When Amanda Lamerato married Gregory Kelly at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, it was not the first time she had stood at the altar in a fancy white dress and a veil. Almost exactly 19 years earlier Amanda had made her first communion at the church, which her family has attended for her entire life.
THE BRIDE Amanda Lamerato
THE GROOM Gregory Kelly
THE DATE May 31
THE SCENE A tulip-infused affair at St. Vincent Ferrer Church and St. Josaphat Banquet Centre
A CHANCE MEETING The bride and groom planned their wedding from Chicago, where they live and where they met one night when both were at the bar of a popular restaurant near Wrigley Field, each waiting for friends who were late for dinner. They struck up a conversation, exchanged email addresses and just seven months later, Greg surprised Amanda with a homemade, candlelight dinner culminating in a marriage proposal.
THE COLORS OF SPRING “I have always known I wanted a spring wedding with bright, multicolored tulips as the main flowers,” says Amanda. She chose a shade of sage green called “fino celadon” as an accent color (“the tulips looked really beautiful next to it,” she says), and used it for the bridesmaid dresses.
The wedding was a full Catholic mass. Amanda honored her love of music by inviting two friends from her college a capella group to sing all of the music for the ceremony. Another pal played the piano. Most special was an “Ave Maria” that had been composed by Amanda’s great-great-great grandmother for her own granddaughter’s wedding.
NEWLYWED GAMES Guests arrived at the St. Josaphat Banquet Centre to find the tables bearing buckets of colorful tulips (which they were invited to take home at the end of the evening). There were also five trivia cards, composed by the couple, on each table. Each card had questions about the wedding party and a photo of the bride and groom.
Between feasting on the dinner and dessert buffet and dancing to tunes the DJ played (surprisingly, the good old “Hokey Pokey” was a huge hit), guests took photos with disposable cameras that the couple had placed on the tables. The cameras were loaded with both color and black-and-white film. When it was finally time for guests to depart, everyone was given a Chinese take-out-style box filled with white chocolate-covered pretzels and tied with a label that listed the couple’s names, wedding date, and the words “We tied the knot!” “Get it?” says Amanda: “Pretzels? Knots?”
Photography © Elayne Gross and Paul Neuburger
For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see the right-hand column of this page.
See More: Real Weddings: Spring