Chicago's First Lady Cruise Wedding

When we got an email in early July asking if we’d be available to shoot a non-traditional, intimate wedding on a boat in downtown Chicago in the next few weeks, we couldn’t believe our luck that we had that particular evening available in the midst of our crazy summer schedule—and that it was Annicka and Jef who were asking. We’ve all followed each other virtually for the past several years on social media, and Jeff had the pleasure of meeting them in person at a bike race a few years back (if you didn’t know, Annicka and Jef are both kind of a big deal in the bike world). So to have the opportunity to document one of their most important days was truly an honor. As an added bonus, the weather ended up being the nicest it had been all summer to make for a textbook perfect Chicago evening. If stars really could align, this day really was it.

While everything magically came together for us to be able to document their big day, just like life, wedding days usually come with some curve balls. And boy did these two experience some major ones. After a couple ear-splitting mic checks, our 100-foot boat nearly crashing into another when the captain was forced to take some evasive maneuvers to avoid killing some reckless kayakers, plus a few hecklers from the cheap seats at Dick’s Last Resort, these two shared some beautiful vows to each other in front of family, friends and anyone within earshot of the Chicago Riverwalk. While any one of those hiccups would make any bride and groom stressed to the max, Annicka and Jef remained incredibly calm, grounded and gracious—and rolled with every punch (or wave) that came at them. The rest of their evening went even better than they planned: they shared their first kiss near the Lake Street Bridge, ate delicious tacos, and danced the night away on a gorgeous Chicago summer evening. Oh, and there were fireworks. Can you really plan a wedding better than that?

The internet can be a really dark place but it can also bring so much light. Without it we would have never met this lovely couple who are even more authentic, kind and amazing in person than their already pretty awesome online selves.