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Chicago Wedding Photographer - Nakai Photography
click an image above to begin your journey
scroll down to view the most current blog posts!
Chicago Luxury Wedding Photos – The Peninsula Hotel Chicago
What a wedding at the Peninsula Hotel Chicago! Beth from SQN Events helped plan and coordinate Lauren + Kevin’s dream luxury wedding! Beth really connects with her clients and her deep understanding of their vision and style allows SQN Events to be such an amazing part of any couple’s day! I’m truly thankful to have been their wedding photographer on their very special occasion!
Before we get into their wedding photos, check out these two photos of the Peninsula Hotel – floral design + decor by Kehoe Designs!
Lauren literally started tearing up when she saw this room – a testament to Phil’s (designer for Kehoe Designs) execution of Lauren’s dream!
Getting Ready + Wedding Reception Venue – Peninsula Hotel Chicago
Wedding Ceremony – Assumption Church
Wedding Planner + Coordinator – SQN Events
Floral Design – Kehoe Designs
Stationary – Magnificent Milestones
Wedding Gown – Vera Wang Katherine
Wedding Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Band – Great Life Music
Dresser – The Wedding Dresser
Napkins + Straws – Smitten Boutique
Getting Ready Pictures at The Peninsula Hotel
A photo of Lauren’s Vera Wang wedding gown – Katherine
Her Jimmy Choo shoes had a reflective heel and I thought to use that as a focal point for her wedding ring picture!
Another photo of the Jimmy Choos!
Gorgeous letterpress invitations + stationary by Magnificent Milestones. Ridiculous lazer cut envelope & wonderful card stock!
She had to take photo with another important person in her life before putting on her wedding dress! Riley was having so much fun at the Peninsula!
Mom helping out with the final touches on her Vera Wang gown
Maid of honor helping put those Jimmy Choos on!
A full length photo of the beautiful bride in her Vera Wang wedding dress!
Love this portrait of Lauren!
Wedding bouquet by Kehoe Designs
Thanks to Tom helping out as a second photographer for this wedding! They guys were having a good time!
In my time with Kevin…there are two people who can easily bring a smile to his face…Lauren is one…and Kendall =)
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Assumption Church
We headed to Assumption Church in River North for their wedding ceremony! I love the cute little head wreaths made by Kehoe Designs! =)
Assumption church has some breathtaking artwork on the ceiling – not to mention a breathtaking bride and her father walking down the aisle!
One of my favorite photojournalistic photo of the day- As a wedding photographer…I had the best seat in the house for this touching moment!
Assumption Church from the balcony
Lauren was all smiles during their vows!
Kendall + Riley were so happy to give their congratulations to the newlyweds!
Wedding Photos by the Adler Planetarium Lakefront – Lake Michigan
We headed down to the Adler Planetarium for some photos with Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline in the background! For those that have never been…this spot on Chicago’s lakefront is one of the best views of the city skyline! This is one of those “I love my job as a wedding photographer!” moments =)
Full bridal party with the Chicago skyline!
I love this bridal party photo! The sun came out just enough for Lake Michigan to show some color…in the perfect hue to compliment their bouquets! And of course the skyline looks amazing from the lakefront!
This photo makes me smile everytime =)
Epic photo of the bride and groom with the Chicago skyline!
So clean and timeless!
Lauren requested this photo – and I had to incorporate the skyline in the background!
Great shot by Tom, my second photographer! Love the use of negative space!
I love the movement & expression in this wedding photo!
Daley Center Chicago Wedding Photography
Kevin had requested to take some wedding pictures at the Daley center…and I was happy to oblige! As a wedding photographer, I love to take photos at new locations…and I had never had the privilege to photograph this iconic artwork done by Picasso!
It’s one of those photos that local Chicagoans know is Chicago…without being too cliche!
Balancing the hard metal & strong lines of the Picasso with the soft embrace by Lauren + Kevin!
The groom making sure traffic stopped for his bride!
Michigan Avenue for Wedding Photos
The Peninsula Chicago is right on Michigan Avenue…so we walked over to take a few photos on the Magnificent Mile!
Almost a Sex in the City kind of vibe!
