Cook County investigating wedding reception at north suburban hotel

A north suburban hotel apologized Thursday after it hosted a wedding reception that triggered a Cook County health department investigation for violations of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Last evening, the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook hosted a family wedding with approximately 150 people in attendance. While the event was booked prior to the implementation of the state’s latest mitigation measures, we sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community,” general manager Holly Allgauer-Cir said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

“The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the hospitality industry and our family-owned business. However, our hope to keep the hotel afloat and employees working should not outweigh health and safety.”

Allgauer-Cir said the hotel will follow health officials’ recommendations on contact tracing and testing.

The Cook County Department of Public Health has requested the guest list for the reception, spokesman Don Bolger said.

The hotel is in Prospect Heights, which issued the venue a written warning. City administrator Joe Wade said Thursday the hotel’s general manager told him at least one hotel employee had urged members of the party to socially distance and wear masks.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker described the event as “very irresponsible.”

“This is very concerning to all of us at a moment when we have rampant COVID-19 throughout Illinois,” Pritzker said during his daily COVID-19 media briefing Thursday. “Here we have people who, in a concentrated fashion, have the ability now to go spread it to everywhere that they return to.

“I’m deeply worried for them and for the communities that they’ve returned to, for their families and so on. I hope that each of them will isolate and get a test.”

Pritzker said it would be up to local authorities to mete out punishment.

The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said the event was “unacceptable and does not reflect the careful efforts the hotel industry as a whole has taken since the onset of the pandemic to protect guests, employees and our communities.”

“The hotel industry is committed to working with policymakers and public health officials to ensure this situation is not repeated,” association president and CEO Michael Jacobson said in a statement.

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Chicago couple cancel wedding reception, use catering deposit to feed others for Thanksgiving

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis had been planning a big wedding in a funky West Town warehouse, with catered food and 150 guests coming in from both coasts and lots of places in between.

But then the pandemic did what it’s done to so many giddy couples — it wrecked those elaborate plans.

“It just didn’t feel like it was in the cards,” said Bugg, 33, who lives in the Avondale neighborhood.

So last month, Bugg and Lewis, 34, decided to tie the knot anyway, alone, except for their photographer, before a judge on the 13th floor of the Daley Center. Bugg left her $1,400 wedding dress in the closet, choosing a simple white dress instead, as they made their way through the first-floor metal detector to the elevator and then to the courtroom.

With no guests, there would be no reception and no food — not for them at least. Bugg and her new husband decided that wouldn’t mean no celebration.

Bugg supervises a team of community outreach workers for Thresholds, a Chicago-based nonprofit that offers a range of services for people with serious mental illnesses.

Every year, Thresholds organizes big Thanksgiving gatherings for its clients. That couldn’t happen this year because of the pandemic.

“Our members look forward to the Thanksgiving party every year. So when they started asking when it would be and what would happen, that’s when the wheels started to turn,” Bugg said.

The couple persuaded their caterer, Big Delicious Planet, to use their $5,000 deposit to instead package up 200 Thanksgiving meals, including turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. Bugg and some of her co-workers personally delivered those meals last week to 200 Thresholds clients at their homes on the West Side.

The couple’s generosity was first reported by The Washington Post.

“She took what could have been a really sad situation for herself, her husband and her family and she turned it into something magical and beautiful,” said Bugg’s boss, Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO.

Or as Bugg puts it: “Even while we were disappointed, we realized we still have so much. Canceling a wedding compared to what other people were going through wasn’t as big a deal.”

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Canucks player kicks bride in the face at wedding reception during sultry dance, viral TikTok video shows

This newlywed really kicked up his heels at the reception.

Professional hockey player Adam Gaudette showed off his (failed) dance moves in a TikTok video taken at his wedding that has gone viral. In it, Gaudette accidentally kicks his bride, Micaela, in the face during their reception.

In the short clip, which has been viewed nearly 100,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks center is seen shirtless sauntering up to his bride, who is sitting in a chair. He begins what appears to be a sultry dance of sorts.

After the short lap dance, the groom begins to show off by kicking his leg over the bride’s head – only to fall short and accidentally kick her in the face.

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In an extended version of the incident, the groom immediately stops and begins kissing his bride before ushering her off of the dance floor.

“I seem fine but my head was throbbing and I went into the bathroom and cried for a little,” the bride wrote in text over the video, along with a happy face emoji.

Adam Gaudette might want to retire his dancing career. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Adam Gaudette might want to retire his dancing career. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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“He felt insanely bad but it was fine because we ended up partying until 8 am with our best friends,” a caption for the video read. The shorter clip’s caption read, “How my husband ruined our wedding part 1.”

The video was posted last week. According to Micaela’s Instagram, the pair got married on June 20. It is unclear where the wedding took place or what coronavirus regulations were enforced.

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Those who watched the hilariously botched burlesque on TikTok sympathized with the bride, commenting “I would’ve cried from the embarrassment and pain. Oh my god.”

Another gushed, “I love how concerned he was immediately for you though like goals.”

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