You cannot look at these pictures without wishing you had been a part of this wedding! Jim and Melisa had so much fun as did their friends and family.
The couple met taking the Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan during a fundraiser for Special Olympics back in 2013. Jim is a police officer for the South Elgin Police Department and does a lot of fundraising on behalf of Special Olympics. He had organized a coach bus trip for the brave group. Melisa was invited by one of her co-workers from district U-46 to take part in the fundraiser.
Jim and Melisa are two people that are always on the go. They each have large social circles and are dedicated to their professions and community. Their favorite place to be together and unwind is in bed on Sunday mornings. On May 31, 2015 they were enjoying a lazy Sunday morning when Jim’s usual chit-chat turned into something much more meaningful. Before Melisa could even brush her teeth he had pulled out a ring, popped the question, and brought them both to tears!
Melisa’s favorite part of the day was hands down when the church doors opened and she was on her dad’s arm and she could see Jim waiting for her. Of course being able to kiss Jim and walk back down the aisle on his arm as husband and wife was also a favorite. She says at those two moments she thought her little heart might just burst from happiness.
Their favorite part of the reception was the Chicago Police Department Bagpipes & Drums of the Emerald Society introducing them. They kept that surprise from everyone. Afterwards the night was magical from drinking spotted cow beer to dancing with 260 of their closest friends and family.
Jim and Melisa had already decided to be married at St. Mary’s Church in Elgin, they knew they wanted somewhere near by to hold their reception. Once they stepped into The Haight they knew it was the place. They had no idea such a beautiful space was inside that old building they had driven by 1,000 times. They were looking for cozy, accommodating, and something different then any place their guests had been to!
Some words from Melisa…
“We are blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives and we wanted them all there to celebrate with us that day and to feel nothing but joy and love. We didn’t do seating plans. We didn’t choose one meal to give to guests (we did small plates and allowed people to graze all night). Most brides and grooms don’t give a speech at the wedding – we did. (Anyone who knows us expected it…LOL!) We thanked people for their friendship, their love, for coming, and we shared how truly lucky we were that day to have all of our most favorite people in the world in one room. Everyone kept telling us that it was our day, but to be honest, we never felt that way at all. It was a day for us and our families and our friends and all the people who have come into our lives and made us better for it. Having everyone there on that day meant everything to us. It always will.”
“Advice? Enjoy it!! It’s YOUR wedding…do what YOU want to do. It will be the fastest day you’ll ever experience in your life, enjoy every single moment. And enjoy the planning process! Jim and I wanted everyone to feel special that day. It was never just me making decisions or just him, we did everything together. We saved our money and said NO to things when we had to. We didn’t look at our phones that day. We didn’t freak out over little things that happened (a box with a bunch of stuff was misplaced…of course it was all my cute Etsy stuff that I was dying to use and display that day!).
*A side note…Jim was injured at work this past June. For those months leading up to the wedding, we weren’t sure if he was even going to be able to walk. We were in and out of ER’s and hospital rooms and surgeon’s offices and physical therapy locations. It was really awful at times. We thought about changing our traditional Catholic Mass wedding (almost an hour and a half) to an in and out blessing. We didn’t know if he would be able to make it to the reception. But we prayed and we worked on getting him healthier and went forward with our plans. *
Everything turned out amazing…better than either one of us could ever have dreamed. I am so thankful the day turned out the way it did, but I would have married Jim in a doctor’s office or on the side of the road. Remember what is most important. Your love for that man or that woman. Nothing else really matters.”