The offbeat bride: Amanda, Artist and Office Manager
Her offbeat partner: Jose, Silk Screen Technician
Date and location of wedding: Olympia Fields Park District, Sgt. Means Park Barn, Olympia Fields, Illinois — September 24, 2011
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We took what we love and created an art-inspired wedding. Being an artist, I wanted to show my crafty side. Jose, being a comic book fanatic, wanted to include superhero references. Over the last seven years of dating, we have a photo strip collection dating back to 2004, which we also wanted to include somehow. We DIYed a photo booth with help from family, a couple of feet of PVC pipe, and a few yards of red fabric.
Tell us about the ceremony: The church we were married in, Sacred Heart Church located on the south side of Chicago, is a very old church with personal family history. My grandmother grew up going to this church and her grandparents were married here. The church has natural charm and is very decorative with statues, paintings, architectural features, and stained glass windows, so we decided not to bring our own decoration into the church.
Our ceremony was very short, only about 20 minutes long. Our godmothers did two readings, and before we knew it, we were reading our vows. We asked the church organist to play two songs for us, one in the beginning, one at the end. And we had our two best friends stand up as our witnesses.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was staying within budget, since we were paying for everything ourselves. When we first set the budget, we just didn't know how expensive weddings could be. We had to be flexible, keep organized, and be real about venues and catering. We looked at several venues before deciding on a park district's headquarters, which was an old, white barn.
What was really great and helped keep costs low was that the chairs and tables were included in the rental package and we didn't have to worry too much about beautifying the space, because it was already gorgeous. Little things like that helped keep our budget where we needed it to be.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We went back and forth about a wedding band and dance floor. From the beginning, he was against a live band and filling the limited floor space with a dance floor since he believed no one in his family would dance. I worked for a country club as a wedding server, and after seeing a whole summer's worth of weddings, knew I wanted a live band. Jose relented and it ended up being a lot of fun.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: As soon as we decided to get married, we opened up a separate savings account just for the wedding. For nine months the account sat without any withdrawals, just deposits. We contributed what we could each pay-day. Having this money was great during the planning, and helped a lot when it came time for deposits and final payments.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Jo Beaudreaux
- Table markers and superhero sketches: Erica Hayes
- Venue: Olympia Fields Park District
- Bride's dress: Windsor
- Bride's hairpiece: Etsy seller bluesugarbridal
- Photo booth: Photobooth.net
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!