We owe you, and we owe you big. You knew right away that Adam was the perfect match for Kristen, from their shared love of bourbon to Adam’s great facial hair. Of course it’s so much more than that, but because of you I got to meet them too. With a wedding comes a wedding photographer! And I count myself so lucky to have met these two, and the luckiest to have had the honor of capturing their love story.
In Kristen’s words:
“We met in October 2013. My good friend Michael met Adam through a mutual friend, David – a friend of Adam’s from high school. The next day Michael told me, “I met this guy. He drinks bourbon, plays the banjo and smokes meat. You need to date him.” He planned to invite me the next time that group of friends was hanging out. But about a month later, we connected on Tinder. I noticed Michael was a mutual friend. When I asked Michael about Adam he said – “THAT’S THE GUY YOU NEED TO DATE!” Of course Michael stood up in our wedding AND David and Michael sang “In My Life” by The Beatles in our ceremony!”
When I met Kristen it was INSTANT like… she was adorable and funny, she gushed about Adam, and she was getting married in the Winter! Ya I know, Chicago winters can be a nasty thing, bone-chilling and not always filled with pretty fluffy snowflakes. They are not for the faint of heart. But I was a January bride, and for some reason I have a serious soft spot for Winter weddings. I love the challenge, as a photographer you have limited daylight and limited photo locations so you really have to get creative. And we did! In fact, I might even be partial to the indoor portraits despite the lack of natural light
(definitely LOVED the photos we took at The Betty bar/lounge, and of course the romantic candlelit interior of Gallery 1028).
But back to these two lovely people. Kristen, a lover of vintage finds, good food and GREAT bourbon. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and family, she lights up a room with her smile, and she really, really loves Adam. Adam, a man with great hair, also a lover of GREAT bourbon, and such a humble and sweet guy. He is smart, he has hiked the ENTIRE Appalachian trail (awesome!), he’s not afraid to wear fur, and he really, really loves Kristen.
Now that’s how you have a January wedding!
Lead photographer: Bethany Fritz
2nd photographer: Jon Allegretto
Hair and makeup: Makeup: Joanna B. Artistry, Hair: Kaitlin Petro
Florist: Field and Florist
Ceremony location: Gallery 1028
Reception location: Gallery 1028
Event Planner: Lola Event Productions
Officiant: Jef Johnson
Cake: Calihan Catering
Caterer: Calihan Catering
Invitations/Stationary: Steracle Press
Accessories: vintage earrings, borrowed from a friend
Suit/Men’s accessories: The Black Tux
DJ/Band: Style Matters
First Dance: “Stand By Me”, Otis Redding
Parent dances: “Daddy’s Little Girl”, Al Martino and “What a Wonderful World”, Louis Armstrong
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
The first look! It was incredibly special to have that time together to realize that we were about to have the best day of our lives. It also was such an unbelievable feeling to see your person as a groom (or bride).
That’s definitely tied with Adam and his two lifelong friends performing “January Wedding” (The Avett Brothers) during the reception. Music is a big part of our lives, and those boys have been playing together since high school. We knew a musical performance had to be a part of the celebration. We love The Avett Brothers – and the song was too perfect.
What was your favorite detail?
Early in the planning, we had the idea to use vintage mirrors for all of our signage. We LOVED how it turned out. The seating chart was on an old ornate mirror that we borrowed from Adam’s aunts, who own an antique shop in rural Minnesota. Adam made our table numbers by cutting mirrors to size and spray painting frames that his mom and aunts scavenged from multiple flea markets and antique shops. We also used a mirror as a menu for our bourbon bar. We worked with Reenie Rose to hand letter everything, and she did an absolutely beautiful job. It turned out better than we could have ever imagined!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
When my dad was giving his speech, he said Adam and I met in 2019. My brother immediately corrected him, and my dad saved himself by saying, “Oh, excuse me, I’ve had four waters already.” We cracked up thinking about it for days afterwards. And it still makes me laugh.
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Don’t be afraid of a winter wedding! We absolutely loved it. It set the tone for our décor and wardrobe. We used rich colors and tons of candles. It brought a level of glam to our wedding that we probably wouldn’t have felt right in warmer weather. And so many people told us that they loved having something to look forward to after the holidays. Plus, now our anniversary is an excuse to take a trip somewhere warm every year!
For us, the 9-month wedding planning timeline was perfect. It helped us make decisions without second guessing ourselves but it never felt rushed. We loved the planning process, and I think the timeline was a big reason. And I heard this from so many people, but it is worth repeating: take a moment to step back at the reception and take it all in.
Also, we were so happy with our decision to take the honeymoon right after the wedding to ride that high. We debated leaving a few months later because we considered Bali as a destination and it was their rainy season in February. But we’re both so glad we went right away. We had a day to say goodbye to our out-of-town guests, a day to pack and relax – and then we were off!
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
No! We loved how everything came together. With our friends and family there, we really couldn’t go wrong. The feeling in the room was so magical and warm. We’ve had friends and family tell us that our wedding felt like us and had our signature on it. To us, there is no higher compliment.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We spent two weeks in Thailand – Bangkok, Koh Lanta, Khao Sok and Chiang Mai. It was absolutely incredible, and we got to experience so much in a relatively short time.
We had a DJ and a drummer. It was the best of both worlds in our opinion! The drummer injects the energy of live performance but you still get to hear the songs you know and love – and that get people on the dance floor.
The first time I met with Bethany, I told her that I wanted to have some fun with the bridal party while taking photos. She had a lot of great ideas but one that really stuck with me: going to The Betty, a favorite cocktail spot in the West Loop. I couldn’t get it out of my head from that day on – and she made it happen. They are by far some of our favorite photos from the day. And it was so nice to enjoy a glass (or two) of champagne with our bridal party before heading to the ceremony.
We had an after-party at our favorite neighborhood bar, Four Moon Tavern. This is by no means a fancy place or one that hosts formal events, but it is our spot. We asked the owner if she’d be willing to accommodate our large group, and she was so sweet and held the backroom for all our friends. We all munched on late-night chicken fingers, quesadillas and fries. Adam and I closed down the bar – and even got behind the bar with our favorite bartender Ryan for a photo. It felt so right to be ending our day at our go-to spot. And now when we go back there, it’s even more special.
A little history…
When did you know he/she was “the one”? There wasn’t really one “aha” moment. There was simply something very different about Adam and our relationship, always. I just knew life would be better with him, and it was never a question of if he was “the one.”
Describe the proposal. We were in South Carolina to visit Adam’s parents. We flew into Charleston, where we were staying for two nights before driving down to their house near Hilton Head. We’d already done a similar trip, so I had absolutely no suspicions. We set up a blanket at White Point Garden on the water. I was flipping through a magazine when Adam asked if I’d ever thought, when we started dating, that we’d be traveling to visit his parents. I said no and kept reading. But then I realized what was happening! The park is full of cannons, which was very fitting since it’s where he asked me to be Mrs. Cannon.
We called our parents and siblings, then put down our phones and had the best day. We rode bikes around the city, drank champagne and ate oysters. We also got very sunburned because we were too excited to remember sunscreen. And the next day we drove to his parents where we continued to celebrate.
Five words that best describe your significant other: One of our caterers called Adam a “human puppy.” That is absolutely the most accurate way to describe his sweet nature. He is also kind, curious, thoughtful, silly and caring. Adam says I am smart, optimistic, an amazing chef, funny and wiser (and older).