Val & Theron's sparkly foodie costume change wedding #Real Weddings: Midwest US#autumn#brooch bouquet#chicago#custom-made artwork#feathers#illinois#non-floral bouquet#paper flowers#pink hair#reception dress#vow examples November 28 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Emilia Jane The Offbeat Bride: Val!, TV Video Editor Her offbeat partner: Theron, CIO at a hospital Date and location of wedding: Hotel Monaco, Chicago, IL — October 13, 2012 our offbeat wedding at a glance: We picked a boutique hotel in Chicago for our venue that is pet-friendly and super colorful with fun, funky patterns we both loved. We got ready together, Theron curled my hair for me, and my sister did my makeup. My terrific gay cousin officiated for us. I had told him and his life partner years ago that I would love to marry them when New York legalized gay marriage. When it came time for my own wedding, I couldn't think of anyone better to marry us than my cousin David. We love food, so our passed hors d'oeuvres were mini beef Wellingtons, butternut squash soup, and crab cakes. We also asked that they import our fave red wine from Chile. Our dinner was amazing chicken and potatoes with foie gras, and Theron's dad's homemade dolmades. Beyond our cake, we had 120 pink birthday cake pops from Starbucks. Our first dance was a medley of three songs: "Hey there Delilah" (since I lived in New York and he in Chicago when we first started dating) meshed into Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us" meshed into Flogging Molly's "Devil's Dance Floor" (where we got to do some swing moves and flips). [Editor's note: learn to edit your own dance medley![ Instead of a photo booth, we had a flip book video stand where guests could make short videos with props from Occasional Memories. You can see how the videos turned out here. I had three dress costume changes, and Theron had a cravat and vest change. It made us feel glamorous! Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony started with this video which we'd made a couple of weeks before: Theron entered carrying a kir royale (we offered Kirs and Bellinis to our guests for the ceremony part). Our bridal party entered to "I Gotta Feeling," and they all danced up the aisle. Everyone stood when our DJ played the organ music for the traditional bridal song. Then they heard a record scratch and Spin Doctor's "Cleopatra's Cat" came on (my favorite song since I was 14). I linked arms with my mom and dad and we walked up the aisle together. My vows to Theron were written as a poem, that very day: You bring me flowers which are lovely but petals fall, and leaves. I much prefer the way you wear your heart and mind upon your sleeve. And while we sometimes walk the shore and gaze at nature's stock and store. My own heart knows that it will grow to love you always more and more. With snuggles you make me feel whole your happy tears of sentiment only further help cement your soul's safe spot within my soul. I love the silly songs you sing Your my perfect kind of crazy. You know how to make me smile and laugh and will always be my baby. Your friendship I will cherish and repay in every way and will be right beside you throughout the end of days. His vows to me: My love, my life, my Valerie, I'm here with you, listen to my voice, be calm, and let us remember this once in a lifetime moment. We have already created so many wonderful memories and I know that there will be many more to come. I vow to you my love, I vow to you truth and continued honesty, and I vow to you unwavering support and companionship. Let me be your freedom, beside you always. Let me be your shelter, to guard you from your fears. And because I know you so well Val, I know I will need to say this again. I vow to you my love, I vow to you truth and continued honesty, and I vow to you unwavering support and companionship. Let me be you freedom, beside you always. Let me be your shelter, to guard you from your fears. And yes I promise, and I promise forever. The first cake company didn't work out either, but Alyssa, our coordinator at the Monaco, hooked us up with an amazing cake duo who came to our rescue. My favorite moment: I loved getting ready with Theron. It was an intimate moment we needed. Walking down the aisle with my mom and dad was great too. I was so excited, I started getting onto the stage before my cousin had a chance to ask, "Who gives away this elegant young lady to this man?" Mom and dad had to pull me back down! It was funny because my sister also messed up that part of her wedding. She got to the front and their officiant forgot to ask! Some of the most meaningful moments for us were the impromptu speeches. After my sister (my maid of honor) and Theron's brother (best man) gave speeches, we opened it up to anyone who wanted to give speeches. Theron cried when his middle brother gave an amazing speech, as well as his uncle and godfather. Our friend from Chicago knew us from the beginning and gave a speech that really touched us. Our close friend here in Sheboygan said she wants to one day find someone who she works so well with in the kitchen. Even my aunt Linda gave a speech, and she is a very quiet lady. My adopted brother also gave a great speech. We were really touched by them all. Oh, and my cousin surprised us with an amazing finger-print art of our life in Chicago. We loved it, as you can see! Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was a little worried about the photos because of how dark the venue was, but that was just silly as our photographer, Emilia Jane, is truly skilled, as is her second shooter. My advice for Offbeat Brides: There will be stress, and nights of stress dreams, so grab onto the one you love and remind yourself why you're doing this. The memories you are making will be special, and you will hopefully see the wonderful sides of the people you love. I also suggest impromptu speeches, crazy sunglasses, glow necklaces, flip book stands, cake pops, and great food and great wine. Oh, and a fun DJ! Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Photography: Emilia Jane Photography Bride's dresses: Terani and Jovani, and an old Jessica McClintock I'd worn for my college graduation that my sister also wore at the second half of her wedding. DJ: Brent from Fig Media (I could not recommend him more) My cousin's brooch bouquet: Etsy seller Nicolasa My sister's feather bouquet: Etsy seller Kirsten Danger My good friend Belinda's paper flower bouquet: Etsy seller MyWoollyMammoth Cake topper: Etsy seller Chikipita Earrings: Etsy seller Mashugana My sister's fascinator: Etsy seller Buymelove Wedding gifts for the bridesmaids and bridesguy: Etsy seller Rainnua Cake pop stand: Etsy seller Customcakepopstands Flask and matching garter: Etsy seller YouNiqueGarters Birdcage veil: Etsy seller IceGreenEyes Bespoke shoes: The Crystal Shoe Company Bouquet and table displays: Flower Firm Flip book company: Occasional Memories Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: Emilia Jane Photography 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 Find your dream DIY wedding hair with How-to Hair Girl NEXT Make marshmallow art toppers for your wedding cupcakes Show/Hide comments [ 14 ] Yippie!!! So excited to see this posted! Emilia told me about it 😀 To explain our cake and topper – we call each other puppy and kitty – and the topper was based on a comic I made of 'puppy kitty' going downtown for Christmas. They are tying a knot of course! The top tier of our cake has our wedding logo – the Irish symbol w/the Greek key inside it. The center tier has Avid keys because that is the editing system I use. The bottom half is a take on a Greek key pattern we found at the hotel 😉 Also my cousin gave us an amazing ceremony with so many wonderful bits and a second set of awesome vows! And all three of my bridesmaids and my bridesguy read poems during the ceremony. It was really awesome You can find me on the tribe here: http://tribe.offbeatbride.com/members/kawaiicat7/ =) 1 agrees Reply LOVE that one shoulder number! Thanks for sharing all the details! 1 agrees Reply Yay! Thank you all for the beautiful feature!! XXOO 1 agrees Reply Awesome coverage of an amazing, fun and beautiful wedding! I loved it all from the opening video to the last dance. Everything and everyone was beautiful and full of joy. 1 agrees Reply Thank you Momma 😀 <3 <3 you're the best! I agree and love your last line! Reply My husband and I were visiting Chicago that weekend! How fun! 1 agrees Reply Oh, so many of these photos made me tear up! LOVE: the bride's hair, the cake, the VOWS. Amazing. 1 agrees Reply Oohh! thank you so much!!! my cousin's vows he made were so awesome as well <3 Thank you so much Reply Dem dresses! <3 2 agree Reply Most. FUN. Wedding. EVER!!! Love y'all <3 1 agrees Reply OMG That dress is just amazing on her. Amazing dress and amazing bride! I think I'm going to have squeegasms from looking at this- so so pretty! 1 agrees Reply awww thank u sooo much!!! Reply I loved ever moment of this! The vows were beautiful, the picture of you two getting ready together made me giddy ( so cute!), the video was amazing and all the dresses were stunning! A million congratulations from another offbeat bride! 1 agrees Reply Thank you Amanda!! Yay for giddiness! And so glad you liked the video – it was so fun to do! A million thank yous 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. 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