Saturday
Sep062014

MATTHEW + KALINA

KALINA + MATT from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

I need to learn how to swing dance. Like, not want to - need to. 

Let's start at the beginning. It was a gorgeous September Saturday. Bill and I sailed up I-355 towards Naperville and arrived at River Glen Presbyterian Church early. I prefer an early arrival. It gives us time to really scout out the place and smooth out our shooting plan. 

The groom arrived with his merry groomsmen, and they tucked away in the church basement, playing card games to keep entertained. I heard a rumor that there was a last minute shoe shopping trip due to a color mismatch - ah well, way to roll with the punches! Not long after, the ladies arrived and Kalina got into her dress - a dress that I can only describe as coming out of a fairy tale. I've never seen fabric with a dusting of glitter all over it. It was gorgeous, as was the bride herself. 

The ceremony was warm and welcoming, with a perfect balance of humor and solemnity. It was clear that this occasion was hugely important, but that they wanted to have fun with it as well. From the fun shoes, to the bright colors, to the wonderful vows, I can tell that this ceremony was all them. 

And then, it was party time. And when I say party, I mean party. Kalina and Matt utilized The Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club to its full potential. There were yard games throughout the back lawn, there was a swing dancing lesson going on for guests, lots of hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, and that was all just during cocktail hour! We thoroughly enjoyed the myriad of toasts before dinner - and wow. Dinner. Yum. There were three different buffets to choose from - a carving station, a mac & mash bar, and a make-your-own-pasta station. And then three different varieties of cupcakes to eat. (And THEN, a s'mores and bacon bar at 10PM). I pretty much needed to be rolled home. 

But the real gem of this wedding was seeing some of the most impressive dancers I've witnessed in real life. I dunno, maybe I'm just living under a rock, but I've never been to a reception where there wasn't a song where everybody clears off the dance floor to rest. Not the case here. Swing dancers everywhere, all night long. Such a blast! Which brings me back to my first sentence. I need to learn how to swing dance.

Congrats, Kalina & Matt!

Saturday
Jul052014

KATIE + CHRISTIAN

KATIE + CHRISTIAN from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

I love when we get the chance to do something really different.

Katie and Christian were married in March on an exotic island, far away from here. I hear it was a gorgeous day, filled with bright blue skies, crystal clear water, and one happy beautiful couple. Obviously, when weddings take flight and land somewhere far and away, not everyone can come along for the ride. And so, Katie's parents made arrangements for a reception back home, so everyone's family and friends could help share in their celebration.

Fast forward to July 5, and you'd find us filming their party at CD & ME in Frankfort. Peter, Sam, and myself instantly felt at ease, and were very impressed with how everything came together. It almost felt like the corn fields gave way to ocean water and we were on a teeny tiny island of our own. From the Hawaiian dancers down to the bamboo plates, no detail was left unnoticed.

One of the highlights of our professional day was getting to work with Behnke Fine Portraiture. My family has known the award-winning couple for decades, and they have always taken our family portraits. To actually WORK with them was a true honor.

One of our favorite moments of the night had to be the father daughter dance. Not only were the mother/son and first dance lovely, but the father/daughter dance was choreographed! It was such a blast to watch. From moments like those, to the toasts, to the time spent together around the grounds, you can tell these families are very close-knit.

Katie and Christian were one of those wonderful couples who are instantly accommodating and friendly. We can tell they loved getting to share their marriage with all their friends and family, and we wish them the very best of luck in the future!

Saturday
Jun282014

TORI + VAUGHN

TORI + VAUGHN from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

What a beautiful, wonderful day.

I already knew we were going to have a fun day with the Mueller wedding. Peter and I had met with Vaughn and Tori a few months back and enjoyed our visit at Starbucks going over all their wedding details. Turns out, there were a lot of similarities between their wedding and ours - from the colors to the style to their story. We had done the 8-years-dating/long-distance thing, as had they, and we just felt that we got where they were coming from.

Sam and Peter joined me up at the beautiful St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Barrington (and loved getting to work with Megan from Lemon Twist Images! again!). The service was lovely - we haven't seen a wedding where hymns were sung since our own back in 2011! They had beautiful weather, and beautiful venues, as the party began over at Bull Valley Golf Club in Woodstock.

I think we all had our favorite moments from the evening, but one highlight that was up there for me was their first dance - a swing dance to "Starlight" by Muse. We all were very comfortable at the reception. The music was fun, the food was good, and everyone had a wonderful time.

Everything was just lovely, and we wish the very best to Tori and Vaughn!

Friday
Jun202014

MATTHEW + ALYSSA

MATTHEW + ALYSSA from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

On June 22, 2013, we filmed our first wedding at St. Patrick's in Momence. Almost one year later, on June 20, 2014, we were back at beautiful St. Pat's for Alyssa and Matthew's ceremony!

The first order of business was getting to the bride's house to capture the First Look. Everyone was already dressed and ready to go, and anticipation for the bride and groom to see each other was at its highest. Sam and I absolutely love filming First Look moments, so we were looking forward to capturing this part of the day as well. Alyssa was radiant as she rounded the corner towards her expectant groom. Everybody watched as Alyssa tapped Matthew on the shoulder, and witnessed some beautiful moments shared between the two.

After the First Look and the pictures, it was time for the ceremony. Matthew and the wedding party filed in, and in came the bride. The ceremony was lovely, just like the couple. It's always so wonderful to hear the excitement in a bride and groom's voice when they say their vows to each other. : )

Once the ceremony concluded, Alyssa and Matthew were sent off in a bubble exit. Despite the hot temps, it was very nice under the shady trees of St. Pat's, where guests took to blowing into their bubble wands. The bridal party found the stretch limo and headed off to their evening festivities. We wish the best to Alyssa and Matthew - Congratulations on your wedding!

Saturday
Jun142014

LAUREN + JOSHUA

LAUREN + JOSHUA from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

I can't say enough how much we love being a part of simple, easy, beautiful weddings. Peter and I enjoyed our drive down to Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and couldn't believe just how gorgeous it was. I went to school 15 minutes away from there and never knew about it! I really wish I had!

The whole afternoon was a delight. Lauren and Josh had done a first look, and were already together enjoying taking pictures together when we arrived. We had a great time catching up with the Jensens before the ceremony - Pastor Bill, the officiant, was my pastor while I was at ISU. Peter and I filmed the sweet outdoor ceremony held in front of a pond. They had invited an intimate group to witness, which is always a special experience to be a part of. You know everyone there really wanted to be there!

The reception was a wonderfully relaxed and joyous affair, and the weather couldn't have been nicer. There were some really beautiful details, like the lanterns on the tables, the fresh potted flowers, and the bride's gorgeous dress, and there were some really fun things too, like the groomsmen's Iron Man tie clips, and a bouncy house for the kids who attended. Peter and I especially liked the Superman and Wonder Woman glasses at the sweetheart table.

Thank you, Josh and Lauren, for letting us document your special day. Congratulations on your marriage!

Thursday
Jun052014

Dance Alive: Behind the Scenes

After filming last year's Dance Alive dance recitals, we tried something new this year! Here are three different Behind the Scenes videos; one for each show!

 

The first one is of the oldest dancers. So much talent!

BEHIND THE SCENES: Dance Alive! 6:30PM Performance from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

The second one is from the middle group of dancers. It's a wonderful mix of dances!

BEHIND THE SCENES: Dance Alive! 4:30 Rehearsal from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

And finally, this is from the youngest dancing crew. So much cuteness!

BEHIND THE SCENES: Dance Alive! 2:30 Rehearsal from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Wednesday
May072014

Carrie + Tim

CARRIE + TIM from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Tim and Carrie are larger than life, and they are a blast to be around. Everything about their wedding day was big, bold, and beautiful. From their "entourage" sized bridal party, to the bright green and yellow wedding flowers, to their 450 guests, to their boisterous laughter, it was a day we certainly won't forget.

