So You Wanna Have A Surprise Wedding…

On July 19th I did something I swore I’d never do; I walked down an aisle in a white dress and got married.

dum dum de dum- j/k walked down the isle to "The Veldt"

dum dum de dum- j/k walked down the isle to “The Veldt”

Weddings just aren’t my thing- I’m not into showers, planning, girlie trips, favors, etc. BUT I am very into my new husband and since marriage was very important to him (and a life with him was UBER important to me)- we found a way to both have the most incredible night of our lives. Here’s how it went down: We decided Alex would throw me a “surprise engagement party”, with a small celebration of family and friends at our home and then a larger party at the Art Institute. The invite would say that this would serve as our “wedding” since we planned to do a “destination family-only event”, so guests were encouraged to attend since this was the “big day”. By early Feb both of our Father’s knew what was really going on- this made it easier to help with family and friends, and deliver the message that attendance was encouraged. Next came; Rachel DeMarte (our AMAZING event planner and her husband James), Justin Jacobson and his team including Erin at Platinum Events, Chef Tony and his team at the Art Institute, DJ Matt Roan and his wife/my make up artist Shannon O’Brien,  Rian from Glamour Girl (spray tan) Captain Ron, my hair stylist Tina Morales and photographer James Atkins. Once the trust tree was planted- we focused on what few details really mattered. I wanted; a pink peony bouquet, simple decor, a kick ass playlist, food that was delicious, yet straight forward, an ombre runner I’d seen on Pintrest, and my close girlfriends to all wear white.

Ladies in white

Ladies in white

If I’m being totally honest, some CelebTV homies were also in the loop (they do sit within 5 ft of me/see my computer/question my June & July lack of doing night events)

Jen & Meggy- got bits and pieces of it all. (Alex didn't know I told them...hee hee)

Jen & Meggy- got bits and pieces of it all. (Alex didn’t know I told them…hee hee)

 

Izzo wasn't into walking, so he carried him down the ombre isle

Izzo wasn’t into walking, so he carried him down the ombre isle

this princess stole the show- natch

this princess stole the show- natch

We both agreed to have some fun and incorporate; our two Frenchies and a nautical theme since- our first date was on a boat, we got engaged on a boat and our boat captain Ron was going to marry us. We also wanted; a photo booth, outside venue, McDonald’s to-go at the end of the night, plus plenty for our guests to eat and drink.

El Capitan doing his thing

El Capitan doing his thing

Back to that nautical thing- choosing someone to marry you is NOT an easy task. We agreed that Ron would be perfect since he’d watched us fall in love and he and his wife both take love and marriage very seriously. Thankfully, he not only agreed to become ordained for the occasion, but he delivered a beautifully thoughtful service. And the engagement? I knew he’d ask me sometime between January and July19th…but when he got down on his knees on a boat in Austin, Texas in early May- I was shocked and floored by the element of surprise.

this tourmaline ring is everything I never knew I wanted and more

this watermelon tourmaline ring is everything and more

Know what’s not fun about a wedding like this? You can’t call your girlfriends with the news! You also can’t wear your ring for months!!! (first world problems I know…) And dress shopping? Enjoy that solo mission.

I LOVED this dress- here I am post ceremony with our "ring bearer" - my brother Kyle

I LOVED this dress- here I am post ceremony with our “ring bearer” – my brother Kyle

To be fair, I wanted to do it stealth and after stalking dresses on Pintrest, I fell for the 3rd dress I tried on at Ultimate Bride- by Israeli designer-  Berta Bridal. *side note- apparently you have to order these things 6 months in advance…lucky for me I just made the cutoff*. I picked out vintage jewelry from Vintage Underground in Wicker Park and wore the sparkly Louboutins my guy got me for Christmas for the walk down the isle and then changed into a pair of Rose Gold Nike Sky Hi Dunks I found 3 days before the wedding.

on the way to the AI we id some city pics- peep the kicks

on the way to the AI we id some city pics- peep the kicks

We rented this bad boy to cruise around in

We rented this bad boy to cruise around in

The weekend of the big event I hid out at the Waldorf Astoria so none of the friends or family in town would bump into me and “I’d wonder what they were doing in Chicago” at random! But of course- some surprises were in store for me as well…

Hi friends and family - sorry we fooled you!

Hi friends and family – sorry we fooled you!

The week before; two of my close friends from college let me know they’d be in town out of the blue and my guy “stole their numbers from my phone” and extended the invite. When I saw them walk in, it meant the world.

You're engaged Zink! Nope- I'm married- this is my wedding!

You’re engaged Zink! Nope- I’m married- this is my wedding!

Kellee, Kathleen and the new Mrs. Levy

Kellee, Kathleen and the new Mrs. Levy

My dad who isn’t a big dancer- not only crushed it on the dance floor with me, but he also gave a fantastic toast.

we danced to "God Only Knows"

we danced “butterfly kisses”. SIKKE! “God Only Knows” was our jam

As did my normally shy bestie Kim, who came in from NYC. Policy with Kim and me- in my reception dress Of course, my girlfriends are no dummies and they tried every trick in the book to get me to spill some detail that would reveal what they “thought” was going on.

friends or CIA agents? having some photo booth fun

friends or CIA agents? having some photo booth fun

And Alex, well along with the help of our friend Jason Erkes- well , he got me the best when he announced that Jason Derulo was in the house for a surprise performance.

my face when he said Derulo was in the house

my face when he said Derulo was in the house

still can't believe it's happening

still can’t believe it’s happening

it did happen. photo evidence.

it did happen. photo evidence.

I know what you’re thinking- did the Mom’s kill us? Nope- they were all so happy to see us married that nothing mattered.

Kyle capturing the look on my Mom's face when the bomb was dropped

Kyle capturing the look on my Mom’s face when the bomb was dropped

Guess what? Thanks to our dream team- this night could’t have been more perfect.  And NO they didn’t do this pro bono- so my praise is 100% pure. I’d trust any of them to do this day over again in a heartbeat. Shout out to Mother Nature for the flawless weather too! So what did we avoid? Aside from showers, bach/ette parties, rehearsal dinners, brunches, etc- we didn’t take input from anyone else, and did what made US happy. Isn’t that what love is really all about? *Oh and cheers to Match.com- without you- NONE of this would have possible*

we may have smooched 1 million times

we may have smooched 1 million times

2 Comments

  1. Dana says:

    As a fan of pop culture & celeb tv.com I started following you when I read an online
    As a fan of pop culture & a fan of celeb tv I started following you when I saw an online
    interview about you not wanting to get married. As ” one of those girls” it is extremely hard to find fellow women with the same mentality. So of course I was super excited to find a fellow non believer,which until you I only had Chelsea Handler to look to as well as the icon Oprah. But you were the only one I could connect to an a certain level.
    My friends & family all think I’m super weird & pretty much crazy. ” What kind of girl could not dream about her big day & invison her dress.” Day dream about what her shower would be like as well as all that crap that goes along with weddings. I also refuse to attend weddings, showers or any type of engament party. The only wedding I went to in 34 years was my only sisters & I lived out west so I basically just showed up the night before with the wrong color dress. I have a boyfriend of 2 yr & he knows my feelings, thinks I’m nuts but goes along with it cuz he loves me & I made it clear if he wants to be with me those are my non negotiable conditions.
    Anyhow I guess another one bites the dust & joins the masses. Eats her own words & does what she swore she’d never do
    Beautiful modern wedding & great job on dodging all the cliche wedding events
    Hope u r enjoying the married life

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