Adler Planetarium Chicago Gay Civil Union Wedding : Sofya & Juliene
What a ton of fun! I have photographed my share of gay weddings and civil unions (when they were still not legal), but not like this! Talented wedding designer Frank Andonoplas from Frank Event Design brought together an incredible team of vendors which made my job 10,000 times easier. Go on, take a look! Oh, be warned the long blog post of images. Too much time, energy and artistry went into this event to cut it short with a concise edit.
Juliene & her wife, Sofya, held their gay civil union at the Adler Planetarium. Frost and Kehoe had about 1.5 hours to take out all the seats and turn the Grainger Sky Theater into a custom, in-the-round, wedding ceremony with the most spectacular cobalt blue ceiling. The ladies were a hoot, and hired me to document their entire weekend from Friday night through Sunday. Saturday was tricky, as both ladies dressed at the Princess Diana Suite at the Drake Hotel, but did not want to see each other until their official first look. Complicated? Yea. Completely. But, with success.
Because this was my first gay wedding that was a legal marriage between the same sex, I have to admit, it was a special time for me as well. Having just been married 2 weeks at that time, the understanding of what was happening between them was fresh and quite clear. However, my wedding had 4 people. But truly, on an intimate and emotional level, I got it.
The ceremony was spectacular and special. Tears were shed. Some were happy tears, while others were sad. Not everyone showed up to join the ladies. And while there are close friends and other family in strong support, it still doesn't take away the pain. I rode the roller-coaster with them. The reception was met by some touching toasts (and a drag queen) and followed by constant dancing to not only a DJ, but a VJ who projected music videos on white bubbles suspended over the dance floor. No tears were shed on the floor and no one left the floor. The only thing that stopped the party was the end of the night when it was time to shut down.
Juliene & Sofia, thank you for allowing me to celebrate your marriage to one another. I am looking forward to building your album. It is going to be beautiful.
Juliene Britz and Sofya Asfaw
Ceremony: Adler Planetarium
Reception: Adler Planetarium
Wedding Consultant: Frank Event Design
Caterer: Food for Thought
Wedding Cake: Sarah's
Host Hotel: The Drake Hotel
Wedding Dress: Alda Designs
Wedding Rings: Tacori and Jane Dee
Second Shooters: Chadd Foy and Carlos Baez