For nearly a century, The Drake has remained the premier choice for so many timeless Chicago wedding celebrations, which makes The Drake Hotel the perfect location for our Bridal Event. Join us on January 17th from 5 to 8 pm and experience the ideas of Frank J. Andonoplas, Master Bridal Consultant, first hand.
While you are here, you’ll encounter four vignettes featuring Frank’s latest ideas for weddings of each season, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You’ll also have select access to review products and services from some of the city’s most sought-after vendors and view a runway show of the latest bridal fashions.
FRANK’S PREFERRED WEDDING DESTINATION: “Throughout my 18 years as one of the top Wedding Consultants in Chicago, I immediately respond ‘The Drake’ when clients ask for a classic and timeless wedding venue. It’s historic elegance and classic grandeur at its best. I’ve designed some very contemporary looks in this most classic hotel.”
In August 2008, Rebecca D'Madeiros and Bill Duda, both 36, got hitched in Portland, Ore., dressed as Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar (sexy!), with the ceremony performed by Yoda. A bikini-clad Princess Leia was the ring-bearer, and all 70 guests wore "Star Wars" costumes.
In May 2009, U.K. couple Duncan Thomson, 41, and Sammi Gardiner, 39, were wed -- as Han Solo and Princess Leia -- with Darth Vader rasping the vows. Thomson's 18-year-old son (dressed as Chewbacca) was best man, while Gardiner's 20-year-old daughter (clad in Queen Amidala's finest) served as maid of honor. The couple sent invitations to Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, all of whom big-leagued. They also invited George Lucas; he didn't come, but he did send a personal RSVP from Skywalker Ranch.
Intrigued by the phenomenon, we decided to explore firsthand just why these fanboys (and girls) decide to tie the knot in this interplanetary fashion.
Four Days of Star Wars Weddings on the Half-Hour At "Star Wars" Celebration V, a four-day fanfest in Orlando, Fla., couples stepped forward to the shockingly uncheesy Commitment Chapel every half-hour from early in the morning until late in the
evening to exchange light or dark side vows in ceremonies officiated by their choice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader or, for reasons we still don't understand, an Elvisian priest clad in Imperial stormtrooper armor.
The vows were not legally binding, but some of the celebrants intended to make them so at a later date.
Amy Robertson, 24, of Ocala, Fla., and her fiance plan to take the plunge in November, but they went ahead and had Obi-Wan Kenobi tie the knot at Celebration. "This was for us, to take the pressure off. It was cool," Robertson said.
Brandy and Scott Kirkwood of Portland, Ore., had Lord Vader do the honors and will count their commitment ceremony as the real deal (see video). The plan was to head for the courthouse and get the paperwork done soon as they got back to Oregon.
Sometimes, "Star Wars" spawns more than love relationships, including an interesting quadrangle involving two Florida couples who got hitched at Celebration. (This is not going where you think it is.)
Friendships Forged in The Force Rebecca Dima, 39, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., sports a tattoo popular among "Star Wars" folks that's half–Rebel insignia, half-Imperial. One day at work, Josh Schultz, of Stuart, Fla., and a dozen years younger than Rebecca, "saw her tat and lost my sh**."
Rebecca and Josh hit it off immediately; so did their partners. (This is still not going where you think it is.)
Rebecca's husband of 17 years, Joe Dima, is a longtime "Star Wars" fanatic and got her into the game early on. "It was always a part of his life, and I fell in love with it," she says. Rebecca raised the bar when she went beyond the films and "every action figure ever made" and started reading the myriad novels set in the "Star Wars" universe.
Josh met his partner, Courtney Irizarry, via "Star Wars." Through mutual acquaintances, Josh wound up at Courtney's apartment one evening. The life-sized cardboard Han Solo in her home made him think he might have found the one. But, it turns out Courtney just liked Harrison Ford. "I even watched 'Regarding Henry,'" she confesses.
She did like Josh though. The two have been together almost four years now and have a daughter ... but no pals. When Josh met Rebecca, the two couples got together and have become fast friends. When Josh and Courtney decided to take the plunge at Celebration, Joe and Rebecca decided they'd renew their vows as well.
"Everybody Thinks We're Dorks ..." Says Josh, "Joe's the only guy I know in my area [whom] I have anything in common with."
Adds Rebecca, "Everybody at work thinks we're dorks." Worse, Rebecca finally got to meet her idol Carrie Fisher at Celebration -- while reluctantly clad in the white Princess Leia garb she wore for the commitment ceremony.
"I really did not want to meet her wearing this and told her so, but she was really cool about it," Rebecca said. "I only have another year to wear it. Carrie Fisher said when I turn 40 I can't put it on anymore."
"It's amazing to see all the little kids into this, that it's not just our generation," Joe said. "Renewing our vows here was something special and unique to our relationship."
Says Rebecca, "I fell in love with Star Wars when I fell in love with him."