Ever After: Cheryl Pearson-McNeil & Albert R. Grace Jr.

By / Weddings / November 3, 2016

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil remembers the date, Feb. 15, when she heard that Vanity, the singer and Prince’s protégé, passed away. “In our day, she used to be the ‘it’ girl,” says Pearson-McNeil, 54, an SVP at global performance management company Nielsen. “[It] really upset me because I [wasn’t] that much older than her.”

She texted her boyfriend, Albert R. Grace Jr., 64, co-founder of Loop Capital Markets, to share the news. “I [told him] it makes me wonder what we’re waiting for, if we’re going to get married or not,” she remembers. “I told him, ‘If you’re not ready to get married, you need to release me back into the wild before I’m too old to find someone.’ ” That text prompted action: Grace spent the next week looking for engagement rings before popping the question Feb. 26.

On Sept. 2, they walked out of First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple (77 W. Washington) as man and wife while their 215 guests rung mini tambourines to celebrate. Later, in The Drake Hotel’s Gold Coast Room (140 E. Walton), Pearson-McNeil danced with her son to Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” before launching into the “Nae Nae.” “I learned his dance and he learned my dance,” she laughs. “The crowd got a kick out of that because they didn’t know I could move.”


Photos by Ven Sherrod Photography

It’s in the details

Bride’s gown: Verna by Atelier Pronovias, Dimitra’s Bridal Couture, 1009 N. Rush; Dimitrasbridal.com

Bride’s hair & makeup: Jessi Dean’s, 843 W. Monroe; George Robert Fuller, Begeorgeous.com

Groom’s & groomsmen’s attire: Jos. A. Bank, 25 E. Washington; Josbank.com

The Drake Hotel wedding specialist: Shaun Rajah; Shaun.rajah@hilton.com

Bridesmaids’ dresses: JJ’s House; Jjshouse.com

Rings: Wedding Bands & Co.; Weddingbandscompany.com

Florist: Juliet Tan Floral Design, 220 N. Halsted; Juliettanfloraldesign.com

Cakes & sweets: vanilla and chocolate buttercream cake with salted caramel filling and cherry pie

Entertainment: Gentlemen of Leisure Band, 10551 S. Longwood, Gentlemenofleisureband.com; Joe DeLuca, Delucaaccordion.com

Invitations: LBrown Design & Paperie, 910 N. Damen; Lbrowndesignpaperie.com


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