The week of the Wedding

I took off Wed, Thurs, Friday before the wedding.

I’m so glad I did.  We had family coming in starting on Wed.  I had stuff to do, and we had to pack up SO MUCH STUFF and take it to the hotel. I was also freaking out about the weather at this point, so I was searching for a shawl to wear.  On Thursday, we went and got a couples massage and that was very calming.

Friday we got our nails done, and still searched for a shawl.  I ate lunch at Taco Bell.  It was good.

Right before the rehearsal I put my RD dress on and it was big.  It slid a little bit, and I was worried.  I hadn’t weighted myself in a while, but I think i had lost about 5 pounds at that point.  But the wedding dress fit the next day.

At the rehearsal, everything went by so fast.  I felt like I really had to talk to everyone at the dinner, and we had tall bar tables which weren’t conducive to sitting for a long period of time, so I mingled the whole time.  Becky made me eat, otherwise I wouldn’t have.

I spent the night at the hotel Friday night after the rehearsal.  Best idea ever.  My maids stayed with me so I wasn’t lonely.  Next up:  getting ready in the morning!


Vendor Review- Photographer

I loved our photos.  I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer.

Laura Meyer Photography

Laura met all of our needs.  I didn’t really want a “wedding album” so she custom-made a package that fit our needs.  She also did our fab engagement photos, and I did some boudoir photos as well.

She was willing to meet our price point, and I would recommend her to anyone.  I love love love the photos, and we’ve gotten so many compliments about them.

first look 7

The details

The programs……….


We were greeted at the cocktail hour by tons of goodies.



My mother in law worked VERY hard on Friday to create a bird-like atmosphere for our card box.


Photo Booth!



We peeked into the reception before everyone else came in.




Table numbers on wine bottles that my MIL made.  She changed our wedding invite to say we were married!



Menu that I made about a week before.

We had been to many weddings where there was nothing to do but drink at cocktail hour.

So I made coloring books and Brendan made trivia cards.





Escort Cards (my little sister did them all Thursday night)



How does it feel?

I love being married, but I have no regrets about it being done.  I am so glad it’s over.  I think that people who have a lot of wedding regrets didn’t do everything they wanted to do.  We did everything we wanted to do.  And we loved it.

Some women say they have a “post-wedding depression” after it’s all over.  I couldn’t be farther from that statistic.  I unsubscribed from all the wedding blogs and I never looked back.  I loved my wedding, and it was perfect.


Not taking photos with headphones in the record store

Not having the deejay announce late night snacks

Not going in the photo booth more


And those are such tiny details that don’t really matter.  At all.

Wedding Party photos!


All outside of the Art Institute, all by Laura Meyer Photography.


Maid of honor and Best Man.


I broke down and bought the umbrellas a week before the wedding.





We needed them, the rain was on and off.


Get ready and………



Back to the hotel to meet up with the ushers.

BP with ushers 6

BP with ushers


BP with ushers 5

BP with uers 2


Here is the schedule we used.  Feel free to copy.




Bride                          Anne

Groom                        Brendan

Wedding Party –

Bridesmaid 1
Bridesmaid 2
Bridesmaid 3
Best Man
Groomsman 1
Groomsman 2
Groomsman 3

Usher 1

Usher 2

Parents –

Mother of Bride
Father of Bride
Mother of Groom
Father of Groom

Vendors –

Day of Coordinator  Sara Price
Hotel Coordinator   Sinisa Sirdic
DJ                                Mary Nisi
Officiant                     Tony Grimwade
Cake                           Georgia

Photo booth              Jeff Berger

Videographer           Steve Goodman

Florist                         Addison Ashland

Photographer            Laura Meyer

String Quartet           Michael Frigo



James Hotel Chicago

55 E Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60611





7:45 AM – Breakfast, Shower

9 AM – Hair/Makeup Appointments
Mario Tricoci

Anne:  Hair:  Lynnae, makeup:  Brandon


900 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60610 (basement)



11am:  Lunch- the Grand Lux Café.

600 N Michigan (bridesmaids and bride)


12:30 PM – Bridesmaids arrive to bridal suite bride to put on dress, jewelry.   Bridesmaids’ hair and makeup done, ready to go by this time.

Photographer, 2nd shooter begin shooting day.

Photographer arrives at bridal suite.

2nd shooter to hook up with Groom/Groomsmen at this point.

Groom’s location The James Hotel
Brendan- Groom’s phone #

Clay- Best Man’s Phone #


12:45PM – Put on dress, Pictures of putting on dress, bridal details (all rings, jewelry, shoes, dress, etc)


1:00 PM – Personal Flowers Delivered to Bridal Suite by Florist.
Bridal Suite James Hotel


1:30pm Day of Coordinator there to receive flowers and distribute.



2:00 PM – Bride Departs to meet Groom at Reckless


2:15-3:00 – first look, bride and groom portraits

Reckless Records

26 East Madison


3:00 – 5PM – Photography

Everyone is entirely dressed and ready to go before arriving at the Art Institute at 3:00pm.


3:00pm Art Institute (meet on steps)

  • Bride/bridesmaids
  • Groom/Groomsmen

3:45pm Wrigley Building

  • All Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

4:15pm River Walk- Ushers Join (meet at Wabash and Wacker)

  • Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Ushers

4PM – DOC returns to hotel to oversee setup


5:00 Family Pictures in James Hotel Lobby (both families be there at 4:45pm)


5:30pm- Pictures wrap up…everyone get inside to cool off and relax…Photographers take detail pictures at this point…everything should be set up by now.


Between 6:00-6:15 – Ceremony Starts
6:45 – Ceremony Ends, Cocktail Hour Begins

6:45-7:45 – Cocktail Hour


7:45 guests are asked to be seated for dinner, bar closes

8:00- Guests are seated for dinner,

Grand Entrance, Bridal Party Dance

8:10 – Champagne Toasts.


8:25 Cake is Cut


8:30:  Dinner is served.

Bride and Groom take pictures with each table after eating.

9:15:  First Dance

9:20 – Father Daughter dance, Mother Son dance (Simultaneous)


9:30- Dinner cleared, Cake is Served, Bar re-opens, Dancing begins
Ushers bring gifts to the bridal Suite with Day of Coordinator.

Sara leaves, Mary takes over


12:30- Last Dance, Last call.  (Determines how tired we are)



firrst look 4

We walked around the city to take portrait shots.  I wanted to go to the art institute, and we went though Millenium park.

first look 2


first look 3


first look 5

Outside the Art Institute.

first look 6


first look 7

I bought Brendan these socks the day before.



firstlok 1



These last ones were taken back at the James right before my Bridezilla moment (more on that later)