Trip Report on Magic Mirror's Chicago Wedding!

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crazycatperson's picture
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Magic Mirror wrote:
Did I just hear a collective sigh from all you men out there?
wink

Not just the men.

I hatehatehate shopping as much as any man does.

Edited to add: I love Day 1 (except the shopping). Very much looking forward to your official legal wedding day!

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Congratulations to the both of you MM! Everything looks beautiful. Looking forward to more. awesome

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congrats I've been enjoying your pictures on facebook. Looking forward to reading more about your weekend.

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Great photos! Can't wait to hear all about the big day.

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Diana

Time marches on. Eventually you realize it's doing it across your face.

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A Disney store AND a chocolate store!? Talk about good times awesome
Love the pictures. Can't wait for more yay seriously, I can't wait, chop chop! laugh

Also, I love that SNL skit laugh

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Every thing looks great MM!

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Loved day 1 and that table looks stunning.

The views look amazing.

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Wow sounds great! Can't wait to hear about the wedding muchlove

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congrats Magic ...Chicago is such a beautiful City (except south side )love all your photos !! great views from your hotel !!

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congrats Awesome so far can't wait to hear more

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Howdy Y'all
https://www.facebook.com/matthew.tucker1
Caution Content May be inappropriate

May/June 2016 Magic cruise to Norway
2017 Prtugal wedding adventures
2018 Alskan disney cruise ??
2019 Florida

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I had been suffering from an upper respiratory infection a few days prior to us leaving and had gone to the doctor. So I had brought with every imaginable medication I could pack to try to keep my sickness at bay. Friday night when we had all gone to bed, I tossed and turned and coughed, coughed, coughed until 1230am. Between 1230a-0530a I had fits of broken sleep. Between coughing and the sirens (they never stop in Chicago!) I couldn't stay asleep. But, if I had to be awake, I couldn't ask for a better view! 180 deg view of the city including Willis (Sears) Tower!

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At 5:30a I gave up, got up and wandered down to the living room. I enjoyed the views, drank a Starbucks I had stashed in the fridge and eventually got in the shower. By the time I got done, I woke Amy up. I went downstairs and brought up breakfast for us to eat. While we were eating breakfast, we were treated to an amazing view at the building across from us. Three window washers had hooked themselves up and were scurrying down the side. They would each do two windows side by side, swinging back and forth like spiderman before dropping down a floor to the next.

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During the original planning stage, the hotel had switched sales directors and the 2nd one was useless. I had requested a second table for the luncheon in the suite which now they said they couldn't honor as they didn't have one. I asked for 2 additional chairs so we could cram around the one table and she couldn't figure out that either-she didn't know the table dimensions (so I could buy a table cover) and told me there was no wine glasses in the suite nor could she get them (when I arrived I found out there was indeed wine glasses after I had already packed my own).

So after breakfast was done, I sent the guys down and they "borrowed" two chairs out of the breakfast room and brought them back up to the suite. Thank goodness for the manager of the front desk as she certainly saved the days on many levels.

Dave & Annamarie were sharing our 2 bedroom suite, Brian & Lorie had their own room one floor under us. They had called the front desk the night before as the water didn't seem to be getting hot. The front desk said it just took time so they dismissed it. Now they were trying to get ready for the wedding and had let the hot water run 25 minutes- and it was still ice cold. They called back down again and they sent someone up who fiddled for a bit, but couldn't fix it. Finally time was running out so they moved them to a room on the 24th floor, which had problems so they moved again to the 13th floor. Not something you want to be messing with when you are trying to get ready for a wedding! The hotel did end up deducting one night off their bill which was generous. Eventually they were able to shower, get ready and meet us back up in the suite.

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After breakfast Amy got ready and put on her "wedding dress" .

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Then I went to put on my "dress" and do my makeup. While I was getting ready the cupcakes arrived. We had decided such we had a wedding cake the first time, we would do something more "Chicago" like and go with cupcakes. Molly's Cupcakes is based in New York & Chicago and they have a list of awards they have won. So before the wedding we had each of our guests choose their own flavors of cupcakes. With a delivery fee of $35 - One Dozen cupcakes came to $83 (not including tip). Yowzer! But - it was worth it, after all, it was our wedding cake!

I had placed the order so I had pretty much memorized what the flavors were and what they looked like. Amy was the one who ended up receiving the cupcakes when they arrived, so she didn't realize there was an error. They had one of the cupcake flavors wrong. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but - when it's your wedding, you've paid about $7 a cupcake, and your guests have chosen all their own flavors, it becomes a big deal.

