Chicago Wedding DJs

  • Anu + Andy's Indian-American Wedding at Artifact Events

    This day was perfect and due to the volume of talent, photographs, and vendors, and endless amounts of fun - we have broken this blog post up into two segments. We're also doing a double post on our blog to keep all of you inside and happy during these trying times! We hope you are social distancing and enjoying the community that a wedding creates, even if you can only enjoy it from your couch right now. :) 

    Anu and Andy had a wedding so big and beautiful that it had two ceremonies: a Hindu ceremony in the morning, a break for lunch, a complete outfit change, portraits around the city, followed by an intimate American ceremony where they exchanged vows right before their reception party kick off! Typically an Indian wedding lasts several days, but these two did it all in one! They had their Sangeet (pre-party) and Mendhi (henna painting of feet and hands) leading up to the wedding day.

    It is custom tradition in a Hindu wedding for both the Groom and Bride to have separate processions. The Baraat is when a groom travels to the wedding ceremony typically by horse, but in the city of Chicago, that isn't an option. Andy loves the finer things in life, so he rented a Lamborghini and drove into his procession in style. Accompanied by family and friends, the guests dance their way to the doors of the venue.

    The ceremony begins without the bride, while Anu was in the bridal room upstairs doing her bride's ceremony. The bride is ushered down the aisle by her family to the Mandap and the bridesmaids follow. The Mandap is where the ceremony takes place. It holds the traditions, customs, and colors, and everything needed for the full ceremony. Roses and carnations, marigolds and orchids are often used to create the garlands. The flowers represent happiness and beauty. The two exchange garlands, representing vows. They are blessed with fertility by both their family and friends, they shower them with rice and well wishes.  The tying of the Mangalsutra symbolizes lifelong protection, you'll notice in the second segment that the bride and groom are still wearing their gold string. It is custom to wear it until they fall off.

    They then take the Seven Steps, each is a prayer for the couple: food and nourishment, strength, prosperity, family, progeny, health, and lifelong friendship. The ceremony was spoken in Sanskrit with an interpreter. Even without knowing the language, it was one of the most thoughtful, beautiful, and meaningful ceremonies - and the day was just beginning!

    Vendors:

    C&A Photographers: Jade Hull(lead) + Gina Garbero(assistant)

    C&A DJs: Michael Rodriquez (ceremony) + Justin Ferranti (reception)

    Venue: Artifact Events

    Wedding Planners: The Simply Elegant GroupAshley Carpenter + Emily Davis

    Florist: Trablume Floral Studio  –  Melissa Owen 

    Design/Lighting: Art of Imagination

    Mandap Furniture: Bandhan Rentals

    Linens: F&S Linens

    Baraat Lamborghini : DS Luxury Chicago 

    Bridal Braid: Circle SalonCrystal

    Hair + Makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry (Bride) + Be Glammed (Bridesmaids)

    Bridal Jewelry: Glimour

    Bride + Bridesmaid Saree: Nalli

    Henna: Henna Moments

    Henna Makeup/Hair: Arch Apothecary

    Henna Outfit: Viva Luxe

    Caterer: Mantra

    Videographer: Our Wedding Movie

     

     

  • Indiewed celebrates 10 year anniversary in 2019

    The Indiewed wedding show turned 10 years old! We were so excited to celebrate the milestone event with lots of couples and other wedding vendors that attended and exhibited the 2019 event last weekend. We kept the 2nd floor of Ravenswood Event Center hopping with Cage and Aquarium’s DJ Mykol and DJ Bothsides performing sets throughout the day.

    We love Indiewed’s alternative option to the traditional wedding expo. It’s a chance for couples looking for something a little bit different for their weddings to plan their big days. We also love exhibiting next to like-minded wedding industry professionals offering top-quality services with a unique approach. We can’t wait to hear what the next ten years will look like for the Indiewed show! Congratulations!

    Photographs by Cage and Aquarium's Kristin Parra

  • Introducing Ed Clemons

    Meet Ed Clemons!

