Best Friends | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding Reception at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois

A Perfect Pair: Nadia and Bryan’s Wedding at the Hyatt Lodge

When Bryan first told me that he was proposing to Nadia, I thought he was crazy. (They had only been dating for a short time, after all.) Last night was Nadia and Bryan’s wedding and I knew they were amazing for each other.

Nadia has been one of my best friends since grade school and she is really like a sister to me and I couldn’t be happier than I was to see her marrying Bryan…

A Perfect Pair: Nadia and Bryan's Wedding - Nadia and Bryan on their wedding day.


8am-11am — Hair

We started the day with Starbucks (of course), croissants, and hair doing. We joked around about ponyhawks or wearing the curlers, picked out ridiculous makeup looks from the magazines, and tried for 10 minutes to think of what could be Nadia’s “something blue” until we remembered that her engagement ring (which had been dubbed the “something old”) was also blue. Oops. Nad had the weirdest bunch of bridesmaids because half of us had the direction to our stylists to “not make it perfect” and make it look “kind of messy.” What can I say, I prefer looking natural. I really liked how my hair turned out. I just had it curly and pulled back low and it looked mighty pretty if I do say so myself (and, not too “done”). 🙂

Nad’s hair turned out beautifully. She left it down and curly and it looked so nice when they put her little headband and veil in.


11am-noonish (well…after noonish) — getting ready

We then headed back to Nadia’s place to do makeup/get dressed. We picked up our bouquets (GORGEOUS – they even had little berries in them that looked like mini-pears!) and got all our jewelry on (I somehow managed to get the bracelets on everyone – despite the fact that I can’t do anything with these damn nails).

Once we were all gussied up, we headed outside to the Escalade limo – complete with six TVs playing music videos, a laser light show, and a FIREPLACE. Yes, the limo had a fireplace! (and no believed me when I told them!) – and then booked it to the hotel to get our picture taking on.

Fireplace in an escalade limo | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding


1pmish – 3:30pmish. — Pictures

The first stop for pictures (with two photographers and a videographer) was the hotel. As the girls met the guys and put on their boutonnieres, Nadia walked up the bridge for her special first wedding-day meeting with Bryan. I really liked how the photographer worked. It was just bam bam bam…not too many posed shots, they preferred spur of the moment kinds of things. He had us do a weird little fashion show thing, and I got to get all Top Model over things. And later when I went to do some shots with Nad, he said I was like a pro and knew what I was doing. I told him I watched way too much America’s Next Top Model. Later he asked Nad how long I was paid to be there for 🙂

After pictures at the hotel we stopped off at Starbucks to take pics there. This was a given because a) the Starbucks is right across the street from the church. b) Nad, Jenny and I have been going to this Starbucks together since high school, and c) Nadia and Bryan would be Mr. and Mrs. Starbuck. It was brilliant. We walked around a bit and looked for more places to shoot, then headed to the church to finish up all of the group shots.

Me and Nadia on her wedding day | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding


4pm – 5pm — the ceremony

So, first of all, between my back TATTOO and Nate’s MOHAWK I guarantee we made the most rocking couple to ever walk down that church’s aisle. 🙂

Me and a mohawk-ed groomsman | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois

And second of all, Nadia very well might have been the most GORGEOUS bride to walk down that church’s aisle.

I started crying as soon as I saw her come around the corner and again when she said her vows, and again when I saw Bryan standing there full of tears. I also cried when the pastor talked. He gave really wonderful speech about saying “I love you” and saying “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” It was really eloquent, but it mostly just hit home when he talked about that sometimes just say they love you because they want something from you.

The ceremony was perfect and just the right length between not being just “I do” and not being a full Catholic mass. And then the pastor told them to “smooch” and that was that – my best friend is married 🙂


5pm – 5:30pm — the limo

Crank out the bubbly, toast our glasses, and crank up the music! (oh, and one of the groomsmen said I looked like Kirsten Dunst)


6:00 – 7:00pm — Cocktail hour

Switch from heels to flip flops and time to party!

Did I mention how damn hungry I was by this point? And did I mention that Nadia is as much into food as I am? That meant that (after greeting the arrivals of Josh, Jennifer, Adam, and Matt) it was time to dive into 4 different pastas at the pasta bar, three types of seafood at the seafood bar, four passed appetizers, a Tom Collins, and an Amaretto Sour…and that was just the first hour!

