Peggy Notebaert and Loft 21 Wedding: Melissa & Kris


Melissa and Kris’ wedding has finally happened! After rescheduling from last year due to the pandemic, they were able to finally tie the knot this past month. We’ve been talking for quite a bit and helping Melissa with her plans, timelines etc. And I’m so glad everything finally came into fruition! Peggy Notebaert museum was where the couple tied the knot. Afterwards, Loft21 hosted one the best wedding celebrations this summer with the Pino-Rygiel crowd.

 Although the logistics was a bit challenging due to the long drive and high heat in between locations, you won’t miss feeling the excitement and joy from both the couple, their friends and families the entire day. Everyone looked gorgeous and dashing with the wedding party sporting their black tuxedoes, bowties and long sage dresses. The simplistic yet elegant green and white florals really complemented their overall look.

There were so many memorable things I personally will not forget from this joyous occasion. Melissa and Kris decided to forego a first look. And it totally worked out! Melissa was beaming with excitement. I mean, how can you not tell from that beautiful smile of hers? Her smile literally brightened up everyone’s day. Even when she’s wiping away tears, she bounces back with such an infectious energy in a split second. Kris really tried to hold it together. I can tell from behind the camera that he was holding back those tears. I swear I saw them in person! It’s really hard to tell from photos but I know he choked up seeing his beautiful bride-to-be!

We jumped into the party bus and took some photos at the bridge over the south pond at the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk. Not to our surprise, but there were probably 3 or 4 other wedding parties hanging around in the area (add the quincenearas too). Despite the bright sunshine on everyone’s faces and the struggle for space, we managed to capture some fun wedding party photos in front of the Chicago skyline. From there, we headed out to the Greetings from Chicago sign with a storm looming nearby. We were probably only out for 3 minutes and then strong winds suddenly tried to take our umbrellas away! We all managed to jump back into the party bus, with dust in my eyes and mouth from that wind, right before it started pouring! What a day already!

Loft21 is truly a unique and fun venue. I love the combination of ultra-modern and urban design. The balconies were perfect for more wedding party photos. The cocktail hour took place on the 2nd floor with the garage doors closed so the guests won’t see the magic happening on the main ballroom just yet. The interior decor was beyond amazing. I love the lighting system. The floral and candle arrangements screams modern romance. The Rygiel’s got to see it first before everyone else did! Moments later, loud music started playing and the garage doors slowly opened up as Melissa and Kris’ guests looked on, with the newlyweds dancing and waving at all of them letting them know the party has started!

I wish I had more time and space to let you know all the events of the day, from the emotional yet laughter-filled toasts to the epic dance moves that Melissa’s Dad showed off. I mean, he owned that dance floor! It’s not just dancing that happened on the dance floor. There was an impromptu jump rope challenge, with the “rope” made up of a bunch of neck ties!

Congratulations again Melissa and Kris! We are so honored to have been a part of this wonderful day!

Vendor Highlight:

Photography: Michelle Zapanta Photography

Ceremony Venue: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Reception Venue: Loft21 

Catering: Chic Chef Catering

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Bride’s Shoes: Vince Camuto

Bride’s Dress: Lovely Bride Chicago

Florist: Blossoms Anytime

DJ: Remix Entertainment

Hair and Makeup: Hannah Elisabeth Beauty

Sweets Table: Oak Mill Bakery

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cake


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



What started as a childhood hobby evolved into a great passion. Hours after I got engaged, I browsed through dozens of wedding photographers' portfolios and realized I was looking at my dream job. I fell in love with the idea of telling people's stories in images rather than words. It is my utmost goal to make you look back at these memories we create together as if you're experiencing these moments again, nostalgic yet exquisite.

I'm Michelle

send me my guide

A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day. 

Stress-Free Wedding Day Timeline

FREE GUIDE: 5 Tips for A

free guide!