Introducing one of the most beautiful couples we’ve ever met and their fabulous Millennium Biltmore and Cicada Club wedding!
how this ridiculously adorable couple met (a must-read)
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…
Wait, that’s not right. Sorry, I’ll start again.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world he walked into mine…
Nope, that’s not it either.
I was sitting with my friend Arthur Cornrom in a restaurant…
I don’t have a friend named Arthur Cornrom. One more time.
Setting: Chicago, Illinois.
Time: Saturday night, May 18th, 2013.
The Living Room Playmakers, a theater company founded by my fellow Northwestern playwrights, was producing a night of short plays. The performance space was very Chicago, comprised of the whole top floor of a warehouse and what was definitely an unlicensed bar. Ian starred in my friend Erin’s play as Slow Jim Fizz, a bartender with a cocky attitude, bumping bass track, and bevy of adoring ladies. He was hilarious and cute, and I spent the rest of the show wondering who he was and if he was single.
There was a closing party after the show, and I scanned the room looking for the funny fake bartender. I was in luck – there he was, talking to Erin. All right Pritchard, it’s go time. Walk over there and introduce yourself! Twenty minutes later, I finally worked up the courage to follow him to the bar.
At the bar, Ian was ordering PBRs and singing along with the DJ’s current spin, “Roses” by Outkast. Truly a love song for the ages. Happily, I know all the lyrics. I also started singing out loud. Ian and I made eye contact over the chorus, singing “I know you like to think your shhh don’t stiiiiiiink” at each other while his friend Chris looked on, smiling tolerantly. As Roses faded into a less-awesome song, Ian and I struck up a conversation. Fifteen minutes later, I excused myself to hang out with some friends on the rooftop, a clever ploy to see if he’d follow me. Success! I hadn’t been on the roof five minutes when Ian and Chris sauntered up. Thrilled, I employed my signature flirting move of publicly mocking Ian. He threw a Shakespeare quote back at me, piquing my already piqued interest – this guy had me at peak pique. Then he showed me a picture of him and his Peter Pan cast mates hanging with Kanye West. Despite this desperate bid to impress me, I decided to give him a second chance, and followed him back into the party. An hour later, as the DJ packed up, Ian asked me to go out dancing. After assuring my friends Dusty and Karrie that I wasn’t going to get axe-murdered (I hoped), I said yes.
We spent the next three weeks together, whenever my class schedule and his rehearsal schedule allowed (translation: not a lot of time). Ian was sweet, and thoughtful, and really fun to be around, but I was cautious. I was leaving for an internship in Los Angeles, and I didn’t trust a long-distance relationship to last the summer. When Ian asked me to be his girlfriend a few nights before I left, I said no. “Let’s see what happens when I’m back in the fall,” I told him, convinced that one or both of us would have moved on.
One of Ian’s best qualities is persistence. He called me every day that summer. We talked for hours about everything – his show at Steppenwolf, my internship at Warner Brothers, our families, our childhoods, our ambitions and dreams (cue cheesy saxophone solo). By the time he invited me to Lollapalooza in August, I was hooked. When I flew to Chicago that weekend, I told him yes, I’d be his girlfriend. Three and a half years later, on a 16-degree New Year’s Eve in the middle of Lincoln Park Zoo, I told him yes, I’d marry him.
Surprisingly, our engagement was not even the most romantic moment of our relationship – that came this past winter, when Ian directed a play I wrote at DePaul University. He is my partner, my collaborator, and my love, and he can still make me laugh without warning. I couldn’t wait to stand next to him on November 4th and tell him yes, I’ll be your wife.
Shannon and I first met back in May of 2013. I was performing in a 10-minute play festival on Lincoln Av in this dank loft space. The project was sight specific – all the 10-minute plays took place at a dive bar. It was directed by my friend Jess McCloud and I was performing along a great actor, Matt Farabee. My best pal Chris Gekas showed up to support me.
