Slow and steady wins the race for newlyweds Andrew Barber and Kiely Russell
For some couples, it’s a race to the altar. But for newlyweds Andrew Barber and Kiely Russell, the journey was more like a marathon: It took almost a decade for the couple, who have known each other since high school, to take their friendship to a romantic level, another six years for Barber to pop the question and from that point, a year to tie the knot. So why the long wait? “We wanted to make sure the wedding would be perfect,” jokes Russell. The couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony on Oct. 6 at St. James Chapel, just off the Magnificent Mile. For the reception, they hosted 180 guests at the Sofitel Chicago, but Barber — founder of the city’s leading urban music website Fakeshoredrive.com — said it was less a traditional reception and more like an all-night party. “I had to make sure the music was done right,” he says. He hired electric violinist Edith Yokley to perform and DJ Alvin Black III spun everything from classic hip-hop records to current pop hits. When the party finally wound down at 3 a.m., the wedding party joined the bride and groom in their suite for Champagne and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.