“Gavin and I met when I was 18 and working in a bar. Our friend was having her 21st birthday party there. We saw each other from across the patio, like a total cliché, and knew we were meant to be. From then on, we talked every single day, and we bonded over many things including our love for Blackhawks hockey. I visited him in Chicago and he visited me in Rockford for about a year. Circumstances brought him back to Rockford where we lived together with our families until July of last year, when we rented our own apartment in Chicago. We picked out our rings at Zales and the day after Thanksgiving, at an Ice Hogs game in Rockford, Gavin brought me to the center of the ice after warm-ups and announced his intent to marry me.
“My wedding day went pretty perfectly. The hotel at Midway was beautiful, and everybody got dressed and ready on time. It helped having everything in the same place — the hotel in the Village to get ready and the ceremony near the lake just outside the reception room.
“I don’t really remember a lot of the details, because I was trying really hard not to cry, but it was a wonderful Lutheran ceremony where my mother and father-in-law were the witnesses. Most of our friends and family were there to share the day that turned out so well.
“For the reception decor, we simply placed shells on white linen tablecloths We few burlap runners, and mason jars filled with sand, shells, and floating candles. The official theme was The Little Mermaid, but I had kept it so subtle that the only indicators were my hair, my necklace, the cake topper and the toasting glasses, the ceremony music. Our officiant even said ‘kiss the girl’ instead of ‘kiss the bride.’
“Gavin and I just felt so happy and perfect — neither of us ever got cold feet. The only things running through our heads were the nostalgic memories of our relationship and our dream finally coming true. We’d never been happier.” — Kacy