David + Andrew: Midwestern Pride Wedding Giveaway winners marry
David and Andrew married at the Haight in Elgin, Illinois, on March 8. The grooms won the wedding as the grand prize of the Midwestern Pride Wedding Giveaway that launched during Pride Month in 2019. The winning couple, David + Andrew, received over $30,000 worth of product and services for the wedding of their dreams. Equally Wed was honored to be the national media sponsor for the contest, and our team is excited to bring this wedding to our publication now.
“It’s almost overwhelming to think how much the world as changed since David + Andrew’s big day, just four short weeks ago,” says Elise Healy Cellitti, owner and operator of Glass & Grain Photography, the organizing company for the giveaway. “The wedding was more beautiful than we could have imagined and it was all thanks to the hard work, support and generosity of our vendor team. It’s not often that you get to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself, and I am so grateful to have gotten to know and work with each of these vendors.”
I was thrilled that the vendors involved are either LGBTQ+ or fierce LGBTQ+ allies. Nicole Tingwall, the owner of Windy City Dinner Fairy, is a married lesbian. We featured her and her spouse in a styled shoot on Equally Wed, and they’re now expecting their first child! Kpoene’ Kofi-Bruce, owner of Mignonette Bridal, runs the store with her wife, Anne Kofi-Nicklin. Their wedding was featured on Equally Wed in 2015. Anita Vaughn of Anita Weds has volunteered with Equality IL and marches annually in the Chicago Pride Parade and the Aurora Pride Parade with Free Mom Hugs. Also, as a Life-Cycle Celebrant, she co-created (and taught) a continuing education course for celebrants who work with LGBTQ+ clients. The Groomsman Suit is an LGBTQ+ ally and recently launched a line of women’s suiting to celebrate diversity and ensure everyone feels comfortable in wedding day attire. The Haight in Elgin is a popular LGBTQ+ wedding venue in the Chicago area due to the venue’s mission to celebrate diversity. Glass & Grain Photography frequently shoots LGBTQ+ couples, and has been featured on Equally Wed. Danielle Horvatin, owner of Rosewood Weddings, is an active LGBTQ+ advocate in Milwaukee as she has an LGBTQ+ sibling. All these companies are linked below in the vendor credits.
“After moving to the Midwest and launching Glass & Grain Photography in February 2018, we noticed a significant inclusivity gap on the social media pages of many Chicagoland wedding vendors,” said Elise Healy Cellitti. “In light of this, celebrating diversity and inclusion became our mission and we began looking for ways to give back to the community that would align with these values. With the help from Kelly Maron Horvath of Indie Wed, we enlisted the support of several amazing Chicago and Milwaukee wedding vendors. Each of these vendors share our passion for inclusion and giving back, and we couldn’t more appreciative of the support and generosity of this small, but mighty team. We so excited to come together to give one lucky LGBTQ+ couple the wedding of their dreams!”
To Andrew and David, who were together for 21 months before entering the pride wedding contest, this win means everything. “It means that two guys head over heels in love with each other were able to have their dreams come true,” David said. “Actually, that’s an understatement. Neither of us could have dreamt of a wedding so perfect and memorable. This was one of the most powerful and emotional moments in both of our lives and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience it. We couldn’t have done it without each of the vendors and their generosity. Each vendor made the planning process a breeze and ultimately everything blew our expectations out of the water. We are so grateful for every single thing and we love that we have this amazing story to share for the rest of our lives.”
“Since our first date, I knew that it was true love and that Andrew was the one,” says David. “In July of 2018, I bought a watch that I was going to propose to Andrew with. He always said that he was not the type of guy who likes to wear a wedding ring but he would wear a watch. I hid the watch in plain sight, in a display case that holds all of the precious memorabilia of our love, so he would walk past it every day. In August of 2018, Andrew’s parents came to Chicago. While they were in town I was able to get some time alone and ask for their permission for Andrew’s hand in marriage. They both gave me a big hug and said yes; when we were done hugging his dad noticed a penny on the ground facing heads up. He made a comment on how I should keep it for good luck. I put the penny in my pocket and the next time that I was alone, I put that penny in our display case. Since buying the watch we kept talking back and forth about who would propose to whom. My plan was to wait for the weather to get nice in the spring and reenact our first date, we would have pineapple-fried rice, go watch the waves crash into the beach, and I was going to purpose with a piece of dune grass.”
“Fortunately, I was never able to propose to Andrew… he beat me to the punch! On March 24, 2019, we were lying in bed with candles burning all around the bed. We were talking about our lives and what the future holds for us and then he asked if I wanted to know how he was going to propose to me. Because I’m nosey of course I said yes, so he went on to explain his plan of going out to dinner at our favorite restaurant downtown called Tavern at the Park and propose there, but unfortunately when he went to book a reservation he found out they had permanently closed for business a week prior. This piqued my curiosity, so I asked him if he had an engagement ring for me and if he was really going to propose to me. With a big grin on his face, he hopped out of bed, grabbed [my favorite] honey lavender ice cream from San Francisco, ran to his dresser and dug through some clothes and came back to bed with a box and ice cream. Andrew began to talk about how he came from a small town, grew up thinking he’d never get married or have the opportunity to find love or to find someone that made anywhere feel like home. He also talked about how I had helped him grow as a person and because of me, he knows what love is supposed to feel like and how he cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together. He said, “David, will you marry me?” I excitedly said, “Yes!” He took the ring out of the box and I took my dune grass replacement ring off and he slid on my ring. He then told me that he had one other surprise and he pulled out another box and said that he never thought that he would ever wear a wedding ring but because of me he wanted to. It might not have been the proposal that either of us had envisioned, but it was so intimate and personal, and it just felt right.”
MIDWESTERN PRIDE WEDDING GIVEAWAY VENDORS
Officiant: Anita Weds
National Media Sponsor: Equally Wed
Photography: Glass & Grain Photography
Suits for Grooms and Groomsmen: The Groomsman Suit
Venue: The Haight
Media Sponsor: Indie Wed
Day-of Calligraphy: Maison Blanche Lettering
Bridesmaid Dresses: Mignonette Bridal
Tabletop rentals: Nimble Well
Invitations: Paper Love Club
Planning: Rosewood Weddings
DJ: Toast and Jam DJs
Catering: True Cuisine
Cake: Windy City Dinner Fairy
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