Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-08-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Local lesbian couple wins wedding giveaway
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2012-11-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Local lesbian couple Connie Pare and Jessica Shagena won this year's eleven eleven WEDDING Giveaway sponsored by Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, Inc.

The giveaway is in its third year, and Pare and Shagena are the first same-sex couple to win, although other same-sex couples have applied in the past. Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, Inc. owner/event director Heather Lynne Vickery said, "Connie and Jessica are amazing, funny and dynamic women. They have a beautiful love story and a zest for life that just lights up a room. We couldn't be more excited to work with them!"

The couple tied the knot Nov. 11 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in front of about 75 people. Pare and Shagena's guests, they explained, included close family and friends who have been an active part of their relationship.

Originally from Michigan, both Pare and Shagena now call Chicago their home. Pare, who is 32, grew up with a younger brother in a small town in Michigan. She moved to Kalamazoo, Mich. for eight years prior to arriving in Chicago a little less than five years ago. Shagena, who is 26, grew up in Port Huron, Michigan as an only child and made the move to Chicago about four years ago.

Both women plan on becoming teachers. Shagena is currently finishing her teaching degree while Pare works at Capital Grille. Pare plans on going back to finish her degree when Shagena graduates.

Although it was harder for Pare's family to adjust to her coming out, she was 26 at the time, they are completely supportive of her relationship with Shagena as is Shagena's family. Shagena came out to very supportive parents at that age of 16.

The couple met in a Kalamazoo bar where Pare worked. A friend of Shagena's introduced them, however, neither woman was ready to date other people. Shagena shared that they hit it off right away and that Pare makes a mean cocktail.

Since Pare moved to Chicago first the beginning of their relationship was long-distance, however, Pare said it made them appreciate each other more. "When Jessie moved here it was great and it hasn't stopped being great," said Pare of their relationship.

When Pare and Shagena got engaged last October, they didn't think they would be able to have a wedding due to lack of funds. They originally planned to do something small but when Pare was reading The L Stop website she came across the giveaway.

At first, Pare didn't think anything of it but after she read about the giveaway they decided to enter. They answered some essay questions; then a small group of sponsors and Greatest Expectations officials picked the 10 semifinalists. After Pare and Shagena were selected, they had to get the public to vote for them. Since the voting took place during Shagena's spring break she spent all of her time on the computer reaching out to people to get support. The voting, Pare and Shagena shared, went up and down that entire week. When the voting ended they were chosen, along with three other straight couples, as this year's finalists. From there all of the giveaway sponsors had to vote by secret ballot for this year's winner.

To announce the winner, Greatest Expectations held a live reveal party in May at Nellcote with the four finalists, their family and friends. (Shagena's mom attended.) The company showed videos of each couple sharing their story; then last year's winners announced Pare and Shagena as this year's winners. Shagena said she was shocked when their names were called and both women said the support from the crowd was the best thing about winning. One of the other couples who competed against Pare and Shagena started a standing ovation when their names were announced.

Greatest Expectations planned the wedding, coordinated with the sponsors and oversaw the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. "In our meetings with everyone we found them to been wonderful, generous people who do this contest to give back to people who wouldn't normally be able to plan a wedding with all the trimmings," said Pare. "They really just care and want to give back. All of the sponsors love working together and they told us that during one of our wedding planning meetings. Everyone we met during this journey was so selfless and giving," said Shagena.

Many companies supplied the brides with everything necessary for their big day. The Left Bank Jewelry and Shoes, Joy Millinery, Mignonette Bridal and Bella Bridesmaid supplied the bridal attire, shoes and jewelry for the brides and bridesmaids. Beauty On Call did the bridal hair and makeup. The bridal bouquets, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony flowers, reception flowers, cake flowers, and toss bouquets were supplied by Fleur, Inc. Black Tie Formalwear outfitted the men in the bridal party with tuxedos and shoes.

Amy Beck Cake Design provided the custom designed wedding cake while Pure Kitchens Catering supplied the rest of the food and an open bar of beer and wine. Custom wedding favors for all the quests came from Truffle Truffle and all the linens and napkins for the reception came from Private Label Linens. Chicago Lighting Design handled the lighting and draping at the museum.

