Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder May 07, 2013

engagement | Travis + Julie

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“On a bookshelf in the Bucktown loft that Travis and Julie share is a shelf full of Lonely Planets from at least ten different countries. On top of that shelf is a plastic float that has “Will you marry me Julie?” on it. The travel books are a legacy of this couple’s love of adventuring to different places. And the float – well, it’s a story that involves a dolphin, which doubtless either of them can recount better than I can here. Let’s back up a few weeks, to my first phone call with Travis, during which I tried to get a sense of his relationship with Julie in preparation for the shoot. I asked the obvious questions – how did you meet, what do you guys like, how did you propose, are there any places in Chicago that particularly resonate with you – and dutifully wrote these answers down. A few days later, I spoke to Julie on the phone and learned her history of sailing tall ships, this too influenced my choices of location for the shoot…


…of course, there’s always something better than good enough. Which is why I value the time I have when makeup and hair is being done; it gives me time to look around, to get a sense of the couple, to just chat with them and hear them chat with each other. So when I was in that Bucktown loft, I took in the minimal, sleek, modern decor, and decided that the photos had to match – clean compositions, simple lines, bold subjects. Travis had said that Julie might be nervous in front of the camera, but she was wonderfully happy and bubbly when talking to Travis, so I decided that most of the shots would involve the couple facing each other, talking or interacting. So we set out, Travis, Julie, me, and my assistant Johanna, and spent time under the glorious March sun and let the wind buffet us as we four made these photos.” – Tuan H. Bui Photographer


“Well, Travis (my fiance) and I actually won an engagement photoshoot with Tuan Bui when we attended a wedding event. We already had already signed a contract with another photographer for our wedding, though, so we didn’t switch despite really liking Tuan a lot! We found our wedding photographer, Katie Ricard, through two of our friends who were also planning for a wedding at the same time as us. They had excellent engagement photos shot by Katie and her price was impossible to beat, so we asked her to shoot our wedding…


…Travis actually works for a design firm here in Chicago, and has access to all kinds of cool tools (ie laser cutters!), so we (well, he designed them, and I helped assemble) made our invitations ourselves. We liked how they incorporated some of our favorite times together via biking, traveling, and living in Chicago (there are cut-outs of sail boats, dolphins, us on bikes, and the Chicago skyline on a tri-fold laser cut piece). Travis is also going to make the place-cards for the wedding, playing off the theme created for the invitations. We also ordered our flowers wholesale to help cut costs, and will assemble those the day before the wedding with the help of family members (luckily our florist, Lizzie Pergande at Revolt Events, will assemble two centerpieces as visual guides for us to use!). We’re also making a photo booth for the wedding that has props we picked out; we just have to rent the equipment to set up the booth and we’ll be all set to get funny, inventive photos of our loved ones. With regard to the ceremony, we decided we wanted to create our own and to write our own vows.  We aren’t very religious so it felt weird to have a priest or minister wed us, but it felt natural to have people who know us be the ones to marry us, so two of our closest friends who best know us as couple will be officiating the ceremony…


This is a hard one!  Everything about the day has me so excited right now! I’ve never been much into hair and make-up or fashion, but I am really, REALLY excited to get to wear my dress for the day (it is surprising to me how excited I am to wear it)! Theresa at the Macy’s Bridal Salon in Chicago helped me find it — she is awesome at finding dresses that flatter you and was wonderful to work with. But really, when I think about the day, I find myself daydreaming about getting to see so many of the friends and family we love all in one place. It’s really touching to realize how many people are coming to observe the wedding and to share in such a special occasion, whether they are from a couple of blocks away from us or over a thousand miles away. I can’t wait to see everyone and get to just have a joyous weekend full of love, laughter, and good food with so many people I love.” – Julie, the bride-to-be


photography: Tuan H. Bui, Photographer // hair stylist: Daniela Kosta // venue: Adler Planetarium // makeup: Mishella G // red stripe dress: Nordstrom

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