As a wedding photographer, my very favorite thing to hear couples say is that their wedding day was the best day of their lives. 2020 weddings brought about a new favorite thing to hear couples say after their wedding day though: that their backup “COVID wedding” day was better than their original plan could have ever been! For this intimate backyard Chicago wedding, Katie said BOTH those things about her and Dan’s day that took place in the backyard of her childhood home—and once you hear how perfect their day was, you’ll see why.

I first met Katie and Dan in 2019 when we grabbed drinks at Cruz Blanca in West Loop to get to know each other before they officially booked me as their wedding photographer. They told me all about their vision for their day, which was to get married at Morgan Manufacturing (also in West Loop!) and to celebrate with all their friends and family. While they traded out their industrial-vibed venue for a string-light covered backyard, they were still surrounded by their closest loved ones as they said their “I do’s”—just from six feet apart. I truly have so much respect for these two and their families and the way they executed a COVID-safe, yet still intimate and connected, day. All their tables were spaced out to be socially-distant, they made an announcement that only one table could be up at the bar at a time (with masks!), and we did all group photos with extended family or friends either with masks on or 6 feet apart. I remember leaving at the end of the night thinking how perfectly they pulled off a COVID wedding with grace, love, and consideration for their guests and vendors.

I can’t even choose a favorite detail from their day, but I will say that when I first walked into the backyard to check out the ceremony and reception space, my jaw physically dropped! Their florist, Flowers for Dreams, did an absolutely incredible job transforming the backyard into a picture-perfect space (complete with floral arches filled with pampas grass and boho rugs as an aisle) for Katie and Dan to become husband and wife. I also loved hearing all the speeches from their friends and family members because anyone who wanted to give one was able to since there was no dancing to get to!

Scroll on to see the vendor team, the sweetest review Katie left, and photo highlights from the most perfect 10/10/2020 wedding imaginable (and also their three-legged pup Millie bringing them a tennis ball during their speech!!!).

Working with Marissa was hands down the best and easiest part of wedding planning. She was extremely flexible with our changing plans due to covid and was so understanding when we cancelled our big wedding day celebration. She played our favorite music and cheered us on from behind the camera, making us feel so comfortable at our engagement shoot. On wedding day she captured every moment without being intrusive which allowed us to enjoy our day fully. She is professional, responsive, and has a quick turn around time for getting photos back. She is also the most lovely person to work with. It truly feels like a friend is behind the camera. I cannot recommend her enough!

Chicago Intimate Backyard Wedding | Katie + Dan


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