Let's face it, few couples want to brave the winter weather in Chicago. Snow, ice, and freezing winds are an everyday part of our city lives and many don't want to deal with that on their wedding day. But, there is something so romantic about winter weddings! Maybe it's the color schemes, the twinkly lights, a blanket of snow on the ground, the light flurries that force you to cuddle more for warmth. We LOVE winter weddings. So few couples go for it - that you have all the pretty photo locations to yourself!

Ellen and Gil married one another on December 14, 2019. They got ready separately with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as their parents. The bride and groom are very close with their parents. Both the wedding party and their families were so supportive of the couple. They were already one big, blended family, and it was so sweet to see them hug each other, share tons of love and laughs throughout the whole day. 

They had their first look outside the Garfield Park Conservatory before roaming around the greenhouse for photos. Conservatories are a huge help during winter weddings! They offer heat, shelter, and various backdrops and scenery for portraits. Most couples would have only chosen indoor locations, but this Chicago couple adventured to Millennium Park - their first kiss was at The Bean, their first date at Cindy's Rooftop, and Gil proposed at Pritzker's Pavillion. The final stop before their ceremony was LaSalle Street Bridge.

They blended both of their cultures together during their ceremony at Biago. They signed their Ketubah with their family and wedding party as witnesses, the bedeken followed. After Ellen walked down the aisle, they had a Chinese tea ceremony with their parents under the Chuppah. They did the Hakafot which is where the bride and groom circle one another during a Jewish ceremony, blessed the wine, broke the glass, and kissed! 

The reception kicked off mingling with guests, then hilarious and heartfelt speeches, followed by their first dance and the cutest dances with their loving parents. The DJ put on Hava Nagila and the Horah started the dance floor that lasted until midnight!

We love winter weddings - so when are you having yours??

C&A Photographers: Kristin Parra + Eva Ho

Getting Ready Location: Renaissance Chicago O’Hare

Venue: Biago

Day-Of Coordinator: Alyssa Rapp at Biago

Hair + Makeup: Jean from Diem Angie Agency

Bride's Dress Designer: David's Bridal

Groom's Suit Designer: Jos. A. Bank

Rings: Brilliant Earth

Florist: Marguerite Gardens

DJ: Okyne Media

Cage and Aquarium had a blast with all the vendors at Indie Wed 2020! What's Indie Wed you ask? It's a non-traditional wedding expo where you walk around Ravenswood Event Center (a real wedding venue) and chat with a ton of wedding vendors while you eat, drink, and taste all the treats! 

We had our DJs on two floors showcasing our talents. The bottom floor had our typical DJ set up - turntables and the ability to play both vinyl and any new songs. On the top floor, we had our 'all-vinyl' DJ setup. With us you can have the best of both worlds! You can choose an all-vinyl cocktail hour with records sitting out in view for all your guests. Then transition into our typical set-up with the ability to play both old and new, or keep that analog audio going all night. No matter what you choose, digital or vinyl, you can't go wrong! 

Ravenswood Event Center is a three-level venue with vintage cars, neon signs, and beautiful window light. There are models who walk around showcasing wedding gowns, alcohol capri-suns, gelato, ideas for favors, pole-dancers for Bachelorette parties, custom coloring books for the kiddos at your wedding, hair stylists who will braid your hair, jewelry, and the newest addition to Illinois - a bud-tender for cannabis at your wedding! 

If you're bummed you missed out on this awesome event, don't worry, we have another one coming up March 1, 2020 at The Haight in Elgin, Illinois. The first winter suburban Indie Wed! We have comp tickets available for purchase here.

A huge thank you to Ravenswood Event Center for hosting this and to all the couples who came out to enjoy the event! See you at the next one!

 

Vendors at Indie Wed 2020:

 

DJs (vinyl + digital): Cage + Aquarium Productions - (Tyler Huffman, Michael Rodriguez, Kevin Sanabrais)

Venue: Ravenswood Event Center

Plant-based Vegan Catering: Kalish Vegan (also the owner of Ravenswood Event Center) 

Photographer: Shelley Anderson from Cage + Aquarium with her brand new iPhone 11 

Fit/Pole-Dancing Company: Fempress Fit

Cannabis Company: HUSH Chicago

Custom Designed Coloring Books: Paper and Crayon

Gelato Station: Black Dog Gelato

Braid Bar: Blush and Burgundy

Wedding Jewelry/Headpieces: Rachel Andrea Collection

Live Band: Gussied 

Beer: Dovetail Brewery

 

This is a how-to for all you brides or grooms wanting a Backyard BBQ wedding reception in the city of Chicago but wondering how the heck you’d fit all your guests in your shared courtyard. Is your soon-to-be spouse asking if they can have grilled cheese or mac-and-cheese at their wedding? Did they beg you for burgers? If the answer is yes, just know you can have it all, in the best city in the world, and with style.

Ali + Pat told us they were having a pig roast/backyard BBQ style reception at our first meeting. Uhm, what? Where - in the city??

Fifteen before the ceremony in the gorgeous St. Francis Xavier church in the suburbs Ali and Pat shared their first look. Pat’s reaction to Ali walking done the aisle did not disappoint. You can have a first look and still get those OMG reactions. It helps you calm your nerves, and they wanted to prioritize fun over everything else. They were the kind of couple you dream of - completely in love and just want to enjoy every moment of the day.

