Sofitel Hotel Wedding Photography (Chicago) – Richard & Dawn’s Wedding!

Dawn and Richard.

High school sweethearts.

She made him wear a pink tie and cummerbund to prom.

Years later…they are together again…and they realized…

That they never want to be apart.

To start off…here’s a couple shots from their downtown Chicago engagement session. We started at the Art Institute of Chicago and we definitely wanted to have some creative – artistic photos. More images can be seen here.

Thank you both for sharing your wonderful wedding day with me. I absolutely loved how the whole day was filled with carefully thought out details. Unique. Elegant. Stylish. I hope it comes across in the photos.

Starting with the wedding bouquet. Dawn worked with Martha from Ashland Addison Florist. They did an absolutely wonderful job on the bouquets and centerpieces. (but more on the centerpieces later)

Friends for 24 years.

Miracle Grandma. She wanted to to see her granddaughter get married- I was sure to say hello and congratulate her the first moment I saw her. It was a reminder of just how special a wedding really is. And of course she definitely gets a lot of photos taken of her. =)




This elusive flower girl and I were constantly playing a game of ‘peek-a-boo’ the whole day. She kept hiding whenever she saw me and giggled afterwards. So I had to be discrete with my ninja photography skills…

My friend Jason, who is responsible for introducing Dawn to my work. Here he is reading the scripture. At least he didn’t have the job of reading from Song of Solomon like his sister Erin. =)





A beautiful moment.

I LOVED the Rolls Royce. Everything was 100% genuine Rolls. From Classic Chassis.

Before the downtown reception started, we had a little bit of time to grab some ‘relaxed portraits’ around the Sofitel hotel.


A quick portrait of stunningly beautiful couple on Sofitel’s staircase- It’s always good to have time on your wedding day set aside for a portrait session.

Check out the little vintage chairs that were used to hold the place cards…it’s all in the details-

I’ve been to the Sofitel hotel before for a wedding reception. But MY GOODNESS did this place look completely different! Dawn worked with their reception coordinator, Lauren, to come up with this amazing layout and ambiance! I really had to push my photography to keep up!

Check out the colors and the centerpieces! Amazing! I love the pink and black-

In order to light up the black feathers and tables for this image…I used a technique I learned while attending WPPI. This photo is actually a combination of about nine different shots. Special thanks to my 2nd photographer Nate Mathai for coming out to help capture the day and to help out with lighting.

They had a string quartet, Quartet Parapluie, playing during the cocktail hour and into the beginning of dinner in front of the Softiel Hotel’s floor to ceiling windows.

AND THE CAKE! The Sofitel usually has similar looking cakes, but not for Dawn! She gave them a picture of some art deco box…and they made it into a cake! Gorgeous! I have about 20 pictures of this work of art. =)


I loved the pink and black.

The amazing centerpiece with their menu. This center piece had peacock feathers, LED lights, water in the vase, and candles below. Incredible-

A different type of first dance kind of image. Again, I love the colors…and the Sofitel Hotel window opens up to downtown Chicago.

The videographer, Frank, from PD video provides a nice rim light on the dancing couple. I recently read an article at Barnes in The Knot magazine talking about how your photographer and videographer should be able to work well together. Well…I can say that Frank and I worked well together if anyone is interested. =)

The live band hails from Champaign, IL (where I lived for eight years). The Brat Pack plays 80’s music…and they were simply amazing! I loved the song selection and they even have a few guest apperances!

Here’s Madonna! =)



Richard even went up to be the lead vocal on a number! Good times-

After that…I noticed some people playing with the LED lights…so I made sure to grab some cool shots.


Super Jay

The dessert table was crazy as well. Homemade desserts by Dawn and Richard’s friends and family.

Again…the amazing Sofitel.

Can you tell where the party was at?

Here’s my favorite photo of the two of them…

beautiful. intimate. yet playful.

Thanks Richard and Dawn for sharing your wonderful day with me! I had so much fun and couldn’t stop taking photos of EVERYTHING! Congrats once again!

with love-

Kenny Nakai

Chicago Wedding Photographer

312-298-9721

855 W Blackhawk St #104

Chicago, IL 60642

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