Thursday, December 8, 2011

We've Moved!



Five Grain Events has a newly re-designed website with blog incorporated!  We are thrilled to show it off.  If you're looking for new content, you can find it here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Joan, Sara, Lauren, and Shannon
We've Moved!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Laura and Andy's Nautical Wedding in Connecticut 5.27.11

Laura and I go way back.  As juniors in college we ended up on the same Study Abroad program in Milan, Italy and had an amazing experience traveling all over Europe together.  Since then, we've stayed in touch thanks to Laura's work schedule sending her to Chicago a couple times a year and her now husband, Andy, having grown up in the area.  I was completely honored last spring when Laura asked me to help her out with the coordination side of things for her nautical-themed wedding over Memorial Day Weekend.


Laura and Andy decided to host their big day in Connecticut where the two of them had been living for the past few years.  Since Laura's parents were out of town, they rented a gorgeous beach house in Norwalk, CT for the weekend so the ladies would have a place to hang out and get ready on wedding morning.  You could not have asked for a better spot--tons of natural light and a view overlooking the water.  While enjoying the view, Laura and her bridesmaids were prepped and pampered by the talented artists at Jennie Fresa Beauty Library.



Meanwhile, the gents were hanging out at the hotel nearby.  Andy wore this fabulous belt buckle to pay homage to the fact that the couple was moving to Austin, Texas immediately after their honeymoon.  I'm sure he's fitting in well!!


Justin & Mary Photography





Laura's dress was absolutely stunning with applique flowers and a matching jacket for modesty during the ceremony.  She was truly glowing! 



Before long it was time to head over to the ceremony, which was held at St. Philip Catholic Church in Norwalk.  Laura and Andy were both incredibly calm--both just excited to be marrying their best friends.  I think they both smiled through the entire ceremony!


Justin & Mary Photography




The photographers, Justin & Mary, have what they like to call "The 10 Minute Rule".  Immediately after the ceremony, the couple takes ten minutes, just the two of them, with Justin and Mary.  That way, those face-flushed, teary-eyed, "oh my gosh we're actually married", moments are captured without the chaos of family and friends' congratulations and stiff family portraits interrupting those feelings.  I love the idea and think more photographers should take advantage.  I mean, look at the pure emotion in these images!







Justin & Mary Photography




Laura's bouquet and all the florals from the wedding came from Stew Leonard's...a grocery store in town.  These certainly don't look like your average grocery store blooms!  That was my one disappointment during my trip out to Connecticut that I didn't get the chance to check out Stew's.  I've heard it's an experience!


Justin & Mary Photography





Post-ceremony, the guests headed over to Wee Burn Beach Club for the reception.  The club already had a nautical feel to it, but the couple's own special details, including handmade table runners "Captain" and "First Mate" signs for the bride and groom's chairs, and milk glass vases filled with yellow Billy Balls, really brought the whole look together. 




Justin & Mary Photography


                                              Laura's mom created this escort card display out of a cork board, batting, and the same fabric they used for the table runners.  The cards were held in place by yellow map pins.  Such a cute idea!


Justin & Mary Photography
While guests were mingling on the gorgeous patio, the bridal party got to take some group photos on the beach.  You definitely can't replicate photos like these in Chicago! [clear]












Justin & Mary Photography
Before long the festivities had begun.  The couple shared their first dance to the musical stylings of A Sound Choice by Groove Events, were toasted by loving friends and family, and ate their first meal as a married couple followed by tasty cupcakes from Cake Suite (Laura made all those adorable cupcake flags herself!).







Justin & Mary Photography












Justin & Mary Photography





In addition to these fabulous photos by Justin & Mary, Laura and Andy were lucky enough to have their wedding day filmed by Red Shoe Film.  Check out their wedding film, too!

Laura + Andy - Coming Soon Teaser from Brian Russell on Vimeo.



All in all it was a truly fantastic evening.  Laura and Andy, I am so glad to have gotten the chance to work with you on such an important day in your lives.  I hope you are enjoying Austin to the fullest!



