Michele Catalano - Matron of Honor
Mishy, Mich, Michele, however you say it, she is my beautiful “Greek” best friend. It all started back in 1999 at Children’s World in Grayslake, my first REAL job. She worked there as a teacher’s assistant for the older children while I worked with the younger ones in a different room. After losing touch for a few years I found myself applying to the cocktail waitress ad, which happened to be for the bar she owned with her family.
Our friendship continued to grow that summer I worked there. We again lost touch for a few more years until we were brought back together in 2009. From then on we have been inseparable. We have shared more laughs with each other than I can even count, and the classic moments we have encountered, could make a reality show.
Michele is the nicest (but don’t piss her off), kind-hearted, genuine and most thoughtful person you will ever meet. She is always there when you need her and I can always count on my Mishy!
Erin Wolowic - Maid of Honor
Wolly, I guess you could say “it’s a bartender thing”. We met cocktail waitressing at The Sand Bar that Michele owned, and spent that entire summer working our butts off serving lots of drunken boaters! We ended up losing touch for a few years until we were reunited again at good old RJ’s. We spent many, MANY Friday nights bartending together, 5 years to be exact. We didn’t even care that we had to work on Friday nights because we always worked with each other and another girlfriend of ours, Lyn. We were making money and all our friends would come visit us so it was the ideal job at the time.
From laughing until we were crying, working until the wee hours of the morning, describing customers by what they drank, working the patio bar, sweeping peanuts, juke box money, over serving probably WAY to many people, our “regulars”, to eating everything on the menu, I swear we could write a book from all the stories about working there. When we weren’t working we were shopping, eating, boating, tanning it up, going to Country Thunder, or going to the gym. Well… our “gym time” consisted of talking the entire time then saying we were tired and wanted to go eat. Buffalo Wild Wings was our usual stop. Erin is my foodie and I can always count on her when I’m hungry ;) She is definitely one of a kind and I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it.
Sarah Yates - Maid of Honor
Sarita, it’s hard to believe we have been friends for over 15 years and in that time we have never missed a beat in each other’s lives. We have been through the good, bad, happy and sad. If I had a penny for every funny memory we have made or experienced, I would be able to fund this wedding ;)
We spent our high school years causing trouble and thinking we were way to cool for school, when we were even going. To crashing parties, to throwing them, to prank calling people until 5 am (*67), to every song that came on the radio “oh my god, I love this song”, to crying from our first heart break, to going clubbing at the “17” and up clubs, to creeping past the block spying again. And those are just a few of the THOUSANDS of memories we have made, no joke.
We then spent our 20’s laughing until we cried, making MANY stupid mistakes that we have paid for and learned from, to meeting wonderful people and then not so much, to experiencing friends enter new chapters in their lives and getting married and making families.
I couldn’t imagine going through ANY of that with anyone other than Miss Sarah Yates. I am so excited to see what the next 15 years will bring us and what kind of memories will be made.
Meesh, my gorgeous cousin whose father and mine are brothers. Michelle is very outspoken, bold and unique. I never had a sister but was blessed with many amazing girl cousins, all around my age, Michelle being one of them. We didn’t grow up together through our younger years, as I lived in California and she lived in Illinois, but we would always pen pal it until my family moved here when I was 13.
Although it was bittersweet to leave my home in California, I remember how excited I was to be closer to Michelle. Her house was the fun one where there were so many things to do! We have lived through the crazy family parties, where we would always make our Dad’s tell us ghost stories in a dark room because we loved to be spooked, to our Dad’s telling cheesy jokes that we were forced to laugh at ;)
It’s so crazy because that only feels like yesterday but now we have grown into beautiful young women and now our kids will be the one’s telling the stories about us. They say you cannot choose your family, but I am so happy I have Meesh as mine!
“You see, our grandma’s married twin brothers”… as many times as we have explained it, I still don’t think people understand ;) Kara is my amazing third cousin, but the blood line runs so close that we could practically be first cousins.
People use to think we were sisters growing up. I spent many days at her Hanover home where we caused plenty of trouble and thought we were too cool for school, probably because we were. We would go shopping and buy Puff Daddy and Mase posters because we were cool like that. Fast forward 15 years later and we are both grown laughing at our younger years.
Her stories are always so interesting and her beauty is beyond belief. Kara’s big heart makes her one of a kind and she is always fun to be around.
My sweet little cousin Andrea! It was always Sarah, Andrea and I. I remember when she was just a little young thing and now she has grown into a beautiful young lady. We have also shared so many laughs, the kind of laughing spells that would last hours.
My favorite memory is when I was visiting them in Tennessee and we were harassing (who us, harassing?) some boys to come over because her parents were out of town. When they arrived we didn’t want to let them in so we hid in the garage and watched them walk around the house.
Then we went inside and peaked out the blinds only to see them staring back at us in that exact spot. So many memories I cannot even count, but I would never trade them for anything in this world and am so lucky to have a cousin like Andrea!
