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September 4, 2019

Hilton Chicago Wedding | Bekah and Brian

I don’t even know where to begin with this post, other than the fact that I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier to share a set of images with you than I am today!!!!

My Aunt Bekah is one of my FAVORITE people in the entire world. She’s my mom’s older sister and someone who I’ve always looked up to and just adored! As an only child for the first seven years of life, the Allely kiddos were my built-in siblings. We’ve spent countless holidays and vacations together — driving back and forth to Indiana once we moved away from the NOVA area in elementary school and staying in touch ever since.

A little over a year ago, my mom and I started hearing about this new guy in Bekah’s life: Brian. Now, we all had *incredibly* high expectations for any man lucky enough to meet and date my Aunt Bekah, so we were very eager to meet him and see what he was all about! I’ll never forget when Aunt Bekah first talked about him with me. We were driving to an auto-shop in DC (haha!), and  I could tell right away how much she cared about him — and how HAPPY she was, too!

Bekah & Brian made their way out to Indianapolis last Thanksgiving, and the whole family fell in love with him! Our family is A LOT sometimes — very close-knit, a lot of joking, and, most importantly, a lot of TALKING!! However, he fit in seamlessly. It didn’t hurt that he bought everyone Ale Emporium wings, joked right alongside the guys, and tried to slide down a banister (and fell off!!) at the opening of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt fest. Haha!

In all seriousness though, seeing the way Bekah’s face lights up whenever Brian’s around is just the best.  They make an AMAZING pair, and I am so happy to share a peek into their intimate Chicago wedding weekend!!

A few things I’ll never forget:

  • Listening as Brian, Rebekah, and all their guests sang “Great is the Faithfulness” at the end of the ceremony. What an amazing memory to treasure at the start of their marriage and on!!
  • My Nana wasn’t able to travel for the wedding, but we were able to Facetime with her in the morning! Of course, Nana had never used a smart phone before, and it was HILARIOUS trying to teach her where to hold the phone so we saw more than her cheek!! All the photos you see of people smiling at a phone are time with Nana :)
  • Matt. My youngest brother wore a suit for the first time in his memory, and it. was. HILARIOUS. He’s made several appearances on the blog, and I just can’t help but smile!
  • The two dress surprise!! Aunt Bekah let me in on the secret a few weeks before….but she surprised EVERY ONE else with a second dress to start the ceremony! So stunning!
  • Double cocktail hour — the perfect way to mingle with guests and enhance the experience of everyone who traveled across the country for their day.
  • My cousin Grace’s speech at the reception dinner. She wrote her mom a sweet + simple poem circled around a phrase she always asked Bekah as a child: “Doing?”. It was amazing, and I was so proud of her for sharing her work with all of us!
  • Meeting Brian’s family, seeing how much they adore Aunt Bekah, + gaining more cousins — so thankful for all!!
  • and more!!

It truly was an incredible day…but enough of my words now. Let’s get to the photos!! :) Enjoy, friends!

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Once Brian and the guys joined us, we all headed across the street to Grant Park for photos! I am IN LOVE with this location and wish we had more parks like it here in Indy…it was just perfect!  These photos are of the most important people in Brian and Bekah’s life, so to say I had my game-face on would be an understatement! Luckily, the weather was *perfect* and everything turned out so, so beautifully!

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And then it was time for the celebration to begin! Rebekah and Brian chose to have a Welcome Cocktail Hour before the ceremony, which was the perfect way for everything to mingle and celebrate before it was time to take our seats! While they could have easily had a wedding guest list of 300+ people, Bekah and Brian chose a destination wedding in Chicago (so my cousin Joe could attend while on the Naval Base at Great Lakes!) with only immediate family (plus a few close lifelong friends!). It was actually perfect and made for such a fun day!!

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Near the end of the Cocktail Hour, Bekah, Grace, and my Papa quietly slipped away from their guests for a surprise: a new dress!! Love these images of my Aunt Bekah and Papa waiting for the ceremony to begin! And, of course, Brian’s face when he saw Aunt Bekah walking towards him in her gown!!!

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After a short cocktail hour following the ceremony, two busses escorted the crew to Carmine’s for an amazing Italian feast! It felt like we were all eating a huge family dinner together, and I just loved the cozy welcoming atmosphere!

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Congratulations, Bekah & Brian!!

And of course, a huge thanks to the following vendors who made their day possible:

Photography: Sami Renee Photography
Wedding Planner: Cindy Cowdrey of At Your Service Party & Wedding Planners, LLC
Hair: Rare Bird Beauties
Flowers: Lisa Shary of Fleurs de Lisa
Pianist: Access Chicago
Cake: Alliance Bakery
Dinner: Carmines on Rush
Venue: Hilton Chicago
Transportation: M&M

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Sami Orndorff is a Wedding Photographer & Lifestyle Newborn Photographer located in the greater Indianapolis area.