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plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

This wedding is so precious I can’t stand it. To start there are the ladies getting ready in red flannel buttondowns while the groom is shaving. Then there’s the unconventional attire of both the bride and groom. Next we get the bride arriving on a boat to meet a teary eyed groom during the ceremony. Then we move on to koozies and decorated cups, toasts and homemade pie, s’mores and fireworks. The whole day seems so full of personality, fun, and true meaning for the bride and groom that I can’t help but love it.


From the Photographer:

There’s nothing quite like Wisconsin in the Fall so when my bride and groom told me that they were moving their wedding from Chicago to central Wisconsin I totally understood! Having grown up in the area, Erin got ready at a local lakefront cottage while her groom to be got ready at the Cambridge Country Club. After a few helping hands from her mom and girlfriends to get into her dress Erin was off to meet her Dad on the pier where he would escort her via boat to her ceremony site. Surrounded by Fall foliage and close childhood friends, Erin tried to keep Brad’s cheeks dry by wiping away tears of happiness during their vows. How quickly we sometimes forget just how emotional these events can be! Immediately following the ceremony guests were greeted with custom coozys that the couple had created for guests as a keepsake. Their casual backyard shindig actually felt quite intimate and soon everyone was led into a white airy tent that would house them for the next few hours under the stars. This made way for some exuberant toasts and homemade pies after dinner. Just when things started to get a bit more rowdy, fireworks (courtesy of Erin’s dad) sprung from the sky and with that Erin and Bradley’s wedding day was official!

Photographer: Steve Koo Photography / DJ: Pam's Fun Factor / Flowers & Decor: Ashland Addison / Bride’s Dress: Candela / Ceremony/Reception Venue: Private Residence at Lake Ripley in Wisconsin

In general, a wedding is a ceremony uniting two people together, and this in itself is a beautiful thing. This also creates new family relationships, in-laws, etc. But I love a wedding that unites nuclear families to create a new immediate family, and when there is such obvious joy about this new created family from all parties. This wedding is just that. The joy is pouring out of the bride and groom, their children, and their guests, and the reception is truly a huge celebration of this, complete with gorgeous flickering candlelight, stunning orchids, and dazzling black and white accents with pops of purple. Add in the crowd that won’t stop dancing and activities for the kiddos and we’ve got a spectacular party for an even more spectacular new family.

From the Photographer:

We had a beautiful sunny day for Susan and Shane’s wedding at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. The natural and bright lighting in Susan’s suite was perfect for her, her sister, and her mother to get ready in. With everyone in great spirits it was also a perfect space to toast with some champagne to the momentous occasion and gorgeous weather. Getting to know Susan and Shane’s family was a blast, but being there to see their 4 children witness their parent’s vows definitely tugged at the heart strings a little. Shane and Susan then danced the night away in a beautifully candle lit room surrounded by best friends, loving family, and cake fueled kids.

Photographer: Steve Koo Photographer / Flowers & Decor: Bukiety / Reception Venue: Waldorf Astoria Chicago / Bride’s Dress: Badgley Mischka / Band: Prophecy Productions / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo

You can always tell when a wedding is full of heart. I think that’s one of the biggest things I look for when going through submissions. Why? Because you want the photos to tell as much of a story as they can. To give readers and viewers a chance to feel like they were there and could understand the couple’s style and personality.

Steve Koo Photography

From the Bride:
Like most, Brian and I wanted a wedding that fully reflected our personalities and our relationship. Our biggest challenge was finding a reception venue that was unique, convenient for our suburban family and city friends and could accommodate our 250+ guest list. The Nineteenth Century Club in historic Oak Park met all of our requirements and offered vintage charm without feeling dated. Our other priorities – a menu of craft beer, an awesome DJ and wedding pie – were easier to fulfill.

I had tucked away the idea of having a gospel choir at my wedding ever since I saw Love Actually. I saw no reason why our ceremony couldn’t have the same energy as our reception. We were lucky enough to connect with the Wheaton College Gospel Choir and their ensemble was a highlight of our wedding day.

I am an event planner with a long commute so between internet research and traffic I had plenty of time to come up with some personal touches. I am a big fan of handmade wedding details. While the size of our wedding forced us to reel in some of our ideas, we still spent many worthwhile hours assembling invitations, stitching programs and hot gluing all sorts of things. I over ordered on a wholesale button site, leaving us with an unintentional button theme – button table numbers, button entree indicators, button boutonnieres for the ring bearers and other accents. For our guest book we printed assorted postcards with photos of significant places and things in our relationship. Guests left a message on the postcard of their choice and they are being mailed to us throughout our first year of marriage. It’s been a lot of fun checking the mailbox for well wishes from our guests.

We loved every minute of our wedding and wouldn’t have changed a thing. We are especially grateful for our amazing family, wedding party, friends, and vendors for making the day so memorable!

Ceremony Venue: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church | Reception Venue: The Nineteenth Century Club | Dress: A Joyful Occasion | Hair: Maria Milano, Zano Salons | Makeup: Melissa, Benefit Cosmetics | Catering: Beyond Events | Pie: Baker’s Square | DJ: Amanda Hohmeier, Toast & Jam | Photographer: Steve Koo Photography | Videographer: Sally Films

What’s not the love? The saturated color, the bow (ahh, the bow!!!), and the peep toe!

Steve Koo Photography

For more Tuesday Shoesday goodness, hop over to Simply & Forever, bWed Exclusive, SWOONOVERIT, Meant to be Sent, Life in the Super Burbs, Brancoprata, Postcards and Pretties, Magnolia Rouge, Marry You Me and The Demoiselle!

Live in the moment.

Steve Koo Photography


I cannot get over the size of these.  I first noticed them when Chicago photographer, Steve Koo shared these on his blog, and was reminded of their awesomeness when Ami at EAD Weddings shared the wedding. INSANE!

Images courtesy of Steve Koo Photography via EAD Weddings