Kendall & Alex's Portillo's-fueled crafty wedding

October 22 |
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Photos by Mike and Frida Photography

The offbeat bride: Kendall, Manager of Customer Experience

Her offbeat partner: Alex, Senior Coordinator

Date and location of wedding: Women's Club of Evanston, Evanston, IL — July 28, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We found out early on how expensive weddings can be. When we got quoted a really expensive price for the catering alone, Alex and I promptly called Portillo's, a Chicago-area favorite, to cater with their amazing food. To top off the night, we called Molly's Cupcakes to supply the mini-cake deliciousness. By getting catering that was more reasonable, we were able to stay on budget and put our money towards other details and craft projects (like the origami bouquets!)

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When food was taken care of, we found an amazing DJ at Toast and Jam, worked for three months to hand-make origami bouquets and flowers, and to make everything a bit sweeter, we did it all on a fairly modest budget.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Alex incorporated his favorite quote which summed up our relationship, the ceremony style, and the day perfectly: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" – Kurt Vonnegut.

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My favorite moment: My favorite moments were at the actual ceremony: from my uncle who presided over the ceremony forgetting to tell the guests to sit down, to Alex's fidgety hands in mine.

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My funniest moment: When I had to ask my uncle (our officiant) to repeat the "I Dos" section I was like a deer in the headlights. Alex said his part perfectly, and I froze up after I couldn't remember the first line, then the second, and the third. Crap. Alex just mouthed "it's okay, just ask." So I did, and everyone laughed. My uncle had to break it down to about three words for me to repeat at a time. Thank goodness I'm not in the business of public speaking.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don't compare your wedding to others, and if you don't want to stress about your planning, just stop talking about your wedding outside of you and your partner. The more you talk about it, the more you compare what you're doing to other people's weddings. Don't go too overboard with Pinterest, too. It can be overwhelming.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Don't sweat the small stuff. Put your energy and focus into what you would want (ours was food, booze, and music).

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. This dress by Jasmine is beautiful. The neckline is unique and extremely flattering!

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  2. DAMMIT!! Now I am jonesing for Portillos… Damn you offbeatbride!

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    • I'm from Chicago and of course my fave fast food is Portillos…grew up telling my parents that i would have them cater my wedding… low and behold they don't cater in Minnesota and having the wedding in Chicago would be impossible… so i agree jonesing for portillos its been 3 years… :(

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  3. Hi Kendall,
    Beautiful wedding, thanks for sharing! I'm making origami flowers too and having loads of fun with them, but am unsure how to put them together. Did you use a styrofoam ball? Do you have any tips? Thanks.

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    • Hi Liz,

      Thank you so much! Our wedding was the best day of my life (so far) and the flowers were worth every papercut and hot glue burn! The step-by-step I followed called for regular elmer's glue — don't listen to that. Hot flue was the only way to go. It worked instantly and held for over three months leading up to the wedding. Hot glue the petals together and then hot-glue a thin craft wire rod with about an inch sticking out of the bottom. Stick that in a styrofoam ball and repeat for about 30-40 flowers. It creates a beautiful effect, and if you want a bit more hold, hot glue the rod before sticking into the ball. Those flowers won't move an inch. Hope this helps and happy crafting!! Be sure to share pictures on OffBeat!!
      Cheers,
      Kendall

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  4. We might have to hire these guys for our wedding…wow!

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  5. Portillo's! Brilliant! I should have thought of that!

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  6. I LOVE your wedding! It looks like it was beautiful.
    Just out of curiosity, how many people did you have attending? I have thought of using portillos/Gino's East to cater, so I want to know if it is fesile!

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    • Hi Kaitlynn,
      Thank you so much! Portillo's was a huge hit at our wedding. Very affordable, tons of leftovers and happy, happy guests. We had 150 guests total and many of them hungry Chicagoans (man, can those men eat). We had enough food to feed an army and more than enough leftover. Reach out to Nancy at Portillo's catering and she can put something great together for you!! Happy planning!!
      Cheers,
      Kendall

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      • Hi Kendall,
        Your wedding was beautiful! I have a younger daughter that is into origami and would love your idea. My daughter and her fiance are planning their wedding and are considering Portillo's to cater. What types of food from there did you order and was it "messy" as Italian beef sandwiches can get? Your wedding was very elegant.

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