After their wedding they hopped on trolley and explored around the city, stopping at every one of their favorite places. Garfield Park Conservatory for some greenery and color. Ali and Pat then got buzzed in to the first apartment they shared, they told us the courtyard was beautiful, but when we walked in it was like a Tuscan garden. Last stop was Thalia Hall, where these music lovers have spent many nights.

The party got started when they arrived at their reception venue. Saint Lou's Assembly is an indoor and outdoor venue space, full of fresh air, and is completely free flowing. Saint Lou’s has an old style diner inside, a speak-easy, another bar with long rustic picnic tables, a Photo Booth, and bocce ball!! This backyard BBQ had it all: frozen cocktails, koozies, all-vinyl cocktail hour, mac-and-cheese, honey butter and biscuits, green beans, gourmet grilled cheese, salmon bites, mini burgers, and a FULL pig roast.

Ali and Pat had every little detail tailored to THEM. That’s how it should be. And honestly - who doesn’t want their favorite food on their favorite day?

 

Photographers: Cage and Aquarium Productions - Jade Hull Hadassah Brand

Church: Saint Francis Xavier Parish 

Venue + Catering: Saint Lou's Assembly

Florist: Cornell Florist

DJ: Cage and Aquarium Productions - Ed Clemmons

Wedding Dress: BHLDN 

Bridesmaid Dresses: Free People

October 5, 2019 Kelsey and Adam were wed…twice. Yup, you read that right!

When you live in Chicago you’re well aware that we have more than four seasons and the weather app is never reliable. We walk around the city with layers on, an extra jacket, or an umbrella in our bag because every day is a ‘what-if.’

But, what-if it rains on your wedding day? What-if it rains when you have planned for an outdoor ceremony? If you’re a Chicagoan and you fear the weather on your wedding day or have anxiety about a last-minute downpour…keep reading!!

This couple really wanted to show off Chicago. The day began with getting ready photos at the Hampton Inn McCormick Place in the South Loop. This hotel is full of cascading natural light that peaks through the curtains, classy furniture, and lots of room for your wedding party to hang out! Adam and Kelsey had their private first look on a patio in the hotel. They joined their wedding party in the limo, grabbed a Truly and some champagne, and headed towards those classic locations that make you fall in love with Chicago over and over again. The sun was shining at the first stop – Kinzie Street Bridge. After pulling up to Museum Campus, only a few clouds rolled in. If you’re a native – you know clouds don’t equal rain, it’s anyone’s guess when it will, or if it will rain at all.

Kelsey and Adam dreamed up a beautiful ceremony on the Lacuna Artist Lofts’ rooftop. Rows of white chairs leading to a beautiful view of the entire Chicago skyline, and a hand-made wooden backdrop filled with greenery. The entire ceremony space was set up perfectly. They knew rain was on the radar but decided to go for it. The guests took their seats and the wedding party lined up. Adam walked down the aisle and the sun was still shining. As each member of the wedding walked after, the sky began closing in. The sun slipped behind gray clouds, and that beautiful skyline was now tucked behind a thick fog. Kelsey’s father took her arm and they began walking down the aisle right as it began to drizzle. Kelsey giggled and tried to cover her head with her bouquet, then decided there was no reason to hide, she was about to marry the love of her life – even if there was a bit of rain.

They had planned well, they had several clear umbrellas (a must-have on your wedding emergency list FYI). Their wedding party sacrificed themselves and it was clear they would do anything to make this moment perfect for Kelsey and Adam. Chicago had other ideas – the sky opened up and it began to pour. Their officiant paused, let them share a kiss, and they ran inside.

All of their guests still had a smile on their face. Kelsey’s dad had the privilege of giving his daughter away twice. Kelsey got to walk down the aisle for a second time to the same man, and Adam was able to watch his bride choose him again. After they poured their unity beer, they were able to share their second-first kiss as husband and wife. Their guests cheered soo loud!!

You dream up your wedding day and want everything to go perfectly because you have spent so much time waiting for those moments. But, the special moments are the unplanned ones, the significant instances that make your love story so unique. Kelsey and Adam abandoned the fear of weather, they vowed themselves to each other twice, in front of the unwavering support of all of their guests. Adam and Kelsey had already made peace with the rain-out, they entered their reception with one of the umbrellas, which got a good laugh out of everyone. They partied hard into the night. After the rain stopped, Kelsey and Adam returned to the rooftop during their reception for a few ‘good-night’ shots. It’s clear by their joyous smiles, it was indeed a good night. Everyone always says they wish they could relive their wedding day again...

Who among us gets to marry the love of our life – twice? A story for the ages.

 

If this didn’t calm your weather nerves, just reach out to these incredible vendors who saved the day:

Photography: Cage + Aquarium ProductionsHanna Walkowaik + Kristin Parra

Hotel: Hampton Inn McCormick Place

Venue: Lacuna Artist Lofts

Wedding Planners: Fierce Productions – Laura Reitsma + Kelley Millette

Hair/Make-up: Rare Bird Beauties

Florist: May Floral Design

Caterer: LM Catering

DJ: Cage + Aquarium Productions – DJ Archi

Videographer: Fine Detailed Productions

Rings: M R Diamond Co

Décor: AEG Lighting

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