Viewing entries in
Garden Ceremony

Why we love… Food For Thought

Why we love… Food For Thought

In our commitment to offer our couples an amazing wedding day, Greenhouse Loft has partnered with seven caterers who have proven to be the best in their trade. This list was created  as a benefit to our clients to ensure them an unforgettable experience on one of the most important days of their lives. We have worked with these caterers for many years at Greenhouse Loft and each one has something special to offer

Couples often ask who my favorite caterer is. That is such a difficult question to answer as they’re all so wonderful and unique. So, I got to thinking about our list of caterers and what we love about them! For the next seven weeks, I am going to feature each caterer so that you can get to know them and what makes them special to us.

Why we love… Food For Thought

Food For Thought has been in the catering business since 1983 and is one of Chicago’s top catering companies. I reached out to Nathan Printz, who is one of the Event Producers for some more details about what sets them apart. He said it’s their mission to create moments. “Our business has never been about just food, it’s about Chicago. It’s about people and it’s about the experience. With a team full of moment makers, we strive to make magical lasting moments for you and your guests.”

Each wedding is different so I asked Nathan what his most memorable wedding at Greenhouse Loft is. “Every wedding has something special that I walk away from thinking, ‘WOW how incredibly awesome was that…specifically for the newlyweds’. Whether it be that we were able to recreate their great grandma’s sugar cookie recipe or even getting a few shots on my phone that most guests will never see, and sending them to the couple after the wedding. Every wedding is special!”

His favorite type of dinner service? “I personally like events that use food stations, specifically ones that vary in flavor. It’s fun to create specific names for food items and add a little spice to the layout of the buffet. It helps create a fun atmosphere for each guest. It’s not a traditional type of service, but it definitely adds to the event’s uniqueness.” The center island at Greenhouse Loft creates a perfect station (or two), we can also use some of our tables to have stations around the dining room. I’ve seen Food for Thought do a donut station, which was pretty incredible!

Of course, I had to ask what Food for Thought loves about us at Greenhouse Loft! “I think what I love most about Greenhouse Loft is the design and architecture of the room. If you add a few tea lights and a little pop of color with the napkins, the room speaks for itself without having to use much décor. It’s such a unique space. Secondly, the practices that are in place to ensure events have as little impact on the planet as possible. Greenhouse Loft is a part of the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance, which is a group of vendors in the Chicagoland area that committed to protecting the planet with green recycling practices and earth friendly products.” Food for Thought is also a member of the GWA, which we truly appreciate. When they’re in our space, we know that their commitment to a low-waste event is just as strong as ours.

We love to see the special moments unfold during Greenhouse Loft weddings. Your wedding takes a lot of planning, many decisions and possibly some sweat and tears. Having a caterer like Food for Thought by your side will help ensure that the whole planning process was all worth it. When the big day rolls around, between the staff at GHL and Food for Thought, you can just show up, get married, and have a lot of fun!

All photos by Greenhouse Loft Photography

You can contact Food For Thought regarding your wedding or event via their website or by email, or phone - 847-786-0892

Katy + Dave

"We’re still pinching ourselves after what felt like the most perfect wedding day: pictures at some of our favorite Chicago places, a garden ceremony surrounded by family and friends, incredibly delicious food and drink, beautiful flowers, awesome “dance” moves fueled by the DJ’s impeccable song selection, fun, laughter, joy, and we both cleaned up pretty nice too. Thank you to all our vendors and, of course, family & friends for making it such a truly special day."

