Chicago Wedding Photographer - Nakai Photography

Welcome to Nakai Photography!


a collection of favorite wedding + engagement photos showcasing creative portraits and wedding photojournalism


full wedding + engagement blog posts separated by categories for easy navigation

Featured Weddings

featured wedding blog posts of some of our favorite weddings

click an image above to begin your journey


scroll down to view the most current blog posts!

Kristine + Jimmy’s Modern Chic wedding at the Sofitel

Chicago Sofitel Wedding Photos

I love the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower! It’s a hidden gem amongst beautiful Chicago hotels! It has gorgeous windows and a clean and modern vibe throughout! The Sofitel was on a short list of Chicago venues I had offered to Jimmy + Kristine when they had first got engaged and I was excited to be their wedding photographer! I’ve known Jimmy for a long time through his brother Eric and I had a great time getting to know Kristine through their engagement session on Lake Michigan this past spring – be sure to check out their Lake Michigan Chicago Skyline Engagement Photos blog post!

One of my favorites from their wedding at the Sofitel Chicago-
sofitel chicago wedding photos

Wedding Ceremony + Reception Venue: Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Florals: Vale of Enna
Day of Coordinator: Ryan Alexander Events
Second Photographer: Tom Yan

A picture of her wedding dress shot through a pair of doors
sofitel chicago wedding photos

A reflection for this getting ready picture-


The bride’s mom helping with her earrings!

sofitel chicago wedding photography

sofitel chicago wedding photographer

Her bouquet made by Vale of Enna

vale of enna chicago wedding florist

The bride is ready!

sofitel chicago wedding photography


A beautiful of Kristine on her wedding day =)

sofitel chicago wedding photographer

Jimmy was having his boutonniere pinned on downstairs

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

Love these next two portraits of the groom- The sun came out for just a few moments!

sofitel chicago wedding photography

sofitel chicago wedding photographer


4th Presbyterian Church Courtyard Wedding Photos

We walked to the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue for a few photos with their gorgeous old world architecture and ivy covered walls!


I love the juxtaposition of classic vs modern…old vs new!

fourth presbyterian chicago wedding photos

Their Vale of Enna bouquet adds just the perfect amount of color!

vale of enna chicago wedding florist

A kiss underneath the 4th Presbyterian Church arches!

fourth presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

My second photographer, Tom, took this photo from the outside!

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photos

Looking like they belong in a fashion magazine!

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

The peaceful courtyard of the Fourth Presbyterian. Would you believe this is in the heart of downtown Chicago? Right on Michigan Avenue!

fourth presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

Bridal Party pictures-

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photos

A classic Nakai wedding photo! Dramatic landscapes – Love the light, the architecture & the touches of green!

fourth presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

The Fourth Presbyterian has a covered walkway that is perfect for wedding photos!

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photographer

fourth presbyterian chicago wedding photos

One more wedding photo with the John Hancock in the background!

4th presbyterian chicago wedding pictures

4th presbyterian chicago wedding photos

chicago 4th presbyterian wedding photos

Returning to the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

I can’t help it…I love including nature in the urban context – here the Sofitel hotel balances out the bridal party in the foreground!


Sound a really cool reflection in the Sofitel!

chicago sofitel wedding photos

A small ray of light for this dramatic portrait-

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

Full bridal party photo with the clean lines of the Sofitel-

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

As a wedding photographer, I am always trying push my creativity…I placed the groomsmen in the reflection – and had just their silhouette showing!

chicago sofitel wedding photos

chicago sofitel wedding pictures

Kristine loves to do this! =)


Two large Vale of Enna arrangments were used to frame the aisle runner-

vale of enna chicago wedding decor

Wedding ceremony at the Sofitel!

sofitel chicago wedding photographer





chicago sofitel wedding pictures

sofitel chicago wedding photography

After their wedding ceremony, they held a Paebaek ceremony…the traditional Korean wedding ceremony!

paebaek ceremony chicago pictures

paebaek ceremony chicago pictures

During the Paebaek ceremony the parents throw chestnuts and dates for the bride and groom to catch!
paebaek ceremony chicago photos

And in an effort to show his strength, the groom picks up his wife and runs around the room!

paebaek ceremony chicago photos

Sofitel Chicago Wedding Reception

Gorgeous centerpieces by Vale of Enna-

vale of enna chicago wedding card table

Great choice on plates and linens!

sofitel chicago wedding photographer

Head table centerpieces by Vale of Enna


Wedding cake photo!

vale of enna chicago wedding centerpiece

Had to share a photo of my good friend Eric…giving the best man toast to his younger brother!


