Amanda & Jose's DIY superhero wedding #Real Weddings: Midwest US#autumn#barn#classic car#comic books#couples of color#DIY#economical wedding#fascinator#illinois#photo booth#rock band#superhero April 18 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Jo Beaudreaux 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. Superhero table markers! 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! Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS New England's Real Wedding Films are NOT your average wedding videos NEXT A Rube Goldberg machine and epic gamefest wedding Show/Hide comments [ 13 ] I've gone back and forth so much on whether I would enjoy a live band or not. Your post is definitely swaying me a little bit! Beautiful wedding! Congrats! Reply Live bands bring something to the party. Even better, they made our announcements for us, set the mood, and did a great job! Reply A friend of mine had his reception at this venue, and I LOVE it! So glad to see it again! I only wish I was also getting hitched in Chicago. Reply They were so good to us! Glad you loved it Reply My grandparents got married at Sacred Heart too! (though we are not getting married there) Beautiful wedding, congrats! Reply Such a unique, old church. Thank you, Laura! Reply Ahhh, I love the idea of setting up a separate savings account and just letting it sit for awhile until the wedding. How long were you guys engaged for? Also, any more info on how you set up your DIY photo booth? I have pretty much every Offbeat Bride link bookmarked, and I would love to know how you did it–I'm planning on creating my own vision from all the resources on here! Thanks if you can Reply The photo booth was a blast. I borrowed a lot of ideas and based the design off of the actual photo booth from our engagement photos. Really, it was a shell made of PVC pipe (cheap stuff!), curtains, and foam board covered w/vinyl. Inside we had a bench and a tripod w/camera. I purchased a remote for guests to take their own photos. The only down side was guests did not get their photos automatically, I mailed the printed photos w/the thank you cards. I wanted it to feel like a real booth, so we kept it small so guests would have to squeeze in there (that's most of the fun!). Does that help? Good luck!! Reply Oh my gosh! I have been looking everywhere for a cake topper like that! Please please please…where did you get it? My FH insists on a superman cake topper, but the only ones I have found are really cheesy looking. Reply I had the same problem, so I decided to make my own! I purchased the cake topper from a local bakery, took it apart, painted it and customized it. If you look closely, you can tell I painted over the grooms button up shirt, but we still loved it. I put the DIY instructions on an old blog: http://bit.ly/SuperManCT Reply SO helpful! Thank you! I absolutely love it. I'm doing this (unless Isaac my FH finds something he likes better). Reply This looks so perfect. My fiance and I are looking for something local in the suburbs. Any other venue suggestions or catering? This is definitely somewhere we missed so thank you. Reply Sounds great. We also really loved Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge in Hinsdale, IL. The lodge is gorgeous, but a bit too far for some of our guests. Two other places we visited: The Glessner House in the Prairie Avenue District of Chicago; and Promontory Point in Hyde Park, Chicago. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.