Zachary’s Farm and Red Barn Wedding 

Biz and Pat are seriously life goals. The chillest people I know, with the most wonderful family and friends. THIS DAY was amazing. I will leave it to Biz to tell you all about it, anything in parenthesis are my words:


Patrick and I locked fancy eyes for each other in the summer of 2012. We were both at the hospital to see our newly born niece- our moms both recalled the sparks a-flying. It’s been a beautiful, real, kind of love ever since. <3 (to note, their family members are married to each other, which is just super cute)

Groom’s Clothing

Pat chose bow ties for himself and for the groomsmen, with a gray three piece suit combo. A real handsome group of men, if you ask me.

Bride’s Clothing

Honestly, this part was really stressful. I did love how the tailor, Angie’s Quick Stitch in Burbank IL made my dress fit like a glove. I have never had a dress tailored to fit my body, it was such a wonderful, flattering, beautiful feeling.

The Venue

Zachary’s Farm and Red Barn in Homer Glen, IL. A rustic, casually cool setting, with a big white tent and red barn. Had there been no rain…. ::sour face::… the outside would have looked extra cool with lights in the trees. I loved that it was partially outside – that was always a goal from the beginning of the engagement. I also loved the setting and atmosphere. People could relax and enjoy conversation at their table with quiet music in the background. Or they could be in the barn getting low with lil’ john and the eastside boys. It was the best of both worlds!! I liked the intimate and squished-to-the-brim-with-people ceremony. I wish i stopped and looked at everyone that was in there!

The Ceremony

My brother in law – who is more like a brother – was the officiant.  He was nervous and fumbled over his words, but I loved it because it kept the atmosphere light and fun. My bridesmaids all put flowers in a vase with a picture of my mom, just as a gentle honoring of her. My beautiful cousin read an Irish proverb that I picked out and nailed it. Pat, Silas, and I mixed sand in a heart shaped vase to symbolize our unity as a family.  The ceremony was short and sweet and perfect. I remember feeling like “that JUST happened.”

The Decor

My wedding coordinator/gal pal Erica Stephens made everything look so lovely. She decorated and organized everything – she truly a one woman show. I was so lost at the beginning and had no clue where to start and felt completely overwhelmed. She said she would help make everything beautiful and she did. She is the one who found the food truck AND barn AND you. Hallelujah! I was really, really happy with how the tables and setup looked. It was a beautiful mess of sage and lavender accents, white flowers, wood rounds, and baby’s breath. I was going for rustic-boho. Before we all walked in to the barn prior to the ceremony, I remember looking around at everything and just soaking it in. It was great. My cousin/bridesmaid made the sign “Elizabeth and Patrick’s wedding”. I loved that too.

Reception / Dancing

Pat and I took choreographed dance lessons to learn our first dance together. The song was “I choose you” by Sara Barielles. I decided that would be our wedding song before we even said we loved each other- it just worked out perfectly that Pat also thought it was the most beautiful song in existence. It was a long, windy road of practicing, but way worth it in the end. We practiced after the rehearsal dinner and kept forgetting steps, so we didn’t feel strong about it. But we really nailed it the day of. I was so impressed with us. haha. I’ve watched it AT LEAST 150 times. Sure, we were nervous and did the steps a little too fast, but it was still imperfectly perfect.

Pete the DJ from Phoenix Audio Entertainment did a great job with the lights and music, and really helped with the coordinating. I feel like music can make or break a wedding – I’m grateful people were dancing and having fun. Dancing is the best part of weddings!

(Pete also literally was the most helpful person ever for me, he helped me find missing people for photos, helped chill me out when the rain just seemed endless and was all around the MOST AMAZING DJ I HAVE EVER WORKED WITH, seriously, he was wonderful and made my day!!).

Advice for Couples Planning Their Wedding

Get a wedding planner to help – my wedding would have been, quite frankly, a shit show if Erica wasn’t in charge. Create a “wedding related” email. That was some of the best advice I received! It helped with organization and did not clutter up my personal email.

Also, I loved my wedding, it was beautiful and fun and the best party we’ve ever been to, etc., but we could have saved a whole lot of pennies and just got married at the courthouse and felt equally as happy to be stuck with each other for forever. I knew that from the beginning, but Pat only realized that AFTER the fact… So future brides/grooms, you do you. Essentially we have a great party in our memories and no money. Is there a classy way to blog that… ? HA.

