Sharing a Dark Side

January 2022 View more

Back in 2016 when Jeanette Giblin and Edward Szajer matched on Tinder, their digital connection was
so instant that they jokingly started calling each other husband and wife. “Our conversations [over messaging] were pretty epic at the time, and the flow of them was just so great,” says Szajer, 37, a quality manager at Oberg Medical in Chicago. “I found him so incredibly funny and witty; he just had my full attention,” says Giblin, 33, who works as a nurse in Naperville. They both questioned whether their in-person chemistry could possibly live up—and to their delight, it did. On their first date at Crazy Pour in Villa Park, Szajer even kept the gag going by jokingly proposing with a Ring Pop. Four years later, Sjazer popped the question for real—this time with a custom ring made using an heirloom diamond that belonged to Giblin’s great-grandmother, gifted by her beloved grandma, Shirlie. 

Not long after their engagement, Giblin confessed her unorthodox wedding fantasy: A Victorian gothic theme. “I thought there’s no way I’d be able to do it,” she says. “What would people think? Would our families approve?” As it turns out, everyone was on board, and they hosted a dark, dramatic soirée at Brix on the Fox in Carpentersville on October 15. Guests picked up their escort cards tied to skeleton keys and dined at tables set with black candelabras and moody florals. All eyes were on Giblin in her black lace gown and Szajer in a wine-hued suit during their first dance, with a smoke machine casting fog across the floor. “It looked like we were dancing on a cloud,” Giblin says. And though Grandma Shirlie sadly passed away a few weeks before her 95th birthday and the wedding, the bride felt a sense of comfort looking down at her ring. “I cherish it so much,” Giblin says. “Even though she wasn’t there on the wedding day, she kind of was.” 


Brix on the Fox, Carpentersville

Bride’s attire
Maggie Sottero gown from Eva’s Bridal International, Orland Park

Bride’s accessories
Badgley Mischka shoes, earrings and hair comb from; veil from Jessica54125shop on

Bridesmaids’ attire
Dresses from David’s Bridal, Schaumburg

Hair and makeup
Shine Salon & Dry Bar, West Dundee

Groom’s attire
Suit from; vest from; shoes from Aldo, Oak Brook

Groomsmen’s attire
Jos. A. Bank, Oak Brook

The Painted Papier, 

DIY by the bride’s sister-in-law

Wooden Paddle, Lemont

Paige Thornton, @paigeycakedesigns

Cinnaholic, Naperville

Dariusz Jewelers, Downers Grove

Pete’s My DJ, Earlville

John Foley Photography, Naperville