One final bride

One final bride

By Kyla Hurt

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, the final wedding at Annie Merner Chapel on the campus of the recently closed MacMurray College was held. The bride walked into the renowned chapel as Beth Friedrich and under the officiating of Retired Minister Jame Hahs, she walked out as Beth Liberman, alongside her husband, Kyle Liberman, to begin their life together.

Photos/Melissa Swidergal The interior of Annie Merner Chapel is a beautiful background for Beth Friedrich and Luke Liberman to exchange vows.

She had graduated with her Bachelor of Science in nursing from MacMurray College in 2019. Liberman notes, “I was pretty involved on campus and I think just graduating from the college could have something to do with having one of the last weddings at the chapel.” 

In its heyday, it was such a glorious structure with its red brick exterior and white trim. She says, “I remember when I was in high school and touring around the campus and I just instantly fell in love with the ‘older look’ to the college. I felt like I was in the 1930s, and it was just a really cool feeling. I told my mom, Lisa, who also graduated from MacMurray College with her BSN in 1986, that I always thought Annie Merner was absolutely beautiful and that I wanted to get married there when I found the one. I have also spent quite a bit of time in the chapel just from being a student at Mac, and the look of the chapel just grew on me. To be the last scheduled wedding at Annie Merner Chapel is honestly heartbreaking and such a special honor. I have so many great memories on this campus and now I am marrying my best friend on such a beautiful campus where I have had so many great memories. What better way to leave MacMurray College than to have the very last wedding at Annie Merner.” 

Photos/Melissa Swidergal Surrounded by their wedding party, Beth and Luke Liberman kiss on the steps of Annie Merner Chapel.

Annie Merner Chapel has been on the forefront of places where area brides-to-be dream of being married. The beauty and history of previous marriages and love that is held within those walls is a concept one might find dreamy or uplifting. It is a special place. The final bride agrees and adds, “I think it is really special to know that I am the last bride to have my wedding at Annie Merner Chapel. I was the last graduating class to walk across the stage to get my degree and the last MacMurray Nursing class to get pinned in the chapel. I feel this campus and place in general will have so many special memories for me to look back at when I am older. I am heartbroken to know MacMurray College will never be open again, but it makes having the last wedding at such a beautiful, historic place very special. I will definitely hold onto my memories of MacMurray College and this special memory of marrying my best friend in my heart forever!”

Congratulations on your nuptials, Beth and Luke Liberman. May your lives together be as unique and special as Annie Merner Chapel.

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About the author

Kyla Hurt is a capable boondoggler trained in the arts; she’s also an accomplished event coordinator with experience from museum fundraising to art festivals. She enjoys puppies, sunshine, and good radishes – and wit. Wit is good, too.

View all articles by Kyla Hurt