Stacy Able Midwest Wedding Photography: Best of 2013 Weddings

This past year, 2013, went by as fast as my Nikon’s shutter click. Although the year passed too quickly, it was an exciting time for Stacy Able Photography. With 28 weddings from Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Wisconsin, Washington DC, and Antigua, Guatemala, each wedding was unique. There were many heartfelt and fun moments captured. While shooting this year, I kept some goals in mind for Stacy Able Photography. Those were to be published in print and online blogs, push myself creatively, shoot more film, all the while continuing to master off camera lighting.

In choosing this years highlights, it quickly became a difficult task. Scrolling through 2013′s plethora of images, I am reminded how fortunate I am to capture these special moments. A sincere thank you, my clients, to be the chosen one to document your memories. It is an honor and joy. Without further ado, here is a small slice of favorites, from stunning details, joyous moments, dreamy film, to some of my more technically difficult images.

Stacy Able Photography
Midwest Wedding Photographer based in Columbus Indiana/ Indianapolis
and available for destinations worldwide

University Club Chicago Wedding: Christina and Adam

University Club Chicago Wedding: Christina and Adam

Anyone who doubts winter weddings will change their mind after viewing Christina and Adam’s January 4th, 2014 wedding images. Their celebrations took place at the elegant University Club in downtown Chicago. While the weather was not playing fair with a record low temperature and snow storm on its way. The guests did not show an ounce of worry.

Christina wins the fearless bride award. After two hours hopping in and out of the trolley for bridal party portraits she grabbed a taxi to the ice rink. As the snow really began to fall, Christina and Adam walked gently on the ice rink as skaters cheered them on for some epic photos. I will admit I was nervous when the idea was brought up months back but with the snow on the ice, it was not slick at all, and I’m in love with those images! Kudos to you Christina and Adam!

After the ice ring excitement, the reception began. When Christina said she had worked at Anthropologie, I knew her wedding would be stunning. You could see her incredible style throughout the wedding. The reception room was jaw dropping beautiful with the tall centerpieces wrapped in vines, pastel florals, not to mention all her adorable accessories.

During the reception, the groom’s brother, who is stationed in Afghanistan, was able to facetime his speech, leaving the room in tears. After that touching speech, the dancing began rounding out Christina and Adams perfect University Club Chicago winter wedding.

I hope to see Christiana and Adam again at future weddings as the Kuratko and Dahms family were wonderful to work with.

From the bride Christina:

Adam and I were married in what was probably considered the winter storm of the century! Many brides may disagree with me here, but the snowstorm made it all the more perfect. The old saying goes, be careful what you wish for; I wanted snow and oh did I get it.

Writing about our wedding day gives me a chance to relive what I can honestly say was the most magical weekend for Adam and me. Both of us have never felt more love than what we felt that whole weekend.  After experiencing a wedding of my own, I have realized that it is not the dress or the venue or even the flowers that make it magical–it’s the outpouring of love from all your friends and family that make it unbelievable.  And everything from our rehearsal dinner, which was held at Rock Bottom Brewery downtown Chicago, to the last dance was absolutely perfect! Looking at your beautiful photos, you would never have known that the snowstorm of the century was upon us!

I asked Adam what his favorite moment was and he said it was when he first saw me. As cheesy as it sounds, I agree with him. When I first got to see Adam, it made me so happy. It calmed me down and also allowed us to say to each other, “oh ya, this is what it’s all about”

The trolley ride after the ceremony was one to remember!  I think that was a favorite moment as well from both of us because we got to wind down a little bit and enjoy the day with our bridal party.  I would say the funniest moments happened on that trolley too!  Getting pizza on the way was a huge hit!  I also loved how we were able to have a champagne toast with our neighborhood bartender and friend, Ben at RJ Grunts!!!

The rehearsal was the big finale of the day.  I remember walking in to that room once our names got called and I just wanted to stop and stare!! It was absolutely gorgeous!  Walter, our florist brought my vision to life and I couldn’t have been more in shock with his creative talents!!! It was such a whimsical vintage winter wonderland!  Like Cinderella, I never wanted this night to end!  Adam and I had our first dance to Santos and Johnny “Sleepwalk” and then partied the night away with all our family and friends. The room was full of love and beauty — just perfect.

