elegant details with mercury glass mirrored or covered in silk walls, coffered ceilings, a private outdoor terrace, and floor-to-ceiling windows offering sunlight and gorgeous Chicago city views while overlooking the Gold Coast neighborhood, Oak Street, Rush Street and Walton below. One of our favorite Chicago hotel ballrooms to celebrate and photograph within, for Ray and Samantha’s day it was decorated to perfection with tables dressed-up in lush white flowers with silver and hanging crystal accents by Natural Beauties Floral and assistance with planning and set-up by Ashley Carpenter of Oliveaire making the room look nothing but pure fabulous.


Ever since first hearing about Ray + Samantha’s plans for their June date, we have been looking forward to their Summer in Chicago wedding date to arrive. Chicago is home to one of the most famous Catholic Cathedrals in the United States. This was our second visit to the stunning cathedral and photographing a wedding ceremony at Holy Name. With each and every visit to the church and on Ray + Samantha’s day, we are always captivated by the architectural magnitude and intricate ceiling details within the Holy Name Cathedral Church. We photographed Ray + Samantha’s roman catholic ceremony under the cathedral of the historic and famous State Street Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.


Prior to the ceremony, pictures began on the wedding day morning with the bride’s preparations + getting ready photos at the luxury boutique Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Chicago. Meanwhile the groom was preparing at a nearby private residence. Two modern chic spaces, both competing to be better decorated in rich shades of grey and both with Carrera marble accents. Ryan and Sarah separated to photograph the bride + groom with their closest while they each finalized getting dressed in a lux fashionable style. With designer bridal wedding dress fashions by Oscar de la Renta and a sleek suit by Tom Ford, Samantha + Ray envisioned each element from the fashion, to photography, to a choice of venues all an important choice for their day keeping the ultimate in luxury in mind. Unique to most of our photo mornings, Samantha requested prior to the wedding to allocate in extra time to photograph a few surprise pictures for her new husband. The surprise photos included photographs of the bride with her son in a celebrity style. Supermodel beauty, wife of Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen had posted on Instagram a photo with positive words about breastfeeding and mothers who are #multitaskers. Samantha asked to photograph a similar glam photo to pay homage and honor celebrity Gisele agreeing that multitasking as mother and a bride is possible even awhile multiple stylists are on hand on a wedding day morning. After finishing with hair and make up, we set a side a few moments to capture boudoir lingerie bride photos of Samantha prior to getting into her wedding gown.


Ray + Samantha we enjoyed being alongside you both for the day and absolutely everything about it. We felt spoiled having such a glamorous group to photograph, and the fantastic energy + events during the reception. From traveling around the city in the trolley, to photographing editorial style photos with your great group of family of friends, thank you for choosing us and Miller + Miller Photography to be your Chicago wedding photographers. Hope to see you again soon + best wishes!” Love,


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Unique additional moments from Samantha + Ray’s celebrity style Chicago wedding reception:
For the bridal party introductions each couple entered into the ballroom with props and a choreographed dance. For an extra memorable first entrance by bride + groom, they entered and used CO2 smoke for the couple’s lively introduction courtesy of DJ Sye Young of the DJ firm. DJ Sye kept the group dancing and a packed dance floor especially with another day surprise incorporating light up LED foam sticks glowing and circulating the room. Every guests was dancing with a glowing LED foamstick in their hands.


Wedding Theme + Colors: Black Tie, Parisian Glamour, Black and White with Glass & Crystals
Historic Chicago Church Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State Street
Luxury Hotel Reception: Sinclair Ballroom Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 11 E Walton with Christine Lo
Groom’s Bowtie, Shoes and Suit Designer: Tom Ford, 66 E Oak Street
Bridal Dress Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Dress Shop: Utimate Bride, 106 E Oak Street
Ceremony Bridal Shoes: Valentino Crystal Coated Embellished Lace Pumps
Reception Bride Pumps: Christian Louboutin White Leather Pumps
Wedding Bands + Rings: New York Jewelers 11 N Wabash
Bride’s Gift from the Groom: Diamond Chandelier Earrings from New York Jewelers
Groom’s Cufflinks Gift From the Bride: Hermes Paris
Groomsmen Gifts: Gucci Money Clip
Hair & Bridal Makeup: Deco Adamo with Kayla Consolo
Centerpiece Flowers: Hydrangea, Garden Roses, Spray Roses, Spirea, Tulips, Dendrobium Orchids by Natural Beauties Floral
Bouquets: Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Peonies, Ranunculus, Stock, Lisianthus by Natural Beauties Floral 212 N Sangamon
Wedding Planning: Oliveaire with Ashley Carpenter
Waldorf Reception Menu: Blue cheese encrusted filet and halibut with forbidden rice
Cake: Red velvet with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake cream cheese frosting and raspberry preserves from Alliance Bakery
Party Favors: Vanilla and rose macaroons from Alliance Bakery
Decor: Grey Goose monogrammed ice luge by Nadeau Ice Sculptures
Lighting: Luxe Production
Cocktail Hour: Waldorf’s Hemingway Salon with Music by Three String Trio
DJ: Sye Young from the Dj firm
Transportation: Chicago Trolley


