Jupe Pappas Emilia Jane 153680 ValTheronWeddingbyEmilia low alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The Offbeat Bride: Val!, TV Video Editor

Her offbeat partner: Theron, CIO at a hospital

Date and location of wedding: Hotel Monaco, Chicago, IL — October 13, 2012

our offbeat wedding at a glance: We picked a boutique hotel in Chicago for our venue that is pet-friendly and super colorful with fun, funky patterns we both loved. We got ready together, Theron curled my hair for me, and my sister did my makeup. My terrific gay cousin officiated for us. I had told him and his life partner years ago that I would love to marry them when New York legalized gay marriage. When it came time for my own wedding, I couldn't think of anyone better to marry us than my cousin David.



Val+Theron+Wedding+by+Emilia+J-2168189175-OWe love food, so our passed hors d'oeuvres were mini beef Wellingtons, butternut squash soup, and crab cakes. We also asked that they import our fave red wine from Chile. Our dinner was amazing chicken and potatoes with foie gras, and Theron's dad's homemade dolmades. Beyond our cake, we had 120 pink birthday cake pops from Starbucks.

Our first dance was a medley of three songs: “Hey there Delilah” (since I lived in New York and he in Chicago when we first started dating) meshed into Keith Urban's “Making Memories of Us” meshed into Flogging Molly's “Devil's Dance Floor” (where we got to do some swing moves and flips). [Editor's note: learn to edit your own dance medley![

Instead of a photo booth, we had a flip book video stand where guests could make short videos with props from Occasional Memories. You can see how the videos turned out here.

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I had three dress costume changes, and Theron had a cravat and vest change. It made us feel glamorous!


Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony started with this video which we'd made a couple of weeks before:

Theron entered carrying a kir royale (we offered Kirs and Bellinis to our guests for the ceremony part). Our bridal party entered to “I Gotta Feeling,” and they all danced up the aisle.


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Everyone stood when our DJ played the organ music for the traditional bridal song. Then they heard a record scratch and Spin Doctor's “Cleopatra's Cat” came on (my favorite song since I was 14). I linked arms with my mom and dad and we walked up the aisle together.


My vows to Theron were written as a poem, that very day:

You bring me flowers
which are lovely
but petals fall,
and leaves.

I much prefer the way you wear
your heart and mind upon your sleeve.

And while we sometimes walk the shore
and gaze at nature's stock and store.
My own heart knows
that it will grow
to love you always more and more.

With snuggles you make me feel whole
your happy tears of sentiment
only further help cement
your soul's safe spot within my soul.

I love the silly songs you sing
Your my perfect kind of crazy.
You know how to make me smile and laugh
and will always be my baby.

Your friendship I will cherish
and repay in every way
and will be right beside you
throughout the end of days.


His vows to me:

My love, my life, my Valerie,
I'm here with you,
listen to my voice, be calm, and let us remember this once in a lifetime moment.
We have already created so many wonderful memories and I know that there will be many more to come.

I vow to you my love, I vow to you truth and continued honesty, and I vow to you unwavering support and companionship.

Let me be your freedom, beside you always.
Let me be your shelter, to guard you from your fears.

And because I know you so well Val, I know I will need to say this again.

I vow to you my love, I vow to you truth and continued honesty, and I vow to you unwavering support and companionship.
Let me be you freedom, beside you always.
Let me be your shelter, to guard you from your fears.

And yes I promise,

and I promise forever.

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The first cake company didn't work out either, but Alyssa, our coordinator at the Monaco, hooked us up with an amazing cake duo who came to our rescue.


My favorite moment: I loved getting ready with Theron. It was an intimate moment we needed. Walking down the aisle with my mom and dad was great too. I was so excited, I started getting onto the stage before my cousin had a chance to ask, “Who gives away this elegant young lady to this man?” Mom and dad had to pull me back down! It was funny because my sister also messed up that part of her wedding. She got to the front and their officiant forgot to ask!


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Some of the most meaningful moments for us were the impromptu speeches. After my sister (my maid of honor) and Theron's brother (best man) gave speeches, we opened it up to anyone who wanted to give speeches. Theron cried when his middle brother gave an amazing speech, as well as his uncle and godfather. Our friend from Chicago knew us from the beginning and gave a speech that really touched us. Our close friend here in Sheboygan said she wants to one day find someone who she works so well with in the kitchen. Even my aunt Linda gave a speech, and she is a very quiet lady. My adopted brother also gave a great speech. We were really touched by them all.


Oh, and my cousin surprised us with an amazing finger-print art of our life in Chicago. We loved it, as you can see!


Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was a little worried about the photos because of how dark the venue was, but that was just silly as our photographer, Emilia Jane, is truly skilled, as is her second shooter.


My advice for Offbeat Brides: There will be stress, and nights of stress dreams, so grab onto the one you love and remind yourself why you're doing this. The memories you are making will be special, and you will hopefully see the wonderful sides of the people you love.

I also suggest impromptu speeches, crazy sunglasses, glow necklaces, flip book stands, cake pops, and great food and great wine. Oh, and a fun DJ!

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photography: Emilia Jane Photography

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Comments on Val & Theron’s sparkly foodie costume change wedding

  1. Yippie!!! So excited to see this posted! Emilia told me about it 😀

    To explain our cake and topper – we call each other puppy and kitty – and the topper was based on a comic I made of ‘puppy kitty’ going downtown for Christmas. They are tying a knot of course!

    The top tier of our cake has our wedding logo – the Irish symbol w/the Greek key inside it.

    The center tier has Avid keys because that is the editing system I use.

    The bottom half is a take on a Greek key pattern we found at the hotel 😉

    Also my cousin gave us an amazing ceremony with so many wonderful bits and a second set of awesome vows!

    And all three of my bridesmaids and my bridesguy read poems during the ceremony. It was really awesome 🙂

    You can find me on the tribe here: http://tribe.offbeatwed.com/members/kawaiicat7/


  2. Awesome coverage of an amazing, fun and beautiful wedding! I loved it all from the opening video to the last dance. Everything and everyone was beautiful and full of joy.

    • Thank you Momma 😀 <3 <3 you're the best! I agree and love your last line!

  3. Oh, so many of these photos made me tear up! LOVE: the bride’s hair, the cake, the VOWS. Amazing.

    • Oohh! thank you so much!!! my cousin’s vows he made were so awesome as well <3 Thank you so much

  4. OMG That dress is just amazing on her. Amazing dress and amazing bride! I think I’m going to have squeegasms from looking at this- so so pretty!

  5. I loved ever moment of this! The vows were beautiful, the picture of you two getting ready together made me giddy ( so cute!), the video was amazing and all the dresses were stunning!
    A million congratulations from another offbeat bride!

    • Thank you Amanda!! Yay for giddiness! And so glad you liked the video – it was so fun to do!
      A million thank yous 🙂

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