Caitlin and Joey met within the first week of medical school when they were assigned in a biochemistry group together. The assignment required the group to come up with consensus test answers for hours, which resulted in a lot of debate between the lot of them.
After we argued over test answers for hours, we would all hang out and became a pretty close group of friends (two other biochemistry group members stood up at our wedding as well). After two years of friendship, Joey and I finally decided to start dating. It was a big step for us, but I think most of our class mates thought we had already been dating for a long time.
The First Date
Since we were friends before dating, I’m not sure if we ever went on an official “first date.” I remember one of the first times that Joey formally took me out… he took me to Evil Dead The Musical in Chicago. I wore a nice dress and heels and when we got there we were told there was a ‘splatter zone’ where you would have to wear a plastic sheet over your outfit. It is still definitely the best date I’ve ever been on.
The Quirkiest Things
Joey is always coming up with bizarre ideas for inventions, like a t-shirt made of sunblock or a wristwatch that somehow keeps you cool on hot days. He also loves to cook and create new recipes, which is a huge perk for me as I tend to avoid the kitchen at all costs.
Caitlin has a proficient knowledge of 80s horror films, has seen every zombie movie, and thinks this makes her equipped to survive most potential apocalypse scenarios. Sometimes I have to say—can we please watch a normal movie tonight?
Joey took me to dinner at Lincoln Park’s North Pond, which has a beautiful view of the city looking south over the pond. He had planned on proposing after dinner with this view in the background. However since it was December 27th and freezing, he was correctly concerned that I might not tolerate standing in the cold to look at the view for very long, so last minute he decided to go to the Lincoln Hotel after dinner and propose indoors—a good idea, as I refused to even wait outdoors for the cab. As a surprise, he had flown my parents in from Minnesota that morning and all of our parents had spent the day decorating one of the hotel rooms. He proposed there, and several seconds later my parents burst into the room. It was so exciting and surprising to have them to celebrate with us.
The Wedding Day
Caitlin’s Favorite Part
I have a couple of favorite parts. First, having all of my best friends and family in one place for the first and probably only time ever. Second, our personally written vows turned out beautiful, hilarious, and heartfelt. Third, running around the dance floor at the end of the night singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody.
Joey’s Favorite Part
My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. We worked hard to have a ceremony that was uniquely suited to us. I got to walk down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song, while Caitlin walked down to a piano cover of the Pixies (her favorite band). Two of our friends read excerpts from Plato’s Symposium and the Little Prince. We wrote our own vows, and I’m so glad we did. I feel like those 30 or so minutes were a perfect expression of our relationship.
Finding time to look at wedding venues was challenging for us, as we were both in residency throughout the planning process and days with both of us off work are hard to come by. I actually ended up having Joey visit The Haight with his mom while I was working in the hospital. He face-timed me in the call room during the tour. He kept saying, “I really think we should choose this place; it’s really cool.” Even through his unsteady camerawork, I thought The Haight looked beautiful. The wooden floors, brick, and exposed ceilings gave it an industrial vibe, with enough free space to customize it to my exact vision. Even though I almost panicked over choosing a venue without having seen it in person, Joey begged me to let him book a date. We signed up for September 1st, and soon I was able to stop by and see my wedding venue in person. I was so relieved that it was just as perfect as he described.
Enjoy the process. A wedding is an amazing expression of your love for one another. It is also a massive creative endeavor and allows you the unique chance to turn your vision into a reality. Embrace the opportunity to express yourself.
All our vendors were so amazing and made our wedding day so much easier. Bianca Sansosti and her team were professional, hilarious, and made us all look and feel amazing. Our photo/video team at REM so sweet, they guided us through the somewhat grueling process of the photo session and the results were beyond worth it, I love our pictures so much. We also had You Name It Events as our month of coordinators, which was an incredible relief. I didn’t have to worry about anything on the wedding day, it was all handled behind the scenes and ran very smoothly. Our florist, Jamie, from Town & Country Gardens, met in person with me multiple times to help me realize my floral vision (there were A LOT of flowers) and they were exactly what I wanted… especially that ceremony arch! Our caterer, Cuisine America, prepared an amazing and efficiently served family-style dinner, we got so many compliments on the food and the service. Our DJ was Gary Hipperson from Sounds Abound and he was the literal best, my coworkers still talk about DJ Gary and multiple people asked me for his contact information for their own weddings…he actually is going to dj our family member’s wedding later this year.