I didn't notice the error till we were getting ready to serve them, a little late to notify them for a replacement to be delivered. So I addressed it with the company when I got home. With Scott & Sheryl not being able to come with us due to Sheryl's surgery, we did have a few extra cupcakes anyway, so everyone found something they liked, as least for the first round of cupcakes.

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After I got dressed, Brian & Lorie finally had hot water and they were ready so we all went out to the balcony for some pre-wedding photos.

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So they night before we were joking around about how we could window peep in the hotel across from us. It was like a Seinfeld episode. We were kidding about how we didn't see anyone undressing like they always show on tv. Well when I had gotten up that morning-I'm looking outside when the neighboring hotel has a light flip on and a woman undresses right in the window! I didn't think people actually did that! Then when Lorie and Brian came up, they were telling us they had the same thing-and the woman was not making any attempt to hide herself. I guess something about the anonymity of being in a city skyscraper causes people to flash their neighbors. We have re-named our group the "High Rise Peepers Club" . Amy told me I could consider that my bachelorette party.

And no, I did not take pictures.

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So I drugged myself up and the Rev. arrived promptly on time at 12:15. I had talked to her on the phone several times, but we had never met in person. She was instantly an easy person to converse with. Very warm in her personality and genuine. We went through all the paperwork I never knew existed when you get married. Sign this, do that, what about this......

She gave us a gift of a six pence. It was attached to a card with poem & history behind it. It completes the common verse you hear of "something new, something old, something blue.." etc. She said it was good luck to wear on your wedding day so we tucked them in our boots.

She took our official court marriage license to file and gave us a commemorative one to keep. We can get copies of the court license in about 2 weeks thru the court house website.

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The Rev. even brought bubbles- which was something I hadn't thought of !

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After the ceremony & the Rev. had left... it was time for a Toast!

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We then gave our friends their bridal party gifts..the ladies got their necklaces, the guys their bracelets..the guys were quite excited by their gifts and readily modeled them for us ...

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And then- the food arrived! We had ordered thru Weber Grills 'Weber on Wheels" catering company. There was hickory BBQ ribs, signature broasted bbq chicken, roasted garlic potatoes, bourbon beans and cornbread.

I had also ordered 9 bottles of pop.

The delivery lady arrived and dropped off our items. In the rush of trying to get everything together the only thing I had noticed was that it wasn't delivered in insulated bags. I briefly thought that perhaps she had left them in her car and transferred it to a carry bag on her way up.

As I am unpacking the food I am surprised how the foil packages didn't feel hot. I also realized she had not brought the pop. I quickly called Weber Grill about the pop, hoping they may have her cell phone and could catch her before she left the area..but ends up she had forgot to grab them so she had to go back to the get them and return to us. She did do this and brought the pop back as quick as can be expected in a larger city.

The food however, was cold when we unpacked it. Not even luke warm- just cold. I hadn't expected it to be boiling hot, but I did expect fairly warm. Weber was only about 4 blocks from our hotel so its not like they even had to come across town. If I had known I would have timed things different and had the oven ready. So we waited for the oven to heat up, used the microwave and ate the beans cold. It was all fixable, but not something you want to deal with at your wedding luncheon.

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After the food got warmed up, we ate, ate and ate some more. The boys sure liked those ribs! The food was all really tasty-all homemade, from scratch, I'd recommend their food to anyone. Each tray was supposed to feed 10 people and we had two meals out of it and still had a lot left over.

We had purchased "poppers". The ones you see typically on New Years Eve. They are wrapped in pretty round tubes and you pull each side creating a loud "pop" when they break open. The insides are filled with little gifts, jokes and tissue party hats.

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So while we are enjoying a beautiful wedding luncheon, lucky to be surrounded by friends we love..I start to hear this rhythmic undertone which is getting louder. Now we have no tv on, no music, just the gentle conversation of friends celebrating a lovely afternoon on the 26th floor.

Even before I get up, my blood pressure has gone from 117 to about 220 because without looking I already knew what it was. By now everyone had stopped eating and they also were listening to it, although they were not quite sure what it was. So they go out to the balcony to see this.

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https://

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Yes, the "hands up" "dont shoot" "can't breathe" protestors were out starting their marching. There had been a big rally the weekend before where traffic on Michigan Ave. had to come to a complete stand still due to them blocking the streets in waves. Without going into further discussion about it on here- I'll leave it at that.