The guys looking good-
But enough with looking cool – it was time to frolic! (they really wanted to do this photo!)
Luxury Wedding Reception Venue – The Chicago Peninsula Hotel
Stunning card table centerpiece and bar by Kehoe Designs
Letterpress cards for the card table-
Amazing job done by Kehoe Designs! The Peninsula Hotel looks amazing!
Another photo of from this luxury wedding
Love the letterpress menu-
Wedding cake photo-
Straws from Smitten Boutique!
First dance photo –
Kevin was one happy groom!
I stepped off the dance floor to incorporate the ambiance from the Peninsula room!
The two ring bearers wore these cute shirts at the reception! Ring Security? Love it!
Great job Matt and the rest of the Great Life Music band!
Thanks again to Lauren + Kevin for having me as your wedding photographer! I’m so happy for you both as you begin this new chapter in your life! It’s always great to work with such an amazing team! Thanks again to Peninsula Hotel Chicago, Assumption Church, SQN Events. Kehoe Designs, Magnificent Milestones, Vera Wang Katherine, Jimmy Choo, Great Life Music, The Wedding Dresser for another fabulous wedding!
your Chicago Wedding Photographer,
JW Marriott Wedding Photography Slideshow!
Lindsey + Jordan’s Wedding photography slideshow! They held their wedding ceremony at St. Michaels in Old Town and their wedding reception at the JW Marriott Chicago! There are so many wonderful moments from their day!
To read more about their wedding day and to get more info, check out Lindsey + Jordan’s JW Marriott Wedding Photos Blog post!
Chicago Suburban Wedding Photos!
Before I share more about Anna + Phil’s wonderful wedding day in the Chicago suburbs, let me show you one of my favorite pictures from their wedding day!
If you haven’t already seen their engagement session, be sure to check Anna + Phil’s Salvage One Engagement Session Blog Post!
Westin Chicago North Shore Wedding Pictures!
Anna + Phil got ready and held their wedding reception at the Westin Chicago North Shore! It’s a newer hotel space in the Chicago suburbs! For her Monique Lhuillier wedding dress photo, I tried to get a little creative and tie some white balloons to her wedding shoes!
A close up of her Badgley Mischka wedding shoes!
I kept the colors from the balloon ribbons in her earrings photo!
Phil wrote her a sweet card along with his gift to her prior to the wedding-
Anna’s card was just as sweet =)
I always love working with the talented Sonia Roselli! Her makeup skills are amazing! She doesn’t just work on celebrities, she knows her brides! =) I found a cool reflection for this getting ready photo!
This could be an advertisement for a Monique Lhuillier wedding dress. Great job on the wedding bouquet by Forget Me Knodt
The groom and groomsmen were photographed by Tom, my second photographer-
Phil looking sharp on his wedding day-
Anna brought down the balloons as they played a role in their first look! She’s so excited to see her groom!
I caught her peeking through the balloons!
I don’t normally post ‘first look’ wedding pictures, but I really liked the uniqueness of the balloons!
And then she let them go so they could see each other for the first time!
I love my job as a wedding photographer! So picture perfect!
The Westin Chicago North Shore has a modern vibe to it- I love how clean and fashion forward these next two wedding photos are-
Runner up for this photographer’s favorite wedding photo of the day- I love the white gate…the greenery behind them – and most of all…I love their smiles! =)
We need a close up of those smiles! =)
Had them stand next to these farm silos – for these fashion editorial shots-
This next pose is new to me- but I LOVE Phil’s look in this photo!
A typical Nakai photograph…I love symmetry =)
I was really drawn to the vertical lines and the peeling paint on this white farmhouse!
We took a few bridal party photos in the park- I love the JCrew bridesmaids dresses!
Oh the greenery and the blue skies!
The guys walked through the bushes and found some railroad tracks for some cool groomsmen photos
Their wedding ceremony was held at Lakeview Korean Christian Church – and this guy was a little shy walking down the aisle!
This church has some amazing window light!
In Asian cultures, family is really important…and it always gets me when the kids hug their parents and get emotional-
It’s also rare in Asian & especially Korean culture to show emotions…it makes this moment between Phil and his dad all the more special!
Phil loves taking photos- had to have a selfie with his new bride!
