About the meeting...
Who knew a layover in O'Hare could change our lives? In June of 2013, Brian was flying from LA to Baltimore for work and had a layover in Chicago. His flight was delayed so he wasted time on his iPhone and logged onto his OKCupid dating profile. Since he was logging in from Chicago, it matched him with Toby (who had some very handsome pictures) and he "swiped right". When Toby logged in a few days later, it matched him with Brian and he "swiped right." OKCupid sent them both a message saying they were matched. So Brian sent Toby a long email commenting on his profile, saying how great it seemed, and admitting that it was too bad that they lived in different cities, but "best of luck out there." Toby, in fact, was emailing Brian at the same time with a simple one line email.
"How do you plan to woo me from Los Angeles?" Appalled by the assumption that he was supposed to do anything (and secretly impressed with Toby's directness), Brian emailed back. After 6 weeks of emailing and texting and calling, Brian flew out to meet Toby for one dinner on a hot summer Friday night and well...here we are. Over the past 2+ years, we have fallen in love with each other for many reasons, but one of the things we love most about each other is the circle of friends and family in each other's lives. To marry someone is to bring their circle of people into one's life and we feel incredibly blessed to double our friends and family to include such amazing people as you all!
About the wedding...
We knew we wanted a ceremony that was deeply focused on our love for each other, our families, and our faith. As for the reception, we both agreed that it should be casual, with an emphasis on great food and drink, fun music, and good times, which is why we selected a beer and bacon bar with a trendy space in the West Loop.
We had fun with our wedding planning. Admittedly, there were a few stressful moments, but when those arose, we took a time-out to do something fun (i.e., trips to our favorite wine bar). We worked with a great wedding planner, photographer, and pastor, and through our collective efforts, everything went off without a hitch. Even Mother Nature's 47 degree day (the average high in Chicago on the day we got married was 69) couldn't derail our plans.
Any advice for couples planning their wedding now?
Don't sweat it. Lean into your strengths. Contract out your liabilities. Know what you want and go for it.
We got some great advice for our wedding, which we consistently relied upon: you are not the hosts, you are the guests of honor. That mantra guided us throughout. And we loved hopping a plane the day after our wedding to start our honeymoon and the next chapter. Some folks prefer a brunch, or to go back out drinking with friends the next day. We, however, got up, had cups of coffee with our families to say good bye, and then headed for the airport. It was perfect!
Our whole wedding weekend was decidedly local. We got married in our church, which is right around the corner from our home. Our rehearsal dinner was at a favorite local restaurant. Our Friday evening gathering was at a bar overlooking Wrigley Field, which is also right around the corner from our home. Our weekend had a Chicago feel, punctuated by the number of friends and family who traveled from out of state to be with us. But our favorite part had to be those moments standing in the front of our church and our vows to each other, which felt like it was just the two of us in the world and everything else just faded away.