Your Life. Your Love. Your Story: Brandi + Brian

This past August Bandi + Brian said their “I Do’s” in front of their close friends and family. We were instantly blown away by their beautiful images; little did we know their love story would be one that we’d never forget. We sat down with Brandi and are happy to share their story and images with you!

Brian and I have been together for 7 years now and our story is my own little fairytale.

We met my senior year at Columbia College, Brian ended up dropping the class and at that time we were both in a relationship with other people.  Three weeks later our professor said Brian had passed away in an apartment fire. For the next 3 years, I believed he was dead; until he popped up on my Facebook newsfeed!  Very confused; I messaged him and asked if this was him or a friend. 

Turns out after all this time, it was another student with Brian’s exact name who passed away in the fire. I decided to see if he was in a relationship as I was single.  He wasn’t! From there, I asked him if he wanted to grab a drink, and we made plans.  Well, the day of our first date his niece was born prematurely and he never showed up; no call, no show.  Not knowing his situation I wrote him off and left it alone. Well, one night he showed up at the bar I was working at with flowers and a card.  I naturally accepted the apology after learning what happened. 

Fast forward 3 months; tragically, my parent’s house caught on fire. I was living with them at the time; Brian was also living with his parents and they invited me to stay there during the cleanup. The rest, as they say, is history.  We probably saw each other every day and after our 3rd date, I knew it was love.  I tease him that my prince charming came back from the dead for me.

Our relationship and marriage are fun, we try to live for every moment.  Brian lost his father a few years ago and I lost my grandmother who helped raise me.  So, we’ve learned to never take one second for granted.  You can usually find us having a nice glass of wine with dinner that he cooks. We love trying new restaurants and attending sports games.

Wedding planning was pretty smooth for us, we had almost a year and a half engagement so I planned it all myself.  I literally was able to have my fairytale wedding, complete with sparklers and all.  For us, it was important for us to just have fun and have a big party.  That’s who we are, we didn’t care what anyone thought or even if our parents didn’t approve of something, the day was our day. 

We’ve overcome so much in life and our relationship; we just wanted to celebrate us.  A few months after our wedding, we realized our first dance (a slowed down version of Kygo’s Firestone) also had something to do with fire. We aren’t sure what it is us with us and fire but, between me thinking he was dead from a fire, my parent’s house catching on fire and speeding up our relationship and our first dance, we know there’s something to it! We’re looking forward to our future and starting a family in the next few years.

Photography: Timothy Whaley Photographic Artists/Jorge M

Videography:  Whole Heart Video ( @wholeheartvideo)

Venue: The Montgomery Club Chicago ( @GibsonsClub )

Bridal Boutique: Eva’s Oak Lawn

Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander ( @ja_bridal )

Bride’s Shoes:  Badgley Mischka ( @badgleymischka )

Groom’s Attire: Custom from Gentleman’s Cooperative ( @gentscoop )

Hair: Jackie Macias ( @Jackie_2187 )

Makeup: Marley Scardina ( @MarleyScardina )

Band:  DJ Firm ( @theDJFirm )

Floral Design:  With Love B & B ( @with_love_b_and_b )

Dessert: –  Groom’s Mom

Wedding Stationary:  With Love B & B ( @with_love_b_and_b )


Timothy Whaley is a 3rd generation photojournalist. His father, along with his grandfather, a Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame inductee, passed down a love for telling stories through pictures.

Mr. Whaley has taken this passion and assembled a group of award-winning photographers who are dedicated to providing couples with excellence and care. Visit us at to learn more.

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