Juliana and Max are super stylish, trendy, and know what they want. In 2019, they chose to have a 25-person intimate elopement at Cindy's Rooftop in Chicago, IL. Little did we know they'd be setting the trend for the 2020 wedding season. So take notes from a couple who eloped before it was cool.

Max and Juliana coordinated a day that was perfectly tailored to them. They met the morning of their elopement at the coolest park in Chicago, so they could include their pup in wedding photos! They invited 25 of their closest family and friends. Does that number sound familiar? Well, it might be our new cap on guest count for weddings in 2020. We told you this would be relevant!

They chose Cindy's Rooftop as their elopement venue. Cindy's is an outdoor-indoor patio rooftop that overlooks Millennium Park and the streets of downtown. Their elopement ceremony was officiated by a best friend. Their guests surrounded them, many on video Facetime with distant relatives unable to make it. Does that ring a bell? It's the new normal.

They shared hand-written vows, exchanged rings, and sealed their marriage with a kiss. Attending guests shared stories, recited readings, speeches, and gave wholesome toasts. The bride and groom then made their way around to each phone screen to say hello and receive congratulations from guests who witnessed their ceremony from their homes miles and miles away.

Champagne was poured and candid group photos were taken. The guests took their seats for lunch while Juliana and Max soaked up the view from the rooftop, alone, together.

Juliana and Max sat at the head of the long wooden table. Cindy's created a dining menu of all their favorite foods: pasta, hot dogs, french fries, gourmet salads, etc. while also pairing it with their signature cocktails and favored wine.

There was absolutely no stress. They still got glammed up, and ate and drank their favorite foods. They still exchanged vows and rings. Their most important people attended their wedding, near or far. At the end of the day, Juliana and Max were married.

If applicable, we highly suggest eloping on your actual wedding date and saving the large party for later. You might be shocked to find out that an elopement was what you should have been planning all along. You have more time to spend with each guest, your new husband or wife, and that makes the day infinitely more emotional and special.

Technically a wedding is just the event to celebrate your marriage - sooo you could do that every year if you wanted! ;)

C&A Photographer: Hanna Walkowaik

Venue: Cindy's Rooftop

Bride's Dress: Needle & Thread

Groom's Suit: Suit Supply

Ring Designer: Pli Restrepo

With the recent onset of “shelter in place” around the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, countless couples are postponing their weddings. In what was supposed to be a time of gathering and celebration of their love, they are faced with the harsh reality that the plans they made are inevitably changing. 

For the couples experiencing this, we can only begin to imagine the emotions and devastation they are going through. I am equating it to the “post-wedding blues” that so many people experience right after their wedding is over, only that sadness and feeling of emptiness must be magnified by a thousand or a million or more.

It’s truly heartbreaking to work in an industry that normally fills us up with joy and hope of everlasting love. This situation leaves a lot of us feeling helpless and with some fear and doubt about the future of weddings. 

After many years of being in business and helping couples plan their weddings, we know one thing - people are still going to want to get married. And they’re going to want to do it with the friends and family they care about most alongside them. 

We wanted to provide a scenario that, while maybe not the original vision, helps couples achieve their dreams in a small and a still very special way. So we said, “Let's Solobrate!” by being together while we’re apart.

Our idea: “Be There - A Virtual Wedding + Reception Experience.” This solution brings couples and their loved ones together...virtually. 

While we shelter in place, celebrations don’t have to cease altogether. We are able to offer our expertise knowing and understanding the key emotional moments of a wedding and support them from a technical standpoint to create a seamless and high-level virtual experience. 

Couples can include elements of their special occasion that speak to their story and individuality. Maybe that includes: 

  • Exchanging vows
  • Cutting the cake
  • Having a first dance
  • Special toasts from guests, or a cocktail hour leading into a dance reception. 

All emceed and DJed by Cage and Aquarium via a professional broadcast. 

Then when shelter in place is lifted, we will have this same option for couples to be able to broadcast their real time event to friends and family at home. 

In case we need to have smaller guest counts for the near future. 

In case there are elders that need to remain safe in their homes still. 

In case there are travel quarantines that prevent loved ones from coming into town. 

There are a lot of unknowns about the coming months, but we’re preparing to help couples get through this and still achieve a memorable celebration that honors the hope, joy and, most importantly, love that still resides in all of us.  

There is so much hype built around finding your soulmate and getting married. We are a Wedding Photography + DJ company - weddings are our livelihood. But, weddings are not our couple's lives. One of our photographers once said, "The love story doesn't end at I Do", and our photography services don't either.

We believe that every milestone deserves the same celebration as the wedding day. Life moves quickly, maybe not in the time of COVID-19, but things change and relationships grow. It is so important to document these life moments! 

Like many couples, Andi and Julie are returning clients. We have had the honor of first photographing them for their engagement session in 2014. Those photos ended up in the New York Times, announcing their engagement.  Then we photographed their beautiful wedding at Osteria via Stato in 2015. Two years later in 2017, Julie and Andi adopted their baby girl, Mari. And guess what? We photographed their first family photos too!

From proposals and engagements, elopements and weddings, to anniversaries, family reunions, and the start of your own family - we are here for every step. Your marriage is a life-long adventure. Your story deserves to be captured and we could not be happier to see all of these love stories unfold!

Thank you Andi + Julie (and Mari) for trusting us to document your happiest moments.

C&A Photographers: Shelley Anderson + Eva Ho

click here for New York Times article

click here for Wedding Blog Post

Jess and Chanse had a gorgeous, intimate wedding in the woods of California. The venue was secluded in nature yet had everything you needed for a magical wedding. They had their first look right on the cliffs of California overlooking the ocean!! Truly a photographers dream. The ceremony was held in front of hundred foot trees with beautiful natural light and floral arrangements. Their dance floor was decorated with hanging cafe lights in the forest, they had signature cocktails, and outdoor games for their guests. 

Jess and Chanse just wanted to marry each other, surrounded by their closest family and friends, in a breathtaking location. We won't get to photograph weddings for quite some time, but we wanted to show our readers that intimate weddings are incredible. The fuss of the day is taken away when you set up a great wedding day with one purpose - the company of your loved ones -  something we are absolutely craving right now. Enjoy!

C&A Photographer: Shelley Anderson as second shooter for IxiPhotography (@shelley_anderson + @ixiphotography)

PlannerThe 530bride (@530bride)

Venue: Bodega Bay Secret Garden (@bodegabaysecretgarden)

Rentals: Grapevine Party Rentals 

1803 W Byron #105
Chicago, IL 60613

Also serving the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego


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