I wanted to photograph a love story on the grounds of the Fabyan Villa in Geneva, IL and an abandoned grotto in the forest nearby. When I learned “The Great Gatsby” took place in 1922, I imagined what might have become of Jay Gatsby’s mansion after everyone left. Maybe Gatsby left it to Nick Carraway, who couldn’t bring himself to go back there or maintain the estate. One hundred years later, Nick’s great grandson returns to the villa and finds himself as lonely as Gatsby. Unlike the novel’s titular character, he finds love in the form of a woman who rises from the wild gardens, a flower blooming in the spring after a winter of despair. Great houses, chapels, any man-made structures may crumble, but true love is eternal.

Photographer: Polka Photos Makeup Artist: April Lenz Makeup Artistry Dress Store: The Dress Outlet Dress Designer: Jovani Jewelry: Blue Nile Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Formally Modern Tuxedo