Chris Ocken of Ocken Photography, courtesy of Chicago Style Weddings
FORWARD At Equality Illinois, we work to promote a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Because of the hard work and commitment of our members, allies, and national community, all same sex couples in the United States are now free to marry thus free to utilize those crucial rights that come along with legal marriage recognition. With the sweeping marriage equality ruling, couples around the nation and in Illinois have questions about protections and procedures. We oďŹ€er this guide to answer many of those questions and to serve as a resource as you begin your lives together as a married couple. While we address a comprehensive list of questions and issues that may come up, each individual couple will be presented with its own set of unique circumstances when planning to marry. The freedom to marry in Illinois could never have been possible without your commitment to make it a reality. From all of us at Equality Illinois, we thank you for your support and dedication. Disclaimer: The legal summaries in this guide are intended only as a general description of the laws applicable to same-sex spouses in Illinois. This guide is not intended as legal or tax advice. You should consult with a legal or tax advisor to discuss the impact of these laws on your own personal situation.
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MARRIAGE BASICS What rights will I have if I marry my same-sex partner? All federal statutes of the United States and laws of the state of Illinois that are applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex couples and diﬀerent sex couples and their children. Therefore, all married couples (samesex or diﬀerent-sex) have the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under the law. In Illinois, marriage provides over 600 state-level rights, benefits, and protections to lawfully wedded couples, including rights relating to probate, health care decisions, medical and life insurance, and many other areas. The federal government makes available over 1,100 protections and rights to married couples.
When did Illinois start recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples? The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act oﬃcially took eﬀect on June 1, 2014. However, some counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting in February 2014 due to a federal court’s order. Between February 2014 and June 2015, more than 10,700 same-sex couples married or converted their civil union to a marriage in Illinois.
When did the United States start recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples? On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case which questioned the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage and bans on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Supreme Court decided that the U.S. Constitution requires all states to perform and recognize same-sex marriages. As a result of the decision in Obergefell, marriage equality is nationwide. That means your marriage in Illinois must now be recognized as valid by other states and U.S. territories.
If we were married in another state or country that has marriage equality, do we need to get married again in Illinois? No. If you were married in another state or country (as long as it was not a common law marriage), it will be recognized as a marriage in Illinois. You may be required to provide proof of your marriage such as a copy of your marriage license from another state or country, but you do not need to get married anew.
Will civil unions still be an option in Illinois if I do not want to be married? Yes. Civil unions remain an option for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. However, civil unions may not be recognized elsewhere in the United States, including by the federal government.
If I entered into a domestic partnership, civil union, or substantially similar relationship lawfully in another state, will Illinois recognize my relationship? Illinois will recognize your relationship as a civil union.
If my partner and I were registered as domestic partners in Cook County, do we need to get married? If you want the legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits extended to spouses under Illinois law, you may wish to get married. The same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits aﬀorded to married couples are not extended to domestic partners registered in Cook County. You can legally enter into a marriage regardless of whether you are registered as domestic partners in Cook County.
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GETTING MARRIED Who can legally marry? You can enter into a marriage in Illinois if you are a same-sex or diﬀerent-sex couple. You and your partner must both be at least 18 years old and neither of you can already be in a marriage, a civil union (see below regarding changing your civil union to a marriage), or a substantially similar legal relationship. Illinois also does not allow marriages between close relatives (e.g. parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, brother, sister, child, or grandchild).
