Real Wedding: Chrissy and Corey

March 6, 2015

Chrissy and Corey don’t agree on how they started dating; Chrissy says Corey was texting her late at night, and Corey says Chrissy initiated things. What they both agree on, however, is that they were meant to be. Corey (a Southern gent) was playing on the Beloit Snappers, a Minor League Baseball team, and Chrissy (a Midwest girl) was the team’s Director of Media Relations. Chrissy was tasked with interviewing Cory, an up-and-coming, left-handed pitcher. After the interview, some texts were exchanged (we won’t take sides in the who-liked-who-first debate!), and eventually the two started dating. “I knew from the first time we hung out that Chrissy was the love of my life,” Corey says.

The two got engaged the weekend of Chrissy’s 25th birthday. Corey and Chrissy were flying back to Chicago from Minnesota when two of Chrissy’s best girlfriends from college turned up at the airport. “I couldn’t believe it,” Chrissy says. “I hadn’t seen them in over two years! I thought that was my birthday surprise.” Little did she know Corey had planned the perfect proposal. The next day, the couple took Chrissy’s friends around Chicago doing touristy things. They were at The Bean when the girls suddenly had the urge to leave and go shopping. “I couldn’t figure out why they wanted to ditch us,” Chrissy recalls. “To be honest, I was kind of annoyed!”

After the girls left, Corey led Chrissy to Lurie Garden in Millennium Park. It was winter, so everything in the garden was dried up and lifeless — then Chrissy noticed a rose on a park bench. “Corey started telling me how much he loved me, how he couldn’t imagine his life without me, and how glad he was I initiated our relationship (our running joke). He asked me to marry him, and the first words out of my mouth: ‘YOU REALLY WANT TO MARRY ME?!’ Corey laughed, and said ‘Well, yeah!’” When Chrissy turned around, both her and Corey’s immediate families were standing on a nearby bridge, smiling and waving — such a special moment.

The two planned a wedding in Milwaukee and wanted to be married in a church. At first, they had a tricky time finding just the right spot. Corey and Chrissy had actually lived in seven states combined since they first met, but never in Milwaukee. So the couple had to do some research to find just the right person to marry them; they found him at All Saints Cathedral in the Reverend Kevin Carroll. Chrissy says: “They were so welcoming and even allowed us to do our pre-marital counseling via Skype, since Corey and I didn’t live in the same state due to his baseball schedule. Nearly our entire relationship has been long distance. But even over Skype we were able to develop a relationship with Kevin and felt comfortable with him conducting our ceremony.”

After all the prep work, the ceremony turned out beautifully. One of Chrissy’s favorite moments was when her grandmother came to have a peek at her before the service started. “She took one look at me and burst into tears; I’ll never forget it.” Of course, Chrissy was most excited to see Corey — she’d heard he was nervous all morning and couldn’t wait to calm his nerves by flashing him a goofy smile, and as she walked up the aisle she did just that. He gave her a silly grin back.

The wedding took place in winter, so Chrissy and Corey ran with a wintry theme. The reception was held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, and the couple gave the ballroom a snowy feel with real tree branches spray painted silver and black satin chair covers with pink bows. Chrissy crafted all of the centerpieces herself, along with blingy candle votives. Chrissy’s mom made all of the place cards, table signs, and programs for the ceremony. Corey and Chrissy also put together a display of old wedding photos of couples from each of their families. “Both of our parents were celebrating 30 years of marriage, so we decided to showcase that love. It turned out to be a beautiful display, and our guests really enjoyed reminiscing.”

In addition to all of these homemade touches, Chrissy put a lot of thought into the food: “Let’s get real. Eating and drinking is what we do when it’s cold in Wisconsin!” She adopted a “dessert first” attitude: “While I now work for ESPN, I’m truly a girly girl. I’m most commonly known for my love of sweets and the color pink!” Chrissy hired Classy Girl Cupcakes and also staged a candy buffet. As a nod to Corey’s career in baseball, Chrissy made sure there were baseball-themed touches throughout: baseball cupcake liners and chocolate-covered baseballs at the candy buffet. Chrissy and Corey had a lot of fun concocting the candy buffet, too. “We went to antique and thrift stores to find all of the candy containers. It made for such a beautiful display — we had just about any candy you could imagine!”

Beyond sweets, dinner and drinks were a big part of the planning. “I knew I wanted to go big on desserts,” Chrissy says, “but we went back and forth on plated vs. buffet style dinner. We decided that since our wedding was more elegant, we would go with plated and have an open bar.” Guests had three choices for dinner at the Hilton: Sprecher braised short ribs, salmon, or stuffed chicken; for a late night snack, chicken wings.

What comes after dinner? Dancing! Corey and Chrissy hired Sound By Design and had an incredible experience with them. “They proved to be the perfect choice — the dance floor was packed the entire night!” To get folks on their feet, the couple actually included a line in their RSVP cards asking “What’s one song that will get you on the dance floor?” Before the wedding, Chrissy emailed the list of songs to the DJ. One of Chrissy’s favorite dance floor moments was at the beginning of the evening when she dedicated a song to Corey.  “I emailed the DJ and asked him to read a dedication from me to the groom. I knew it took a lot for Corey to marry a Wisconsin cheesehead, and I wanted to make sure he never forgets his roots.” The DJ then played “Sweet Home Alabama,” Corey’s favorite song. It was a hit with him and all of the other Southerners!

Another cool way Chrissy made the out-of-towners feel at home was by putting together a “Welcome to Wisconsin” gift bag that included Black Bear soda (made in Oak Creek), Claire Baie Water (bottled in Oak Creek), Klements Sausage (made in Milwaukee), Seroogy’s chocolate (made in Green Bay), and Knights Popcorn (made in Milwaukee). “One of the most unique parts of our wedding day was the bringing together of two very different cultures: Midwest and South. We tried to find ways to incorporate both of our upbringings into the wedding to add our own flair to the day.” Chrissy wanted to make sure to share local favorites (with her “Welcome to Wisconsin” bags) and celebrate the beautiful Wisconsin winter (through the décor) — something some Southern guests had never encountered before.

There are a lot of moments that make up your wedding day and the days leading up to it. One of Chrissy’s most memorable actually happened while she was setting up the ballroom with the help of family a few days before the big day. “I remember sitting there and having this moment. I saw everyone from both sides of our family working together to create my dream day. It was almost overwhelming to see everyone together in one place, creating something so beautiful for Corey and me. It was in that moment that I thought to myself, this is all worth it. All the stress, money, and effort is worth it when the right person is by your side. At the end of my wedding night, I went to bed thinking this was the best day of my life. When else will you have everyone you love all together in one room?”

[table]
Invitations~Handmade by a Bridesmaid’s Mom!
Rehearsal Dinner~Joey Buona’s, Milwaukee
Ceremony Location~All Saints Cathedral, Milwaukee
Reception Location~The Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Caterer~The Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Cake Designer~Classy Girl Cupcakes, Milwaukee
Flowers~Decorative Touch, Oak Creek
Music/Entertainment~Sound By Design
Transportation~Blackline Limousines, Oak Creek
Photographer~Kate Berg Photography, LLC
Dress Designer~Mori Lee (1959 style) from bestbridalprices.com
Formal Wear~Men’s Wearhouse for the boys, David’s Bridal for the girls
Rings~Grogan Jewelers, Huntsville, AL
Honeymoon~Sandals Regency La Toc, St. Lucia
[/table]

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