Nathan and Bridget held a simple and classic wedding at the Columbia Yacht Club. Photography by Rachael Schirano Photography.

How We Met

We met at a party. Nathan was an employee and I was a neighbor of the company owner. Flash forward a year, and I started working at the same company. Nathan finally invited me to dinner, then a few more times, then a relationship started blooming, but in the spring of 2013 I moved to NYC to pursue a graduate education. Testing the limits of distance, we never faltered and I happily moved back to Chicago after school in spring 2014. Then again in summer 2015, I received a can’t-refused job offer in Washington, DC and once again packed up my things. At the same time, I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and moved treatment from Chicago to DC. We made a routine of Skype video chats at night and long calls into the night. Nathan made a deal: he would propose once I moved home.

The Proposal

Almost two years into my tenure in Washington DC, Nathan got restless, and in 2016 proposed while at a quaint vineyard in Napa Valley. He had been taking group videos with the GoPro the entire trip through Yosemite valley and Napa Valley, so it did not seem strange when we were left alone with a vintage glass of wine behind the vineyard tasting room and he propped up the GoPro for another couple selfie. Maybe he was nervous, because we kept posing for the GoPro for what felt like too long. When Nathan finally turned with a ring, I “ugly cried” and choked out a “yes!”. Nathan had been in cahoots with the vineyard all along! I had always joked that I would only accept a proposal in a hot air balloon, so he took me on a sunrise hot air balloon ride the next morning.

Our Wedding Vision

We wanted our day to be effortlessly fun! We partied at the Columbia Yacht Club, an old ice breaker that sits permanently (and solidly) on the shore of Lake Michigan at the end of Lower Randolph. The ship has beautiful wood paneling, a bridge with wheel and gear shift (like in Titanic), and narrow halls to explore. We wanted our party nautical themed but not too much, with lots of greenery.

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