Worth the Wait

April 2020 View more

Dan Scahill met Laura Kotz through mutual friends at Elgin Community College back in 2009, but it took a bit of detective work on his part for them to make a real connection. While hanging out at his apartment with friends, “she put her phone number on the refrigerator with number magnets and left off the last digit. I called basically all the possible numbers the next day,” says Scahill, 31, who grew up in Villa Park. “I had to have him work for it a little,” says Kotz, 30, who grew up in Bartlett.

After dating for a few months, they parted ways to finish their degrees—she at Northern Illinois University and he at University at Buffalo—and reconnected in 2014 when Scahill returned to Illinois. “In all honesty, I knew I wanted to marry her the first time I saw her,” he says. Scahill popped the question in 2018, two days before Kotz had planned to host a surprise soiree for him. “We got to announce [our engagement] to all of our family and friends at his 30th birthday party,” Kotz says. “Everyone who was anyone to us was there. The timing couldn’t have been better.”

They visited a whopping 28 wedding venues before settling on Hotel Arista in Naperville, where wedding designer and catering manager Katie Jones won them over. “The way that she treated us and the way everyone at the hotel treated us, they really went above and beyond,” Kotz says.

Their wedding ceremony included a unique ritual: “We wrote each other notes and put them in a box of wine that we will open on our five-year anniversary,” Kotz says. The cocktail hour kicked off with a performance by Mariachi Nuevo Mexicanismo to honor Kotz’s Mexican heritage. “My mom has five sisters, and my parents gifted them a mariachi band for each of their weddings,” Kotz says.

The evening’s signature cocktail, the Captain and Cokely, honored their Jack Russell rat terrier Oakley (shown at left), who made an appearance during the reception dressed in a tiny tuxedo. Kotz danced with her father to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are,” which was also her parents’ first dance song at their wedding. “I chose that song because my dad bought my mom a jewelry box with that song and I would play it when I was little all the time. It reminds me of how much he loves her,” Kotz says. Scahill’s mother passed away five years ago, but Kotz’s mother stepped in to dance with him to Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”

They now live in Park Ridge, where Kotz works as marketing manager for software company PCMI Corporation and Scahill is a production print sales executive at Xerox. After the wedding, they enjoyed a minimoon at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in downtown Chicago.


Venue and catering Hotel Arista, Naperville
Wedding planner Sarah Kathleen Events, Montgomery
Bride’s attire Essence of Australia gown from the Crystal Bride, Geneva
Bride’s accessories Vera Wang shoes from davidsbridal.com; Marielle earrings and bracelet from amazon.com
Bride’s hair and makeup BM Hair & Makeup Design
Bridesmaids’ dresses Sorella Vita gowns from the Crystal Bride, Geneva
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Men’s Wearhouse, various locations
Cake White cake with cookies and cream filling by the Cakery, North Aurora
Invitations LullaBelle Design, Elgin
Florals The Local Petaler, St. Charles
Entertainment Classical guitar and cello by Moeller Music Events; cocktail hour music by Mariachi Nuevo Mexicanismo; reception DJ by Music By Design
Rings Jared, Lombard