Covid-19 + Cancer Couldn’t Stop This Wedding. Love Endures.

Coronavirus + Cancer Couldn’t Stop this Chicago Wedding

One week ago, just a few hours before Governor Pritzker’s self isolation order began, Eileen + Alex were married in a Chicago bungalow. In the only home Eileen’s family had ever known. Their original wedding was to be held in May. Save the dates sent out and everything.

 

Things changed. As they so often do. Word from the doctors was that Eileen’s mother, the one who meticulously curated the decor in their beautiful home, only had a few weeks left.

 

It had been a long battle with cancer.

 

Add into this Covid-19. They couldn’t just bump up the wedding. Orders were passed that no more than 250 could gather. Then no more than 50. Then they closed down restaurants and large gathering spaces.

 

And so it was…a small gathering of 10 people, on the last day such a gathering could take place.

 

Eileen and Alex were married. With the most important people in their lives as witnesses. Most importantly, Eileen’s mother was able to see her beautiful daughter on her wedding day. A dream come true for so many.

 

It was perfect.

coronavirus wedding photos house first dance

We are living in unprecedented times. We are all feeling something. It’s been weeks of fear, weeks of self isolation, quarantine, teleconferencing, loss of income, longer hours at work, kids at 24/7, and the list goes on. I truly hope these photos lift your spirit as they have for me. One that says…Love Endures.

Love, marriage and commitments. Love from generation to generation. Love for one another.

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And yet this wonderful family is walking through the complex emotions of joy, sorrow and loss. I hope you can take a moment to lift up a prayer for Eileen’s mom, and their family.

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There are many memorable moments in my 12+ years as a wedding photographer. This wedding is certainly up there as the most special I have ever be apart of. You can view their wedding photos as a slideshow or read about their day as you scroll down through this post.

 

A Chicago House Wedding Ceremony Photos

Eileen wrapped a piece of her mother’s wedding dress around her bouquet. (Pictured here below the rings) The gold band is her mother’s. You can see her parent’s anniversary engraved inside.

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One photo says so much of what life is like during this coronavirus pandemic.

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Though it was a day with a lot of thoughts and emotions…there’s still a special moment to smile and see yourself in the mirror on your wedding day!

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Faithful hands of the past. Faithful hands of the present. Faithful hands of the future.

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When your friend’s mom surprises you outside your home after the ceremony!

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Just a little reminder of what life is like during self isolation and social distancing. The sound of the bagpipes brought this community together.

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Eileen + Alex: Congratulations again! Praying for you all as you spend this time with family and the challenges you are facing. Your wedding was so special and I feel so honored to have been a witness. I hope these photos help you treasure these special moments. Your mom saw you, held your hands, loved on you and prayed for you. It was everything.

with love,

Kenny

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Chicago Drake Winter Wedding Photography // Amie + Donny

Chicago Christmas Winter Wedding Photography at The Drake Hotel

It’s been a little over a month and Amie + Donny have just returned from their honeymoon! Is there anything better to do on a snowy Chicago day than to watch a wedding photography slideshow where there was snow falling around the bride as she walked down the aisle at The Drake Hotel!? Make sure you have a good internet connection to watch in HD! One of my favorite moments was during their first look, when Donny was overwhelmed with emotions as he saw Amie in her wedding gown!

Wedding Details:
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Sara from The Drake Hotel
Decor + Florals: Ramsey from Kehoe Designs
Gown: Sarah Nouri from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Planner + Coordinator: Brianne + Michelle from Marquette Avenue Events
Photographers: Nakai Photography
Hair: Hair by Juan Jose
Band: Chicago Catz
Videography: Mirar Weddings

 

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Chicago Winter Wedding Pictures // Amie + Donny

Luxury Dreams: Chicago Christmas Winter Wedding Photos at The Drake Hotel

Just two weeks ago…Amie + Donny had a dream of snow falling INSIDE the Chicago Drake Hotel during their wedding ceremony! They had an amazing team making sure everything was perfect – Shout outs to: Ramsey from Kehoe Designs helped design their winter wonderland of a wedding day, Brianne + Michelle from Marquette Avenue Events helped plan and coordinate everything flawlessly, and Sara from The Drake Hotel for making sure service was on point!

Wedding Details:
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Sara from The Drake Hotel
Decor + Florals: Ramsey from Kehoe Designs
Gown: Sarah Nouri from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Planner + Coordinator: Brianne + Michelle from Marquette Avenue Events
Photographers: Nakai Photography
Hair: Hair by Juan Jose
Band: Chicago Catz
Videography: Mirar Weddings

One of the favorite spots for wedding day photos is along the Chicago River! Such a grand photo, the Chicago Skyline and the train on Amie’s dress!

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So classic and timeless with their look in front of the iconic The Drake marquee!

