August 31, 2011

The Wedding

Our friend, David, finally had enough of the bachelor life and decided to get married. We couldn't have been happier for him.

Our vacation plans were put into motion last New Year's Eve when we received the phone call that Dave was engaged. We knew the wedding was to be in Chicago, and we knew that both of our families were on the route to Chicago, so the whole trip worked out beautifully.

Adrian and I have had to drive through Chicago numerous times, but have never really had the chance to explore the sights together. Basically, our time in Chicago has been spent trying to navigate the toll roads and traffic. So, we thought this would be a great opportunity to do a few fun things with the children since we were going to be there a few days.
Always sounds good in theory, right?

Well, we didn't end up with as much free time as we had thought, which was okay. Friday night was spent eating pizza. Saturday morning and early afternoon were spent ironing the piles upon piles of church clothes that had gotten seriously wrinkled on the trip. Adrian did the ironing, and I'm sure it felt like a sweat shop to him. Eight children times 3 pairs of nice clothes each, plus another pile for ourselves.... well, it took all morning just to get ready for the weekend. But, at least we had our chores done, just in time to head to the church for the rehearsal.

Adrian was the officiant. It was pretty exciting to watch Dave and Carrie go through the rehearsal... well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. Wedding rehearsals aren't a ball of fun, but they eventually made it through the service a few times and were ready to head to the dinner.

We ate at Harry Carey's Steak House. It was a fun place to go to. The children had no idea who Harry Carey was, so Adrian gave them a quick history lesson. If you quiz them about it, there response will probably be something like this, "He was an announcer for the Chicago Cubs. He drank too much beer during the games. He liked to say Holy Cow."

The food was tremendous. I ordered the pork chops. I didn't read the menu carefully enough, because I thought there was only one pork chop, but then my plate came out with two on it, plus mashed potatoes and green beans. I was stuffed.

And then, out came the dessert. Baseballs. What else would they serve at Harry Carey's?
Inside was chocolate cake topped with a layer of chocolate mousse, which was then dipped a few times in white chocolate to make it look like a baseball, placed on a bed of coconut dyed green. They were supremely rich, and I don't know if anyone actually was able to finish dessert. But it was fun trying!

There was a Justin Verlander jersey there on display, and so the boys had to have a picture with it. Go Tigers!

This picture didn't come out perfect, but I still love it. The children took home a few pairs of Harry Carey glasses, and they posed with a bust of Harry himself! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Holy Cow!" since then.

The next day was the wedding. It was also Sunday. So, we attended church in the morning, rushed back to the hotel, ate a quick snack, got ready for the wedding and rushed out the door. In the middle of all that, Adrian's parents were on their way to meet us at the wedding, but had a few difficulties of their own in making it there on time. When all was said and done, it was a hectic afternoon! But, we made it on time, with a few minutes to spare. 
The wedding itself was beautiful. They had the Vespers service with the Rite of Holy Matrimony. It was wonderful to attend a wedding where the focus was on the confession of Jesus Christ as our Savior. 

Afterwards, we headed out the church doors to attend the reception, which was also beautiful. 

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a buffet of appetizers. There was a vast assortment of cheese and crackers, with trays of warm appetizers being passed around. The children found a spot (right at the main entrance to the ball room!) to make their own. They all sat right down and didn't waste any time snacking on the appetizers and chugging down the Shirley Temple drinks made for them by the bartender. 

When the bride and groom arrived, we were seated in the Ball Room. They had a string quartet playing during the meal, which was lovely and the flowers were stunning.

Every table had a different floral arrangement, but this is what our table looked like. Do you see the pads of butter molded into roses? Well, I thought they were mints at first. I ate one, only to discover it was butter. That, I believe, is a testament that I come from a small town where every wedding has cream cheese mints molded into roses... not pads of butter. You would've made the same mistake, right?

Somehow, I was seated next to these two monkeys. They were actually pretty well behaved and were happy to be at Dave's wedding as well.

This was our dinner menu. The reception was not only beautiful, but we ate a ton of food. I'm not kidding. Soup, salad, an entree with chicken and steak, plus specialty desserts (chocolate dipped strawberries, tartlets, gelato, mini chocolate pianos, cream puffs shaped like swans, etc.) and then a champagne toast with wedding cake! ( I didn't get a picture of the toast either, which I wish I would have. Adrian was hilarious!)
But wait, there's more....

Just as the sugar high was wearing off, they rolled out Coldstone Creamery, where you could make your own ice cream sundae. Maggie and Peter were in heaven. In the background, if you look closely, you can see Annie and Ben totally knocked out and sleeping on the floor. I'm telling you, it was a great wedding reception.

As we were headed out the door, they rolled in another buffet, full of "Midnight Snack" items, which included all of the food you'd find at a Chicago Cubs game. Pretzels, Popcorn, Cracker Jacks, Nachos.... I didn't get any pictures of that, probably because I was either stuffing myself with food again or rubbing my tummy and groaning about heartburn. Or, maybe both.

We finally waddled outside to say goodnight to the Bride and Groom. It was a beautiful, beautiful wedding and we couldn't be happier for Dave and Carrie.
We were honored to be there to celebrate with them and wish them many years of happiness together.

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