Wedding Date: May 21, 2016

Vendors: 

*Members of the Green Wedding Alliance

Emily & Frank's Wedding

We love when couples choose to spend time taking photos in their neighborhood!  Emily and Frank did their first look right in front of their house on a sunny September 12th day!  We traveled to the Humbolt Park and the 606 for more inspired photos!  Our favorite part was when we took a small detour over to Bangers and Lace in Wicker Park where these two had their first date!  The wedding party downed a celebratory shot, had some fun photos taken and we were off to the ceremony!  Emily and Frank were so stylish in an easy and laid back way, we loved her flower crown and flow-y gown. For their ceremony they sat in the front row and soaked in the beautiful readings.  After the ceremony a cocktail style reception ensued!  Favorite moment was when Emily's sister and friend got up and surprised them with a small concert of meaningful songs.  There wasn't a dry eye in the loft.  Take a look at the photos below and Emily's take on the day :)

Boquet.jpeg

"Getting married should be about celebrating--celebrating life, love, friendship, connection."

013EFheroes.jpg

"From the start, we knew that we wanted to find a space that could hold all the energy and spirit that our friends and family would bring to our celebration, and a space that could offer a similarly vibrant energy in return. Walking into Greenhouse Loft is like walking into a warm embrace that signals the start of something wonderful. Whether during the brightest hour of the morning or the deep darkness of an autumn night, the cozy yet enveloping interior of GHL lures you into its brightness and fills you with joy--all of our guests remarked on the beautiful aesthetics and kept asking, "How did you find this place?""

"Yet, even better than the place are the people who maintain it, who offer friendly, creative, and timely assistance, advice, and support every step of the way. From the minor details to the toughest decisions, the GHL staff were there for us, and so genuinely made us feel that they were invested in making our wedding day perfect." 

"Along with the memories in our minds, we have beautiful GHL photographs to share and cherish for years to come. For us, getting married was about celebrating, and about focusing on the deeper reasons for coming together to commit to a life in partnership. GHL understood this, honored this, and did everything they could to take on the tasks of making the day look and feel the way we wanted it to, freeing us up to focus on enjoying each other, our people, and an unforgettable celebration!"

Cheers to you Emily & Frank!

Many thanks to the vendors who helped make the evening memorable for them!  

Catering - Big Delicious Planet
DJ - Cage & Aquarium
Flowers - Flowers for Dreams
Wedding Dress - BHLDN
Groom's Suit - Express
Makeup - Robin Kelly Roche
Hair - Kelly Cardenas Salon
Transportation - Limotainment

Jessica & Taylor

Jessica & Taylor

Jessica and Taylor married on June 27, 2015, it was a bright blue sky afternoon.  So much fun doing first looks right downtown amongst the hustle and bustle of Michigan Ave. This laid back and fun couple were a joy to spend the day with.  I loved reading their write up, and how they fell in love with space, so amazing to hear that people connect with Greenhouse Loft, and we are always honored when people choose to spend one of the most special days here, and have us photograph the magic.  Speaking of magic - Make sure you scroll all the way down to see the magic that was happening on the dance floor that night!!  Thank you again to the couple, their kind family and friends, and all the vendors that brought their best!  xo

"After the late October 2013 proposal, I constantly heckled Taylor about his timing: how were we supposed to plan a summer wedding with less than a year of planning?! At the time, we were living in Seattle & agreed to have our wedding in Chicago, closer to where I grew up. Given the distance, I spent countless hours perusing the internet to find a venue that inspired me. I came across Greenhouse Loft early in my search and it immediately became the frontrunner. I have always been enamored with Chicago architecture so I knew I wanted a loft space reflecting this ideal. Unfortunately, my heart was nearly broken when I realized how limited the availability for 2014 was. During a trip back home for the holidays, I visited my top three loft prospects in person. In a very cliché Goldilocks way: one was too boring ($5000 in "draping" to dress up the walls?), one was too much maintenance (I have to bring my own toilet paper and hand soap?!), and the final one was just perfect. Unlike my other two tours, I could tell the Greenhouse Loft group held the space very near and dear to their hearts. I looked to my mom, the one person whose opinion I always value, and could tell she felt the same comforting vibe I did. I mean, no one wants a mid-wedding toilet paper crisis! It was worth postponing our marriage a year. "

