Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chad and Sarah Ward

Couples Name:   Sarah and Chad Ward

How did you meet?   We met at a party after a basketball game over Thanksgiving break in 1996.  However, during the Pumpkin Fest Parade that same year I was working at the Sports Booster’s pork chop booth, and saw him on the Sycamore News Float in the parade and thought he was cute!  We went on our first date at the beginning of December and just before Christmas I saw a picture of him on the float and realized it was the same guy!!!

 When and how were you engaged?   We were engaged officially in January of 1998.  We had already selected the diamond from a friend in the US Virgin Islands and had the ring created there and shipped.  I expected him to propose at the Blackhawks game we went to the first weekend in January, but he didn’t.  The ring came in the mail on January 8th and that same day Chad’s boss sporadically played a song that reminded him of me and he left work quickly, ran across the street, bought a red rose, and raced up to my classroom where he proposed. 


Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date:   11-28-98 (Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary, Sarah and Chad!!)
Ceremony Location:   Disciples United Methodist Church, Mt. Morris, Illinois
Reception Location:   Ballroom of a Hotel in Rock Falls, Illinois
Number of Guests:    between 275-300

First Dance Song:    Is it bad I can’t remember?  ; )  I’ll ask Chad. (neither one of us could remember!) ;)
Bridesmaid dress color:  Black


Most memorable wedding day moment?    My favorite part of the entire wedding weekend was the time spent with our closest friends AFTER the rehearsal dinner.  We hung out in the pub connected to the hotel and stayed up way too late laughing, talking, and reminiscing.  At that point in my life, many of my closest friends were far from home at grad school and working out of state. It was a gift to have them all together.
As for the wedding itself, the flowers (fire and ice roses) were absolutely stunning!  I wanted a holiday feel to the wedding and they really felt festive. 

If you could do it all over again would you change anything?  I would do a destination wedding!


What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms? 
Don’t let outside conflicts and opinions factor in – as much as possible.  More is not always better and in the end, looking at the photos should bring you joy, not bad memories.

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Jeff and Caroline Berman

Today's Throwback Thursday is the romantic true story of a couple married over 18 years ago, and still as happy today as they were on their wedding day. Get ready to reminisce with this wonderful couple!

Couple's Name:  Jeff and Caroline Berman

Wedding Snapshot

Wedding Date: May 13th, 1995
Ceremony Location: St. Lambert's Catholic Church, Skokie, IL
Reception Location: Bristol Court Banquets, Mount Prospect, IL
Number of Guests: 210
First Dance Song: "I'll Always Love You" by Taylor Dane (Note: Jeff didn't love the song, but they both loved the lyrics.)  
Bridesmaid Dress Color: Burgundy

How did you meet?

We met on July 24th 1992, at Old St Pat's Block Party in Chicago, in the beer line!

When and how were you engaged?

We got engaged 1/29/1994.  Jeff took me to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants: Lindo Mexico. Right before the check arrived, Jeff said he forgot his wallet in the car and would be right back. While I sat there waiting, Jeff went back to my apartment around the corner and changed into a suit and tie from jeans. The waiter kept walking by smiling, and about 10 minutes later came by with a note in an envelope. It said "The bill is paid, here is $20 for cab fare. Take a cab to 2639 Sheffield and tell them your name."

I walked outside to beautiful fluffy snow falling and took a cab to the address. It turned out to be my favorite romantic bar-- Pops for Champagne.  I went to the door and told them my name. They brought me to a small table and soon brought a beautiful red rose and champagne. I said "I didn't order this," and they just smiled at me.  A couple of minutes later, the waiter brought me a card with the sweetest words I ever heard: Jeff telling me how much I meant to him and how much he loved me! I started crying and when I looked up, Jeff was down on one knee, in his suit and tie and asked me to be his wife!

Of course I said YES!! And everyone around us started clapping!

That was almost 20 years ago and he still gives me butterflies and continues to surprise me! I made the best decision of my life that night, and four kids and 20 years later, I feel like I love him even more!!!

This adorable note was a key part in Caroline & Jeff's proposal story.  Caroline saved it- how sweet!

What was your most memorable wedding day moment?

Two things were soo memorable-- RAIN and nerves.

I got married in May and I thought I would have a beautiful Spring wedding! HAAAA! Nature had other plans for us, like 45-50 degree weather, gusting winds, and RAIN!! They said it was good luck to have rain on your wedding day, but I thought they were just saying that so brides didn't have a nervous breakdown.

Turns out it was true- I got so lucky when I married Jeff!

My other most memorable moment was really how incredibly nervous I was. I was shaking on the way down the isle, but once we said our vows, I relaxed so much, finally smiled, and enjoyed the day even though it it was pouring outside!

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

My wedding was beautiful and the only thing I would change (besides the weather, which none of us have control over!) would be to not worry about all of the small details, which don't seem so small at the time. Just enjoy the day and try to remember as much as you can because it goes by soooo fast!

What is one piece of advice you can give to our Brides and Grooms?

GO ON A HONEYMOON!!!!  I don't care if it is an hour away or the most exotic trip! Get away afterwards to celebrate your day, spend time together, relax, and begin the next chapter in your lives. Besides, after all of the months and possibly years of planning a wedding, truthfully, you feel a little sad when it is all over. The honeymoon gives you something to look forward to and enjoy, just the two of you!

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Monday, November 18, 2013

Real Wedding Recap: Amy & Jason, Burpee Museum and Francesco's Ristorante

Hey Everyone!