We started out at the houses, filming all of the preparations of the morning. Sam had a good time with the many guys at Tim's parents house, while I truly enjoyed getting to be a part of the girls' morning at Carrie's parents house. An added bonus was working with Megan from Lemon Twist Images, who we always love partnering with.

The church service at St. Rita of Cascia was beautiful, and the guys and I were certainly kept busy keeping up with all the action. The message was truly heartfelt - it's always so cool when the officiant has known the couple for a long time. It's always so much more personal that way. Loved the bagpipes at the end of the service too - that was a new one for us!

Sam went along with the party to Dingers (the bar where Carrie and Tim met), while Peter and I went to the Tinley Park Convention Center to set up for the reception. The bar scene was hilarious to edit, and it made for some nice comedy before the reception began. Which, WOW, what a venue! With 450 people, you would need a Convention Center - and everyone fit nicely and comfortably. We'd never seen a dance floor so big - and of course, it was filled up most of the night. Receptions are usually a lot of fun to film, and this one did not disappoint. This group knew how to party!

Many congratulations to Tim and Carrie on their marriage. They had a beautiful day, and we loved being a part of it!

Wednesday
Mar052014

Mike + Michelle (Flashback!)

MIKE + MICHELLE from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Well, this is a first!

Mike and Michelle were married March 5, 2011. It feels so long ago! I actually was the assistant for this wedding, with one of my partner businesses, WAV Productions. And as such, this was a first for me. With permission from WAV, I was asked to make a trailer version of their beautiful wedding DVD.

I'll never forget how warm and welcoming Michelle and Mike were - warm enough to cut through a bitterly cold winter's day. The snow was beautiful though, just like the bride! It was the first wedding I'd seen where the bride doubled as a hair stylist in the morning. So cool. : )

Another unforgettable moment was when it came time for the exchanging of the rings. Mike works for UPS, and the couple had staged a surprise where it looked like the best man had forgotten the rings, and from the back of the church, his co-worker called out "UPS!" and delivered the rings to the front of the church.

The fun continued into the night with a really great reception, with good food, a gorgeous cake, loud music, and a fun group of family and friends. : )

Saturday
Jan182014

Austin + Avery

AUSTIN + AVERY from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

I was already excited for this wedding even before I showed up on the day of. Through the recommendation of a previous Flydidee couple, Avery sent me an email a mere month before her ceremony. Her details really intrigued me, as I learned of the location where everything would be played out: The Will County Atrium. This is a building I know very well, as I am an annual Will County Fair goer. I look forward to the Fair every year, and the Atrium is always the first building I go through before the summertime festivities begin. Not only that, but the Atrium is also where my parents held their reception. I obviously wasn't around for that, but I have seen their pictures, and it's always had a sentimental feel to it for that reason.

So. I was already excited, and I had only read her email. THEN, we met, and she told me more, and I was REALLY excited! Her explanation of all the immaculate attention to detail of their day did not disappoint. Every single thing was clearly thought out in a very intentional way. (For example, I just loved the flats that her bridesmaids wore, and wanted to try and find them myself. After Googling "Gray Glitter Bow Flats," I eventually found them...and the name of the style of the shoe was - can you guess? - Avery! This gal thought of EVERYTHING!)

The Atrium was transformed into a winter wonderland, and big fat snowflakes were falling as my crew pulled into the lot. It was truly magical, all that winter white and blue. The bride was gorgeous, and the groom was brimming with happiness. The ceremony was performed by their friends who had recently been ordained. Everything had a very casual elegance to it - which is a personal favorite of mine.
It became very clear very quickly that Avery is Daddy's Girl, and intertwined with her tears of joy for Austin, were tears for her daddy. It was beautiful to watch his toast to her, and then their dance afterwards. My favorite moment of the evening was when they were dancing, both teary eyed, and Avery's mom stepped over to join them and check in on her daughter and husband. It was such a warm moment.

