Amanda Joy Photography

Brian + Melinda | Cantigny Park Wedding

CouplesAmanda Mohinani3 Comments

The day finally arrived. Brian and Melinda's wedding day. As you read in their engagement post, they met through texting. A mutual friend of theirs (who now happens to be my wonderful sister-in-law) set them up, and despite the fact that they were states apart - sparks flew. And continued to fly... even after they were finally able to meet in person months later. Long distance couldn't keep them apart, and last Friday they sealed the deal - they're finally man and wife.

Being the wonderful sister that I am(that's sarcasm - just so you know), I would often think about who Brian's bride would someday be. Would she be quirky? Would she get his sense of humor? Would she laugh at his stupid jokes? Would she be amazing as we all dreamed she'd be?

Yes. She is. :) After decades of prayer, years of texting, and months of planning and waiting, my last sibling was married.

Now, I was the photographer (with the help of the fanastic Josh Hway from Dynamic Photowerks, who managed to pull off being a second shooter and a groomsmen at the same time), but I was also family. Usually I'm able to keep my game face on for the entire wedding, but since Brian and I are so close, and he was my last sibling to get married, I had trouble keeping the tears back multiple times.

Get ready for a long, emotional post.

 

 

As I often say - Brian is my "little" big brother...

 

 

Most of us came in from out of town (the wedding was in Chicago), so before we headed over to the gorgeous Cantigny Park for pictures, we all hung out at the hotel and had lunch together.

 

 

The guys got ready in their hotel room...

 

 

And looked phenomenal in their custom suits.

 

 

 

 

 

Melinda and her ladies got ready over at Cantigny Park - about an hour away from downtown Chicago.

 

 

This is typical Melinda - she finds simple yellow shoes and turns them into fabulous creations.

 

 

She has impeccable taste, and perfect details were everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister, Becky, did Melinda's hair and made her look absolutely stunning!

 

 

Brian didn't look too bad himself.

 

 

(Oh, and he has great taste in rings too - see??)

 

 

Melinda, her sister and her mother are SO close - they're such an adorable family.

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmother's necklace added a sweet personal touch...

 

 

They opted for a first look - which made pictures and the rest of the day go incredibly smooth! Love his look(yes, ok, so I almost cried)...

 

 

 

 

 

Cantigny Park is a golf course, but has acres of beautiful flowers...

 

 

We could've wandered all day.

 

 

I love the way she makes him smile!

 

 

They couldn't look more adorable together. :)

 

 

 

 

 

Brian, being the chivalrous man that he is...

 

 

 

 

 

Melinda (being the crafty Melinda that we all know and love), added a strap to her dress to give it more flair...

 

 

Speaking of flair... you look DIVINE, Melinda!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian thought so too... :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(See that handsome guy on the far left? That's my husband. And the guy next to him? That's my assistant. The third bridesmaid from the right? That's my sister-in-law. The gorgeous couple in the middle? We're related.)

 

 

SUCH an easy group to work with...

 

 

Didn't have to convince them to smile at all...

 

 

And you can't even tell they're freezing!

 

 

 

 

 

Brian is a goofy man...

 

 

And has goofy friends... (can't believe I'm actually posting this!)

 

 

See those two? That's why they fit together...

 

 

 

 

Melinda loves weeping willows, and I couldn't agree more!

 

 

They made for such a wonderful backdrop...

 

 

 

 

 

Custom suit by Indochino and flowers by All Flowers by Marisa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet moments filled the day, and I LOVE the three generational ring shot Melinda requested...

 

 

She spent months collecting little jars of all different shapes and sizes - SO creative!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabulous musicians happen to be my good friends, Luther and Fletcher Warren, accompanied by the incredible Josh Bauder on the piano. We've known these guys for years - they sounded amazing!

 

 

Last minute prayers and hugs...

 

 

This is where the lump in my throat got bigger...

 

 

 

 

 

My family...

 

 

 

 

 

This is where the tears started to well up...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can't really tell, but the sunset was so incredibly beautiful behind them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man and wife!!

 

 

(Cue Brian's happy dance!)

 

 

 

 

 

Hugs all around...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While they were waiting for the grand entrance, Melinda convinced Brian to practice their first dance... SO adorable. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toasts were hilarious and incredibly sweet...

 

 

And Brian turned out to be a pretty awesome swing dancer...

 

 

He's been practicing. :)

 

 

 

 

 

Melinda slipped away during the swing dance tutorial to change into a short "dancing" dress...

 

 

And they tore the dance floor up...  (Click here for all their photo booth photos!)

 

 

The guys did a steller job at decorating the car - sticky notes?? Who comes up with that??

 

 

And as they ran off into the night...

 

 

A tear might've slipped down my cheek.

 

 

Brian and Melinda, I hope you're enjoying your Caribbean cruise immensely! I was SO incredibly blessed to photograph your wedding, and I'm even more blessed to be your sister. I love you both so much and can't wait to see you soon! :) Congratulations, guys!

 

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Venders: Assistant Photographer and Photobooth Photographer: Josh Hway - DynamicPhotowerks // Wedding Venue: Cantigny Park // Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M // Groomsmen Suits: Indochino // Wedding Dress:  The Dress // Flowers: All Flowers By Marisa