Chicago Wedding Photographer | Ashley and Mike Part 1

Drake Hotel Wedding.jpg

Wow wow wow!!! This memorial day weekend may have been my favorite weekend of my entire career as a wedding photographer! I feel like the luckiest photographer in the entire world, because Ashley and Mike chose me as the photographer for their downtown Chicago wedding at the Drake Hotel. Ashley and Mike’s wedding day was so grand, and we ended up shooting their STUNNING downtown Chicago wedding for over 12 hours. So instead of overwhelming you with over 600 photos from this dream wedding, I decided to break their Drake Hotel wedding up into three separate blog posts. Part 1 covers their bridal details, getting ready, and portraits. Part 2 will cover their two sweet wedding ceremonies, and part 3 will cover their elegant ballroom wedding reception details and fun reception celebration. I can’t wait for you to see their full wedding day!

Ashley and Mike are THE most amazing couple. They were so joyful throughout their wedding day. I love the way these two interacted with each other. Their love for each other radiated through the entire wedding day through all of their interactions with each other and their families and friends. They also had the most fun and helpful bridal party to celebrate with throughout their entire wedding day. They each had 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen, so it’s clear that so many people are drawn to how fun and kind this couple is just like myself and Andry were.

I had so many favorite parts of Ashley and Mike’s Chicago, Illinois wedding that it would take more than one blog post just to write about them. But I have to tell you about how touching their first look at the Wriggly Building was! Mike had the sweetest reaction to seeing Ashley for the first time, and I LOVED documenting their tender first moments together on their wedding day. Everyone around these two can tell just how much Mike loves Ashley. I mean, he cried during their first look AND when she walked down the aisle during their wedding ceremony (but you’ll have to wait until part two to see that!)

After the first look, we took bride and groom portraits as well as bridal party photos in front of the Wriggly Building and on the river with the Chicago Skyline in the background. This location is perfect for the Chicago - loving city couple! Next, we took the limo to the Rookery for the rest of our bridal party and bride and groom photos. The Rookery has the coolest staircases! We also took a few last bride and groom photos in front of the Drake Hotel when we got back to the Drake to prepare for Ashley and Mike’s first wedding ceremony. I can’t wait for you all to see the rest of the wedding day!

Ashley and Mike, it was the biggest honor to document your wedding day and celebrate your first day as husband and wife with you! Enjoy these first few sneak peaks! Parts 2 and 3 will be up soon, and I can’t wait to send you all of your wedding photos. I’m already in wedding photographer heaven just editing the highlights!

Update: Check out Part 2 here!

A HUGE thank you to Ashley and Mike’s vendor dream team:

Chicago Wedding Photographer: Rakoteet Photography

Venue: The Drake Hotel

Florist: Juliet Tan Floral Design

Cake and Other Desserts: Joanne Buege - Sweet Food Chicago

DJ: DJ Dan - Precision Sound

Hair: Tony - Exsalonce

Catering: Shaun Rajah & Katerina Opalko

Bridal Gown: Alice in Ivory

Bridesmaid Dresses: Kennedy in Blue

Shoes: David’s Bridal

Jewelry/Rings: Sam Kee Hong Jewelry

Men’s Attire: Formal/Military Uniform

Transportation: M&M Limo

Stationary: Basic Invite

Videography: Ivana and Steven Chen

Wedding Planner: Lisa Jaroscak with Storybook