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APRIL 2020



Tony took me to see the 5th “Pirates of the Caribbean” at the Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton…I picked that movie because I figured it’d be okay to chat together and laugh during it, since we all know the plot of every “Pirates” is pretty much the same.


M: Tony is so wonderfully playful and down-to-earth. He makes life fun and keeps me laughing all the time.

T: I love Mariah’s determination.


M: We were “just friends” for about four months before we made our relationship official, and by the time that happened, I knew I wanted to marry him.

T: I knew I wanted to get married shortly after meeting her. (Then after she said “yes,” I REALLY knew.)


A good friend of mine recommended we check out the Meyer Ballroom, because it had been her top choice for her own wedding venue (before finding one closer to where she lives). I felt confident saying “yes” to the Meyer Ballroom after our first visit! Every staff member we met was knowledgeable and friendly, and this venue definitely offered the most value and service (by far) for our wedding budget. Having grown up as a dancer and spending a lot of time onstage, I also loved the idea of getting married at a theater – it felt like home, in a way.


M: We didn’t do anything too fancy to propose to our wedding party members. I sent each bridesmaid a cute card (from PaperSource, one of my favorite stores) and gifted each of them a mug from Anthropologie (their tiled Margot monogram mugs go on sale periodically, and everyone loves them).

T: I sent a group text…


We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are as a couple, so it ended up being an eclectic mix of things. First, there had to be swing music and dancing (we met at a swing dance club). We definitely wanted to serve steak tacos and endless guac (I’m from Arizona, and Tony is Mexican, and steak tacos are his signature dish). Personally, I wanted a subtle princess Cinderella element, too, because I’ve always loved fairytales, and because I finally met my Prince Charming (at “the ball,” too, of all places). My mom made these flawless glass slipper and pumpkin sugar cookies for our guests, and I worked some Cinderella decor into our dessert table design.


Alex Marquardt (Alexandra Lee Photography) was our photographer, and wow – I can’t recommend her enough. Besides being an expert photographer, she is also an excellent honorary bridesmaid / coordinator / extended family and unruly groomsmen wrangler, etc. She helped keep things running smoothly, and she kept the energy up and fun going all day.

Lisa Mola (Blooms & Bliss) was my florist – she was incredible and put so much careful thought into every detail, making sure the floral arrangements reflected my “elegant / whimsical / fairy princess” vision (which is a pretty tall order). Lisa was a recommendation from my good friend and bridesmaid Kristen Cloyd, who is also an incredible wedding photographer and had worked with her before.

We chose Cuisine America as our caterer. We appreciated their menu options, organization, and excellent customer service. (For example, they were willing to carefully itemize every single item on our original quote, so we’d know exactly what to cut/add in order to help us stay within our budget). Also: almost all of our reception decorations were borrowed from them. That was a huge factor in our decision!

Our delicious cake and cupcakes were custom-created flavors from our sweet friend Betsy (and her lovely mom) of Hey, Sweet Cheeks! bakery (based in Joliet). Three words: dulce de leche. So good.

My dress was from Veiled in Elegance in Geneva. I send every bride-to-be I know their way. The VIE team is absolutely lovely; so helpful and kind. I loved finding my dream dress at their boutique!

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