Justin & Mary Photography





Laura & Andy's wedding was also featured on Style Me Pretty this fall!  Check that out below.
http://www.stylemepretty.com/2011/10/21/rowayton-wedding-by-justin-mary/
Laura and Andy's Nautical Wedding in Connecticut 5.27.11SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Kristen and Adam!

A year ago yesterday, Kristen and Adam tied the knot at the Allerton Hotel, and then proceeded to have one of the wildest dance parties I've ever witnessed (they even pulled me on the dance floor a few times!).


I hope the two of you have spent the last 12 months having as much fun as you did that night!

Much love,

Joan
Happy Anniversary, Kristen and Adam!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Elizabeth and Alex's Brunch Wedding at Chicago History Museum 05.01.11

Elizabeth and Alex initially wanted to host their wedding at Elizabeth's parents' home on the North Shore, but when their list of their nearest and dearest began to exceed 150, they knew it just wasn't possible.  Plus, with their guests coming from in from literally all over the world, they wanted to make sure everyone got to experience the best that Chicago has to offer.  They decided, instead, to emulate the feeling of an at home event, with a morning wedding and brunch reception in the sun-soaked Chicago Room at the Chicago History Museum.


The morning began bright and early for the bride and her team.  I met Elizabeth and her Maid of Honor, Brynne, at the Sofitel where Livia Caporale was hard at work on Elizabeth's hair and E's friend Kaylin was busy doing makeup.




Maypole Studios
The bride and groom shared their first look on the steps of Chicago History Museum.  The weather was a total toss-up but it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day.  Everyone, especially the photographer, Bethany from Maypole Studios was thrilled with this serendipitous outcome. They took advantage of the sunshine indoors by signing their Ketubah in the new North & Clark Cafe.







Maypole Studios
While the room was changed over from ceremony to reception, delicious hors d'oeuvres were passed by Food for Thought staff and Larry King Orchestra provided a Bluegrass trio to play some tunes.  During the last few minutes of cocktail hour, the musically-talented newlyweds (who met playing at a jam session in NYC) sat in with the trio and delighted the guests with a couple of their favorite Bluegrass numbers!




Maypole Studios
Brunch, which was served at long tables speckled with sweet terracotta pots and blue mason jars filled with mint, artichokes, and the most beautiful delicate early-spring blossoms created by Fleur, was where their homestyle vision really came to light.  Following a plated salad, guests were each served a slice of quiche paired with a minted grape salad and potatoes along with traditional lox and bagels served family style.  Guests ate and passed and chatted with family and friends--both old and brand new:  exactly how the couple hoped the afternoon would be spent.


Maypole Studios

The toasts honoring Alex and Elizabeth were some of the best I have ever seen or heard.  Elizabeth's parents wrote a rhyming poem that mentioned every single guest present at the wedding.  Alex's brother, an accomplished singer, brought in his world-class barbershop quartet to dedicate a song to the couple.  Even Alex's little niece got in on the action--she performed The Beatles' Love Me Do, with Alex backing up on the mandolin, for the crowd! 







Maypole Studios
Brunch was over about 1:30pm and then it was time to party!  Larry King Orchestra got the crowd up immediately--not an easy feat for a mid-afternoon reception--and the dance floor was packed until the bitter end.  Guests were treated to one last surprise when Elizabeth's parents, who both play harmonica (aka blues harp), rocked out to a rendition of Walter's Boogie.  It was almost too much to handle how ridiculously talented this crowd was!





Maypole Studios

Once their guests had said their goodbyes, Alex and Elizabeth freshened up and headed out for a final photo session with Maypole Studios.  It was a nice perk of the morning event that they could take some time for some really relaxed photographs after the festivities had ended without worrying about a time crunch.  Elizabeth's Caroline De Villo tea length eyelet dress looked just as beautiful as it had the moment she put it on.

Maypole Studios


It was such a pleasure working with this wonderful couple and their families on their unique and beautiful celebration.  Congrats to you both!


E&A's wedding was also featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs this fall!  Check that out below, and stay tuned for another feature in the next issue of Chicago Social Brides!

http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/2011/09/27/chicago-brunch-wedding/
Elizabeth and Alex's Brunch Wedding at Chicago History Museum 05.01.11SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Stacey and Dave!

