Archive | Events For Couples

Event Recap: Committed 2015

Committed, the 4th annual wedding showcase of the Green Wedding Alliance was Sunday, February 22nd at Greenhouse Loft. Committed is a boutique wedding event for engaged couples to meet and interact with green, local businesses that they might want to hire for their wedding.

Each room had different music provided by Toast and Jam, Cage & Aquarium, and Neil Dixon Smith.

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography


Photos by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography


The event was laid-out to create an easy flow for guests to have the opportunity to take in each booth and talk with often the owner of the business.

Guests picked out props and fun hats to have their photo taken by Steve Ewert in the adjacent photo studio.

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Catering companies (FIG Catering, Goose Island, Pure Kitchen, Big Delicious Planet) were stationed throughout the event offering small bites and pairings with beer and custom cocktails.

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography


Photo by Genevieve Lauren Photography

Photo by Genevieve Lauren Photography


Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

For sweets, guests sampled red velvet and salted caramel cupcakes from Elysia Root Cakes and assorted truffles and marshmallows by Katherine Anne Confections.

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography


Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Midway through the afternoon, the main room of Greenhouse Loft was transformed into a runway for models wearing gowns designed by member dress designers Mignonette and Dame Couture including gowns re-designed from vintage dresses. The models’ hair and make-up was done by Karen Marie Salon and CALM Natural Skin Care.

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography


Photo by Tuan Bui Photography

Photo by Tuan Bui Photography


Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Photo by Heather DeCamp Photography

Tuan Bui fashion3

Tuan fashion4

Committed in a zero-waste event with vendors, including caterers serving in compostable servingware like palm leaves and bamboo toothpicks that Collective Resource (a GWA member) composts after the event.

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

The show featured over 30 Chicago-based small businesses who are members of the Alliance to provide a fun way for engaged couples to gather wedding inspiration and meet the people who are passionate about green weddings in Chicago.

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography


Cheers and hope to see you at the Recyclery!
Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography


Vintage punch bowl - Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Vintage punch bowl – Photo by Greenhouse Loft Photography

Event Recap: Wedtoberfest

Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-1On Thursday, October 16th we threw our second annual beer tasting-wedding show mash-up dubbed Wedtoberfest. We love beer festivals, but feel many are overwhelming for novice drinkers and don’t offer practical options for wedding couples (are you really going to serve a hop-heavy, hard-to-find beer to your guests?). And most wedding shows are very “girly” and don’t appeal to grooms (or many brides). So we created Wedtoberfest as a solution to that – a small beer festival offering local beers that couples might actually purchase for their wedding, and a small wedding show that’s not too feminine.

This year we were pleased to be joined by Tighthead Brewing, Goose Island, Finch’s Beer, New Holland Brewing, Begyle Brewing, and Solemn Oath Brewery.

Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-41 Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-92 In addition our caterers offered German-influenced food including waffle sandwiches, pretzel bites, beignets, and mini brats (of course!).

Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-34Pretzel sammieMemorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-61Cage & Aquarium spun tunes and we raffled off great prizes from CGWA members and the participating breweries.

Our planning lounge was a low-pressure way for couples to browse through members information without the sales pitch or a litany of questions…

Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-4Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-19 We threw in some green facts to let couples know why we do the things we do… Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-24Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-35Thanks to Loft on Lake for hosting, Memorable Jaunts for the photos, all of the breweries and participating members (especially Art of Imagination who hung the fabulous, sparkly lights), and of course the couples. Until next time…
Memorable_Jaunts_Chicago_Green_Wedding_Alliance_Wedtoberfest-97 Continue Reading →

Event Recap: The Great Wedding Recyclery

by Kate Lerman of Chicago Vintage Weddings

Photo by Shane Welch Photography

Photo by Shane Welch Photography

As someone who runs a vintage rental company, I have a hard time resisting a good garage sale. There are all sorts of hidden gems and unique pieces to be found. One problem I encounter when rummaging through those sales, though, is that it can be hard to find enough matching items to create a look that’s consistent enough to decorate an entire wedding. I just don’t have the time to spend going from sale to sale, sourcing enough pieces to make the look work.
Photo by Shane Welch Photography