Vendor Information:

Brides, maid of honor, and jr bridesmaid hair: bride’s cousin Shannon Kuratko
Bridesmaids Hair: Deanna Alfano
Makeup: Brian Firkus
Brides Gown & veil: The Dress by Nicole
Designer: Ellis Bridal
Photographer: Stacy Able Photography with special thanks to assistant Katie Destry

Brides shoes: BHLDN, brand: Something Bleu
Mink coat was my deceased grandmother Kuratko. She had passed away just a year before and it was really something special to be able to have a part of her there with me. It meant a lot!
Gloves: borrowed from a good friend of my mom
Bridesmaid dresses and shoes: BHLDN
Photobooth: Fotio

Bridesmaid scarves: Anthropologie
Mens/grooms suits: Mens Wearhouse
Cake and Catering:  University Club
Trolleys: Second City Trolley
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Florist: Walter Fedyshyn from Phillips Florist
Videographer: Duane Busick






Stacy Able Photography
Midwest Wedding Photographer based in Columbus Indiana/ Indianapolis and available for destinations worldwide 812.552.1007

Destination Wedding at San Jose el Viejo in Antigua Guatemala: Kamille & Chris

Kamille + Chris ~ Antigua, Guatemala from Katie Destry on Vimeo.


Where to begin with Kamille and Chris’s wedding in Antigua, Guatemala? First, if you follow my blog and work through the years, you’ll see posts about my husband’s non profit Seeds of Help in the highlands of Guatemala. Seeds of Help, brings us often to Guatemala, enough so, that we were married there as well in 2008. Since our wedding, I’ve been dying to photograph a wedding in Antigua. As you’ll see in the photos this Central American town is stunning. With every wall a different color, bougainvillaea growing wildly, and no shortage of historic ruins, the photo opportunities for a wedding are endless in Antigua.


When Kamille and Chris emailed me about shooting their wedding I was ecstatic. Being the adorable pair met in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, it was only fitting their wedding was to take place in Guatemala. Thankfully, with me shooting digital and Katie filming we were able to be a part of their celebration and were super excited.


Chris and Kamille’s wedding day was a mild 70 degree day with a few clouds hovering over the volcano which overlooks Antigua. The Porta Hotel near the San Jose el Viejo was the perfect back drop for the bridesmaids and bride to get ready. A tuk tuk (mini Guatemalan taxi)  ride away was the ceremony, where Chris and groomsman and guests  were playing corn holl. After the I do’s, Katie and I had the bridal party and newlyweds stroll through the cobblestone 15th century streets for photos and such. Then, the sun set and it was time for the reception at the San Jose el Viejo which was elegantly lit with candles.


Believe me, this Destination wedding at San Jose el Viego in Antigua, Gutemala wedding was as awesome as it sounds! Chris and Kamille, it was so much fun and thank for putting up with Katie and I’s exuberance in photo/video taking.  It was so wonderful getting to know you both and we look forward to seeing you guys again in the future.


From the bride Kamille: I knew that I wanted to have our wedding in San Jose el Viejo when Chris and I first drove by the ruins together. An event was going in there and it was so beautiful. After we got engaged we went for a site visit to reserve it. Addy’s Florales was there doing an event that day. We met Beatriz, the florist and decided to go with them after seeing their designs and creativity within the ruins. I wanted really simple and elegant colors to not distract from the beauty of the ruins. I chose cream and gold with accents of purple.  Beatriz from Addy’s Florales and Maya from hotel Antigua were both awesome with seeing the vision of simple elegance.

One of my favorite moments was my dad’s speech followed by our dance. Chris and I also both loved that Ignacio from Buena Vista Social Club was able to play. We love his music and have enjoyed getting to know him and hear stories about Cuba and his past. He is so talented and we were really blessed to have him share in our day. I loved riding to the ceremony in Tuk tuks. I think the bridesmaids loved it as well.
Apparently, at some point there was a ‘candle dance’? I have no idea how it started but it just shows how much fun people were having while dancing. I guess you have to dance over the candle. Our friend Jamie ended up winning by doing a handstand dance over the candle. Also, Pedro’s nunchuck skills were just awesome!
Our first dance was ‘You are the Best Thing’ by Ray Lamontagne. My dad’s dance was ‘There goes my Life’ Kenny Chesney. Mom/groom first dance song was ‘ My Wish’ by Rascal Flatts. Our exit sparkles song was ‘Hey Ho’ Lumineers.
Vendor Information:
Photography: Stacy Able Photography | Film: Pro Photo Irvine | Shoes: Via Spiga (Nordstrom) | Floral: Addy’s Florales  Beatriz. | Videographer: Katie Destry | Venues: Ceremony Jardín Doña María,  Julissa Viellman | Reception: San Jose el Viejo catered by Hotel Antigua. Maya Izquierdo | Invites: Minted. | Bridesmaid dresses: their own choices | Hair: Bride and Bride’s Sister | Makeup: me and my BFF Kristen | Grooms suit: Indochino | Groomsmen suits: Jos A. Bank | Ice creams: sobremesa. | Truffles: chocolalala, Antigua on the arch street | Cookies: Nancy Barry (Chris mom) | Dress: Maggie Sottero. Purchased at Wedding Treasures, Castlerock, CO. Owner, Heather Struna.

