We rolled into Chicago at midday on Friday for Matt & Stephanie’s wedding extravaganza, and the fun and energy never waned thereafter. We began preparing right away and met up with the beautiful betrothed just before their rehearsal was to commence at St. Mary of the Angels. That building is gorgeous in the grand and overwhelming way that few places are nowadays. The age of the place, the life events that have transpired and been commemorated there, and the married life that was about to begin there are all reason for pause. Stephanie’s parents and grandparents were married there, the latter almost 50 years earlier to the day, making the Tuthills the latest, greatest story to launch from within these walls. It was sure to become an epic event in the Bultinck family annals!
Saturday morning started with Starbucks before half of us headed to the Drake to shoot the dress and extras and the other half waited to head to the guys’ brunch in the Green Derby Room at O’Brien’s.
At O’Brien’s many tales were told and many laughs shared before the incomparable Howard made a nice toast to his soon to be son-in-law. Thus began our adventure capturing the events of the grandest day as they unfolded.
The Drake is a pretty nice place. And by pretty nice I mean awesome. The structure, the furnishings, the atmosphere. Very cool. The girls got dolled up in their beautiful robes with mimosas and smiles, and the guys donned their tuxes with laughs on their lips and drinks in their hands. The laughter, smiles, hugs, and moments shared inside those walls to begin the biggest day of Matt and Steph’s life were the heartbeat of the day. They’ll live forever.
When the appointed time came and the mini-bus arrived, the ladies met the gents for the trip to St. Mary’s. The slight humidity spilled into a light rain. Plans had been made for rain despite the hope that it would not come to be a reality, but they would not need to be put into action because the rains left before the mass ever reached its conclusion. It couldn’t come quickly enough, it seemed, that moment that Paddy first introduced everyone to Matt & Stephanie Tuthill! When it happened, great moments followed-Matt’s face grew lighter and Stephanie’s smile became even brighter as they stepped into the aisle and walked into the cool after-the-rain air.
After they greeted their guests, we headed off for photos. While we had a very limited amount of time, we got some great shots before heading to the party at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. It was crazy! The Taste of Chicago also happened to be going on over the same weekend and the Pier was packed! The energy was great, though, and once we got past the front portion, the ball room and the area around it were sectioned off for the reception. So, with plenty of space, fantastic views, and the company of all their best friends and families, Matt & Steph got to the business of celebrating! It was a cocktail hour filled to overflowing with tasty treats and libations! SO many smiles, so much laughter and hugging. It was absolutely clear from early on that these were ALL awesome people who loved each other and were here to celebrate Matt & Steph! And that is exactly how the evening continued. Exceptional toasts from Kristen and Brandon, a tearful speech from Howard, and a perfect thank you and welcome speech from Matt really started things off smashingly. With dinner and dessert to sustain them, one and all took to the dance floor where the band was kicking out the awesomeness like nobody’s business. These guys were great. And as the night wore on, they even let Matt & Steph, Chris and Nick & Alissa belt out some classic from onstage! Just great, great stuff! Until you experience the way these families get down and dance, you’ll never understand how fun a reception can be. And we were just photographing it! Oh, and somehow I nearly forgot about the fireworks! The only break in the dancing happened when everyone was invited outside to watch a fireworks display from the pier. We had gotten an inside scoop on a great spot and Matt & Steph watched from a really great spot on the roof! It was an awesome display, and when it concluded everyone sort of picked up where they had left off: on the dance floor. When the evening came to a wrap for us, we bid our favorite peoples adieu, feeling happy, full, and tired. Matt & Stephanie’s wedding was once in a lifetime and we’re excited to show you some of their photos!
Bultinck-Tuthill Team Players:
Wedding Consultant: Bliss Weddings & Events, Kara
Ceremony Site: St. Mary of the Angels
Reception Site: Navy Pier – Grand Ballroom
Officiant: Father Paddy Tyrell, S.J.
Dressing Accommodations: The Drake Hotel
Florist & Lighting: Event Creative, Jesse
Entertainment: Colby Beserra & The Party Faithful
Cake: Oak Mill Bakery
Transportation: Chicago Motor Coach
Hair & Makeup: Rachel Reiman, Erin & Rachel
We also want to give a huge shout-out to two people who made it possible for us to enjoy this day and do a good job, our assistant Kris and our newest assistant and trainee, Carolina. You guys are awesome and we appreciate all you do!
One final thing we’d like to mention. Last March we had the pleasure and honor of photographing Steph’s brother Nick’s wedding (Spring Dreaming). We had an amazing time and were so happy to have met Howard, Nancy, Chris and Stephanie as a result of Nick & Alissa’s trusting us with their photos. It’s difficult to explain how great it makes us feel to be so warmly welcomed into the photographing of a new event as though we were old friends. You guys are amazing! Thank you!