What to wear your your engagement session. An engagement session style guide by Chicago wedding photographer, Rachel Mandel.Read More
I’ve heard it all from a range of clients. They want their ideal photographer, but they don’t want to search separately for a videographer. I am here to tell you why you should reconsider!
Say you want to book your dream photographer, get all of the signature shots in their portfolio that you’ve been pining over, but have been offered a competitive rate from a photo and video studio. Here are the reasons why you should book your ideal vendors from small businesses:
Small business owners will refer you to trusted vendors, so you get high quality service, and a team of professionals used to working together on a team. This makes the day enjoyable, and go smoothly for everyone! Eliminating stress is the number one thing independent vendors can help with!
Small business owners often surprise their clients with personal wedding gifts, anniversary social media posts, and that personal touch. Booking with them creates a lasting relationship, filled with holiday cards and little surprises.
Small business owners can refer you to amazing videographers, such as Mark from Wynn Films for your video. https://www.wynnfilms.com/ (I am geeking out over how great he is!)
Your ideal video and photo providers will make even a 1,000 dollar wedding looks like a million dollar wedding. It’s all about experience, vision, and perspective.
You are supporting families and individuals’ lives by booking with a small business owner. Nothing makes us happier than making our clients happy, too!
If you are considering going in another direction than independent wedding vendors, or simply have questions about who to book, please feel free to email me at email@example.com :) I am here to serve you! Even if you don’t want to work with me, I am happy to refer you to a trusted friend. I’m all about sharing the love, and making people happy :)
Happy planning! :)
December was a rainy month, filled with Holiday joy and chilly nights, paired best with hot cocoa. Kelsey and Dain did not let a gloomy day with little natural light deter them from brightening the mood of their engagement session. The pair got together on this lovely day, and joked with me the entire time. We chatted, and discovered that my sister teaches in Kelsey’s hometown, and the rest of the shoot was filled with giggles and joy. Dain was a perfect gentleman, offering to hold my extra gear, and ensuring Kelsey was covered by the protection of his umbrella. I can’t wait for their Adler Planetarium wedding next year! These two made my job so rewarding, just by the pure joy of being in their company. Cheers to a wonderful year with #mandelettebrides and grooms ahead!
Mary and Patrick are the cutest pair! The two were planning their wedding in Michigan when they asked me to photograph their love a year prior to the event. Of course, I was over the moon to meet this giddy, playful pair! Mary came to the session wearing this yellow dress that I may end up stealing from her, and Patrick was dressed to the nines for their rainy day indoor session. Take a look at the photos below to see how we created a sunny environment in the cold and rainy Chicago weather. We were all laughs the entire time 😊
Janet and Trent are the definition of #couplegoals. The two met in College, and stayed together through the years and trials of dating long distance. From Champaign onward, the two dated and eventually moved in together. Trent popped the question while Janet was teaching in Chicago, and the love between these two was cascading into their photos during their Museum Campus engagement session. As we braved the first bitter cold day of the year, along with raging Chicago winds, the pair were cheery and kind every step of the way. Check out their gorgeous engagement photos below!
Stephanie and Jason are the cutest pair! The two met on a blind date 5 years ago and tied the knot on a blustery autumn Saturday in September. Their wedding was the thing of dreams: the sparkly shoes, the Tiffany & Co. rings, the gowns, and the adorable robes that the bride tribe wore. All of these details paired well with the happy gathering of guests at their Korean wedding. See below for images from their big day!
Jamie and Dan have a love story for the ages. The couple met years ago, and their connection has blossomed ever since. I met Jamie during my freshman year of college at the University of Illinois, as we lived in the same dorm, just across the hall from each other! I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her special day. Jamie has always been a lover. From freshman year, to the moment I showed up at her doorstep during the hair and makeup moments, I was welcomed with open arms. Dan is no exception from this role in their loved ones’ lives. From my initial meeting with Jamie and Dan to the moment I left their reception, I felt at ease and carefree with this genuinely happy pair. Take a look below for the couple’s gorgeous flowers, details to die for, and love filled ceremony/reception!
Flowers: Gratitude Heart Garden
Hair and makeup: Fearless and Bella
Venue: White pines golf club, Bensenville, IL
DJ: Essence Entertainment
Lighting: MDM Entertainment
I was thrilled to be asked to capture a talented cinematographer and photographer's wedding. What an honor! Rohn proposed to Mary atop a glorious mountain in China, and the two are the cutest pair! The love between them radiates through to each person they meet. Their intimate Mad Hatter themed wedding took place in a forest with details curated by Mary Louise herself. I was beside myself with the kind guests, the gorgeous planning, and the sweet and simple mood of the wedding. Nothing was planned, and everything was ideal! Check out their GORGEOUS affair below! (Second shooter: Stephanie Alvarez)
There came a time in my career where I wanted to start booking more weddings with couples like Nicole and Mike. Sweet, kind, and with an excellent eye for details, these two blew everyone away; myself included. Peek below for their GORGEOUS Lake Forest Armour House wedding, with details curated by The Flower Girl Company, and a stunning cake by Deerfield's Bakery. I am just beside myself looking back on this day! When Mike first asked Nicole to be his girlfriend, it was on a card that he left on her doorstep after he ding-dong-ditched her. Years later, they are as happy as can be! The crowd was an amazing group of kindhearted people, and the mood was just glorious. I hope to shoot more weddings at the Armour House in the future! <3
When your parents are married for 25+ years, you start to realize how special each piece of family history is. For my mom's wedding anniversary present, I photographed my family's wedding memorabilia, along with fragments of items collected along the way to the present moments. On their wedding day, my father wore a pink bowtie, which is just now coming into fashion again. He has always been a bit bashful about it. My mother wore a vintage lace dress with a bow in back, found at a local thrift. It's funny how these trends circulate throughout the years like a tornado, just as the one they saw off the balcony view on their August wedding day. Peek their gallery here to see the special moments they have curated throughout the decades of devotion. <3