Ed & Aileen Photography | Chicago Wedding Photographers »

This wedding was one for the record books, and we aren’t talking about the heat! Heather and Mick are so in love, and their love not only extends to just themselves, but also to their family and friends. Their generosity and down-to-earth nature were displayed in so many ways. The entire day, we felt like we were just hanging out and capturing two old friends celebrating the best day of their lives. We are so excited for them and the start of this amazing chapter of their story. From their heartfelt first look with Haley, Mick’s daughter, to their incredible choreographed first dance, these two proved time and time again that they are soulmates.

Here are some of our favorites from Heather and Mick’s Art Tango Chicago wedding!
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Event Design & Planner: Lil Epic Design | Venue: Artango Bar & Steakhouse | Hair & Makeup: Debra Petrielli Freelance Hairstylist + Makeup Artist | DJ: The Beat Bank | Dessert: black dog gelato | Choreography: Duet Dance Studio

And a special thanks to Begyle Brewing Company!

WOW!! July was such a whirlwind. It seemed like we were either getting yelled at by lifeguards, or we were shooting some pretty epic love stories. We had a handful of incredible engagement and boudoir sessions, along with some pretty stunning weddings. We even captured a beautiful proposal in Milwaukee! Whew!! We also discovered that Ed is definitely the daredevil in the relationship. For an engagement session, he was hanging off a ledge of a rooftop parking garage! Anything for the shot!!

We took a day off to enjoy Independence Day. We started the morning by visiting Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, MI with some friends. It was a really cool tour, and we learned a lot about their history. They are also a super unique wedding venue!! We then all drove to Ed’s family cottage on Hudson Lake in Indiana, and set off fireworks all night. We also played with sparklers, creating some fun long exposure shots! It was such a nice little getaway.

We officially said good-bye to our apartment in Oak Park. Our new place in Bucktown is slowly coming along. We are still waiting on furniture to be delivered and kind of living out of boxes, but it’s starting to finally feel like home. Oreo and Amber weren’t the biggest fans at first . . . They are older cats (both turned 11 this year!), so the change took some getting used to. There is still some bickering between the two, but overall, they seem to tolerate each other’s existence a bit more. LOL! Aileen also figured out how to video chat with her grandparents in China, and has been having a blast showing them the new place. Can’t wait to have everything set up to show you guys!

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Moving has us all like… #someonehelpme #imlosingit #movingday #movingistheworst

A video posted by @aileenciesielski on

Chicago Simply Wood Rings Wedding

When Ed first started looking for his wedding band, he wanted something unique and meaningful, as well as eco-conscious. So when we came across Simply Wood Rings, we had to check it out! From the moment we walked into their workshop, we fell in love. Owner and artist Gustav Reyes greeted us with a big smile and helped us custom create a wedding band that was not only beautiful but incredibly meaningful. Ed’s wedding band is made from the same type of tree (Burr Oak) that he proposed to Aileen under:

Chicago Wedding Photographer

For over 10 years, Simply Wood Rings has been creating unique pieces of art. From locally salvaged barn wood and bowling alley lanes to meteorites, their wedding bands will be cherished for a lifetime. And their new line of Birthwood Rings is something to see! Thank you so much for the Gustav and the entire Simply Wood Rings team for giving us a tour of their incredible workspace for our July vendor highlight!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I was born in Mexico and raised in the United States. My father was a carpenter, so there was wood around me all the time growing up. He also studied jewelry in his free time and would bring me to the studio in Pilsen where he would learn techniques from other jewelry designers. A lot of his work inspired me at a young age, along with the Pilsen neighborhood where my business is located today. I attended the Art Institute where I studied painting and drawing, but afterwards I worked in construction for many years. While working in construction, I decided to start learning how to do woodworking so I could start making furniture. During that time, my partner, who is now my wife, asked me to create a wooden ring for her. I told her I didn’t think I could make one without compromising the integrity of the wood, but she insisted. She came to me with ideas on how to make one, but I kept pushing the idea away. After she insisted more and more, she came up with a technique of wrapping the wood where the wood had enough integrity to be wearable. It was from her that the whole process came to be. We have now been in business for the past ten years with no looking back.

Chicago Simply Wood Rings Wedding Chicago Simply Wood Rings WeddingChicago Wedding PhotographerWhy wooden rings?