(YES Biz there is a classy way to blog it, by being REAL and honest <3 just like you two are..gosh I adore you both)


The Photographer

I wish you could have stayed as a guest and hung out with us. I truly love your outlook on photography and candid captures – I’m so excited to see all the photos. I’m grateful Erica found you and you drove down to document our wedding. If Pat and I decide to get married again, you’re our gal.

(awww shucks guys…. I wish I could have stayed too!!! MY FEET, bodddyyy and my brain won’t allow me to chill out after weddings, I am so invested in your day that until the photos are on my computer and safely backed up in numerous locations there is no such thing as chillin out! LOVE YA BOTH and glad I got to dance with you a bit <3)

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Detroit Engagement Photographer detroit michigan john king books

Met with these two at John K King Used and Rare Books on what was ACTUALLY the hottest day of June in Detroit. The breeze was flowing through the open gorgeous windows in this old amazing place that smells like heaven to me. Holy cow, so glad I showed up early to browse the stacks, even that wasn’t long enough for this nerdy gal.

We couldn’t stand the heat for TOO long so we then ventured out for some beers at Batch Brewing Company, I freaking had a BEER SLURPEE I’m not even joking guys, coolest thing ever. Then we explored that neighboorhood and popped over to Comerica Park. We finished things off at one of Perie and Calder’s favorite pre-game spots, Park Bar. Sadly they were closed so we just did a quick couple of snaps outside and then ran back into our air conditioned cars to cool off.

Probably my favorite part was exploring in the books with them. I learned our mutual love of books spanned all of my favorite genres and when Perie requested we find Margaret Atwood books to do a GIF with I got all kinds of excited! Also, side note I was listening to the Handmaid’s Tale on Audible on my way there so it was REALLY quite the coincidence :D. I am so so so so pumped to hang out with them again in September! They are so much fun <3

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i tried really hard to get a cool photo through the bushes but the wind decided to be insane all day (thank goodness because it was HOT) so I thought I would share this great hilarious bush GIF ^^

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Thank you for viewing this Detroit Engagement Photographer gallery. Rachel Kaye is a Grand Haven, MI based photographer with a knack for animated GIFs.

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Frankenmuth Michigan Wedding Photographer

These two get MARRIED this weekend and I can’t freaking wait. So excited that I decided to blog their engagement photos! (AS IF I DIDN’T DO THIS SOONER). Plus I mean look at their dog, Harper. She’s adorable (and so much fun), she also really likes to photobomb and it’s quite adorable.

I met up with them at their place near Frankenmuth Michigan and spent the most lovely fall evening with them! Their wedding is going to be in a backyard with their family and friends this Saturday and it’s just going to be the BEST.

Thank you for viewing this Frankenmuth Michigan Wedding Photographer Gallery,  Rachel Kaye Photography is a Chicago / West Michigan based wedding and portrait photographer who loves a great destination wedding. Rachel Kaye specializes in off-beat natural light wedding photography. Rachel Kaye Photography provides the best wedding photography services for the coolest kind of couples. Those who want to tell their love story in a natural, documentary style with amazing service. Rachel Kaye Photography tells unique stories through gorgeous natural looking photographs and fun, quirky, animated GIF’s.

For more information on how to tell your wedding day story or engagement/love story please contact Rachel Kaye

Love and Light, Rachel Kaye

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Chicago Wedding Photographer – Melissa + Alex

Wedding season is here! I kicked off my wedding season associate shooting for Kevin Serna photography and had the most amazing time with Melissa and Alex. Driving to this wedding in Chicago, it was POURING. But their love legit lit up the world, and the rain stopped.

I have realized that my photos tell a great story, but I tend to forget things and have a hard time with words (i speak in emoji’s and exclamation points sooo often), so this year I have decided to ask the bride and groom themselves about their wedding day and to share it with you! Enjoy Melissa and Alex’s take on their amazinggg day (I may interject with some of my words…but you will know).

bride holding self

bride getting eye shadow put on

bride putting on mascara

bride putting on mascara

bride smiling in hotel

bride getting earrings on

friend looking at bride in mirror

bride putting shoes on

happy bride about to see her dad

bride walking down staircase

The Dress

My childhood best friend Hayley planned to visit from Phoenix for 4th of July. I could not imagine choosing my wedding dress without her, so I scheduled two shopping appointments for early July after getting engaged on May 20th. I told my mom and two best friends Annie and MaryAnn I needed them, too, so they, of course, made sure they could be there. (I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing women in my life, all of whom I’ve known and loved for at least 15 years.) I bought my dress at Bridal Boutique of Naperville, which is a sample shop… no waiting for your gown, shop off the rack. The consultant had me and my girls search the racks ourselves for 4 gowns to start with, and as I tried them on and told her what I liked and didn’t like, she pulled more gowns for me. When I put  *the* dress on, I knew. I didn’t even want to try it on, actually, because it had a little sparkle to it, and I thought I wanted something more simple. But the moment she zipped and clipped the dress, my eyes welled up with tears. Total cliche, but it’s true. I could picture myself walking through the garden toward Alex. And that was it! I came out of the fitting room and my girls knew, too.