Lots of bubbles for their exit into the lobby of the church!
I like to find little challenges throughout the day as a photographer…had to work hard to manually focus and find a photogenic bubble! =)
Westin Chicago North Shore Wedding Reception!
The huge ballroom at the Westin Chicago North Shore
Wedding cake photo
Centerpiece by Forget Me Knodt
The MC having a little fun before announcing the bridal party-
Cutting the cake!
Picture of their first dance!
Love this moment caught by my second photographer-
I ran off the dance floor to incorporate the candles in the lower part of their first dance photo!
The real show stealer what when Anna’s dad came out to dance with her!
Makin it rain with $$$$!
They had a slow motion video booth at their reception! It’s the first time I’ve seen one at a wedding here in Chicago!
Had to include a photo of my friend Aria on the dance floor!
My good friend Mike can do the ‘Carlton dance’ really well-
Had to include a dancing photo of Madiha + Danish! I photographed their wedding a couple years ago!
And to end the night…a sparkler exit!!!
Their sparkler exit was perfect…romantic, fun + beautiful!
Thanks to Anna + Phil for having me as your wedding photographer! I was truly blessed witnessing your wedding day! So many fun & emotional moments throughout the day! I can’t wait to share the wedding slideshow too! Have a great weekend!
your Chicago wedding photographer,
Lake Forest Wedding Photography
I love Lake Forest, IL. It is picturesque, quaint & has a variety of places for wedding pictures! I was excited to return to the Lake Forest Academy Armour House for Larisa + Angelo’s wedding…it’s been a couple years since I’ve been there!
Before we start this wedding blog post…here’s one of my favorites from the Armour House at the Lake Forest Academy! It’s photos like this that make this wedding photographer excited! Something classic, modern & a little fashion forward!
In case you missed them…be sure to check out Larisa + Angelo’s Lincoln Park engagement photos!
Lake Forest Academy Armour House
We started their wedding photography coverage at the Armour House in Lake Forest. The weather was perfect! The ladies were getting ready on one of the outdoor patios. A photo of her beautiful wedding dress!
The bride’s ballerina wedding shoes!
The ladies all wore these cute floral bathrobes while getting ready! The colors go so perfectly with the greenery behind them!
A fun moment of the bride getting her wedding dress down from the hook!
Such a beautiful photo of the bride! She is so happy! =)
Incorporating some of the Armour House architecture into this bridal portrait-
I love the simplicity of this photo- should be a magazine ad!
Loving the variety of bridesmaid dresses and the two colors! They go perfectly with their bouquets!
Thanks to Tom for second shooting and covering the guys getting ready at a Lake Forest hotel-
The groom looking sharp in black and white!
Caught this moment as the ladies were walking into the church! I love the way the wind blows the bridesmaids dresses just the perfect amount!
Lake Forest Wedding Ceremony Photography
Their wedding ceremony was held downtown Lake Forest, IL. The church has such lovely details for the bride walking down the aisle picture!
Love the way he looks at his bride =)
Downtown Lake Forest Wedding Photos
We headed down the street to take photos throughout the downtown Lake Forest area! There are such a variety of architecture in a small location!
A full bridal party picture!
The bridesmaids were just lounging by this Lake Forest building and I thought it looked like the perfect color palate with their dresses!
Walking in front of the most iconic downtown Lake Forest building!
Lake Forest Academy Armour House Wedding Photography
One of my most favorite places to take wedding photos in the northern suburbs! I’m a wedding photographer who loves architecture and nature- and the Lake Forest Academy has the perfect blend of the two!
Love this photo- Thanks to an awesome bridal party for being patient with this wedding photographer- it’s my favorite of the day!
The Armour House staircase is pretty amazing. I wanted to find a new angle for the bride and groom – I’m a wedding photographer who prides himself on creative photos – I think this one works for me!
Love how the staircase frames the bride and groom in this photo…and I love the motion of them walking down-
Love the colors on their wedding cake!
A room shot of their Armour House wedding reception!
A picture of the bride and groom’s grand entrance down the staircase to their wedding reception!
The uplighting in the white Armour House ballroom helps make for the perfect ambiance! Shout out to Okyne Medialab for a great mix of music throughout the night!
