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Brides, grooms plan together as they gather information at show in Ingleside

This was scene Saturday bridal show hosted by Parkway by Lake Ingleside. | CHRIS CASHMAN/FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA

This was the scene Saturday at the bridal show hosted by Parkway by the Lake in Ingleside. | CHRIS CASHMAN/FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA

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Parkway by
the Lake

Parkway by the Lake Banquets offers banquets for weddings receptions and other events at its facility overlooking Long Lake, 25212 W. Lake Shore Drive, Ingleside. Parkway also provides catering to locations in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. For more information, call (847) 587-7285, or visit

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Updated: January 31, 2014 6:23AM

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to become engaged.

“A third of all wedding engagements occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day,” said Jerry Ming, owner of Parkway by the Lake Banquets in Ingleside.

Parkway hosted a bridal show last Saturday to help future brides and grooms start planning their special day. Temperatures in the upper 40s may have helped pack the reception hall for the event, but Ming said the shows are always well-attended.

“We have three shows a year — one in the winter, one in the summer, one in the fall,” Ming said. “People can sample food, look at linen colors; they can physically come in and get a tangible feel for what they want to do.”

Jon James and Sarah Orwinski of Johnsburg were engaged on Christmas Eve. They attended the bridal show with their 2-month-old son, Raphael.

“We’re just looking around, trying to get some ideas,” James said. Orwinski said their wedding plans are “still in the early stages.” They plan to wed in 2015.

Bethany Kuper of Grayslake was engaged on Christmas Eve 2012. Her wedding and reception will be June 28 at Parkway.

“We’re just trying some cake and I wanted to get everything all in order and get a feel for what decorations I’m going to use,” said Bethany, who was at the show with her mother, Mary Beth Kuper of Grayslake.

She said she picked Parkway for her wedding “because it’s all right there. People coming from out of town don’t have to go from one place to another for the ceremony and the reception. It’s very nice, very convenient.”

Kuper said she’s using three of the vendors who were at the event: Double Trouble for deejay, Sharrett Studios for photography and Trellis for flowers. “They’ve all worked together before. They’re all smaller businesses, they’re more personal,” Kuper said.

Jenni Bann of Antioch was engaged on Christmas. She wasted little time getting started planning her 2015 wedding by visiting the bridal show.

She attended the show with friend Jennifer Everett of Grayslake, who had her reception catered by Parkway a year and a half ago.

Bann said the Christmas engagement didn’t come as a complete surprise. “They’ve been together forever,” Everett said of Bann and fiancé Jordan Eder.

Connie Craig of Johnsburg was engaged Sept. 28, and is planning a July 18 wedding in Johnsburg and reception in Lake Geneva. She and her mother, Susan Craig, were sampling red velvet cake being served by Irene Ocenas of Touch of Sweets in Lake Zurich.

“She’s got a lot organized,” Susan Craig said of her daughter. “Just a few last-minute things need to be done now.”

“I’m just sampling the food because I’m going to have my wedding here Sept. 13,” said Abbi Heiser of McHenry, who was at the show with her future mother-in-law, Lori Hanson.

Courtney Meyer of Lake Villa focused her attention on wedding photo packages offered by Sharrett Studios in Wadsworth. She attended the event with her mother, Sue Meyer of Cary.

“We’re getting ideas for a photographer and a deejay,” said Courtney, who is planning a June 20, 2015, wedding in Harvard.

Stephanie Rosenthal of Round Lake Beach attended the bridal show with her fiancé, Garrett Jackson of Round Lake, and mother, Irene Rosenthal.

“We’re picking things out for the wedding,” Stephanie said. They were engaged in August and are planning a June 15 wedding.

The couple have scaled back their reception plans. “We stayed up last night and cut it down to about half, a little more doable” Stephanie said. “We started with about 200 people, we’re down to not even 100.”

Jackson said they picked the Parkway for their reception because “it has the best pricing and amenities and are customer-friendly. “

Ming said Parkway hosts more than 100 wedding receptions a year and also caters receptions at other sites. Other events — from birthday parties to funeral luncheons — are held at Parkway, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have an event here and be catering at one or two other events,” Ming said.

When he’s not catering or hosting banquets, Ming is in his 40th year as a high school and college basketball referee. He also conducts clinics training referees.

“I love what I do,” he said.

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