Love Story Contest Winner: To Many Happy Returns

In honor of Valentine's Day we held a contest on our Twitter and Facebook pages for our followers and fans to send us their most romantic memories at Ravinia. It was very touching to read all of the stories and to see what a huge impact summers at Ravinia have had on some of our guests. We will be featuring some of our favorites soon. This first story is one of the winning entries from Mark of Champaign, Illinois. 

"Emily and I met in the Spring of 2001 at a Memorial Day cookout at a friend’s house in Chicago.  Unfortunately for the both of us, I lived in Chicago and she was attending the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.   Nevertheless, our long distance relationship would grow over the next six years as we quickly learned to cherish every moment of our weekends together.  Often our dates involved exploring Chicago’s art fairs, street festivals and great restaurants all summer long. 

Still, our favorite date became packing a dinner, a bottle of wine and a blanket, and boarding the Metra right to the door of Ravinia.  We spread out under the stars as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra seemed to provide us with  our own, private serenade.  Our multiple visits to Ravinia over those summer months each year were so memorable, I knew it would provide the perfect backdrop for me to ask the love of my life to marry me.   

On July 21, 2007, Emily accepted my proposal on the lawn of Ravinia, and again I would sit…under the stars…listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra…but now with my fiancée.

This past August, 2009, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a familiar visit to Ravinia’s lawn to begin an anniversary tradition reflecting on one of the important places our love began…and will continue to grow."

(Photo of the proposal provided by Mark.)