First dance photo in the Chicago Sofitel ballroom!

sofitel chicago wedding photos



I don’t normally post father/daughter dance photos on the blog, but these two were having too much fun!

sofitel chicago wedding photographer


sofitel chicago wedding photography

Congrats again Kristine + Jimmy! It was a pleasure being your wedding photographer! So happy for you both and it was a wonderful celebration at the Sofitel Chicago! You assembled a great team (Vale of Enna & Ryan Alexander Events) to help make your special day go smoothly!

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

with love,

your Chicago wedding photographer,


Pearl + Charlie’s Wedding Photography Slideshow!

Chicago Venue Six10 Wedding Photography Slideshow

Pearl + Charlie’s Chicago wedding photography slideshow! Wedding Ceremony + Reception took place on Michigan Avenue at the chic & modern Venue Six10 and they got ready right down the street at the Chicago Essex Inn! My favorite moment in their slideshow…when she wiped his tears away during the ceremony! =)

To read more about their wedding be sure to check out Pearl + Charlie’s Venue Six10 Wedding Blog Post!

chicago venue six10 wedding picture

Enjoy the slideshow! Make sure you have a good internet connection to watch their video in HD! And if you happen to know anyone getting married…I would appreciate it if you passed my name along! Thanks!

Beautiful Wedding Ceremony + Reception at the Trump for Anne + Andy!

Chicago Trump International Hotel + Tower Wedding Ceremomy + Reception Photos

To get more info about this amazing Trump Hotel wedding – be sure to check out Anne + Andy’s Chicago Wedding Blog Post!

Getting Ready: Talbott Hotel
Wedding Ceremony + Reception Venue: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Wedding Photo Locations: Adler Planetarium + Michigan Avenue Bridge
Bouquet & Centerpieces: Hello Darling

It was a beautiful day for a wedding, be sure to turn your volume up and have a good internet connection to watch their wedding photography slideshow in HD! So many special moments were captured, Andy’s mom tearing up during the wedding ceremony, that moment when Andy picked Anne up and twirled her around…and of course…the fireworks! Enjoy!

trump chicago wedding photographer

Lauren + Kevin Wedding Photography Slideshow!

Chicago Luxury Wedding Photography Slideshow – The Peninsula Hotel Chicago

Lauren + Kevin’s luxury wedding at the Peninsula Chicago Hotel! To read more about their wedding, check out Lauren + Kevin’s Peninsula Wedding Photography Blog Post! Another beautiful wedding planned and coordinated by Beth from SQN Events!

Be sure to scroll down to see their wedding photos in full HD glory! It’s cute to see Kevin getting ‘kissed’ by his dog, Lauren’s dad face when he sees her for the first time + their amazing photos on Lake Michigan!

chicago luxury wedding picture peninsula hotel

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

Be sure to have a good internet connection when you watch their wedding video! Enjoy!

A Wedding on Michigan Avenue – Pearl + Charlie!

Chicago Venue Six10 Wedding Photos

Pearl + Charlie had such a wonderful day for their wedding! You couldn’t ask for better weather as we took so many creative photos incorporating the Chicago Skyline, a South Loop park and their wedding ceremony and reception venue: Venue Six10! It was a wedding photographer’s dream! I love all the clean lines and modern architecture throughout Venue Six10! Here’s one of my favorite wedding pictures from the day…on the Venue Six10 terrace!

venue six10 chicago wedding photo

And a quick shout out to all the friends I was able to see at this wedding! Great reconnecting!

