Kacy and Will first met in college at a bonfire party—she was a freshman and he was a sophomore. She had just returned from a J-Term class in Southeast Asia and was invited to the party by some friends she made while on the trip and they just happened to be Will’s roommates. They were friends for three years before they started dating.
We watched ‘Shawshank Redemption’ at Will’s apartment. I sat on the opposite couch because I wasn’t sure that it was actually a date! It became pretty clear after he asked me to share a blanket because “he was cold.”
After graduating, I knew I wanted to live abroad. I applied all over and ended up teaching English in Malaysia while Will was working in Indianapolis. The year apart was hard on us both and made us realize that we never wanted to live apart again.
THE QUIRKIEST THINGS
Kacy doesn’t like zippers or seams…and insisted on wearing velvet pants exclusively until the eighth grade.
He’s currently in business school and is chalk-full of business factoids. Want to know who created the CT Scan or throughput theories on how to most efficiently pack a van? ASK WILL!
THE ‘I LOVE YOU’
Surprisingly, I did! I was pretty slow and steady when it came to dating, so I didn’t agree to date him until I was sure that he was long-term material. When I was sure, I was sure!
Will knew that I wanted to be surprised so he dropped down on one knee in our apartment one Saturday morning. He had arranged for my best friend to meet us for brunch and then take our engagement photos at Diversey Harbor (where my parents got engaged!) followed by a sunset cruise on Lake Michigan, dinner at The Signature Room atop the Hancock Building, and finally, a stay at The Drake. The next day, we drove out to Elgin where our parents threw us a surprise engagement party.
The night before Will graduated from DePauw, his roommate was playing Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” on repeat. I was crying so hard all weekend that it soon became a joke that the song “Piano Man” made me cry. The following summer, Will and I discovered the piano bar Howl at The Moon and I bet you can guess what song a piano bar would play repeatedly through the night. It became our tradition to look for a piano bar whenever we travelled and of course, Howl at The Moon had to play “Piano Man” for our first dance at our wedding.
I grew up on Douglas Avenue in Elgin, so it made a lot of sense to pick a venue so close to home. It was an added plus that The Haight is also around the corner from the church where we wanted our service—the same church that my grandma and grandpa got married in. The Haight was the first venue we toured. We were immediately blown away and loved the versatile space. We cancelled the rest of our venue tours and booked the next day.
We didn’t have a traditional head table and instead had one huge arrangement of farm tables down the middle of the dining room where we seated all of our college friends. There was a moment during the beginning of dinner service where we just stopped and looked at each other. It was so cool to be seated at the head of a table of 50 people who hadn’t all been in the same place in over five years—we were so grateful that they all showed up for us! We also had a blast dancing to the piano band. There was a moment where one of the musicians was playing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on an electric fiddle while straddling the pianos! It was nuts!
The dress is Justin Alexander from Shelley’s Bridal in West Dundee (now out of business but happens to be the same store I got all my prom dresses and middle school dance dresses!). The suit is Joseph Abboud for Men’s Warehouse.
Planning a wedding was great practice for marriage. It forced us to have hard conversations about money, juggle competing family priorities, and make some really big decisions together. The only thing that has changed for us since getting married is that with the wedding behind us, we’ve put our wedding savings towards a bigger apartment and have moved into a high-rise in downtown Chicago! We have finally been able to put our wedding gifts to good use!
Planning a wedding can be stressful so make a point of celebrating the small stuff. Booking the venue, solidifying the budget, finding the dress…pop some bubbly every step of the way and live in each moment! Also know that if you chose a cathedral length veil, your pictures will come out stunning, but you may end up being pulled around by the head all day. That’s the only thing I might change!
We were blown away by the support of our network while we planned a wedding! Special mentions to Krissy Palermo who volunteered to style and coordinate our wedding on the day-of and met with us for months in advance. We also couldn’t have done I without Megan Padding, Gordon Richards, Sam Rauschenberger, and Aland and Kevin Teraji who helped run errands and set up the space so we could take photos in Chicago.
PHOTOGRAPHER: ALYSSA MCELHENY PHOTOGRAPHY | VIDEOGRAPHER: GABBY HULST STORYTELLING
FLORALS: JO MC & CO| CATERING: CHEF BY REQUEST
CAKE & SWEETS: DeETTA’S BAKERY | MUSICIAN/DJ/: HOWL2GO
ALCOHOL: DRINKS ON ME CATERING | HAIR & MAKEUP: APPEASE INC.
Categories: Real Weddings
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