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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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