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theater on the lake chicago wedding venue

Matt and Grant’s same-sex wedding at Theater on the Lake in Chicago.

I’m so excited to finally share this spectacular wedding with you all! There are a few reasons, but the first is that my groom and groom, Matt and Grant, tied the knot in a beautiful same-sex wedding ceremony. The next is that the I got to shoot in Chicago’s newest crown jewel on the lakefront which just completed renovation earlier this year – Theater on the Lake – and this Chicago event venue is truly everything it was promised to be! I don’t usually lead with black and white photography, but this shot above was money. It captured the essence of Matt and Grant’s same-sex wedding, as well as the classic beauty of the venue. With unmatched views of Lake Michigan to the east and city skyline to the south, Theater on the Lake really was the perfect venue to host Matt and Grant’s epic same-sex wedding celebration. And finally, when I say epic, I’m talking next-level aerial bartender suspending down gracefully from a custom installed chandelier to serve you bubbly. EPIC. Need I say more?

But of course, you know I will!

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Matt and Grant happy as can be to be tying the knot in Chicago!

I’ll get into the details of the wedding in a bit, but first, let me just say that Matt and Grant are the BFFs you wish you had. They’re forward, fun, and funny. They had their first dance together to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. They worked with their BFF, Matt, owner of Decor 312 and Kehoe Designs to execute their creative vision for their wedding, elevating it from “just another downtown wedding” to a “betcha bottom dollar you’ll lose your blues in Chicago” kinda wedding (in the words of Frank Sinatra, obviously).

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Groom-and-groom wedding portrait session at The Chicago Theatre, where Matt proposed and Grant said yes!

It was clear Matt and Grant had the vision to incorporate the richness and personality of their beloved city into their special day. No level of detail was missed: from the groom-and-groom portraits they requested in front of The Chicago Theatre (where Matt proposed and Grant said yes!) and the CTA L station which is the train line Matt takes to work to the dinner tables which were each themed a different Chicago neighborhood (I loved the Wrigleyville one, go Cubs, go!). They have the most supportive and loving family and wedding party – I especially loved the statement they made with their bridesmaids all in white gowns – and when Matt’s mom started floating around the dance floor with bubbles, I almost cried.

Theatre on the Lake Chicago wedding venue

After saying “I do” Grant and Matt greet wedding guests at Theatre on the Lake in Chicago.

A little more on what’s been called the hottest new event venue in Chicago: Theater on the Lake is a historic building from 1920 that has recently undergone renovation to become a year-round facility housing a restaurant, event spaces, and eventually a theater. If you’re looking for a venue with really unique architecture in Chicago, look no further than this gem – Theater on the Lake is an original Prairie-style structure with unique lighting and sweeping steel arched trusses throughout. I haven’t seen any blog posts from any wedding photographers shooting at Theater on the Lake yet, so I’m just gonna go with saying I’m the first ever to shoot hereTheater on the Lake is unique in that it has flexible space to accommodate small to large number of guests. Matt and Grant’s cocktail reception (with aforementioned aerial champagne server) was held on one side of the wall, and then the sliding wall was removed for a big reveal for the guests. Everyone let out a big gasp when they saw the dinner reception room all decked out.

Matt and Grant’s same-sex wedding was completely magical and breathtaking – everything from their wedding vows to one another and the incredible venue, Theater on the Lake, to the wedding décor that exuded the vibrancy of Chicago. Scroll through for scenes from the entire day (including the aerial champagne server)!

xo, Melissa

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Matt and Grant’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Theater on the Lake  //  Matt and Grant’s Attire, BALANI Custom Clothiers  //  Bridesmaids’ Dresses, BHLDN  // Wedding Consultant, Matt Morgan (Kehoe Designs)  //  Event Designer, Matt Morgan and Renee Price (Kehoe Designs)  //  Florist, Kehoe Designs  //  Caterer, Blue Plate  // Music, The Dan Hayes Band // Videographer, Corfias Films  //  Officiant, Chris Shadle

 

Chicago Wedding Photographer

Melissa Diep Photography is a highly sought after wedding, engagement, family, maternity, newborn, baby, and children portrait photographer based in Chicago. Melissa strives to capture organic moments as works of art. She loves to incorporate natural environments and soft light to create beautiful imagery.

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Azadeh and Mustafa-wedding-1206

When your bride is a Persian beauty and your groom looks the part of a dashing Afghan prince, this is one multicultural wedding not to be missed. You might remember Azadeh and Mustafa from their engagement session in downtown Chicago. Azadeh and Mustafa tied the knot at the Chicago Marriott Naperville; from the soft romantic color palette and the wintry accents to the gorgeous ruffled cake, this multicultural affair is a true mix of all things pretty with a dash of whimsy. The Bride: beyond beautiful with her striking features and dark eyes. The ballroom: lit up in purple perfection. The guests: a room full of similarly stunning Persian friends, oh, and obviously everyone full of joy and love for the newlywed couple. I mean, “cultural beauty” is a style term we like to throw around in the wedding world, and Azadeh and her crew nail this head-on.

Our outdoor portrait session got cut a bit short, but I love what we got anyway, with Azadeh looking so pretty all wrapped up in her fur wrap, and our indoor shots at the hotel having a fun, retro glamour vibe. I loved getting to know Mustafa’s side of the family who came from Los Angeles, especially his super younger, super hot sister. I must have said that to her and Mustafa at least 10 times that day. Scroll through to see more photos from Azadeh and Mustafa’s special day!

 

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Azadeh and Mustafa’s Wedding Guide ::

Venue, Chicago Marriott Naperville // Cake, Chicago Marriott Naperville // Catering, Kabobi Grill // Music, Armin Jalali

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chicago couples engagement smiling having fun natural

I remember meeting with Azadeh and Mustafa and just loving how sweet this couple is. She is soft-spoken, a little shy about speaking English because it’s not her native Persian language and she’s only been in the States for two years. And Mustafa, the lucky groom-to-be, just couldn’t stop smiling at Azadeh the whole time we were together. I could tell, right off the bat, these two adore each other!

We braved the frigid temps and notorious lake effect in downtown for this Chicago engagement session, just to get those iconic city shots amongst the soaring skyscrapers of the Financial District and the mixed Art Deco, Art Nouveau styling of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. You’d never know it was freezing out, because Azadeh’s bright smile and pretty pink dress really injected a dose of fun into this wintry engagement session. Each time I posed them and told them to snuggle up and laugh with each other, they stayed all wrapped into each other, even when my camera was down. Language was no barrier and that has to be my FAVORITE thing about photographing my couples: they’re so joyfully in love that they don’t need me snapping away in order to show their affection.

After our shoot, we ducked into a French brasserie to warm up, and chatted over soup, oysters and drinks about their upcoming wedding. It’s right around the corner in December and I cannot wait to be part of their big day. Hope you enjoy my favorites from their downtown engagement session!

xo, Melissa

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