Better Together | January 2018

January 2018 View more

Nicole Roberts & Shane Herman

If Naperville residents Nicole Roberts and Shane Herman had a motto as a couple, it might be: “Couples who train together, stay together.”

While certified personal trainer Herman, 30, grew up in Roselle, 28-year-old Roberts was raised in Oswego and works as a math interventionist at Smith Elementary School in Aurora. They first met when Roberts—then dating someone else—started working out at Midwest Fit Club in Naperville, one of the two local fitness clubs that Herman co-founded and operates. They were friendly acquaintances until Roberts’ relationship ended and she signed up for a fitness assessment with Herman, which she readily admits was a ploy to get to know him better rather than a true need for fitness advice. They started dating soon after.

“I surprised her by proposing on our three-year anniversary of the fitness assessment, our first major connection,” Herman says. When their wedding photographer, Roberts’ cousin Joy Phillips, suggested an engagement session, it was only appropriate that they snapped some fitness-themed photos at Midwest Fit Club in addition to more traditional portraits at the Naperville Riverwalk.

In October, they celebrated with 120 friends and family members at The Haight in Elgin, a loft-like, brick-walled venue with communal wood tables dressed with greenery and glowing lanterns.

In a festive nod to Herman’s years spent bartending in downtown Naperville at Rizzo’s and Jackson Avenue Pub, guests toasted with a signature cocktail: his and hers Moscow Mules made with Jameson Irish whiskey or Tito’s vodka, respectively. Roberts even recruited Luigi Mancini of Forever Young DJs, who used to spin at Rizzo’s, to curate the night’s beats.

A Gifyyy photobooth—where guests took turns recording their own animated GIFs delivered via text message—was a hit across all generations. “People loved it,” Roberts says. “It was a blast, and all the grandparents even did it!”

The couple took a mini-moon to Lake Geneva and delayed their honeymoon to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, until Roberts’ winter break from school. The couple looks forward to house hunting—and of course, staying fit together—in the new year.

Photography Joy Lyn Photography
Bride’s dress Allure Romance from Eva’s Bridal, Oak Lawn
Bride’s accessories Shoes by Nina from Macy’s, Schaumburg; jewelry by Razny Jewelers, Hinsdale
Bridesmaid’s dresses White by Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Hair and makeup Jessica McKane, Naperville
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Men’s Wearhouse
Catering Cuisine America, Elgin
Cake Mini cupcakes and cutting cake from Two Wild Seeds, Geneva
Music Forever Young DJs (reception), Ryan Keane (piano)
Florist Floral Events, Naperville
Rings Razny Jewelers, Hinsdale

Kathryn Lepine & Nicholas Sander

Kathryn Lepine and Nicholas Sander met in Naperville, went on their first date in Naperville, and even though it wasn’t the original plan, got engaged in downtown Naperville, too.

Raised in Florida, Lepine, 27, is a first-grade teacher at Cowlishaw Elementary School. While working in the admissions office at North Central College, she met fellow student Sander, now 30 and a project manager with Evans and Son Blacktop in West Chicago. After reconnecting on social media years after graduation, plans to meet up at Quigley’s to watch Sander’s favorite soccer team, London’s Arsenal Football Club, lead to spending the whole day together in downtown Naperville. The next day, they returned to watch Sander’s dad, a city firefighter, in the Labor Day Parade. Their mutual interest was sealed after spending the day together cooking for a friend’s Oktoberfest celebration.

The next fall, Sander planned to surprise Lepine by proposing during a romantic apple-picking date at Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park, only to find the orchards had closed for the season the day prior, leaving them anticlimactically walking around the farm store instead. He suggested they head to a favorite bagel shop in Aurora, which had also closed by the time they arrived. They ended up heading to downtown Naperville for coffee at Starbucks and walked along the Riverwalk, where Sander popped the question near the Dandelion Fountain.

They were married in a traditional Catholic ceremony at Saints Peter and Paul near the North Central campus, followed by a reception for 165 at White Eagle Golf Club. Vintage candelabras, mercury glass, evergreen sprigs and faux fur throw blankets set the scene for the holiday season celebration in mid-December.

As a tribute to Lepine’s leading role as Julia Gulia in a North Central production of The Wedding Singer, her friends surprised her by reenacting a musical number from the show. “The Adam Sandler to my Drew Barrymore … started the flashmob with ‘I Wanna Grow Old with You,’” Lepine says. “My maid of honor told me that I had to sit down and stay seated. I cried and danced with them at the end because I couldn’t help it.”

Foodie highlights included a hot chocolate bar, a chocolate fudge
buttercream-iced banana spice groom’s cake shaped like the Arsenal’s crest and a late-night grilled cheese sandwich delivery from beloved Chicago food truck Cheesie’s.

The couple enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in Mexico’s Riviera Maya and recently bought and moved into their first house in Sugar Grove.

Photography Alicia Johnson and Samantha Jensen of Alicia’s Photography
Bride’s dress Allure Bridal from Catherine Simms Bridal, Aurora
Bride’s accessories Shoes by Kate Spade from Nordstrom Rack; vintage earrings borrowed from a family friend
Bridesmaid’s dresses White by Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Makeup Makeup by Renee, St. Charles
Hair Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry
Invitations Wedding Paper Divas (now The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly)
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Vera Wang suits from Men’s Wearhouse
Catering Dinner by White Eagle Golf Club, Naperville; late-night grilled cheese from Cheesie’s Food Truck, Chicago
Cake Sweet Creations by Tracey, Channahon
Music Rufus Cathey from Sounds Abound, Naperville
Decor Mark Norkaitis of Mark Allen Inspired, Naperville
Florist Floral Events (ceremony) and Mark Allen Inspired (reception)
Rings K.Hollis Jewelers, Batavia