Photo by Shane Welch Photography


There’s also the issue of leftovers, of course. After the wedding is over, my rental couples and planning clients almost always come to me with pieces that they bought for their big day but can’t keep. After all, who really needs 30 vases or a box full of table number holders?
Photo by Shane Welch Photography

Photo by Shane Welch Photography


Photo by The Way We Click

Photo by The Way We Click

A wedding-centric garage sale is just the solution to these problems! It’s where newlyweds and engaged couples come together to swap wedding goods in style. This year’s second annual Wedding Recyclery, hosted by the Green Wedding Alliance last month at member venue Loft on Lake, was a massive success. Hundreds of bargain hunters lined the block from early in the morning to get a jump on the best deals.
Photo by Shane Welch Photography

Photo by Shane Welch Photography

They were greeted by GWA ambassadors bearing complimentary hot chocolate from Luscious Layers, keeping them nice and toasty until they could get through the doors and score that great find. Everything from gowns to glassware was featured at garage sale prices.
Photo by Shane Welch Photography

Photo by Shane Welch Photography


The event raised over $1,000 that the GWA will use to continue promoting eco-conscious weddings for all. Savvy shoppers who attended the Recyclery took a big step in the right direction, reusing some ultracool wedding goods rather than buying new (and more expensive) ones. We’re thrilled with the turnout and even more thrilled that so many pounds of waste were saved. See you at next year’s event!

Committed 2014: A review

by Tom Maluga, from Celebrate Your Love

Sign at Greenhouse Loft - Photo by Tuan Bui

Sign at Greenhouse Loft – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Well if you didn’t make it to Committed, the CGWA’s wedding show last month, you missed out. I am a new member to the group and didn’t participate this year, but decided to attend to see what it was all about. And, let me tell you Committed broke the mold of a wedding show.

Fabulous blooms by Larkspur - Photo by Tuan B

Fabulous blooms by Larkspur – Photo by Tuan B Photography

Mignonette designs - Photo by Cage & Aquarium

Mignonette designs – Photo by Cage & Aquarium

Punch by FIG Catering/Bowl from Nimble Well - Photo by Cage & Aquarium

Punch by FIG Catering/Bowl from Nimble Well – Photo by Cage & Aquarium


How do you have a wedding show that doesn’t fit the mold? Start with a group of wedding vendors that break it! Committed is not only the name of the show and a reference to the act of marriage, it expresses the commitment of people who care about their crafts, their clients, and about making our world a better place through their practices. That passionate ethos alone makes Committed a show unlike any other.
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Cake toppers from Luscious Layers - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Cake toppers from Luscious Layers – Photo by Tuan B Photography


But this ethos that makes a difference is understated. It is offered as a reassurance to those who share our values and an invitation to those who are open to consider. Few ‘green’ flags were waved and the mental images of the experience did not all have a green hue. The tone wasn’t hippie-dippy or “granola,” but rather offered professional vendors who just happened to be eco-friendly.
Yum by Pure Kitchen Catering - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Yum by Pure Kitchen Catering – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Elotes from Goose Island Catering - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Elotes from Goose Island Catering – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Photo by Cage + Aquarium

Photo by Cage + Aquarium

The real banner waving over Committed was the banner of having a good time. It was that vibe that really shattered the tired dynamic of a typical ‘trade show.’ Creative genius that could be seen, heard, touch, smelled, and tasted was prominent. Each vendor offered unique contributions to making a wedding the unique experience it should be – DJs laid down beats, taste buds were tantalized by caterers and sweet vendors, boozy drinks were poured, and visual treats abounded. And, best of all, no high pressured sales…the lives of couples planning weddings don’t need any more anxiety! Instead Committed exuded a laid back, chill vibe committed to having fun. Whether it was in the rumpus room with the DIY activities, posing for photos with fun head-ware, making your own hot chocolate marvel, or interacting with competent and eco-responsible wedding vendors, Committed was the party intended to help you make your weddings the party of your lifetime (and allow you to do it a little greener).

