Samar and Yosef contacted our team to capture their Palestinian American wedding. I asked the bride how they met and she said: Yosef and I met in Chicago while I was on a work trip during the 2019 polar vortex! On our first date, he gave me a tour of downtown in freezing temperatures and I was trying my best to keep it together and not freeze to death haha but I was living in Houston at the time so we were both unsure if a relationship was feasible. We kept in touch after I returned home and remained friends for some time before we decided to commit to a long distance relationship and the rest is history.
The day of their wedding, Samar and Yosef started with a getting ready photos at Marriott Marquis Chicago. Samar and her sisters and bridesmaids had a relaxing morning in her bridal suite overlooking the beautiful Chicago skyline.
The makeup team, Glam Atelier, created a soft natural look for the bride and the bridal party. As the ladies were getting ready, my team and I started photographing the bridal dress, bridal jewelry, shoes and wedding stationary designed by Ink, Love and Paper.
I love capturing the candid moments during the bridal getting ready session. Samar’s niece and nephew were also present and we made sure to capture precious moments with them.
Once every one was fully dressed, I asked Samar and her mom to stay in the room alone for some final getting ready moments. I wanted her mom to take in the moment of her daughter as a bride. The wedding dress Samar wore had a beautiful wedding train and bridal veil. I had my photo assistant spread the dress out to capture dramatic bridal poses in the hotel room. Yosef, got ready in his Chicago home, with his brother at his side. My second photographer captured some great groom getting ready photos highlighting his outfit, groom accessories and shoes.
The morning portion of the wedding was seamlessly planned by Chicago Wedding Planner, Kate Reavey, of Cygnet Events and Design. Kate helped make the wedding morning relaxed and streamlined by keeping tabs on the time, informing photo and video how much time we had, and gathering everyone to get on the wedding party bus for portraits.
For Chicago wedding portraits, we went to Chicago Lyric Opera House. The open walkway has beautiful architectural elements that we used as the backdrop to the wedding photos. We also took family photos at this location so that we didn’t have to take up time at the Chicago wedding venue for family photos.
The wedding reception at Lacuna Lofts was an absolute interactive experience for everyone invited. The evening started with cocktails and appetizers on the Lacuna Lofts rooftop. The rooftop has sweeping views of the Chicago skyline. Samar and Yosef wanted to mingle and have fun with guests during cocktail hour. They enjoyed sushi, mini tacos, and other delicious appetizers made by the catering team at Lacuna Lofts.
Once all the guests arrived, the Zaffa band started the reception festivities. The Chicago Zaffa band really got the crowd dancing, singing and ready for a night of engaging memories. I highly recommend hiring a band like this if you are having a Chicago Arab wedding or a multicultural wedding.
Once the reception loft was ready to welcome guests, the guests descended to the first level of the venue for dinner, dancing and dessert. Samar and Yosef wanted an enchanted secret garden theme juxtaposed with urban loft vibes. Atmosphere Event Group and Cygnet Events and Design were perfectly able to pull this concept into a cohesive garden wedding design.
The wedding couple was speechless when they did a first look of the space. There were so many personalized wedding elements such as a table with Yosef’s late father’s photo, a vintage escort card table, a neon wedding sign with the word “Love” in Arabic and a floral filled wedding cake by Vanille Patisserie.
The bride and groom made their entrance with the chicago zaffa band that led to lots of dancing, singing and fun. Once things settled down, dinner service and speeches started. The couple also made a heart felt speech thanking their wedding guests that came from far and wide.
At the end of dinner and just before dancing started up again, I took the couple upstairs for sunset wedding portraits on the Lacuna Lofts skydeck. The great thing about Lacuna Lofts wedding events is that there are so many levels in the building with interesting artwork, sculptures and installations to use as part of wedding portraits.
Overall, I loved the intentional planning of this Lacuna Lofts wedding. Everything had meaning, personality and purpose. It was perfectly executed by an experienced wedding planner who knew how to keep the timeline rolling and the vendor communication flowing. In doing so, the couple and family were relaxed and free to enjoy their big day.
With over ten years of experience capturing sacred moments and an artful intuition for what it takes to get the perfect shot, time and time again, it’s our joy to create evocative, timeless photographs that are as one-of-a-kind as your story.
Maha Studios is a destination photography studio that delights in the vibrant traditions and rituals at the heart of South Asian and multicultural weddings.