Austin and Avery really knew how to throw a party. Everyone danced the night away, sang along with the songs, and enjoyed their beers to boot. We love filming people that we know are having a great time, and there was no question of that on January 18. Despite the cold snow, everyone was filled with a warm joy for the newlyweds. We had a lot of fun being a part of their beautiful day.

Friday
Nov292013

Frank + Candice

FRANK + CANDICE from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Up until this wedding, I had not ventured out on the morning of Black Friday. Not in all my 25 years of life! (I guess I'm privy to online shopping). However, this Black Friday, Sam and I were up and out early to film Candice and Frank's beautiful wedding day.

I started out at Candice's parents' house, where the bride and her many maids got ready. Considering just how many girls there were to get ready, I'd say they did a fantastic job of keeping everything smooth and on schedule! Same can be said for Sam's time over at Frank's parents' house, where all the guys were ready and enjoyed time hanging out in the garage.

The ceremony was beautiful, spanning over the time it took for the sun to set. Candice and Frank exchanged their vows and rings in front of a full church, and joy was all around.

We all enjoyed the evening reception (our third shooter Bill arrived to help capture more footage). It was filled with many heartfelt toasts, laughter, and a lot of dancing!

Many congratulations to Frank and Candice. It is perfectly clear how immense your support system is, both within your family and your friends. You will both undoubtedly have a wonderful life together!

Saturday
Sep282013

Alyssa + Derek

 

DEREK + ALYSSA from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Thank goodness for great connections! I got a chance to meet this wonderful couple thanks to one of my bridesmaids, and I'm so happy she put in a good word for me! My brother, Sam, and I had such a great time with Derek and Alyssa.

Even though I learned by word of mouth that they have been friends since junior high, I think I could have guessed that all on my own with how content, comfortable, and compatible these two are. It's clear that they will do anything for each other, even if it means times of long-distance in their relationship. Derek graduated in May, proposed, and got a job out in California. You'd never know this day had been planned in only four months! It went so smoothly, and everything was planned in such a heartfelt way.

This is only the second time in my 10 years of filming weddings that the couple wanted to see each other before the ceremony. It was an honor to be a part of such a private, special moment between Derek and Alyssa.

They had beautiful weather for a beautiful outdoor ceremony. Two of the bridesmaids sang a gorgeous song while Derek and Alyssa took communion. Music was clearly important throughout the day, and it carried into the entire evening, full of fun dances and heartfelt toasts. The moments between Alyssa and her dad stuck out the most to me though, as I'm sure a lot of guests will agree. Even Sam walked up to me after the Father-Daughter dance asking, "OK, was that REALLY hard for you to get through too??" Yes. Yes, it was. I was choked up for awhile!

Derek and Alyssa both moved to California two days after the wedding, which made their big day all the more emotional. I can't imagine how important that night was for the families involved, and I wish nothing but the best for this adventurous, steadfast couple. : )

Saturday
Jun222013

Dustin + Loren

DUSTIN + LOREN from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

It was a waiting game the morning of Dustin and Loren's wedding...I remember driving into Momence, hoping my car would chase the rain clouds away. Umbrella in hand, I snuck in some shots around town, waiting for the girls to arrive at the Gereg home, where they would finish getting ready for the rest of the day.

Loren was elated all morning. Not even the gloomy rain could bring her down. In fact, I'm still convinced it was her glowing excitement the parted the clouds and brought in the sunshine. Relaxed and ready, it was a very smooth morning for the bride and her maids.

Shortly after the bride and groom had both arrived to the church, they did something I hadn't witnessed before. They handed letters to each other from either side of one door. They got to hold hands and talk and share a few moments alone without seeing one another before their ceremony. Such a wonderful idea, and beautiful moment to be a part of. The ceremony itself was full of music, happiness, and love. Everyone there knew that this was a long-awaited day, and the joy was contagious.

After a beautiful ride in a horse and carriage (it was a literal Cinderella moment), everyone headed towards Bradley for the reception. Everyone was treated to heartfelt toasts, delicious food, fun music, and even a Kappa Delta lullaby. Many, many congratulations to Dustin and Loren!

