06-16-12

First of all, a big Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Will! I cannot believe it has been a years since we got married! Boy does time fly. There are so many loose ends to tie up after a wedding, that we finally almost feel caught up. One year ago today we were off in the Greek Islands! What I would give to be back there today instead of here in Chicago dealing with all this crazy flooding!

I wanted to post some of my favorite photos from our big day that didn’t make it to our album for all of our friends and family to see! Thank you to everyone who made this day the happiest day of our life together – it couldn’t have been more perfect!

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I fell in love with these shoes and had such a great time trekking around in them!

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My bridesmaids and I got ready in our suite at the Residence Inn hotel right across the street from Spiaggia. It was so convenient to have the hotel so near for easy access home after the reception!

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Two of my bridesmaids were childhood friends I grew up with through grade school and high school. We all still proudly wear our high school rings – even to the wedding!

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We got all of our flowers from Whole Foods Market. I LOVED the flowers they selected for the men’s boutonnieres! Very nontraditional and exotic with tons of texture!

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Our friend Shehan from college flew in all the way from Hong Kong to be in our wedding! We are so blessed to have the best friends!

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Thanks to all my bridesmaids for helping me look amazing that afternoon!
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We departed from the hotel and headed for the church. The elevators at the hotel were really slow and crowded that afternoon so we ended up using the service elevator for a more spacious and timely departure!0116_101140120_1010901230119

We jumped on the trolley and headed to the church! My sister rode to the church separately with her fiancé so she missed out on the photo shoot! From left to right my maid of honor Maureen, my childhood friend Bridget, my two dietitian girls I went to college with Catherine and Jessica, my sister-in-law Laurel, and of course my beautiful cousins Maggi and Caprice!

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The weather was really warm, but the trolley ride was a nice and breezy!

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Our wedding ceremony took place at Old St. Pat’s church right downtown on Adams and Des Plaines.

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Old St. Pat’s has such beautiful architecture!

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Will and his Best Man from college, David.

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All the grooms men waited patiently to go into the church. From left to right: Will’s college friends Shehan and John, my brother Ricky, college friend Giancarlo and best man David.

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My wonderful new in-laws!

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My brother Ricky and beautiful mother of the bride!

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My dad and I made our way down the alter. Seeing everyone who came to the wedding as I made my way down the aisle was so fun – I wanted to stop and say hi to everyone!

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Will of course was waiting for me at the alter.

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Our wedding party sat at the alter while we knelt at the front.

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Our priest, Father McNulty, is a family friend who has been around since I was a kid and it was such a blessing to have him marry us!

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It was SO HOT under the lights of the alter. We were both melting up there and still laugh about this today.

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Kneeling at the statue of the Virgin Mary during the Ave Maria.

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And before we knew it, we were married!

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I had 6 bridesmaids and Will only had 5 groomsmen so Shehan was kind enough to escort 2 of my ladies down the aisle!

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My sister Alina and brother Ricky! Alina is actually getting married in April 2014 and I cannot wait to be a part of her destination wedding!

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I was so lucky to have my grandma travel from Kankakee for our wedding! My dad escorted her and my mom down the aisle after the ceremony.

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Everyone rang small bells as we exited the alter. We made our way around the side of the building and back into the church for photos!

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Our time in the church after the ceremony was limited, so we quickly got as many photos in as we could!

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The whole party!

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My family with Will as our new addition!

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We even got a picture of the entire side of my dad’s family! We used to take a big family picture every Christmas, but as all the cousins got older, we weren’t always all able to make it to Christmas together. It was fun to get an updated family photo with everyone there!

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We all jumped back into the trolley and opened up the champagne and beers to celebrate! Then we were off for our trek around the city for some photos.

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Our first stop was the Kinzie street bridge.

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We used to live over near the Kinzie street bridge and every weekend we saw couples taking wedding photos on it because of the great views. It was finally our chance to be one of them!

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Behind the bridge, there is a “thank you” message painted on a brick wall up on a loading dock.  The boys helped to hoist me up there!

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We wanted to stop and get a couple photos for our all of our guests!

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Back on the trolley! Next stop, Michigan Avenue!

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Living in downtown Chicago you see a lot of brides on Michigan Avenue. I always dreamed of being one of them and had the time of my life walking the streets of downtown Chicago and waiving to honking vehicles!

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Time for the reception! We had our reception at Spiaggia restaurant – one of my favorite places in the city!

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The head table.

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Centerpieces from Whole Foods – they did such an amazing job!

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We had a Spiaggia cookbook as our guestbook! I love paging through this cookbook every now and then and seeing all the fun messages from our family and friends!

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Cake cutting utensils – compliments of my mom!

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We got our cake from a bakery called Flour here in Chicago. We had 2 flavors – Vanilla with Raspberry Mousse and Lemon with Apricot Mousse. Flour did such a great job on the cake and the flavors were to die for!

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Goodie bags from our guests included the famous Chicago Frango mints

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We had disposable cameras on the tables for our guests to capture some moments we may have missed!

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Our grand arrival!

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Toasts by both dads!

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Cheers!

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Toasts by the Maid of Honor and Best Man!

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Maureen and David gave the most memorable speeches. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling!

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Family friend Judge Mullen said the opening prayer before dinner and my uncle even got up to say a few unexpected memorable words on our behalf.

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We headed outside after dinner to capture a few evening photos!0697_10722

We returned for the cake cutting and first dance!

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We danced to Michael Buble Hold On – we’ve loved him since we met in high school. This was my favorite moment of the night – Will and I love to dance and at this moment it felt like no one else was watching.

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Father daughter dance!

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We offered an Anniversary Dance where our DJ slowly asked people to leave the dance floor depending on how long they had been married.

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While we were the first couple off the dance floor, my great aunt Al and uncle Bob were the last couple standing. Married for over 60 years they are the perfect role models of true love!

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All the single ladies gathered around for the bouquet toss.

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My childhood neighbor Barb made the lucky catch!

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The garter toss!

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Will’s former coworker Matt caught the garter – lucky man!

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And then it was time to cut loose! We had Carrie from Toast & Jam DJ our reception and she was spot on with every song selection!

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Long after the bar closed, we eventually had to kick the party out of the restaurant around 2AM!

I wish we could relive this night over and over again! Things couldn’t have been more perfect!

Comments

  1. Amari! Your wedding was beautiful and I still think and talk about how much fun it was! I clearly had a lot of fun on the dance floor. Happy anniversary to you and Will! <3

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