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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
Aja & Kyra’s day was held in an underground converted church in Logan Square Chicago. The restaurant where they held their reception is in basement and the owners of the venue live in the sanctuary. The couple went to dinner at St. Emeric’s and fell in love with the place. As Aja recounted, “it was a charming space”. It’s a new venue and they wanted it to not only be affordable, but be able to be a resource for the community. Aja & Kyra wanted a space that mirrored their personality and style as a couple and individuals.
Virginia & Rose officially met in middle school (though Virginia tends to forget that part and only Six years ago, Aja & Kyra had the chance to meet through their mutual partner. Their relationship quickly developed as they started dating almost immediately. Six months into being together, Aja’s roommate was moving out and so she suggested to Kyra that she move in. Safe to say at first Kyra said no but Aja’s response was a clear: “this is inevitable, so…”. As they said, their love story is a “semi typical lesbian story” because they were inseparable at the time and continue to be so as a newly married couple.
It was important to Aja & Kyra that they make time for one-on-one time with each other during their wedding. It was a simple but very deliberate action that made for some very sweet moments of privacy and intimacy between the two brides. Once the ceremony and formal portraits were done, Aja & Kyra took time for themselves as a newly married couple and then later joined their guests for a beautiful custom dinner that steered away from any traditional “wedding” courses.
Their day was filled to the brim with contagious laughter and joy. The two brides were absolutely elated to see one another during their first look and the joy kept pouring out through tears of love by the couple as well as their guests. While they did not partake in a first dance, Aja & Kyra selected a meaningful song to walk down the aisle and to exit their ceremony with. Schitt’s Creek, beloved by so many, holds a very special place in the couple’s hearts. It was a natural conclusion to walk into their ceremony with Tina Turner’s version of “Simply the Best” and to exit with Noah Reid’s version. From their excellent song choice to the lovely blessings from their friends & family, to the incredible hosting by their dear friend Gillian, the ceremony did not leave a single tear unshed.
Kyra wanted Aja to propose to her, but Aja wanted to be proposed to and Kyra delivered one of the sweetest and most thoughtful proposals ever. Ghosts in the Burbs, as Aja describes is a podcast in which “ghost stories meets Desperate Housewives”. If fans donated to the Patreon, the host would write stories including fans’ names. The day was set. Kyra planned a beautiful and cozy indoor picnic to listen to the new episode in which the proposal would air. Aja was feeling ill that day, so Kyra told her, “you know what makes you feel better? Just getting out of bed”. Safe to say, Aja did not miss her proposal and it was worth getting out of bed for it. The host wrote a story about them and a femme werewolf which perfectly encapsulated who they are as a couple.
Their ideal date night consists of being super fancy with high energy. Aja & Kyra imagine themselves in San Francisco at a two-starred Michelin restaurant enjoying a tasting menu. Prior to their dinner date, they’d have access to the best wardrobe because fashion is an importance aspect for them both. As Aja said, she sees “a fun montage of [them] getting ready, a great restaurant, (because that’s been a part of [their] courtship) and [they] could just enjoy the experience of food and a nightcap at a dive bar.” Then they would end the night by going home and hanging out with the cats. Together, Aja & Kyra have two four-legged family members. Cats Maurice and Glave live happily with their moms. Glave was named after the sword, he’s “[their] hardcore metal cat”.
Photography | Mei Lin Barral Photography
Venue + Caterer | Saint Emeric, Logan Square
Cinematographer | Andre Callot
Officiant | Close friend of the couple’s Gillian Hemme
Floral Design | Dusk Lily
Cake | Butterbird
Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist | The Brides Themselves!
Engagement Ring + Wedding Bands | Lindsay Lewis & Micha Gonzales
Aja’s Wedding Attire | ASOS
Kyra’s Necklace | O.Yang
Aja’s Earrings | We Dream in Colour
Kyra’s Wedding Attire | Custom handmade by the bride herself!
Kyra’s Wedding Shoes | Butrich
Proposal Podcast | Ghosts in the Burbs
Chair Rentals | Halls Rental
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