We have another lovely wedding recap for you guys.  This time we're talking about Amy & Jason's incredible artichoke themed event, which took place on September 21st. A big thanks to Ryan Davis Photography for capturing this beautiful day, and allowing us to share it. Let's take a look!

I mean, could you ask for a more perfect day? I don't think so. This stunning ceremony took place at the Burpee Natural History Museum's outdoor ceremony space, overlooking the Rock River.  The elegant sounds of the Nerius String Quartet helped to complete the romantic feel of this wedding ceremony. It was GORGEOUS!

As guests entered the ceremony, they were treated to delicious apple cider- a perfect addition to a fall wedding!

And when the ceremony ended, guests walked out to another treat- ice cream from Dairyhaus! This was seriously genius. It added such a fun, happy element to the post ceremony celebration, and OMG- that ice cream is delicious.  Those folks at Dairyhaus really know what they're doing.  

Let's talk about these awesome flowers from Event Floral.  Remember how I said the wedding was artichoke themed?  And you probably thought, "Hmm, artichoke themed? What does that mean?" THIS. This is what it means.  Are you as blown away as I was?  Who knew artichokes would make for such a lovely bouquet?! The artichoke theme was woven subtly into other elements throughout the day, with artichokes making an appearance on Amy & Jason's programs, wedding signs, and menus.

Now let's move into the reception, which looked AWESOME.  Francesco's in Rockford made the perfect setting for this elegant evening, and the staff there couldn't have been more wonderful.  How beautiful does this room look?

Now look at these ADORABLE favors. These gourmet caramel apple favors from Mrs. Prindable's were almost too cute to eat! They were a huge hit with guests, and made a sweet addition to an already gorgeous table.

Amy and Jason have great taste in sweets.  After an absolutely delicious dinner by Francesco's, guests made room for this dreamy dessert.  This Havana Dream Pie came all the way from Joe's in Chicago, and trust me- it was worth the trip.  It was AMAZING.

ISN'T THIS THE SWEETEST PICTURE?  I love it.  To complete this recap, let's admire how great this gorgeous couple looked. Amy's stunning hair and makeup was done by the incredible Jamie Herst.  Doesn't she look beautiful?  Congrats Amy & Jason! Thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful day!

Ceremony Venue: Burpee Museum
Reception Venue: Franchescos
Photographer: Ryan Davis Photography 
Florist: Event Floral
DJ: Ted O'Donnell, Luxe Productions
Musicians: Nerius String Quartet
Hair and Makeup:  Jaime Herst
Linens and Draping: Beautiful Day Linens
Gourmet Apple Favors:
Havana Dream Pie:
Ice Cream: Dairyh√§us

Wedding Planner: La Di Events 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Matt and Jeannine Harvell

Couples Name: Matt and Jeannine Harvell

Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date: 11/25/1989
Ceremony Location: Salem Lutheran Church, Sycamore, IL
Reception Location: Matthew Boone's, DeKalb, Illinois
Number of Guests: 300
First Dance Song: Color My world (Our song was sung at wedding): Always by Atlantic Star
Bridesmaid dress color: Black and white

How did you meet? Matt was moving a relative out of one of my parent's apartments. I answered the door after hopping out of the shower, dripping wet! The next week Matt came looking for me at a Sycamore playoff football game.

When and how were you engaged? June 6, 1987 at my high school graduation. Matt got down on his knee and asked me to marry him at my parent's house right before the graduation ceremony.

Most memorable wedding day moment? It snowed in the morning and it was so beautiful.

If you could do it all over again would you change anything? We would have gone to a different honeymoon destination because we were in a car accident in Longboat Key, Florida. We also wish we would have hired a videographer because we don’t have a video of our wedding day.

What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms? Forgive and communicate. Enjoy the day and don’t worry about everything.

If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chuck and Glenda Stowe


Couples Name:
Chuck and Glenda Stowe
Wedding Snapshot:
Wedding Date: May 10,1980
Ceremony Location: Salem Lutheran Church, Sycamore, Illinois
Reception Location: DeKalb Elks Club
Number of Guests:250
First Dance Song: "Help Me Make It Through The Night"
Bridesmaid dress color: Light Blue

How did you meet?
We met when I applied for a job as Service Secretary at Appletree Stereo. I got the job after the other person turned it down! That was the beginning of Oct 1979.
When and how were you engaged?
We became engaged in Feb 1980. We had been dating for a couple months and I thought that it was going to cause problems with my job so I went to tell him that we should probably stop dating and he said "How about marrying me?" He came and picked me up the next day and we went to pick out an engagement ring.
Most memorable wedding day moment?
The best man lost his tie and it was in his pocket the whole time! When the wedding ceremony started it was dark and rainy. Then 20 minutes later when our pastor was ready to pronounce us husband and wife the sun came shining through the church window. The pastor said God had blessed this union!
If you could do it all over again would you change anything?
Well we would have had a  photographer who had a camera that worked! Half of our wedding pictures were supplied from our parent's Polaroid's. Also, the powder blue tuxedos!!
What is one piece of advice you can give to our Bride and Grooms?

That it's one day in your life together! My husband and I planned our wedding in 2 months! Treat it as a party, not a production! All you need is food, friends, and family- and Chuck says beer and a band! No DJ!
If you are interested or would like to submit a family member or friend to be featured in an upcoming Throwback Thursday feature please contact

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