Wedding Ceremony + Reception: Venue Six10
Getting Ready: Chicago Essex Inn

They started their day at the Chicago Essex Inn – where you can see the Field Museum from your room!

essex hotel chicago wedding photo

Wedding shoe photo-

Incorporating her dad’s watch with her wedding bouquet!

Found cool reflection in the hand mirror for this creative photo!

Her bridesmaids helping to put the final touches on her wedding dress!
essex hotel chicago wedding photo

A funny moment captured when the flowergirl asked…”what’s a wenis?”

Making sure the veil is centered =)



Love the Essex Hotel window light for this portrait of the bride!

A stunning photo!
essex hotel chicago wedding photographer

essex hotel chicago wedding picture

essex hotel chicago wedding picture

Upstairs my second photographer, Tom, was photographing Charlie getting ready-

essex hotel chicago wedding photo



Wedding Pictures in a South Loop Park

We headed across Michigan Avenue for some wedding photos in the park! I love this iconic fountain in the South Loop!
chicago south loop wedding photographer

Bridal party picture!
chicago park wedding picture

chicago south loop wedding picture

chicago south loop wedding photographer

I love this clean + timeless portrait of Pearl + Charlie!
chicago south loop wedding picture

He makes her smile =)
chicago south loop wedding picture

chicago wedding photographer

A walk through the park on their wedding day =)
chicago south loop wedding photo

Found this pocket of light for this creative wedding picture! It’s my job as a wedding photographer to ‘see the light!’

chicago south loop creative wedding photo

The Iconic Chicago Skyline

I love our Chicago Skyline! I’m always on the lookout for a fresh perspective on our city! Here’s one of my current favorite spots to incorporating the Chicago Skyline!

chicago skyline wedding photographer

chicago wedding photographer

chicago skyline wedding photographer

chicago wedding photographer

Found these pretty colors in the park and we had to take a couple wedding photos with them!
chicago park wedding photo

chicago nature wedding picture

Loving this bridal party photo showcasing a more ‘urban look’ for a wedding picture! As their wedding photographer, it takes a lot of attention to detail to make this photo!
chicago urban creative wedding picture

Had to take separate bridesmaids and groomsmen portraits at this urban location!
chicago creative wedding picture

chicago creative wedding photo

chicago urban wedding picture

A New Chicago Wedding Venue: Venue Six10!

I love this newer wedding venue in Chicago! We had to take a photo in front of this beautiful architecture!
chicago venue six10 wedding picture

Venue Six10 has a terrace overlooking the city…so we HAD to take a few creative wedding pictures up there!
venue six10 chicago wedding photo

venue six10 creative wedding picture chicago

Loving this picture in black and white!
chicago venue six10 wedding photographer

Cute chevron ring bearer pillow!


Room at Venue Six10 all set up for the wedding ceremony
venue six10 chicago wedding photo

Charlie at the front awaiting his bride-


venue six10 chicago wedding photographer




There’s just something about the hugs given to the parents at Asian weddings…so touching-


Best man helping a groom out-

Bride’s turn to wipe away a tear =)


Chinese Tea ceremony after the wedding ceremony!

Pearl’s mom putting on a gold bracelet -

Venue Six10 Wedding Reception Photos

A picture of the card table

A room photo of the modern ballroom at Venue Six10

venue six10 chicago wedding photo


I love the table numbers and how they incorporate Pearl’s career -

venue six10 wedding reception photo chicago

Lounge space at Venue Six10 – love the large windows!
chicago venue six10 wedding picture

venue six10 wedding picture chicago

venue six10 wedding reception photo chicago


One of the big surprises of the night: When Charlie and his boys busted out a dance routine for Pearl!
chicago venue six10 wedding picture

venue six10 wedding picture chicago

First dance at Venue Six10!
venue six10 wedding picture chicago


venue six10 wedding reception photo chicago





Congrats again Pearl + Charlie! Thank you for having me as your wedding photographer! I love all the little ways you made this wedding your own! The color table numbers, Charlie’s dance + the watch on the bouquet! =) May the Lord continue to guide the both of you as you begin this new journey together! Thanks again for all the great recommendations on where to go in Big Sur…it was beautiful!

with love,

your Chicago wedding photographer,