David and Devlin recently married with a safe and socially distanced wedding and we were thrilled to celebrate with them! They had a small, intimate luncheon wedding at the Leland Tea Garden in Burlingame, CA. We offered them photography for their elopement and live-streamed the wedding so they could include their East Coast friends and family! A handful of friends joined in-person while their online guests tuned from afar and watched the live broadcast of the couple reciting their vows here in the Bay Area. They’ll be reliving the moment next year in a larger celebration, but it was wonderful to help them move forward with something small this year, though! Everyone is making adjustments during the pandemic and couples are still moving forward with safe weddings. It feels great to be a part of them! 

C+A Photographer: Shelley Anderson

C+A Live Stream Technician: Ersson Bartle

There seems to be a theme happening in 2020...couple's are still going through with the a small wedding while postponing the larger celebration to a safer time in 2021). Oya and Nick originally planned a June 2020 wedding at the Ivy Room in Chicago, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans. They still chose to get married on their original wedding date with an intimate justice of the peace ceremony at Chicago's City Hall. They asked us to commemorate the special day with a wedding day couple's photo session at the University of Chicago's iconic and beautiful campus. And it turns out an abandoned college campus was the perfect place for a socially distanced photo session! Here are a few of our favorites. Oya and Nick, we can't wait to celebrate again with you next year!

C+A Photographer: Hadassah

 
Cage + Aquarium is excited to bring "Be There" virtual event and live streaming services to all upcoming Neighborhood Nuptials wedding dates. Read on to hear all about this unique opportunity for couples to throw a small, yet beautiful, wedding and support local businesses in their Chicago neighborhood at the same time. The first pop-up takes place on June 28th at the Lytle House. We are joining our planning partner in crime, Naturally Yours Events, to donate the proceeds of this event to the NAACP and The Brave Space Alliance, a black-led, trans-led LGBTQ center in the South Side of Chicago. Thank you to Naturally Yours Events for this guest post below!
 
When COVID-19 initially hit, the wedding industry didn't know how large of an impact it would eventually have on the future of events and large celebrations. Now we have been surrounded by a vendor community pivoting their businesses so we all can still celebrate love in a safe but fun, memorable way!
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, the team at Naturally Yours Events have conducted many conversations with their 2020 couples about their wedding plans- answering questions about cancellation, if/when they should postpone, how to plan a party for the future, as well as offering additional services with a new Postponement Planning package. They were heartbroken each time they helped a couple through changing their plans and it doesn't get easier. Postponing a wedding is a very emotional experience as two of their team members have even experienced with their own weddings. 
 
With all the uncertainty they see their couples facing, Naturally Yours Events began to brainstorm how there can still be a focus on positivity, love, and community amidst our current climate. They wanted to create a way for people to still get married this year because they believe engaged couples shouldn't have to put their lives on hold as they wait for life to return to normal- or whatever normal will end up looking like.
 
With personal experience from courthouse weddings to elopements and the most intimate of small weddings- the team knew there was a possibility to create a unique, meaningful experience in which to say "I Do's" that was much more exciting than the beige basement of city hall. Wanting to focus on supporting local Chicago small businesses, the team collaborated with neighborhood venues across the city of Chicago and partnered with environmentally and socially responsible wedding vendors within the community. All of this led to the founding of Neighborhood Nuptials where couples can get married in their neighborhood, their way.
 
Neighborhood Nuptials is popping up for one day at each of their neighborhood venue partners. Engaged couples plan their nuptials with the assistance of Naturally Yours Events, say their vows in front of the gorgeous backdrop of a local wedding venue, capture every moment with a designated photographer, and live stream all the excitement to their friends and family with Cage & Aquarium's Be There service. 
 
Naturally Yours Events plans weddings & events that are full of personality and they reject the idea that weddings have to look or feel a certain way. Keeping with that philosophy of cultivating creative event experiences, they encourage couples to choose from thoughtful additions to make their Neighborhood Nuptials truly personalized and unique. From cake & champagne toasts, lush seasonal personal flowers, brunch & dinner packages, professional officiating, hair & makeup services, to live-streamed dance party receptions and more- couples have the opportunity to make the most out of their special day. 
 
Neighborhood Nuptials' first wedding ceremony pop-up is scheduled for the day Chicago's Pride Parade was supposed to take place before the coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold. They'll be popping up in the Edgewater neighborhood at Lytle House on Sunday, June 28th. To start planning their nuptials, couples can fill out a style questionnaire on the website and then get connected to a planner to coordinate all the details so they can just focus on the "I Do's" and not the To-Dos.
 
Other pop-ups are coming this summer to Chicago neighborhoods including West Town (July 11th at Fairlie), South Loop (July 18th at Mae District), Bridgeport (August 8th at Sculpture Garden), Logan Square (August 22nd at The Joinery), West Loop (September 19th at Ignite Glass Studios), and Ravenswood (September 26th at Artifact Events). 
 
Vendor Partners in upcoming events:

Introducing Love is Stronger - a campaign to celebrate innovation and love. 

We want to inspire our clients to go from “We HAVE to” to “We GET to” and embrace this moment in time.

Cage and Aquarium refuses to wait. On behalf of our couples and all of us who deserve to celebrate life’s memorable moments with all of the feels. We are ready to celebrate love in ways we never thought possible. 

There are so many couples grappling with how to move forward with a wedding. The unknowns at this moment seem insurmountable. There are no definitive guidelines telling us when or how it will be safe to gather groups of people in 10, 50, or more. Many of our couples that were planning to get married in 2020 have already postponed to 2021. They’re holding out for a better time when more friends and family are allowed to attend. When it’s safer to travel. When it is more likely that elders are able to come out of their shelter-in-place scenario. 

But what about today, at this very moment, if there was a safe way to celebrate a wedding or other milestone, would you seize it? Would you reset your path to one that looks quite a bit different from what we have always thought about weddings, but is still very special? At Cage and Aquarium we are working to provide solutions for couples to be able to celebrate during these uncertain times and still have the wedding of their dreams. Be There - A Virtual Wedding Experience - is a way for our clients to bring friends and family together, no matter what the circumstances. 

We are providing a specialized and one-of-a-kind fully virtual celebration at this moment before it’s safe to gather. When we’re able to gather groups of people, be it 10 or maybe all the way up to 50, this service will become a tool for couples to include their loved ones who must stay at home. We can provide live streaming and full event experience for your stay-at-home guests alongside the select guests that came to celebrate in person. With small gatherings on the horizon for the unforeseeable future, we want to help our clients move forward because love doesn’t stop. Love is stronger.

Reach out to us if you want to book Be There for your wedding. We are here for you!

We are also thrilled to partner with industry colleagues offering unique opportunities to bring Be There to couples planning their weddings during this unusual time. Stay tuned for upcoming features on some of our industry’s most innovative leaders. These exciting options are a true solution for couples and we can’t wait to share more!

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