This week’s theme has clearly been about Chicago and I’m going to kind of keep that going. The main event for our second trip to Illinois was to attend a wedding of a dear friend of mine. Oddly enough our friendship started by me cyber stalking his blog after judging a hysterical class project he was a part of during my stint working at a college. Who would have thought that about 5 years later that we would still laugh about that. We’ve been connected through various paid and unpaid jobs over the years. The more I’ve gotten to know him and his family the easier it has been to declare the Minneci’s as kind of a big deal.
As long as I’ve known John he’s told me stories of how wonderful Champaign, Illinois is. I’ve learned about his time working at the Custard Cup, the fact that you can reach your hand into the stomach of a live cow at the fair, and that overall it is his dream city to return to one day. After failed attempts to make it to Chicago over the years, I wasn’t sure how I would ever get to Champaign to see what John’s been talking about all these years.
John proposed to his girlfriend, who ironically knew Matt from her high school years, in the most epically (I couldn’t even find a real word to describe how good it was) ingenious way I’ve heard of. Sandi, also being a lover of John’s home town, agreed with John that the wedding would take place in Champaign and thus I was destined to finally make my visit when they invited us to be a part of their special day. I thought it was enough that I was going to get to see this town that I had heard so much about and witness their union with the rest of their friends and family. However, after the date was set and Sandi began her dress shopping John approached me with the most wonderful honor I’ve ever been given.
On October 9th, 2011 I had the privilege of watching an amazing couple take the dance floor for their very first dance as a married couple. There were ooo’s and ahhh’s when the crowd quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be any normal first dance. This couple had turned their first dance into a full-scale production. The entire reception crowded around the dance floor to watch the couple as they strutted their stuff in true Minneci style. While others clapped and cheered them on I stood front and center filming them on my camera while beaming. After only 2 rehearsals I watched Sandi and John take the steps they were given and turn them into so much more.
Over three minutes later the dance concluded and the crowd burst into applause while I teared up with such pride. I was so very proud of the couple’s performance and honored to say I was lucky enough to be asked to choreograph their first dance. I don’t know if John and Sandi will ever understand how much it meant to me for them to have the faith and trust to let me craft their first dance as a married couple.
With a little traditional ballroom, some Broadway, and a lot of style the groom successfully dipped his lovely bride and she kindly returned the favor before the dance was done. Guests cheered, chucked at their humor, and lovingly applauded their performance. Watching it unfold in front of us was a memory I’ll never forget. After many years of taking a chance on John and knowing it would pay off in the end, I am very thankful that he was willing to take a chance on me this time around. Thank you to the lovely couple and I’m so very proud of what they did out on that dance floor!