I was out shopping at Nordstroms and found a gorgeous beaded dress that had a 20’s feel. Being obsessed with that era, I had to find an excuse to drop the hundreds on it. I jokingly texted Andy, “Can we run away and get married so I can buy this dress?” His response changed our lives forever…
I nervously sat in the dressing room reading and rereading the texts from Andy. He finally texted that he was walking into Nordstrom, he loved the dress and we exchanged nervous giggles, skipped and walked to the check out line. We were eloping and couldn’t wait to get married that weekend and spend the rest of our lives together.
And then we ran into a little problem… In the state of Wisconsin you have to apply for a marriage license, something about having to wait 6 days, and we needed to see if my dream wedding venue was available… So, I immediately texted my cousin Monika and told her to get ready. Andy got in touch with his best friend Chris and we started to plan for Valentine’s Day.
I contacted The Madison Club hoping they’d have the Louise Marston Conklin room available for us to rent. It is a light blue room with crystal chandeliers, white trimming, a romantic fireplace, and views of the Capital. Not only was it available, they were letting us use the room FREE of charge! I began planning how to decorate, found a reverend, a photographer, a make up artist, and booked us a room off of the square.
Everything was planned, we all agreed to keep it under wraps, and it was time for us to sit back and relax until the big day. Andy took me out to our favorite sushi place in Madison, RED Sushi. We were getting ready to order sake when Andy stood up, asked the waitress to turn down the music, and for everyone to pay attention. Andy is not the type of person to draw attention to himself in a large crowd and I was confused as to what was going on. He asked everyone to pull out their cellphones and start taking pictures, got down on one knee, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. And then he passed little papers around to everyone asking them to text or email their photos!
We couldn’t contain our excitement! Well, I definitely could not… We called our parents and let them know we were engaged… but kept our Valentine’s elopement a secret.
The morning of February 14th could not have come soon enough. My cousin Monika, her boyfriend Brett, and Andy’s best friend Chris came over and we all started the morning off with Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. We had been up with Monika and Brett the night before drinking and playing Heads Up. Side note, if you don’t have the head’s up game I highly recommend downloading it now. Anyway, the boys went to The Madison Club to set up and get ready and Monika and I went to get our hair and makeup done.
It was a very cold day, I am talking 3 degrees Fahrenheit with a -9 degree windchill. So Monika and I bundled up, grabbed a bottle of champagne, two glasses, and headed out. We arrived at the make up stylist’s parent’s house, it was a little unconventional, but looking back I would not have had it any other way, the house was comfortable and her family had that Madison Nice. Everyone sat around while I got my make up done and talked about Andy and my journey towards this day…
First off, Andy and I met at work and had to keep it a secret because the company did not condone interoffice relationships. When we met he tried really hard to come off as a “bad” boy, I could see right through this but I let him keep up the charade for a while. We didn’t talk to each other at first, but there was and electric moment the first time we saw each other. This may not have been “love at first sight” but the attraction between up was magnetic. I was sitting in my cubicle on my first day and got up to go out for lunch. Andy walked in and our eyes immediately met and we just stood there for what felt like minutes, in reality it may have just been a glance. I was captivated by him, his eyes had this sparkle, his smile was white, and he was ripped. It took us about 2 months to build the courage up to speak to each other; I was going to a sub shop, Which-Wich, and, as I was heading out I over heard Andy say he was getting a sub. The entire drive there my heart was pounding I was nervous with excitement. As I was parking he pulled up next to me, and of course said, “Are you following me?” We hung out every day after that, literally every day. He taught me how to disc golf and meditate, he made me dinner on his porch and used a flashlight in a paper bag to “set the mood.”
A few months later we were out Disc Golfing at Elver Park and it started to rain, every time Andy would say we could go back in and that it was okay to quit midway through it made me want to prove my “toughness,” which I definitely do not have, and I would say that it was just a little rain. Until it started to pour… Being on a hill surrounded in trees with only natural trails was the perfect recipe for muddy paths in which little streams began to run down. We were both slipping and catching ourselves until we came to the 18th hole where the path was better than a slip and slide. Andy reached out for my hand and in that moment I knew, I loved this quirky man.
Monika and I were looking absolutely stunning, we arrived at the Madison club and finished getting ready. I gave Monika a pearl Kate Spade necklace, put another coat of Chanel lipstick on, and got ready to say “I do” in my vintage Jimmy Choos. I wasn’t nervous, I was excited. It was really happening, the day I had dreamt about since I first saw Cinderella get married had finally come.
The guys did a great job setting up the room, I had crystal candle sticks from my grandmother, a sailboat from my now mother-in-law, trinkets from my mother and sister, and lots of candles. We tightened Andy’s bowtie, adjusted my veil, had a few laughs and lined up with Reverend Alex Mills.
You know how some couples say they never remember any of their wedding because of all of the drama, and franticness of getting everyone dressed and ready to go on time? Well, we remember it all, we did it at our own pace and had the most intimate wedding.
Now remember it was -9 degrees outside with the wind chill and I definitely was not wearing a “winter” gown. So the photographer had us take a few photos around the club before we headed out into the Wisconsin winter air.
We braved the cold as long as we could, and then some. I literally could not feel my legs, but the pictures were worth it. Andy and I made our way over to DLUX where they had half off Veuve Clicquot… Needless to say, it was a party and the perfect way to celebrate our wedding day with the most important people in our lives.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s story on breaking the news to our families!