Jimmy + Stephanie – Chicago to Lake Powell Destination Wedding Photographer

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The bride and groom Jimmy + Stephanie are fearless film-makers who head their own wedding videography company called Captured in Frames. Jimmy + Steph are such a power couple of talent, not to mention they are just all around awesome people, we have been recommending CIF to our Chicago clients ever since we watched one of their Same Day Edit videos played during a reception three years ago! After 10+ weddings working together, we have become good friends. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better trip, nor two more fantastic people and truly a perfect match between Steph + Jimmy to be married! Thank you for the unforgettable experience traveling out West with you J+S, your family + friends! If you’re a new guest to our blog and liked our photos… Next watch the video below and experience even more moments from Jimmy + Stephanie Wilderman’s wedding and the incredible trip in beautiful Lake Powell. Filming by Jimmy, Steph, Josh and Jon. Edited by Jimmy + Steph of Captured in Frames.


“This isn’t a typical Miller + Miller Chicago area wedding. We are thrilled to blog photos from Jimmy + Stephanie Wilderman’s destination in Lake Powell. A destination with hiking, exploring, scenic rocky vistas, sunsets, canyons and mountain tops picturesque for capturing wedding photography. Every inch of the 186 mile long Lake Powell bordering the Arizona and Utah state lines, provides for an unforgettable golden sunset at the end of every day.


Our travels took us from Chicago to the Southwest covering 1,600 miles passing over the mountains of Colorado through the yellow aspen trees, through sunshine and deserts of Utah and Zion National Park eventually arriving at the shores of Lake Powell in Page Arizona. Exploring and hiking National Parks with our cameras is one of our favorite vacation activities… as well as Jimmy + Stephanie’s. When J+S asked us about photographing their wedding day in Lake Powell, of course without hesitation a few months later we were packing our gear and heading West for the fabulous destination wedding celebration in the desert. Why choose a destination wedding? Some say skipping town and deciding on a dream destination out of the way allows for the bride + groom to just focus on how much fun they are going to have. Ryan and I choose a destination in the mountains of Nevada outside of Las Vegas for ourselves for that very reason! For this “wanderlust” and adventurous couple, the Southwest holds some of the best memories with each other exploring, camping and hiking in Utah; not to mention Jimmy’s surprise proposal to Steph occurring near Lake Powell, at the summit of Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. So how did Jimmy + Steph find Lake Powell and decide it was a fit for their destination’s location?


We actually found Lake Powell by accident. Jimmy and I had a week long shoot get cancelled at the last minute (we’re film-makers in St Louis) and we decided to use our spare time to travel. We didn’t know where to go so we flipped a coin: heads north, tails south. As the coin was in the air we both shouted WEST! The next morning we packed a tent, a case of redbull, some extra clothes, and hit the road. We drove all day and into the night. Neither one of us had ever been out west so we really had no idea what we were driving into. It was about 2am when we finally decided that we were too tired to go any further, so we pulled off the road and slept in the car. When we woke up, we were in Moab, Utah. That was a moment that we’ll never forget. It was like waking up on Mars! Surrounded by red rock and towering buttes, we continued on our journey. We spent the day hiking in Arches National Park and driving the scenic UT 12 highway, which is now our favorite road. We arrived at Lake Powell at sunset. It was like something straight out of a movie. We were driving up a slight slope in the road with two enormous buttes on both sides, and it was the most beautiful sunset that I’d ever seen. Then we reached the crest, and sprawled out before us was the bluest lake. Even in the fading sunset, you could see the blue of the water. The next day we found a quiet cove and spent the day swimming and soaking up the sun. It was incredible! That was our first experience with Lake Powell.