Do we need to get a marriage license? Yes. To obtain a marriage license, you must submit an application to a county clerk’s oﬃce. You may submit the application to any county clerk’s oﬃce in the state. A license is valid only in the county where it was issued and thus must be performed and certified in that county. The application requests information about you and your spouse such as your name, sex, occupation, address, social security number, date and place of birth of each party to the proposed marriage, and name and address of the parents or guardian of each party. You must also provide information regarding whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, their relationship. Finally, if you or your partner were previously married or in a civil union or substantially similar relationship, you must provide the name, date, place, and court in which the marriage, civil union, or other legal relationship was dissolved, or the date and place of the former spouse or partner’s death. You may also need to provide proof to the county clerk that you and your partner are not prohibited from entering into a marriage. Illinois prohibits you from entering into a marriage if you or your partner is under 18 years old. Proof of your age may include your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or an employment certificate. You are also prohibited from entering into a marriage if you or your partner is already married or in a civil union or substantially similar legal union that has not been dissolved. Proof that your prior marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship has been dissolved may include a certified copy of your divorce or dissolution decree. If your prior spouse or partner died, you may be asked to provide a certified copy of his or her death certificate. You may also be prohibited from entering into a marriage if you and your partner are too closely related to each other. Once you and your partner have submitted the application, the filing fee (described below), and any required proof that you are not prohibited from entering into a marriage, the county clerk will issue you a marriage license.
Where do we get a marriage license? How much does it cost? Licenses are issued by a county clerk. The license becomes valid in the county where it was issued the day after it is issued and is valid for 60 days. During that time, you must have the marriage certified in that county by an authorized person or the license becomes invalid. Once you have the marriage certified, it becomes, and will remain, valid until it is dissolved. For more information about your county clerk’s oﬃce, please visit: http://www.elections.il.gov/electionauthorities/elecauthoritylist.aspx
Do we both need to be present at the county clerk’s oﬃce to apply for a marriage license? Yes. Both you and your partner must appear at the county clerk’s oﬃce to apply for a marriage license. You must each present proof of your identity, such as a current driver’s license or state-issued photo identification. Both you and your partner must sign the application in the presence of the county clerk. A representative cannot sign on one or both of your behalves, even if you have a power of attorney or notarized aﬃdavit giving the representative authority to sign the application for you or your partner.
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GETTING MARRIED Can a county clerk refuse to issue a marriage license because he or she objects to our relationship? No. County clerks are required to fulfill the duties of their positions as prescribed by Illinois statute, and one of their duties is to issue marriage licenses to eligible couples.
Can I get married in Illinois if I am a resident of another state? Yes. The law allows an out-of-state couple to marry in Illinois. Additionally, due to the Obergefell decision, other states and U.S. territories must recognize your marriage in Illinois as valid.
Can we enter into a marriage if either of us has been married or in a civil union before? Illinois law prohibits you from entering into a marriage if you or your partner are currently married or in a civil union or substantially similar legal relationship unless you are converting your civil union into a marriage. To enter into marriage with your same-sex partner, your prior marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship must either be dissolved, or your previous spouse or civil union partner must have died.
What do we do with our marriage license? You must deliver the license to the person (referred to as an oﬃciant) who will perform your marriage during the period of license validity. After the ceremony, the oﬃciant will complete the date, place, and oﬃciant information and will sign your license. You or the oﬃciant must return the license to the county clerk’s oﬃce where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony/certification so that it can be oﬃcially registered by the clerk. The certificate is not a complete legal document until it has been recorded in the county clerk’s oﬃce where it was issued.
Who can perform my marriage? A marriage may be performed by a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a judge of the Court of Claims, a county clerk in counties having 2,000,000 or more inhabitants (Cook County), a public oﬃcial whose duties include solemnization of marriages, or an oﬃciant in good standing with his or her religious denomination.
Does a church, religious denomination, or clergy member have to solemnize my marriage? No. A church, religious denomination, or clergy member is free to decide which marriages to solemnize, and your marriage need not be solemnized by a clergy member in order to be valid.
Do we need to have a religious ceremony in order to marry? No. Illinois does not require a religious ceremony to enter into a marriage. Your marriage may be certified by a religious oﬃcial in good standing, but can also be certified by a non-religious oﬃciant such as a judge or retired judge of a court of record, a judge of the Court of Claims, a county clerk in a county having 2,000,000 or more residents (Cook County), or a public oﬃcial whose powers include solemnization of marriage.
If my partner and I had a ceremony (religious or otherwise), but have not entered into a legal relationship in any state, do we need to get married? If you want the legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits extended to spouses under Illinois law and federal law, you must enter into a marriage by obtaining a license and having it certified and filed with the state of Illinois.
