It was Leah and Mike’s wedding day, and boy, was Leah ever excited for it! Rachel Reiman and Ashley Young had finished her hair and make-up, and Leah was smiling ear to ear as she prepared to put on her dress.
Her attendants were with her while she got ready making sure they looked perfect for their friend’s big day.
They attended to every last detail…
…and Leah was ready to go. Gorgeous!
Meanwhile, Mike and his brothers were having joking around as they got ready. No wedding day jitters here… Mike was relaxed and ready to marry his bride.
Leah and I jumped in a cab and traveled to the Art Institute garden where Mike was waiting for their first meeting.
I hated to break up the moment, but we had photos to take!
We left the Art Institute garden…
…and headed to the LaSalle bridge in downtown Chicago.
This bridge has one of my favorite views of Chicago skyscrapers.
I was having a great time, but as always, we had to keep an eye on the time.
…And it was time to go meet up with the wedding party. We jumped in a cab and made our way back to The Spertus Institute where they were waiting for us.
Leah and Mike struck a quick pose by our designated meeting spot.
And soon enough, the wedding party was there to join us.
The whole crowd headed out into the neighborhood for group portraits.
Leah’s little niece and her babysitter traveled with us. The train passing by above was little loud for those tiny ears!
The wedding party consisted of eight attendants for the bride and seven groomsmen. They all squeezed together tight for a group portrait.
One of Leah’s attendants grabbed a quick smoke between photos…
…and then he was right back into the action, posing with the circle of friends.
Whoops! Wedding faux pas! One of the groomsmen put his tie on wrong, which his friends were nice enough to point out to him.
No worries… it happens to the best of us.
We wrapped up with a picture of Mike and a couple of his guys…
…and then made our way back to the Spertus building.
Mike and Leah headed inside to get ready for the celebration.
The guests were beginning to arrive, and they were ready to celebrate, too.
Mike’s father was there, of course, and found his seat as people came together for the Bedeken.
Leah’s brother recited a passage as part of the tradition.
Leah, with Mike’s mother on the left, and her own mother on right, just after the completion of the traditional veiling.
There were musicians and drinks…
…everyone, especially Mike, was having a great time.
With the Bedeken concluded, it was time for the ceremony. Leah took a minute to herself to reflect before joining her parents to walk down the aisle.
Leah was beaming as she walked the aisle and locked eyes with Mike.
Once she was underneath the chuppah, Leah observed the tradition of circling the groom.
Mike’s brother participated in the ceremony by delivering a reading.
Mike had Leah’s ring in his hands as they began reciting their vows.
Mike slipped the ring onto Leah’s finger.
Mike concludes the ceremony by stomping on the wine glass.
The newlyweds made their way out of the ceremony area surrounded by celebrating friends and family.
The celebrating guests left Leah and Mike at the cheder yichud, where they spent time alone together before joining the reception.
They even had guards to make sure they weren’t disturbed!
After a few minutes the newlyweds emerged and stood above the reception area, taking it all in.
After a dinner and cake catered by Laura Frankel of Wolfgang Puck, Leah and Mike danced their first dance as husband and wife.
After their first dance, they each enjoyed a dance with their parents.
Then they took the microphone to give a heart-felt thanks and welcome to all the guests.
Leah’s parents couldn’t have been more proud of their daughter.
Finally, it was time to dance the hora. My favorite part!
Leah and Mike were super excited about it, too.
Leah’s father and brother were right in the middle of it all!
We have a dancer down!
Leah’s dad tore up the dance floor with his robot dance.
Kate from Toast & Jam was there to DJ, and she made sure to keep the party going.
I was taking a family picture when I got photo-bombed! I gotta say, though: if you’re gonna photo-bomb, you should take lessons from this guy. He did it right!
Mike and Leah’s moms celebrated by dancing together.
A guy could get used to this…
The party was still going strong as I wrapped up my duties. This was one hard-partying group!
I had a great time at your wedding, Leah and Mike! Thanks for having me, and congratulations on your marriage!