Ares and Anne met in undergrad at the University of Michigan while participating in a student group and working at the same center on campus during their senior year. They wound up planning a haunted house fundraiser together. Their time spent hashing out project details brought them closer together, and eventually in love.
They later moved to Chicago, where Ares grew up and where his mom manages a Greek Restaurant where he has dinner with his parents once a week. Anne built up a career both in social work and therapy, and Ares took on becoming a hydraulic engineer and manager for the company he works for. Chicago is near and dear to their hearts with a shared profound appreciation of the diversity of its neighborhoods and the way the city's people connect... whether it be within the neighborhoods, their close friend group, between their co-workers, or within their church community.
For their wedding, they returned to Anne's roots in Marquette, Michigan, another place where they feel a strong sense of community and connection to the people and and location itself. The small-business environment is charming to both Anne and Ares, and they were honored to highlight some of the many local, natural, and authentic products of the region. The natural beauty of the area was yet another draw in choosing Marquette. They wanted to share with others the strong and beautiful force that is Lake Superior, and Anne doesn't believe there's anything more calming or restorative than what a stand of hemlock trees can offer one in the UP.
While strolling along Lake Michigan in Chicago on a December evening around Christmas, Ares asked Anne, "Is Lake Michigan your favorite Lake now?"
Just as any Yooper who's lived on Lake Superior all their life would reply, Anne responded, "No. Superior is bigger, cleaner, so beautiful, etc..."
Ares replied, "Well, you've never been proposed to by Lake Superior."
Afterwards, they went to see his mom at the restaurant she manages in the Lincoln Park, and both of their families were there waiting to surprise the couple. Later that night, Anne proposed back.
That moment when one of your guests rolls up in a 1914 Model T... and lets you use it for photos!
Brides and grooms of weddings past, present, and future, a word of advice... SMALL, intimate wedding parties are THE BEST. Don't get me wrong, I swoon over a beautiful portrait of a larger group of ladies dawning bouquets with flowers spilling all over. However, when you choose to have just your absolute closest couple friends, the stress levels go down, it's far easier to be a relaxed version of who you, and just look at this dapper wedding party! Ares and Anne chose a best man, matron of honor, and a shared person of honor.
Hands down, Anne and Ares' ceremony had to have been one of the most moving ceremonies my camera and I have ever bore witness to. The couple belongs to a church that is open to people of all levels of belief and questioning. There were hymns, a couple readings, and a prayer moment where the entire congregation was invited to place a hand on the bride and groom, or the next person out. This created a web of every guest that connected back to Anne and Ares that was absolutely moving.
Their decorations were on point! Rock River Farm is an absolute master of floral arrangements (and food... always my first recommendation to my couples), and Anne's mom planted and cared for ALL of the succulents.
Fun fact: Anne BORROWED her friend's dress! The satin sash was made from Anne's grandmother's dress.
A common theme through the night among guests and in the toasts was how opposite Anne and Ares actually are of each other! While there were many laughable examples, I enjoyed this example personally: while Anne is walking down the street identifying trees, Ares is scrutinizing infrastructure projects, piping, and pumps. While they may be different in a handful of ways, no one could argue how wonderfully they fit together though.
Their first dances began very traditional, very American... but then came the traditional Greek dancing! Personally, this was the first time I was able to participate in and photograph Greek dancing and I was told I was safe to stand in the very middle... I didn't realize how AWESOME and up-close and personal of an experience that would be, hahaha. Also, note where the music changes... cue, Africa by Toto ;)
Ares and Anne spent their honeymoon staying with Ares' grandmother in Greece. They were able to visit with his cousins, aunts, and uncles, and explored some of the Greek isles as well. Thank you so much for letting me share in your love story, Ares and Anne!
VENDORS | Photographer: -et images | Second Shooter: Michael Johns | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Belsolda Farm | Florist: Rock River Farm | Stationary: Maina Handmaker | Rings: Beth Millner | Bride's Jewelry: UP Rock Doc | Hair: Salon Salon | Makeup: Salon Salon | Suit: Macy's | Dress: Borrowed from a friend | Officiant: Tim Kim | Caterer: Rock River Farm | Pie: Peace Pie Company | DJ: Double Trouble DJs | Transportation: Checker Cab