Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simply Jessie Blog Post

As promised...here are links to the Simply Jessie blog posts that I was being photographed for while writing the last cool people post.  Did I look happy enough?  :)

I realized that I facebooked and twittered about these but never posted as I promised.  So thought this would be a good opportunity to remind all of you to friend me on facebook...

...and become a fan (or "like" FGE or whatever it's called!)...

 ...and follow us on twitter.

Just want to make sure all y'all stay in touch w/ all the comings and goings of Five Grain Events.
Lots of blog posts coming this week.  Busy, busy!

Simply Jessie Blog PostSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Designer Gown

After attending my friend Jane's wedding (yes, ATTENDING!!) a couple weeks ago, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of her gown.  Of course, all wedding gowns are beautiful (or we'll say most!) but Jane's was special.  Jane designed her own wedding gown with the help of a couture bridal shop in Evanston called Dame Couture.

I thought other brides-to-be might be interested in the process of creating one's own gown, so I asked Jane a few questions about the process.  Before we get started, here's a teaser of Jane's dress (all photos by my talented friend, Ellie Papke):

1) What made you decide to have your dress made instead of buying it at a store?
I searched for months for a wedding dress.  I was being extremely picky about what I wanted and simply couldn't find my "dream dress."  Finally, I found what I considered to be "the dress."  It was a Melissa Sweet dress, which was perfect...except for the price tag.  I couldn't justify spending so much money on a dress that I wear only once.  So, I researched wedding dress designers in Chicago.  I visited three wedding designers and felt the most comfortable and confident with Holly Greenhagen from Dame Couture in Evanston.

2) Was it much more expensive than buying a gown?
Price-wise, my dress was very reasonable!  For the materials and details of what I wanted, the price was incredible compared to what I would have paid if I had gone with the Melissa Sweet version.

3) Did you know exactly what you wanted, or did the designer help you create it?
I had an idea of what I wanted since I had already fallen in love with the Melissa Sweet dress.  Along the way, Holly and I made small changes to the dress to accommodate my style and body.  The designer definitely helped me decide on what would look best. 

4) What was your favorite part of the dress?
My favorite part of the dress was that it was ME in every way.  I helped decide on every color (there are actually quite a few shades of ivory to choose from!!), every pattern, every cut, every detail, etc.  I made my dream dress that fit me perfectly!

5) What's your advice to someone who is considering having her dress made but isn't sure?
If you're willing to put the time and effort into making your wedding dress, then having your dress made is totally worth it.  Be prepared to be a part of the entire process!

I did get to speak with Holly briefly when I let her know I was planning to do this post.  She's really great and I strongly recommend contacting Dame Couture if you're considering having your dress made.

And now for a little more eye candy :) 

Designer GownSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume IX

As I'm writing this post, I'm getting photographed by the illustrious Jessie Stevens for her blog series called "profiles" where she takes photos of small business people in their work spaces.  She keeps telling me to look happy...luckily I woke up on the right side of the bed today :)

But onto the task at hand.  Cool people I met this week.  Ok, second confession of the week...I actually met these folks a couple weeks ago.  But better late than never, right?  Alright, no more blabbing!!  I have to keep looking happy (I'll link to the post when she finishes it and you can tell me if I looked happy enough, haha :)

1) Stitely Entertainment.  I met Jeff in his Evantston office and chatted with him about all Stitely Entertainment has to offer.  I happen to have personal experience with one of the Stitely bands, Chicago Groove Collective.  In addition to event coordination I also moonlight as a singer and a group I was with briefly had the opportunity to sing with CGC.  Let me tell you, they are ridiculously fantastic!!  Jeff showed me videos of all the other bands which proved they're equally fabulous.   One thing I think is really cool is that when a couple comes to Stitely to choose a wedding band they discuss the couple what the feel for the wedding is, and direct them to a band that best meshes with that vision.  A new addition to the Stitely group is their team of DJs which Jeff assures me are of the non-cheesy variety (my favorite!).  Check out Stitely for all your entertainment needs :)

2) and 3) I actually got to meet both Ray Pryor of Emotia and Lillian Toma of Starlight Makeup in one fell swoop because they're a married couple!  It was a lovely afternoon spent having lunch and exchanging commentary on the wedding industry.

Lillian has been involved in the beauty world for years and found makeup to be her passion.  She's easy to get along with--and has a secret to keeping her brides calm on wedding day (hope she doesn't mind me sharing!):  she puts lavender oil on her wrists.  As she's painting your face she's also helping you relax and enjoy the moment.  I think that's a huge plus!  Lillian and I are in agreement that when selecting your "wedding team", it's important to choose vendors you're excited to spend your day with. Of course the end product is crucial, too, so check out some of her beautiful work below and see her website for more info. if you're in need of airbrush makeup.

