Back to School – A Madmen & Book Themed Wedding: April & Zdenko

As a high school teacher, getting married at the school she taught at seemed like the perfect idea to April. The venue also gave them a really great starting block for a totally unique and awesome wedding – Back to School! “I’d say our wedding was a mix of Madmen style with a book theme,” April explained. “I am a high school English teacher and my husband is a graduate student at University of Chicago with plans to be a professor. A book theme just seemed natural. I immediately knew I wanted books as our centerpieces and since our names are April and Zdenko, A to Z bookends were perfect. Then I thought of personalized pencils and it all started to come together.”

“I am super crafty and we were on a tight budget, so our choice to do most things DIY was more out of necessity than anything else, but it created the look I wanted anyway. I didn’t necessarily try to go out of my way to be different, I just was trying to capture our personalities.”

“Our ceremony and reception venue was the high school that I teach at on the Westside of Chicago in the recently redeveloped Homan Square area of North Lawndale,” the bride continued. “The school is a charter school run by Henry Ford Learning Instituted aptly named Power House High due to the fact that it was the former power house for the original Sears Tower and factory plant. The building was renovated into a school 3 years ago and many of the original machinery was left to create a museum-like atmosphere. We were the first couple to rent out the space for a wedding, but they certainly hope to continue renting it out for this purpose. If interested, contact Kevin Sutton at”

As mentioned before, the majority of this wedding was DIYed by the couple and their friends. “We depended on may people for their creativity. We have two friends that brew beer and they made three different homebrews for our wedding. My best friend’s husband made these awesome invitations for us with an A to Z bookend graphic he designed. My cousin and her husband used that graphic to make personalized screen printed T-shirts for our wedding party.”

“My Mom made my favorite cookies and Zdenko’s mom made a variety of Bosnian cookies. Our friend Alexis and his brother Teddy run a food truck here in Chicago and they ended up catering our rehearsal dinner in their soon-to-open restaurant. My sister-in-law and Mother-in-law made the bell favors. My best friend made the flowers, the moustaches for pictures, and many other things. My neighbors made the beautiful arch with an awesome floral arrangement for the ceremony. My friend Kay made the A to Z bookends for the centerpieces. Everyone was just so awesome and constantly asked to help out in more ways than I even could imagine!”

Almost makes me want to go back to school…well maybe only if it was as cool as this one!

Huge congratulations and thanks to April & Zdenko and their photographers Soda Fountain Photography for sharing this with us today.

Photography Credit: Soda Fountain Photography
Venue: Power House High, Chicago
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Bride’s Bolero: Alex Bridal on Etsy
Bride’s Shoes: Shiekh Shoes
Bride’s Headpiece: DIY
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Ava Dress in Jade Green by Pinup Couture
Cake: DIY
Flowers: DIY
Hair & Make Up:
DJ: David Beltran & DJ Dragan (groom’s Father!)


  1. This is such a unique and wonderful DIY wedding. How precious that it was really a group effort that made this wedding come together! Such great images and flare! GREAT job everyone!

  2. jacqui

    & just as an aside, apparantly those gorgeous yellow pompom thingys they’ve used last for months….much better than wilted flowers before you’ve even sat down to eat !

    ( If you’re a bride planning your flowers, it’s worth thinking about these things ! 🙂 )

  3. jacqui

    Oh just noticed my first comment didn’t show, it went something like……gorgeous ! great colour scheme, details, pictures !

  4. Ivana

    The pictures are beautiful and unique. They have captured the magical whimsy of a wonderful day. April and Zdenko are two of the most special people I know and am grateful that they are together in my life. Congrats guys and best of luck in all your wonderful years together. I love you both.

  5. Regina

    I’m a teacher myself, and I would never have thought of using it as a wedding theme, but this is adorable! (April looks like she’d make a really cool teacher, too.)

  6. Ira

    Great fun and lots of details – love it! I got married on 9.10.11 and had a back-to-school themed wedding as well. My husband and I first met in Kindergarten and knew each other through the 8th grade. My family then moved away and we re-connected in 2010 through FB, of all things. We used the cootie catchers as our programs.

  7. This is amazing I had a good read. It is my sister’s wedding next month and I could get some ideas from here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *