Milwaukee has always been for us a city for a quick gateway when we felt a bit overwhelmed with a hustle of Chicago. There’s something really cozy about Milwaukee’s neighborhoods that Chicago somewhat lacks in my opinion. Milwaukee, despite its large size, retains that certain feel of a “large but small” city. Or maybe it’s that “Batman vibe” that Milwaukee’s downtown has (as my friend described it once) that always attracted us to it.
When Kristin and Michael asked us to document their wedding day in Milwaukee we were thrilled. We got to finally shoot in the city that we have loved to visit for so many years! What we haven’t realized was the grandeur of Villa Terrace, the place where the wedding took place. An impressively large, Italian Renaissance-style home converted to a museum / wedding venue. Of course we have researched it online and thought it looked great but nothing prepared us for what it looked like in reality. When we arrived early in the morning of the wedding to do a bit of pre wedding scouting, we were blown away visually. Villa Terrace looked truly like an old Italian villa! Every corner of this magnificent house has something truly inspiring. From its multi level gardens, to uniquely designed rooms, amazing courtyard with a beautiful fountain, thoughtful art and unique furniture, everything at Villa Terrace looks real and authentic. I really don’t think there is any other place in Chicago or Midwest that truly gets that real Italian villa vibe as close as this place does. As a wedding venue, Villa Terrace is a photographer’s dream come true. This is as close as it gets to be transported to Italy without taking a plane over the Atlantic.
The wedding itself was a dream. Micheal and Kirstin figured out how to get that intimate wedding experience before it became trendy in 2020. They surrounded themselves with closest friends and family and a tiny bridal party. The ceremony took place in the backyard of the villa, overviewing the mighty Lake Michigan. They did their first dance in the courtyard, with their guests cheering them while sipping the champagne. Outdoor, candle lit, dinner followed in the backyard. The night ended with some boogieing, inside the villa’s huge living room. It was a perfect and meaningfully envisioned wedding, which we’ll remember for a long time. Thank you for having us along for the ride.
Ever since I moved to Chicago, I was fascinated with the beauty of Northwestern University. I remember spending my summer days on the lake in Evanston passing by Northwestern campus every day. The architecture, the location and the surrounding nature of the campus reminded me of some medieval European town. I would always pass by the campus, daydreaming, but I never ventured inside, always thinking that one must be a student to be on the school’s grounds. When Alexandra and Cornelius asked me to take their engagement photos over by Northwestern campus I was overjoyed. My opportunity to explore the grounds was finally realized and I was hit with flashbacks of my high school summer days. Both Alexandra and Cornelius, Northwestern alumni, were my guides to all hidden spots of Northwestern campus. For two hours, we explored all the amazing places which Northwestern University is famous for. From classic gothic inspired buildings to a modern architecture it was all fascinating to explore while taking Alexandra and Cornelius intimate portraits. We’ve also been blessed with gorgeous early spring light which felt great during a brisk March afternoon. Northwestern has easily become one of my favorite spots around Chicago for taking engagement or wedding portraits. Since then I’ve been back a few times, not only to take wedding or engagement pictures but also to explore the amazing grounds of the campus. For my own pleasure. Thank you for showing me around.