    We’re pleased to introduce DJ Ed Clemons, the new Director of Sales and Networking of Cage + Aquarium’s Chicago branch! Ed’s deep appreciation for what it takes to get a dance floor moving comes from his background as a dancer himself. He connected with the Chicago B-Boy scene back in high school. In 2014 he joined the Cage and Aquarium DJ roster. If you see him out and about in the event scene, chances are you’ll see him bust a move! We interviewed Ed so our community and industry professionals can get to know him.

     

    Q: How did you get your start as a deejay?


    A: A dear DJ friend and former C&A DJ, Victor a.k.a. DJ Limbs introduced me! We used to be members of the Urbana Champaign Hip Hop Congress while we were students at the University of Illinois. At the time, I was focused on the bboy (breakdancing) element of hip hop, but became interested in DJing after watching DJ Limbs work school events and parties around campus. Fast forward a few years, after living abroad, we reconnected when I moved back to Chicago. Victor suggested I should try DJing given my passion for music as a dancer - I was introduced to Tyler and Shelley, and the rest is history! I have Cage & Aquarium to thank for my official DJ beginnings.

    Q: Do you have a favorite DJ moment to share?

    A: It's always hard for me to choose "one" favorite DJ moment as luckily I've experienced quite a few. I will say that there is a certain euphoria or high that I feel when playing a song that resonates well with a dancing crowd or audience. Whether it's "Sweet Caroline" that has a family at a wedding, joyfully celebrating hand in hand together, or dropping "Plastic Dreams" to send devoted dancers into a frenzy, that positive energy is the best. To me as a DJ, it's the gift that keeps giving.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Cage and Aquarium?

    A: First, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to represent Cage and Aquarium at this capacity. I see this as a chance to bridge DJs and other event professionals, to help foster a more cohesive community. Second, I look forward to connecting with organizations across the vast Chicagoland area, as well as continuing existing relationships.

    Q: What ways do you give back to the community?

    A: I think it's very important to give back, and I donate my DJ services to charitable causes. In 2018, I DJed for "A Breath of Hope", a yoga and social fundraiser for the LAM Foundation - a non-profit funding research and raising awareness about the rare lung disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis. I also served as a DJ for the non-profit “Daisie Foundation” during their 2018 Holiday Initiative. The “Daisie Foundation” is an event aimed to spread holiday cheer and gives gifts to Pre-K - 8th grade students and overlooked and under-served faculty and staff members at local schools. I am still involved in the local hip hop dance scene. I also am a member of the non-profit group “Renegades of Funk Chicago”, an organization that aims to educate, develop, and nurture the talents of youth and adults through the preservation and awareness of Hip Hop culture. Since the early ‘80s, members have been involved in organizing what has evolved from the "Writer's Bench" to now "Battle for The Eagle" - an annual community gathering at Chicago's Logan Square Park during the summer, which provides a platform to showcase the talents of youth and adults from Chicago through dance battles, DJing, emceeing, graffiti art and more.

    Q: If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing instead?

    A: If I weren't a DJ, I would still do something involved with music. It is a big part of my life. Before I became a DJ, I worked in the tech industry, and have had an interest in electronics since childhood. I could see myself in that field as well. Regardless of which path I would have followed, for me one rule underlies them all - no music, no life!

    Q: What are your hobbies?

    A: I like to shop for music (surprise, surprise!) - to my delight and detriment, vinyl records have taken over my living space. I regularly attend dance practice at local community spaces around Chicago. Dance is great because I get to enjoy music and stay fit, and that's a double win for me. Recently, I've been involved in a few stage performances with local artists, which is a very interesting experience. I don't think I have a future on Broadway, but I have a new-found respect for those who perform and act for a living. Then again, "never say never.”

    Q: What inspires you the most?

    A: I would say people inspire me the most. Yes, we are capable of some terrible things, but the amazing things we can and have done inspire me to never give up. Musically, I am inspired by a long list of artists. Behind the music, I receive inspiration from those close to me to strive and do better.


    Q: In ten years, where do you see yourself?

    A: In 10 years... I see myself as "coming to a theater near you..." :)

     

  • Neighborhood Nuptials | Ditch the Courthouse Wedding and Support Local Small Business

     
    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:

935 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Also serving the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego

p.312.725.2243

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