There was also a totally awesome mariachi band…and I mean totally awesome.

Mariachi band at the wedding | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding  at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois


7:00 – midnight — Party (reception for the wedding at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois)!!!

We did our intros to the Bosstones “The Impression that I Get” which was perfect because Nad and Bryan got engaged on stage at the Bosstones and then they cut the cake to “Grow Old with You” from the Wedding Singer”

Then we ate ate ate. Yummy soup, salad with poppy seed dressing, bread, twin fillets with green pepper corn sauce, chicken, veggies, cranberry risotto (YUM!), and tiramisu. MMMMM. That’s what everyone ate…except of course the groom…who ate chicken fingers off of the kids menu. 🙂

Brian eats chicken fingers at the wedding | Nadia and Bryan's Wedding  at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois

All the girls made fun of the “boys table” where much like MattyK and Bryan from Jenny’s wedding, they all seem to bond and become bffs 🙂

After dinner, it was time for dancing, kicked off by the first dance to “You and Me.” Then it was time to hit the dance floor! Too bad I had no one to dance with 🙁 I managed to drag MK out for a couple dances but he wouldn’t do the slow ones or the fast ones so I had to sit out every slow song despite the fact that it was my best friend’s wedding and all I really wanted to do was dance. 🙁 And sometimes people can be real jerks to you despite the fact that they think they are treating you normally. And then sometimes you end up being the crazy single bridesmaid who sits at the table crying her eyes out because she is so fucking pissed off that she lets herself get into this crap and that guys either only want to sleep with her or be her friend and want nothing in between from her and that her amazing friends have such amazing boyfriends/husbands and she doesn’t think anyone will ever feel that way about her.

At least Jenny and Erika (despite the fact that I haven’t seen her or talked to her in years now) are the most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for and held her hand for a bit and reminded her that all these idiots in her life are in fact idiots if they can’t realize what they are missing. (Nadia is also the absolute most amazing friend as well – but she, with every right in the world – was busy being a bride)

Umm…back to the wedding now.

I danced some with the cutest little girl ever who danced to every song (including trying to get in on the garter toss), knew the words to every song (including “Save a horse, ride a cowboy) and at one point said to me “You have tattoo of a butterfly on your back.” (It is not true, I have fairy wings, but I will not argue with a girl in a pink butterfly-print dress). Also during one of the swing dances I managed to get MK to dance he swung me out, I felt something hit my leg, and saw the girl go flying. Oops.

At 11pm the DJ played “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” and men in stuffed hamburger hats came out with silver trays of McDonalds Hamburgers. (The hotel is actually on McDonald’s headquarters property, so it’s a special thing they do – and why would anyone NOT do it???)

Late night snack - Mcdonald's cheeseburgers at the wedding at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois. Nadia and Bryan's wedding at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois

I did not catch the bouquet but Nad’s sister Sendy did, so that is acceptable.

I did a shot of tequila with (most) of the bridal party. Matt then declared me drunk. I had only had 2 glasses of champagne, a tom collins, an amaretto sour, a sex on the beach, half of his glass of straight rum, a shot of tequila, and a pina colada…. I actually never felt so sober after drinking in my life. He then left because he’s a jerk like that.

Then the DJ started playing crappy music and Nad asserted her Bride Power by telling him to only play punk music for the last 15 minutes and we had a fucking good time with it.

And then was the last dance and I at least got to dance with one of Bryan’s friends but he kept talking too much and I just wanted to dance.

And then it was over 🙁 and we bid Nad goodnight and good luck and I piled a box with strawberries and cake and managed to close my dress in the car door (to be discovered when we think Adam ran it over because I felt a jerk and heard a weird sound).


And that was Nadia’s wedding.

And I can’t image ever being to another wedding as absolutely amazing (or as amazingly fun) as hers or even knowing a person who I think is s amazing as her.

More photos from Nadia and Bryan’s wedding at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois:

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

1 Comment
  • Chris
    May 14, 2007at10:39 am

    A MARIACHI BAND!! OMG. Such the cool wedding and you look good too! Nice pictures as always.

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