Better Together | March 2018

March 2018 View more

Jamie Rhodes & Vinny Sharma
It was medical school that brought Jamie Rhodes and Vinny Sharma to the same city, and a little bit of luck that kept their paths crossing.

Both 32 and now living in Berwyn, Rhodes and Sharma first connected on a website for future medical students and realized they would be living in neighboring buildings at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Alphabetically assigned seating placed them next to each other in every single class, and they became fast friends and later started dating, spending the last two years of medical school carefully choosing their clinical rotations around the East Coast and Midwest so they could remain together as much as possible. In 2014, their residencies brought them to Chicago, where Sharma is now a fourth-year neurology resident at University of Illinois at Chicago and Rhodes is chief pediatrics resident at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn.

Sharma planned to propose at the
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park, with the perfect moment presenting itself as they walked past an ongoing wedding with a string quartet playing “Here Comes the Sun.”

“I’m a huge Beatles fan and Jamie was always interested in a string quartet for our wedding,” Sharma says. On their wedding day, they had live music and much more during a morning-’til-midnight celebration for 130 guests at Marriott Chicago Southwest in Burr Ridge. It began with a Hindu ceremony to pay homage to Sharma’s faith and heritage. As Rhodes dressed in a red lehenga and a gold tikka (a bejeweled headpiece) and jewelry, with henna designs called mehndi decorating her hands and feet, Sharma rode in on a white horse as guests danced and cheered during the groom’s procession, called a Baraat.

After brunch with their guests, they changed into a three-piece suit and wedding gown and recited their own vows in an outdoor Western ceremony. “In order to respect our families and where we came from, it was very important we had two ceremonies,” Rhodes says. The dinner reception that followed melded their roots, with a buffet of Indian fare and an elaborate cookie table, a Pittsburgh-area tradition from where Rhodes grew up in eastern Ohio.

The couple honeymooned in Las Vegas, where they saw Cirque du Soleil’s “Love,” set to tunes from The Beatles. In 2018, they plan to house hunt in the western suburbs and make their next professional moves: Rhodes will join a private pediatrics practice in Chicago Ridge, and Sharma will begin a stroke fellowship at UIC, both in July.

Photography Greyes Photography, Elgin
Bride’s attire Dulhan’s, Chicago (Hindu ceremony); Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal (Western ceremony)
Bride’s accessories Betsey Johnson shoes from Macy’s, Chicago; Hindu ceremony jewelry from Highline Jewelry, Ventura, California and Sari Sapne,
Chicago; Western ceremony jewelry from Poetry Jewelry,
Bride’s hair, makeup and mehndi Gayatri Rathod of MyGRcreations, Schaumburg
Groom’s attire Sari Sapne, Chicago (Hindu ceremony); Men’s Wearhouse (Western ceremony)
Invitations Vistaprint, plus programs from Little Pink Elephant Designs,
Catering Brunch and mimosa bar by Marriott; Dinner by Saffron and Vincitori, Westmont
Cake and cookie table Il Giardino del Dolce, Elmwood Park
Music Dhol drumming for Baraat by Saagar Ravi, Chicago; string quartet by Accolade Musicians, Chicago; DJ Ruki Dole, DreamHouse Productions, Chicago
Decor and florals Reception backdrop, garlands and bouquet by Rami’s Mandap, Skokie (Hindu ceremony); by mother of the bride, Carolyn Rhodes (Western ceremony and reception florals); reception linens by Marriott
Rings Regal Jewels, Chicago

Rose Lorraine Manion & Vincenzo Colella
When a family member plays matchmaker, the results can be fantastic—or a total flop. Fortunately for Rose Lorraine Manion and Vincenzo Colella, it ended up being the former.

Colella, 27, grew up in Elmhurst and works in management at his family’s restaurant, Nick & Bruno’s in Franklin Park. On more than one occasion, his coworker Ed suggested Colella would be a good match for his cousin Manion, 31, who grew up in St. Charles and works as a concierge at Jasmine Galleria, a wedding emporium in Lombard.

“We hit it off right away,” Manion says. They dated for three years, taking two trips to Italy, where Colella’s parents grew up. For their engagement, Colella arranged for he and Manion to meet his family for a group portrait at Wilder Park Conservatory in Elmhurst. While everyone was conveniently “running late,” Collela got down on one knee and the photographer—Ed’s uncle—caught it all on camera.

The two were married in an outdoor ceremony at Pottawatomie Park in
St. Charles, with a memorial presentation and dove release to honor Manion’s cousin Ed, who passed away in 2015, and other family members. “We wouldn’t have been there without him,” Manion says.

Colella wore his father’s silk bowtie and handkerchief along with a pocket watch gifted from Manion, engraved with “VinRo,” a combination of their names, and “Time of Our Lives,” their wedding song. Manion wore a lace gown and pearl bracelet gifted by the groom, which complemented the lace- and pearl-laden decor at their reception at Abbey Farms in Aurora.

The night continued with nods to Colella’s Italian roots and Manion’s Irish and Italian heritage, including a bagpiper and a stunning dessert table with more than 900 cream- and fruit-filled pastries and 20 pounds of Italian cookies for the 250 guests to savor.

The couple honeymooned in Punta Cana and now lives in Carol Stream. “In the spring, hopefully, we want to plan a trip to Italy, Greece and Ireland before we try to start a family,” Manion says.

Photography Samantha and Jeffrey Jensen of Alicia’s Photography, Naperville
Bride’s dress Stella York from The Crystal Bride, Geneva
Bride’s accessories Betsey Johnson shoes and pearl earrings and bracelet by Lagos from Von Maur, Lombard; anklet from; Edwardian Claddagh ring by The Irish Jewelry Company
Hair and makeup I Do Two Bridal Bar
Bridal prep location The Herrington Inn & Spa, Geneva
Bridesmaid’s attire Jasmine Galleria, Lombard
Groom and groomsmen’s attire GQ Formalwear, Elmhurst
Dove release White Birds Express
Invitations Wedding Paper Divas
Catering Belgio’s Catering, Naperville
Cake and cookies The Italian Bakery, Addison
Music Saxophone player by Skinny Williams Band, Chicago; Vocalist Shannon C. Adams, Geneva; DJ Matt Ammons from Sounds Abound, Naperville
Decor Garland & Lace, Aurora
Florist Flowers by Janet, Geneva