What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, as evidenced by Nicole Willis and Ben Meyerson’s first meeting at a journalism convention in 2010. After coming into contact via Twitter, the two agreed to meet up while in town — then randomly crossed paths in the hotel hallway. “Definitely some sparks flew the first moment we met,” recalls Meyerson, an editor at Pioneer Press, which, like Splash, is owned by Wrapports, LLC.
Fast-forward four years — after a move to Chicago from Florida for Willis and Meyerson’s June 2013 proposal — and the two tied the knot on July 4 at the Charles E. White, Jr.-designed Cheney Mansion in Oak Park (220 N. Euclid). “We both really value tradition and history — Ben is a print journalist and I got my start in print journalism — so that’s why Cheney Mansion was really special to us,” says Willis, now a marketer at Google.
After saying their “I dos” outside the historic manse, the couple and their 115 guests headed to Greenhouse Loft (2545 W. Diversey) for a more modern celebration. “Since we had a more serious but romantic ceremony, we wanted a fun, laid-back reception,” says Willis. Their lively event included cocktails outside on the Loft’s rooftop garden, a dinner by the Entertaining Company and a humorous toast from the groom’s two brothers, who acted as co-best men. “The back-and-forth part was hilarious and they pulled it off flawlessly,” he says. And because their wedding took place on America’s birthday, the day featured subtle patriotic elements. “I didn’t want a red, white and blue wedding, so we included a few nods, like the groomsmen’s flag socks, the bridesmaids’ navy dresses and a sparkler sendoff at the end of the night,” says Willis.
Although they’re glad the planning process is done, the bride says she’d do it all again if she could. “The dancing, the fireworks and saying our vows in front of our friends and family felt like one long dream that I didn’t want to end.”
Bride’s hair/makeup: Hair by Patrick McAfee, Fringe, 1437 N. Milwaukee; Fringechicago.com; makeup by Willis’ bridesmaids
Décor: Chicago Vintage Weddings, 1855 W. Grand; Chicagovintageweddings.com
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