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“Trying to set a date for this session was a tad bit tricky with all the wet weather and especially excessive winds we received during the Fall months. But upon some patience, we found a better day to shoot, and thankfully some warm sun which was a bonus. When discussing Ryan + Dionna’s personalities, they mentioned they were in love with our more urban styled photos in off-beat locations. Dionna mentioned she was up for a railroad location, possibly some colorful graffiti, and would be open to any other unique and new Chicago spots we had in mind. Well, Chicago does have a few great graffiti spots! This location we photographed R+D at was a new shooting spot for us; and with it being nearby their home we decided to check it out. The colors were amazing and we were excited about our find when we arrived. The ivy growing on the wall in front of the graffiti was also an unexpected and awesome added element.


While out and about around the City getting to know Dionna and Ryan a little more, we talked about the wedding day and their mentioned longer than expected search for a venue. R+D researched many hotels downtown looking at primarily hotels extending along Michigan Avenue from the South Loop to Water Tower Place. They mentioned, however that they really wanted to choose a hotel located on the River, as the river area is one of their favorite sections of all the City. They choose the Chicago Westin River North Hotel and they said they loved the terrace option which overlooks the blu water and the nearby Chicago River Bridges on Clark, Lasalle Street and Dearborn St. The hotel’s setting also offers some of the best views of the Loop’s high-rises and nearby urban architecture. The River North area also is where some of Ryan’s family lives, as well as many memories of D+R’s years dating. One event includes the couple’s engagement day. Here’s more details from their big proposal day:


“Something we wouldn’t typically do, Ryan and I decided to take the day off for my birthday. I woke up that morning to my birthday present sitting on the counter and Ryan making breakfast. I opened my gift, which was a watch that I had been asking for; I was super excited! We then did some walking around the Merchandise Mart to get some ideas for our new place and ended up at Bull and Bear, having more drinks than lunch! :-) We went back home to get ready for dinner, as Ryan had a reservation for us at Smith & Wollensky, one of our favorite places. After dinner, we came back home and Ryan told me he had another gift for me! I walked into the office and he handed me an envelope, which was the most thoughtful and heartfelt letter! When I was done reading it, he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so surprised and excited! It was perfect!”


Thanks Ryan + Dionna in spending the afternoon around town with us. Look forward to hearing which image is your favorites and sharing the wedding day with you both next Fall. Enjoy!”


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♥ Dionna admitted she loves to shop, so many of these outfits were already in her closet. Her session’s clothes were purchased from these downtown Chicago stores and boutiques: the purple shirt is from Francesca’s, the black dress is Alice + Olivia, and the black + taupe dress is Juicy Couture.


The Westin Chicago River North is the venue hosting the couple’s October 2012 ceremony and reception. The downtown Westin is located on Dearborn Street situated on the Riverwalk providing Chicago River views.