The gown is Essence of Australia.
The gown came with a very long and dramatic train. I knew the train would not work for an outdoor ceremony, so I had the lace removed from it and made into my veil.

(Rachel here, doesn’t she just look STUNNING in her gown?!?! Also, what a genius idea to turn the train on her dress into a veil. GENIUS)

bride seeing dad for first time in wedding dress

bride and dad hugging

family photo mom kissing bride

The Suit

Alex bought his suit at H&M. He actually spent more money on his shoes than his suit. Day to day, Alex is much more fashion conscious than me. I thought he looked very sharp. 🙂 (I also agree with this Melissa! Alex was looking so fancy).

Ceremony Location

Our ceremony took place at the Japanese Garden in Geneva. We don’t live far from the garden and regularly go on bike rides and dog walks by the river, around the garden, and in the surrounding forest preserve. We knew we wanted to get married outside, so the garden seemed like a no brainer. It provided an absolutely beautiful, serene backdrop.

We knew the weather might be a factor at an outdoor wedding in Chicago in May, and were prepared to have the ceremony at the garden *no matter what.* It rained… POURED… all morning while we were getting ready. And then, the moment my dad and I began walking down the garden path, the rain stopped. It was incredible.

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The Reception

Strong winds and cooler temperatures persisted during the beginning of the reception at Pottawatomie Park, but eventually, the skies cleared and winds calmed. The reception was everything I wanted it to be! Amazing people enjoying yummy food and good wine, hanging out and playing games. We played tunes from Spotify on a Bose speaker. Eventually, guests took over hooking up to the blue tooth connection and played their own requests!


dog at wedding

Alex and Melissa were just amazing. When I associate shoot I rarely make such a connection with couples like I was able to with Alex and Melissa, they were so down to earth and excited to have me around. I truly had the greatest time ever getting to know them and their family and friends (and adorable doggo Jackson).


Officiant: Melissa’s brother, Michael

Dog of Honor: Jackson

Wine: Chosen by Alex, a fantastic sommelier

Dress: Essence of Australia

Ceremony Venue: Japanese Garden, Geneva IL

Reception Venue: Pottawatomie Park, St. Charles IL


Thank you for viewing this Chicago Wedding Photographer gallery!

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Grand Haven MI Wedding Photographer

Something so wonderful about the calm docks in the springtime. Met with these two last month and got to hang on their boat and have drinks/avocados with them.

They are soooo obsessed with avocados I insisted they eat some, they are also obsessed with their dogs (and so am I honestly…so many dog photos were delivered) so I insisted they bring them as well. The sails weren’t up on the boat yet but we enjoyed the calm and quiet of the docks this time of year.

These two are so so very obviously in love. You can barely keep John away from Holly and I LOVE IT THAT WAY. John kept getting excited every time I asked him to hold Holly or kiss her (in fact sometimes I had to pry them away for more of the artsy stuff :D). They both make each other laugh in that all the way deep in your belly laugh way and it made it really hard for ME not to laugh endlessly with them (camera shake is a real concern ya’ll!).

Having known John since what? High School probably (did we go to middle school together? I can’t remember..thank goodness I can’t remember much of middle school, haha) I am so thankful he found Holly. They are the perfect compliment to each other and I’m so excited to capture their wedding next month!!!

I had such a blast with these two and their adorable pups! Photoshoots with dogs are my favorite, they always make for adorably hilarious photos.

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Super special thanks to John’s wonderful mother for coming along and dog wrangling! She is featured in a GIF!!! PLEASE always bring your pets to your engagement session, but don’t forget to bring a handler to help out! Dogs tend to get overwhelmed by cameras and need time away to pee and poo and just do regular dog things. I AM OBSESSED with dogs and very good with handling all sizes/breeds, but please bring a friend!. So thankful she was able to do this for us <3 If you enjoyed this session and are interested in getting your own photos done in Grand Haven, MI or the surrounding areas please holler at me! Grand Haven MI Wedding Photographer Rachel Kaye would love to chat!

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