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“Mark + Michele are officially married!! Their wedding had something borrowed, something new, and many things that incorporated the color BLUE. It is our pleasure in featuring above our favorite wedding photographs from Mark + Michele Summer wedding… it was a beachy and coastal nautical themed wedding in Crystal Lake.


No we weren’t on the shores of Lake Michigan or in Lake Geneva. Nor up North in Door County Wisconsin or Traverse City Michigan… we were in Mark + Michele’s home town of Crystal Lake in Northern Illinois. Many brides want a destination wedding on the beach, but ultimately decide a far away destination just isn’t going to work. So why not bring the theme to your local wedding, set a Summer date, get creative, and continue to bring the coastal style to the day. : ) If your creative like Michele ( she’s a graphic designer who was easily was versed into a do-it-yourself bride ) or if you need a little help, decide to hire the expertise of an event planner and take your beach vision and work it into your reception. We LOVE photographing our couples who are unique waterfront weddings both taking place in Chicago and in far away coastal destination locations, by a lake or on the oceanfront, in a marina or on a yacht, or even at sea.


For Mark + Michele’s wedding we especially liked Michele’s choice of the classic wedding colors of navy and white which she carried throughout various moments of the day from the ceremony through to the reception. The chosen bridal party’s monotone shades of navy colors painted the perfect simple palette… a classic sailor nautical wedding fashion. At the reception, we enjoyed her DIY bride technique gathering together pieces to create a coastal cottage style table centerpieces which featured items like coral, sea shells, driftwood, galvanized lanterns, glowing candles, florals and nautical colored stripes on the name tags, cake, table numbers and stationery. Beyond the great job decorating and planning the reception, M+M also pointed us to great “beachy” shooting locations. Michele + Mark both grew up in Crystal Lake, so it was easy for them to choose nearby picturesque photo settings along the lake, by the docks, in front of the marina’s sailboats, and along sandy lakefront tying their day’s theme together. Great locations, thanks M+M! Well done and bravo for such amazing thought behind your wonderful wedding!!!


Mark + Michele, we probably wrote this previously about your engagement session, but we’ll say it again we love your use of creativity behind your use of props. And as we also previously wrote… M+M you are so fun to work with! We appreciated being there documenting a memorable milestone in your lives. Your bridal party, families, and friends were incredibly inviting and we enjoyed working with everyone. Thank you already for all of your referrals and in becoming our friends over the past year. Hope you are as thrilled with the photos as we are!!”


Chicago Wedding Photographers



Mark + Michele’s Wedding incorporated many DIY elements, below are a few highlights and vendors:
Coordination by: Michele ( and a lil bit of Mark : )
Ceremony: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Crystal Lake
Reception Venue: Crystal Lake Country Club, Crystal Lake
Couture Designer Wedding Gown: Sottero and Midgley purchased at Kathryn’s Bridal, McHenry
Hair: Paige from Mario Tricoci
Makeup: Kylie from Mario Tricoci
Bridal Shoes: Light Blue Roma heels by RSVP
Veil: Borrowed
Bridesmaids Shoes: Champagne Chic to Chico, Nine West
Bridesmaids Dress: Marine charmeuse dress with ruched waist and pockets, David’s Bridal
Flower Girl: Dress from David’s Bridal + Headband from
Groomsmen Attire: Navy Izod Suits from Macy’s + champagne & navy striped ties from The Tie Bar
Flowers: Grapevine Floral, Lake in the Hills
Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie, Lake in the Hills
Caterer: Crystal Lake Country Club
Menu: Door County cherry chicken and filet, season vegetables with twiced-baked potato.
DIY Centerpieces: Lanterns + candles from IKEA coral, driftwood + shells from
Guestbook Frame: Miller + Miller engagment photo and Michael’s custom frame
DJ: Bob Kramer
Honeymoon: Sanibel Island, Florida


Revisit photos from Mark + Michele’s Chicago beach engagement photography Summer photo session in June.