Real Wedding Q&A: Laura & Michael

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.

Michael and I met our sophomore year of college at Marquette University at our favorite bar, The Corner Bar in Milwaukee, WI.  It just so happens his best guy friends from high school were my close group of friends from freshman year in college. Michael and I were best friends all through sophomore year until we started dating in our junior year of college.  Upon graduation, I moved to Chicago where all my girlfriends were moving, and coincidentally where Michael was from.  We dated for several more years and had the best time settling into city living with all our friends.

Describe the proposal.

I was planning his surprise 25th birthday party with all of our friends to be held at his parents house in the suburbs. I was working closely with his mom on a guest list and party planning but little did I know, she was behind it all.  Michael knows I am not easily surprised and I pick up on anything suspicious.  Knowing this, he enlisted his mom to put the bug in my ear about planning a party for his own birthday. I was immediately on board knowing he loves anything social with all of our friends.  Michael continued to play along until the day of the "surprise" birthday party. Michael and I drove up to his parents house in Wilmette for "casual" Saturday night dinner. When we were getting out of the car to go to his parents house he pulled me aside the car, grabbed the ring box from the glove compartment and got down on one knee and proposed.  Little did I know, his dad proposed to his mom the same way- in the driveway of his parents house some 30 years ago.  I immediately burst into tears with pure happiness but was still thinking in the back of my mind that we were going into his surprise birthday party.  After we gathered ourselves and our excitement we started walking into his house when Michael said, "Jokes on you Laura, you just planned our engagement party!"  As he opened the front door, my entire family and his greeted us with champagne toasts! Later that evening all of our friends showed up for the "surprise birthday party" which turned to engagement party. We celebrated the rest of the night with good friends and family, good food, and good wine.  It was a night I'll never forget!

How did you choose the location for your wedding? What type of venue were you looking for?

Choosing the location for our wedding was easy. It was always my dream to get married in the cathedral church on Marquette's campus, Church of the Gesu.  I knew that was the most important part of the wedding day so that was my first call to the church to find an available date.  Once I secured a wedding date, I looked at two venues and knew immediately what I wanted. I wanted a very traditional and classic wedding, which I found at the Pfister Hotel grand ballroom.

Tell us about your bridesmaid’s dresses!

My bridesmaid dresses were navy blue long Monique Lhuillier dresses with 3 different style tops. I let my 10 bridesmaids choose their style tops because everyone has styles they prefer to wear and feel pretty in.  My bridesmaids are all gorgeous inside and out so I knew it wouldn't be hard to find dresses that would flatter them all.  I found my bridesmaid dresses at Bella Bridesmaids in Chicago. I worked with Maureen, who was WONDERFUL! My experience with Bella was amazing from our first appointment all the way to the delivery of the dresses and recommendations on alterations.

Tell us about your bridal gown. :) Where did you purchase it?

I found my gown at Weddings 826 in Lincoln Park. It is by Justin Alexander and was an all lace trumpet style dress.  I saw the dress in the window at the shop and knew I had to have it!  My favorite part of the dress was the low lace back.  My veil was cathedral length, which was fitting for the long aisle at the church.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?

My most memorable moment of the wedding day was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Michael at the end of the aisle with a huge smile on his face.  I was so calm and the most happy I've ever been in my life at that moment.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding?

My advice for brides would be to enjoy every step of the planning and don't stress over the little things.  I also recommend asking for help when you need it.  My mom and mother-in-law were such great helpers; I couldn't have planned my wedding without them!

Ceremony: Gesu

Reception: Pfister – Grand Ballroom

Beauty: Joan of Arc Chapel – Marquette Campus & Murphy’s

Bride’s Gown: Justin Alexander via Weddings 826 in Chicago

Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhuillier via Bella Bridesmaid in Chicago

Entertainment: Entourage

Cake: Cake Lady

Florist: La Tulipe

Videographer: One Fine Day

Photographer: Front Room Photography

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