#AnomalieBride Sabina is a graphic designer with a love for the eclectic, whimsical details of times past. Just as you’d expect, her wedding is full of so many unexpected but beautiful custom details — from the smallest decor pieces to her showstopping grey dress! Read on to learn more about her big day and her Anomalie experience.
Tell us about your engagement to Alen!
Have you ever had no idea what was going on while your significant other is darting around rooms in your apartment? Much like the evening that Alen proposed to me! We came home to our cozy Evanston apartment at around 9pm. Alen had bought me beautiful long-stemmed red roses and they waited on the counter. *Insert my yelling about wasting money on things that are dying*. The fridge was packed with seafood, Alen had intended to make dinner but found that running around the house was, instead, a better use of his time. Once things became thoroughly confusing, Alen came from the bedroom with three roses; symbolizing ‘past, present, and future’. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said, “Yes, but are you going to cook all that seafood, I’m hungry and I think it’s going bad.”
What part of the vision came first—your wedding theme or your wedding dress?
My style is consistently eclectic. We chose our venue, Salvage One in Chicago, for its whimsical setting and non-traditional vibe. From the very beginning “non-traditional” was a key factor, everything else fell under the umbrella of “if nothing matches, then everything does.” Thankfully, Alen is a sweet and patient man who understands my lunacy and supports me in any way that he can. Vintage eclectic vibes, throwbacks to another time, but no particular time, just the past. That’s the beauty of eclecticism, you get to choose everything you feel strongly for and put it together in one universe. Much like love and marriage, isn’t it?
My wedding dress was always somewhere up there waiting to be conjured. I honestly had no idea what I was looking for being that I can talk myself into finding almost anything beautiful. The concept of getting what I want in reality kept me from romancing the idea of finding the perfect wedding dress. I am not a size 2, I do not shy away from the cookies. I also wanted sleeves to cover my tattoos on that day. That was my universe and I knew walking into a dress shop, I would find five dresses in the entire city of Chicago with sleeves, three of which would be $10k, one wouldn’t come in my size, and the last, I’d be stuck with.
Why did you decide to get a custom gown, and how did Anomalie come into the picture?
Being stuck with wedding dress choices was not something I was willing to do. I don’t like being stuck with things, it makes me feel icky. Even if it meant I would sew my own dress like an 1800’s maiden, I like to think anything is possible. Apparently so did some clever facebook-ad algorithm because I was served an ad by Anomalie featuring a stunning long-sleeved wedding gown and claiming “CUSTOM”.
I didn’t actually believe it. Sure, sure “custom”, as long as you pick one of 5 styles, or “custom” as long as you’re within a size range. I fell in love with Alyssa’s mauve, long sleeved New Orleans inspired dress on Anomalie’s website. Anomalie meant it, they meant “custom”. I told my mom about it, I scheduled a call, and it was incredible. Suddenly I realized, I don’t have to choose someone else’s dress and I could do anything I wanted. I analyzed what I loved about Alysa’s dress and decided to take my own spin on a similar theory. A silver gown, that is fully lined, plastered in gorgeous beaded lace without a drop of drama to spare. Suddenly, this wedding gown dilemma went from being “stuck” with something to creating the dress of my dreams. That’s pretty amazing.
What was the most valuable tool when it came to bringing your idea to life?
Anomalie’s interface is nearly perfect. I loved the look book and the ability to comment on specific ideas and carry a conversation with a stylist about questions, ideas, and concerns. It was really helpful! During the design process, I mocked up a few ideas in photoshop, and we were, able to get down to the specifics which is a lot more involvement than I dreamed I would have! If you give me the opportunity, I will get my nose into every minutia when given the opportunity, so the stylists and designers definitely did an excellent job keeping me happy and contained, which is quite the rodeo!
Pro-tip: You don’t need to know how to sketch or mock dress photos together on photoshop in order for you to create your dream dress! Chat with one of our expert stylists about your vision and we’ll help you visualize with a personal sketch!
Now for the most important part, your wedding! How did everything turn out on your wedding day? What was the most unexpected, but incredible moment of your day?
Our wedding day was warm, whimsical and full of love! We were told several times how palatable the air of love was that day. Chicago might have given us a cloudy, albeit warm for the season, kind of day, but that did not keep us from firing up the party!
