Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

"While we were from the same hometown, we had never met until the night before Thanksgiving 2011 while we were both out with friends. In a very out of character moment, I stopped Casey in his tracks and told him he should buy me a drink. After he bought me that drink (and spent the next hour with me), I asked him out for coffee after Thanksgiving. Coffee led to dinner the next week, and we were inseparable from then on.

"We dated while Casey lived in the suburbs and I was living in the city - lots of phone calls and texts during the week and as much time as possible spent together on the weekends. After about a year and half, I moved in with Casey in the suburbs, and we continued to grow from there. We traveled together, we got our puppy Brewser, and built our home together. After a year and a half, we found our way back to Chicago for my job at The Tie Bar, which was moving offices from the suburbs into the city. Casey proposed to me at a work happy hour that was to celebrate our move to the city. He had been working with my co-workers all week to plan it, and I was truly surprised. He got down on one knee on the rooftop of the Civic Opera building, and I yelled “yes” before he even had a chance to ask.

"We wanted a wedding that was simple, elegant, but most importantly, one that reflected us as a couple. We stuck to neutral colors for the day and minimal decoration since our venue, an old factory, did not need any help. We tried to use little pieces of our family throughout the day – my uncle did our flowers, our cake stand was Casey’s grandmother’s, and many more little tidbits. I was able to wear my grandmother’s jewelry that my grandfather gave her during their marriage – it had been the one thing I always knew I would wear on my wedding day.

"The day of was very relaxed, even with the 100% chance of rain starting at noon. It poured most of the day, so we definitely had luck on our side. Our ceremony was sweet and simple, filled with laughter, tears, and our own vows. The reception had even more laughter and tears, and was just one big, loving social gathering. We gave playing cards out as favors (we love a good game of rummy), had potato chip bags for our late night snack (our favorite!), and did our first dance to one of our favorite bands – Alabama Shakes! At the end of the day though, our favorite thing was being able to see all of our favorite people together, having fun in one room." -- Melissa

Venue: The Starline Factory // Flowers: Hoffmann Florists // Dress: David's Bridal // Suit: Nordstrom // Men's Accessories: The Tie Bar // Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas // Photographer: Feather Print Photography // Bakery: The Sugar Circle

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Friday, June 24, 2016

"Our love story is a bit serendipitous. We both grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, played tennis at the same club, and even had the same tennis coach (who years later was the reader at our wedding). A five year age difference kept us at a distance even though I had a crush on Brian. College and life took us in separate directions.

"Years later, I moved to Chicago. Brian was already living here. I was new to the city, so I reached out to him to tell him I moved here. He asked where in the city I was living and told him. He said my apartment was literally the building next door to him! We couldn't believe it! We started hanging out and setting each other up with our friends. Told all my single friends I had the perfect guy for them. He did the same. Little did we know that we were perfect for each other.

"We dated for nearly four years. On Aug 28th, he proposed -- but I didn't make it easy. It was a long week of work. I wanted to reschedule our date night to the next day so I could relax, but he said after some rest I might feel better. I didn't, but I gave in put on a dress. I climbed into an Uber Black Car, while Brian ran upstairs because he forgot his watch. The driver confirmed with me that we were heading to Mastro's Steakhouse. I said I thought we were headed to Girl and the Goat. When Brian got in the car I asked if we were heading to Mastro's. He said, yes for a drink.

"When we got there, the hostess walked us upstairs rather than to the bar. I asked why we were walking upstairs and he didn’t reply. The hostess walked us to private dining room that was decorated with balloons, flowers, and champagne. I walked out and said something to a waiter about how this wasn't our room. We were only there for a drink! The waiter walked me back in. Brian thought at this point I knew, so the waiter pushed me down on a chair and he got down on one knee. I was completely surprised!

"Our day was magical! Brian and I went for a three-mile run together on the Lakefront. It was a balmy 28 degrees that morning. It was so nice to have time alone before the day got started. We are avid runners, so these days when we run on the lakefront and see The Drake I have a huge smile on my face reminiscing about the day and our first look on the rooftop.

"The moment I walked down the aisle was one that was unexpected! I was so excited to see everyone that I started waving and saying hello to everyone! I couldn’t contain my excitement that close friends and family was all there for us. Saying our vows I couldn’t focus. I was so excited to be standing in front of everyone and marrying my best friend! We celebrated and danced so much that we were sore the next day!

"Wedding planning was very easy for us. Jessica Schultz from Sweetchic took care of a lot. I trusted our florist and never saw my flowers until I walked down the aisle! It was a simple and elegant wedding. It was fitting for us, as it reflected who we are as people. Nothing over the top, just something simple and nice." -- Linda Tran

Ceremony & Reception: The Drake Hotel // Photography: Kenny Kim & Zach Brake for Kenny Kim Photography // Officiant: Rev. Barry Kolanowski // Wedding Consultant: Sweetchic Events // Bride's Gown: Bianka Bridal // Hair: Erin Graham Hair // Makeup: Elizabeth Chervinko for Chanel at Bloomingdales 900 // Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom // Formalwear: Macy's // Invitations: // Flowers: Vale of Enna // Catering: The Drake Hotel // Entertainment: DJ - Double B Entertainment, Pianist - Cole DeGenova // Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s // Transportation: Windy City Limousine 

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