Friday, March 11, 2011

If I were to get married now...................

from Chandra of Greer Chicago

Our wedding was a stripped-down affair with a finely-honed list of attendees that included myself, my husband Steve, Judge Hogan and a nice lady whose name I didn’t catch.

Steve and I had been long-time cohabiters when I decided to put a ring on it and proposed to him in mid-December. We set a date of January 12 because that was the fastest we could get all of the legalities taken care of. When we make a decision we like to get on with it.

Our wedding (appointment?) was scheduled for mid-afternoon so we both worked in the morning and met up in the lobby of my office, the Amoco building. At the appointed time I glided down the escalator in a humble grey sweater and grey wool skirt to meet my nervous betrothed in his shirt, tie and only pair of good slacks. He later told me he was scared I wouldn’t show up although that was unlikely since we were living together and I’d have to show up eventually. Maybe he thought I’d throw him over for a rousing discussion of oil shipments from Venezuela. Mmm hmm.

Anyway, we walked over to the Daley Center where Judge Hogan fixed us up. We’ll never forget him saying we seemed to be very much in love. Nor the other young bride and groom who were waiting outside his office and seemed to be very much in a hurry to get married if you catch my drift. I think Judge Hogan’s retired now, but for years, whenever he ran for reelection we affectionately voted for him. 

After the ceremony we celebrated at a long-gone restaurant, Randall’s for Ribs. We should have played it like that scene in “Tom Jones," but we kept it civil. We honeymooned in Paris but unfortunately it was about 4 months later.

When East Side Bride asked me to write about what I would do differently if I knew then what I know now I asked myself “Would you have a ‘real’ wedding?” “Would you still hang with Judge Hogan but throw a big party afterwards?” Honestly, the answer is “No” and “No.” I like how we got married. It’s a memory that only we will share and we think there’s something powerfully romantic about that. Neither of us likes being the center of that much attention, anyway.


If I had it to do over I would ramp up the fabulous factor, oh, about 10000%. 

1) First of all, I’d wait until the weather was warmer, perhaps late-May, so I wouldn’t have to celebrate my wedding anniversary in the dead of winter for the next fifty years.

2) I’d still go to work the morning of only because I love a good day into night challenge and this would be the ultimate -- from “Work to Wedding!” in just a few wildly-expensive steps!

3) I’d start with this dress by Michael Kors.

4) And just to keep the guys – and they were ALL guys – in check I’d demurely cover up with this jacket by Willow.

5) I like being on-time for meetings both professional and social so I think I’d need this Gucci watch.

6) Before the ceremony, I’d exchange these for this pair of Rene Caovilla t-straps.

7) I’d sprinkle these Marni crystals on the lapel of my jacket or maybe along the neckline of my dress.

8) And because I need a feminine pop of color I’d exchange my work bag for this Christian Louboutin clutch. I don’t know what I’ve actually done with my work bag but I can’t worry about that right now.

9) A simple black Alexander McQueen suit for my man, paired with a Lee Allison tie and a well-made Church’s brogue. And, yes, he’d wear these things, he likes to look sharp.

10) He’d be carrying a bouquet of pale blue roses from Suzanne Cummings for me (although the little Carnation-laden bouquet he actually gave me was very sweet).

11) We’d upgrade from ribs to a mind-blowing dinner at Alinea.

12) Followed by a night in a mind-blowing suite at Trump Tower and Hotels where we’d have a cake from Bittersweet Pastry waiting for us (we’ll need something that’s been frozen for a year to force down on our first anniversary.)

13) Finally, instead of sending out wedding announcements (which perhaps raise the expectations of gifts which we wouldn’t want) we’d write notes on lovely, heart-shaped Twinrockers paper to our family and closest friends telling them how much they mean to us and how we looked forward to continuing to share our lives with them as wife and husband. Despite the fact they weren’t invited to our wedding.

So that would be our nuptial extravaganza. Over the top, oh yeah, but this is all hypothetical anyway so what the hell. But 24 years later I can honestly say how we were actually married was just fine. More than fine. We’re still together, still in love and that’s what counts. Oh, and we’re going to Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary. In the dead of winter.

(Catch up with the rest of the series here.)


  1. I'm honeymooning in Paris! Fly Icelandic air and stop over in Iceland for free! Winter is prime Northern Lights sighting.

  2. love love love love love love love.

    and i wonder what the church lady's name was?

  3. Chandra, you sound soooo fabulous. I wanna be your friend. xo.

  4. I second Alinea.

    p.s. I live in Chicago, thanks for reminding me that people like you do live here.

  5. places with pleasant weather in mid-January: cape town, goa, praia de pipa, kauai.

    alternatively, celebrate the anniversary of your first date! isn't that when the magic began?

  6. I DIE for that dress...AMAZING!

  7. that dress is stunning!! i love this series.

  8. What I think is most lovely about this post is that they've been married for 25 years. congrats!

    we honeymooned in paris. in the dead of summer....just 8 months ago. I think I'll go back. :)

  9. I love all of you. You will definitely receive lovely handwritten notes in the unlikely event I marry again.

  10. I agree with Nicole, Chandra really does seem impossibly cool. And that MK dress looks like the most flattering garment on the planet

  11. such a great series, ESB. (the edition is pretty good, too.)

  12. Those outfits sound so sharp!

    But first time round sounds purrrrfect - in my head you're Melanie Griffiths and Tom Hanks in the 80s by the way.