"It rained the entire week leading up to our wedding day. Taylor & I were checking the weather forecast like clockwork: one day it would say sunny with no chance of rain [!], the next would predict a torrential downpour. The pessimist in me was convinced our beloved urban courtyard would just be a mirage come Saturday. To our luck, it was quite possibly the most perfect forecast you could expect from a summer day in the city. Phew. Jamie met up with the ladies at our hotel as Eric started taking photos of the men. For logistical ease, we chose to do all of our first look/wedding party photos before the ceremony. It was much easier to suppress the miniature bridezilla in me knowing Jamie and Eric had seamless communication with each other and could effectively navigate our way to Lincoln Park and the loft. Better yet, Jamie understood that my vague direction of, "I really like that honeycomb thing on your website" actually meant, "please take us to Lincoln Park for pictures"! I cannot stress enough how grateful I was to know the two of them had everything handled. It truly allowed us to enjoy the time spent alone with our bridal party."

"Our ceremony was officiated by my sister-in-law's father and we were surrounded by our closest friends and family. Two minutes before the start, I impulsively decided to have the wedding party walk out to a string version of David Guetta's "Titanium". While one of us was laughing down the aisle as the other nearly shed a tear (sorry, Taylor!), the tables were turned during the reception. After my stellar no-tears ceremony performance, I confidently agreed to take the first speech. I stood up, took a look around, and immediately realized that 110/120 of our guests traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to attend our wedding. Literally ten of our guests actually live in the state of Illinois. I tried my best to make a joke...and then my joke became tears and a lot of mumbling. To see everyone you are close to, all in one room to celebrate the two of you, is the most surreal feeling one could imagine. Taylor knows how confusing I find the usage of "humbling", but honestly, that is the only way I could describe it." 

"More speeches were given (all in a more eloquent manner than mine) and we proceeded to drink and feast. We will skip over the part where Taylor tried to shove cake in my face (if he thought this was something I'd actually enjoy, our marriage is probably doomed!). We shared our first dance together and continued the festivities through the night. Our DJ was spot on with our numerous requests ("Taylor cannot stand Outkast"/"There is no such thing as too much Pitbull") and really kept the party going strong. Looking back, I know Taylor is secretly pleased I won our endless battle-of-the-youngest-children argument over whether or not to include the Ultimate Photobooth. Steve completely nailed it - we ended up with very priceless photos and it continually gave our guests a fun break from the dance floor. Overall, everything just felt so lighthearted!"

"I could not have imagined a more perfect day, venue, guest list, or husband (ha!). I realized how important it was to have vendors who truly take pride in what they do. I started to feel so silly when I thought about how much anxiety went into planning those 12 hours. How could so much stress result in something so effortless? The outcome was just stunning. The architectural elements within the loft, the beautiful urban courtyard, and the subtle tealights were everything we could have hoped for. Both of us concluded that all of the small planning frustrations we (mostly me, Taylor is annoyingly cheery and optimistic all the time) had were completely unnecessary. I was constantly afraid of outsourcing tasks to other people in fear of losing my ability to control the final output. In the process, I realized it is entirely possible to curate an all-star list of vendors while still adding an ample amount of your own personal influence. In the end, it is all about celebrating your new life together with your loved ones. So, thank you to our friends, family, and vendors for making the day one we will never forget!"

Thanks to the vendors who helped put together an awesome celebration!

Wedding Venue: Greenhouse Loft
Wedding Photography: Greenhouse Loft Jamie Davis, Eric Davis, Steve Ewert
Catering: Fig Catering
DJ: Toast & Jam
Florist: Pollen
Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design
Dress: Jinza Bridal

 

Laurie & Billy

Laurie & Billy

It was a brisk June 19th, but everyone kept warm and cozy as we traveled through the city in a bus stopping and taking photos at the epic Olive Park, with beautiful panoramic views of the city along the lake.  The day had added joy with all the little ones joining us the whole day.  We even visited a local firehouse, since Billy is also a Chicago fire fighter.  It was such a fun ceremony with a  cocktail style reception that followed with live music all at Greenhouse Loft!  Enjoy Laurie's memories of the wedding and our favorite photos we were so honored to take! 

