“The Anonymous Groom” is a newlywed who was happy to be involved in the wedding plans for his December 2012 wedding. He and his wife enjoy traveling all over the world, hosting their friends in their new home, and going out to try new restaurants and food. He works in the banking industry and is a big sports fan.
It had been 362 days since I proposed. The last year had been really busy but I really enjoyed planning our wedding with my fiancée. I was definitely a little more involved than most grooms. I took on a lot of the stress of getting everything together and in addition to the wedding planning, also started a new job and moved to a new house during our engagement. Why not do everything at the same time? Now the time had finally come to get on a plane to Chicago, where my now-wife is from, to kick off our wedding weekend.
Seeing family and friends leading up to the wedding was really fun for me. I am close with my family and have a lot of loyal friends so being surrounded by all of my favorite people was incredible. It was something I looked forward to throughout the year. In fact, my fiancée and I flew to Chicago with 17 of my family and my parents’ friends. Just being around everyone gave me a lot of energy and made me feel content. My dad’s friend, Mark, even got the flight attendants to make an announcement that we were getting married. I’m sure I turned bright red.
Our wedding was in December in Chicago so everyone was in a festive and excited mood. Michigan Avenue and the rest of the city were decorated and lit up for the holidays, and there was a seasonal chill in the air. I could feel everyone’s enthusiasm being there. For the two days before the wedding, it flurried, adding to the wintry and festive atmosphere. The night before the wedding, we had a big rehearsal dinner, and it was a great way to kick off the festivities. There were some touching speeches, and I was really emotional and tried to hold back my tears. I was surprised that I was only able to consume one slice of deep dish pizza that night!
The night before the wedding, being traditional, my then-fiancée kicked me out of our hotel room. One of my groomsman and his fiancée were nice enough to let me crash on a cot in their room. I slept okay but didn’t sleep that well. I was excited, not nervous, and I wanted to be in the moment on my wedding day.
I remember going to my parents’ hotel room in the early morning after I had something light to eat for breakfast. I came into the room, saw my mom, and we both just broke down, overcome by the emotion of the day and that feeling that time goes by too fast. I remember embracing my mom for a few minutes, reminiscing about lots of good times over the years growing up. I think I got most of the emotion and tears out at that point. I felt a lot of emotions throughout the day, but kept my composure for the most part.
My bride and I were going to have our “first look” sometime in the early afternoon. Seeing my fiancée in that white dress for the first time was an unforgettable moment. I also really enjoyed witnessing the father of the bride seeing her for the first time. My fiancée and her dad are really close so it was special for me to see them share a few moments together.
It was a cold but clear day so my wife and I decided to take off around the city with our photographer, videographer, and their crews. For me, it felt like we were the only two people in the world. I felt like we were celebrities at our own photo shoot. We got some great shots in front of some of Chicago’s gorgeous architectural landmarks and also got some starker shots in city’s Loop. By the way, our photos are amazing.
You know how in the movies there’s that scene or that moment where the groom has cold feet? Well, that didn’t happen for me at all on my wedding day. When it came time to walk down the aisle, I was very calm, comfortable, and contented. I knew I was in love, that I was marrying the right person, and that I wanted her to be my partner-in-crime for the rest of my life.
It felt wonderful to walk down the floral-lined aisle with my dad on one side and my mom on the other. It was also really special to watch my bride walk down the aisle with her parents, seeing their joy and happiness. During the ceremony and the reception, I tried to be in the moment and tried to capture everything in my mind so that I would never forget it. It was a challenge for me because every time I got too into the moment and really thought “wow, this is my wedding day,” I got pretty emotional.
Incorporating Jewish traditions into our ceremony was particularly special to me. We got married under a chuppah made with my grandfather’s tallit, we circled each other, and I broke the glass. I felt a genuine connection to my family, culture, and religion, knowing that my parents, grandparents, and ancestors followed the same customs at their weddings.
The party was just awesome and it went by just way too fast. Our band played their hearts out from the Horah all the way through the last song. They really made the party and brought a ton of energy to the room.
And then, just like that, the night was over. I suppose nothing good can last forever. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it though. At least we still had our honeymoon to look forward to.