We Love Photogs

In the wedding industry there is a non-spoken annoyance between photographers and videographers.  I can only assume it’s rooted in the fact that everyone has a big job to get done on wedding days.  Hello, you’re capturing one of the most important days of their lives thus far- and you’re expected to deliver and meet the expectations of our sweet couples.  Talk about pressure.  We often hear from photographers how much they appreciate our “Team Spirit” approach.  Patrick and I decided from the get-go that we were not only called to love and serve our couples on their wedding day, but we are also called to love and go the extra mile for the other vendors, especially the photographers.  Instead of choosing competition and selfishness, we choose to work as a team with the photogs.  We try and reach out before the wedding to introduce ourselves.  With this approach, we’ve actually made several genuine friendships with photographers.  When you choose to work as a team, the couple ultimately gets the best work from both parties.  A little kindness and consideration goes a long way in this industry. 

Pat and I were honored to have a few photographers write a few words about what it’s like, as a photographer, to work with us on a wedding day.  We’ll include their words below!

“One of the best parts of being a wedding photographer is meeting so many amazing couples and learning their stories. Rarely does that happen with other wedding vendors. Most videographers or DJs are simply trying to do great work for their clients. Pat and Arielle are no exception, but they take it a step further and actively pursue to have a great relationship with the other vendors they work with.  There seems to be a stigma between wedding photographers and videographers. Each feeling like they deserve to run the show and make their shot the priority. But working with Pat and Arielle is so different. They work with me as a teammate, and both my photography and their videography improves because of it.  I can’t even begin to explain how amazing their work is, so I will let their videos speak for themselves. It’s truly remarkable the stories they capture for their couples. They are so great to work with and I genuinely look forward to the weddings where I get to photograph next to Pat and Arielle. I can’t recommend them enough.” Jonathon Brust from Jonathan Brust Phtography

“Pat and Arielle are awesome! Can we just start by saying that?!? Their love for each other and their love for others is a rare quality scarcely seen but always talked about. Their love for life and the maker of life its self makes them one of those amazing couples when we meet them we were instantly inspired and comfortable working with them. My wife and I have had the opportunity now to photograph multiple weddings alongside The Alcantaras as they preformed the videography. We were both instantly impressed with how much they focused on working with us as a team to accomplish the goals of the Bride and Groom. I think in this field we see a lot of photographers and videographers who have their own visions for the images and video they want from the day and end up being at odds wrestling for time for their own agendas as they think only of building their own portfolios. But I believe that the mark of mature and authentic visual artist in this industry is their ability to listen to the couple and together work to make sure that the couple's expectations are meet and exceeded as a team... And the Alcataras are 1 of the very few we've ever meet who understand and live out that secret of success in our industry. As a full-time husband and wife wedding photography team who have photographed weddings in 31 different States, internationally in both Mexico and New Zealand and 3 Celebrity weddings over the last 12 years... when we tell you The Alcantaras quickly earned our referral as one of the few videographers we ever recommend... we mean it. Their smiles are real, their hearts are big, they're fun to be around and honestly, that kind of couple is the kind of couple who sees life beautifully and as a result they are the kind of couple you want seeing your wedding through their lenses for you to look back on because it will be beautiful! We're so glad we get to call them friends!” – Britton Felber from Photography by Britton

“Seth & I love working with the Alcantaras. They are such a great team and compliment our style of wedding photography. I love that they are easy going and can work with a flexible timeline. They communicate with the wedding photographers very well, which is appreciated. Knowing where they will stand or be or what they need to shoot, is helpful so I can work with them instead of trying to work around or guess what they may or may not do. I feel like we are working towards a common goal of capturing the wedding day and celebration verses trying to outdo one another's artist vision. But I probably most appreciate that they don't interfere with posing. If one of them has an idea, they simply say something to me and wait for an opportunity to set it up instead of interrupting my interaction with the couple. It feels good that they trust me to set up a shot and allow the couple to interact without too many distraction or instructions. After our first wedding with Patrick & Arielle, I friended them on Facebook from the parking lot of the venue and that sums up how I feel about them. They are wonderful people with a honest desire to serve their clients and provide a beautiful video capturing their wedding day. I really like how they are down to earth, fun people and enjoy working with each other and us. They are so encouraging and helpful. I highly recommend them to my brides and grooms looking for a videographer.” –Mary Morris from Seth Morris Photography

“Working with Arielle and Pat was easily one of my best experiences working alongside a Videography team.  As a photographer, having videographers that communicate and work with you instead of around you is vital for both mediums to succeed, and there was never once an issue swapping positions, angles, ideas, etc. while working together.  Pat and Arielle were immediately friendly, warm and extremely easy to work with; and we could readily feed off each other’s vision and creativity while working.  Not only are they a great team, they are also both awesome people.  I can’t wait to work with them again.”