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WEDDING CHECKLIST 6 MONTHS
❑ Choose and announce the wedding and date, order invitations (pg 34) ❑ Decide on wedding basics - type, style, budget ❑ Book location for ceremony & reception (pg 20 & 22), oﬃciant (pg 26) ❑ Select Caterer (pg 28), Florist (pg 40), Entertainment (pg 36), Photographers (pg 30) ❑ Write guest list & decide on those standing up at wedding ❑ Make wedding registry ❑ Reserve hotel rooms for out of town guests ❑ Hire Wedding planner (pg 24)
❑ Buy wedding rings ❑ Purchase attire for you, your partner, and your wedding party (pg 32) ❑ Choose wedding cake (pg 39) ❑ Book Honeymoon
❑ Send invitations 6-8 weeks prior & set RSVP date 3 weeks prior to wedding ❑ Obtain Marriage License ❑ Meet with photographer & oﬃciant ❑ Write vows and ❑ Choose music and meet with DJ or band
1 MONTH 2 WEEKS
1 WEEK 1 DAY WEDDING DAY
❑ Confirm hotel arrangements for out of town guests ❑ Book stylists ❑ Purchase wedding accessories (ring pillow, baskets, decorations, place cards, favors etc.)
❑ Call guests that have not RSVPed ❑ Finalize all details for honeymoon ❑ Finalize menu with caterer ❑ Complete seating plan ❑ Reconfirm with all vendors and give them a final head count
❑ Prepare emergency kit: needle, thread, safety pins, band aids etc. ❑ Pick up attire ❑ Pack for Honeymoon
❑ Have everything in place for ceremony ❑ Get a good night’s sleep!
❑ Remember the rings ❑ Take a deep breath ❑ Go for it!
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CONVERTING A CIVIL UNION TO A MARRIAGE How do I get married if I am already in a civil union? Couples already in a civil union will always be able to get married in Illinois by going through the same steps as any couple, provided they meet certain requirements (be the same parties to the civil union, not be in process of dissolving their civil union, etc.). They will incur the same waiting periods and process requirements as any other eligible marrying couple. However, you are no longer able to make your marriage retroactive to the date of your civil union.
How much will it cost to get married if we are already in a civil union? Section 65(a) of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act states: â€œThe fee for application for a marriage license shall be waived in such circumstances.â€?
Can we still marry if we have an out-of-state civil union? Yes. Illinois residents who received a civil union elsewhere can still marry provided they meet the other requirements above.
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CHANGING TRADITIONS So you’re planning your wedding, and you’re starting to realize that many of the standard traditions just don’t work well for you and your partner. Bridal parties and groomsmen roles are not so cut and dry, and figuring out how you’ll be taking one another’s last names can turn into a brain teaser. Ultimately, your union is a celebration of the commitment between you and your partner, so the power is in your hands to embrace, reject, or tweak traditions as you please. Need some ideas? Our friends at Chicago Style Weddings oﬀer some guidance:
Most weddings tend to be formal occasions, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a certain type of outfit. You can choose from traditional gowns and tuxedos or you can mix it up. Some couples create their own wedding style with matching tops and bottoms; other wear casual attire like shorts and sneakers; and many go chic with colorful dresses and crisp suits, ties and vests. Have fun with accessories, show your personality, and wear what’s comfortable.
Don’t worry about having a traditional party for your wedding, many same-sex couples choose not to have a wedding party at all. Traditional terminology like ‘maid of honor’ or ‘best man’ may not necessarily apply. This is your event and if you decide that you want a ‘best woman’ or a ‘man of honor’ or even a few ‘friends of honor’ – go for it!
Like all weddings, same-sex ceremonies and receptions can bring up some touchy etiquette questions. For example, how do you handle a potential guest who doesn’t approve of your marriage? The simple answer is to not invite that person, which saves you both from an uncomfortable situation. Many same-sex couples often wonder how to handle their entrances to the ceremony. Should you enter together? Separately? From the same or diﬀerent entrances? Who goes first? Who walks with you? There’s no right or wrong way. Discuss your preferences with your spouse-to-be and then do what works for you.