It's hard to believe it's been a year since Stacey and Dave's lovely wedding at the Westin O'Hare.  I still remember like it was yesterday one of the sweetest moments I've ever seen at a wedding:  Dave serenading Stacey and her dad for their Father-Daughter dance.  So cute!


Congrats on making it through year #1 you two!

Much love,

Joan
Happy Anniversary, Stacey and Dave!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brook and Jesse's Farm Wedding at Heritage Prairie Farm 04.23.11

On the cusp of Autumn, it's hard to remember WAY back to last spring when the warm breezes were only just beginning to make their way to the Midwest.  Brook and Jesse were married at Heritage Prairie Farm on Easter Weekend this past April.  It was a beautiful event filled with laughter and joy...and a couple power outages!  Luckily this laid-back couple took it all in stride and were rewarded with their dream wedding!

The morning began with the ladies in the farm house, primping and preening before the festivities began.  Hair and Makeup services were provided by some of my faves:  Livia Caporale and Lillian Toma of Starlight.  Rustic bouquets by Pollen and an invitation suite custom-created by Lily Red Studio really brought to life their farm chic concept.

















james julius photography
Brook and Jesse decided to share a first look to take advantage of some of the fabulous outdoor settings on the farm.  James Julius Photography was there to capture this intimate moment outside the farm house.  I have to say, Jesse who was in the military, really keeps up the rough and tumble exterior.  It made it all the more special to see emotional he got seeing his bride-to-be for the first time.









james julius photography
The crew headed out for some photos around the farm while Lauren and I got the ceremony and reception spaces ready.  Brook and her sister had prepared the cutest DIY escort card set up featuring childhood photos of the bride and groom and table numbers supported on wine-cork stands.  The table arrangements were the work of Heritage Prairie Farm staff and complimented Brook's burlap runners perfectly.









james julius photography
The one and only item Jesse requested for the wedding was that Guinness be served on tap.  Despite major hurdles in the few days prior to the wedding, we made it happen!  I learned more about how to set up a Guinness tap (which requires Nitrogen, in addition to CO2--didja know that??) than I ever thought I would.  Guests definitely enjoyed this delicacy throughout the evening. :)






james julius photography
Soon it was time for the ceremony to begin.  The floral geniuses at Heritage Prairie Farm created a stunning altar for the ceremony topped off by lights strung through the rafters and ferns around the barn perimeter.  I swear it looked like something straight out of a fairy tale!  As a nod to her cultural heritage, Brook placed Korean Wedding Ducks on the altar table representing the bride and groom.





james julius photography
 
The reception was held in a tent right next to the barn.  Guests headed over and enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while Spencer from Style Matters DJs played some tunes.  Dinner was served family style and featured locally-sourced ingredients:  Watercress Salad, Braised Beef with Polenta and Micro Greens, Semi-boneless chicken breast with spinach and garlic mashed potatoes, and green & white asparagus.  All delicious and beautifully presented.  Dessert included cake and cupcakes from Sweet Dream Desserts.



james julius photography

Once the formalities had been completed it was time to party!  And there was no shortage of things to do...there were folks getting crazy on the dance floor, guests in the photobooth provided by iDo Photobooths, and others roasting marshmallows for s'mores at the fire pit out back.

james julius photography
The coolest activity, however, was one that we weren't sure was going to be able to happen.  All day it had been bright and sunny which was great, but also VERY breezy.  At the end of the evening, HPMF offers wish lanterns for guests to send off into the night sky.  With the wind going at the speed it had been, we weren't sure it would be safe since they are essentially lit on fire and had to be able to get enough altitude before starting to travel to make them feasible.  Right around 10pm, the wind died down and our test lantern floated gracefully into the sky.

james julius photography
We invited all of Brook and Jesse's guests to come out and light their lanterns.  It was a really magical way of including a physical manifestation of everyone's well wishes for the happy couple.  I wonder what the bride and groom wished for?!




james julius photography
Thanks, you two, for including me as such a big part of your wedding planning process!  It was a joy to see everything we worked so hard on come together flawlessly.  I wish you both all the best in everything you've got planned for your future.  xoxo
james julius photography

Brook and Jesse's Farm Wedding at Heritage Prairie Farm 04.23.11SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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