I liked to think our 10-minute play was a highlight of the festival. The audience laughed a lot – that means its successful, right? So, after the show, Chris and I are hanging at the bar drinking dollar PBR’s and Roses by Outkast infuses the party with life. I started singing it out loud and this girl with the curliest blond hair you’ve ever seen bumps into me. I apologize for running into her because apologizing is my M.O., although I’m pretty certain it was her fault.
She was very pretty. She had a great smile and seemed really kind…her eyes, the tenor of her voice. She wore this beautiful dress that kind of matched her hair color – she was showing off a terrific ensemble of qualities and then she starts singing the words to this Outkast song. So…she has taste as well. We shared a moment of singing “Your roses really smell like poo-poo-ooo” and laughed it off like it was no big deal. I introduced myself; she introduced herself and complimented me on my performance in the show. I’m a sucker for compliments so I fell in love right away. I decided to buy her a drink. Dollar PBR’s were being offered – who in Chicago doesn’t like a dollar PBR during the summertime? Its affordable and classic. She seemed pleased and graciously accepted the offer.
We talked about theater, we talked about politics, we talked about movies. All while listening to music that was really too loud to be talking over. She decided it was best to go hang with her friends on the rooftop of the building and she bid me adieu. As she’s walking away, Chris strikes me on my arm. “Wow! She’s cool!” I affirmed and said to Chris, “Listen, if she turns back and looks at me, I’ve got to go up and talk to her some more.” She must have heard me because sure enough she looked back and we made eye contact all the way across this loft party before she took the stairs up to the rooftop of this building.
Chris, exhibiting qualities of the best wingman alive, traveled up to the rooftop with me. I nervously paced around the top of this building thinking of the best topics to talk about while making it look like I didn’t really come up to this rooftop to talk to her. I couldn’t really see her face because it was so dark outside without any light. But I heard her voice talking about Star Wars…and I knew that was my cue into the conversation. I nonchalantly forced my way into the talk circle.
We talked about Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons and boy, I was beginning to think she was a really big nerd. But I was wrong. She was a writer instead. So cool! Beauty and intelligence. I began to sweat and I became nervous. I asked her if she wanted to escape the fray and go dancing. And she said…yes.
What?? It’s 2013. Girls don’t say yes to dancing with a guy she’s never met. What courage. What trust.
For some reasons my chill never kicked in. I always kept thinking I had to prove myself. I was completely taken with her. In poker terms, I was all in. I mean, I even pulled out pictures of me and Kanye West hanging like old buds to assure her that her time spent with me this evening was time well spent. I must have looked like an idiot to Chris.
Even so, this girl must not have thought so. Shannon and I danced the night away in downtown Chicago. Late in the evening, I politely asked if I could kiss her, like a gentleman should. She said yes and we shared our first kiss. A girl walked by us, waving her fingers in our faces proclaiming, “You two are cute!” I must have took her words to heart because I don’t think there has been a day since our first meeting that I have not contacted Shannon in one way or another. I’m obsessed with her everything.
Looking back, I guess you could say it was love at first sight. And to be honest, I never really believed that actually existed until I met Shannon.
the wedding day
Shannon and Ian, WOW! What an incredible night that was. Every interaction has been such a blast with you both. We feel incredibly blessed to have gotten to know you and be a part of that unforgettable day. May God richly bless you both in your adventures together! Looking forward to our double date night when you are back in SoCal!
With our love,
The DPARK Family
Los Angeles wedding vendors
- photo | D. Park Photography | @dparkphoto
- getting ready venue | Millennium Biltmore Hotel | @millenniumbiltmore | 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
- venue | Cicada Club | @cicadarestaurant | 617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
- planner | Love Is Sweet Events | @loveissweetevents
- DJ | The Class
- officiant | Christopher (Chris) Gekas
- floral | Grower’s Direct Flowers | @growersdirectflowers
- hair/makeup | NoRu Salon
- colors | black, ivory, gold
Check out their old Hollywood inspired Griffith Observatory engagement here!