Believe it or not, I didn't just go to Chicago to pal around and drink all day with Laura and an assorted cast of miscreants. I had a very special wedding to attend, and the Sunday night of my trip brought the culmination of months of looking forward to the event.
Melissa and Jordan's wedding could not have been more beautiful, and I have to say, she could not have been a calmer, more gracious, all around chill bride. Every time I saw her leading up to the event, she was completely normal and laid-back, and that was so refreshing. Her wedding also marked a first for me...my first Jewish wedding ceremony! With the overwhelming prevalence of Catholics in my (hi, duh) Notre Dame grad-heavy social circle, I got extra-excited to see and experience her wedding.
Held at the beautiful Chicago History Museum right off Lincoln Park, I knew we were in for a gorgeous event the second I saw these flowers...
The bright, stunning flowers and lush greens contrasted with the stark, simple navy programs and place cards and matched the stained-glass windows installed around the room perfectly. With high ceilings and clean white walls and molding, the room was flooded with light the entire ceremony...so beautiful!
As we were seated in the back, my Breen-Phillips (dorm) friends and I took full advantage of the subtle iPhone paparazzi placement. Unfortunately, maid-of-honor Theresa booked it past us so fast I could only catch this blurry shot of her beaming her way down the aisle!
Fortunately, Melissa and her dad took things at a more sedate pace. That said, this is also the only good photo I got of the two of them, because I was so busy gushing to Megan and Elizabeth on either side of me about how radiant she looked.
Jordan and Melissa's traditional Jewish ceremony took place under a chuppah, and was performed by an orthodox rabbi who was as funny and personable as he was reverent. Although much of the ceremony was performed in Hebrew, he made sure to explain everything before or after it took place. He also offered fascinating details of the significance of numerology in Hebrew, explaining how each word in Hebrew corresponds to a number, and those numbers often hold meaning when other words sharing a number are considered. We got to yell "Mazel Tov!" as Jordan broke the glass too, which I got inordinately excited to do...of course.
They're married!! Look at those smiles!
I also couldn't resist taking approximately eleven photos of the back of Melissa's beautiful dress. Trust me, it was even prettier in person...I think I have a serious thing for wedding dresses with detail in the back. Fun fact, courtesy of the bride herself: although Jordan never saw her in her dress prior to their wedding day, he often saw her in her veil...because she practiced wearing it around their apartment on a regular basis. Personally, I think that trend should definitely continue through the course of their marriage...who wouldn't love the thought of cleaning toilets in a bridal veil?!
Another blurry-but-sweet shot of lovely T making her way out. Love this girl.
Cocktail hour was held immediately outside the ceremony and reception hall, on the patio fronting Lincoln Park! Although it sprinkled a tiny bit, we all figured if the bride could brave the drizzle, we all could. The exterior of the museum, with its stately columns and dramatic staircase, also made for some pretty epic newlywed posing.
The Breen-Phillips contingent! I had such a fantastic time catching up with each of these loves...from Theresa getting her PhD, to Elizabeth newly-married and starting her residency, to Megan killing it as an actuary and Melissa working at a super-intense charter school...it always blows my mind to hear about all the amazing things my fellow 2011 grads and Babes are up to.
Let's chat about this dinner real quick. That watermelon salad? I could have eaten it every day last week happily. Melissa also catered to her Babes with wedding cake AND a full dessert bar...our dorm mascot wasn't a pig for no good reason!
I also have to commend the happy couple on how efficiently and personably they made the rounds. I chatted with them at least four times over the course of the night, which was super impressive given the size of their wedding. Just goes to show what wonderful people they are.
Congratulations, Jordan and Melissa! Here's to a lifetime of happiness and love for the two of you. With Melissa's affinity for all things princess, your life together will likely be nothing short of a fairy tale!
Mazel tov, my dears!