You book a February wedding and think "What's the worst that could happen?" Take a peek outside.
But if that's the worst, Anne Walsh will take it. After all, you don't plan a winter wedding unless you have a sense of humor. So she's packing some boots and considering herself lucky because at least her flowers aren't trapped in a van on Lake Shore Drive.
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"I knew it would be cold," the Elmhurst native said. "I didn't know we'd have 20 inches of snow. But that's OK, it's not like we were planning on a lot of outdoor pictures."
Walsh said most of her 230 guests will be driving and not flying in for her wedding at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Chicago and reception at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.
While travel won't be an issue, there have been some pre-wedding some hiccups. The roads near her parents' Lakeview condo won't be cleared by Saturday, so Walsh and her bridesmaids will have to get ready at the hotel hosting the reception instead.
Another couple hosting a wedding event this weekend -- Jodi and George Pfeiffer- are hoping their 150 guests will make it to their reception Saturday at the Seville in Streamwood.
"If this storm would've happened on Friday, I'd be in tears," said Jodi Pfeiffer, who is from Iowa. Her husband is from St. Charles.
The Pfeiffers got married Jan. 15 at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, but are hosting a party Saturday for friends and family. So far, only a handful of guests, including a couple from Texas, canceled because of the weather. Still, Pfeiffer is crossing her fingers that 20 family members can dodge the snow drifts on their drive in from Iowa.
"I'll give them big hugs when they get here," she said. "I actually think all the snow will make for prettier pictures."
The Central Continental Bakery in Mount Prospect didn't let the weather hamper their four wedding cakes orders going out this weekend.
"Usually we make the wedding cakes the day of the wedding," said Melinda Pecorelli, a wedding cake coordinator at the bakery. "We were even open on Wednesday."
Piece-A-Cake Bakery was open in East Dundee as well, and will be making two wedding cakes, said Diane Ahrens, one of the bakery's managers.
And the wedding guests will be ready, along with some very relieved brides and grooms.
"I'm just glad the storm is finally here and getting cleaned up," said Walsh, 29, who has prepared herself for plenty of "white wedding" jokes. "I thought, 'Ok, that's what all the fuss was about, now let's get moving.'"
Walsh and her fiance, 29-year-old Arlington Heights native Dan Ahern, wanted to do something different from the spring and fall weddings they'd attended in the past.
"The year before we got married, we went to eight different weddings," said Walsh, whose parents also had a February wedding at St. Andrew's. Of course, on their day it was 50 degrees.
But there is a plus side to the blizzard -- school was canceled this week and Walsh, a school psychologist, got a couple extra days off to organize the table cards before her big day.
"Plus, some day, this is going to be hilarious," she said.
Staff writer Sheila Ahern is the sister of Dan Ahern, the groom in the Ahern-Walsh wedding.