Eileen Finley, 31, and Alex Petrich, 33, are proof that old-fashioned matchmaking is not a lost art. Finley, a human resources analyst, met a friend’s boyfriend in the summer of 2014. “I asked if he had any friends he could set me up with,” she says. He immediately thought of Petrich, who works in benefits administration for Allied Benefit Systems. They hit it off on a double date and, four years later, Petrich surprised Finley with a proposal. It was on closing day for their first condo in Ukrainian Village, which happened to be his parent’s wedding anniversary.
They planned a May 16, 2020, ceremony for 250 guests at Holy Family Church at St. Ignatius College Prep — where Finley went to school — and a reception at the Builders BLDG (222 N. LaSalle). But the sudden worsening of Finley’s mother’s cancer prognosis prompted them to move up the wedding. With options for a large celebration dwindling quickly with increasing concerns about COVID-19, they decided to marry a week later, on March 21, in Finley’s parents’ home in Jefferson Park. They limited the gathering to 10 people — just their closest family members — while their bridal party and other loved ones watched via livestream.
“It was just a true swarm of support and help from everyone,” Finley says. One friend assembled all the bouquets and boutonnieres, while another sent a cake from Dinkel’s Bakery. Unable to travel to join the celebration, one of Petrich’s sisters booked them a room at the Waldorf Astoria. A friend’s mother who plays bagpipe with the Shannon Rovers — booked to play at their May wedding — stopped by with a surprise sidewalk performance, drawing neighbors out onto the street to listen.
As of press time, the newlyweds were staying busy during the stay-at-home order thanks to their new puppy, Ellie, a collie-Lab mix. They hope to reschedule their original wedding plans at the Builders BLDG later this year.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Photography: Nakai Photography, nakaiphotography.com
Venue: Bride’s family home in Jefferson Park
Catering: Dineamic Hospitality, 10 W. Hubbard, dineamic.com/catering
Bride’s hair and makeup: Rare Bird Beauties, 1019 N. Western, rarebirdbeauties.com
Groom’s attire: Calvin Klein suit from Macy’s, macys.com
Cake: Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln, dinkels.com
Flowers: Roses, hydrangea, and greenery arranged by a friend of the bride
Rings: Windy City Diamonds, 1 S. Wabash, windycitydiamonds.com; West Town Jewelry, 2059 W. Chicago