 

Saturday
Apr132013

Ryan + Angela

RYAN + ANGELA from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

Who would've thought that it would snow on April 13? Ah, Chicago weather...

As the snow fell, I packed up my gear to head to the wedding of Ryan Felde and Angela Giordano. Angela was the Maid of Honor at Tori and Tony Panozzo's wedding the month before, so I had the opportunity to make friends with her previous to the big day - always a huge perk!

My team arrived at Southbridge Church in Orland Park with plenty of time to set up before the bridal party arrived. What a neat place! We had lots of room to move around and capture the special moments of the ceremony; including a sting quartet, lily presentation to the mothers, and the tying of a God's Knot.

After the wedding, guests were encouraged to participate in post-ceremony activities while the wedding party took pictures. Guests could jot down suggestions to drop into a Date Night vase, and could impart wisdom on little sheets of paper that were rolled up and popped into a handful of blue wine bottles that the couple would break and read on upcoming anniversaries.

The reception was held at the Belvedere Chateau in Palos Hills. The dessert tables still stick out in my mind - what a spread! Guests enjoyed a warm meal while listening to heartfelt toasts from Angela's father, Sam, the Maid of Honor, Dana, and the Best Man, Patrick. Everyone was also treated to a slideshow of Ryan and Angela put together by Ryan's mother, Lori.

After cutting their blue and white wedding cake, the dance floor was set up for an evening of partying, fueled by the fantastic DJ Randall. (If you need a killer DJ, look this guy up.) Ryan and Angela's first dance was beautiful, as they swayed under the twinkle-lit tree that "grew" out of the middle of the dance floor. During both the Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances, slideshows played, which I thought was a really neat touch. After that, guests danced for hours on end. It was clear that everyone was excited and happy to share in Ryan and Angela's love for each other.

A couple whose love is built on a solid foundation of faith, Ryan and Angela have a relationship that will surely withstand the tests of time. I wish them both a lifetime of happiness, and thank them for the opportunity to let me share in their joy.

 

Sunday
Mar172013

Lana Grace

What a busy weekend this was! After a wedding on Saturday, I was up and out early for a Sunday baptism at my home church. Lana is the third child of Kara and Brian (my second Flydidee couple, way down my blog page). This little cutie has the most beautiful head of hair I've ever seen on a baby! 

After her baptism, we all ventured to Lana's grandparents' home in Manteno for a luncheon celebration. Food was all home-cooked Irish fare keeping in theme with her being baptized on St. Patrick's Day. Lana comes from a wonderful family, and I was honored to film her special day.

Saturday
Mar162013

Tony + Tori

TORI + TONY from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

Talk about meant to be...I've never heard of two people meeting and falling in love already sharing the same last name (albeit pronounced differently).

I had already met Tori a couple of years ago when she was a bridesmaid in another Flydidee/WAV wedding. Little did I know then that she'd be one of my future Flydidee brides! Tori and Tony are such a fun, easy-going couple whose personalities compliment each other wonderfully. I had a blast getting to film them several months before their wedding, creating Flydidee's very first "Our Story" short film that was played at their reception.

March 16, 2013 was a chilly day, but warmth was still felt all around through the joy of the day. Starting early in the morning, everyone got ready at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Orland Park. Tori had gone shopping for a card to give to Tony the morning of their wedding, but couldn't choose just one and ended up purchasing seven different cards - just enough for each bridesmaid to take turns hand-delivering to the groom down the hall.

The ceremony was held at St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Frankfort. It's a beautiful old building with surprisingly creaky floors (hard to move around quietly while filming, that's for sure!). It was at this point that anticipation was its highest. Both of them were most looking forward to seeing each other for the first time that day, and when the doors swung open at the back of the church to reveal the bride, everyone could feel the emotion surge through the room.

After the beautiful ceremony, the bridal party braved some pictures out in the cold before heading to Georgio's Banquets in Orland. After cutting the cake, listening to some beautiful toasts, watching their "Our Story" segment, the couple partied long into the night!

