Our Story

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

It all started at another wedding, when two strangers – the cousin and the loud friend – accidentally found each other.

Part One

Sally insists, “You gotta meet Kurt.”

This story begins at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun Mexico, as most stories do…

Kurt and Rachel were both attending the wedding of Jean and Chris Bean in 2016: Rachel, as Jean’s cousin from Tennessee and Kurt as a close friend of the couple in Chicago.

Kurt arrived a day before Rachel and actually befriended Sally, Rachel’s mom, almost instantly. He must have made quite the impression, because what were Sally’s first words to her daughter when she arrived?

“Rachel!! You gotta meet Kurt!”

From there, it was a whirlwind three days of poolside chats, iceberg cocktails and romantic strolls on the beach. At the end of the weekend it was time for them to part ways, but not before one awkward hotel-lobby-goodbye that would be the catalyst for messages and late night chats in the driveway until 2am in the weeks to follow (Rachel lived in a barn apartment outside of Franklin at the time and the only cell service: in the driveway).

After a trip to Chicago just one month later to see if what they felt in Mexico was just a bad piece of fish or the REAL THING, they were convinced. Maybe it was the late-night technically first official date to the local slashie, Go Liquors. Maybe it was dancing in Kurt’s living room to old records. Whatever it was, they both knew it was good.

So what does one do when they live 8 hours away from the real thing?

Did You know?

Rachel is a World Class Equitation Champion

That’s right! A two-time World Grand Champion to be exact. Equitation is a category where the rider is judged instead of the horse, but they both have to perform as a team. There’s even a pattern that is provided the morning of the competition that must be completed during the class.

Part Two

Rachel Moves to the Big City

It was the only rational thing to do, honestly.

When you meet the love of your life in Mexico and he happens to live in a great, thriving city next to your favorite cousin (sorry other cousins, but I mean Jean technically gets credit for this entire union so she wins fave), not to mention all the great friends who welcome you with open arms, you move!

So, just 3 months after Mexico with a truck-bed full of her belongings, no job, and one scruffy dog named Lemon, Rachel’s brother Webb moved her to Chicago. The risky move turned out not to be so risky after all – Kurt and Rachel spent their time exploring the city’s neighborhoods and restaurants by bike, cooking, antique shopping and traveling as often as they could. A year later they moved into their first apartment together on Winchester Ave. A year after that, they moved again and added another furry family member, Keeper, to their tribe. Their cat, Derby, came shortly after and so did one more move to an apartment they thought they could really settle in for a while.

Then, 2020 happened.

Did You Know?

Kurt got Proposal Practice Back in the Early 2000’s

That’s right, he once popped the question to his much, much older Hollywood Grill waitress. He got down on one knee with a hollowed out pickle slice at 4AM. She accepted, he slid it on, left a big tip, and waited on Rachel to arrive a decade and a half later.

Part Three

A New House, a Proposal, and Flood of Activity

Almost immediately after moving into a new apartment, the pandemic hit.

Kurt and Rachel quickly learned how to work from home (at the same time and with three very different, surprisingly rowdy pets). They started sanitizing their groceries, zooming with their friends, watching a LOT of HGTV and saving up a nest egg for their future plans. Turns out, the future plan included a 100 year old house in Oak Park, IL just outside of the city. As soon as they walked in, they fell in love and in the fall of 2020, they took a leap of faith and bought the dang thing.

Barely a month and a half later, when Rachel was expecting her folks to come into town to have the first Thanksgiving in their new home, Kurt took Rachel out for a little dinner date. On the drive back home, he made a suspicious last-minute stop on one of their favorite streets to “take a little walk” even though it was starting to drizzle. Just a few steps in, Kurt got down on one knee and the next few moments were a blur of loud laughs, squeals and happy tears, 4 years in the making.

Rachel was so excited to get back to the house where she was told her parents had already arrived, but instead, came home to a gigantic tent in their back yard covering all of their close friends and family. More loud laughs, squeals and happy tears later, the couple celebrated by popping the champagne that was left for them by the previous owners of the house – the note along with the bottle had read:

“This house served our family well for more than 70 years.

My mother was saving this bottle for a special occasion so – you are the special occasion.

Welcome to your new home.”

One special occasion leads to another, and we welcome you all to celebrate this one with us.

Did You Know?

Rachel’s Never Seen Kurt Without a Beard

There’s no telling what could be under there… 

What’s Next?

Back to Mexico of Course!

Following the ceremony, the couple will head off to Mexico (not to the same exact all-inclusive, but close) for their honeymoon.

After that, they’ll return to their home in Oak Park and continue finding moments to celebrate for the years to come.

Lastly, We Just Wanna Say

Thank You to Our Family & Close Friends

We’ve been truly blessed to grow up in amazing families that taught us about love, respect, hard work, and what it means to really live to love. And we’ve been lucky enough to have a second family of some of the world’s greatest humans.

We’re forever grateful to know and have all of you. We can’t wait to see you.