Over the weekend, the boyfriend and I headed to Chicago to attend our first wedding as a couple. My college friends Jordan and Maria, who often appear on this blog during our Chicago adventures, had a really fantastic wedding, and I was honored that they asked me to be a reader during the ceremony.
The wedding festivities kicked off on Friday with the rehearsal. For the venue, Jordan and Maria picked a cool converted warehouse-turned-antique store. There were all kinds of strange knick-knacks and furniture pieces behind the bridal party:
Later, we attended the rehearsal dinner where we drank delicious cilantro-mint “shots”:
The next morning, I started off with a 6.55-mile run on the Lakefront. It was windy and rainy. Awesome.
After lunch, I tested out road bikes in downtown Chicago. (Terrifying.) Unfortunately, I realized that I had forgotten to bring pants to Chicago. Road bike-testing was done in this outfit:
By mid-afternoon, it was time to head to the venue for pre-ceremony preparation and photos.
The bridesmaids dresses were both pretty and functional. For example, Genna could store the bouquet (made of kale) in her pocket to free her hands:
Later, the boyfriend arrived, and we took the requisite “dressed-up” couples photo next to a creepy statue. (Yes, in the antique store.)
In case you were wondering, this was the outfit that I chose: black strapless dress and red heels.
I got through my reading without issue. Then I cried during the vow-reading. That’s okay because Jordan cried too.
You could tell that Maria and Jordan put a ton of effort into personalizing every detail of the wedding. The seating arrangements were inspired by Chicago streets, and we each received a handwritten note, thanking us for coming to their wedding. The boyfriend and I sat with UVA alumnae, including former suitemate Caroline. Note: Damen is the table name–not Caroline’s name.
This was key: the dinner was delicious. On my plate, you will find raspberry-walnut salad, pasta (from the make-your-own pasta bar), some kind of delicious vegetable croquette, a slider, and foccacia.
Kate, the other reader, and I toasted to Jordan and Maria with our mashed potato martinis:
Instead of cake, Jordan and Maria served a variety of Molly’s Cupcakes. I’m usually skeptical of cupcakes, but this was a really fantastic choice of dessert. First, Molly’s cupcakes are delicious and not frou-frou trendy crap. Second, I didn’t have to share with anyone. This was the tiramisu kind:
The dinner and cupcakes were so delicious that I didn’t have room for the late-night snacks: malts and hot dogs. I am sad.
The newly married couple:
…Oh, and I instigated helped them weather their first married crisis. I inadvertently set up a situation where Jordan spilled hot coffee on Maria’s wedding dress.
My God. I shouldn’t be allowed in public.
There was even a photobooth where you could take pictures and put them with a personalized note in a book for the happy couple. The boyfriend and I have tons of practice in photobooths, and we were quite proud of our pictures:
The rest of the evening was fun, and I proud to report that I stayed at the venue until the end of the reception. Additionally, the boyfriend and I even danced, which probably hasn’t happened since Senior Prom.
During the bus ride back to the hotel, someone threw a rock (shot) at the window of the shuttle. This made a catastrophically loud noise and shattered the window. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it did make for a very eventful end to the evening.
This was the broken window.
I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about this wedding because I couldn’t imagine having a good time at an event that involved emotions, drinking, and dancing. However, Jordan and Maria obviously put a lot of thought into planning their wedding, and it was really obvious that they were thrilled to be marrying each other. Additionally, the speeches were the perfect mix of eloquent, thoughtful, funny, and heartfelt, which made the event even more meaningful.
This weekend helped dispel some of my cynicism about weddings as outdated, overrated, overpriced expressions of emotional validation. In short, I had a really great time, and I am very thankful that Jordan and Maria wanted to include me on their very special day. Thanks, you two, if you ever get around to reading this!
Do you cry at weddings? …I forgot to mention that I cried at pretty much every dad-related part of the wedding. I lost it during Maria’s father’s speech, which was probably the least sentimental of the four. Later, I burst into tears when they did their father-daughter dance. The boyfriend joked that at my wedding, I’ll have to hide my own dad behind a screen so I can’t look at him and bawl my eyes out.