Wedding ring toss with Catalyst Ranch - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Wedding ring toss with Catalyst Ranch – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Dancing - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Dancing – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Viewmaster with Greenhouse Loft - Photo by Tuan B Photography

Viewmaster with Greenhouse Loft – Photo by Tuan B Photography


Our one nod to greenness - explaining how we composted with Collective Resource

Our one nod to greenness – explaining how we composted with Collective Resource

Cheers for Bridetoberfest!

This post is a little late but we’re still buzzing over here at the CGWA about Bridetoberfest. What a fun night! Thanks to all who came out and to everyone involved.

If you didn’t make it over to the DANK Haus in October to celebrate with us, you missed some good beers and brats! We had nine breweries in the mix serving up some seriously delicious beers—some of which Chicago had never untapped before! We also had our CGWA approved caterers and sweeties serving the best Oktoberfest style foods.

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Our planning lounge was a huge hit too. Couples got the chance to walk around in the lounge area and get ideas for their wedding or shop vendors without being “sold” to. This was great for the couple that wants to meet cool vendors who are green and non-traditional, but doesn’t want to experience the hustle and bustle of a formal wedding show.

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Cage and Aquarium kept the night alive with their tunes and helped us make some very important announcements. You see, not only did we have food and drink Fit for a King, we also had a pretty sweet raffle! We announced winners every hour and some lucky couples took home hundreds of dollars worth of goodies. From Parisian earrings and engagement sessions to sauerkraut kits and beer, we had something for everyone.

Best of all, our event was nearly zero waste with Collective Resource composting all disposables, food, and even the décor! The next show is not to be missed. Just check out all these photos from Allison Williams Photography!

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Our brewery lineup:

Goose Island Brewery, Revolution Brewing, Tighthead Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Half Acre Beer Company, Finch’s Beer Co., Lakefront Brewery, 3 Sheeps Brewing

Our eats and sweets vendors:

FIG Catering, Goose Island Catering, Pure Kitchen Catering, Katherine Anne Confections, Luscious Layers

Other vendors seen at Bridetoberfest:

Beauty- Karen Marie Salon, Noktivo Salon & Spa

Décor- Nimble Well, Chicago Vintage Weddings, Art of Imagination

Dress and accessories- Simply Wood Rings, Mignonette Bridal

Favors- Bright Endeavors

Flowers- Pollen, Larkspur

Photographers- Serendipity Portraits, Allison Williams Photography, Tuan H. Bui Photographer, Heather DeCamp Photography, The Way We Click Photography

Planners- Lisa Gordon Events, Naturally Yours Events

Stationery- Spilled Ink Press, Tweedle Press

Venues- Catalyst Ranch, Loft on Lake, Greenhouse Loft

Special DIY Touches

by Lauren Smith @ Catalyst Ranch

How does that traditional poem that details everything a Bride needs to ensure a perfect wedding begin?

Something old, something new; Something borrowed…

In an age of DIY brides and non-traditional weddings, it’s nice to revisit some of the traditional roots of the sacred bonds of matrimony. Our space at Catalyst Ranch is a little non-traditional to say the least – surrounded by bright colors, vintage furniture, and games/toys – as such we’ve seen many different weddings, of all denominations, gay and straight, themed, and traditional. What unifies all of them is how innovative and creative the couples get as they walk down the aisle at The Ranch. With varying budgets for these couples, they often find inventive versions of time-honored traditions.

