Famigila is everything to Melissa and Marino, both of whom hail from large, loving and boisterous Italian families. Standing at the altar of Chicago’s Holy Family Catholic Church, Marino looked completely in his element; relax, confident and, most importantly, surrounded by friends and family. That is, until Melissa stepped onto the aisle. The look on Marino’s face when he first saw his bride-to-be is the stuff fairytales are made of.
Everything – love, passion, pride, hopes and dreams – all of that and more was encompassed in a single glance, and the tears of joy that soon followed. I knew Melissa and Marino encapsulated everything the other wanted in a partner from our first conversation, but it was this moment that I knew that they had done it. Melissa and Marino found that sole person in the universe that completes them, and in doing so were able to unite two deeply traditional Italian families and create a new legacy that will live on for generations to come. The experience was especially meaningful because Melissa’s grandparents were married in the same spot in the 1950s. Like I said, this is the stuff of fairytales.
Speaking of fairytales and true love come to fruition, Melissa and Marino’s ceremony, wedding photography and reception was exactly like one would expect from this elegant, classy couple: tasteful décor, timeless accents and the good food, rich laughter and joy you’d expect from two large Italian families brimming with love and happiness. Melissa and Marino opted for two photographers, which was great because it allowed me to photograph Melissa and her bridal party getting ready at her aunt’s house near the Holy Family Catholic Church while my second photographed Marino and his groomsmen. We gathered at St. Ignatius College Prep yard following the ceremony for some additional classic yet whimsical images of these two lovebirds and their close-knit wedding party.
The reception was held at Venuti’s Ristorante & Banquet Hall in Addison. Every aspect of the venue was the epitome of timeless elegance, right down to Melissa’s stunning Liancarlo ball gown trimmed with “Italian bouquet” embroidery. I especially appreciated the late-night appearance of one of our hometown favorites – a Portillo’s hot dog cart. These two did it right every step of the way!
As they say, l’amore vince sempre. Love conquers all. Nothing could be more true for Melissa and Marino, and I can’t wait to see what pleasures and joy the years hold in store for them and their jubilant Italian family.