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Updated: July 1, 2012 12:38PM



It was a nice day for a white wedding — even if the background was black-garbed protesters and riot police.

Nuptials went on all around downtown Chicago on Saturday, despite a little thing called the NATO summit.

Talk about counterintuitive.

Many brides and grooms said the summit helped them. It cleared out streets, cut down on traffic, and had the added bonus of drawing lots of kind words and congratulations from the cops and protesters.

“It’s been awesome — no traffic,” said Kristin Kosyluk, 30, an IIT employee who married her husband David at Pazzo’s Restaurant, 311 S. Wacker.

“The NATO convention helped us,” said David Kosyluk, 34, who works for AT&T.

The Kosyluks will have some interesting pictures to show the future kiddies.

A line of riot police who formed a chain to block the Kinzie Street bridge were the human backdrop for their wedding photos. No protesters were in the vicinity. The officers smiled as the couple posed in front of them.

“A good crowd on hand for the onset of their bliss,” one officer said expansively. He wished to remain nameless.

Another bride and groom agreed the NATO summit made their wedding a breeze.

“We’ve had no traffic problems. It’s just been a ghost town, and we love it,” said Hinsdale’s Kathryn Crist, 27, who posed for photos Saturday with her groom Zach Crist, 28, on the Orleans Street bridge.

Another couple who took pictures on the Orleans bridge agreed. “It made it easier,” said Plinio Gayares, as he smiled for shots with his bride, Kelly Potter.

It was a little crazier for Patty Villarreal and her husband Eddy, who wanted a photo of themselves in their white finery outside the Chicago Theatre — just around the time about 400 Occupy Chicago protesters strode past them down State Street, chanting and carrying signs that said everything from “Yuppies Repent,” and “We are the 99%” and “Bring Back Robin Hood.”

But there’s something about a wedding that makes a lot of folks feel kind of gooey.

“The people are so happy,” said Patty Villarreal. “They were making noise and cheering for us.”

“They were saying ‘congratulations,” said Eddy Villarreal, as they prepared to leave for their banquet at Carnivale.

But one couple at Jackson and LaSalle didn’t look too happy as protesters and bicycle police streamed past them just as they tried to shoot wedding pictures against the canyon of the city’s financial district.

After the media and protesters stopped to take their pictures, bride and groom Beth and Tim Alberts hopped into a waiting vehicle for a getaway as the bride said tersely: “Let’s get out of here.”

Contributing: Abdon Pallasch



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