Nathalie moved to Chicago in early 2012 and didn't know anyone! One of her previous friends in Florida was kind enough to introduce her to several of his Chicago friends which she started to hang out with frequently. On September 8th, 2012, Florida State had a football game that Nathalie wanted to watch but some of her friends also wanted to watch the Illinois game also airing that night. Nathalie first went to a Wrigleyville bar called Rebel with her friend Brian to cheer on her team, Florida State. They then crossed the street to meet up with others at Stretch for the Illinois game. There, two gentlemen joined the group that Nathalie had never met before, Tim and NICK! Nathalie noticed Nick right away but thought that he was there with one of the girls that he arrived with. She thought she would be bold anyway and complimented him on his watch to break the ice. Nick was impressed with Nathalie right away. Nick and Nathalie started talking about football and suddenly realized they both loved the Giants. The group then went to Sluggers where they enjoyed the batting cages, realization, Nick beat Nathalie at air hockey and Nathalie beat Nick at "hoops". Suddenly the question came up if Nick was with the girl from earlier and he said NO! Nick thought that Nathalie was with her friend Brian and was pleased to hear that she was NOT! Upon this new realization, Nick asked if he could buy Nathalie a drink – and so it began! The night went on and on, the group went to three other locations and it was very late. Nick and Nathalie realized that the sun was about to come up and decided to talk to the beach to watch it. Sitting in the sand, under the stars, listening to the waves, they had their first kiss!
For those of you that don't already know, Nathalie is a PLANNER. So when Nick insisted on planning every detail of their trip to Napa in May, 2014, Nathalie was 1. Stressed that she wasn't in control 2. Excited for all the surprises to come her way and 3. A little suspicious…
Saturday morning in Napa Valley they woke up, enjoyed a light breakfast and couples massage together before heading out to the vineyards. Trefethen was first on the list and as they approached, Nathalie saw lots of balloons and decorations and realized they must be having a private event. She was worried they wouldn't be open for tastings. They pulled up to the gates and the valet asked if they were attending the reserve party…Nick confidently stated "yes" and Nathalie nudged him saying "good job" as they pulled into the gates. Nathalie figured maybe there would still be some tastings or tickets for sale but as they approached the table, Nick said to the associate, "two tickets at will call for Bassing." Nathalie was so pleased. He had this all planned in advance. The party was wonderful with paella, tastings, and live music. They even had the chance to taste and compare a 1994 and 2004 cabernet from the same vineyard.
Next they visited three other wineries in the area before moving on to Castello di Amorosa for a tour and tasting. After visiting the castle they stood at a beautiful tasting table with about 6 other couples trying some spectacular wines. A lady appeared and stated that their tour guide, Patrick, had won "Tour Guide of the Day" and that they then randomly pick one couple to enjoy an additional behind the scenes tour. Nathalie was so excited and whispered to Nick her desires to win. Suddenly the lady called their names. They headed on a great tour of the courtyards and towers of the castle, all with breathtaking views of the vineyards. They reached a small staircase leading to the very top of the castle and the lady politely asked Nathalie and Nick to proceed in front of her. Nathalie assumed she was just being nice but when she reached the top, the lady had not followed and there on the top of the castle, looking out at the sunset over the vineyard was a little table with wine, crackers and cheese and one very suspicious box that looked like it held chocolates. Nick told Nathalie to open the chocolate. As she untied the beautiful bow and opened the box she saw there was no chocolate but a perfect little jewelry box. She exclaimed, "I am not opening this!" and handed the box to Nick. They both laughed and when he opened the box and began to tell Nathalie how much she meant to him and lots of other sweet things as he bent down on one knee. Just as he placed the ring on Nathalie's finger and asked her to marry him, a gust of wind came and several of the Carrs water crackers flew and hit him in the face. They both laughed and hugged and suddenly Nick asked, "So is that a yes?" "Of Course! Nothing would make me happier!" Nathalie said. They enjoyed some wine and took some pictures atop the castle before heading down to dinner and enjoyed the rest of their visit in Napa Valley feeling like they were on cloud 9 the whole time.
Nick moved to Chicago after completing his Graduate Degree of Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Illinois. During school, he studied the construction of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Building. He found the building interesting because it was created in two phases. The 33-story first phase was completed in 1997. The 24-story second phase started in 2007 and was completed in 2010. The materials for the entire building were bought at the start of the project and the pieces for the phase two were safely stored until phase two, 10 years later. This was done to be sure nothing would become discontinued or not match perfectly. For the construction phase two, a 17 ton crane was dismantled, brought up to the roof in the elevator in small pieces, and was then used to pick up a 35 ton crane to be placed onto the roof…that one then picked up a set of tower cranes and then the construction could commence. When the project was completed, the cranes were removed in the reverse order. Nick found the logistics of this project fascinating and it fueled his passion for construction and project management. He is now a Senior Project Manager for Project Management Advisors in downtown Chicago.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Chicago is what brought Nathalie to Chicago and let her to meet Nick! She is a Residence Manager of the property, situated at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Erie Street. She was on the opening team as the restoration construction of the building was completed in spring of 2012. She instantly fell in love with the history of The Farwell Building which was designed by architect Phillip Maher, built in 1927 and is now part of The Ritz-Carlton Residences. The Farewell is one of only a few Chicago landmarks that remain on Michigan Avenue from the 20's, an era that transformed a quiet residential street into "The Magnificent Mile". The Farewell was in disrepair in the mid 2000's and to save it, a bold plan was devised. The building wouldn't be deconstructed, the facade completely restored offsite, a new core and adjacent tower built, and the original facade replaced onto the new structure. The beautiful architecture of The Farewell Building can now be admired along Michigan Avenue without fear of structural issues. The Residents of The Ritz-Carlton also have the privilege of enjoying their own Private Club which is partially located within the Farewell Building. There is even an exclusive penthouse unit that is now perched within the top floor of this Historic Chicago Landmark Building. The Gallery of The Landmark Club (justly named) displays images of the building's bas relief details and brings the history of the facade in with the original cornerstone displayed as the focal point of the Club. The building and The Landmark have held a very dear place in Nathalie's heart and so it was chosen as one of their locations to photograph for their engagement session.
Nick and Nathalie are very traditional and classic. They also love Paris. The Waldorf encompasses everything they were looking for…a Parisian style with a beautiful courtyard to pull off the main busy streets of Chicago and arrive at a grand lobby with exceptional service…a beautifully appointed, yet intimate ballroom with windows and a balcony to enjoy the crisp fall air…the perfect location, walking distance to everything wonderful that Chicago has to offer and only a couple blocks from the church…World class dining and the opportunity to hold several events over the weekend all in different areas of the hotel so the guests experience something unique during each part of the wedding weekend. Basically The Waldorf is simply the perfect fit for Nick and Nathalie.
We hope you enjoy Nathalie's and Nick's Sunrise Chicago Engagement. If you or someone you know is looking for a Chicago wedding photographer to photograph the memorable wedding moments, we would love to hear from you. Contact us to check our availability and which wedding photography collection will be the best for you. Please drop us a line using our wedding photography contact form. This session was photographed by Yaneck.