After months of planning, the big day had finally arrived! Sheila and Mike were getting married. All week we had been worried about the weather, since rain and thunderstorms had been predicted, but it looked like it would be a nice day.
The girls started the day with breakfast delivered by a friend of my mom’s. We then worked on hair and makeup.
Before getting ready, Sheila read a letter from Mike that induced both laughter and tears.
The gorgeous flowers were delivered.
After a delicious lunch delivered by my aunt, it was time to get dressed. Sheila’s dress was stunning and she looked amazing.
All ready, Sheila walked downstairs looking radiant.
We took pictures outside at my parent’s house.
There were equal parts sass displayed by the girls and resulting confusion displayed by my dad.
Next it was time to load up the bus, pick up the boys from the hotel, and head to the city to Old St. Pat’s church.
The church, the oldest in Chicago, is really beautiful.
Sheila was very excited when she arrived at the church!
Before the ceremony, everyone was all smiles.
The groomsmen lined up and the procession began. (Sorry no pictures of my mom!)
Next was the entrance of bridesmaids (Sheila’s seven sisters and her niece Haley, Mary Kate’s 13-year old daughter).
Dad and Sheila walked in next.
The readers at the mass were friends and relatives of Sheila and Mike.
With the maid of honor (my sister Maureen) and the best man (Mike’s brother John) standing by, Sheila and Mike exchanged vows and rings, with Sheila initially placing the ring on Mike’s right hand instead of left!
After a few laughs, Sheila and Mike shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
Sheila and Mike lit a unity candle on the altar.
As the mass was ending Father Patrick said, “Here’s to the newest and happiest Mr. & Mrs. Michael Collins!” Amid applause, a bagpiper led the procession out of the church.
We took a few pictures on the altar.
Here are the bride and groom with my parents and all my siblings. The back row of girls is Colleen, Mary Kate, Annie; middle row: Eileen, Katie, Nora; front row: Mom, Maureen, Sheila. For the boys, in back is Matthew, Kevin, Brian; front row: Mike, Patrick, Dad.
Our group grew as we threw in Rita, a fiancé, and a few husbands. That’s Matt’s fiancé Noura, Mary Kate’s husband Dirk, Nora’s husband Dan, and Maureen’s husband Jonah. (Brian and the boys stayed in Paraguay and didn’t make it to the wedding.)
We loaded onto the bus again, heading to the reception at Butterfield Country Club. My brother Patrick gave a toast to the happy couple and we were on our way! Thankfully the rain had held off all day until the mass ended, so we has some rain as the bus drove to the reception, but luckily it ended just before we arrived.
The new husband and wife traveled in a limousine.
Congratulations to Sheila and Mike!