AFTER “I DO”
If you want, one or both of you can change your name. You can choose to take each other's last name, jointly hyphenate your last names, or have no name change at all. Inform your family and friends about your decision, too. They may wonder how you and your partner would like to be addressed, such as Mrs. and Mrs. or Husband-andHusband. The bottom line? There are no clear-cut rules for same-sex weddings, and your celebration should be as unique and personal as your union is. So, hop in the driver’s seat, plan your nuptials, and drive oﬀ into the sunset together! For more tips like these, click on the marriage equality tab at www.chicagostyleweddings.com.
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NOW THAT YOU’RE MARRIED What is the process if we want to change our last name? First, indicate your desire to change your name on the marriage license forms. Then, once certified, you can update your name on the following forms: Illinois Driver’s License - The Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles will permit a person to change the name on his or her driver’s license with evidence linking the change from the previous information to the new information (such evidence may be your marriage certificate). To request the change, you must visit a DMV facility to apply for a corrected license. A certified copy of your marriage certificate should be suﬃcient. The fee to apply for a corrected license is $5. Find out more information here: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/drlicid.html Passport - The Department of State recognizes name changes that are permitted under state law for purposes of changing a person’s name on a passport. To request the change, you must complete Form 5504 (if his or her passport was issued less than one year prior) or Form DS-82 (if his or her passport was issued more than one year prior). These are the same forms that are generally used for passport renewals. You must also provide evidence verifying his or her Illinois marriage certificate, as well as other forms of identification generally required to renew a passport. The fees are the same as those for passport renewals. Social Security Number and Card - To request the change, a person must complete Form SS-5 to apply for a new Social Security card. Although not explicitly stated, the Illinois individual most likely will have to provide a certified copy of his or her Illinois marriage certificate, as well as other forms of identification generally required to apply for a Social Security card. There is no fee.
Will my marriage to my same-sex spouse be recognized in other states? Yes, your marriage in Illinois must be recognized as valid by other states and U.S. territories.
What happens if we enter into a marriage and our relationship later ends? If you get married in Illinois and your relationship later ends, your marriage must be dissolved by a state court in order to end your legal relationship with your spouse. If you and/or your spouse move to another state after getting married in Illinois, the courts of that state may dissolve your marriage. The dissolution of same-sex marriage follows the same procedures and is subject to the same rights and obligations that are involved in the dissolution of diﬀerent-sex marriages. Illinois law will dissolve your marriage if you either establish grounds for dissolving the marriage or if you and your spouse have lived apart for at least two years and can establish that your marriage must be dissolved due to irreconcilable diﬀerences. If both you and your partner attest to the court that your marriage needs to be dissolved due to irreconcilable diﬀerences, the court may only require you to have lived apart for a period of six months in order to dissolve the marriage. If you do not dissolve your marriage when your relationship ends, your legal relationship with your spouse will continue. You and your spouse will continue to have certain legal responsibilities to each other and neither of you can enter into a marriage or another civil union or substantially similar legal relationship until the marriage is dissolved.
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Can I cover my same-sex spouse under health insurance and other benefits provided by my employer? Your employer is required to allow you to enroll your same-sex spouse in any benefit plans that is also open to employees with married partners of the opposite sex.
Are benefits that my employer provides to my same-sex spouse taxable? No; neither the federal government nor the state of Illinois will tax you on the value of health benefits your employer provides to your spouse.
Can my spouse and I file jointly for federal and Illinois state income tax purposes? Yes. Since marriages between persons of the same sex are now recognized under federal and state law, same-sex spouses are permitted to file joint federal and state income tax returns or to claim tax credits or protections that the federal and state government aﬀords to diﬀerent-sex married spouses. For more information, please consult your tax professional.
