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Jim Verraros's Dream Wedding

Jim Verraros's Dream Wedding
Jim Verraros and Bill Brennan
Theresa Scarbrough/Timothy Whaley Photography

09/07/2009 AT 03:45 PM EDT

From the matching Tom Ford bowties to the unity sand ceremony to the 10-ft. ice sculpture bar, the wedding of American Idol's Jim Verraros to entrepreneur Bill Brennan on Sunday was planned down to the last detail.

"Every little choice reflected who we are," says Verraros, who finished ninth on Idol's first season. "It was the most beautiful day."

The couple, who wed at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Illinois, exchanged self-penned vows under dragonwood trees decorated with white hydrangeas, orchids and roses. The singer, 26, in a tuxedo by Ermenegildo Zegna and shoes by Christian Dior, walked down the aisle strewn with white rose petals to the tunes of a classical trio playing Johann Sebastian Bach's "Air."

The outdoor event included a unity sand ceremony in which the couple and their family members poured individual glasses of colored sand into a large vase.

"Since this is a gay wedding, we wanted both traditional touches as well as original ones," says Verraros, whose father Nicholas Verraros and Brennan's father William Sr. served as best men.

Jim Verraros's Dream Wedding| Weddings, Jim Verraros

Bill Brennan and Jim Verraros

Deanne Holmes / Timothy Whaley Photography

"Gay marriage is not legal in Illinois," Verraros says, "but we wanted the day to be a reflection of our love and commitment to each other as well as a statement to other gay couples in Illinois."

Party Time

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their 174 guests enjoyed cocktails by an ice sculpture bar carved with three lions. The old Hollywood-themed reception was held inside a tent, where florist Anthony Gowder had created 5-ft. centerpieces made of roses, amaranthus, white orchids, willow branches and hanging crystals.

After the first dance, to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," the couple cut their 4 ½-ft. tall white wedding cake with vanilla buttercream frosting before hitting the dance floor until midnight to a 10-piece orchestra playing 1940's tunes to contemporary dance music.

Verraros and Brennan met four years ago when Brennan sent the singer a message to his MySpace account. "We found out we lived 20 minutes apart," says Verraros, who was born and raised in Crystal Lake, Ill. "I wanted to meet someone with substance and he changed my life. He's an incredible person."

The singer recently released two new singles, "Touch (Don't U Want 2)" and "Electric Love," on YouTube. He's currently working on his next album.

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