Alison Mae Photography

Wedding Photography for Joyful Souls

Chicago Suburbs Church + Botanical Garden Wedding | Joliet, Illinois | Amanda + Paul

Amanda + Paul

“Amanda and Paul could be getting married anywhere” he said as he addressed the congregation. “They could have had a destination wedding on a beach somewhere, but instead they decided to marry in this church.”  I stood on the left side of the rows of pews and smiled. It was such a simple statement, but a powerful one. As their Pastor continued on with the service I thought back on the glimpses into Amanda’s childhood I’d seen around her parents’ home where she had gotten ready that morning. Photos of her first communion, framed and proudly displayed along with her siblings’ – wearing a white dress and veil just as she was on this special day. Countless rosaries cascading down the wall, some beads worn more than others but each one as beautiful as the last. After spending time in her home, it was obvious that her faith plays a huge role in her life. But for Amanda, it’s so much more than that. I was able to spend time with Amanda and Paul during their engagement session in Chicago back in June and I could see the way that her faith weaves its way through out the way she speaks, carries herself and interacts with others. Seeing this, it was obvious to me that finding someone who was equally as passionate in his walk in faith was to Amanda. And boy, did she find him! I don’t think Paul ever imagined that he’d find his wife in an online forum for a book series they both loved when they were just teenagers. But he decided to pursue a friendship with this girl from Illinois. With almost a thousand miles between them, to some it might seem impossible. But Amanda and Paul didn’t see it that way. Instead they took turns visiting each other in Chicago and Rhode Island, spent countless hours on Skype recapping movies they’d ventured solo to the theatre to see, celebrated each others’ accomplishments and along the way – they fell in love.

Their wedding day was the perfect blend of their story. All of the best parts were there, just like a good book. Their faith, their journey from forum friendship to husband and wife and the miles between them that are now in their past – all accounted for in the details of their day. Golden sunflowers popped against the rich purple bridesmaid dresses and Paul and his groomsmen looked dapper in their grey suits. St. Joseph Catholic Church is stunning and only enhanced the beauty of the day. But the beauty didn’t stop there. Amanda and Paul invited their guests to celebrate further at the Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center for the reception. What a breathtaking place! With lush plant life in the greenhouses and vibrant flowers framing the garden, it was the perfect choice!

Amanda and Paul’s reception was one to remember! From hilarious speeches to beautiful dances and even a special duet between Amanda and her sister, the party kicked off on a sentimental note. But before long things switched over to party mode and the dance floor was pure mayhem – the best kind of dance floor in my opinion! From Amanda’s brother doing the worm, to guests showing off amazing swing dancing skills and even several dance circles- this wedding was so full of fun!

Congratulations Amanda + Paul! Zach and I are so happy for you and can’t wait to cheer you on as you grow in your marriage! Paul, the Chicago area is lucky to have gained such an awesome guy and Amanda I know you’ll show him the ropes! I adore you both (and your families) and wish you nothing but the best! Go Blackhawks and Bruins!

– Alison



  1. Laura

    September 6th, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Those are fabulous!! Thank you so much. I loved your words, too.

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