Now that we’re married, do we still have to perform a second-parent adoption to secure our child’s parent-child relationship to the non-biological parent? Even though married parents are both presumed to be parents from birth of children born into the marriage, we still strongly encourage parents to perform second-parent adoptions in addition to drawing up wills and powers of attorney, since you may travel to other states that will not respect your legal presumption of parentage.
Will my same-sex spouse inherit my possessions after I die? If you live in Illinois, die without a will, and you do not have any children, your spouse will inherit all of your possessions. If you have children and you die without a will, your spouse will inherit half of your possessions and the other half will be divided amongst your children. If you die with a will, your spouse has the right to renounce what you leave him or her in your will and will be entitled to half of your estate if you have no children. If you have children, your spouse can renounce what you leave to him or her in your will and will be entitled to one-third of your estate. Your spouse will also have a right to certain financial protection while your estate is being settled following your death. Your spouse is entitled to a portion of the assets of your estate that an Illinois court determines is reasonable to support your spouse during the first nine months after you die. In addition, if you and your spouse have children, the court will include additional money to enable your spouse to support your children for up to nine months following your death while your estate is being settled.
Can I sponsor my same-sex spouse for immigration purposes? Yes. Because same-sex marriage is now recognized under current federal law, a United States citizen who enters into a marriage with a spouse of the same sex who is not a United States resident may sponsor his or her spouse for immigration into the country.
If I die, will my same-sex spouse be entitled to receive Social Security survivor benefits? Yes. Under federal law, your surviving spouse will be treated just like a spouse in a diﬀerent-sex couple.
What happens if I have another question not addressed here? All laws of the state of Illinois and statutes of the United States that are applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex couples and diﬀerent- sex couples and their children. Therefore, all married couples (same sex or diﬀerent sex) have the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under the law. You should contact your legal or tax advisor if you have any questions or require legal or tax advice.
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This guide is a labor of love and dedication. We are especially grateful to Nicole Bashor and the law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP for their diligence and commitment in researching the legal questions and scenarios presented here, to John Litchfield and the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP for updates following the Obergefell decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Brian Tiemann and the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP for their research for the Equality Illinois Civil Unions Guide, on which we relied for some of the answers in this guide.
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HOTELS Take the stress out of your wedding weekend. These hotels provide LGBT-friendly service whether for your reception, wedding night, or the lodging for your out-of-town guests.
Hotel Baker 630.584.2100 www.hotelbaker.com
Marriott Hotels Chicago 312.660.8200 www.marriott.com/chicago Hilton Chicago 312.922.4400 www.hilton.com/chicago
Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro 312.829.5000 www.thechicagometro.com
Intercontinental Hotel 312.321.8735 www.icchicagohotel.com
Loews Hotel 312.840.6600 www.loewshotels.com
Hyatt Regency 312.565.1234 www.chicagoregency.hyatt.com
State House Inn 217.528.5100 www.thestatehouseinn.com
Palmer House 312.726.7500 www.palmerhousehiltonhotel.com
Davie School Inn 618.833.2377 www.davieschoolinn.com
Copperstone Inn 815.629.9999 www.copperstoneinn.com
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VENUES Nothing sets the overall tone of a wedding quite like the venue. Choosing your venue can be overwhelming, so be sure to take the time to find somewhere you both love. Whether you envision an extravagant day in a historical mansion or a small, intimate aďŹ€air outdoors, here are a few options to get you started. National Hellenic Museum 312.655.1234 www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org
Jacob Henry Mansion Estate 815.722.1420 www.jacobhenrymansion.com
Brookfield Zoo 708.688.8000 www.brookfieldzoo.org
Lincoln Heritage Winery 618.833.3783 www.lincolnheritagewinery.com
Mayne Stage 773.381.4551 www.maynestage.com
Odyssey Cruises 888.957.2654 www.odyssey.com
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WEDDING PLANNERS If you are overwhelmed by the wedding process, then a wedding planner may be a good option to consider. Wedding planners are a great to your worries and, although not a necessity, they will take some stress oﬀ your back.
