50 couples tie the knot outside Wrigley building

The plaza of the Wrigley Building on the Magnificent Mile was transformed into a wedding venue Sunday morning as couples who won a contest to get married beneath the building’s iconic bridge tied the knot.

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David Gombert and Shaun Airey stand at the altar outside the Wrigley Building on N Michigan Ave during the Meet Me on The Mile Sunday Spectacle Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. 50 couples were married outside the Wrigley Building during The Mile Sunday Spectacle.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Wedding bells were ringing under the Wrigley building bridge on the Magnificent Mile Sunday morning.

Fifty couples were chosen for the opportunity to get married outside of the building, which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary.

“I wanted to get 100 couples, or 100 people, to represent the 100 years,” said Bradley Borowiec, vice president of Zeller, the real estate group that manages the building.

In the building’s plaza, four aisles were set up beneath the bridge. White carpets, flanked with floral arrangements, led each couple to a Cook County judge. Every 10 minutes, a new group of couples made their way down the aisles with two witnesses of their choosing in tow.

Family members and onlookers cheered as couples said “I do” and a four-person orchestra performed.

Perla and Edgar Bernal were part of the first group to make their way down the aisle. After seven years of being together, and postponing their wedding twice due to COVID, the couple was happy to finally tie the knot.

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Perla and Edgar Bernal and their son stand near the Wrigley building on North Michigan Avenue during the “Meet Me on The Mile Sunday Spectacle” Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“This is where we met, so it means a lot to us, and this is where we started our family,” Edgar Bernal, 37, said. “Chicago born and raised.”

As the couple said their vows, Edgar Bernal held their 2-year-old son, Emiliano, in his arms while their other son, 5-year-old Angelo, stood close by.

“We honestly think it’s more special to have the kids with us now, they’re old enough where they can stand there and witness that we’re making a commitment,” said Perla Bernal, 31.

David Gombert and Shaun Airey said they didn’t have a plan for their wedding after getting engaged in Aruba last December, but when they got the chance to get married in the city they called home, they jumped at the opportunity.

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David Gombert and Shaun Airey stand at the altar outside the Wrigley building. Fifty couples were married Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“We just call this our home, and we’re really excited to have this experience in our hometown, and this backdrop is just amazing, it’s just perfect,” Airey said.

Borowiec said over 370 couples applied to be married Sunday, and those chosen each had a unique story relating to the building and Chicago itself.

“Some people had their families work here decades ago, some people had their engagements here, some people just love architecture,” Borowiec said. “It just meant something different to every different couple, and so that’s what made it really unique. They take so much ownership of this beautiful, beautiful building.”

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Siobhan Davis and Casey Aitken pose for a photo outside the Wrigley building Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. They were 1 of 50 couples married outside the building, which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Siobhan Davis, a nurse, said the wedding came after a long journey working through the pandemic.

“We were happy to get it done, but it was something to look forward to, and I feel like we needed that, especially with COVID spiking and the uncertainty of the near future,” Davis said.

“It was really trying this last year and a half, just through this whole experience, so this was just a huge relief for us to just be able to come down, enjoy a beautiful venue and get married somewhere memorable,” Davis’ now-husband, Casey Aitken, said.

The couple learned they won the wedding opportunity only two weeks ago. But Davis said she was able to snag the last wedding dress in her size.

“I was actually at the nurses station when I got the email that I won, and I was like ‘Holy s---,’ and the nurses were like ‘What’s wrong? Which patient is it?’ and I was like ‘I just won to get married at the Wrigley building on the Mag Mile,” Davis said.

Geri Pinzur Rosenberg, an associate judge in Cook County who handles domestic violence cases, was one of the judges officiating the weddings.

“There are days where I’m having to remove people from their home and take children away from other people sitting in domestic violence,” Pinzur Rosenberg said. “What a wonderful thing to be here under this beautiful weather, amazing building celebrating 100 years and being able to do something good for the community.”

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