Here are some of our favorite creative tips to personalize your wedding with the DIY flair:

Fall leaves as a bouquet! This bride’s maid of honor picked leaves from around the venue the morning of her wedding to create her beautiful fall bouquet. If you are a fall bride, this could be a great option for you. Mix the leaves with a few berries and some lace and you are all set! Photos by Deidre Lynn Photography

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Source: http://greenweddingshoes.com/top-10-tips-to-throw-a-diy-wedding-from-2011/

DIY Garter  – Designing and wearing your own garter — even if just your future husband sees it — will give you a secret thrill throughout the night.

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Source: http://www.bridalguide.com/blogs/the-budget-guru/diy-wedding-garter

DIY Seashell Boutonniere –This captures a fresh, by-the-sea vibe without venturing too far into tropical territory.

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Source: http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-budget/diy-seashell-boutonniere

Of course, not everyone is as crafty as some of these brides and grooms. For those who don’t have the arts-and-crafts prowess, but still need to plan their wedding on a DIY budget, there are many resources to help you out. One of the best ones we know of coming up is The First Annual Great Wedding Recyclery. The Great Wedding Recyclery is a collection of wedding items from recently-wed couples and wedding vendors. Slightly used and vintage wedding items – from Mason jars, to vases, to dresses, to jewelry, and more – for brides, grooms, and vendors to peruse and buy. Save money, reuse stuff, save the world (or at least create a little less waste). So save the date for savings on April 28 at Loft on Lake from 11A-4P.

Recycling Your Wedding

For couples planning on DIY-ing their wedding décor, finding the right vases, frames, runners, or table numbers can be a challenge.  And then what do you do with them after the wedding?  No one needs 20 of the same vase, right?  And what if you really don’t want to hold on to your wedding dress for eternity?  Thankfully, there are some resources out there to help couples with these post-wedding issues.

The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance is excited to announce The Great Wedding Recyclery, a garage sale of sorts. On Sunday, April 28th, we’ll be bringing together new, slightly used, and vintage items with soon-to-be brides (and grooms) to help them create the wedding of their dreams. In addition to décor, we’ll have once-worn dresses, rings, and other items that just might be the perfect alternative to buying new. Visit Loft on Lake at 1366 W. Lake St. from 11AM – 4PM for all of these finds.  You can find more details on how to participate in the event here.

If you are recently-wed and are ready to get rid of those wedding items that have been taking up space in your closet/basement/mom’s house, you can participate in the Recyclery by donating, selling or consigning your items. E-mail us at greenweddingalliance@gmail.com for more information.

Can’t make it to the Recyclery?  In recent years, a number of websites have popped up to help those trying to locate wedding-related items, and those trying to unload items after the wedding.  Here are some we found:

Tradesy, formerly Recyled Bride: http//www.tradesy.com/weddings/

Bravo Bride  http://www.bravobride.com/

Ruffled Blog – Recycle Your Wedding.  http://ruffledblog.com/recycle-your-wedding/browse-listings/

One Hundred Layer Cake Marketplace.  http://www.100layercake.com/market/

Once Wed for used wedding dresses  http://www.oncewed.com/used-wedding-dresses/

Project Wedding’s Classifieds: http://www.projectwedding.com/classifieds

Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses: http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/

Wedding Bee Classifieds: http://www.weddingbee.com/classifieds/

Wore It Once:  http://www.woreitonce.com/

The second step in the 3-R Waste Hierarchy is to Reuse. What better way to make your wedding more eco-friendly than reusing items rather than buying new? Sounds green to me.

Thanks for Being Committed!

For anyone looking to attend Committed this year, please click here to buy tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/547786.

Here’s a recap and photos of last year’s event:

Thank you to all who came out to our 2nd annual wedding event, Committed! We had a blast showcasing what our members do best and chatting with you all.

Our 2013 event had a few new features- we hosted a fashion show showcasing local designers set against the “You are Beautiful” exhibition and incorporated a neat rumpus room filled with DIY activities. What a combo.

This event had something for everyone and we can’t wait to show off next year! In case you missed it or want a trip down memory lane, check out these amazing photos from Cage and Aquarium.

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