 – Arielle Gallione from Arielle Gallione Photography


Erin + Chad

There was something about the first time we spoke with  Erin and Chad that made us feel like we were long last family.  We knew we had to be a part of their day after that first phone conversation.  They told us their dreams for their wedding day-that it would be an intimate wedding at Erin’s family cow farm filled with a lot of love for each other and our God.  Some may call us crazy for booking their out of state weddingwhen we had a local wedding the next day, but we knew we had to be a part.  Yep…you read that right…we shot their wedding near Louiville, KY and shot in Elburn, IL the next day.  Youngins.  Can I just say that it was so worth it.  Erin and Chad have a love like nothing we’ve seen, both for each other and with the people in their lives.  Pat and I left their day feeling refreshed and energized. 

Can we just talk about Erin’s dad? The Bible talks about God the Father being a loving and tender dad to His children.  Erin’s dad was such a picture of the gentle and sweet love of God.  Erin, Chad and their families are people of faith, so it makes sense why Erin’s dad loves the way he does.  Pat and I would catch him silently serving and praying over their ceremony space.  We had just found out that I was pregnant before we shot their wedding, so for me and Pat to see the example of a strong, quiet and humble father in Erin’s dad was encouraging and an inspiration to both Pat and I.

Erin and Chad started their wedding day off with a breakfast for their out-of-state community.  It was a beautiful time of fellowship and encouragement.  From there until the ceremony it was a time of relaxed preparation, all hands on deck like little busy bees.  Everyone served with so much joy and happiness.  It was amazing to be able to spend the whole day with their loved ones getting to know everyone better.  The love birds shared a beautiful first look, portraits in the fields where Erin ran around as a little girl, and then committed in their own words to each other before the Lord and their friends and family.  Their reception was in a white tent under the stars where they shared desserts, games, dancing and a bonfire.  We have a deep affection and admiration for Chad and Erin.  We are grateful they found us and to call them friends! Be encouraged as you watch their film!

Our Christmas Tradition

We love Friday’s in the Alcantara Household.  We probably won’t do a Flash Back Friday every Friday, but we want to share our Christmas tradition so cheers to FBF!

When Pat and I started dating in 2011, he took me on a romantic date to the Christkindl Market in Chicago.  It was there that we started our first tradition as a couple.  We sipped on mugs of German spiced wine, ate chocolate dipped mixed fruit and picked out an ornament that represented our year together.  That Christmas we chose a heart because that was the year we fell in love.  Insert all the aww’s and heart eyes.  I’m really into traditions so drinking our wine, eating our fruit and picking an ornament hasn’t gotten old these past 6 Christmases together.  Last year was the first year we made a weekend out of it.  We stayed at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel where we wined and dined like we were something special.  This year looked a little different since I was 8 months pregnant and waddled my way around like a winter penguin. But we had a blast together, both savoring in our hearts this last trip “child-less.”  We talked on the way there about traditions we want to have with our kids, and even though we’ll have many Christmas traditions with them, we’re keeping our Chriskindl Market get away just for us.  This year Pat and I stayed at the quaint Public Chicago in the goldcoast right down the street from Restoration Hardware.  I ate there with my besties on a girls getaway and mentioned to Pat how I really wanted to go there with him one day.  He listens and loves me well, so he really wanted to take me there for lunch.  We didn’t feel like waiting two hours for a table, so we headed to Antique Taco for some drool-worthy tacos and guac.  From there we ubered to Christkindl Market and sipped some hot cider…I was legit coveting everyone’s spiced wine around me.  Next year I’m getting two. ;)  We picked out our ornament and chose our chocolate dipped fruit.  We decided to take our fruit back to our hotel and relax before we went to my surprise.  Not going to lie, I napped in the uber on the way back to the hotel...Pat informed me I was snoring and all... (who knew pregnancy would bring on snoring?!) and rocked a 2 hour nap once we got there too.  Hashtag 8 months pregnant.  After our snooze, Pat told me he got us tickets to see A Christmas Carol.  I can’t tell you how much we both enjoyed it.  The acting was outstanding and the whole experience really put us both in the Christmas spirit.  We’ll definitely be seeing it again next year!  After the show we ate delicious BBQ at Chicago Q and shared dessert.  Our hotel was super close to the restaurant so we enjoyed a little city stroll to work off the cheesecake.  Enjoy some pics from our little getaway! We’d love to hear what traditions you guys do! 

Marry Me Under the Willow Tree

We first met Hannah and Zach at a wedding we filmed in Kansas. Hannah was a part of the bridal party and Zach was hanging with the guys all day.  During a quiet moment before the ceremony, Zach told Arielle about how he was going to marry the girl of his dreams and every detail of their engagement.  He was so proud of his beautiful fiancé and showed lots of pictures of their engagement.  Insert all the heart eyes!!

