Finding the love of your life can be difficult, but sometimes all it takes is a swipe to the right. Sarah Greenberg and Jason Kiolbasa first met on a popular dating app, where Sarah found herself instantly intrigued by Jason and his dog, whom they now share. After a bit of chatting, they scheduled their first date at a local wine bar. “We intended to meet for one glass of wine,” Sarah notes, “but four hours and two bottles of wine later we knew we found something great.”
A little over a year later, the couple planned a cruise through the Caribbean as a spring getaway following the long Chicago winter. On the first full night, the pair enjoyed a five-course dinner at sunset. A Broadway-style show was next on the schedule, but Jason convinced his beloved to stop by their room. There she found chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of Champagne, and a plethora of flowers. “I turned around and found Jason on one knee, with my grandmother’s wedding ring,” Sarah reveals. Oddly enough, the first person they shared the news with was an employee of their phone company – so they could add international calling to inform their immediate family and close friends of their engagement. Sarah and Jason then were able to spend the remainder of the trip enjoying the sights and celebrating their love.
In addition to advice from her recently married friends, Sarah’s mother was an immense help in planning the wedding. “She really enjoyed being such an active role in the wedding planning process since she absolutely loves to entertain and throw parties,” explains the bride. With a 15-month engagement, the couple found they did not have many struggles regarding availability, but were careful to hire vendors early to ensure they got their first choice. After falling in love with a gilded ballroom that was less than a mile away from the cathedral selected for the ceremony, everything began to fall into place.
Preceded by her eight bridesmaids in cobalt blue gowns, Sarah walked down the aisle arm in arm with both of her parents, who were wed in the same cathedral nearly 30 years earlier. The bride and groom forewent the modern tradition of the “first look” and their visible emotion upon seeing each other for the first time as she walked down the aisle made an impression on the 175 guests. “The moment that I got to see her in her beautiful dress will stick with both of us forever,” Jason confides. As an extra personal touch, the priest was an old family friend, as he was a college classmate of the mother of the bride.
After the vow exchange, the newlyweds, their parents, and the bridal party boarded a trolley to travel around Chicago and take some lovely photos with the metropolitan skyline and Lake Michigan serving as a backdrop. With their memories and stunning ensembles captured, it was time to get the party started at the reception. The grand nature of the ballroom made it the perfect setting for the “classic Chicago with a hint of bling” aesthetic desired by the bride. Gold linens complemented the bullion columns in the space, and crystal candelabra alternating with arrangements of ivory and blush florals brought a touch of sparkle to the otherwise classic décor. The band kept everyone dancing until 1AM, though the late-night snack of pizza certainly helped everyone maintain their energy.
Following the celebration, the newlyweds set off for a three-week honeymoon where they not only explored Italy, but also enjoyed a 10-night cruise on the same ship where Jason proposed.