Eclectic Chicago Wedding Day at Hotel Lincoln and Salvatore's Ristorante
It's a rainy Saturday in Chicago. While Tommy is getting ready for his wedding he tells the story of how we met to a friend in the wedding party. I only hear parts of it because I’m listening to all the other things going on and looking for details to shoot while everyone is bustling around. This is a typical wedding day. Organized chaos.
“So, I walk up to Amber and Martin and say “Can I help you?” She's all sassy at me with “That would be nice! We've been through three floors looking at furniture.” I’m surprised, “Did I say it like THAT?” Tommy is laughing, “Oh, yes you did, but I’d be the same.”
Martin, my husband replies with “That sounds about right.” Granted it is a big place.
“Oh, stop. I don’t remember being that sassy.” Bashfully, I tune the guys out and I go on shooting his attire… He ends the story with something like “…And then we went on and had such a fun time working together all afternoon.”
We DID! We were shopping at Room and Board when Tommy worked in the downtown Chicago location. Tommy is the best! He is instantly all over the details and we bought an entire house full of furniture from him as a result. Maybe it’s the artist in us, but I find that we are similar in our desire for aesthetics and a sense of order.
Anyway, we’ve stayed in touch via Facebook. Friends since 2009! Yay, Facebook. When he was dating Travis we connected to grab dinner before they moved to Minneapolis together for Tommy’s new gig at Room and Board corporate headquarters. We could see that they were very comfortable together and we had a great time. Since they moved Travis left a corporate role to start his own business as a massage therapist. They are happy together... even though they tell me it's certainly colder up North.
Much has changed since we met Tommy all those years ago. Just in case you have been hiding under a rock, or simply unaware, I think it’s important to call out that the Marriage Equality Act only became federally recognized two years ago. This has made it possible for Tommy and Travis to get married anywhere they choose. I’m so grateful they could experience the joy of celebrating their commitment both legally and publicly here in Chicago.
With that said, I was so honored that they reached out to me for engagement photos and allowed me to be part of the beginning of their lives together.
Getting Ready - Hotel Lincoln, Chicago
The first part of the wedding day started at Hotel Lincoln, where they got ready and spent time with the wedding party and family before the ceremony. These two were so relaxed. I think that’s a good sign …
The Ceremony - Salvatore's Ristorante, Chicago
It was beautiful – so full of love and laughter. These two words perfectly sum up the day. Tommy and Travis shared that they sat down and discussed what their marriage meant to them to come up with this concept for the formalities of the ceremony. The following words are used to describe the foundation for what their union means:
- Compromise or Sacrifice
During the ceremony each friend and participant shared his or her thoughts or a memory on the particular word and shared how it tied back to Tommy and Travis and their relationship. It was very special to witness lifelong friends officiate for the couple and share meaningful memories about them individually and as a couple. The love in the room was palpable.
Mr. and Mr. Travis and Tommy Walsh
Dinner and Dancing - Salvatore's
The toasts at weddings can be hit or miss, but both “Best People” said really special things to their sibling on this occasion. As the oldest of seven, I can attest to the love and friendship of a sibling being unique.
Travis’ sister, also his Best Person, Tiffany, spoke with a little sibling jab, but mostly with great sincerity and love. As a big sister she recalls Travis’ birth day and the excitement of it all…. “you were wearing a little blue outfit with a blue beanie on your head. I could not wait to hold you.” Her adoration shining through it all, with these closing words… “The greatest gift my parents ever gave me was my brother. The greatest gift my brother ever gave me was my brother-in-law. I love you both.”
In true little brother fashion, Adam, Tommy’s brother and Best Man, poked fun at his big brother about things from childhood, and that he figured out his sexuality through his taste in music. He was indeed funny -- his timing and humor was spot on. He even joked about Googling the toast only a day or so before the wedding! However, his closing line isn’t something he could have Googled, it was too relevant.
…”I never thought I’d be able to get the opportunity to give a best man speech at my brother’s wedding. Today we have all witnessed what at one time seemed like an unrealistic dream for these newlyweds. They simply wanted to marry each other for the same reasons we all do, because they fell in love. I’ve never been happier for the two of you and wish you nothing but the best in your future. I love you both. Congratulations! Let’s all raise our glasses to Tommy and Travis. Cheers!“
Witnessing these family members toast and hug one another and welcome Tommy and Travis into each respective family was truly heartwarming. They had each gained a new son, brother and family member. Time to celebrate!
And now the first dance as newlyweds….!
What I witnessed on their wedding day was a repeating theme of family, laughter, and love. Congrats to Travis and Tommy on finding one another, and to your friends and family for celebrating your love. Who knew one coffee date would turn out to be so meaningful? Love is coffee with your best friend for the rest of your life.
Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!