Kevin Romero and Philip Maziarz admit they had an “uneventful” engagement. “I asked him ‘Do you want to get married?’ He said, ‘Yep,’ ” laughs Maziarz, 35, managing director at consulting firm Protiviti. “It was the least romantic discussion of how to get engaged.”
But when it came to planning the wedding, the couple — together since 2008 — knew they wanted to make it special. They thought about getting married in their favorite vacation spot, Puerto Rico; or in Yellowstone for a western-themed wedding; or even getting married on an episode of “Top Chef” (the show tweeted an open invitation to marry a same-sex couple last year). But, Romero, 34, director of information technology at NorthShore University HealthSystems, had a different idea up his sleeve.
Last December, Romero threw together a fake holiday party for the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce at Firehouse Chicago (1545 W. Rosemont), and when Maziarz showed up, he got a huge surprise. “I walked into a room filled with 65 of my family and friends standing in a circle, waiting for Kevin to [officially] propose to me,” Maziarz says. He said yes, and a surprise wedding ensued on the spot.
After an intimate ceremony — which included nontraditional readings of their favorite lines from movies like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage” — guests boarded party buses for a reception at Vincent (1475 W. Balmoral). “It was a lot of lying on my part,” laughs Romero, “but I like to say I was just withholding the truth until a more appropriate time.”
Photos by Laetitia Patezour and Très Jolie Photo
Grooms’ attire: Hugo Boss, 520 N. Michigan; Hugoboss.com
Rings: Cathy Wang Designs, 1415 W. 22nd, Oak Brook
Catering: Paramount Events, 1932 W. Lake; Paramounteventschicago.com
Cake: Defloured: A Gluten Free Bakery, 1477 W. Balmoral; Deflouredbakery.com
Entertainment: Dustin Drase, Toast & Jam; Toastandjamdjs.com
Videographer: Sam Lee; Samlee.zenfolio.com
Click here for a video of the nuptials.