 

"Billy and I got engaged in December and had our hearts set on a June wedding.  Since we were late to the game, we decided that a Friday wedding was our best option.  We needed a smaller, intimate location that could serve as both the site of our vows and the reception.  Finally the wedding guests included 15 children under the age of twelve, so we needed a safe location that allowed them to enjoy themselves and their parents celebrate without worrying about the kids.  I found Greenhouse Loft’s website and it was perfect.  The calendar allows you to easily check if your date is free.  The pictures and video are fantastic to let you pre-experience the space before visiting.  Billy and I visited the space three days later and booked it immediately!"

"During the morning, I was surrounded by the bridal party getting ready in the suite.  Once Jamie arrived for pictures, the fun (and nerves) started!  Billy and I had our first look on the spiral staircase in the JW Marriott hotel.  The set up was perfect and our family was able to watch.  My nerves instantly went away, and I felt complete...ready to face the day with him."

"Jamie suggested Olive Park for our photos and it couldn’t be a more perfect location.  The weather was a bit chilly, but you couldn’t tell in the photos!  The family shots and couple photos were great with the city in the background.  The nephews were playing around and got some great pictures with Navy Pier in the background!  At our 2nd location, we choose a historic firehouse as a nod to Billy’s profession.  The fireman pulled the engine out and were really accommodating.  While my husband ran to the restroom, I took pictures with the fireman wearing a the official hat.  It was priceless to see Billy’s face when we got the pictures!"

"Our officiant, Anita Vaughan, was fantastic.  She customized the wedding to our personal story and made it funny and special.  We got married outside surrounded by family and friends.  I just remember feeling calm, relaxed and taking in every moment."

"From the cake cutting to the first dance, the night was perfectly timed and flew by.  We loved seeing everyone enjoy themselves and be able to let loose ourselves.  Our guests raved about the food and band.  We felt lucky enough to have a small wedding and really enjoy our guests, spending time with everyone."

"We loved all of our vendors!  Once you find the vendor you want to work with, I highly recommend giving them range to make recommendations and decisions.  I don’t assume to know the perfect flowers for June, best locations for photos, music that everyone will love, etc.  My wedding truly came together when I let the professionals do what they do best.  Our flowers were gorgeous beyond my imagination!  The photos turned out fabulous and unique!  Our ceremony and reception music was fantastic!!  I didn’t worry about a thing on my wedding day, as Greenhouse orchestrated with my vendors beautifully.  I highly recommend using their recommended vendors…they are top notch, know the space, and have a relationship with the Greenhouse staff.  Make the day hassle free!"

Thanks to our vendors!

Wedding Venue: Greenhouse Loft
Wedding Photography: Greenhouse Loft Jamie Davis, Eric Davis
Catering: Fig Catering
Ceremony Music: Neil Dixon Smith
Officiant: Anita Vaughan
Band: Red Pop Fury
Florist: Pistil & Vine
Cake: Alliance Bakery
Transportation: Windy City Trolly
Bride's Hair: Lucy Portillo
Bride's Makeup: Sonia Roselli Makeup Studio
Bride's Dress: Glamour Closet
Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse
 

Yamini & Mark's Vibrant Celebration

We are so excited to share Yamini and Mark's photos from their June 20th wedding!  Full of beautiful details, vibrant colors, a dramatic weather turn, flower petals abound, two ceremonies, delicious food, and an epic dance party!  We loved these two and their contagious smiles.  Enjoy some of the highlights of the day and their take on the celebration! 

"Our wedding day was filled with love, color, and two wedding ceremonies! It was the perfect way to celebrate the love that Mark and I have for each other and we were blessed to be able to share it with our amazing families and friends."

"The weekend started with a traditional Indian mehndi celebration where the bride, her bridesmaids, and the women nearest and dearest to her gathered to have their hands decorated with henna.  The common belief is the darker the henna is on the bride's hand, the more she will be loved by her husband."

