Sometimes love just can’t wait! That was definitely the case for Joyce + John, who had their elopement in Chicago near the lake at Belmont Harbor. It was a memorable morning surrounded by loved ones!
“We met each other in 2009 at the University of Texas at Austin,” Joyce told me. “Specifically as lifeguards at the campus recreation pool. We would work a few shifts together or be paired up together and I remember how deeply he could make me laugh with his goofy jokes. John is a naturally upbeat and seriously funny guy. I laugh really easily at jokes, so we were a perfect match for sharing a good time with each other. John was a Senior and I was a Sophomore.
“Our story truly begins when he and his 5 roommates threw a ‘Halloween Brotacular.’ They invited everyone they knew and dressed in full penguin costumes. This night was also where John anticipated telling me his feelings for me. Things didn’t work out like he planned, but he continued with the pursuit! My best friend and I spent that whole autumn hanging out with the guys at their place. He finally shared his feelings for me the night before Christmas Break, only to have me turn him down and keep things as friends!
“Despite my initial rejection (and with the help of my best friend who helped me see him in another light while encouraging John to keep trying with me because “Joyce has no idea what she’s talking about”), John continued to woo me. We didn’t see each other for almost 3 weeks, but we talked every single day of our Christmas break. By Christmas Day, I realized how wrong I was to turn him down and felt all the butterflies whenever I talked to him. We decided that we needed to spend New Year’s Eve together in Austin. This was my first New Year away from my closest friends and family from back home, but it ended up being one of the best nights of my life. Since 12/31/09, we have together raised a sweet dog, traveled the world, moved to a new city and fell in love with it, defined what home means to us, and came out of a global pandemic stronger than we went in.”
I met the couple and their families on a beautiful Saturday morning in September. Joyce + John had figured ahead of time where they wanted their ceremony to be, so we all fell into place. For them, an elopement in Chicago was the only way to go when it came to their wedding. They wanted something intimate and just for them! After John’s brother performed the ceremony, we sauntered around the area to take some portraits. I loved that the wind created some fun moments for us to play around by the water! We eventually went over to the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary and snagged some intimate shots among the trees.
I really loved getting to know these two. Photographing their elopement in Chicago was a true honor. As much as I love big weddings, I often find that minimonies like this one can have just as big of an impact. Congrats Joyce + John! :)