I met Peter and Allison a few months ago at their engagement session. Since that time, I’ve been looking forward to their wedding.
They planned a beautiful wedding at the amazing Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. While talking through the wedding details beforehand, Peter and Allison explained a bit about the rich history of the hotel because they wanted it to be evident in their photos.
Potter Palmer was a well-known Chicago businessman. Bertha Honoré was a socialite and philanthropist. After they were introduced by his former business partner, Marshall Fields, they fell in love and married. Palmer built the hotel as a wedding present for his bride. The hotel opened on September 26, 1871, but burned down just thirteen days later in the Great Chicago Fire! Interestingly, Palmer immediately rebuilt the hotel and today, it’s the nation’s oldest continually operating hotel.
Bertha Palmer decorated her Palmer House hotel with treasures inspired by her French heritage and her friendship with Claude Monet. Chandeliers, Tiffany masterpieces, and a ceiling fresco by French painter Louis Pierre Rigal all contributed to its opulence.
On this day we wanted to celebrate that history….
Like always, I’m thrilled when a couple opts for a First Look. Peter and Allison wanted plenty of time for photos and to enjoy their day, so they saw each other before the wedding ceremony.
As you enter the hotel from the North, a beautiful, ornate door greets you. I knew immediately it would be the perfect spot for photographs. A plaque next to the door explains a bit more about it:
“This world renowned door, actually a piece of unusual real estate art, is one of three in creation called ‘Peacock Doors…’ The design is that of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Each of the doors weigh more that a half-ton and all are valued at more than a million dollars…This famed Peacock door is just the beginning…”
I think this photo holds a lot of meaning. It IS “just the beginning.” The beginning of their day. The beginning of their life together!
Peter and Allison were a photographer’s dream. They understood the value of good light and were willing to try “just a few more” all in the name of good pictures! I MUST give props to my excellent second shooter, Molly Bea Photography. Peter and Allison requested a second shooter, and I think it’s invaluable. She took some amazing photos throughout the day. When I’m in my zone of keeping on schedule and making sure to get all requested/necessary pictures, it’s helpful to have someone who can just be creative.
We shot plenty of family shots, but these stood out to me. What a whirlwind of emotions.
Peter comes from a large Italian family. I felt right at home. If they would have pulled out the wedding soup and rigatoni, I may have pulled up a seat and joined the festivities.
Peter and Allison had a delightful, intimate ceremony in the Honoré Ballroom. Bertha Honoré Palmer’s wedding portrait stands tall above the fireplace where they exchanged vows.
Allison’s childhood friend officiated the ceremony so we all had a few good laughs and were endeared to them as they publicly joined their lives…something about Little Mermaid and Uncle Jesse from Full House… yeah, I won’t let that cat out of the bag!
Let the party begin!
Peter and Allison…I hope you enjoyed every last minute of your time in Italy! Blessings to you both!