Frank Event Design 773.275.6804 www.frankeventdesign.com
Top Notch Event Planning 309.706.5682 www.bloomingtoneventdesigner.com
SQN Events 773.469.6095 www.sqnevents.com
Magical Events 217.741.9850 www.magicalevents-springfield.com
LOLA Event Productions 773.942.6172 www.lolaeventproductions.com
Aﬀairs with Linda 847.831.9891 www.aﬀairswithlinda.com
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PICKING AN OFFICIANT Deciding on an oﬃciant is a very important task. They will be leading your ceremony and confirming your marriage. One important question to consider is how much you want to be involved in this process, and how well you want to get to know your oﬃciant. Some oﬃciants are more hands on, but that is not always the case. Make sure to think about how much you want to be involved in the structure and content of the ceremony before you meet with any oﬃciants. The next step is interviewing possible oﬃciants. Besides your involvement in the ceremony, make sure that your views are ideologically compatible with theirs. They should be open and flexible and most importantly have performed an LGBT wedding or be open to performing LGBT weddings. Your oﬃciant should also be able to help tailor your ceremony to you as a couple. Make sure the oﬃciant has a good idea of who you really are as people and that they give you an original ceremony. You should be confident that they will do the best for your special day. We have included a list of LGBT friendly non-denominational oﬃciants who would be more than happy to help plan and perform your wedding ceremony:
Service Ministries 630.551.1000
Rev. Bill Epperly, PhD 773.318.8963
Reverend By Request 815.345.1000
Community United Church of Christ, Champaign IL 217.344.5091
Chicago Choice Ceremonies by Jill Brown 773.929.2840
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship 618.529.2439
For more oﬃciant's across the state, please check out our LGBT Support Religious Oﬃciant List resource at www.eqil.org under Resources > Equality Illinois Publications
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CATERING Food is always a focal point of a reception. Some venues provide a list of caterers for you, while others will let you hire your own. Whether you choose to serve hors dâ€™oeuvres or a five course meal, make sure your guests will get a taste of perfection. J&L Catering 312.280.7900 www.jandlcatering.com
Hearty Boys Catering 773.244.9866 www.heartyboys.com
Tasty Catering 847.593.2000 www.tastycatering.com Dream weddings take on all shapes and sizes! Tasty Cateringâ€™s team specializes in creating receptions with delicious menus and award-winning service that culminate in lifelong memories.
Phil Stefani Signature Events 312.226.7611 www.stefanicatering.com Maldaner's Restaurant and Catering 217.522.4313 www.maldaners.com
Inspired Catering and Events 312.226.7611 www.inspiredcateringandevents.com
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PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER When the party is over you’ll want something to commemorate your special day. Booking a wedding photographer and videographer to capture your wedding will ensure that you never forget your wedding day! If you don’t want to go this route, you can personalize your reception by providing disposable cameras for your guests to document the festivities from their own perspectives, getting a range of photographs for a fraction of the price. Gold Grid Studios email@example.com www.goldgridstudios.com
Lisa Howe-Ebright Photography 708.710.2874 www.LHEphoto.com
Sprung Video firstname.lastname@example.org www.sprungphoto.com
Rick Aguilar Studios 773.478.6607 www.rickaguliar.com
Knight Light Photography 309.310.6088 www.knightlightphotography.com
Photography by Larry Burrows 708.308.6583 www.burrowsphotography.com
Ocken Photography 312.970.0225 www.ockenphoto.com
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WEDDING STYLE You will never forget what you wore on your wedding day. Make your memories extra special and find a dress or tuxedo that captures your personal style and makes you feel spectacular! Vintage or contemporary, classic or eccentric, youâ€™ll find something you love at one of these shops. Then, treat yourself to a trip to the salon before walking down the aisle! Black Tie Formalwear Various locations www.blacktietuxes.com
Only William Does My Hair 989.708.8389 www.onlywilliamdoesmyhair.com
STYLE BY BRAVURA 312.880.9590 www.stylebybravura.com
Rock Candy Salon + Spa 312.543.4149 www.rockcandysalonandspa.com
Bling Me Accessories email@example.com www.aftcra.com/blingmeaccessories Custom Made Jewelry. Find us on Facebook!