"Saturday, June 20th began as a picture perfect day. The bride and her bridesmaids could not wait for hair and make-up to begin.  Dawn from Edit Faces provided flawless make-up and Jennifer from Mario Tricoci created beautiful up-dos for me, my mother, and the bridesmaids.  Saris were donned by all and I wore a magenta and gold lehenga.  The men wore classic tuxedos, provided and fitted by Tom Ventura at Black Tie Formalwear and started their day with a shoe shine at Nordstrom’s iconic Michigan Avenue location."

"Mark and I shared our memorable first look atop the Dana Hotel and proceeded to travel around town with our wedding party taking stunning pictures at the murals on Hubbard St. as well as a factory in the West Loop.  Jamie and Eric knew exactly what shots to take and made the wedding party look amazing."

"When we arrived at Greenhouse Loft, it was time for our Indian ceremony to begin.  The hour long ceremony took place in the courtyard, under the mandap and included many rituals, such as Saptapadi, in which the couple takes seven steps together, symbolizing an unspoken vow.  It was a welcome surprise for the bride to hear her soon to be husband recite the ancient Sanskrit language with stunning accuracy!  Family and friends participated by showering the couple with flowers and providing blessing for the marriage.  The Gods were definitely smiling down on the happy couple, for just as the ceremony ended and the couple exited, the heavens opened up and showered down on the guests."

"After a wardrobe change for the bride, mothers, and bridesmaids, and a delicious hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the second ceremony began. 
Officiated by Andrew Kopf, a dear friend of the groom, this ceremony included an exchanging of vows and rings.  Soon after, the (twice) married couple was whisked away to the photobooth for pictures with family and the wedding party."

"The reception followed, with a fusion Indian/American plated dinner from Hearty Boys, gorgeous floral and candle centerpieces by Pollen, and delicious cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B's.  After speeches by the father of the bride, the matron of honor and the best man, the bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance and did not leave it thanks to the amazing music courtesy of Tyler from Cage and Aquarium.  Tyler kept the hits going and the wedding guests had a hard time leaving the packed dance floor, but managed to squeeze in lots of fun in the Ultimate Photobooth with Steve."

Looking back, we could not have had a more amazing day.  We felt so much love from our guests and were privileged to have the most dedicated team of vendors.

Thanks to our vendors!

Wedding Venue: Greenhouse Loft
Wedding Photography: Greenhouse Loft Steve Ewert, Jamie Davis, Eric Davis
Catering: Hearty Boys
DJ: Tyler Cage + Aquarium
Florist: Pollen
Cupcakes: Sweet Mandy B's
Makeup: Edit Faces
Hair: Mario Tricoci
Tuxedos: Black Tie Formalwear

Amanda & Antonio's Colorful June Wedding

Amanda and Armando were our first wedding in June, it was exciting and really felt like the first summer wedding!  It was also our first outdoor wedding of the season, a beautiful June 6th evening.  Armando and Amanda met in high school, so the wedding was full of old friends that knew these two since they were really young.  The wedding was officiated by two very special people in Amanda's life, everything was so personal and touching.  Please see below for this vibrant colorful day.  Congratulations again to Amanda and Armando!  xox

-------

"Our wedding day was wonderful from start to finish. My bridesmaids and I had our makeup and hair done at the home of a family friend, while the guys prepared for the day at our home. Although it was chilly for June, you would never know from the pictures, thanks to the sun and the clear blue sky. The photography was the most important feature of the day, the first look was in the neighbors enchanted garden, next stop was the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, and then the at Kinzie Bridge. Final stop was at GHL to get married. To give our ceremony that personal touch we wanted, we had the service performed by my godmothers and had our dog be part of our ceremony as the flower girl. But the best part was marring my best friend and high school sweetheart!"

"The GHL space was set up beautifully for the reception and exactly as I had planned, a perfect way to end the day with delicious food, memorable traditions, awesome music & dancing, amazing cupcakes, ridiculousness in the photo booth and the excitement of having all of our family and friends in one room."

