Greg and Ryan held their wedding at Renaissance Chicago Hotel in downtown Chicago. I’ve been fortunate to document more than 100 ceremonies with a wide variety of couples, but Greg & Ryan marked my first same-sex wedding. While I’m constantly inspired by couples celebrating their marriage and it’s always a privilege to be part of every couple’s wedding day, I was particularly honored when Greg & Ryan asked me to photograph their wedding.
I spent the morning with Greg while got ready with his friends and family. Justin Runquist was with me for the day and started with Ryan and his people a few floors away.
Greg met Ryan across the street on the Chicago Riverwalk for a first look and letter exchange. I thought the letter exchange idea was a really great idea, and it was cool to see them each react while they read. From there we had time for a few portraits along the Riverwalk and then each of their families joined us for group pictures. After we finished the groups, we headed back up to street level for a few more portraits with Greg and Ryan before the ceremony.
The ceremony was in the newly-remodled hotel’s ballroom. Greg & Ryan each took a moment to speak to each other individually and to their guests in a really sincere way. Then Greg’s mother and Ryan’s father each shared some funny and touching stories of their own. In all, it was one of the most honest and beautiful ceremonies I have witnessed.
We had a few minutes during cocktail hour to venture into the median of Upper Wacker Drive for a couple more portraits just as the light started to fall.
During the reception each person on the wedding party gave a toast so we heard even more great stories. Greg and Ryan shared a first dance of their own then had their mothers join them. The party really got going when the dance floor opened up. Seriously, it was one of the wildest dance parties I’ve seen in a long time!
Greg and Ryan, thanks for sharing your day with Justin and I and letting us document your love!