Real Wedding: Emma +Andy

Overflowing with personal touches, Emma and Andy’s River Roast wedding was romantic, festive, and beautifully unique.
Emma, on how she and Andy met…
“Andy and I met shortly after I moved to New York City from Chicago. I wasn’t expecting to meet someone so soon, but it seems fate had other plans. One of my good friends had free tickets to a Mets game and invited both Andy and myself–though she wasn’t intending to set us up, she always said she thought we’d get along. Because none of us actually cared about the Mets, we spent most of the time talking instead. Andy and I sat next to each other, and I remember the conversation flowing so smoothly and easily. It wasn’t long after that day that we began to date, and the rest, as they say, is history. We were together a little over three years before we got engaged.”
Emma, on the moment she realized Andy was her perfect person…
“One of the first times I brought Andy home to Chicago, we were supposed to go to a Cubs game with my entire family, but it got rained out. Instead, we all sat inside in my sister’s living room for a couple hours trying to figure out what else we could do (no easy task with a big and loud family like mine)–intermittently getting sidetracked and watching funny YouTube videos–before deciding to go to a middle-of-the-day movie, for which we arrived way early, and ended up all sitting together making random conversation again, this time in an empty movie theatre instead of a living room. The entire time, he held his own, chatted with everyone, made jokes, and was fully himself – I knew he was a perfect fit.”
Andy, on how he knew Emma was the one…
“One day, out of nowhere, she looked me in the eyes and rapped every lyric to Salt-N-Pepa’s Shoop. How could I possibly let a girl like that go?”
About six months after Emma and Andy moved to Chicago together, the couple returned to NYC for a visit. They set up a dinner date to celebrate their three year anniversary, then planned to meet up with friends for a joint birthday party for Emma and their friend Lauren- the same friend who had introduced the couple in the first place. The restaurant was in the opposite direction of the birthday party so Emma put up a fight, but Andy was insistent.
“Only when we got out of the cab on the Upper East Side did it begin to make sense,” Emma said. “Andy was re-creating one of our earliest dates: takeout Chinese food dumplings on the East River.
loved that date- picking up our dumplings, stopping at 7-11 for drinks, having a picnic on a bench overlooking the beautiful East River. I’d always said I wanted to do “dumplings on the river” again before we moved to Chicago, but we never got the chance.”
 After a delicious and nostalgic dinner, Andy announced that he’d brought candy for dessert. He told Emma to close her eyes and hold out her hands and when Emma opened her eyes, Andy was down on one knee, holding not candy, but a ring.  “It was perfect,” Emma remembers. “I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal.”  Afterward, the couple met up with several of their closest friends and went back downtown for the birthday party, which conveniently doubled as an engagement party.
Emma, on why the couple held their wedding in Chicago…
“I grew up in Park Ridge, close to the city, and always enjoyed coming downtown. Now, living here, we both love the city so much and we knew from day one of our engagement that it was the perfect setting for our nuptials. The majority of our guests were coming from out of town, so we were excited not only to get married in the city we love, but to show our out-of-town guests why we love Chicago so much. That was a big factor in us choosing River Roast for our venue: The location right on the river, the insanely gorgeous views from the terrace- it just couldn’t be beat.”
Andy, on his favorite memory from the wedding…
“As we were getting ready to start the ceremony, the entire wedding party was lined in up in a hallway. I remember looking back and seeing my parents and siblings, Emma’s parents and siblings, best friends from each other’s colleges and hometowns, and my soon to be wife all staring back at me at once. It’s so rare to catch a glimpse of nearly your entire support system. It was incredibly moving to fully realize the great relationships that had been built over the years, day by day, that will last me a life time. I can still remember that moment incredibly clearly.”
Though the couple included a few traditional Jewish elements like getting married under a Chuppah and breaking the glass, the overall ceremony was nondenominational so Emma and Andy essentially crafted the entire thing themselves. “We hand selected every element  and wrote our own vows. It all felt so meaningful and special when it came together,” the couple said. The couple’s brother-in-law, Rob, officiated the ceremony and absolutely blew their expectations out of the water.

Emma, on one of her favorite memories from the wedding…
“My maternal grandmother lived in California, and by that point in her life, travel was incredibly difficult for her. We didn’t expect her or my grandfather to come to the wedding, but at the last minute (maybe a few weeks or a month in advance), they decided to make the trip. It wasn’t easy, but they got to Chicago, and were both there to witness Andy and me getting married, and the celebration that followed.”
Emma and Andy, on their Big Day…
“Everything was incredible but aside from the ceremony, the dancing, the venue and decor, it was just so amazing to have so many people we love in the same room at the same time.”
Can’t get enough Real Weddings? Check out Cindy and Corey’s brewery bash, or head over to to browse our gallery of Windy City nuptials!
Featured Vendors: Kenny Kim and Rob Ramirez for Kenny Kim Photography (pictures) RiverRoast (ceremony/reception), Two Sisters Events (wedding coordinator), Reddington Bridal  (bride’s gown),Nicholas Joseph Custom Tailors (groom’s suit), Chi Chi Styles (bridesmaid’s dresses), Macy’s (groomsmen suits), Kiko’s (flowers), Maddiebird Bakery  (cake). Better Off Wed (cake topper), Debbie Davis Makeup (makeup). Irene Jones from Salon 9nb (hair), Peter Merkle/Chicago Wedding DJs (entertainment), Janelle Lake (harpist), Chicago Chuppah Rental  (chuppah frame), Windy City Limousine (transportation), Real Star Media  (videography)
By |2019-05-04T15:46:52+00:00September 22nd, 2016|Blog|
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