Spend some time with Carolyn & Mike's "Time in a Bottle"-themed wedding (with musical surprise!) #Real Weddings: Midwest US#chicago#geeky#gold dress#illinois#loft#red hair#winter February 18 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Amanda Megan Miller The Offbeat Bride: Carolyn, Wedding Planner Her offbeat partner: Mike Date and location of wedding: City View Loft, Chicago, IL — December 13, 2014 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: As a wedding planner with a theatre background (and while I love all weddings), I knew I wanted to be different. I wore a custom gold gown from Kate at Modiste1000, and we chose to use Game of Thrones book pages for our flowers. I was never a "theme wedding" kind of gal, but "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce really fit for us, so there I was thrifting clocks and purchasing 100 tiny pocket watches! My mother's bridesmaids walked down the aisle to that song, and the lyric "I've looked around enough to know that you're the one I want to go through time with" really spoke to Mike and I from the start of our relationship. I also wore the same pocket watch around my neck that my grandma did, which was so special to me. Tell us about the ceremony: We wanted to make sure the ceremony was a reflection of our relationship, and the best part was having one of my best friends officiate our wedding ceremony. Tyler Dean teaches comedy and writing at both Second City and Columbia, and the ceremony he wrote was a perfect blend of humor and love. In lieu of traditional readings, Mike and I wrote love letters to each other, read by our closest friends. And it's a good thing we didn't read them ourselves since the tears were flowing! Our biggest challenge: The guest list was a challenge. There are so many wonderful people in our lives, and it was so hard to not invite everyone we've ever met. We were so grateful to everyone who traveled, and it was so overwhelming how excited everyone was for us. It was a good (albeit stressful) problem to have. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been planning weddings for five years, though. I'm so grateful I had the experience. My favorite moment: The music! We have so many talented people in our lives that we just had to use them somehow. Mike's nieces sang "A Thousand Years" for the bridal party with their dad (our brother-in-law) on the guitar. My best friend sang me down the aisle, to "Time in a Bottle." The best part was the surprise at the end. For months, I had been plotting with my (unbelievably talented and wonderful) friends and family to sing "Can't Help Falling In Love" from the musical All Shook Up. Mike had absolutely NO idea this was happening, and it was exactly as I had pictured it. Each friend had an assigned part, and at the key change they all stood up and sang together. The best part was when his sister Kim, who stood up on his side, started to sing. He was flummoxed, to say the least. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever had. I had just married the love of my life, and all of these people were here to celebrate with us, and were singing their hearts out. It was just incredible. The love in the room was palpable. I also recorded the father/daughter dance song for my dad (Taylor Swift's "The Best Day") and he had no idea. There were some tears. And after our dances, we had the BEST TIME with our friends and family, scream singing "Bohemian Rhapsody," dancing to Motown, and doing the Time Warp. It was the danciest of dance parties. My funniest moment: My sister's Maid of Honor speech was absolutely incredible. She was so nervous for months, she even cried about it one time, but when she got that mic in her hand, it was like the beginning of her stand-up career. Everyone was floored and crying with laughter. She worked the room with the ease of a seasoned comedian, and it was so heartfelt. What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That we truly are surrounded by some of the most incredible people ever, and we shouldn't take any of that for granted. And it really does FLY by! We made sure to take a look around every once in a while and say "hey this is our wedding!," since midnight came so fast. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Bride's dress: Modiste 1000 His outfit: a blend of Macy's and Express Flowers: Diddlebug Cake: Luscious Layers, sadly out of business Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! 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 Get wedding-ready fantasy hair color every time you shower with oVertone! NEXT Bringing you the sweetness with a blue-haired bride and a dessert bar to end all dessert bars Show/Hide comments [ 6 ] so much to love right here. i think i'm digging the "surprise" serenade the most. mazel tov! xoxo 2 agree Reply Aw, thank you so much! Reply I hope they know that they're guests singing is going viral! One of the sweetest things i've ever seen!! My friend shared it yesterday, today its still all over my FB. Good for you guys, i totally cried!! Reply So many lovely things about this wedding, but can I just say that, after searching countless of pictures on Pinterest for hair ideas, my first reaction was, "A bride with bangs! And red hair! Finally!!!" Reply GURL I HEAR THAT. It was so hard to find anything I liked!!! I hope planning goes well for you! <3 Reply Really?! That is awesome!!! Where is it being shared from? SO cool! Thank you for letting me know! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment 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.