Maid of Honor
Rett met Megan 12 years ago when she was one of Rett’s summer interns at the company catering Neil and Rett’s wedding! They became friends after Rett brought Megan to see 80s cover band 16 Candles. They spent the rest of that year seeing them together as much as possible and a lasting friendship was formed. Megan lives in Evanston where she grew up and is still near her close-knit family. She wears many professional hats, including dog sitting (sometimes even for Pip, who loves his auntie Megan)! Megan is a truly selfless and loving person who has been there through the fun and the not-so-fun for most of Rett’s adult life, and Rett is so grateful to have her stand up beside her as Maid of Honor!
Neil met Joel quite early in life, so despite living 2000 miles away in Portland for the last 15 years, he’s still the wedding party member Neil has spent the most time together with over their lives. From the beginning, Neil followed his two-years-older brother’s lead into most things in life, from love of heavy metal to engineering degrees from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In the latest copycat move, after a nearly 20 year delay, Joel will finally be standing up as Best Man just as Neil did for Joel and Chika’s wedding, and Neil and Rett hope to continue following their footsteps.
Sister of the Bride
From giving Sophie her “blanky” cause it was the only thing that could get her to stop crying, to playing with Barbies, to swinging on the swing set in the backyard duetting Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of their lungs, to sister nights where these now 30-somethings still act like kids, Rett has known her little sister Sophie since she was born. Sophie has stood by Rett’s side throughout the years in a way that only a sister can and knows Rett better than anyone. Sophie graduated from Loyola and now lives in Rogers Park where she runs a successful dog sitting service out of her apartment. Rett is so excited to share another life event with her best and lifelong friend!
Neil met Dan on one of his first days at Forbes Residence Hall at the University of Illinois. A shared appreciation of heavy metal and interest in monkeys turned them into roommates for our second year, one of the best times two guys could have living in 100 sqare feet. Eventually Dan moved off to upstate New York, and later, Pennsyltucky, but they manage to get together a couple times a year for tromps through the woods and other adventures. (Dan is the only person from “Neil’s side” to have met Rett’s New York family!)
Josh was one of the first friends Rett made when she moved to Chicago almost 20 years ago. They met working at The Gap in Old Orchard Mall and solidified their friendship with many nights spent at The Keg in Evanston, which they could both get into with their fake IDs. Through Josh’s years in Arizona they kept in touch on the phone (while Josh helped Rett get her Graphic Design diploma) and through much-too-infrequent visits. Rett was thrilled when Josh announced his job was transferring him back to Illinois about 5 years ago. Josh is a Graphic Designer for the company that produces Jewel-Osco’s circulars (so when you get those in the mail, you now know who produced them) and lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his awesome purple pitbull Leela.
Neil met Swati near the turn of the century when she became the new hire into the engineering group at Philips Semiconductors. She did her best to bring the dorks out of their shells, and was moderately successful with Neil. They bonded over instant-message and real-world chats across their cubicles (where Neil laughably gave out relationship advice based on minimal real-world experience!) While she may be more surprised than anyone that this day has come, Neil has been a part of her two weddings (ok, they were both to the same guy, so that advice must have been half-decent), so it’s well past time for her to be in one of his!
Rett also met Shay 12 years ago when Shay was a Pastry Chef at the company catering Neil and Rett’s wedding! They became friends through a shared passion for (designer) shoes and shopping. At this point Shay actually owns more shoes than Rett, which is quite a feat! Shay grew up in Elmhurst, IL but she wanted a change and was able to transfer to the Boston area through work and has been there ever since. The transfer also allowed her to be near her now-husband Dana and in the Fall of 2015, Rett stood up in Shay and Dana’s wedding and is thrilled that Shay will now stand up in hers!
Dennis was working at VLSI Technology when Neil joined the group fresh out of college. For some years they were merely colleagues and acquaintances, then became closer when Neil was the only one in the office aware of Dennis’s secret romance developing with Swati. But it wasn’t until they took off on bike tours together that they developed the special bond that can only happen (and is nearly a requirement) when it’s just you and your partner against the great wide open. (And so it’s no surprise that the only two subsequent people Neil has partnered with on a bike tour are also part of this wedding!) Dennis ended up marrying Swati, so Neil has been a part of two of his weddings as well, one of which generated many more lifelong memories of adventures together in India.
Rett and Sarah met 8 years ago at McGee’s Tavern back when they still used to do “Sunday Funday” there! Over the years they have had fun with Pride Parade (we love you Tom Skilling!!), awesome group Halloween costumes, and monthly back-and-forth dinners at each other’s houses. Rett was there the St. Paddy’s day that Sarah met her now husband Mark and was at their wedding 3 years ago and is thrilled that Sarah will be an important part of her wedding day! Just a couple of months ago, Sarah transferred via her job at Allstate from Chicagoland to North Carolina with Mark and their daughter Hallie and son Griffin. Rett (and Neil and Pip) really miss the monthly dinners!!
Rett and Sandy also met via the McGee’s “Sunday Funday” crowd about 8 years ago. Over the years they have shared walks in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park neighborhood both used to live in, their friend Pete’s fabulous annual holiday parties, Friendsgivings at their late friend Al’s, and many fun-filled nights out in Chicago. Although in recent years work has taken Sandy from Chicago to Boston and then to San Diego, the two have remained friends and Rett is so excited that Sandy is making the trek from sunny CA to be a part of the wedding! Sandy currently works as a Product Manager in medical robotics, a job that has sent her on some pretty cool business trips with a recent month spent in Japan!
Peregrine Took Harms (Pip)
Pip is Rett’s 16 year old “shit-poo” (Shitzu-Poodle mix) doggie. Rett got Pip when he was just 8 weeks old and until Neil came along he was her partner in life! In 2013 Pip was diagnosed with a rare form of non-spreading cancer that in 2014 took his front left leg turning him into the adorable tripawd that he is today. While Pip still loves mommy best, he is really happy to also be with his daddy Neil who he loves to “crazypants” with. Despite his age and missing leg, Rett and Neil are so happy that Pip will be hopping down the aisle with their rings on the big day!
Kelly is a writer and an accomplished public speaker who Rett has known since she joined the team at Gallup 9 years ago. They quickly became BFAWs (Best Friends At Work) and Rett considers Kelly one of her closest confidants today. Kelly has seen and heard about the start and development of Rett and Neil’s entire relationship during weekly catch-up chats at the office, and Rett and Neil couldn’t think of anyone better suited to marry them! Kelly currently lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband Chad, sons Silas and Caiden, and dog Milo.