Tim + Morgan’s Crystal Gardens Chicago Navy Pier Wedding

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Just when we thought we had seen it all, a wedding comes along that redefines modern elegance. As soon as we began planning the photos for Tim + Morgan’s big day at Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens, we were beyond excited for that mid-summer afternoon to arrive. For starters, we were going to be working with one of our favorite Chicago wedding planners, Anthony Navarro, from Liven It Up Events. Hired by Morgan for a full day of event planning, Anthony and the bride-to-be put together a team of stellar and amazing Chicago wedding vendors. Together, they transformed the Crystal Garden reception venue at Navy Pier from a popular public attraction to something completely awe-inspiring and unforgettable. As photographers, we truly appreciated the superior level of talent everyone provided and how that dedication works so well in helping us create with ease, show-stopping photos for the bride and groom. With a dynamic group of vendors, Tim + Morgan simply had nothing to worry about other than reciting vows and enjoying the events of the day. We were thrilled to be a part their team. Thanks!

At the very core of Tim + Morgan’s modern elegance theme was a neutral palette of pure white, crystal clear and deep grey, which made appearances everywhere from the venue décor to the bridal party (and even into photographs of the bride’s sparkly and glamorous high-heeled shoes). Grounded by a whimsical altar design of sheer, flowing fabrics and stark white chandeliers frosted in crystal, the ceremony space was a thoughtful demonstration of how the calming natural elements of palm trees, water and the open sky can be glamorized with a little glitz and a little glow. Fashionable, yet funky, arc-armed lamps punctuated the aisle along with understated freshwater flowers, blending the masculine feel of cool metal with an innocent, feminine lining. Crystal clear seating awaited guests and set the stage for a most memorable exchange of “I do” (as evidenced in these super romantic photos) along with a night that promised to be just as spectacular.

A magical transformation followed the ceremony when the Crystal Gardens’ light and airy environment was transformed and suddenly became a hip, upbeat party that made you want to get up and dance the night away. Visually, the room exuded a simplistic extravagance through subtle lighting effects and glowing chandeliers suspended from vaulted ceilings. The modern and elegant tablescapes mimicked the fresh, clean look from earlier in the day with radiant white flowers, crystal centerpieces and floating candles atop shimmery grey linens. During the cocktail hour, violinist Katarina (of Vip Violin) livened up the scene while guests mingled and noshed on light hors d’oeuvres. For the first dance, Tim + Morgan glided along under golden twinkling lights that gave a feeling of dancing under the stars (one of our favorite captured photographs). Additionally, the altar became a stage where one of the couple’s favorite bands, Maggie Speaks, put on “a get up and dance” live performance in front of what could possibly be the most elegant backdrop ever provided to a rock band. Just as they had hoped, the dance floor remained packed and the couple closed the night singing and dancing on stage. The Navy Pier Saturday night fireworks signaled the end of what had just been the most amazing wedding day in Chicago.

In keeping with their love for modern spaces, the bride + groom selected the Dana Hotel in downtown Chicago. Steps from Michigan Avenue, the hotel hosted their guests for the evening as well as the morning-after activities. With its modern, loft-style architecture, Dana Hotel offers clean lines, a trendy rooftop, and contemporary designed rooms. Like T+M, we too love loft venues and this hotel captivates those unique qualities.

Over this past year, we have gotten to know Morgan and Tim more and more, and we really enjoy their personalities and style. We were so thrilled to be there on such an important day in their lives and to help them capture all of those moments from the other side of the lens. Thanks to T+M for choosing M+M to capture photographs from the incredible wedding day.

Illinois Chicago Wedding Photographers


This summer event in Chicago brought to you by:

Planning Theme: Fresh Modern Vintage
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago
Prep-Locations: Dana Hotel, 660 North State Street
Wedding Planner: Consultant Anthony Navarro Liven It Up Events
Suits: Hugo Boss
Couture Bridal Gown Designer: Justina McCaffrey
Dress Shop: Belle Vie Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Jewelry: Ceremony mother’s earrings + vintage earrings for reception
Engagement Ring + Bands: LaRon Jewelers
Make-Up: Joshua Graham of Facade Make-Up Artistry
Hair: Stylist Marek Hartwig of Marek Bridal
Veil: Dress Doctor
Bridesmaids Dress: Jenny Yoo
Cocktail Hour: South Terrace of Navy Pier
Cocktail Hour Musician: Classical Violinist, Katarina Visnevska, of Vip Violin
Caterer: Phil Stefani’s
Menu: Sea Bass & Braised Short Rib with Burrata & Tomato salad
Décor: Jesse Deckard of Event Creative
Rentals: Tablescapes
Flowers: Event Creative
Invitations: Smitten Boutique
Transportation: Windy City Limos
Band: Maggie Speaks
First Dance Song: Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Honeymoon: Thailand & Hong Kong
Late Night Snacks: Hot dogs + French fries complete with a vintage hotdog cart