Getting to their wedding was an adventure as it always is with The Alcantaras.  We flew to Maryland on the day of the Friday of NFL Draft weekend, which I guess creates mass chaos at the airport and 3 hour security lines.  Needless to say we missed our flight… by 6 minutes.  Jesus is faithful and listens to His children, so we got on the next flight out without paying a dime.  After a 5 hour layover filled with taking photos, snuggling and two rounds of Caribou Coffee (!!)  we eventually got to Baltimore. 

Hannah and Zach’s wedding day was filled with sentimental moments, happy tears and gorgeous views.  The newlyweds got married under a huge willow tree on a family friend’s farm.  Hannah got ready for her groom in a stunningly old farm house.   Zach got ready at his family’s home a few minutes away. It was so cool to see so many people come together for their day.  Everyone pitched in whether it was making sure all the décor was set perfectly, the hay bails were aligned straight, or everyone was parked where they were supposed to.  Hannah and Zach are surrounded by some of the kindest people.   After they privately exchanged vows at their first look and kissed for the first time as husband and wife at their ceremony, Hannah and Zach danced the night away in the Firehouse where Zach works as a Fireman.  Congrats again to Mr. + Mrs. Gallagher.  We absolutely loved being a part of your day! 

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

Wow- Pat and I have so much to be thankful for this year! We can hardly believe 2016 is already over!

 2016 brought the best couples and we had the honor of capturing our most weddings yet.  We were able to travel out of state for vacation and for business.  We moved twice and started a family first with our puppy and again with our son who will be here in a few weeks! Pat and I have big goals for this year! We are eager to learn, travel, serve, blog, and grow our business in 2017!


Thank you for being a part of our lives! We love you guys! 

Our First Bed and Breakfast

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."

As you all may have seen in our first post, we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary married.

I didn't buy Arielle jewelry. She didn't buy me techy nerdy stuff.

We invested in time.

Time is the one thing you cannot put a price on. Time, unlike "stuff" leaves us quicker than things ever will and once it's gone you'll never get it back. 

So, Arielle and I would much rather invest in experiences together rather than "stuff". Time with just her and I. Where we can just be alone, away from the daily distractions life so often throws our way. Where we can just stop, soak in God's goodness in this marriage and reflect on our past, and dream our future together.

And just breathe. So often we forget to do just that.

Breathe. Listen.

We connect not only with each other on these small getaways. We connect with our Heavenly father who has called us as one. 

So that's exactly what we did for our one year. We experienced our first bed and breakfast.


We've Been Married One Year


“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” –Zechariah 4:10

This blog has been rolling around in my heart for a few weeks.  Patrick and I talked about launching our blog with this one year anniversary post and yet as I sit here during a layover in the airport, 10 days before our one year anniversary, I’m at a loss for words.  It doesn’t feel like a year yet there has been so much newness it seems like a lifetime.  I get so excited thinking about how God is just starting with us.  This year has been a whirlwind of new beginnings…and endings.  When thinking about writing this post, two Bible verses kept coming to mind. Zechariah 4:10 “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” and Isaiah 46:10 “I make known the end from the beginning.”  God has been so faithful in bringing us to newness and showing us when to begin and when to end.  The Lord led us to a church where we met some of the kindest people and helped start a young adult ministry.  About a year later, He led us away from that church into what we’ve named “the wilderness” since we don’t know exactly where God wants us to put roots down in a church yet.  God also led to us to Geneva to begin our married adventure and what a sweet season that was.  It was in that house where I became a wife and a home maker, gained a hospitable heart and a slight obsession with my coffee hutch.  It’s where we spent our first night married.  We celebrated so many firsts there and learned the beginnings of being a husband and a wife.  I loved that home and it broke my heart when God called us away to move in with Patrick’s parents.  God led us to two great jobs and is in the midst of calling us both away.  God has been continually leading Patrick and I to wilderness yet has drawn us closer than I thought would be possible with another human.  To be honest, this year has been a lot of give and take.  And I don’t write that to say that I think God is playing a game with us, no.  I truly believe He has a purpose in leading us to the wilderness.  Jesus is so faithful.  And we believe He is good.  So we trust Him in the giving and the taking.  There have been so many lessons I’ve learned this year of being a wife.  But the one lesson that surpasses them all is that God has rejoiced in this first year with us and that He distinguishes the beginning from the end.  And you want to know the best part? He’s in the beginning and the end because He is the first and the last.  In Revelation 1:17 God says, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.” What peace that brings.

This first year has been the best wild ride.  I believe year two will be a year of prepping to begin the adventure with our Alcantara Army.  People ask us all the time when we are having babies (ahem..mother) and how many we want.  I always answer how we want an army and to fill most of a row at Christ Community Church…just kidding…kind of.  God’s timing is perfect and that’s all I’ll say about that. There is so much hope going into year 2.  Patrick and I both have grateful hearts.  I personally am so grateful for a God-loving husband who loves and leads me so well.  Bring on year 2 with more change, more journeying, and more adventures for The Alcantaras.