It took moving halfway across the world for Abigail Weinberg, a medical social worker, and Nathaniel Liedl, an English teacher, to fall in love. Although they attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the same time, their paths didn’t cross until April 2010, when they were both working as teachers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “We both instantly knew we wanted to be together,” says Weinberg. The duo embarked on countless adventures during their time abroad, but it was an unexpected health crisis that propelled their relationship to the next level: After getting sick during a trip to Delhi in 2011, Weinberg returned home to Chicago to see a doctor, where the otherwise healthy 27-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The disease was a shock to them both, but with treatment and the support of her loved ones, she was able to conquer it. “It was tough seeing her as sick as she was, but she was amazing and so strong,” says Liedl.
Beating cancer inspired Weinberg to celebrate her longtime love with a wedding, something that had never been on her radar before. “I didn’t grow up wanting a wedding or white dress, but it was my two-year mark of being cancer-free that gave it a little more emotion for us,” she says. The pair tied the knot in two ceremonies: a traditional Jewish service at Temple Sholom (3480 N. Lake Shore) in Chicago and, one week later, a larger gathering at Merchant restaurant (121 S. Pinckney) in Madison, Wisconsin. The newlyweds spent the evening of their Chicago fête at her mother’s Lincoln Park home, dining on Big Star (1531 N. Damen) and Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (2051 N. California) with 30 close family members, while their Madison affair featured a rustic farm-to-table meal for 100 guests. The couple stuck to Weinberg’s no-white dress code, the bride opting instead for a printed Mary Katrantzou frock. “The [weddings] were really different, but personal, meaningful — and anything but typical,” says Liedl.
Invitations: Vigilante Paper, Winnetka, (312) 600-8084; Vigilantepaper.com
Dress: Mary Katrantzou, Blake, 212 W. Chicago, (312) 202-0047
Check out the latest sales, trunk shows, designer appearances and more — directly to your inbox.