As for the most incredible part, that was our families and our wedding party. Our parents have been incredibly supportive and the best examples of successful marriages that we could have ever asked for. We truly have the most amazing friends, and when wedding guests come to you and say “Your friends are true friends”, you really know you’re making some good decisions in life.
We passed on matching suits and wedding dresses, wedding colors and anything that was confining. Our wedding party was dressed in the formal fashions inspired by each decade of the last century, starting with the 1910’s and ending with the 1990’s. They rocked it, and they all looked so incredible.
Our ceremony was one of the best parts of the wedding. Guests began arriving, finding their seats on the many different assortments of benches in Salvage One’s playful ceremony space. All nerves set aside and we proceeded to line up for the ceremony.
I proceeded down the aisle, just so happy and thrilled with how wonderful everyone looked and how happy they were to be with us. The aisle was lined with a few tall candleholders that have a glass top and electric candles inside. You know, no one wants to set fire to themselves, and with a cathedral train, I could have been on fire for a few minutes before even knowing it. The ceremony proceeded when suddenly, my uncle, who had been sitting next to the fated candleholder, brushed ever so faintly against it and CRASH, it came tumbling down to a very loud landing. A brief moment of silence, immediate stares at my uncle who raised his hands in a gesture of “my bad”, the entire audience exclaimed “OPA!”. I think someone in the back even shouted “Mazeltov!” We all laughed and proceeded on as if nothing had happened. This is one of those moments you just cannot predict. Life throws you a moment of catharsis to release all of that stress that you have been holding.
Your wedding pics are beyond romantic. We’re sure your unique customizations didn’t stop with your wedding dress. What other elements did you include in your big day to make it more unique and personal to you and your spouse?
Oh boy, when I think back on it it really makes me dizzy but I went full ham on custom everything once the creative spirit was set free! As a graphic designer, my stationary was incredibly important to me, including any signage, programs, table numbers, etc. I set out to custom design piece and laboriously assemble some unreasonably complicated designs. I spent hours and hours printing custom designed envelopes, on the phone with print companies to make sure that I got everything across just right. I made customized save-the-date cards, invitations, thank you cards and anything I could possibly think of. I researched the lunar cycle, the zodiac meanings behind our wedding day, I made signs and posters and menus.
One of the coolest parts was our bar. We could not commit to just one drink or to concocting some solution that would surely be passed up for a vodka cranberry in our crowd. Instead, our bar served the most iconic cocktail from each decade of the last century. Think Whiskey Sours, Singapore slings, Moscow Mules, and so on.
My mom, Mejrima, who is a wonderful baker and my aunt, Vildana, who came from Germany just for the occasion, baked the most delicious cakes decorated by custom made roses and gold leaf. But, why stop there.
Another big project was our vaudeville style crescent moon photo booth! This has been my pet project since last year and is completely custom built and painted. We built a bench to seat two people and a 9’ moon. He was a bonafide hit. Guests took photos of themselves on the moon with their phones, photographers took photos of the guests, it was a load of fun! To accompany the moon, was a custom illustrated instruction poster with ideas borrowed from a famed little man who is present in the assembly instructions of one of our favorite Swedish furniture stores. Laughs, laughs, and more laughs!
How did your spouse and guests react to your wedding dress?
I do believe Alen was under the impression that I would walk down the aisle with either a victorian headdress or in all black. That’s actually the ideas that I decided to perpetuate and at times, I could not tell if he did or didn’t believe me, but what was important was that he was plenty scared. He does, he says, have a certain amount of faith in my madness and therefore trusted me to do what I love and be creative!
When we had our first look photos, he was pleasantly surprised and amazed by the amount of detail. He was so happy that I was not wearing a traditional white dress and that instead of having to make excuses for his off-beat wife, he would proudly say “Sabina actually helped DESIGN this dress!” As for the guests, any time you walk into a room and people stop you to ask where on earth you got the most amazing dress, it’s a good sign. Thank you for making that possible.
Photography: i Luv Photo|Hair: Livia Caporale| Makeup: Janet Debris | Venue: Salvage One | Catering: Catering by Michaels |Cake and dessert: Sabina’s mom and Aunt Vildana | Entertainment: Green Line Talent -DJ, AJ Sacco – MAGICIAN,
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