Joanna and Keith’s Modern Polish Wedding

Dec 11, 2019

Joanna and Keith were married on October 26th with a ceremony at St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in Cicero, IL, and a wedding reception at Crystal Grand Banquets, Lemont, IL. Keith comes from a thirdgeneration small Irish family and Joanna comes from a very close-knit, traditional Polish family. What we loved about Joanna and Keith is how much they love one another, how much they love their traditional Irish and Polish roots, and how much they wanted to relive and capture that authentically on their wedding day. It was so wonderful to be their wedding photographers!

Documentary Wedding Photography

When Joanna booked us for her wedding photography, she shared: “Our biggest hope for this wedding is simply to bring our closest family and friends together on our big day. We are both very family-oriented and really want to make sure that the people we love have a wonderful time with us. We are most looking forward to just being able to enjoy the moment on our wedding day. Wedding planning itself has been stressful so we hope to really feel relaxed and enjoy ourselves. I would like there to be a mix of candid shots along with some more traditional portraits and some staged photos.”

Joanna went on to tell us that she had gone to a ton of traditional Polish weddings. She always felt that Polish wedding photographers would really get in your face with the camera and create very posed, repetitive photographs. She didn’t see any of these elements in our documentary-style approach to wedding photography. She wanted something different, candid, and more modern feeling. We were more than happy to oblige!

We loved the little traditional elements that made up Keith and Joanna’s wedding day. There was a traditional Polish blessing at Joanna’s mother’s house after she got ready. You can also see that they played a lot of traditional music throughout the wedding day, which we totally loved.

A Family-Centered Crystal Grand Banquet Wedding

Who says you need a fancy venue and all the most amazing vendors in the world to create an amazing wedding? Joanna and Keith’s wedding was a great example of just celebrating HARD with the people you love. They didn’t have a wedding planner, they got married at a traditional Polish church, and their reception was at a banquet hall.

We just don’t understand why so many wedding photographers have a fit about shooting “another wedding” at a banquet hall. It drives us nuts, actually. It’s incredibly dismissive, and wedding vendors who huff and puff about these stupid details shouldn’t be at your wedding. We were keenly aware that Joanna chose a banquet hall because it could fit all the people that she loved under one roof, they could keep the booze flowing, and it was the right price. And those are totally valid reasons to choose a reception venue!

RainyDay Wedding Photos in Chicago

Planning the wedding was stressful for Joanna, but you wouldn’t see that in the photographs. She was concerned about rain, which is a reasonable concern for October weddings in Chicago…

And guess what… it rained! Luckily… the bride and groom were prepared for the rain with an incredible indoor backup photography location, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory. But we quickly found out that the old Victorian glass ceilings of the conservatory leak like crazy so it basically felt like pouring rain during their session photographs, too.

Even though Joanna struggled a bit during the planning and got stressed out (which is normal — she wanted it to be her perfect wedding), she put a ton of personal effort into her wedding day. We wanted to celebrate her effort and her work the best we could. And we’re so glad we were chosen to be her wedding photographers. We really think you can see the spirit and love of their wedding in each and every one of the photographs.

Featured Chicago Wedding Vendors

Venue: Crystal Grand Banquets

Photo location: Lincoln Park Conservatory Garden

DJ and lighting: Markski Serwis Weselny at Sky Media Chicago

Hair and Makeup: Samantha Sansone at SFS Beauty


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