Fall Wedding at the Chicago Athletic Association

Perri & Sam chose the Chicago Athletic Association for their wedding because “Our first date was at the Chicago Athletic Association (CAA)” said Sam. “It was a magical late fall/early winter evening. We had a lot to talk about and were very excited to get to know each other. We first met in the lobby of the CAA, then walked up to ‘the game room’ for drinks and snacks. Later in the evening we went into the hotel lobby to explore the old fire place.” The couple also chose the historic Chicago wedding venue because of its deep roots to the city and their love for Chicago. Sam told me, “It was important to share this love with our guests who would be coming from out of town or traveling into the city for our celebration. We were most looking forward to getting all of our families together. We were very excited to get all of our friends together to celebrate our love for and with them.” It’s that type of caring consideration for friends and family that made it such an honor to photograph the couple’s wedding and to call the two my friends.

I grew to know Sam many years ago as we traveled the country seeing the Vermont jamband, Phish. Sam has been an enduring member of Phish’s non-profit organization, The Waterwheel Foundation. The WaterWheel Foundation raises funds for non profit organizations in each community Phish visits while on tour. The foundation chooses non-profits to help such as social services, primarily those benefiting women and children; environmental, with a focus on clean water and land conservation with public access; as well as food banks, urban gardening and more.

Sam and I once ran into one another once on a plane from Chicago to New York where we were both flying into town solo to catch Phish perform at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve. I was on my way to an art gallery in Chelsea before the concert and asked Sam if he’d like to join me. Without missing a beat Sam said, “I’m down“. That perfectly encapsulates the type of person Sam is – always up for spontaneous adventure! His Instagram reads like a who’s-who in the music entertainment industry. Sam has a fortuitous way of meeting – and often capturing a selfie with – celebs such as David Byrne, Eddie Vedder, Bootsy Collins, Jeff Tweedy, Trey Anastasio, Tom Morello and Wayne Coyne, not to mention politicians and actors such as Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Murray and Bob Odenkirk, just to name a few recent run-ins.   Much like the Waterwheel Foundation, Sam is such a generous, compassionate and caring soul which is why he was blessed to find his love, Perri, and why so many of his family and friends traveled from far and wide to attend the couple’s wedding.

How did you two get engaged?

“We drove up to Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin for a weekend getaway in the fall. During that trip, I brought Perri into the old tree house on site and proposed while in the loft of the tree house. It was another magical Fall weekend where we spent the rest of the weekend hiking and enjoying the Fall foliage. During the evenings we spent in the old guest lodge with a fire going, drinking wine, and sharing stories with the groundskeeper.”

The couple love to embrace nature and take their dog, Tucker, on walks exploring the woods. For their honeymoon, Perri and Sam rented a cabin in the town of Leeland, in Northern Michigan. “It was a  beautiful modern cabin that we had all to our selves. It was very quiet throughout the town and lakes. The foliage was at its peak. We did a lot of hiking (Perri, Tucker, and I). We climbed sand dunes, tasted wine and explored the old fish town (in Leeland).”

What was one of the best things that happened on your wedding day?

Sam confessed, “One of my favorite things was waking up and seeing that the maples in Millennium Park had turned red.” Though it snowed for the first time in Chicago on the morning of the couple’s wedding, it was “the red maples did it for me. I also thought the wedding procession was pretty close to perfect!”


“There were a number of magical things that happened throughout the evening to synergistically make it absolutely wonderful. There were a lot of amazing things and people on the dance floor throughout the night. I especially loved the Persian wedding song. We also closed out the night singing New York New York, with all the families in a circle.”

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It is with tremendous honor that I unveil these incredible highlights from Perri and Sam’s wedding. To see the entire collection of images captured during the couple’s extraordinary day, please visit the FULL GALLERY link in the navigation menu above.










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