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Posted above are a few of our favorite wedding photos from the ceremony, reception and celebration of Mike + Valerie’s wedding day. Their amazing wedding day was unpretentious, full of a number of personalized details, gatherings of family + friends, and MANY memorable moments.

In starting out the day, Valerie invited us into her parent’s home in Naperville where she spent the morning preparing for her wedding day. Val talked about her grand search for the perfect wedding dress, so naturally I couldn’t wait to finally see the gown … it was beautiful. Next, we arrived at the church in Lemont a little early allowing Ryan to meet up with Mike and his family who were putting the final details for the ceremony together. Mike was smiling + excited about the ceremony and most definitely looking forward to seeing Valerie walk down the aisle. Mike + Valerie’s wedding ceremony took place at one of the oldest churches in the Chicago-land area at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church located in downtown Lemont. The historic limestone church features stone, stained glass and beamed wooden and iron archways. The town of Lemont has vast rolling hills, bridges spanning the canal and waterways, and an open scenic view with a number of the town’s churches steeples visible from the North while entering into town. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is one of those historic churches which dates back to 1839. St. Pat’s was constructed utilizing the same limestone which was used in building the famous Chicago Water Tower, the gate to the Stockyards, Chicago Holy Name Cathedral, part of the Auditorium Building in Chicago, Old Main at Northwestern University and part of the Capitol building at Springfield. What interesting history.

Planning a stop in before heading to the reception, Mike + Val researched before hand a few locations and decided to schedule a stop at Mayslake Peabody Estate a historic mansion, National Historic Landmark in Oak Brook. The estate offered many options for nature and architecture. The vintage estate sits on 848 acres with lush landscaping, forests, grasses, woods and water. We had a great time capturing photos of the bridal party in front of the mansion, followed by some romantic & artistic wedding portraits with Mike + Valerie alone officially as a married couple.

While out on Mike + Val’s engagement session, the four of us were discussing their Oak Brook wedding reception hotel venue. The Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Oak Brook is about 20 miles West of downtown Chicago and the rooftop pool deck allows for nearly 360 views. Our conversation soon lead us to planning some sneak away time from the reception up to the roof… but the question was would there be time and would we receive a clear sky day and sunset? Yes, we did. But in acquiring the sunset rooftop bridal shots by the pool, we never foresaw it to be such a challenge – it was a BIG challenge! With a little extra help from Mike ( thanks! ) we were able to pull through with some amazing photos. We are in love these wedding day night pictures, and think they were well worth the challenge. Let’s just say, capturing these photos put us through an experience we will never forget! Thanks Mike + Val in stepping away from your reception to take these night photos.

We couldn’t go with out mentioning the drinking game the bridal party and Mike had going on throughout the day – which eventually they asked Valerie to partake in. It was the ultimate surprise. With celebrating going on in the party bus, there were a few bottles of Smirnoff Ice on hand. The drinking game called “Bro, You’ve Been Iced” has a few simple rules: if a person sees a Smirnoff Ice, he or she must get down on one knee and chug it, unless they happen to be carrying their own Smirnoff, in which case they can “ice block”. During the garter, Mike was cornered this time. He came up with the garter and had a surprise awaiting him. Val was holding a bottle for him. Mike did hesitate for one second, took the bottle of Smirnoff Ice, popped the cap, got on one knee, and chugged it. It was Priceless.

Thanks Mike + Val… we enjoyed capturing the photojournalistic expressions, laughter, and pure in love moments of the two of you during your ceremony and the entertaining reception events. As with many of our couples, we definitely got to know you guys very well during your engagement session… so we felt like old friends being at your wedding. Mike + Val you are a FUN couple to be around, and not to mention a blast to work with. Congratulations Mike + Valerie we wish the two of you the best and we’ll talk to you very soon.”

Chicago Wedding Photographers



Mike + Valerie’s wedding day consisted of a group of amazing wedding vendors:
Catholic Ceremony: St. Patrick’s Church, Lemont
Reception: Marriott Renaissance Hotel, now renovated as Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook hotel
Prep Locations: Naperville at the Bride’s parents home and in Lemont at the Church
Bridal Shoes: Wedding Ect., Downers Grove
Bridesmaid Dresses: Max and Cleo
Wedding Cake: Rolf’s Patissere , Lincolnwood
Flowers: Walden Floral, Downers Grove
DJ: Keith Blazina from Have’n A Good Time , New Lenox
Hair + Makeup: By two of Valerie’s close friends
Veil + Wedding Dress: Vanessa’s Modern Bride, Arlington Heights
Honeymoon: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Revisit photos from Mike + Valerie’s Wheaton Cantigny and Naperville engagement photography Spring photo session.