Grab your favorite cup of tea, a giant bowl of popcorn, & settle in.
If you want to inquire about wedding photography, email me!
Welcome to the blog, home to Chicago's queer intimate wedding photographer for couples in love + their four-legged family.
(I'm here and queer!)
1. My first name is Mei Lin (she/her)
2. I'm part of the LGBTQ+ & BIPOC communities
3. I really love pugs!
4. I’m a huge musical theatre fan
5. I care deeply about animal welfare as well as social justice issues.
6. I incorporate sustainable practices throughout your wedding photography experience
Photo By Lena Mirisola Photography
The Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center in Highland Park, IL is the perfect combination of an upscale yet low-key venue. Set right on the beach to Lake Michigan and with a beautiful forest just behind and surrounding the beach, the sunset there is gorgeous as the setting sunlight peaks through the trees.
Virginia & Rose officially met in middle school (though Virginia tends to forget that part and only remembers knowing Rose in high school), but luckily crossed paths again years later at their 10 year high school reunion. They have been together for four years through many long distance time periods to now living together with their adorable cat named Martini. Martini is living her best life possible sunbathing and “lizarding-out” in her screened-in porch. Unfortunately, she was not able to attend the wedding, but she was celebrating comfortably from Rose’s parents’ home.
Before and during their dating period, Rose was actually not set on marriage as a concept she’d want to participate in. However, it was through Virginia’s love and their relationship that Rose realized she actually did want to be married to Virginia for the rest of their lives. With a simple and romantic lunch picnic at the beach, Rose proposed to Virginia. This moment will forever remain one of the couple’s funniest (and most endearing) moments together. Rose brought out the engagement ring and Virginia’s immediate words were: “what the fuck?” which were then followed with “is this a dream?”. Safe to say it was quite the surprise for Virginia! They enjoyed the rest of their lunch full of delicious cheeses and fruits. It was incredibly thoughtful and lovely.
For their celebration, Virginia & Rose picked the beach they would often go to as kids. It was redone with a beautiful boardwalk and features some forested areas surrounding the beach. Virginia’s middle school dream was to be married in a forest, but with adult life practicalities, that wasn’t in the cards for them. Instead, they were married on a sentimental beach but thankfully there was a forested area where they could have some sweet couple photos to make young Virginia happy.
Rose is a vegetable farmer and they both love gardening, so local botanical elements were a big part of their vision for the decorative parts of their wedding. For the ceremony, the couple’s flower kids included the couple’s niblings who are so near and dear to the couple’s hearts especially since they live so far away. They ended their ceremony with a wine ceremony as well as the Jewish traditional smashing of the glass. During their reception, the couple held another traditional Jewish custom of the hora dance. Virginia & Rose were also lifted by their loved ones which brought so much contagious jubilation.
What is the couple’s ideal date night? They love a good brunch followed by a visit to a nice local plant shop. Rose & Virginia would finish their day with a great vegan restaurant (with good fries) and even try a new restaurant in the area. Throw in a hike and lots of cuddles with their four-legged family member Martini and they have a perfect day together.
Photography | Mei Lin Barral Photography
Venue | Rosewood Interpretive Center
Wedding Coordinator | Weddings by Danica
Officiant | Christy Temples, personal friend of the couple
Catering, & Bar | Foodstuffs
Floral Design | Southside Blooms
Cake | Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery
DJ | Party Vibe Online
Rose’s Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist | done by Rose, herself!
Virginia’s Wedding Attire | HKT Custom Clothiers
Rose’s Wedding Attire | Joyfolie
Engagement Ring | Holden
Wedding Bands | Holden
Virginia’s Wedding Shoes | Tomboy Toes
Rose’s Wedding Shoes | Double H Boots
Invitations & Stationery Suite | Minted
Mei Lin (first name, pronounced "may-LYNN", she/her) is a queer pug-loving musical theatre enthusiast who's passionate about commemorating diverse couples in love and their four-legged family. Animal welfare, social justice, and sustainability are three things that are really important to her. Trans rights are human rights. Love is love. Stop AAPI Hate. Black Lives Matter.
about the author
Chicago intimate Wedding Photographer | LGBTQ+, BIPOC, & Woman-operated | for couples in love & their four-legged family