The Rosemont Park District does a fantastic job of making their garden-and-waterfall attraction at the corner of Higgins and River roads gorgeous — and, as the result of their meticulous work, they handle a steady stream of permit requests from engaged couples hoping to be photographed there. My just-married couple, Rem and Jeanette, were the umpteenth permit-holders to have access to the park for half an hour on a recent Saturday afternoon.
But Rem and Jeanette didn't come to Rosemont just because of the great background. This is where they started to fall in love.
The two met in July of 2010, and on their second or third date, they found this garden unoccupied (a rarity) and decided to search for a parking spot (nonexistent) so they could enjoy its beauty for a little while.
A little while has since turned into a lifetime.
Rem and Jeanette wrote and read personal vows to each other.
"We must have sat there and talked for three hours," Jeanette told me.
"We've been best friends since our second or third date," Rem added.
Wishing to keep their ceremony private, the couple invited no guests — the only witnesses were the party, and the camera guy.
With no one to disturb, I got to shoot from all kinds of angles that I normally cannot.
I may never get to shoot a first kiss that looks like this again.
Thankfully, my subjects made my opportunity look magical.
The pair returned to the waterfall nearly a year later, this time as a newlywed couple.
They told me that the spark began at the Rosemont waterfall, but that most of their falling-in-love took place during the dates that followed, many of which they spent simply talking in coffee shops and walking together through nearby Caldwell Woods. They started walking last summer, and haven't stopped yet, even trekking through the winter and this year's cloudy, rainy and generally gloomy spring.
This couple works because of their simplicity, they told me. Rem said Jeanette is "so easy to talk to," and Jeanette said there are lots of things they like to do together.
"It's a combination of having a lot in common and wanting to be around that person," Rem said.
And finding a good place to be around that person.