Magnificent Milestones were responsible for the wedding invitations, RSVP postcards, ceremony programs and rehearsal dinner invitations. Rosemary Hall Calligraphy hand-addressed the wedding invitations. A custom written wedding ceremony was written by celebrant Anita Vaughn.

All of the day's events were captured by Poetic Productions and Amanda Hein Photography. (Hein also took the engagement photos.) Shutterbooth was also on hand with a photo booth where guests could take unlimited photo strips. They also had a custom guest book using guests' photo strips, and will be giving out a CD with all the images to each guest. During the ceremony and cocktails a solo pianist performed and at the reception a six-piece live band from the Becca Kaufman Orchestra played. The brides also received 10-one-hour personal training sessions, a one-hour bridal party boot camp and a one-hour nutrition consultation from Rappatone Boutique Training leading up to their wedding day.

Of their win and recent wedding Shagena said, "Thanks to our Twitter followers who voted for us. ... We wouldn't want to live anywhere else but Chicago." Pare said, "I am just grateful and thankful for this city and the community as a whole because the community is so supportive and amazing."

For more information on the giveaway, visit www.elevenelevenwedding.com/category/eleven-eleven-wedding-giveaway/ and www.greatestexpectations.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Cook County within reach of 10,000 same-sex marriages 2016-08-25
Golden girl Elena Delle Donne returns to the Sky, reflects on Rio 2016 2016-08-25
Guest column: Planning a wedding 2016-08-24
Lesbian palimony decision calls on common-law marriage rules 2016-08-22
Meet lesbian sports icon Diana Nyad 2016-08-19
Lifetime partners share their bliss with a sunflower 2016-08-17
World: Olympics items, gay juvenile executed, lesbian Serbian official 2016-08-09
Lily Tomlin to be honored with 2016 SAG Life Achievement Award 2016-08-06
Highest ranking openly LGBT service member to be honored by AMPA 2016-08-04
Lesbian couple find second lives as artists, shop owners 2016-08-03
National: More trans deaths, Biden's same-sex marriage, $1M donation to Hillary 2016-08-02
World: Romanian court, Israeli officials, rapper/actor Common, Apple's move 2016-08-02
Lambda Legal event focuses on book about marriage equality 2016-07-31
Tammy Baldwin speaks on her legacy 2016-07-28
National roundup: Lesbian bishop, Dan Savage, Marco Rubio 2016-07-26
Amanda Bearse talks lesbian web series, Married ... with Children 2016-07-26
PROFILE Rita Adair talks activism, upcoming book, social work 2016-07-20
Rita Adair on her activism, upcoming book, social work career 2016-07-17
Transparent, Her Story, RuPaul among Emmy nominations 2016-07-14
National roundup: Miss. ruling, lesbian N.C. politician, Iowa case settled 2016-07-05
NUNN ON ONE Erin Murphy: Actress talks 'Bewitched,' new lesbian role 2016-07-05
Chicago Women's Health Center 4th Revolutionary Healthcare Fundraiser 2016-07-02
Open lesbian attorney runs for Florida legislature 2016-06-30
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Singing the praises of GALA 2016-06-29
National roundup: Marriage poll, Loretta Lynch, NYC Pride Parade 2016-06-28
Illinois woman charged with attack on actress Kelly McGillis 2016-06-25
Thousands at Chicago's 20th annual Dyke March 2016-06-25
Backlot Bash kicks off Pride celebrations 2016-06-25
Clandestina celebrates Pride in Pilsen 2016-06-25
One year since marriage equality 2016-06-22
Upcoming: Clandestina, CRUSH for alternative women, Toni Shelton house-music, Girls in Boystown 2016-06-22
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Life is a parade for Monica Raymund 2016-06-22
Lesbian parties and special events for Pride Month 2016-06-16
Clandestina Pride Parties June 23, June 26 2016-06-16
CRUSH Chicago hosts Pride Weekend for the 'alternative woman' 2016-06-15
Foster-care seminar on July 9 has special LGBTQ focus 2016-06-14
13th 'Back lot Bash' fest expands, events June 16-26 2016-06-07
Staceyann Chin brings 'Motherstruck!' to Chicago 2016-06-01
Report on LGBTQ singles released 2016-06-01
White House honors local lesbian actress 2016-06-01
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com