It was as if Chicago knew that the country was going through a stressful week while watching election updates. We got seven days of 70+ degrees and sunny skies in NOVEMBER! To top it all off I got the chance to photograph Leigh + James as they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day!
I met with James on Logan Boulevard under a canopy of yellow and orange leaves as we waited for Leigh to finish up and meet us. I turned James around (to make sure he didn't see her before it was time) and talked to him a bit about how he met his fiancé when she attended one of James' class at his CrossFit gym. "I saw her and thought, oh boy this one's going to be trouble!" James told me with a wide grin. Leigh was working with athletes as a message therapist and wanted to check out the programming James was offering. Although they were both dating other people when they initially met, the two stayed in touch until the time was right.
"I left the gym to backpack across Asia for months," Leigh says, "but when I returned the next summer I asked him to brunch and we were both finally single! We spent 8 hours talking and laughing and having one of the best days of our lives. It became the first best relationship I’ve ever had. It’s felt like in just 3 years, we’ve packed in a lifetime of experience, but now we get to make it official. And to think, I always said he was the type of guy I’d want to marry I just didn’t know it would actually be him!"
After Leigh pulled up, her sister played "Here Comes the Bride" on a small speaker as her father walked her "down the aisle" (aka the Boulevard) over to groom. With a tap on the shoulder, James turned around to see his bride for the first time. There were tears, laughs, and lots of hugs. "I got my Art Deco dress!" Leigh shouted, arms up in the air as she twirled. After taking some portraits and group shots, The two went off to their ceremony at Frontier Chicago to celebrate with close family and friends.
I love first looks. I feel that they can represent the entire day in just a few magic seconds when a couple locks eyes on their wedding day. It's truly special and I was honored to have captured this special moment for Leigh + James. Congrats to this couple who decided that love prevails over the pandemic and a big kudos to them for going through with their big day in a very safe way. I can't wait to see what life brings them in the future! :)
Dress: David's Bridal
Florals: Asrai Garden