A fabulous retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom


 
Photos by: Mariah Karson
A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom
Photos by Mariah Karson

Offbeat partner: Bridget, social media manager

Offbeat partner: Ryan, mechanic

Date and location of wedding: Superdawg Drive In and Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, IL — October 6, 2017

Budget: $12,000

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

There wasn't a real theme for the wedding, other than "Let's Duerr It," based on our last name. It was our URL, hashtag, and was prominently displayed in large balloons on stage. One friend had made the comment that she felt like she was at a prom, "in the best possible way."

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

Tell us about the ceremony:

We got married at an old drive-in hot dog stand called Superdawg, where we had one of our first dates. Our friends Kate and Pete chauffeured us in their '61 Lincoln Continental and the officiant was our friend Louie. The guest list was about 15 people (plus our dog, Stanley) and the ceremony lasted about five minutes. When we were done, we ordered lunch, took pictures (including a lot of random onlookers), then met back up with everyone later at the reception. During the "down time," Ryan, Kate, Pete and I drove around in the Lincoln and had cocktails to ease into the party.

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

Tell us about your reception:

Oh man, it was FUN and laid back. The vibe was casual — no seating assignments, no dress code (a few friends showed up in jeans and that was totally fine)! Our priorities were food, drinks, and music and we're still receiving great feedback. The dance party seemed to last all night and included a very long conga line, which my mom insisted on starting.

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

About 95% of our wedding was made possible by friends and we wanted that to come across to our guests (these weren't just random people we hired — they're important to us)!

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

Our neighbor, Hipolito, catered an incredible bbq feast (and made my cheese "cake" dreams come true). The cocktails were made by my friends Danny and Mandy of the esteemed cocktail bar, Scofflaw. Our family friend, Eileen, coordinated day-of activities. The DJ was my friend Johnny and photos were from my friend and former roller derby league mate, Mariah.

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

What was your most important lesson learned?

It's easy to get swept up in the tiniest details and what others might want from your day. Try not to overanalyze everything. I'm glad I didn't spend more time/money on things like centerpieces or favors. At the end of the day, I wanted to make sure people got a good meal, good drinks and were having FUN, and I think we did a good job. We couldn't have done it without the talented friends in our lives.

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

One lesson learned: don't try to do everything online. We didn't send out traditional invitations and it confused people of all ages. We sent out postcards with a URL on it. The URL had an RSVP (Google form) on top with the note "No formal invitations will be mailed." The website had all of the information one would need to find the location/date/registries, etc. Simple, right? Apparently I gave my guests too much credit.

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

A retro drive-in meets cocktail party prom

Vendors

Photos: Mariah Karson • Ceremony: Superdawg Drive In • Reception: Logan Square Auditorium • Officiant: Louie Maldonado • Dress: Stop Staring • Suit: St. Louis Suit Company • Makeup: Reesie Stanford • Hair: Amber, Twisted Scissors • Purse: Sink or Swim, Kate Sanderson • Transportation: Kate & Pete + '61 Lincoln Continental • Flowers: Ellen Smith (mom) & Asrai Garden • Event coordinator: Eileen Filbin • Food: Slow Motion for Meat, Hipolito Sanchez • Drinks: Scofflaw Group, Danny Shapiro & Mandy Tandy • Dessert: Stan's Donuts • DJ: Johnny Walker

Gallery

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  1. Love the last line! You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I spent a good amount of time making a website to pass along info that couldn't find in the mailed invitation and we're still being asked the same FAQs. People just don't read anymore and want to be spoofed the info they want at the time they want.

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