I'll move on to Ray who is just as likeable as Lillian (and by the way they're proud parents of 2 kids--don't know how they do it all!).  Ray is owner of Emotia, a company that offers both photography and videography services.  Believe it or not, he only began as a photographer several years ago, and it was Lillian who got him into it.  After realizing that he was having more success photographing his wife's work than some of the professional photographers, he jumped at the chance to learn the ropes on a wedding Starlight had been hired for.  There was no turning back.  :)  Although he does both photo and video, what I want to showcase here--and what he was most excited to present to me when we met--are some of the innovative ways he is setting himself apart as a videographer.  He's started to offer a same-day-edit where video taken of the couples during the earlier part of the day is actually shown AT the reception.  Clearly this clip below will do a much better job of explaining, or you can see more of these at his website.

Kristi & Tony - A Same Day Edit by Emotia from Emotia on Vimeo.

  'till next time, FGE blog readers!  :)  Still a bit behind but will be attempting to get caught up very soon!

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume IXSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, June 14, 2010

Save the Date--Tweet Up!

To stay relevant in today's world, most savvy businesses are all over the social media networking scene:   blogging weekly or even more often, updating facebook, and tweeting left and right. 

I'm happy to report that Five Grain Events is definitely on board that train!  :)  I spend a lot of time on facebook and twitter "getting to know" other folks in the industry--many of whom I've never met in person or even spoken to on the phone!

A few months ago I was discussing that conundrum with Maureen, of Bon Moment, first via twitter and then over email (so we could have more than 140 characters!) We agreed that since she was going to be in Chicago in July, we should host a Tweet Up so that we could meet, shake hands with, and get to know many of those folks better.

We're still working on the details, but it would be great if many of you who are followers of the Five Grain Events blog would attend! 

Follow Joan @fivegrainevents and Maureen @bonmoment for details as they're determined!

Save the Date--Tweet Up!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume VIII

Now that I'm full-time with Five Grain Events I've had a lot more time to meet with vendors--AND potential new clients :)  Five Grain Events has booked a couple new weddings coming up and I can't wait to share them with you as they come along :)

For now, though, I'll tell you about the fabulous people I've met:

1) Eric Snoza, Sno Studios Photography.  Eric was someone recommended to me by Kelly a few months ago but it took us this long to actually get together!  Eric started his photography studio after taking headshots of the fellow members of his music ensemble.  They turned out so great that he started getting requests to take more photos...shoot weddings...and the rest is history!  Eric's photography style is all about capturing the day as it happens rather than creating pictures.  I was also impressed with his scope of photography packages.  Sno Studios' services can truly fit into any budget.  I'm hoping we'll have toe opportunity to work together soon!  See some samples of his work below.


2) Katie Hall from Gallery 1028.  I had actually heard about this gorgeous and edgy venue when Calihan hosted a launch party there a couple years ago .  I was unable to attend then and it sort of slipped from my consciousness until Jaclyn Simpson visited and recommended that I do the same.  The space is amazing and would be perfect for any size party--from an intimate gathering to a large cocktail reception for 400 people, Gallery 1028 would be perfect.  They've hosted everything from weddings to fashion shows to concerts there!  It was originally a tannery in the early 1900s and still maintains the original wood floors that have that really cool weathered look.  The exposed brick with white walls dividing the space creates a beautiful blank canvas with a slight grittiness to it--just the right amount ;).  Here are a couple pictures but visit the website for more!

3) Andie Cumber, Makeup artist.  Andie is a good friend of both Livia Caporale and Dennis Lee.  She and I met last week for coffee and just chatted about the business.  Andie has been in the makeup business for many years and really knows her stuff.  What I particularly liked about Andie is that she's both very efficient but also very relaxed.  I can see that she'd be a great calming influence on any bride.  She told me that her top priority is keeping the day running on schedule--which is a huge help to planners like me! :)  Andie is a makeup expert and in addition to painting faces she also writes her own beauty blog which you check out here.  View a couple of Andie's beautiful brides below and view her site for more.

4) Chris Castaneda, Allure Photo.  Chris and I met at a Fast Track meeting a few months ago.  We decided to get together so I could learn a bit more about his style.  Chris grew up in "the business":  his father owns a print studio in the Chicagoland area.  He went to school for finance but sometime after he worked in finance for a bit he decided photography was the way to go instead.  In the first print competition he entered, he won first place!  The images that he produces really are fine art.  See a couple below and go to his site to view more.  It was great meeting Chris and I hope we'll get to work together in the future.

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume VIIISocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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