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Venue: Pazzo's, Chicago, Illinois
Kersten and I began dating in college, but we had been close friends in high school, and back in early childhood.
I wasn't nervous in the days leading up to the wedding, but the night of the rehearsal dinner one of my groomsmen, who is married, told me that on the day of his wedding he woke up at 7 in the morning and couldn't fall back to sleep. He told me that I was guaranteed to do the same no matter how calm I would try to be. Sure enough, I was awake by 7 a.m. and couldn't fall back to sleep. I found myself pacing around the house, realizing that it wasn't the nervousness that made me anxious, but more the anticipation of knowing that a big event was about to take place.
Our wedding ceremony went along without a hitch. It was attended by close friends and family, as well as the most "loyal" member of our family (our dog, of course — dressed in a wedding gown herself), which Kersten's brother brought to the church to everyone's surprise, including our minister!
Our wedding reception was in downtown Chicago, in a building across the Chicago River from Union Station. Conveniently for us, our church was located a few blocks away from the suburban train station. So how to get from point A to point B: Limos? Trolleys? Try the Chicago Metra train instead! We rented two cars on the train and invited the wedding party and our guests to join us for a quick and traffic-free ride downtown. With bottles of wine and beer flowing, the train ride kicked off the start to an unbelievable reception.
We took some great photos on the train as well in the great hall of Union Station. We headed to Michigan Ave for the classic city shot. Little did we know that each place we stopped, we would be serenaded by street musicians with "Here Comes the Bride," and handed beers by boaters at the yacht club as we passed. Our reception was hosted at Pazzo's Restaurant, which is located in the three-story open-air foyer of a large office building near where I worked a number of years ago.
Pazzo's is located inside a spacious, beautiful atrium of an office building. I stood at the top of those stairs overlooking the restaurant, about to walk down together for the first time with my new wife, and I was breathless.
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