Budding Partners

May 2021 View more

First-date jitters just weren’t a thing for Darien residents Alisa Kulhanek and Kevin Skrabacz. After matching on dating app Hinge and realizing they were both Illinois Wesleyan alumni, they met up at Downers Grove wine bar Cellar Door. “I had a really weird feeling about 10 minutes in, like, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m on my last first date right now,’ ” says Skrabacz, 29, who grew up in Woodridge and manages Superior Training aquatic center in Willowbrook. “Everything just kind of clicked,” says Kulhanek, 24, a home health nurse who grew up in Lemont. Five months later in November 2019, he proposed at the same bar, with family and friends secretly waiting to toast their engagement.

They chose Elements at Water Street in Naperville for their 2021 wedding and had just mailed save-the-dates to over 200 guests when news of the COVID-19 pandemic started to break. With the big day still months away, they turned their attention to a new project: going into business together. When a historic building in downtown Lemont became available, they decided to turn it into a wedding venue called the Bridge. As luck would have it, one of the venue’s two event spaces was complete in time for them to say their vows and take photos there.

Though they had to downsize their guest list considerably, they were content to be able to marry on their intended date. “It was just the most perfect day ever,” Kulhanek says. “Even though it was smaller, that just made it more intimate and more in-the-moment.”


Venues The Bridge, Lemont, and Elements at Water Street, Naperville
Invitations Minted.com
Cake DeEtta’s Bakery, Naperville
Florals Prairie Honey Floral Studio, Lombard
Rings Bella Cosa Jewelers, Willowbrook
Groom’s attire Men’s Wearhouse, Bolingbrook
Bride’s attire The Bridal Boutique of Naperville, Lisle
Hair and makeup Yes Ma’am Hair & Makeup
Entertainment DJ Shaun Anthony
Photographer Candace Sims Photography
Videographer Vivid Visual