Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Amy Aiello’s name shows up in my Instagram stories and photo credits quite often, as she is a talented photographer and dear friend. When she came to me, last year, and told me she was getting married, I was thrilled for her! Of course, I was going to help her with the wedding and was excited to hear about the plans for the big day.

Photography by: Being Joy Photography

Amy and Mark selected Acquaviva Winery in Sycamore, Illinois for its lovely vineyards and rustic Italian design. It’s situated just past Geneva, Illinois and is reminiscent of the Italian countryside. The owners were welcoming and the wine was plentiful.

The wedding was planned for June 14th, which is Flag Day, and when Amy and Mark were trying to come up with a Hashtag for the wedding, Amy’s Matron of Honor came up with the idea of using the national holiday for the hashtag. At the time, this seemed funny and random, but proved to be extremely appropriate.

Being Joy Photography

Amy’s Grandmother was supposed to officiate the ceremony, but during the wedding planning and engagement she passed away, leaving Amy broken hearted. Amy’s Grandmother was one of her absolute favorite people. She was funny and charismatic, just like Amy. It was going to be difficult to experience a wedding day without her. Amy’s gracious friend, Mara, stepped in to officiate her first wedding and knocked it out of the park with a joyful ceremony.

It was a beautiful day, on June 14th, 2019 – Flag Day. The sun was shining over the green vineyards and the clouds were perfectly puffy like Amy’s blush wedding dress. It was the perfect day except… it was REALLY windy. Comically windy. Flag flapping in the wind windy. Amy had layers of tool in her dress and a cathedral length veil. As we walked her out to her first look the wind blew our hair and all those layers of tool everywhere. She and I started laughing hysterically and I told her, “This is the funniest wedding moment ever.”

Every wedding has one thing that isn’t ideal and usually becomes a perfect part of the event. Amy’s was the wind. It was the most appropriate element for the wedding day because Amy loves movement in her photography. A good part of her work is shooting dancers and gymnasts and has them twirling, jumping and stretching themselves to the limit to show their ability for movement. She even sets up trampolines with powder to capture them jumping with the explosive movement.

It seems that Grandma was at the wedding. She was above, waving wildly at Amy. She was the wind that made us laugh and that was necessary to make #Flagday2019 a totally appropriate hashtag for the day.

Megan Estrada

Owner & Principal Event Planner


Laura Witherow Photography

Chicago weather is particularly difficult to predict, therefore, whenever planning events outside we have a "Rain Plan". Usually, this involves something less spectacular than the outdoor option and most clients hope that the weather will hold out. I share the same advice to every client is this situation, "If you accept the rain plan in your heart, it won't happen, but if you refuse to accept it... it probably will happen."

For Allison and Mike, the rain plan wasn't that appealing. We selected Loft Lucia, in the West Loop, for it's beautiful interior, for a cocktail reception style wedding reception, and it's amazing rooftop, for a ceremony. Although we had a Rain Plan, nobody really liked the option of moving inside. Allison and Mike took my advice to heart and went with the flow, as the rain poured down that afternoon. The pictures around town were limited to indoor locations and family formals were captured in the beautifully lit indoor space of Loft Lucia.

I watched the Weather Channel radar ALL DAY and saw that the rain was supposed to stop right around 6:30PM... our ceremony time! We waited patiently and prepared to wipe down all the chairs. At 6:05PM, A Stem Above Florist moved the hexagon altar piece outside and dressed it with greens. At 6:10PM, the caterer, Entertaining Company and my team wiped down the chairs. At 6:30 PM, we sent the bride and groom down the aisle as the sun peaked through the clouds and provided perfect lighting for Laura Witherow Photography to capture the ceremony outside.

Updated: May 3, 2019

I enjoy working with a variety of clients with different backgrounds, values, religions and ages. One type of event that is dear to me is the Second Marriage. Maybe it's because I'm divorced or because I like second chances, but the second marriages are very special.

I think It's really easy to start planning a first marriage. Everyone is so excited about the engagement and the family is putting together their guests lists, before the bride and groom even have a chance to breathe. The second marriage engagement is usually a more quiet situation. Possibly their are family members who feel confused or apprehensive about this new situation. Maybe there are children involved with their own emotions about their parent's taking new steps in life. It takes a lot more confidence and outward pride to throw a big wedding for a second marriage and that's what I generally see in my lovely mature brides and grooms.

Kelly and Mike were a joy to work with and knew that they wanted to celebrate their new marriage with all their loved ones. Like many clients, they were already married. When they came to me, to assist with the wedding plans, they were just trying to navigate how to provide a wonderful experience for the celebration. Part of the devised plan was to include a quick ceremony for friends and family to experience the exchange of vows and the magical experience of two people standing, in front of their loved ones, saying that they are committed to each other.

Gibson's Steakhouse was booked for their April date without pre-consideration of a ceremony to be included, so we came up with a plan as to how to accommodate 100 people for ceremony and reception in the limited space. We draped the entire room, to soften the nautical theme, and to create a barrier between staging and ceremony spaces. We used a Hexagon altarpiece with floral and greenery to highlight the ceremony and sweetheart table. One of my favorite touches were the images of Kelly's Mother and Sister, who had passed away. We nestled them into the hexagon altar piece, whichkept them close to Kelly in ceremony and throughout the evening.

The bride and groom conveniently got ready at The Thompson Hotel across the street from the venue. The hotel was gracious to provide the bride and groom access to their beautiful event spaces for pictures. Amy Aiello Photography captures these beautiful images of this very special wedding day.

990 Green Bay Rd, Suite 2
Winnetka, Illinois
new york
coming soon!
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