The Offbeat Bride: Jenny
Her offbeat partner: Reuben
Date and location of wedding: Cultura in Pilsen, Chicago, IL — May 28, 2016
Our offbeat dinosaur wedding at a glance:
Our theme was Jurassic Jamboree. When Reuben and I first met, he had just gotten a Styracosaurus tattoo and was walking around a party holding Princeton's Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Because of how we first met, we started joking about throwing a dinosaur wedding and joked about it long enough that we decided to do it. It made sense.
I had gotten him a dinosaur bone engagement ring. We commissioned a life-size Velociraptor puppet to terrorize our guests via photo booth. I wore amazing gold glitter T-Rex heels that made me feel like an ancient force of nature along with my gigantic King Protea bouquet, crown of succulents, and golden claw. The wedding party wore gold dinosaur boutonnieres with living air plants. We got portraits taken at the Field Museum in front of Sue and also at the prehistoric looking fern room at the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our good friends Irma and Pauline officiated for us along with Pauline's pup Jude (in costume as Nedry from Jurassic Park and a Velociraptor). They opened the ceremony by quoting Laura Dern's lines: "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth." We thought it was hilarious. Not sure about some of our more religious relatives. We aren't very religious ourselves but getting married in an art gallery and being writers, we feel that there is something very sacred about laughter and the act of creation.
We made our own decorations with the help of our little arts community of friends and family and selected some of our favorite poems to be read as part of the ceremony. And after saying our vows and sealing our pact with a kiss, the giant banner with our names we had painted in Jurassic Park font was released to the sound of a mighty roar.
Tell us about your reception:
Our reception was in the same small gallery where we held the ceremony. We decorated with handmade paper flowers and vines that our family and artist friends helped us with. There was a beautiful exhibition that included a painting of an Aztec corn goddess and it felt perfect with some of the Aztec poets we chose to read.
The food was amazing. There were churros and cajeta, which is a goat milk caramel from the city that my family is from in Mexico. So much food! There was a taquiza with all sorts of different fillings. My favorite was sweet potato and chorizo. We set the vibe with a video installation overhead of neon dinosaurs dancing, chomping, or attacking while the DJ played Cumbia jams.
The cake was topped by two gold T-Rexes in a field of succulents and pin cushion proteas. The first slice went to my friend's son who started crying when we cut the cake and saw we were about to take a bite. He earned it. He had seen a velociraptor up close and lived to tell the tale. Our favorite moments were actually seeing how much fun the kids had with the dinosaur puppet.
Another memorable moment came when we realized someone had knocked a work of art off the wall and broke it. We were worried it would be expensive to pay for since the price wasn't even listed, but thankfully the next day found out it was only extra materials the artist had arranged for children to play with at the exhibition.
* Photographer: Analú López
* Photographer: Lauren Reese
* Bouquet and tiara: Eco Boutique by Alejandra
* Invitations and Decorations: Melissa Patiño
* Food: Eating is for Winners
* DJ: Amara Betty Martin aka Rebel Betty
* Dinosaur Special Effects: Mike Barber
* Dinosaur Visual Installation: Calixta