Real Wedding Q&A- Thomas & Andy | Bella Bridesmaids

Real Wedding Q&A- Thomas & Andy

Photographer: Katie Basil | Bella Showroom: Chicago | Designer: Adrianna Papell

Now THIS is an affair to remember! Groomsmaids, glitz and glam...what more could we ask for from this perfect pair? Dresses by Adrianna Papell from Bella Chicago! #BellaChicago

How did you two meet?

It seems as if the universe was trying to tell them something. Andy and Tommy's paths had crossed more than once. The first time was when Tommy was choreographing the competitive cheerleading team at the high school where Andy currently teaches. The cheerleading coach wanted the two to meet, unfortunately Andy wasn’t single at the time. Then, in 2010 Andy and Tommy both lived in the same apartment building in Chicago. Andy lived on the 43rd floor of Park Place Tower and Tommy on the top floor, 55th. Again, their paths did not cross. In 2012 both Andy and Tommy resided on the same street, Bradley Place, here in Chicago. It is on that street that the two young men would bump into each other.  They lived across the street from one another and seemed to frequent many of the same bars.  Finally, on the evening of April 1st, 2012 Andy and Tommy finally met...

Tell us about the proposal!

It all took place on Friday, December 13th, 2013. Tommy's mother had called him earlier in the week and asked him if he wanted to go Christmas shopping with her after work...Tommy agreed.

After a few hours of shopping Marianne dropped Tommy off at his and Andy's apartment around 5:30 pm and Andy was headed "home." Tommy was exhausted from a long day and fell asleep on the couch until he received a phone call from the concierge. "Hi Tommy, it's the concierge. I have a time sensitive document here at the front desk for you. I need to you come downstairs and pick it up immediately." Tommy couldn't have been more anxious from that call and ran down to the front desk.  The concierge handed Tommy a small purple envelope addressed to "My Love".

Tommy turned around to open the envelope. Inside was card #1. Tommy raced upstairs, got all his belongings, and headed out to the front of the building where there was a black stretch limo waiting for him. Tommy entered the limo and the driver started heading north on Lake Shore Drive.

Tommy's first destination was Loyola's Lake Shore Campus. Andy and Tommy had trained for the Chicago Marathon the summer before and always talked about what their wedding would be like while on their long runs in and out of Loyola's campus.

When the limo driver opened the door Tommy saw a friend waiting for him. She had black and white balloons, a bouquet of flowers, an envelope, and a cocktail in a mason jar. She was so excited to see Tommy, but she was told not to let him know in any way what was going on. Tommy of course asked many questions, but she could not answer them. Tommy took a selfie with his friend and it was time for Tommy to get back in the limo to head to his next destination. Inside the limo he opened the envelope and read card # 2.

After some crazy 3-point turns, the limo arrived to the apartment where Andy had lived on Bradley Street, the street where they had first met. Jessica (Andy's best friend) was waiting there for him.  She also had a bouquet of flowers, an envelope, a cocktail in a mason jar, and a change of dress clothes. Tommy opened the envelope and read card #3.

Now back in the limo and in the heart of downtown, the limo turned down Columbus Drive. While looking out the window, Tommy saw two people jumping up and down with a sign in hand that read "You're Almost There! Keep Going!!!" The limo pulled over and when Tommy got outside he saw that the crazy people jumping up and down were his siblings Sara and Johnny.  Keeping with the theme they too had a bouquet of flowers, an envelope, and a cocktail in a mason. Tommy opened the envelope and read card #4. At this point Tommy could not wait any longer. Full of excitement, Tommy got back in the limo, and this time Sara and Johnny also joined him for the ride. Question after question after question, and no one was giving him answers.

Finally, the limo pulled up to Chicago's Adler Planetarium. Of course, why wouldn't he have thought of this the whole time. After all, this is their favorite view of Chicago's beautiful skyline. The driver opened the door and Tommy exited the limo while his siblings stayed inside. Waiting for him about 100 yards away under a single street lamp was Andy, alone. Tommy walked as fast as he could over to Andy and greeted him with the biggest and tightest hug. Tommy's first words to Andy were "You are so sneaky!" The rest is a blur as Tommy said and asked many things before Andy had the chance to say anything at all. Then, Andy said... "Are you ready?"

Tommy immediately started crying as he is never good at hiding his feelings. Filled with such happiness Andy exchanged words of joy and then asked "Thomas Michael Mock, will you marry me, be my husband, and be the father to our kids?" Tommy said...


How did you choose the location for your wedding? Location, location, location!

Andy and I both knew that we wanted to have our wedding in the city. In addition to having our wedding in the city, we knew we would have live music and consume a lot wine. Being the wine lovers that we are, how fitting would City Winery-Chicago be? Before visiting the venue we knew it had a performance area, but it exceeded all of our expectations. We knew instantly that this was the place we were going to get married. Andy being a Choir Director, he began planning and writing all the music for our big day. We asked one of his best friends to be our officiant. Lucky for us, she is also a high school Theater Director. Yes, This was going to be a production!

We had it all... a string quartet, pianist, four live singers, 11 groomsmaids, beautiful flowers, amazing food, and the best photographer!

Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

Our wedding was black tie. We a wedding backdrop that our guests were photographed in front of as they arrived. Our guests loved that they could dress up and have a night out in the city. Our flowers, linens, and groomsmaid dresses were all natural colors with the exception of Navy/Steal Gray.

Andy and I also have been using the same florist for years, and I would recommend them to anyone. To be honest, I won't use anyone else. Fleur De Lis Chicago has proven to us time and time again that they are the best at what they do. Don't believe us? Give them a try, I promise you won't be disappointed.


I will just let this all speak for it's self.

Tell us about your bridesmaids dresses!

Lets talk about formal, sexy, long beaded gowns. The only designer to go with is Adrianna Papell.

We had 11 groomsmaids we several different body types and the dresses look fabulous on each and everyone of them. With several different color options to choose, you just can't go wrong. One thing that was important to me (Thomas) was that the dresses didn’t look like a typical bridesmaid dress and that they could (if they wanted to) wear it again. I can tell you that my sister (and maid of honor) absolutely loves her dress, has worn it two different time this year, and has let a friend borrow it for a wedding she was attending. I'm just going to say that my sister got her money’s worth with that dress.

Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?

My Do's and must haves would be... Create a wedding logo and use it on everything.

Have all your guests RSVP on your website/online. - Not only does it save your money on postage, you also have it organized in excel format immediately.

Spend the money on a good DJ, videographer, and photographer - it's worth it.

Get a wedding back drop that your guests can use to take pictures in front of.

Have live music - Some how, some way do this, it changes the whole feel of the wedding.

Choose a great venue...

Advice for other couples planning the big day!

NEVER leave your partners side. So many couples told us once they left their partner, they never saw them again that evening. Andy and I made sure that we were with each other the entire time. This is something I cannot stress enough to other couples. Spend your wedding together, not apart. :-)

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