Dum dum dee dum, then Run run run run

Photo from previous year's event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES 

October 8th is a pretty special day for Chicago runners as we get ready to participate in the 45th running of the Chicago Marathon. Our residents will be running, volunteering, spectating, and also…getting married.

On Saturday, October 7th, 26 couples will be getting married or civilly united at Weddings at Wrigley: A World of Love. All marriages are scheduled between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m, so those couples better plan to hit the expo before or after. Oh, did I forget to mention that all of the couples have at least one member running the Chicago Marathon!

“We exclusively offered this opportunity to individuals who were already registered to run in the Chicago Marathon,” explained Bradley Borowiec, VP/GM, Zeller/The Wrigley Building. “Through direct communications between the Chicago Marathon and runners, and through our own outreach with social media and news mentions, a panel of judges reviewed each applicants’ stories and reasons for entering this chance to marry at The Wrigley Building. Each selection was confirmed through the Chicago Marathon team to ensure at least one in the couple was registered to race, and then we offered this opportunity, and we were able to secure our lucky 26.”

Leave it to our fine city to host such an amazing event during, arguably, the best weekend of the year in Chicago. The aptly selected 26 couples will cement their unions just 19 hours before they pound the cement and kick out 26.2 miles around Chicago.

“This year, we partnered exclusively with the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon to offer a chance to Dash to the Altar before racers stepped up to the starting line the very next day. We had hundreds of competitors vying for the opportunity to be one of 26 couples, representing the 26 miles of the 45th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon, and we’re thrilled with the international people who will marry. Traveling in from Australia, Mexico, the UK and Thailand, these couples join others whose homes are located throughout the USA and Chicago,” stated Borowiec.

When asked how this partnership came about, Borowiec noted that “we like to do something really unique because this is a once-in-a-lifetime production. The Wrigley Building is a landmark for this city and as such, is considered a very special place to see, visit and an impressive address for an office.”

Photo from previous year’s event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES
Photos from previous year’s event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES

It should come as a surprise to no one that a runner is at the helm of this incredible partnership to lead a truly magical weekend for runners and romantics. Borowiec himself will be running the marathon, as he hits a decade of Marathon performances for himself. “Because this year’s Chicago Marathon celebrates its 45th run, and because I am also running my 10th Chicago Marathon, this felt like a perfect partner. In fact, we learned through our early discussions that several racers each year get engaged and want to be married after a successful race, so it was a perfect combination of romance and the love of running.”

While this may be the first time you are hearing about the Weddings at Wrigley, this event actually began in 2021. “This is just the third time we’ve hosted Weddings at Wrigley,” noted Borowiec. “The Wrigley Building is a privately-held commercial office building so public events on our property are rare. This is something truly special for us. In 2021, we celebrated The Wrigley Building Centennial by inviting 50 couples – 100 people – to marry beneath our historic Wrigley Towers’ architectural bridge. We received over 350 entries as that event was open to the general public for Marriages on The Mile: Weddings at Wrigley. The event was very successful and even recognized by The International Downtown Association with a Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence when we partnered with The Magnificent Mile Association. In 2022, we were able to repeat the event with The Magnificent Mile Association and we married 40 lucky couples, and added micro-receptions for those couples at Pioneer Court.”

Photo from previous year’s event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES
Photo from previous year’s event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES

While this is the first year in partnership with the marathon, we certainly hope it will not be the last. Runners like consistency and very little change, so now that the weddings are a part of our marathon weekend, we need them to stay on repeat. The weddings are open to the public, if you’d like to swing by and see this unique event for yourself. The ceremonies will be staged beneath the architecture bridge on The Wrigley Centennial Plaza (410 N. Michigan Ave).

“Two to four ceremonies happen at the same time, but each has a very personal feeling,” explained Borowiec. “Couples gather at specific times to walk up their individual, 200-foot white wedding aisle to their assigned judge. The venue is surrounded by blue sky and The Wrigley Building’s beautiful white terra cotta. On this day, it will be beautifully dressed in white with an oversized fancy decoration adorning the top of the archway and natural greenery providing a lush background for each couple’s setting. A live string quartet entertains throughout the entire day and you’ll hear bursts of applause and cheers every 15 minutes as another couple or group of couples say “I Do!” The entire event is open to the public, with boundaries protected to allow guests of each couple to have ample space for viewing their friends or family, plus passersby who joyfully participate when they happen upon the weddings.”

Photo from previous year’s event: Weddings At Wrigley_Media_CREDITS ON IMAGES

So, what can the couples who are being married expect? “The atmosphere is full of excitement and joy. All couples begin their day at a reception area hosted by Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago where they will receive gifts from partners at City Experiences, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Wendella Boats. The location conveniently connects by walkway to the wedding ceremonies and offers a beautiful place to stage professional photos by LaCour Images along the Chicago River.”

Our generous Chicago businesses have also supported Weddings at Wrigley: A World of Love. “Partners also offered prizes including a honeymoon package with brunch at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Gourmet treats from Peet’s Coffee, and A Recover and Relax Basket from Walgreens. Other businesses presented special offers for receptions or dining specials from Harry Caray’s, Terrace 16, The Evie Chicago and The Gwen Hotel. We are truly fortunate to have such wonderful businesses supporting this joyful occasion.”

Either one or both of the partners in the new couples will be tackling the Chicago Marathon the day after their wedding, so they will need to keep their post-nuptial partying to a minimum. If you will be running, keep your eye out for runners touting a “just married” badge on race day. “We’re excited that each of our couples racing will be wearing presented a ‘Just Married’ badge in their Chicago Marathon race packet and we cannot wait to see them run past during the race. It’s a perfect combination of romance and running.”

Keep your eyes on social media for a surprise photo, which will be captured after the ceremonies. “There will be a fabulous photo staged after the couples marry which I cannot disclose at this point,” commented Borowiec. “It’s a secret until the day of the event but I promise, it’ll be Instagram-worthy.”

I want to extend a big thank you to Bradley Borowiec, VP/GM, Zeller/The Wrigley Building for speaking with me about Weddings at Wrigley: A World of Love and this incredible partnership with the Chicago Marathon.

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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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