After a five year relationship, a two year engagement, and more than a few venue changes...Rocco Gonzalez and Marek Bute were finally, joyfully wed in Chicago on Saturday, September 27, 2014!
Our long weekend started with a fabulous rehearsal dinner at Barraco's, where guests were treated to the finest authentic Deep Dish Pizza that Chicago has to offer!
The next morning, we honored Las Vegas when I presented the grooms with their Never Ending Storybook, which featured hand painted renderings of them done lovingly by Jessica Wallace, otherwise known as "The Girl Who Drew You". The idea behind it is that the book will be filled in with additional paintings done by Jessica post wedding, and it will include their actual invitation, program, menus, etc.
After all of the artwork is complete, it will be placed on a pedestal in their home, where guests will sign the proceeding pages, leaving notes and well wishes each time they visit for holidays, birthdays, celebrations, and so on. Their guest book thus beginning the Never-Ending Story of their life together.
The grooms decided to spend the morning together, and help one another dress. I was invited to join the fun and share in the coffee talk, giving me the perfect opportunity to take some great photos of them, along with some amazing detail shots....Including one of my wedding card which read "Weddings are Gay. Congratulations!!!"
Seriously...Best. Card. Ever. Courtesy of Paper & Home Las Vegas!
You know that line from Bride Wars..."You don't alter Vera Wang. You alter yourself to fit Vera."
Well, it doesn't just apply to the bride! In addition to their vera Wang Black Tuxes, they exchanged Hermes Bracelets, and each wore bow-ties embroidered with their monogram and the date.
We traveled to the reception together, along with their professional photographer and videographer, Antonio Abergo and Dalton Campbell. These two emerging artists are based in Las Veags, and I cannot wait to show you their work!
We walked through the venue, which was transformed from a traditional suburban country club into their dream space! The club, which held special significance to Rocco and his family as the location where many wonderful memories had been made, was redressed in high lacquered white vinyl, ivory draping, and fuchsia up lights.
I told Marek that glitter isn't a color, but he disagreed, and we went for it in full force! Everything from the place cards to the unity candle, and even the table top trees were bedazzled, sparkled, and encrusted.
The grooms' decided against a bridal party, opting instead to each be escorted into the ceremony my their parents. As the door to the space was opened, the guests literally roared and cheered as each one walked into the room.
As both men come from intensely close families, and have strong cultural ties, we incorporated the hispanic Wedding Lasso in honor of Rocco's culture, and the presentation of the bread, wine, and salt from Marek's Polish heritage.
Now, I don't think I've ever taken such bad "behind the scenes" pictures, but still...I had to share them! These two are just so beautiful together! So bear with me and enjoy the iPhone photos I managed to snap from the back!
When the ceremony was over, the new husbands took the mic and gave a warm, heartfelt thanks to all of those who made it, and sent a loving message to those who could not. Close friend Gary McCreary made a toast, and we settled in for dinner. Shortly thereafter, the groom's cut the cake - a three tiered confection in the brightest pink possible topped with their M&R logo. And I love that beyond "Marek and Rocco" it also looks like "Mr."
Once the cake was cut, the party officially began. The grooms took to the dance floor for their first dance to John Legend's "All of Me" and literally never left! We practically had to drag them out at midnight, only to have them and their guests take over the hotel lounge to continue the party way into the early morning hours.
Watching Rocco & Marek get married after all of these years as something that I will never, ever forget. As one guests said to them, "You two really showed us the way." And I think that's what will stay with me, and with everyone else, for years to come...Rocco and Marek didn't have a gay wedding (despite all that glitter) - they just had a beautiful wedding, celebrating how much they loved one another, and how much everyone in their lives loves them.
It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of their day, and a bigger honor to be a part of their lives. I absolutely cannot wait to see the professional images and video, and I promise to share them as soon as I get my grubby little hands on them!
In typically "MaRocco" fashion, the wedding weekend was not without it's bumps! A fire at Chicago's airport cancelled hundreds of flights, threatening to stop a good number of those who were already in transit from actually making it! But it's in hard times when you realize how much love there is in the world. People changed flights. Others drove in. One guest even jumped into a rental car with strangers, making it just in time! Those who were unable to make it were heartbroken, but not detered! Instead, they followed along on Facebook and Instagram, and organized a surprise home town reception when the boys returned from their honeymoons! Talk about love!!