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Earl and Mandy met while skydiving at a friend’s birthday party and, after surviving the leap together, they flew to a resort in Bali, where Earl proposed to Mandy after getting his future-in-laws’ blessings.
With their track record you’d expect the adventurous duo to have a wild wedding, but behold, Earl and Mandy had a calm and peaceful wedding ceremony in Chicago, Earl’s hometown, on the morning of July 30, 2011. There to capture the intimate celebration was photographer Kenny Kim.
Our wedding took place on Saturday July 30, 2011, a beautiful afternoon as the sun beamed across the endless blue sky of Chicago, IL. Beginning bright and early, the bridal party took pictures along the beautiful lake shore trails surrounding the Northwestern University campus. Following a brief bout with unexpected traffic, we headed to Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity Catholic Parish for our morning ceremony. This was followed by a reception at Meridian Banquets where we all sang and danced the night away!
What made our nuptials unique?
Mandy: Planning a wedding while living in a different city, let alone one that is a thousand miles away, is not something I would wish upon anyone. That being said, I think this is what made our nuptials truly unique. While this did cause a few extra stressful nights, it often brought Earl and I that much closer, solidified as a team to create our dream wedding.
How and when did you meet?
Mandy: If you can believe it, we first met while skydiving at a mutual friend’s birthday outing in Texas. It was the first time either of us had gone skydiving and while we didn’t get a chance to talk much that day, the meeting clearly left an impression!
What was the proposal like?
Earl: I proposed to Mandy at the Nusa Dua Beach Resort in Bali, Indonesia. We were on our summer vacation with Mandy’s parents and it was my first visit to Mandy’s home country. After checking in and surveying the resort, I stumbled upon a gazebo surrounded by lush trees and a flowing stream of water — I immediately knew that was it.
The following morning, after informing her dad of my plans, we all walked down together for breakfast. Unable to come up with a plausible reason to excuse ourselves, Mandy’s dad came to the rescue and suggested that we enjoy the beautiful morning and take a stroll around the resort. I then took the opportunity to show Mandy the gazebo but as we got close, I realized there were groundskeepers everywhere blowing leaves and tending to the grass. So we waited. And waited. After what felt like eternity, we were alone. I got down on one knee, eyes swelling with water, and asked her to marry me. Fortunately, she said yes and as they say, the rest is history!
Earl: Early on in planning the wedding, I knew that if there was one thing I wanted, it was to have the wedding in Chicago. While most of this had to do with my family, the only thing I could think about was having my grandmother there. Growing up in Chicago, my grandmother took care of my brother and I as my parents tirelessly worked to establish their business and provide for us. As a result, as soon as Mandy and I were engaged, I prayed constantly that my grandmother would have the strength to attend our wedding. When it was finally the day of the wedding, my grandmother was seated right in front, lovingly looking upon us as we exchanged our vows. To this day, I am incredibly grateful for the love and support Mandy showed in understanding my desire to have our wedding in Chicago.
Earl and Mandy’s advice for newly-engaged couples:
Try not to get frustrated with the planning, enjoy the little things, embrace the new, and fall in love every day!
Huge thanks to Earl and Mandy for sharing their wedding with us!
Photography: Kenny Kim Photography / Ceremony: Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Catholic Parish / Reception: Meridian Banquets / Makeup: Nicole Ventura / Hair: Mia Aezaz / Dress: Enzoani / Floral: Wilmette Flowers / Videographer: Chris and Oliver Cinema / Entertainment: Endless Entertainment Chicago / Photobooth: Photobooth Express