Another picture of their choreographed first dance!
The Lake Forest Academy Armour House is so photogenic! Love the colors and the candle votives!
Wedding Sparkler Exit!
They ended the night with sparklers! Such a perfect exit!
The sparklers create such a romantic atmosphere!
Ending their wedding day with a kiss under sparklers!
Thanks so much Larisa + Angelo for having me as your wedding photographer! We took so many wonderful photos through out the downtown Lake Forest area and at the Lake Forest Academy Armour House! And the sparkler exit was just PERFECT! Congrats again!
your Lake Forest wedding photographer,
Beautiful Wedding Photos in Lincoln Park, Chicago!
It was a beautiful day for a wedding in Chicago for Lisa + Ken! We took so many photos around the Lincoln Park area…the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, Villa D’Citta + the Floating World Gallery! Here’s one of my favorites from the Lincoln Park Lily Pond.
I had a great time getting to know Lisa + Ken at their engagement photography session in Michigan’s wine country! One of perks of being a wedding photographer: I love traveling to new places! We took some amazing photos at the Tabor Hill vineyard! If you haven’t already seen them: Lisa + Ken’s Vineyard Engagement Photos
Lisa + Ken chose an amazing wedding venue in the Floating World Gallery in Lincoln Park! We were also one of the first weddings with their new exotic hardwood floors! I was also excited to work with the amazing team from Truffleberry Market – one of the best Chicago wedding catering companies!
Villa D’Citta Wedding Photography
We started the day at the amazing Villa D’Citta! Chicago’s Best Bed & Breakfast on Trip Advisor! They have amazing decor and amenities for their guests! The decor made my job as their wedding photographer pretty easy! I just hung up the wedding dress!
Found a cool sconce to hang her wedding shoes on for this picture-
Finishing touches on her makeup-
Meanwhile…the guys were getting ready in another suite in the Villa D’Citta-
Thought this photo of the groom looked better in black and white =)
A portrait of the beautiful bride and her wedding bouquet!
She wanted to see herself in the mirror…I think the Villa D’Citta bathroom had a plenty of mirrors for her!
When Ken came in to see her…he was blown away- =)
Sharing a kiss on their wedding day! The Villa D’Citta decor allows for a photo to incorporate the environment!
We had to take a photo on the Villa D’Citta marble staircase!
Love this greenery and the black spiral staircase of this Lincoln Park home!
Wedding Photography at the Chicago Lily Pond in Lincoln Park!
Bridal party photo at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond in Lincoln Park!
I loved setting this photo up- such a grand wedding picture at the Lily Pond!
Their smiles make me smile when I look at this photo
One last photo at the Lily pond before heading over to the Floating World Gallery for their wedding ceremony! I think Ken is a little excited! =)
Floating World Gallery Wedding Ceremony Photos!
I was excited to shoot a wedding at the Floating World Gallery as it is a relatively unknown wedding venue! And it is a gorgeous space! I love the brick loft vibe and the art gallery ambiance!
You can see the bride’s eye peaking through the bamboo shoots as she starts walking down the aisle!
They just can’t stop smiling they are so happy! =)
A wide angle photo of a wedding ceremony setup at the Floating World Gallery. Perfect location for an intimate wedding!
Wedding Reception Photos at the Floating World Gallery!
Love the centerpieces!
A picture of the whole room reception setup at the Floating World Gallery
They created a chic lounge area at the back of the gallery during cocktail hour-
Truffleberry Market provided all the delicious eats! Here are mini fish tacos presented to Lisa + Ken on a custom made letter tray!
Floating World Gallery from the outside- I love the modern architecture!
The bride and groom definitely entertained us all with their first dance! So well choreographed!
I love how you can see the motion in her dress at the end of their dance!
The delicious dessert table by Truffleberry Market! Too much good stuff!
One last photo of the bride and groom!
Thanks to Lisa + Ken for having me as your wedding photographer! You were such a pleasure to work with! I felt so comfortable with your family and the great team from Truffleberry Market! And I love all the pictures from Lincoln Park: the Lily Pond, Villa D’Citta + Floating World Gallery!
your Chicago Wedding Photographer,