East Coast Meets Third Coast: A Chicago Love Story

It’s going to come as no surprise when you read this: to me there’s not much out there more romantic than being on or near the water. Lake, ocean, boat, shore, pier = instant happy and sappy heart. So, when I was recently reminded that two of my dear friends were engaged on Lake Michigan just offshore from the "Third Coast," it seemed only fitting that their story make an appearance on the blog just in time for Valentine’s Day. Take it away, Lovebirds!

In October of 2011, before Jackie and Dan had even met, Dan went on a beer tasting cruise around the island of Manhattan. Although the Atlantic isn’t exactly a lake, the experience of being out on the open water on that crisp fall day made an impression on Dan. The sensation of floating along the Hudson and east rivers so close the hustle and bustle of New York City brought peace and calm to a chaotic place. At the end of the trip he told his friends that one day when he’s ready to propose he wants to be out on the water, just him and the girl he loves.

Before moving to the midwest, Dan didn’t know very much about the second city. Most of his knowledge of Chicagoland was sampled from John Hughes movies {Ferris Bueller’s Day Off} and the Blue’s Brothers. It’s didn’t take Dan long to realize that what really set Chicago apart from other cities was the body of water it resided on, Lake Michigan.

Jackie and Dan met when Dan was transferred to Chicago from the east coast for work. Their first date was a snowy {freezing} night in December spent sitting in a Wrigleyville bar talking {arguing} about music for hours. As the weather warmed up, so did their relationship. They spent the spring and summer months exploring their city together. From baseball games, to restaurants, to concerts, to strolls along Lake Michigan - they were inseparable. Jackie and Dan quickly realized they had found something special in one another and held on tight!

The day was an exceptionally hot {sweltering} summer day in June when Dan exclaimed he had something special planned. This announcement immediately set off Jackie’s alarm bells as Dan wasn’t much of a planner. Up until this moment in time, their entire social calendar was orchestrated exclusively by Jackie. They got dressed up and headed downtown for a drink at one of their favorite bars in the city. After a few glasses of wine, Dan suggested they go walk down by the lakeshore. As they reached the docks of Lake Michigan’s Monroe Harbor there was a boat waiting to take them on a cruise along the lake. Soon after embarking Dan got down on one knee and popped the question {and the champagne}! After Jackie finally stopped crying she said yes and they spent the rest of the cruise watching the sunset over beautiful Lake Michigan. The city Dan lived in may have changed, but he held true to that promise he made to his friends those years before.

Following Captain Chris of KnockOut Charters docking the boat, Jackie and Dan headed to Cindy’s Rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel to celebrate their engagment. They spent the rest of the night sipping champagne and overlooking the city {lake} they fell in love in. A year and half later Jackie and Dan tied the knot in the exact same place. CAA and Lake Michigan will always hold a special place in their hearts. More of their wedding photos from Studio 29 Photography here