Loved getting to be a part of their day - wishing them both a lifetime of happiness!

 

 

Sunday
Mar032013

Lucas James

This one is definitely a special one for me, as it was the baptism of my nephew Lucas. My husband and I got to be sponsors for him, and we were honored to be chosen. Thanks are in order for my dad who filmed for me (I was busy holding a candle up at the front of the church ;). 

It was a very special day for both the Stroh and Brzuchowski families as Lucas James, at just shy of one month old, was baptized. 

Sunday
Jun032012

Hannah + AJ

HANNAH + AJ from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

What a picture perfect day Hannah and AJ had. The sun was shining, the groom was beaming, the bride was exquisite. 

The wedding was held outdoors at The Bennett-Curtis House in Grant Park, Illinois. I remember being inside the house for a bridal expo a couple years ago, but I hadn't been out in the backyard until this wedding. It's gorgeous! The open space, the bright white chairs, the vibrant flowers...my camera couldn't get enough!

Not only was it a beautiful day at a beautiful place, but Hannah and AJ are a beautiful couple. They exchanged solemn vows in front of their closest family and friends; I knew this day was the beginning of forever for these two. 

Here is a recap of their Sunday afternoon wedding and reception, filled with beautiful flowers, delicious honey favors, a unique Scrabble dictionary guest book, happy family, excited friends, and a wonderful couple.

Saturday
Sep102011

Jeff + Katie

JEFF + KATIE from Flydidee Films on Vimeo.

 

 

This is one wedding my husband and I will not forget. Their wedding was exactly 3 weeks before ours. Jeff is Peter's best friend from college and he asked Peter to stand up as his Best Man. We loved every moment spent with our friends, getting to help prepare for their wedding day. 

Their wedding was personally my favorite to film to date. Everything was so intimate and relaxed. I can honestly say I've never seen a more relaxed bride (that, or Katie hides it well). We spent the morning at her house while our boys played video games at his apartment. The ceremony was at a beautiful garden. The vibrant colors and their choice of music was exquisite. They also took some amazing pictures along the waterfront in a park. Afterwards, we all went to a riverside cabin to join their friends and family in celebrating their new union as husband and wife. 

My husband and I will NOT soon forget the food. Oh. My. Goodness. The food. Jeff and Katie had family members prepare favorite recipes. It was delicious. 

A good time was had by all, and it really hit home for Peter and I, knowing it was going to be our turn in just three short weeks!

Saturday
Jun252011

Caitlin + Brendan

 I’ve known Caitlin and Brendan since 2006, when I started college at Illinois State. I would see them on Sundays at church and on Tuesday nights for bible study. They were inseparable! I can only recall one time in those four years at school that I saw Caitlin without Brendan - and it was weird! They’re definitely a couple that will be together forever.

Their wedding was beautiful, from the scenery to the details. The church, across the street from the state capitol building, was a beautiful structure, full of intricate woodwork and stained glass. Brendan and Caitlin were even more lovely.

The reception was held at an Inn down the street. It was fun to catch up with old church friends and enjoy the delicious food while watching a continuous slideshow of photos of the couple. Caitlin and Brendan danced to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and the party went late into the night.

Saturday
Jun182011

Josh + Anne

 


Josh is a good friend of mine from college. We met my Sophomore year at a job orientation and went to the same church and bible study. Having grown up with a brother, I missed having an outlet for playing old video games. After bible studies on Tuesdays, Josh would come hang out and we’d play old N64 games with my roommate. I always heard stories about Anne, and I knew she was his wonderful lady. She and I had met on several occasions, and I always found her to be sweet, smart, down to earth, and funny. She is an excellent match for Josh.

Comfortable, fun and joyful are the words I would use to describe Josh and Anne’s wedding day. Family and close friends attended the service and reception at Wittenberg Lutheran Center in Normal, Illinois on June 18, 2011. Simple elegance mixed with a close-knit relaxation created an ideal atmosphere for this couple’s special day. The couple was radiant, the food was delicious and many laughs were shared!