Savvi Formalwear 847-965-5565 www.savviformalwear.com
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INVITATION DESIGNERS & PRINTERS Whether you want to do it yourself or hire someone, everyone needs to know when and where your wedding will take place. These are your guests’ first impression of your day. Don’t forget the postage! Or, for the green couple, consider an e-vite or a paperless alternative. Blue Bird Paper Company 312.480.9422 www.bluebirdpapercompany.com
Invitations Etc, Inc 630.326.9546 www.invetc.com
DBY Custom Invitations 847.755.0861 www.designedbyyouinvitations.com
ForYourParty.com 866.383.8957 www.foryourparty.com
Spilled Ink Press 773.754.7331 www.spilledinkpress.com
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ENTERTAINMENT Whether you want a DJ at the reception or a harpist at the ceremony, the type of entertainment can customize your day. For the couple with a musical style all their own, make a playlist with suggestions from friends, songs that commemorate landmarks in your relationship, or tunes that make your guests want to get up and dance. Innocenti Strings LLC 773.360.5405 www.innocentiquartet.com
Show on the Road Productions 630.357.4697 www.showontheroad.com
Stitely Entertainment 847.866.8002 www.stitely.com
The Classic Harpist 877.HARP.568 www.theclassicharpist.com
Music By Design 630.262.0432 www.mymusicbydesign.com
Mitch Williams Magic Production 309.647.3692 www.mitchwilliamsmagic.com
Naperville Trolley & Tours 630.420.2223 www.napervilletrolley.com
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BAKERIES Interested in straying from your catering vendor for the dessert at your reception? Make it personal and bake your treats with friends or indulge in the sweets of your favorite bakery. Here are some of our favorites Pekara Bakery & Bistro 217.359.4500 www.pekarabakery.com
Allegrettiâ€™s Bakery 708.453.4412 www.allegrettisbakery.com
Central Continental Bakery 847.870.9500 www.centralcontinentalbakery.com
Desiree Chocolates, LLC 847.444.1263 www.desireechocolates.com
La Petite Sweet 630.719.1111 www.lapetitesweet.com
Bent Bean Chocolates 217.418.7052 www.lincolnsquareurbana.com/bent-bean
Dinkelâ€™s Bakery 773.281.7300 www.dinkels.com
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FLORISTS Fresh flowers can really brighten your ceremony and transform your reception space. Go traditional with roses, or look into bouquets of colorful, interesting wildflowers. Either way, these florists will help you get started. Marguerite Gardens Chicago 773.506.6295 www.flowerpowerchicago.com
Ashland Addison Florist Co 312.432.8958 www.ashaddflorist.com
The Flower Firm 312.455.2800 www.flowerfirm.com
Zuzu's Petals 708.407.8976 www.zuzuspetalsfloral.com
Anna Held Florist 773.561.1940 www.annaheldflorist.com
Andrewâ€™s Garden 630.456.4689 www.andrewsgarden.com
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HONEYMOON The honeymoon is all about you and your new spouse. This is a time to celebrate your new partnership in an intimate setting. Every honeymoon is unique; some couples seek adventure, while others seek relaxation. Explore every option, and choose a destination where you both feel comfortable, welcomed, and happy. Plan the honeymoon that is right for you and your partner, and remember -- your marriage is worth celebrating! Consider these LGBT-friendly destinations for your perfect honeymoon. Alexanderâ€™s Guesthouse | Key West www.alexanderskeywest.com
Fairmont Pacific Rim | Vancouver www.fairmont.com
Caesars Palace | Las Vegas www.caesars.com
Hotel Mercurio | Puerta Vallarta www.hotel-mercurio.com
Courtyard by Marriott | Little Rock www.marriott.com
Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort | Kihei www.mauisunseeker.com
Crowne Pointe Inn & Spa | Provincetown www.crownepointe.com
The Inn on First | Napa Valley www.theinnonfirst.com
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2015-2016 Marriage Planning Guide, Equality Illinois