The more I learned about Carissa and Tim, the more I understood exactly why people love them so fiercely. These two first met at a “celebration of friendship” party in Chicago, which was being thrown by Carissa’s friend. The thing is, Tim didn’t actually know that friend, nor did he know Carissa – he was invited last minute by another partygoer and decided to crash it. The first people he met when he walked in happened to be Carissa’s parents – and unbeknownst to him at the time, he then made his way toward the woman on the dance floor who happened to be their daughter.
In my first time meeting with them in person, I got an initial peek at some of the characteristics I’d eventually hear about in the toasts on their wedding day. They told me about their plans and the places they had traveled, and I saw Tim’s intelligence and his passion for the hobbies and activities he enjoys most in life, much like his sisters had described with their glasses raised. And when one of Carissa’s friends described her as a “force” as he addressed the room of their wedding guests, I thought about all of my interactions with her and the way she exudes this perfect combination of strength and humor and grace, and realized then that I completely understood what he was talking about.
During their ceremony, they had a friend do a reading from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I’d be lying to you if I said I remembered exactly which part of the quotation was read, but sometimes when you’re taking photographs and watching two people hold hands and beam knowingly in the same direction and blinking back tears yourself, you have a hard time remembering all of the specifics. But the ceremony itself was so perfectly tailored to them – it was sincere, and heartfelt, and obvious that so much thought was put into each reading and story. Tim’s friend was their officiant, and he followed the readings by talking about his friends, and the moment they met, and the many moments that would follow. At one point he spoke of how much Tim admired Carissa’s desire to have a family someday, and I thought about the moment she emailed me a few months earlier with an update on their lives.
“In a crazy twist of exciting events, all couples in our wedding party are pregnant or will have newborns at the wedding… including us!”
There are a million things I could tell you that I love about these two, but easily the first and foremost would be their uncontainable excitement for the many incredible things that await them – this day wasn’t just about a wedding, but also a marriage, and their parents and siblings, and the twins on the way that will eventually make them parents themselves, and the trips they’ll eventually plan with them and the way their little ones became such a big part of this day even before their arrival. Carissa’s dad did a surprise gender announcement at the end of his toast at their reception, and I watched as the room erupted with excitement over the words “baby boys”, and as Tim and Carissa’s faces filled with joy as everyone clinked glasses and wooed and clapped and shared their happiness. I’ve been part of many wedding days, but this one? This one felt like we were celebrating so much more than simply two people in love, and there was something so incredibly special about that.
Church: Alice Millar Chapel, Northwestern University
Reception Venue: The Woman’s Club of Evanston
Flowers: The Flower Girl Company, Kate Masiak
Dress: David’s Bridal
DJ: HYE Demand Entertainment (HDE), Marcus Carter