Friday, April 11, 2014
On Saturday, April 12 , 2014, Robert Joseph II’s (our eldest son–age 47, left) eldest son, Robert Joseph III, (nearly 27), wed the love of his life, Corrie, in Chicago, IL. As their story goes, “Joe” and Corrie were among the nearly 13,000 who annually attended Liberty University (the largest Christian university in the nation), in Lynchburg, VA. However, when they attended Liberty, they were only acquaintances who were aware of each other through coworkers and mutual acquaintances.
Just two years after Joe graduated from Liberty, he relocated to Chicago to pursue what he hoped would be a career in music. Joe like nearly three quarters (72%) of online U.S. adults1, next posted his relocation to Chicago on the social media networking site, Facebook. A mutual friend to Corrie and Joe saw Joe’s post and mentioned it to Corrie. Corrie reached out to her Liberty Alum, Joe, to welcome him to her hometown. And, this is how their relationship began. Facebook was also the means by which they shared the growth and blossoming of their relationship with close friends and family. Regardless of where we were geographically, their families and friends were a part of the various communications, pictures, and other interactions.
Family plans for day one of the wedding experience officially began Friday, April 11th in Chicago. The morning started with Jen (Joe’s aunt) and me exercising in our hotel’s fitness center.
Our family can be pretty nutty at times, from left to right: Jen, Michael, Robert Sr, Robert II, Linda, Andy, Joanne
We were to meet Joey’s fiancé for the very first time in person for breakfast with the rest of the family, but best laid plans sometimes go awry as did these. So the rest of the family met up for lunch at Joey’s place of employment, The Flat Top Grill, on Wabash and Jackson Avenues in the heart of Chicago. Here we are touring downtown Chicago: Jen, Joey’s aunt, Joey’s brother Michael (who had just returned from his tour of duty in Korea), our son Robert and his wife Linda (Joey’s parents), Joey’s youngest brother Andy, and me. Traffic in and out of downtown Chicago was so bottlenecked that we had to forego the Brookfield Zoo and the groom’s grandmother and aunt made only the last five minutes of the dress rehearsal at the Harvest Bible Church in Rolling Meadows, and missed the dress rehearsal dinner in Schaumburg entirely. The day had taken its toll on “Grand Hose,” as Joey affectionately calls his grandfather. Robert Sr. took refuge in the hotel’s jacuzzi rather than trek out with us to what remained of the wedding rehearsal. Needless to say, the day got away from us. But we envy Chicago its Flat Top Grill chain. Its ambiance, food, and staff were great (especially the surprise hot fudge and brownie ice cream sundae). And, Jen found her stylishly hot shoes for a steal in a store only a block away. Her shoes matched the blue lace dress and gold with blue gems jewelry to a tee .
At the rehearsal I finally met the adorable Corrie for the first time. Jen had first met her by chance at Ohio’s Cedar Point Amusement Park this past summer. Again, I saw both of their posts on Facebook that said they were arriving at Cedar Point. I immediately sent them instant messages, they met up and spent the day together.
For dinner, Bob and I ended up eating chips and nuts in bed in our hotel room. Jen ventured back to downtown Chicago in search of a blues club with her brother Bob, his wife Linda, and their son, Michael. It was then about 10 p.m. And you guessed it, the blues club our son Bob remembered closed two years earlier. A quick stop at a pizza house, back to the hotel in the suburbs of Rolling Meadows, and lights out at about 1 a.m.
Saturday, April 12
Saturday, April 12th, and the wedding was at 2 o’clock only about five minutes away and the reception back at our hotel. Breakfast for the eminent bride and groom with their parents and brothers. Buffet breakfast for the grandparents and aunt–we still hadn’t been able to get everyone on the same schedule! But, when it came time to leave for the wedding, everyone was on time–the first moment since arriving in Chicago where the whole Dickinson family was together! (Jen was taking this photo; Andy was in the groom’s room tending to his best man’s duties.
At last, the moment we all had been waiting for, the ceremony was about to begin. And, Joey was getting a little anxious because there seemed to be a delay in the bride’s appearance. Not to worry, she was just waiting for the appropriate music cue from the piano player.
And the bride’s uncle Steve delivered the most beautiful and personal wedding ceremony that I have ever seen.
In fewer than 30 minutes that whole event was completed and the couple had been officially wed. The love and mutual respect that is so apparent between these two is very precious. I hope that their days together will be as wonderful and I’ve seen in Joe’s parents and my own personal marriage to his grandfather.
As for the reception, Joey personally picked out all of the musical selections; the food, the ambiance, the families meeting and uniting for an evening of fun–all in all–their day seemed just as special as they are individually and as a couple.
1 Pew Research Internet Project, August 5, 2013: http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/08/05/72-of-online-adults-are-social-networking-site-users/