Spend some time with Carolyn & Mike's "Time in a Bottle"-themed wedding (with musical surprise!)

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Photos by Amanda Megan Miller

The Offbeat Bride: Carolyn, Wedding PlannerThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them

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 plannerThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. so much to love right here. i think i'm digging the "surprise" serenade the most. mazel tov! xoxo

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  2. 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!!

  3. 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!!!"

    • GURL I HEAR THAT. It was so hard to find anything I liked!!! I hope planning goes well for you! <3

  4. Really?! That is awesome!!! Where is it being shared from? SO cool! Thank you for letting me know!

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