Offbeat partner: Darcie, Graphic Designer
Offbeat partner: Lucas, Bread Baker
Date and location of wedding: At our favorite brewery, Revolution Brewing, in Chicago, Illinois — July 23, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We knew from the beginning that the theme of our wedding would be "wedding," and the colors would be whatever they ended up being! We also knew that the bulk of our budget was going towards feeding and boozing up our guests, so I was set on creating the decorations and floral arrangements, invitations and programs, and signs and graphics myself.
Both the ceremony and reception were very focused on family — our siblings were standing up with us on our respective sides, and our parents and siblings were at the "head" table (which was located in the middle of the room). We ditched several traditions (cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc.) that would eat up time so we could get straight to eating and dancing.
All of the professional vendors I hired also happened to be friends of mine (one of the perks of living in Chicago), so the ceremony and reception were extremely intimate. Our getaway car was my motorcycle — my husband jumped on the back and held my dress as we rode away with cans sounding the alarm of our nuptials.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I surprised my husband by walking down the aisle to "Take My Breath Away" which caused all the guests to laugh. We had an intimate ceremony officiated by my best friend of 12 years. It was full of inside jokes, vows both serious and humorous, Harry Potter quotes, readings from friends, and lots of happy tears (mostly from Lucas, my husband).
My husband is Jew-“ish,” so I wanted to add the breaking of the glass at the end of the ceremony. Traditionally the glass is stepped on by the groom, but we surprised our family by bringing out 10 wrapped light bulbs (that I sewed into silk pouches a few nights before) so we could all break the glass together at the same time, followed by a "MAZEL TOV" from the guests. It symbolized the joining of our families and that this was about more than just my husband and me. The bouquets were a mix of handmade silk roses (each petal cut out, edges melted to curl, and glued onto a stem one at a time), fabric remnants from our mothers and grandmothers, and fresh greens.
Tell us about your reception:
I fell in love with this brewery as my venue because it's a bar we frequent — we felt comfortable being there. We wanted it to feel intimate, so having a familiar setting that could fit our family and best friends was our number one priority. And it has super high ceilings, so I loved feeling short for the day (I'm six feet tall).
The decor was all handmade by me: welcome sign hand-cut from foamcore and glued/wired together, paper flowers from hand-dyed and painted coffee filters, seating chart/programs/menus designed. I started at least 12 months before the wedding. I knew I didn't want to make anything in the month leading up to the big day.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Planning a wedding is a lot of work, and honestly turned into a part-time job (that I loved, but it sucked up a lot of time). Ask for help when you need it, accept help from those who offer. Know that people often DO really want to help! Don't be afraid to say no to someone else's ideas. This is your wedding, you should have what you want (within reason & budget, of course!)
In my first 30 days of planning, I focused first on trying to find a venue (knowing the date would fall into place after it was chosen). I became very discouraged after finding out prices were out of budget for the venues I fell in love with. It was good to take a week or so off from looking around and letting the dollar signs haunt me in my sleep. I just started talking to people who had gotten married and found a friend who raved about her reasonably priced venue and the planning staff that made it SEAMLESS. It made me sit down and make a list of what was most important to me and what I could do without.
Ceremony & Reception: Revolution Brewing • Photographer: Mark Federighi Photography • DJ: Major Taylor • Videographer: Andy Alguire @ Skill Shot Films • Hair: Jana @ Art + Science • Dress: BHLDN • Suit: Suitsupply