Her offbeat partner: Val, HR Coordinator at the Opera
Location & date of wedding: Center on Halsted in "Boystown," Chicago, IL — May 15, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Obviously being a lesbian couple, you already run into the Offbeat brand. We decided to stay in Chicago even though gay marriage isn't legal in Illinois (yet!). We both share a passion for seeing musicals and shows, so we added elements of that into our wedding.
We had a local improv troupe perform their musical improv show in between the ceremony and reception. Each table topper was a Playbill of a show we'd seen. We had Broadway love songs play during the cocktail break, in between the ceremony and improv show. Then, the evening ended with a break out of the song, "Happy Ending" from The Pirate Movie – complete with the dance number!
Tell us about the ceremony: We started the ceremony with a coordinated dance to the Cher song, "Different Kind Of Love Song." The song's lyrics really hit home for us. Our wedding party all came out slowly, then we walked out from backstage. Then everyone broke out into dance mode! Hilarious!
Our officiant read about our life together and the (crazy) way we ended up in Chicago. Both our moms read pieces for us. We wrote our own vows that were both funny and sweet.
We walked out to a song called "Perfect Day" by Hoku, a very upbeat song about just having that perfect day.
Our biggest challenge: Having a lesbian wedding, period. At first, when we told our families about it, even though they support us as a couple, they didn't seem to understand why we would want to do this if it wasn't legal in Illinois. Almost everyone expected us to go to Iowa instead! However, they finally understood why we were having a wedding and celebrating our union with friends and family, even though it wasn't legal. It took some educating (which isn't a bad thing!), but everyone ended up on the same page. We had a blast!
My favorite moment: So many to choose from!
Our vows to each other. We wrote our own vows to each other. There were very witty and meaningful. Neither of us started bawling, but we got pretty close to it.
Seeing everyone after the ceremony was really meaningful. Some people flew in from out of state and we hadn't had a chance to see them until that moment!
Seeing Val's parents dancing to their first dance song (which we actually had to find someone on Craigslist to make it into a MP3 so that we could actually play it!). They didn't get to dance to their song at their own wedding because the band didn't have the sheet music. So we made up for it!
Lindsay's parents' first dance song from their wedding was "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner. As soon as the chorus came on, EVERYONE started singing at the top of their lungs!
The speeches by our best men were just amazing, and I'm so thankful that they were there.
My funniest moment: I think the ending. Val and her two sisters use to watch the (horrid) movie musical "The Pirate Movie" all the time. Val even mentioned she would love for us to dance to the last song "Happy Ending" at some point during out wedding. But we didn't really plan on it.
At the end of the night, one of our friends quietly nudged the DJ to play it. All of a sudden, it started playing. We were pretty surprised. Val, her sisters and some friends, got in line and did the dance routine to the entire thing! What a fun note to leave on!
My advice for offbeat brides: Try *not* to be reading/looking at wedding blogs constantly (sorry OBB! :D). At first, we spent so much time looking at wedding blogs. We saw all of these really cool things and we started getting more and more ideas on what we wanted to do.
Then our ideas started to become cluttered and confusing. We had so many original interests that we wanted to include, then on top of that, we were now trying to add all of these other awesome ideas that we had seen. Finally, we had to take a step back, breathe and narrow the ideas down one by one. People have a TON of great ideas out there – but you can't do them all!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That we rock as a couple! We are awesome at making decisions together, even in stressful situations. And we have our own strengths and interests that we enjoy taking care of (Val likes budgets and planning, Lindsay likes the DIY stuff), and we each did it. We were able to work as a team, yet again and we pulled off something amazing!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photos: Michelle Lytle Photography
- Food: J & L Catering
- Cupcakes: Mollys Cupcakes
- Flowers:Pollen Floral
- Wedding Playbill Holders: Etsy
- Centerpieces (besides Playbill holders and flowers) – Dollar Tree
- Wedding Toppers: The Field Museum Store
- DJ: Nikki CamCam
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!