Stacy Able Photography

Midwest Wedding Photographer based in Columbus Indiana/
Indianapolis and available for destinations worldwide

The Westin Chicago North Shore Wedding : Kelly & Kyle

The Westin Chicago North Shore Wedding : Kelly & Kyle

Kelly, Kyle, their wedding party, and families were an absolute joy to photograph. It was one of those weddings where there was hardly a hitch and not to mention a balmy 50 degree day in Chicago. To start the day off right, Kelly did a first look with her dad which are some of the most touching father daughter wedding portraits I’ve taken to date. Then, as after their ceremony we had the perfect sunset light to capture their portraits in a nature preserve. Following the preserve, Audra and I set up lighting to capture dramatic portraits around The Westin Chicago North Shore’s fireplace. The bridal party struck a fierce pose for the first few images then we added in some flair for a more fun shot. I’m not sure how to accurately describe how beautiful the reception room was. Kelly’s Uncle, Michel Gaffney, is the owner of Flower design schools of America. The florals at Kelly and Kyle’s wedding were jaw dropping beautiful. They were in tall vases as so guests could see each other below and matched with fabric draping and lighting the ball room was spectacular. It was a wonderful wedding day to document and be a part of so thank you Kelly and Kyle in having me be your photographer.

Stacy Able Photography

Midwest Wedding Photographer based in Columbus Indiana/ Indianapolis and available for destinations worldwide 812.552.1007

Chic Dairy Farm Wedding: Audra and Eric’s DIY Fall Wedding

Eric and Audra’s wedding can also be seen on the Wedding Chicks here. Text from the Wedding Chicks blog via Bride Audra:

My dress was simple, light, beautiful, and fit like a glove. I loved every inch of it, but I think I would’ve either shortened it or bought a dress that was already short if I could do it all over again. I fell in love with the gorgeous buttons down the back and train, so it didn’t cross my mind to cut that off when it came to the wedding. But now that the bottom layers of tulle are covered in sawdust, I would change to a short dress in a second.
The farm was full of family memories and because that aspect of life is important to us, we started planning the event there immediately after getting engaged. Picking the barn was easy, but the rest was full of hard work and months of cleaning/power washing, leveling dirt and sawdust, painting, and anything else that needed to be done in order for the barn and milking parlor to spring back to life. That is exactly what happened.
On Sunday, the details were coming together in the early morning and I couldn’t have asked for better weather: sunny and 75° F. For the ceremony area just north of the barn, Eric, Keith (his dad), and I had built a pergola out of an old tool shed (built by Eric’s grandfather, Earl) that had fallen over due to a storm years ago. We were married next to it and when we buy a house in the future, the pergola will be transferred to the backyard as a reminder of his grandpa and the significance of where we were married. My mom is an incredible gardener, so she helped with all the landscaping, which none of that was there before.
When it came to the decorations, I didn’t want a lot, because I wanted to make sure the barn was the star. Keeping its integrity was important because of its history and all of the hard work we ended up doing all summer long. I knew I wanted to highlight the beams with pom poms, but I should’ve calculated how many I wanted because now I’m left with a huge bag full of ready-to-poof-out pom poms! I also used cupcake liners for garland and bought close to 400 of them, in bulk through Etsy. I was using a certain tutorial for the garland, which used 120 liners per strand, but I changed my mind once I started making them, so I have plenty of cupcake liners for baking projects!:)
I am a DIY-er. My friends and family will tell you that I am crafty and like to do/make things myself. This is very true, because I tried to DIY my whole wedding by myself, with the exception of cleaning the barn and milking parlor, some of the desserts, landscaping, and other large decorating feats. This was wrong. haha. I asked friends and family for help with the DIY decor in the final weeks until the wedding, when I should’ve asked the moment I started planning. Do not make this mistake! If you are planning to DIY a lot of things for your wedding, then ask for help. That doesn’t mean your friends or family should change the ideas you have for your wedding. It means they help with what you want for your big day!
Photographer: Stacy Able Photography | Caterer: City Barbeque | Hair & Makeup: Megan Hill| DJ: Drew Storey of Premier DJs  | Dress Designer: Vera Wang  | Shoe Designer: American Eagle Outfitters  | Floral Arrangements & Boutonnieres: JP Parker Flowers  | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic  | Groom’s Shoes: Aldo  | Groom’s Tie & Suspenders: Me and Matilda  | Veil or Hair Accessories: Aging Beauty Boutique  | Guestbook: Lorgie  | Cake Plate: The Day Sisters  | Vintage Rentals: Violet Vintage   | Tables: The Awning Guys| Cake: Patricia Kirchner | Stationary: The Bride | Coordinator: Bette Huddleston | Venue: Private Dairy Farm | Bouquets: Fifty Flowers

Stacy Able Photography

Midwest Wedding Photographer based in Columbus Indiana/ Indianapolis and available for destinations worldwide 812.552.1007