Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tweet-Up Photos

Thank you so much to all the fabulous wedding vendors who came to our tweet-up last week.  It was great to finally put faces to the twitter handles I communicate with so often :)  All photo credits go to the oh-so-talented Otto Rascon of Otto Rascon Photography.  Thank you, Otto!

The tweet-up was held at the gorgeous Elate Restaurant in the Hotel Felix.  We were so lucky that Elate agreed to donate both the space and the delicious savory hors d'oeuvres!

Keiko Kubo donated this beautiful Ikebana floral arrangement.  Isn't it lovely?

In addition to the Elate apps, we were lucky enough to have Candice Hunsiger of Cacao Bakery (see also the Five Grain post about her here) provide Rising Moon beer cupcakes, caramel pistachio brownies, cheesecake pops, and cake truffles for our enjoyment.  Sooooo yummy!

My partner-in-crime, Maureen of Bon Moment, did SO MUCH for this event.  She created all the branding materials, the signage, and came up with the name.  She even made individual name tags for everyone attending!  Here's a photo of me trying to do my part to make 'em look organized on the table :)

...and Maureen lookin' pretty by the window
 I'm certain that everyone connected with at least one new person, so I'd call it a success just based on that:  but it was a lot of fun, too!  (By the way, whoever came up with the mojito idea, it went viral.  I think everyone I saw had one in their hand!)

Thank you, again, so much to Otto for taking such great photos of this event.  Can't wait to do it again!


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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume XI

It was so great meeting so many wonderful folks at the tweet-up on Thursday!  Can't wait to blog about that and share the photos.  In the meantime, here are some more cool people you should get to know...

1) Kristin, Prairie Production.  I think most of us have seen those gorgeous photos of weddings taking place in the oh-so-chic venue:  a blank canvas that has been transformed into a magical space.  Prairie production IS that space.  Featuring a wall of windows, light gray floors, white walls and lovely white paper lanterns; it was originally intended (and is still used) as a photography studio.  It would be perfect for the couple who wants a minimalist look, or is an ideal backdrop for those who want to add more color and detail.  It's located on Randolph so is in a really great location for any guests you have staying in the city!  If you're looking for a venue for your next event--wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event, make sure to look into Prairie Production. 

Prairie Production via Fresh Appetizers
Prairie Production via Wedding Mapper

2) Jamie, West Loop Studio.  Like Prairie Production, West Loop Studio doubles as a photography studio.  It's really conveniently located (in the west loop, of course!) and is a very hip loft space ideal for parties of about 100.  It's got great original wood floors, white walls and high ceilings.  Although it's a big open space, there are areas in the room easily dedicated for ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing.  If you book West Loop Studios to do your photography as well, you can utilize their back room as a photobooth--they have some of their best images framed on the wall for inspiration to get silly :)  See the below photos but also make an appointment to view the space with Jamie.  She's a great gal to know and has lots of wonderful ideas for transforming WLS into the perfect space for your event.

3) Natalie, Hello Darling.  Natalie and my good friend, Kelly Marie, from Fleur teamed up recently to create Darling Fleur, a floral design class.  I'd been interested in meeting with her for a while (based on Amanda Hein's recommendation) but seeing photos from their amazing class was just the kick-in-the-bottom I needed :).  I met with Natalie in her studio and while she showed me photos of her beautiful work we talked about our histories and similarities (we're both singers!  I'm trying to convince her to join my choir, Wicker Park Choral Singers; she lives in Oak Park and I grew up there, etc.).  Her style leans toward Old Hollywood (hence the business name, i.e. "Oh, helloooo, dah-ling") and runs the gamut between lavish and minimalist.  As you're figuring out your floral needs, definitely look into Hello Darling (oh, and say hello to Natalie for me while you're there!).


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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tweet-Up Last Call

Last call for any wedding vendors wanting to attend our Tweet-Up on Thursday from 4-7pm at Elate Restaurant at the Hotel Felix.

Please rsvp either via twtvite or by email to me:  joan at fivegrainevents dot com.  Tweet about us if you are so inclined using the hashtag #chiwedcocktail.

Twitter Handles NOT required to attend :)

More info is below!  Hope to see you there!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume X

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed your long weekends--I sure did.  But back in the saddle now with some wonderful vendors you should get to know...

1) Peggy Erickson-Lambert and Bill Lambert of Lambert Letterpress/ Erickson Design.  I met Bill at one of the first networking events I attended in early spring and it took us quite a while to find a time to meet!  Peggy and Bill are a husband and wife team who create beautiful and unique event paper products.  I use that terminology rather than invitations because Peggy and Bill have the philosophy that your wedding or event should have a cohesive feel:  from the save-the-dates all the way to the escort cards at the event.  Erickson Design can create these products in any price range.  Whether you're looking for a simple panel card invitation or a luxe letterpress invitation suite, I would definitely check out Erickson Design and Lambert Letterpress!  A few samples are below, or have a look at their websites.  Lambert/ Erickson

2) Esther, Scarlet Petal.  The story of how I connected with Esther is pretty funny.  I was first referred to her by Amanda Hein several months ago but it was taking a long time to make my way down the list, so I had yet to contact her.  Then at the end of May as I was preparing to leave my full-time job, a coworker told me that his wife had some ideas of a few people to connect with, one of whom was the daughter of a friend who had a "pretty successful" floral business.  I think you can guess where this was going :).  Once I figured out that the Esther to whom I was supposed to mention that "Aunt Jan" said hello was the same as the Esther of Scarlet Petal I reached out pretty quickly.  We met in Scalet Petal's studio space near one of Chicago's largest floral markets.  I learned that Scarlet Petal focuses exclusively on weddings to make sure they can give each bride and groom the special attention needed.  Their style runs somewhere between modern and traditional, but I'd just call it "stunning" :).  Here are a couple images of Scarlet Petal's work, but there are many more beautiful examples on their website.

3) Candice from (Cacao) Sweets & Treats.  Some days, it just really hits me that I'm in the right business.  When Candice emailed me to see if she could bring by some of her delicious baked items to try and then potentially introduce to clients, I had to think about it really hard before I gave my answer:  YESPLEASE!HOWSOONCANYOUGETHERE?NOMNOMNOM.  And that was all before I actually tasted her to-die-for sweets.  She has some incredibly delicious and creative flavors for her desserts, including lemon and sea salt brownies, mini chocolate Merlot cupcakes, and lavender cake truffles.  All are beautifully presented and she can either create displays for your event or package them individually in custom boxes for your guests to take away at the end of the evening.  Her skills would be perfectly put to use for either your actual big day or any of the events leading up to or following it:  showers, rehearsal dinners, day-after brunches (she does muffins, too!).  Definitely give Candice a shout if you need a sugar fix at your next event!  
***It's not possible for these photos to do justice to how yummy these things are...I'd just order a batch to try for yourself***

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