Celebrate History in the Making – Illinois Civil Unions

Two weeks from today, June 2, 2011, LGBT couples will be able to legally hold their Civil Union ceremonies.

Now I know you might be thinking that I’m losing my mind since we all know the Civil Union Act goes into effect June 1st, not June 2nd. While this is technically true, any couples who have made their own wedding plans for June 1st ceremonies might end up disappointed and not legally recognized. When the law passes on June 1st, LGBT couples can get their civil union licenses from the County Clerk’s office; however, the law requires couples to wait until at least the day after obtaining a license to hold the ceremony. Hopefully anyone planning their wedding knew this in advance and won’t be scrambling at the last second to change the date.

The Illinois Civil Union Act is a historic event for the LGBT community. Whether you want to enter into your own Civil Union, know someone who is, or just want to be a part of history, there are plenty of events throughout the city to commemorate this landmark.


1. Under A New Moon

Where: Catalyst Ranch
When: June 1, 2011. Doors will open for guests at 10:30pm, with ceremony starting at 12:00am, and the reception will follow, ending at 2:00am.
Cost: By Contest Winner Invitation Only

Under A New Moon is a celebration of civil unions for same sex couples in Chicago. Catalyst Ranch, Chicago’s most unique meeting and event space, in association with Anita Vaughan of Anita Weds, is celebrating the first day of legal civil unions for same sex couples in Chicago with Under A New Moon! A contest was held to award a June 1st civil union wedding to six lucky couples. And one of the lucky winners is our own L Stop Photo Blogger, Amanda Adlesick (soon-to-be Amanda Megan Miller) and her fiancée, Katrina Miller.


2. City of Chicago’s Celebration of Civil Unions

Where: Wrigley Square in Millennium Park
When: June 2, 2011 at 10:00am
Cost: Free and open to public
Gov. Pat Quinn and Cook County Clerk David Orr will be among those in attendance for this historic ceremony, in which 30 gay and lesbian couples will be joined in civil unions in Millennium Park.
The event is set for June 2, the day after civil unions officially become legal in Illinois. It is being organized by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council on LGBT issues.
Participants in the ceremony will get their civil union licenses from the County Clerk’s office on June 1. The law requires couples to wait until the day after they obtain licenses before holding a civil union ceremony. The participating couples have already been selected, but the public is welcome to attend and witness a historical moment in history.


3. Birds of a Feather Wed Together

Where: Stan Mansion
When: June 2, 2011
Cost: Packages start at $500

Join EnGAYged Weddings as they celebrate a giant milestone and an historic event for the LGBT Community in Illinois. They will rejoice in same-sex couples’ commitment and love for one another and the victory of legalizing Civil Unions in Illinois.

“Birds of a Feather, Wed Together” offers All Inclusive Illinois Civil Union Packages that will take care of all your civil union ceremony and wedding reception needs from start to finish. Prices and packages are designed to be affordable and flexible. All of the Wedding vendors are either members of the LGBT community or experienced LGBT Wedding Professionals and have been chosen by the owners of EnGAYged Weddings.

Hosted at the Stan Mansion in Logan Square, the celebration begins at one of Chicago’s most sought after wedding venue. There, you and your guests will be welcomed with champagne and escorted to the intimate and fully decorated ceremony site. Couples can either have a quaint private ceremony or take part in a mass civil union event. Following the filmed ceremony, a full reception will be held featuring contemporary organic cuisine, delicious desserts, exotic signature cocktails, and popular entertainment.

Couples and their guests can also take advantage of special rates on transportation, group accommodations, formal wear, salon services, and jewelry. Also, don’t forget about the group after party at the Victor Hotel Chicago.


4. Dream Gay Weddings

Where: Bolingbrook Golf Club
When: June 2, 2011
Cost: Packages start at $1,000

Dream Gay Weddings offers complete wedding packages made up of three components: ceremony site, wedding essentials, and a celebration reception.

Ceremony Site – The fully outfitted and private ceremony site can accommodate the most intimate gathering to the largest crowd. Each site is tastefully decorated with flowers, white wood chairs, and runners.

Wedding Essentials – The most important essential is the Wedding Officiant. The professional Wedding Officiants perform your choice of a personalized non-denominational bible based ceremony, contemporary secular ceremony, or an interfaith/Jewish inspired ceremony. Other essentials include a personal photographer and Calla Lily boutonnieres/bouquets for the couple and a bridal party up to six.

Cocktail Reception – Celebrate afterwards with a fantastic cocktail reception, immediately following each ceremony, complete with open bar, passed appetizers, champagne, and individual wedding cakes for each couple.


5. Unite With Pride

Where: Chicago History Museum
When: June 3, 2011 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Cost: Tickets for community guests are $50 and couples are asked to make a suggested donation of $75. (However, no couple will be turned away from participating due to financial capability.)

The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), an Illinois statewide LGBTQ advocacy and political organization, will host a mass civil-union ceremony to celebrate the enactment of civil unions in Illinois and the beginning of Pride Month in Chicago. Unite with Pride will provide couples an opportunity to be civilly united in an historic outdoor community civil ceremony on the picturesque “Uihlein Plaza” just days after the civil union law takes effect. The festivities will continue as couples, family, friends, and the community attend a black-tie optional cocktail reception with entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and desserts provided by various vendors from the event planning industry. Another one of our L Stop bloggers, Erica Feliciano, is participating in the community civil ceremony with her fiancée Vanessa Pabon.

In addition to the ceremony and reception, guests will be granted access to the newly opened Chicago History Museum exhibit “Out in Chicago”. The “Out in Chicago” exhibit will explore how the evolution of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community mirrors broader changes throughout the city over the past 150 years.

This fundraiser will benefit our Families United Project. The Families United Project is an exploration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer families in Illinois. The goal of the Families United Project is to gain equality for every family in Illinois through the use of social media, political advocacy and by building community. We seek to engage all people who believe that every family in America deserves to be equal.

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