Offbeat partner: Jennifer
Offbeat partner: Peter
Date and location of wedding: Lacuna Artists Lofts, Chicago, IL — June 1, 2017
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
Our wedding was an all day event for all our family and friends. Our focus was art, making, adventure, and, of course, love. We planned a beautiful rooftop afternoon ceremony in Pilsen, at Lacuna Artists Lofts. This graffiti-filled, mixed use space was amazing and beautiful. It also got our small-town families out of the Loop. After the ceremony, we put all of our 100 guests onto chartered buses and took them to Lillstreet Art Center for four different art classes and snacks. (I used a propane torch on my wedding dress!) After crafternoon, we got back on buses to Pilsen and ate and danced the night away surrounded by amazing urban art and drinking from bars made out of shipping containers.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Here's our abbreviated script:
Clayton, our officiant: Peter and Jenn have asked me to read a translated Chinese poem entitled “Married Love” by Kuan Tao-Sheng.
You and I
Have so much love,
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.
We wrote our own vows:
Joyce: Now that Peter and Jenn have shared their vows they enter into covenant.
Joyce: Jennifer, Do you willingly and joyfully enter into this lifelong partnership with Peter, loving what you know of him, and trusting what you do not yet know?
Jennifer: I do.
Peter: Thank you.
Joyce: Peter, Do you willingly and joyfully enter into this lifelong partnership with Jennifer, loving what you know of her, and trusting what you do not yet know?
Peter: I do.
Jennifer: Thank you.
Joyce: Family and friends, do you promise to joyfully celebrate and support Jennifer and Peter, working together to build their strengths and providing a loving community in hard times? If so, please answer, “we do.”
Everyone: We do.
Jennifer and Peter: Thank you.
Tell us about your reception:
Crafternoon: After the ceremony, we put all of our 100 guests onto chartered buses and took them to Lillstreet Art Center. Learning a new skill is one of our favorite ways to bond as a couple, so instead of favors, we wanted to give our guests the gift of a new skill. We hired four artists from the Art Center along with assistants, supplies, and rooms. Our guests RSVP'd to our wedding using an online form and got their choice of all or some of the classes. Guests could work on a triptych painting for our home (we worked with the artist to design a landscape and pencil it on three large canvases that our guests could fill in.) The painting is now hanging in our Chicago home.
Guests had the opportunity to make and glaze clay tiles that we picked up after they were fired about a week later. Then, there was cold metal work, making a hammered copper key chain in your suit and tie. Then, my favorite: torch glass bead making! Each guest had an opportunity to make one glass bead sitting at a propane torch. We had a central room with painting and ceramics that also had a few snacks for people to munch on if they preferred to mingle. We even got to go to the roof of the studio and check out their bee hives (we keep bees at home). Peter got stung! After crafternoon, we got back on the buses, went back to the artist lofts, ate, drank, and danced the night away. Highlight: Peter and I waltzed to Kermit singing "Rainbow Connection" for our first dance.
What was your most important lesson learned?
We sat down and decided what things were very important to us and what words we hoped people would walk away with months before really buckling down to plan. It helped us understand what the other person wanted and avoid assumptions.
The other thing I would say is that we trusted professionals. I know there is a lot of DIY out there and we love making things ourselves, but we also firmly believe that if someone does something professionally, trust them to do it. We had a larger budget because of that, but we researched our vendors and gave our money to independent artists, offbeat companies, and really fun people. It made our day stress-free and beautiful.
- Event Planning: An Event Less Ordinary
- Photographer: Erin Hoyt Photography
- Shout out to our amazing engagement photographer: Sebastian Orr
- Venue & Catering: Lacuna Artists Lofts
- Crafternoon: Lillstreet Art Center
- Dress (Custom): Mignonette Bridal
- DJ: Cage and Aquarium
- Hair: We Only Do Pretty
- Makeup: Kat Dejesus
- Bouquet and boutonnieres: Flowers for Dreams