I wanted to create an alternative to traditional rings for people. Wood is an alternative to traditional structure, large corporations, and traditional ideas of “forever.” When you wear a wooden ring, it demands your attention. You have to be mindful of the material you are wearing and it brings you into the present moment. As humans, we aren’t put on this Earth forever, and the wooden ring reminds us of our fragility and how it is important to be mindful in the present. We don’t exist in the future, we exist now, just like wood. Our business is also eco-friendly and the wood we use is all salvaged from around Chicago. Chicago Simply Wood Rings WeddingChicago Simply Wood Rings Wedding

What inspires you?

I am inspired mostly by the material itself and the stories of people we work with. Wood translates well to the sentimental connections we make with our customers because wood already holds an authentic position in the world of materials. Our customers have amazing stories that we use in our rings, and each ring is completely different than any others because of that. When I started making wooden items, I made keepsake boxes for women to place sentimental items in. The connection between wood and these objects creates a story unique to each individual, and that translated into our mission with Simply Wood Rings.  I am also inspired by providing the alternative to metal rings that people may have not known existed prior to me starting my business.

If you had one tip for a bride, what would it be? 

Let choosing your rings be a fun experience and order them months before your special day so you don’t need to worry about it later!

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  • Pam Duncan

    I received your reference and enthusiastic review from Carol DeAnda as she is booked. My partner Angie and I are to be married in Emmanuel Episcopal Church, LaGrange, IL on December 16 2016. We are looking for photography of the event.ReplyCancel

    • erciesielski

      Hi!! Thank you so much for the message. We just sent you an email with more info 🙂 XOXOReplyCancel

Wow!! Our last wedding in May was seriously epic. Not only were we able to document a wedding that included the most adorable couple ever, little bottles of booze at the ceremony, and a packed dance floor, but it also gave us a thunderstorm towards the end of the night. And let’s just say, these college sweethearts weren’t scared of a little thunder and rain! Michelle (with bare feet!!) and Reece ran outside and held each other close as it poured. We love adventurous couples, and these two were exactly that!

We got to know Michelle and Reece at their cousin’s incredible Halloween wedding last year (her whole side of the family sure knows how to throw one hell of a party!!), and she blew us away with her amazing vocals! Michelle is such an incredible singer and just a genuinely amazing human being all around. Reece is also such a nice guy. He and his groomsmen were a blast! Michelle and Reece are perfect together in every way. It’s weddings like this that make us smile from ear to ear.

Here are some of our favorites from their Michelle and Reece’s Bloomingdale Golf Club wedding!

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From Michelle & Reece: “We are so grateful that we can look back on the most amazing wedding photos for years to come, thanks to Ed & Aileen. I can’t express enough how amazing these two are. First of all, they take great care in getting to know you as a couple. From initial planning, to several e-mails back and forth, to the final detail meeting, they are professional, accommodating, kind, and downright passionate in what they do. They captured our engagement session and wedding day and the pictures are simply stunning. We never felt like we needed to “pose” for anything because their direction is natural and relaxed. Their fun personalities shine through to foster amazing and authentic moments. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen were raving about them throughout the night and said they actually had FUN taking all the wedding party photos because they make it so fun 🙂 When we received our photos back, we were blown away by their style and ability to capture so many little moments of the day. They go above and beyond in documenting not only your wedding day, but also the love between those who are there to share in your day. These two are exceptional in every way!

They recently added an open air photo booth option and we jumped at the opportunity! We were able to choose a gorgeous backdrop and our guests had a blast taking pictures. There are different options and add-ons for the booth but it was extremely easy and there is an attendant. I’ve been a guest at weddings where they had a photo booth and the quality of the photos was just okay or not very good at all. Ed & Aileen’s photos were AMAZING quality and they even send an online gallery of ever single photo booth picture taken back to you the very next day! So awesome to be able to download those and have them forever!”

Venue: Bloomingdale Golf Club | Florals: Bella Flora | DJ: Music By Design, Ltd. | Cake: Central Continental Bakery | Makeup: Jessica McKane Makeup |Hair: Alyse Amato

Over Memorial Day weekend, we captured one of the most romantic weddings we’ve ever seen. Haley and Jonathon had their first look in the living room of their Evanston apartment. And along with their closest friends and family, we all walked over to a nearby park where these two were married under a large tree overlooking Lake Michigan. It was intimate, personal, and absolutely perfect. We then explored Evanston together before heading back to their home where Jonathon carried Haley over the threshold! Swoon!!

Here’s a sneak peek of Haley and Jonathon’s intimate Evanston wedding!

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From Haley & Jonathon: “Oh my goodness, thank you so much!  These are so beautiful and really capture the spirit of our day.”