J. Parker Rooftop Wedding at the Hotel Lincoln

Kelsey and Brian joined Elizabeth Greve Photography, Liven It Up Events, and the Northwestern University drummers at The J. Parker rooftop at the Hotel Lincoln for their Old Town wedding.

Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

How We Met

Our story begins on August 18th, 2005 – a beautiful and sunny day, in the middle-of-nowhere DeKalb, as Brian moved into the residence halls of Northern Illinois University. Within an hour of arriving to campus, Kelsey (the floor’s Residential Advisor) had been by the room to introduce herself and provide directions to area restaurants and grocery stores.

For the first few months of the school year, there really wasn’t much of a relationship, until one night, during Pi Kappa Alpha’s Hell Week (Brian’s Fraternity), Brian snuck back into the dorm to take a hot shower and had a chance run-in with Kelsey. From that point forward, Brian couldn’t get the image of her out of his head.

After several months of Brian’s advances (and Kelsey’s rejections), she finally gave in and agreed to a date. Brian pulled out all the stops – limo ride to the city, dinner at Vivere in the Italian Village, chocolates at Godiva and a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

The Proposal

The proposal day started off just as any other day for Kelsey. She was completely unaware of what was going on and Brian was freaking out.

However, before we get too far into the proposal, let’s backtrack the story one day. It was the 4th of July and Kelsey and Brian had decided to spend the entire day together. After a great dinner, they finished the night with root beer floats and watching the thousands of fireworks explode in the cities across the Chicagoland area from their 17th floor view.

As they were talking, Kelsey casually mentioned that she had scheduled herself a 4pm chiropractor appointment. As Brian heard these words, he internally freaked out. He had planned the proposal down the the very last detail, and let me tell you, the chiropractor was not on that list!

Jump back to the day of the proposal. Brian wakes up bright and early to try and sneak some of the needed items out of the house. Turns out that Kelsey wanted to get up early with Brian so that she could get her day started. Luckily, the little lady overslept a wee bit and Brian was able to get everything together and out of the apartment, without a hitch.

As the day progressed, Brian finalized all of the details for the proposal and ran around like a maniac! Meanwhile Kelsey had (luckily) planned a relaxing pool day with her friend Alicia (to which Brian owes a great deal of thanks for helping to keep Kelsey on schedule), followed by a manicure. All this time, Kelsey was led to believe that she was coming to meet Doug (Alicia’s husband) at the Waldorf Astoria for a surprise dinner.

Upon arrival to the hotel, the girls got the room key from the front desk and made their way to room 2205. Inside, Brian had arranged a temporary salon for the day. There was a makeup artist waiting, a hairdresser waiting, two dress choices from Rent The Runway, two shoe choices, champagne, snacks and a personalized note to explain to Kelsey what was really happening.

Once the stylists had worked their ‘magic’, Kelsey met Brian in the lobby of the hotel, where they were chauffeured to Cafe Brauer on the north end of Lincoln Park Zoo. Brian took Kelsey by the hand and led her down the walkway to read her individual notes that spoke to the little things he loves about her. After reading the last note, Brian and Kelsey had made their way to the top of the Bridge over South Pond for one of the most picturesque views of the city.

Brian then took her by the hands [insert sappy proposal here ;)], then dropped to one knee and told her that he would be honored if she would consider spending the rest of her life with him. It took some convincing, ladies and gentlemen, but after some arm twisting, she finally said ‘yes’.

Following the proposal, Brian and Kelsey had an impromptu engagement photo shoot and walk down the remainder of the boardwalk, where they stopped for dinner at Perennial Virant to celebrate for the rest of the evening.

Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

The Wedding Vision

We wanted something that represented our style and the neighborhood we lived in. We felt like The J. Parker was a great combination of both of those options and luckily the weather worked out! The church, reception and after party were all within 2 blocks of each other and our home.

Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

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Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016
Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

Brian’s Favorite Moment

Having the Northwestern University drummers, Boomshaka, at the reception.

Kelsey’s Favorite Moment

Laughing at the alter when the Priest soaked Scott’s (Best Man) tux with the holy water!

Kelsey + Brian, J. Parker Chicago, Hotel Lincoln Wedding, September 2016

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