You only wear your wedding dress once, usually. Most brides are torn between keeping their wedding dress clean throughout the day and being adventurous and daring with their white gowns for photos. What if you didn't have to choose? 

Holly and Gordon had a beautiful wedding at The River Roast. It was a full day with love and laughs and polished photos. They ventured around the city for photos before spending the rest of the night on the river surrounded by twinkly lights. Her dress was preserved and looked perfect all night on the dance floor. Holly knew she would want to wear that dress again - and who could blame her! So we planned a morning-after session. We'll call it a 'dirty-the-dress' photoshoot, not trash-the-dress, because who could ever damage a gown as beautiful as this one?

Gordon and Holly got up early the morning after their wedding, changed back into their wedding attire with beautiful, messy, second-day hair and headed to the beach. It was 6:00am and the sun was rising with precipitation. I'm sure they were exhausted (and maybe even a little hungover), but you would have never known. They looked so alive and in love!

First they ran around the beach with umbrellas, embracing the wind whipping their hair, then threw the umbrellas aside because they were already married. They stood in puddles, climbed hills, and walked through meadows. Holly didn't care what happened to this dress - she just wanted to have fun with her husband. 

We LOVE this idea and we hope this inspires you to plan an additional photo session where your dress can have its own story too. 

C&A Photographer: Hanna Walkowaik

Before you can celebrate in your wedding attire, you have tons to cross off your to-do list. There is endless shopping, Amazon list making, and meetings. On top of all that you need to send out save-the-dates, followed by wedding invitations, and your wedding website AND registry. UGH! Can't we just fast-forward to the big day?!

Unless you are the most carefree person or have hired a planner to execute and think for you - you are going to have to do some planning. The first steps usually involve booking the venue, the photographer, and the DJ. (At least, that's what we as experts tell couples to do.) Then you might start looking at wedding dresses, suits, transportation, dinner menus, and tastings - easily the best part of planning a wedding is eating gourmet appz + cake right?

In the midst of all this preparation though - you might forget you are in the middle of a milestone. This is the time where you are ENGAGED! Not married, not boyfriends or girlfriends, but fiances. This is a chapter. This is a time capsule when you took a big leap forward, together. It is SO important to capture this part of your life. That's why we think an engagement session is a must. The photos serve multiple purposes! It gives you a little break in-between real life and planning to connect with one another, have fun at your favorites spots, feel completely in love, and the have pics to prove it. ;) You then have photos to use for save-the-dates, wedding invitations, and your wedding website. Several couples even print and frame them to use as decor around their reception space and/or as their wedding guest book!

Megan and Mike are saying "I Do" at Saint Gertrudes Catholic Church and throwing their reception at The Library on 8-8-2020. What a cool date right? They chose Lincoln Park Zoo as their location for engagement photos. We shoot here almost every weekend and it looks good no matter the season. It has city skyline views, a pond, the famous Honeycomb Structure, a beautiful stone tunnel with a bridge overlooking the pond, the nature boardwalk, fields, flowers, and tons of greenery! 

So quit putting off your to-do list and go book an engagement session - you'll be sooo glad you did.

C&A Photographer: Hadassah Brand

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


935 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Also serving the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego


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