The Accidental Bride is Full. Speed. Ahead.

We’ve set a date for the wedding: a Sunday next September. Yes, we’re on what you’d call the marriage fast track. And no, I’m not pregnant, although a number of people—including my own brother—asked if I was when we told them our date was less than six months away.

That’s one good thing about a Sunday-night wedding: If we had wanted to say our I dos on a Saturday, we would have had to wait at least a year. Most of the places we’ve looked into are booked for Saturdays well into 2009…

We’ve set a date for the wedding: a Sunday next September. Yes, we’re on what you’d call the marriage fast track. And no, I’m not pregnant, although a number of people—including my own brother—asked if I was when we told them our date was less than six months away.

That’s one good thing about a Sunday-night wedding: If we had wanted to say our I dos on a Saturday, we would have had to wait at least a year. Most of the places we’ve looked into are booked for Saturdays well into 2009. (I kissed the thought of a destination wedding goodbye last summer, after witnessing the headaches of hosting a big out-of-town to-do.) The Fiancé and I figure why wait, especially when—ahem—one of us is about to turn 34?

As of now, we’re deciding between The Ritz-Carlton and The Drake—yeah, I know, a boring hotel wedding. “Funny for a girl who says she never envisioned herself having a traditional wedding,” Seth said to me Thursday, on our way to see Cat Power, Colbie Caillat, and John Legend in a private concert at the Vic. True, but now that I’m here, there are more than a few reasons why a hotel wedding makes sense: a) these hotels have hosted countless weddings and know the drill better than even the most controlling wedding coordinator; b) a hotel is a one-stop shop for getting ready, pre- and post-nuptial partying, and provides rooms for out-of-towners and suburbanites; and c) it’s just plain easy.

We can’t really go wrong with either venue. The Ritz is the most modern of the more traditional hotels. That enormous crystal chandelier is magnificent; I like the location; and the city view isn’t bad, either. If we’re staying local, I’d like to incorporate the city of Chicago somehow, since we were both born and raised here.

And then we saw the Gold Coast Room at the Drake Hotel, and I got goose bumps—the true litmus test that my bride gene is developing. The grandiose ballroom, lined by ornate gold pillars, is very dramatic, as is the view overlooking Lake Shore Drive. Chicago doesn’t get much prettier.

Since both hotels work with the same kosher caterer and can accommodate our rapidly growing guest list, the decision is up to us.

Did I mention I’m terrible at making big decisions?

This is the part where I ask for your help. Has anyone had, or been to, a wedding at the Ritz or the Drake? Did you love or hate it—and why? Please post your comments below. I need all the help I can get.

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6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Hey P --- those gorgeous Drake pillars ruin the room for a few reasons...they block views, they make the room hard to maneuver and feel crowded and they challenge a flowing layout. That ballroom is not a large one, and with the size of your party they'll more than likely be a hindrance. The room is lovely, but logistically those pillars can be a nightmare. Also, I have the best wedding coordinator if needed, lemme know. xoxoxo. kk.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Hey there. Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Kind of funny since your ideals of your dream wedding are sooo far from your reality. I am an event planner and I think its different when you go to plan your own event - you attend all of these events and its easy to be critical about them when you're not carrying the weight of its success. I think you need someone to convince you that you are doing the right thing by having the party your way (parents involvement, and comments like "that's not practical" and "make it convenient for the guests.") Needless to say I have been at both venues and they both do a good job... But based on your blogging, I personally think there are better more intriguing venues for you. A few to think about... Fulton's on the River, River East Arts Center, and there is also one in Little Italy that has a fabulous view of the city - the Grand Piazza. There are several others that are phenomenal... if you need them just holla... danawingate@yahoo.com

6 years ago
Posted by Sheryl

Sarah -

My sister had her wedding at the Ritz on New Year's Eve. It was beautiful and the room looked like a 1940s supper club - people stayed until the hotel had to kick them out at 5 a.m. It's a great facility for a wedding. You can't go wrong at the Ritz. The staff have it down to a science.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I thought this was a blog on chicago nightlife. I guess not.
Now its a blog on indeciveness and wedding plans.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I'd rather hear about Billy Dec. Yack.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I'd MUCH rather hear about Sarah's wedding plans than about Chicago nightlife. Continue to keep the personal blogs coming, Sarah!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Why would you take down my simple opinion post about how I do not look forward to reading about this for the next 6 months, and how its time to pass the torch. I’m not saying quit writing, how about just bring someone else younger in that isn’t married?? After you get hitched, I guarantee you will loose touch with the nightlife scene, not that it’s a bad thing, but your blog is about the nightlife/dating right? What if you transitioned to married/scared blogs? I mean you are turning 35, which is Puma age… Puma 30-40, Cougar 40-50, Jaguar 50-60 Cheetah 60+

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

If my fiancé called herself an ‘accidental’ anything I would hit the road and not look back, I will put money on them not being together in 3 yrs…

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I had the over/under at about 5 years
I am 1000% positive her mother has brought up grandkids already!!!!!!

nothing like all your friends are married/or getting married, so I will jump into it also!!!

good luck!!! yenta

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Oh, please. How trite. I know her mother personally and she has 3 perfect grandchildren already and has NEVER brought up future grandchildren with Sarah or her other children. so you lose that bet, 1000%! Are you a little jealous, miss yenta?

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

you must be good at math, 1000%?? Really??

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

This blog is going to be horrible for any males reading it. I second that they should get a new nightlife blog and leave this one in the direction it's been going.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Yep, I agree. Who seriously cares about this.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

It's pretty lame and annoying for a lot of females as well. MARRIED, divorced, in a relationship.. or single, it doesn't matter!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

The Accidental Bride here. It's a good thing The Fiance has a good sense of humor!

For those who want nightlife news, keep checking back as I'll be posting periodically while I recover from a knee injury. I'll be back in full force in no time...

For those who enjoy reading about my road to wedding, I'll be posting about that too -- all the planning nonsense, and how The Fiance is coping with me out of commission.

Hey, ya never know, maybe he'll even make an appearance on the blog for all your men out there.

Thanks for the comments, good and bad! We love hearing from you.

Sarah

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Sarah, you do know you are supposed to save the kinky crazy stuff for your wedding night right?? You have to be careful of your ACL when you are performing such acts like, Backwards Flying Monkey, Hot Coffee Trot, The Snowblower, and of course the always risky The Slurpie Wall Climb... Think about it...

Feel better!

RK

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

this blog sucks. get a new, younger and much more hip
writer.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

sarah ignore the haters. they suck...the blog is spot on! i love your wit and wisdom. how is the wedding planning going while you're laid up? when i got married my husband didn't want a thing to do with it... men think these events just plan themselves. hopefully your fiance is more hands on. keep us posted!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

We had our wedding in the Gold Coast Room at the Drake and it was unbelievably pretty- the loooong aisle was so great to walk down, and the set up for the party was gorgeous. That view can't be beat! The hotel itself was extremely accomodating and we were entirely happy with the entire experience. We had some crashers, which was odd- but other than that. . .

6 years ago
Posted by Wedding coordinator

Perfect list! I am going to direct my readers to this entry if they need help planning their wedding.
-http://www.weddingbootcamp.com.au

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