We resumed dinner. After the boys had their fill of ribs, we spent the next hour just lounging around, enjoying the sweeping views of the penthouse and digesting a full meal.

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Changing into more comfortable street clothes, it was time to head out. We had arranged a surprise horse carriage ride for a one hour christmas lights tour thru the city.

All the horse carriage companies in Chicago advertised their carriages held 4 adults except one who listed theirs as holding 6. I called them on the phone and at least 3 times told the lady we have 6 average + sized adults and was she sure we would all fit as I would be happy to get 2 carriages if we needed it. She assured me 3x that their carriages would hold all 6 of us in one.

With our guests not knowing what the surprise was, we headed down about 7 blocks to the historic water tower. On the way, we noticed a large mass ahead of us near Nordstrom's . Yes, it was the protestors, they were completely blocking the store access, so no one could leave or go in..and most certainly you could not go down the sidewalk. Police Officers were everywhere, trying to direct street traffic so vehicles wouldn't hit anyone and re directing the pedestrian traffic. We had to turn around, double back a block, cross Michigan Ave. and use the other sidewalk.

By the time we got across from Nordstrom's, about six Police came running across Michigan Ave. to an area in front of us, then suddenly they turned around and ran back to Nordstrom's. Two men came out of the crowd handcuffed and put into the transport van and there was screaming all over from the crowd. We managed to continue on, pushing our way to the Water Tower.

Here is an article from the incident: http://abc7chicago.com/news/protests-continue-on-chicagos-mag-mile/435638/

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So we finally arrive at Water Tower and I send Amy and our friends over to Ghiradelli's for hot chocolate and a diversion while I check us in at the Horse Carriage ride. I again tell the attendant we have six adults and he assures me that is fine. He also mentions that tip is not included and 20-30% is recommended.

I had already done up holiday tip envelopes before I left. I had one for all the catering people, the suite housekeeper, and the carriage ride. Mostly, I did it as I didn't want our friends to feel any pressure to tip. I had them sign the card, I put in the money and sealed it up. They all knew where the envelopes were in the room so whoever accepted catering could grab the tip envelopes. Amy however noted that I had "Disney-fied" the tipping process and I was bringing a bit of pixie dust to Chicago!

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So after getting hot chocolate, we tell our guests what their surprise is and we go get in line for our carriage line...just in time for the Protestors to have found their way to the water tower also, and they were now converging on the area just behind us. Luckily our carriage arrives.

I notice that this carriage looks no different than the carriage that seats 4 adults. I mention to the attendant and he tells us all the carriages are the same size and we will fit. As we cram in like sardines, the attendant again tells us about the tipping. I am more concerned about us, as we literally are NOT fitting. I mention to the attendant we are not fitting and I think we should pay for a second carriage. He appears slightly flustered, steps back and we take off!

I apologize profusely to our friends, who being sweet as they are - continue to say its ok we will be find...
and the horse carriage , who has not even gone a block from our loading point yells into the cab about the tipping policy.

Now he doesn't leave it at that, he mentions at least 3 more times in the first half hour about his tip. I had read somewhere that carriage drivers make only 25% of the carriage tour cost and depend on tips for the rest. This one hour trip had cost us $125 which means he was making $31.25 plus tip on our ride. I am all about tipping, but this was equivalent to your waitress reminding you to tip her every time she comes to your table. It was becoming quite annoying and even our friends were getting uncomfortable.

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After 30 minutes we had arrived at Daly Plaza, home of the large Christmas Tree, the Kriskringle German Market and Macy's famous Tree and outside window displays.

and.. two of us had legs that had fallen asleep, Lorie had to scoot forward and sit on the very edge of her seat because Dave has 2 really bad shoulders and is visibly in pain, and - well none of us is enjoying the ride.

I tell the carriage driver we are getting off- and we are forfeiting the rest of our ride/money.

He is worried that we are missing the Daly Christmas tree and insists on driving us around a few more blocks before he lets us off. Finally he pulls over and stops and we slowly unfold ourselves and fall out of the carriage. I was ready to throw the tip card at him in a hostile way so I chose to hand it to Brian to give to the driver as I know he is more in control of himself right now than I am. The driver looks a bit taken aback at his pretty snowflake decorated holiday tip card and I think he almost feels a bit bad...he encourages us to pose with Ella Mae his horse for pictures..but she seems to be in a non photo mood so we try for a few quick pets and a couple of photo snaps..