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

We are thrilled to announce that Cage and Aquarium Productions was published in Modern Luxury Weddings Chicago! It features one of our favorite couples, Megan Weaver and Adam Krivoshey. The New Romantics Fall/Winter 2019 edition was released June 12, 2019. Their wedding can be found in the Scene Chicago Weddings section, on page 284. 

Megan and Adam were married on October 5, 2018 at City View Loft. The bride dreamed of a fall wedding and it was executed perfectly with the help of their planner. The morning of their wedding it rained softly, then subsided, creating a cool breeze and wonderful autumn light for photos. 

They shared their first look in the heart of Grant Park. Afterward, they traveled to Lurie Garden, Olive Park, and LaSalle Street Bridge for wedding party portraits. The last stop before their ceremony was Goose Island Brewery. The couple was able to enter the barrel room and share a beer together!

As loving pet pawrents, they had their dog, Harvey, as their Ring Bearer. Many tears were shed during the ceremony as family members recited readings and the couple shared personal vows. They danced the night away surrounded by all their loved ones.

Pick up a copy of this print magazine at any retailer, the inspiration in this edition is endless! We are so thankful for all the wonderful vendors we had the opportunity to work with. A special thank you to Megan and Adam for choosing us to photograph and DJ their wedding day, we are so happy for you two!

 

To view the entire wedding day, you can see the full gallery here.

 

Photographers: Hadassah Brand and Jade Hull of Cage and Aquarium Productions

Videographer: Imagination Designers

Venue: City View Loft

Wedding Planner: Gina Mazzaferri - The Simply Elegant Group

Bride's Gown: Bodice - Justin Alexander ; Skirt: Allure Bridals - Weddings 826

Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka - Nordstrom

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Tamara Makeup and Hair

Bridesmaid's Dresses: Brideside

Groom + Groomsmen's Tuxes: The Black Tux

Florals: Atmosphere Events Group

Rings: Blue Diamond, Inc.

Invitations: Minted

Catering: LM Catering

Cake: Vanille Patisserie

Ceremony Entertainment: Jubal Music

Reception DJ: Adam Peindl of Cage and Aquarium Productions

 

This past Monday, Chicago turned 182-years-old! No better way to say "Happy Birthday Chicago" than with this classic and totally timeless Chicago wedding.

On the morning of October 13, 2018, Carol and Jonathan got ready for their wedding day separately at the JW Marriott Chicago. A rather new addition to the city, the JW Marriott first opened their doors in late 2010. They saved their first look for when Carol's father walked her down the aisle to meet Jonathan at the altar. The bride and groom said their vows at Saint Vincent DePaul Parish in Lincoln Park, which was built in 1897!

After their beautiful ceremony, they traveled with their wedding party to some of our favorite Chicago locations. First stop, Milton Lee Olive Park - designed in 1965 and dedicated to the first African-American to receive a Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. Next up, the LaSalle Street Bridge, constructed in 1928, officially known as the Marshall Suloway Bridge (does anyone call it that?) Last but certainly not least, The Chicago Board of Trade building. The Board of Trade building began construction one year after the LaSalle Street Bridge, in 1929, nearly 100 years ago! We told you Carol + Jonathan were timeless! 

Their reception was held at Biagio's. After cake-cutting, dinner, laugh-out-loud funny toasts, and lots of dancing they snuck outside for a beautiful end-of-the-night photo in Portage Park, which opened in 1913!

Thank you - Carol and Jonathan, for loving this city as much as we do and incorporating every little piece of it into your beautiful wedding day! 

 

C&A Photographers: Kristin Parra + Eva Ho

Hotel: JW Chicago Marriott

Ceremony Venue: Saint Vincent DePaul Parish

Reception Venue: Biagio's

DJ/Entertainment: Windy City Mix 

 

935 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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