The sister I never had, but our bond growing up made us closer than any sisters could ever be. We grew up in California together and our families made an effort to always get together. Sarah and I can just look at each other and start laughing hysterically about nothing at all but would laugh so hard we cried. We share the same mind and heart.
I will never forget how sad I was when her family decided to move to Tennessee. But that didn’t stop us from seeing each other as I would fly out there every summer for as long as I could remember and our sisterly bond continued to grow. I don’t think I have shared as many laughs in my life as I have with Sarah. She has a beautiful heart and is truly one of kind.
As with all my cousins, Sarah holds a very special place in my heart and the distance between us could never change the bond we share and the inside jokes that will never die.
The crazy, loud, outspoken and silly friend I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without. It all started sophomore year when we first met and our friendship quickly grew into one that would last a lifetime. With the same sense of humor, we clicked right away.
We have had our share of harassing (Jim M), which I’m sure will one day come back to us, and countless hours of laughing about nothing at all. She is the friend I don’t even have to say anything to, I just look at her and we know what each other is thinking.
We would then laugh our asses off until we literally cried, sometimes about nothing at all. We’ve been through the heartbreaks, countless parties that parents never knew about (until now), inside jokes that will never die, Jeep Wrangler days, county fairs and so much more.
She is now a wife and wonderful Mommy to two amazing kids. I am very blessed to have stayed in touch with so many friends for 15 years now, 15 to come, and 15 after that.
It all started at CEM (Complete Equity Markets) where we became friends. I came in as the new girl and sat in the cubicle right behind her. We ended up hitting it off right away and just seemed to click. But little did we know that we shared one thing in common, knowing Tony. After meeting him I would come into work and tell her about this guy I had met and really liked. It wasn’t until sometime later that this person I was always talking about (Tony) seemed to ring a bell to Lauren. Her boyfriend’s family happened to be good friends with Tony’s family and she knew Tony. If that doesn’t prove it’s a small world after all, then I don’t know what does.
After I ended up leaving CEM Lauren and I continued to stay in touch and would see each other at the parties her now fiancés family would have, who Tony’s parents knew.
Lauren is a kind hearted, lovable person and now we also share something else in common. We are both getting married this year and are a part of each other’s weddings. I am lucky to have met her and excited for the years to come, and to see what else we have in common.
B and I have also been friends for over 15 years. Once my wing lady when we were the only two single girls out of our group of friends. Ha, the shenanigans we got ourselves into is for our ears only ;) Countless nights of going out, Carvetti’s, Freddie’s, late night McDonald’s runs, spending Sunday’s on the couch (ALL DAY) after a rough night out, Lifetime movies, Harley, harassing, liking the same guys, Jeep Cherokee, the Kruse’s and so much more!
Brandy and I share the same strong personality which has caused us to bump heads over the years, but even after a few tiffs, we always ended up making up. I’ve seen her go from our crazy single nights, to her next chapter in her life of becoming a wonderful wife and amazing Mom.
As the journey continues in this thing called life, I am so excited to know that Brandy will be a friend until the end. Even if we don’t talk for a while, we always pick up where we left off.
Sheena, Shan, Shanay, our wonderful mommy of the group ;) Shannon has always been there to screw our heads back on when we were about to (and did) make some foolish adolescent mistakes. Again, 15 years of this friendship has brought many ups and downs, laughs and cries, screaming and yelling, pictures galore and new chapters such as getting married and becoming a Mommy!
She was one of the first to get her license and we all loved to pack ourselves in her white Geo Storm. She was the responsible one of the group and was always there when you needed her.
Shannon is famous by all for her New Year’s Eve party of the century, 1999 going into 2000. What was going to be around 20 friends, turned into a party that our entire High School ended up going to and I’m sure is still talking about today.
Shannon is my wise, sassy and smart girlfriend who is always there to talk some sense into you and I’m lucky to have her as part of my group of friends.
“Through marriage we become sisters, through love and caring, we become friends”.
Heather, my soon to be sister-in-law, I am so very excited to become part of her family and to soon be calling her my sister. I have never had one and cannot wait to share the rest of my life with her brother and her as my sister, experiencing life’s journey together.
Heather is an easy going, friendly and kind person who I am so excited to be calling my sister-in-law! Our families will soon be blending and she will not only be becoming my sister, but a friend until the end.
Gina is pretty much my sister-in-law since her and my brother have been dating for 7 years… almost legally married! She is an easy going; friendly, smart and beautiful lady that I’m so happy my brother has found. She’s been through the up’s and downs with our family and has still stuck around ;)
I don’t always get to see Gina, but when we get together we have nothing but fun. From St. Patrick’s Day 2013, to going to Vegas for my 30th birthday, Gina definitely knows how to have a good time.
I am so excited to see what the future holds for her and my brother and glad I will be there to experience it. As I walk down the aisle into the next chapter of my life I am so happy Gina will be a part of it.