Collins Collins Kickoff

Once upon a time, at Fenwick High School, two young fourteen year olds named Sheila Collins and Mike Collins were freshmen at Fenwick High School and were assigned to neighboring lockers for the next four years.   

  
During their time at Fenwick, they had a few classes together but didn’t really hang in the same circles.  After graduating from Fenwick in 2003, they drifted apart.  

At a birthday party for a mutual friend at the now-defunct Wise Fools bar on April 24, 2009, Sheila and Mike reconnected.  Sheila was a little disappointed when Mike declined her invitation to her Kentucky Derby party the following weekend, but she figured his excuse (traveling to the actual Kentucky Derby) was a good one.  

The following Friday, Sheila and Mike met at Sheffields in Chicago for what Sheila swore would be just one beer, since she wasn’t sure about him.  After four hours of laughing and great conversation, they decided to walk to another bar.  While walking down the street, they saw Colin Foy, friend of my brother Kevin, who told Sheila that Kevin and some of his friends were all inside.  So, Sheila and Mike went inside too.  Everyone loved Mike and right away started chatting with him about Fenwick and sports, so much so that Sheila felt as if Mike was on a date with Kevin, rather than with her!

Though things were going well for Sheila and Mike, Sheila wasn’t so sure she really wanted to date a guy who had the same name as her dad.  Her doubts were alleviated once she knew that she and Mike were not actually related.  When Mike’s paternal ancestors left Ireland, their last name was Kilcullen but was changed to Collins when they arrived in the United States.  My paternal ancestors were O’Colan until some time in the 16th century when it was changed to Collins.  Apparently Mike was smitten too.  Months later he sent Sheila a text telling her that after their first date, he knew that she was the one for him.  

So, here we are!  A few years later, the two lovebirds are engaged and will be married this weekend.  This week there were a few fun dinners and get togethers including a pizza party and lunches.  Sheila and Mike practice cutting the cake and opened a few gifts.

  
   
The last minute important chores were done, including picking up the bride’s dress and the groom’s tuxedo.  A few of the girls got manicures and pedicures.   
 
  

Last night we met at Old St. Patrick’s for the rehearsal.

  
   
Bridal party practiced their roles. 

  

It is a beautiful church and features gorgeous marble from Ireland down the center aisle. 
After the rehearsal, there was a dinner at the Union League Club of Chicago. 

The dinner began with cocktails and appetizers.   

   
All the sisters and Mom!  

Mike’s family hosted a delicious dinner.  We had a salad with spinach, pears and walnuts, followed by a chicken piccata entree, and a mix of sweet treats for dessert.

 
The evening featured toasts, speeches and songs.  Mike’s mom and dad both spoke, as did the bride and groom.   

In honor of Mike’s love of muscle t-shirts, my brother Matt gave a toast in the theme of “sun’s out, guns out.”  He (jokingly, I hope) said that the theme for the wedding would be “sky’s out, thighs out.”

The ushers were given a gift of personalized golf shoe bags.  The bridesmaids were given a pair of shoes to wear with their bridesmaid dresses.  
 
The sisters serenaded the bride and groom with the song “Going to the Chapel” with the words slightly modified to suit the happy couple.

 
It was such a fun night!  Our brother Brian, who couldn’t attend the dinner because he had to work, was able stop by briefly in his uniform. 

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