Last weekend, as autumn leaves swirled about on crisp, clean breezes, and sunshine warmed the interior of Lords Park Pavilion, two of my favorite people awoke among friends, and prepared to marry one another. It was a day that their community of loved ones had long awaited. A day that the happy couple had planned almost entirely on their own, but was filled with the help of many close, helping hands. And as for atmosphere, it could not have been a more picturesque fall setting.
Bri and Mike met one another years ago, back when Bri and I were roommates in our first year of college, and left upon each other a lasting impression. Although they took their time getting together, it was clear that these two had the sort of bond that could stand up to nearly anything — together they practiced compassion, passion, and best of all, the art of patience. For nearly a decade, and perhaps without knowing it, they became a pillar among relationships. The steady sort of guiding light that brought comfort, inspiration, and joy to those around them.
The strength of Bri and Mike’s character was evident last Saturday, as a few small snafus threatened to rain on their nuptial parade. Normally, I wouldn’t mention those sort of moments about a wedding day, but in this circumstance, I feel compelled — compelled to share how ubiquitous their patience was, even in the face of unexpected changes to their big day. It was truly beautiful to watch how no matter what came up, these two kept their cool, and kept the only thing that truly mattered in mind: their love.
I guess that’s what happens when an incredible artist who can handle just about anything marries a comedian with a heart of gold.
Preparations began early, as Bri and her bridesmaids (myself included), got ready. Of course, the beautiful bride was pampered and beautified by two of her closest friends, who also happen to be a very talented makeup artist, and hair wiz.
For anyone who knows Bri, there could not have been a more perfect gown than the incredibly striking, black, cutout mermaid wedding dress that she chose. Both elegant and unique, Bri’s dress simply accentuated her exquisite poise, beauty, and intrinsically artistic nature.
With the help of her maid of honor, the bride slipped into her stylish statement gown in between hair and makeup.
Eventually, we made our way to Lords Park Pavilion in Elgin, IL, and I met up with Mike and his very handsome groomsmen.
Standing between his two older brothers, with his best man to the far left and his nephew to the far right, Mike was definitely surrounded by a wealth of comradery and support.
Turns out there’s nothing like having older brothers around to have your back (and maybe beat you up a bit) on your wedding day.
Having known Mike all these years, it was easy to finally see where his sense of humor blossomed from. His family is kind, outgoing, and a lot of fun to be around. Just like the groom himself!
After hanging out with the groomsmen and the groom, I made my way back inside, where an adorable assortment of ring bearers and flower girls were waiting with the lovely bride.
Aren’t those red and black dresses just exquisite? Stunning colors for an autumn wedding!
After capturing a few sweet moments between Bri and her lovely mother, it was time for a few last minute adjustments before the ceremony got underway.
The ceremony was short and sweet. As Bri and Mike shared vows of love and friendship, many of us had trouble holding back tears of joy.
After the ceremony, we snuck outside for a few photos of the wedding party.
The wind picked up quite a bit though, and the bride and groom were anxious to get to their reception, so we didn’t hang around long. Just long enough for Bri to put up with her best friends’ antics. Clearly, her unamused face takes the cake!
And of course, the newlyweds shared a kiss or two, in spite of the chilly air.
The fun filled, blissful day continued at the Heritage Ballroom in downtown Elgin, where cupcakes, cake, a delicious dinner, and dancing commenced.
It was here, surrounded by friends and family, that Bri and Mike finally enjoyed their first few dances as a married couple. It’s easy to see the love and trust that makes up the foundation of their relationship, and even easier to see the lighthearted joy they share now, and that I’m sure, will be theirs for the rest of their lives together.
Bri and Mike, thank you both for making me a part of your day. Thank you for being some of the kindest, most sincere, and genuine friends that I have ever had. And thank you for all of the memories yet to come, as you begin this new chapter together. Congratulations — I love you both!