NBC-Channel 5 reporter Anthony Ponce put his journalistic skills to good use when he made his move on photographer Maggie Rife. They met while they were both getting physical therapy in 2008 — she had an injured knee, and he had hurt his shoulder — and were on a strictly first-name basis for a few months until Ponce decided to learn more. Sneaking a peek at her chart for her last name, Ponce went home and Googled her, but before getting the chance to ask her out, Rife took a job in southeast Asia. Her career led her back to Chicago just one year later, and it was journalism that brought them together again. Ponce was assigned to report on a story where Rife was on location shooting. Barely recognizing him, Rife was pleasantly surprised. “He was this polished, handsome newscaster, but I could not remember where he was from,” says Rife. Ponce recognized her, they started chatting and two and a half years later, they wed on Ponce’s aunt and uncle’s property in Barrington Hills. In a nod to her Nebraskan roots — Rife’s childhood is filled with memories of camping, running through tall grass and the sunset — she waited until 6 p.m. to walk down the aisle in front of 150 guests. “It was more of a fancy backyard party than a wedding,” says Rife. The couple also made sure the day honored both of their ethnic backgrounds, with an Irish prayer during the ceremony and a mariachi band that kicked off the party. In order to commemorate her mother, who passed away when she was younger, Rife wore her mom’s wedding dress and her ring included emeralds from a pair of her mother’s earrings. The party wound down with a bonfire and guests sitting around laughing and talking. “It was a fun and intimate experience with everyone there,” says Rife.
Story by Katerina Bizios | Photos courtesy of Sonya Martin