Chicago Wedding Shower | Our Weekend with Patrick + Carrie

Couples Session, Personal

When I was growing up in Cleveland, I was lucky to live near a lot of extended family. Getting together for birthdays was a regular occurrence. Seeing my grandparents in the stands at my softball games was pretty normal. Back to college dinners with Grandma and Grandpa was an annual tradition too. I never realized how special these moments were until I moved away. Now, don’t get me wrong, the military life has given us some great friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything, but time with family is something that I cherish now more than ever. So, when my baby brother and soon-to-be sister were having a Chicago wedding shower, I just couldn’t miss it! I packed our bags, a few snacks, and my camera, and hopped on my first direct flight in almost ten years. (Not having a layover was seriously the best!)

Our Weekend in Chicago

Friday: An Early Flight, The Shedd, and Rooftop Swimming

Our weekend away started with a very early morning. We were up at 4:15 for a 6:30 flight, but thankfully my little travel buddy was a trooper. We watched part of a movie, read some stories, and played a game, and before we knew it, we were looking out the window at Lake Michigan and preparing for landing at O’Hare. I joked that we should jump out of the plane and go for a swim, but he suggested that we get fishing rods and try to catch some fish from the plane instead. Maybe next time…

My parents picked us up from the airport and we all headed downtown to see my brother, Patrick. It was great to see his apartment in real life – though I had a pretty good idea what it looked like from countless hours on FaceTime! In the short time we were there, I learned how much Cameron loves elevators, that Patrick makes a mean iced coffee, and that rooftop pools are underrated. We spent the afternoon at the Shedd Aquarium and then returned to his apartment for dinner and some swimming. A zero-entry, two-foot-deep, rooftop pool was a four-year-old’s dream! I think his grandpa had fun with him too.

After a fun, but very long day, we went to our hotel to get some sleep. I was a little nervous about sharing a bed with Cameron, but it exceeded every expectation. We did our normal bedtime routine and he was asleep within minutes. I woke up once during the night with him just a few inches away from my face, but otherwise he was the perfect little snuggle buddy.

Saturday: Patrick and Carrie’s Chicago Wedding Shower

Cameron and Grandpa kicked off wedding shower day with a trip to Starbucks. I enjoyed a low key morning and my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. After getting ourselves ready, we made our way to the shower venue, fourteensixteen in La Grange. We were in their covered outdoor skyline space which overlooked the cute downtown area. As a primarily family photographer who doesn’t often photograph events, I was very excited to capture all the beautiful details that Carrie’s mom and aunts so carefully coordinated. From the flowers to the signature cocktail to the favors, they did an incredible job putting together such a perfect Chicago wedding shower for Patrick and Carrie. It may have been hot and muggy – I’m not used to humidity anymore! – but that didn’t stop us all from having a wonderful time.

Signature drink and Grandma's place setting at a Chicago wedding shower Chicago wedding shower details and prickly pear cocktail Bride's Chicago wedding shower place setting and champagne Closeups of beautiful martini glasses at a Chicago Wedding Shower. Bride and groom laugh with the ring bearer at a Chicago wedding shower. Mr. and Mrs. Cookies at a Chicago Wedding Shower. Cutting the cake at this Chicago wedding shower. Bride and groom opening gifts at their Chicago wedding shower. A bride and her ring bearer at a Chicago Wedding Shower Groom with his family at a Chicago wedding shower.

After the shower, we went to Carrie’s house to hang out for the evening. What I had thought would be a pretty laid back evening turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend for Cameron. He had so much fun playing with Carrie’s pup, Rocky, and was thrilled to have someone chase him around the house. He thoroughly enjoyed Rocky kisses too and was very sad to leave at the end of the night. We’ll have to say hi on FaceTime soon!

Sunday: Coffee, Donuts, and Heading Home

I was pleasantly surprised that Cameron slept in until after 8AM on Sunday morning. We must have really worn him out on Saturday! After we woke up and packed our things, we enjoyed coffee and donuts from Kean’s Bakery with my parents, Patrick, and Carrie. Our quick weekend trip was just about over, but we started getting excited for the next one. Not only will we be back in October, but it’ll be for a few more days, with even more family, and we get to celebrate Patrick and Carrie the whole time! I am so excited for my brother and can’t wait for Miss Carrie to officially become Auntie Carrie. Her niece and nephew are pretty pumped too!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the recap of such a fun Chicago wedding shower weekend. If you are interested in family or engagement photos or have a small event coming up that you’d like captured, please reach out to me. I’d love to work with you!


Getting ready for your next PCS? This resource is for you! Download the guide for five actionable ways to set yourself up for success at your next assignment.

5 Ways to PCS-Prep your photography business

Getting ready for a PCS?

Getting ready for a PCS?

free download!


more about me

I've been navigating military life with my family since 2008. In that time, I went from a full-time classroom teacher to an online course designer to a photographer. Actually, I still teach a little math on the side because I just love it too much!

Through it all, I've discovered how passionate I am about connecting with military families. Whether it's taking photos at a retirement ceremony, coaching a fellow milspouse photographer, or just grabbing coffee with a new squadron friend, I love this community. And as a teacher at heart, I'm excited to use this space to share what I've learned about business and life with you.


Hey there!

    Want to be the first to know about new blogs, freebies, and other educational offerings? Sign up here for early access to all the resources I create!