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Here’s a photo of the snow falling inside the Gold Coast Ballroom at The Drake! Nothing says a winter wedding like snow! Pro Tip: Hire a experienced photographer to help capture your wedding dream! To help illuminate the snow during the ceremony when Amie walked down the aisle, our team at Nakai Photography used seven flashes to make this dreamy snow looks its best!

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Getting Ready Pictures at The Drake Hotel

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As wedding photographers, we find joys in the smallest of details. Here we captured her Jimmy Choo shoes, her rings AND her custom touch as you can see in the mirrored REFLECTION!

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That little extra touch – a monogrammed wax seal!

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A moment with her bridesmaids in their monogrammed robes!

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Mom helping with her wedding details-

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Amie looked stunning in the Princess Diana suite at The Drake Hotel! Her look matched the vibe of the Drake perfectly!

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Our associate photographer was capturing Donny getting ready – including adding a touch of luxury with these Ferragamo cufflinks!

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drake chicago wedding pictures bride groom first look

drake chicago wedding pictures bride groom first look

 

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Photographer’s Insight: Something about that green light and the diagonal shadow leading right towards the bride and groom – along with the that same diagonal line mirrored in her dress

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Christmas Winter Wedding Photos Along Michigan Avenue!

An iconic shot of Chicago – walking across Michigan Avenue! Love that you an see the Christmas lights to give you a sense of time + place!

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A photo with the Christmas Tree in front of Water Tower Place!

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Love the lights at the Wrigley Building Christmas Tree!

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The perfect Christmas gift – each other! =)

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Winter Wonderland Ceremony + Reception Photos // Decor by Kehoe Designs

These photos do not do those white trees justice…they were huge!

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Epic entrance photo with the snow falling all around!

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drake chicago winter wedding photographer ceremony

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With the grandeur of the Gold Coast Ballroom, these high pieces by Kehoe Designs were magnificent!

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Love the varying heights and textures!

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The Champagne Toast by The Drake Hotel staff!

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Nothing says “December Wedding” like Christmas socks!

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And nothing says Christmas like SANTA!!!

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Amie + Donny! What an iconic day! Sooo many wonderful moments and beautiful photos! Can’t wait to share the whole set…but enjoy these amazing photos for now!

with love,

your Chicago wedding photographer,

Kenny Nakai

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Engagement Photos at Night // Lindsay + Jim

Chicago Engagement Photos at Night // Union Station + Riverwalk

It’s proposal season (that time of the year when a lot of people get engaged) and there are many people who get down on one knee along the Chicago Riverwalk! Lindsay + Jim are getting married next year and they decided to upgrade their engagement session to include photos at night along the river! So if you are proposing to your significant other this holiday season….reach out to us and see if we can capture your proposal!

Looking forward to working with the fabulous team of planners + coordinators at Great Events Chicago on this wedding in 2020!

This first photo is one of my favorites…so romantic, so Chicago and it just feels so real + natural!

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Captured this unique photo with the Chicago skyline – I love the hustle & bustle of the people walking by!

chicago proposal photographer engagement night

We started their session at Chicago’s Union Station – they loved the timeless architecture and it’s significance to Chicago!

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Photographer Tip: Symmetry can be powerful visual tool – I used it a lot while at Union Station

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chicago proposal photos engagement union station

Since their engagement session was during the holidays, they wanted to incorporate some holiday decor into their pictures!

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Here <- Possibly one of Jim’s most photographed locations in his adult life. I think we can all agree…nobody is going to get a better photo of him in this location than this one!

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The Chicago Theatre sign looks amazing at night – That’s Lindsay + Jim in the middle of the street with a dip!

chicago proposal photographer engagement night state street

A romantic moment below street level

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One nice thing about the riverwalk in the winter season…you don’t have large boats blocking your view of the city! For those that are thinking about using the riverwalk as a proposal location…take advantage of the season!

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Great job on your engagement session Lindsay + Jim! So many great photos, I can’t wait to shoot your wedding! Hope these photos help bring a smile to your faces as you continue wedding planning!

with l0ve,

you Chicago wedding photographer,

Kenny Nakai

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Radisson Blu Wedding Photos // Stefanie + Casey

Chicago Radisson Blu Wedding Photography Slideshow

Happy 1 month Anniversary Stefanie + Casey! To celebrate, here is your wedding slideshow! Though you have seen your photos in a blog post…there something special about seeing the stories shown through a slideshow! Make sure you have a good internet connection to watch in HD!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Stefanie + Casey’s Radisson Blu Wedding Pictures Blog Post wedding photography blog and their Radisson Blu Wedding Teaser Photos Blog Post!

Wedding Details:
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Chicago Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Planner + Coordinators: Jan from Parties, Events, & More!
Florals + Decor: Natalie from HMR Designs

Makeup: Cynde Cosmetics
Dress: Casablanca Bridal

Dresser: Caroline Shaw from The Wedding Dresser
Photographers: Nakai Photography
Band: Gold Coast All-Stars

 

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Chicago Wedding Photographer

312-298-9721

2040 W Roscoe St #1

Chicago, IL 60618

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