Cage + Aquarium hosted an 80s inspired styled shoot at Wicker Park Inn with an incredible team of vendors. A special thanks to Shelley Anderson and Kristin Parra for planning the whole photo shoot. We're heavily inspired by music here at C&A. The spark that lit the ideas behind this styled shoot came from Madonna's Like a Virgin and (of course) Blondie's Parallel Lines album covers

To our models, Michael and Cynthia - who are completely in love and the most fun human beings we could have asked for!

Our Photography Team at C&A captured the entire day, began at The Wicker Park Inn before we explored the neighborhood. You could say we've been waiting decades to share these photos! ;)

Take a look if you still love neon, rock scrunchies, blast 80s throwbacks, or just need some unique wedding inspiration. 

 

PHOTOGRAPHED FOR: Cage and Aquarium Productions

VENUES: @wickerparkinn + @recklessrecords

FLORALS: @flowersbystem

CALLIGRAPHY: @jessicadrapercalligraphy

STATIONARY: @lullabelledesign

HAIR/MAKEUP: @muaheatherb

BACKDROP: @scenicbackdrops

MODELS: @cinchi_mon + @djmykol

PHOTOGRAPHERS: @shelleyanderson, @jadehullphoto, @hadassahbphoto, @evahophoto, @hannaonlove, @ajabelmanphoto, @thaislovesstories, @garberophotography, @frozenframephotos

 

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..." :)

 

Cage and Aquarium is ready for some fun in the sun at our newest location -- San Diego, California! Blending an old school approach of turntable DJing with new school digital technology, Cage and Aquarium is bringing the heat to the Southern California event scene.

You’ve heard of mind-readers, but have you met a vibe-reader? Meet Michael Rodriguez - AKA DJ Mykol – Director of the new Cage + Aquarium branch in San Diego. Since 2005, he has been reading crowds as a DJ in Chicago and beyond. DJ Mykol specializes in weddings, but is fluent in corporate, retail and non-profit events.

From the moment Michael owned his first vinyl record, he was hooked! The sound, feel, and vibe of vinyl were the components that spoke to his soul and ultimately led him to where he is today. His well-rounded music tastes and gravitation towards interesting sounds are what draws people to DJ Mykol.

Michael started his journey with Cage + Aquarium in 2016. If you’ve ever worked with him, you’ve learned something. If you’ve ever met him, you are better for it.Michael has a smile that is contagious and he is always making goofy faces to brighten up the room. With his killer dance moves, attention to detail, and impressive music taste - it's impossible to have an empty dance floor. His desire to serve and bring soul to every set is what keeps clients wanting more. Michael has true love for his communities, a heart for the under-served, and a desire to stand up for the greatness of others. So much love in fact, that he’s decided to share it with San Diego, California.

DJ Mykol says it best, “For me it’s all about serving my client, expressing my creativity, and rocking the crowd. Watching people enjoy themselves dancing, nodding, or tapping to the tunes I’m spinning is the best compliment anyone could give me.”

We are so excited to open our doors to the San Diego community, we can't wait to party with you!

 

Let’s get weird! Wedding experts Tyler Huffman and Shelley Anderson discuss the unique and interesting ideas that adventurous couples showcase on their big day. Drawing from their fifteen years of experience, The Wedding Weirdos podcast talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly that occur with those “outside-the-box” wedding ideas. This husband and wife duo keep it real as they interview some of the top industry professionals. Sit down, tune in, and laugh your way through anecdotes, tips, and honest stories. Welcome to The Wedding Weirdos!

Listen to new episodes of The Wedding Weirdos every other Thursday wherever you catch your favorite podcasts, ITunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and leave a review.

  • Episode 1: Who Are You? | The "Introductory" Episode

In the first episode of The Wedding Weirdos, Tyler and Shelley discuss who they are, why they love weddings, what they’ve witnessed, and how this podcast can convince couples and industry pros to let their freak flag fly. Special guest: wedding planner, Jen Henderson, of A Fresh Event. She shares the story of her very own wedding mullet and her dream of planning a Space Jam-themed wedding.

  • Episode 2: There's A Tear In My Beer | The "Wedtoberfest" Episode

In episode two of The Wedding Weirdos, Tyler and Shelley discuss (completely sober, although not if you listen at half-speed) one of the best wedding expos out there - Wedtoberfest. This event invites couples to enjoy craft beer while chatting with prospective vendors for their wedding day. Wedtoberfest is a national craze and has shows in Chicago, Austin, Seattle, Denver, and Minneapolis. Special guest: Carlene Smith, of Naturally Yours Events - Founder of Wedtoberfest. Shelley breaks out the story where she saw a bride do a keg stand in her wedding dress.

The Cage and Aquarium gang at Wedtoberfest 2018 in Chicago...

The Cage + Aquarium team at Wedtoberfest 2018 in Chicago

  • Episode 3: We'll Make Great Pets | The "Animals" Episode

In the third episode of The Wedding Weirdos, Tyler and Shelley tackle the idea of pets (well, actually just animals in general) at a wedding. Tyler offends couples who release animals into habitats that are not their own, for aesthetics. Arielle and Sean share their crazy engagement and rad wedding ideas in our first ever interview with a bride and groom.

Which animals will show up on your wedding day?

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