Extras: View our second set of images with T+M. Click here to visit Tim + Morgan’s Chicago engagement pictures blog post.  See Tim and Morgan’s Chicago wedding featured on the wedding blog “What Junebug Loves!” as a Chicago real wedding featured story.

Hotel Arista Naperville Wedding Venue

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Hotel Arista Naperville Weddings

Hotel Arista is a boutique hotel in Chicago’s west suburbs City Gate Naperville.  This mid, high-rise building and glamorous hotel offers a Chicago style luxury setting for weddings and photography as well.  Hotel Arista is a modern styled hotel with an eco, minimalist design and high-end spa appeal.  Unique for the suburbs, this chic hotel offers a downtown Chicago look, with the building’s modern design and twelve story high rooftop views.  A bride + groom and guests can experience the feeling of being in the heart of the city in this sophisticated, urban location in the suburbs.

We have photographed several weddings at Hotel Arista. Nicki + Matt’s wedding was most recent and first wedding which planned for all the days activities to occur onsite.  We loved this idea!  When discussing the day with Nicki and Matt, they fell in love with the simplicity of never needing to leave the hotel campus.  With numerous spaces for photography both in and outside the hotel, we took advantage of the hotel’s amazing rooms and modern decor planning for wedding photography, portraits and editorial style wedding photos all at venue.

All of the rooms, from the event spaces to the hotel suites at Hotel Arista are beautiful. We love the natural light and large windows during the getting ready photos in the hotel’s bridal suites. The venue’s smaller event space Cypress ballroom has a rooftop view and 12th-floor terrace. Combining Cypress with the adjoining 12th-floor terrace provides an intimate event space which offers floor-to-ceiling windows and the terrace. The hotel’s rooftop 12th floor terrace provides for unique high-rise, panoramic views overlooking Naperville and the west suburbs of Chicago great for unique wedding photographs or a rooftop, outdoor ceremony option.

The grand ballroom is a 4,800-square-foot space draped in luxurious fabric creating a modern & chic romantic space for ceremonies and receptions. The glamorous fabric lined ballrooms feature modern elegant chandelier lighting and tray-style vaulted ceilings. Custom design your wedding day and the modern hotel to fit both modern and traditional styled wedding look.

For Nicki + Matt’s wedding at Hotel Arista, the bride had the ceremony aisle lined with golden chiavari chairs and added glowing candlelight filling the room. The reception celebration included decor like soft ivory blooms with purple and pink accent in the bouquets and flowers hand selected for a Napa style flower centerpiece arrangements and bouquets. Purple hues from the uplighting draped across the ballroom and the tables included ivory with just the right amount of sparkle of gold and metallics. The head table was designed with gold table cloths and the custom chandelier that hung over the altar was added into the reception near the bar adding extra glamour into the room. The bride said the entire day was pure magic.

Hotel Arista
2139 City Gate Ln, Naperville, IL 60563
www.hotelarista.com  (630) 579-4100

Looking for a Naperville wedding photographer for your Hotel Arista event?  We are familiar with the Western suburbs and have lived in the Naperville area for 30 years!  Contact us at 630-373-2411 or email to see if your wedding date is available on our calendar.  Look forward to speaking to you about your Naperville Hotel Arista wedding photography plans.

Ryan Sarah Miller Signature



Nicki + Matt’s September wedding at Hotel Arista details:
Hotel & Prep Photos: Hotel Arista
Ceremony + Reception: Hotel Arista with wedding designer Laura Nobel
Gown: Hayley Paige, Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Fragrance: Versace Bright Crystal
Rings: State Street Jewelers Geneva
Bride’s Make-up: Dawn Bliss of Edit Faces
Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Flowers, Candles and Decor: Kio Kreations
Reception: Cake by The Cakery and Slow Motion Booth
Engagement & Wedding Photography: ©  Miller + Miller Wedding Photography