"Thank you to all my vendors and the careful planning of the GHL staff for making the day run smoothly.  And a special thanks to GHL photography for the beautiful photographs, I couldn’t have ask for anything more, such a specially way to remember June 6th, 2015!"

Many thanks to these awesome vendors!

Flowers: Pollen
Catering: Fig
DJ: Victor from Cage and Aquarium
Photography: Jamie Davis and Eric Davis from Greenhouse Loft Photography 
Cake: Sweet Mandy B's

Emily & Terry's whimsical spring wedding

It was a brisk May 9th but that didn't stop this lovely crew from having loads of fun outside!  It was a perfect spring day in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  Flower petals were gently falling off the trees, and the early spring flowers popping out of the ground.  Emily and Terry had the first outside wedding of the year in our garden that day too!  Enjoy the photos and the write up that the two of them wrote about their day.  We couldn't agree more with their sentiments of what a wonderful day it was.  xo 

"Our big day could not have been more perfect. We began at the Hilton Chicago, where the bridal party dressed and prepared for portraits before our first look. The Bride and her bridesmaids had their makeup and hair done by Vanessa Rose Makeup. When the time came for the first look, Jamie and Eric found us a lovely spot in Grant Park across from the hotel, with white flower petals falling around us like snow. After our first look and some additional wedding party photos in the park, we took some fun portraits at the Kinzie Street bridge and headed on to Greenhouse Loft for the ceremony and reception."

"We had our ceremony in the beautiful outdoor space, and despite slightly chilly temperatures, it was perfect. The Maid of Honor played and sang Adele's "Make You Feel My Love", and our officiant Tracey Bianchi created a ceremony that carefully blended our backgrounds and desires, incorporating words of love from each of us to the other."

"After the ceremony, we took family and wedding party portraits in the Ultimate Photo Booth, allowing us to take home beautiful formal portraits with our loved ones on our special day."

"The indoor space for our reception was decorated with tea lights from Greenhouse Loft and unique and gorgeous flowers and centerpieces made by Beth from Larkspur Floral, and set exactly the right mood for our night of celebration. Speeches by the fathers of the Bride and Groom, the Best Man, and the Maid of Honor were given during the delicious seasonal dinner from Food for Thought. Tyler, our DJ from Cage and Aquarium, kept everything running smoothly and efficiently throughout the dinner and speeches, and into the dancing portion of the evening, where the dance floor was packed from start to finish. In the midst of the dancing, our guests were presented with a late night snack of "mega-cannoli" from D'Amato's Bakery."

"As we looked back at the end of the night, we agreed that we wouldn't change a thing about our day, and all of the guests we spoke to agreed. Everyone worked together to make it a special, memorable occasion, full of love, and we couldn't be more grateful."

Many thanks to everyone involved in making this night spectacular! 

Wedding Venue: Greenhouse Loft
Wedding Photography: Greenhouse Loft Steve Ewert, Jamie Davis, Eric Davis
Invitations: Inskeep Brothers Printing
Hair/Makeup: Vanessa Rose Makeup
Wedding Dress: Fantastic Finds
Grooms Attire: Men's Wearhouse
Officiant: Tracey Bianchi
Catering: Food for Thought
DJ: Tyler Cage + Aquarium
Florist: Larkspur Floral
Cannoli: D'Amato's Bakery

Emily + Terry - Sneak Peeks!

It may have been a chilly May day, but Emily and Terry didn't seem to blink an eye.  First looks in beautiful Grant Park and a stop at the Kinzie Bridge, followed by an outdoor ceremony in the blooming spring garden!  Delicious food from Food for Thought, flowers by Larkspur and tunes (on records!) by Cage and Aquarium.  So many beautiful shots from the day that it's difficult to choose just a few.  Stay tuned in the next few weeks for many more! Congratulations again to Emily and Terry!

 

 

  • Catering - Food For Thought
  • Music - Cage and Aquarium
  • Flowers - Larkspur
  • Photography - Jamie and Eric Davis of Greenhouse Loft Photography