Duty Calls

June/July 2020 View more

Photos by Lilly Photography

Emily Theis, 30, and Jim Reece, 32, have their jobs to thank for their first meeting. Batavia native Theis works as a 911 dispatcher, while Jim Reece, who grew up in Bloomingdale, is a police officer. They met on a messaging system that dispatchers use to communicate with police. “We both happened to be working outside of our normal shifts … and we were both trying to stay awake in the early morning hours,” Reece says. “We exchanged phone numbers and continued talking throughout the day and pretty much every day after that.”

Reece later proposed on a snowmobiling trip in northern Michigan with the Theis family. They married in a traditional ceremony at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Aurora, which the bride attended growing up. Because the church doesn’t have a foyer, Theis and her father waited outside for their cue to go down the aisle. With the front doors flung open, a breeze blew in and caused some minor mayhem. “I had said to my dad, ‘What is taking them so long?’ and he was chuckling. He said, ‘There’s one, two, three, four guys, your sister, and Father Patrick trying to get your aisle runner untangled,’” Theis says.

Reece was relieved moments later when they finally made their entrance. “With probably 200 people looking at me, I was getting a little nervous until I saw Emily start walking down the aisle,” he says. “An overwhelming sense of calm came over me and I was good for the rest of night.”

They kicked off their reception at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago with a cake cutting set to Maroon 5’s rendition of “Pure Imagination” (from Theis’s favorite movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) followed by a first dance to Rachel Brown’s acoustic spin on “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. “It was very personal to us because we love that song as a couple,” Theis says.

As a surprise to the bride and groom, their DJ asked all the first responders in attendance to stand. “About a third of the wedding guests stood up,” Theis says. “I come from a very big law enforcement family and the groomsmen, most of them are cops. That was really cool to look around and see everybody standing who are firefighters, police, and paramedics.”

In lieu of favors, the hosts donated to the Humane Society of Aurora, where Theis adopted her dog, Buddy. They now live in North Aurora and hope to reschedule their June honeymoon for later in the year.


Venue Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Aurora; St. Andrews Golf and Country Club, West Chicago
Bride’s attire Stella York from The Crystal Bride, Geneva
Bride’s accessories Betsey Johnson shoes and Givenchy jewelry from Macy’s
Bride’s hair and makeup Focas Salon, St. Charles; Cassie Barron, Chicago
Bridesmaids’ dresses David’s Bridal, various locations
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Vera Wang Black from David’s Bridal,
various locations
Catering St. Andrews, West Chicago
Cake Oak Mill Bakery, Arlington Heights
Invitations Marry Me! Designs, Aurora
Florals Wild Rose Florist, North Aurora
Entertainment DJ Josh Walton
Rings Jared, St. Charles
Transportation Limo and party bus by Chicago Cloud 9 Limousine, Elk Grove Village; guest shuttle by Spare Wheels Transportation, West Chicago