Monica & Anthony's Mexican-American sugar skull soiree

By on Nov 1st Photos by Icarus Photographic

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange? This is Halloween… week! Today's wedding is a bonus Dia de los Muertos-themed shindig!

The Offbeat Bride: Monica, stylist and makeup artist

Her offbeat partner: Anthony, stylist and salon manager

Date and location of wedding: Cilantro, Homewood, IL — October 29, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We kept certain aspects traditional: church ceremony, white dress, dinner, and dancing. But our smaller details were more in line with a Dia de los Muertos theme, like sugar skulls on the invites, an autograph skull instead of a guest book, sparkly skull necklace instead of a string of pearls, and lots more SKULLS! Margaritas flowed while chips and guacamole, quesadillas, and a build-your-own fajita bar filled our bellies.

Cupcakes!

These Are the Details That Blew My Mind

Bad-Ass Babes of the South Side

Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was at the Oak Lawn Methodist Church, which is a glorious vintage gem! We had a pianist play the Smashing Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" while the wedding party entered and my father walked me down the aisle.

My Favorite Shot, For Sentimental Reasons

Didn't See This Pic Until Recently

The service itself was short and to the point — no readings and no communion. We lit our unity candle while Nine Inch Nails' "La Mer" played. I was so fluttery, I don't really remember the rest of the experience. I was honestly just happy I didn't trip, start a fire, or pass out. I do remember that the vows I recited were the very same that my parents recited over 30 years prior, even the removal of that pesky little part about obeying.

Unity Candle

Leaving The Church

Our biggest challenge: We planned the wedding in five months. Having too little time and money proved challenging because I didn't have enough time to order things for fear that they wouldn't be here in time. For our own sanity, we decided to do away with most of the traditional details that would have costs us more money and time, such as programs, thank-you gifts, place cards (actually, the whole seating plan!), and the bouquet and garter toss.

Our Cake Topper

My favorite moment: Our officiant was a retired Methodist minister who also performed my sister's wedding three years earlier, and my parent's renewal of their vows on their 25th anniversary, AND my grandparent's renewal on their 50th! So that was special for me.

There was also a special moment when, after a close family friend said the meal blessing in English, my mom handed the mic to my grandmother, who said the traditional meal prayer in Spanish, as I always did, every day before every meal growing up.

One of My Favorite Moments of the Evening!

Another moment, towards the end of the night, was when the entire dance floor cleared for Anthony's grandfather and lady-friend to leave. They use walkers to get around, and with that extra support, they felt confident enough to dance and shimmy towards the door while the rest of the crowd clapped and cheered them on. His grandfather passed away a few months later, and this moment shines on as a great memory for the entire family.

Our Guest Skull

My advice for offbeat brides: Something goes wrong at every wedding. I've attended, worked, and stood up in enough to know this. I poked myself fixing someone's boutonniere and a few drops of blood fell on my dress. The last hour of my wedding, one of my last-minute DIY alterations on my dress came undone.

When that something inevitably happens to you: acknowledge it, laugh about it, and move on. If you dwell on what went wrong, it'll cast a shadow not only over the rest of the night, but also in your memory of the day.

Photos Do Not Do This Justice

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!