1. Thank God for Glen Prairie: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and then again - this place rocks my socks. Easily my favorite restaurant, Chef Danny and his crew put together amazing meals, most of which can be tweaked to be gluten free. I was thrilled when the bride and groom decided to have the rehearsal dinner here. If you're in the Chicago area and looking for a place to host a small gathering, I highly recommend them, not just because the food is great, but because service is amazing, too. Luke also threw my surprise birthday party here last year. If you visit, tell them I sent you. And try the duck tacos.
2. Two thumbs up for Seven Bridges: My sister is gluten intolerant, and while she doesn't react quite as, um, strongly as I do, she wanted to make sure there was no chance of either of us getting glutened at dinner. Typically, for an event like this, I'd just either eat beforehand or pack a lunch. But after meeting with the event coordinator at the banquet hall last month, I felt confident enough to try the meal that was provided. Apparently, we're NOT the only special snowflakes with food issues, and gluten-free is becoming a more common request for banquets. I left one of my restaurant cards with the chef, and the week before the wedding, the coordinator e-mailed my sister to walk through the menu and confirm the ingredients and prep on everything. It was so nice to be able to eat the bacon-wrapped date appetizer and the whole goshdarn dinner without getting sick. This just goes to show that sometimes, people listen. And it's okay to trust. On occasion.
3. Part of being matron of honor is keeping the bride happy, so this meant loading up on gluten-free snacks for breakfast and breaks on the big day. Bonus? I got to eat them, too. Thanks to Sweet Ali's for making amazing crumb cakes, banana breads and donuts (You have to carbo-load for mimosas. You just have to). We also made sure to have fruit, nuts and some hard-boiled eggs that we accidentally froze. It took a lot of pressure off of both of us to know we could eat safely. Also, did I mention champagne?
And, it doesn't hurt when your date is adorably handsome in his bow-tie.