Cage and Aquarium

  • 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 Virginand (of course) Blondie's Parallel Linesalbum 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

     

  • 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 

     

  • 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

  • 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 HullHadassah 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

  • 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

     

  • 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..." :)

     

  • 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

  • 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

935 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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