Lake Powell was the ‘dream’ destination location that we both wanted but couldn’t imagine as a reality. Eventually we decided to dive in headfirst and make it happen. Having a small, intimate celebration was always a priority for us so a destination worked out great. None of our guests had even heard of Lake Powell so we saw our wedding as an opportunity to share it with them. It was very exciting and rewarding to road-trip with everyone and watch them experience our favorite places for the first time. The week spent out on the lake was very laid-back and relaxing. Some of us hiked, some guests swam, others simply pulled up a chair and turned on the radio, and every night ended around the fire, even the wedding! :) – Steph


The Wilderman wedding journey in Lake Powell began by launching houseboats from The Point at Antelope Point Marina in Page Arizona. “Glamping” (glamorized camping) guests bunked within two houseboats with 6 bedrooms, 3 baths each (which really were glamorous!) Explorative Jimmy + Steph navigated the waterways towards Lake Powell’s Padre Bay in search for the best desolate sandy peninsula or an island to anchor the boats and set up camp for the week. This impromptu waterfront spot was to determine not only our sandy home for the week, it would host a few activities including a night of festivities for the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the waterfront ceremony and outdoor reception all taking place under the night stars. The area’s preservation of a “dark sky” brought an abundance of stars for star gazing (and for many of us, we saw the jaw-dropping milky way set on a dark sky for the first time.)


An outdoor beach wedding reception with a travel theme, Stephanie antiqued before the trip thrifting for vintage grey suitcases, antique cameras, and reception decor that would pack easily and be brought aboard the houseboat. A 15 mile boat ride from the nearest town and harbor, a number of modern conveniences such as hiring a florist were not an option due to choosing the most desolate of beach locations on the Arizona Utah border. With a dry desert climate, Stephanie opted to substitute fresh flowers for paper decor and unique paper bouquets. Creatively handcrafting the long reception table’s burlap runner and paper centerpieces, two bridesmaids and the bride’s paper wedding bouquet, Steph DIY constructed all the florals from atlas map pages and colored paper rich in shades of tan, rust, orange and grey. The rehearsal evening was a set-up day, where friends and family helped to put another DIY project together: a romantic vision of dancing under hanging, stringed lights, criss crossing over the outdoor reception’s sandy dance floor. Symbolic cairn stacked rocks, travel themed items, coupled with elegant touches of white lace, burlap, and pearls surrounded the outdoor reception space. The sun and day shined with vintage elegance, simple decor and colors which blended into the golden rocks. Vintage and bohemian fashion choices, from the bride’s romantic long gown and vine & pearls hairpiece crown, to the groom’s gingham grey and orange colored tie and fashions, J+S’s day was everything that is fabulous about a destination celebration that is 100% about the bride + groom’s personality. We felt honored to be there and a apart of the trip + celebration. Congrats Jimmy + Steph!”


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Jimmy + Stephanie’s Destination Planning Details:
Wedding Theme: Travel with Vintage Suitcases
Flowers: DIY Map and Paper Wedding Bouquets and Boutonnieres by the Bride
Colors: Tan, Orange and Shades of Grey
Waterfront Ceremony and Outdoor Reception: A Desolate Desert Beach on Lake Powell Utah / Arizona

Chicago Destination Wedding Photographers: Miller + Miller
Videographers: Captured In Frames

Houseboat Details: Fully equipped 75′ XTreme HouseBoat 2.5 stories, 6 staterooms, 2.5 baths with slide, rooftop hot tub and much more
Accommodations: Forever Resorts with a harbor launch at Antelope Point Marina in Page Arizona
Bridal Dress Designer: Allure
Dress Shop: Elegant Brides
Bride Flower Crown Hair Accessory: ArsiArt
Bride’s Sandals: Glare by Matisse from Nordstrom
Non-Traditional Groom Attire: Gingham Vintage Fabric, Grey & White Plaid Checkered Express Button Up Shirt and Suspenders
Groom’s Handmade Tie: Orange and Grey Checkered Knotty Tie Co.
Rings: Shane Co.
Caterer: Antelope Point Marina
 Page, AZ
Desserts: S’mores instead of Cake
Marshmallows: Wondermade
First Dance Song: Live Forever by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Destination Location: Lake Powell


Lake Powell is without a doubt visually “unique” combining scenic nature providing sandy beaches with a contrasting dry desert climate. A one-of-a-kind United States destination, boating through rock canyons carved by the Colorado River navigating the 2,000 miles of shoreline make the lake a popular vacationing spot. 4 hours from Las Vegas Nevada, 3 hours from Sedona Arizona, 4.5 hours from Phoenix / Scottsdale, 2 hours from Zion National Park, 21 hours from St. Louis, 24 hours from Chicago.

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