JW Marriott Chicago Wedding | Halee & Matthew


Downtown JW Marriott Chicago Wedding

St Hedwig’s Catholic Church & JW Marriott Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Halee and Matthew’s St Hedwig’s and JW Marriott Chicago wedding was an elegant, classy, fun fall wedding day in the city.

How Their Story Began

Halee and Matthew met in the eight grade and share a love of math . . . it’s the start of every good love story right? Okay, maybe not, but it’s how this one started. They were both two years ahead in math, and ended up in the same high school math class together. However, their friendship didn’t really begin until a couple of years later.

The Proposal

Fast forward a few years . . .

They took a trip to San Diego to watch the White Sox play the Padres. On the last day of that trip, they visited Balboa Park, where Matthew took Halee to a wall of roses, got down on one knee, and proposed.

The Wedding Day

Halee and Matthew were married at the stunning St Hedwig’s Catholic Church in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, close to where they currently live. The inside of the church is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen, and the perfect setting for their ceremony. As Halee and her dad made their way down the aisle approaching the waiting groom, the priest made everyone laugh by pausing to take out his cell phone to snap a picture of the scene. Halee and Matthew exchanged vows, rings, and a kiss and became husband and wife surrounded by all of their family and closest friends.

Following the ceremony, we hopped aboard the trolley with the wedding party and newlyweds to take photos around the city. Our first location ended up being blocked off, but Chicago is full of perfect photo locations, so we headed to the museum campus and then the Chicago Board of Trade. These are two of my favorite places to take wedding photos, and while it was a bit chilly, it ended up being a beautiful fall day.

The JW Marriott Chicago is located just around the corner from the Board of Trade, so we walked over there to photograph cocktail hour and the reception space while the wedding party continued celebrating on the trolley before making their grand entrance to the reception. One of my favorite parts of the night was the choreographed dance that Halee did with her dad after changing into her reception dress. As a former dancer and current “dance mom”, I always love a good choreographed dance.

My time at the reception ended after Halee and her family did a long-standing dance to America by Neil Diamond, an ode to her late uncle Keith who choreographed the dance years ago. As Halee said to me before the wedding, “It is quite the spectacle.”

Halee and Matthew, I wish you all the best and hope to continue photographing you and your family throughout the years. It was an honor to be a part of your wedding day.

Bride getting dressed at JW Marriott Chicago by Karen Shoufler Photography

Wedding party photos at the Field Museum in Chicago by Karen Shoufler Photography Stunning fall wedding party photos with Chicago skyline at the museum campus by Karen Shoufler Photography Fall wedding party photos at Chicago Board of Trade

Venue Team:

Church: St Hedwig’s Catholic Church

Venue: JW Marriott Chicago

Planner: Kristin Jones Weddings

Photography: Karen Shoufler Photography

Video: Sureshot Productions

HMUA: Blush and Braids Beauty Bar

Florals: Southside Blooms

Cake: Alliance Bakery

Bridal Boutique: Fifi’s Bridal

Designer: Sophia Tolli

DJ: Style Matters DJs

Invitations: Second City Stationery

Transportation: Cloud 9 Limos

Photo Booth: Beyond Your Dream Events


To see more recent weddings, head here!

I photograph weddings in Chicago, central Illinois, SW Florida, and around the country!

If you would like to know more about wedding photography with me, head here.

If you would like to contact me about photographing your wedding, you can fill out the contact form or email me at karen@karenshoufler.com

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