Meet the Curators
Can you believe CHI thee WED has been live for three weeks now?! We want to celebrate by introducing you to our Curator team! Our Curator team is made up of several different industry professionals that operate in Chicago and the surrounding area. Each month our Curators will be creating posts from real weddings, styled shoot inspiration, as well as giving you tips and tricks for planning your own wedding! We are so excited to represent Chicagoland weddings brought to you by Chicagoland wedding professionals!
Jeff and Nicole are the co-founders of CHI thee WED. They were inspired by Burgh Brides while planning their own wedding in Nicole’s hometown of Pittsburgh. Fun fact: 95% of their wedding team were Chicago based and traveled to Pittsburgh to celebrate with them! (shout out to our “friendor” team: Sean Cook Weddings, Ramsey Prince at Ashland Addison Florist Co, Kice Akkawi at Treblemonsters, Jeannie at Simply Scripted, Jenny Yoo Chicago, XO Marshmallow, Knot Standard, Calligraphy by CT, Nick Kinsley at Floyd’s 99, Grace and Hudson Jewelry and MORE!
Curators and Authors
Hi! I’m Nicole, Owner and Lead Planner for Urban Allure Events. The idea of creating a Chicago focused wedding blog has been something I have been planning over the past year and I am SO excited to finally share it with you! CHI thee WED was created with the goal of being approachable, integrated, and inclusive to everyone. We strongly believe in community over competition and are so excited to provide a platform to share, learn, and inspire.
Major blogs provide beautiful content, but it can be hard for couples to navigate and find realistic recommendations and local vendor contacts. They can also feel unapproachable to vendors - you work really hard on every event and to receive no response for a beautiful submission can be disappointing. We want to change that!
We are committed to showcasing a variety of styles, making CHI thee WED a source of inspiration for any type of couple - rustic, elegant, fun, simple, over-the-top, DIY, and beyond. We want to be a one-stop-shop for all of our couples, focusing on Chicago weddings, planning advice, styled shoots, industry pro guidance, and style inspiration.
If you are wondering how we are different from every other blog out there, here is the answer. CHI thee WED is curated by a team of wedding professionals local to the Chicago area. We are here to give advice, inspiration, and connect you with the best wedding professionals in the industry. This is a community curated just for you!
We can’t wait to share your beautiful weddings!
Hello there! My name is Jeff and I am the CHI thee WED digital dynamo and owner/operator of 7 Birds Design - a Chicago-based web design firm focused on web and graphic design for small businesses in Chicago. I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana and attended Indiana University. Most days you can find me at the hospital performing my day job but on nights and weekends I help folks turn their side hustle into their main gig by creating websites and optimizing their SEO.
Hi! I'm Michelle Cox-Vergara, the owner of Michelle Cox Photography. I established my business in 2011. I specialize in wedding and lifestyle photography in Chicago and I couldn't enjoy my job more. My favorite thing about weddings is capturing the natural, real moments, full of love and fun. One of my strongest desires is that my clients feel comfortable and relaxed in front of my camera so that when they view their images after the fact, they see their true selves in them. Throughout my business, one of the things that I have been proud of is the way that I cater so much of my wedding packages and processes to my clients and what is best for them. If they want or need something specific from me, I will gladly offer that. I believe that every wedding and client is different and needs to be treated as such.
Excited to meet you and to hear about your BIG DAY!
Kate Johnson is owner and collaborator at The Bridal Team by Kate Johnson Artistry. While she has her education in Sfx makeup she started full time in the beauty world in 2008 when she worked as an artist then educator for Smashbox Cosmetics. In 2012 she decided to become a freelancer and started her career working in TV, advertisements and doing press days with celebrities when they come to Chicago. At the same time shes started working with brides as her own company and slowly built her team from a tribe of talented passionate artists with a vision and heart to make the bride/groom feel their most vibrant. The team is dedicated to building strong relationships within the industry and celebrating collaboration over competition.
Recently married at Radisson Blu alongside friends family and the wedding community she said “I Do” to her best friend Eric in a navy blue silk dress she would like to wear daily. They have two fur children, Honey and Max.
I married my college sweetheart, Erich, and he’s my 100% biggest supporter in every area of my life. He pushes me, he cheers me on, and sometimes even assists me at sessions and weddings!
But Erich and I were never able to have children. For several years, I felt like we were forced to miss out on all the great memories couples made with their children, as if the story of our relationship wasn’t an important enough story to tell.
So when I became a photographer, I decided to be intentional about telling the stories of couples in every phase of their lives. I believe that every couple, with or without children of their own, deserves to have beautiful portraits that capture that special uniqueness that makes your relationship perfect just the way it is.
Hi! My name is Erin Martin and I am the owner of ECBG Cake Studio. I am wildly in love with my friends and family, super into the Chicago restaurant and comedy scene, and obsessed with exploring the cake and pastry world. ECBG Cake Studio started in 2011 with focus on customization, accessibility, and learning. After years of schooling, practice, and excellent guidance from others the focus has shifted from practicing creativity to honoring and executing value, excellence, professionalism, and quality above all else. While keeping a personal and custom touch in mind, I promise to offer you delicious and beautiful pieces made with high quality and organic ingredients that are worthy of your celebration. Your wedding cake should embody your vision and personality from flavor to design and it is my mission to provide that service in the most enjoyable way possible. I look forward to working with you to create your dream wedding cake knowing that it is much, much more than dessert.
Having appeared more than a dozen times on the cover and in spreads of national and local wedding magazines, Grant McNamara gets wedding fashion better than most guys. He's been in, and produced, dozens more photoshoots for fashion, style and weddings. He's dressed athletes and celebrities, but nothing is more exciting to him than helping each guy out on their wedding day.
Weddings have always been something special for Grant, and he loves helping each groom look and feel their best. He believes that the groom deserves (almost) the same attention — and attention-to-detail — that the bride receives. Grant knows grooms and their groomsmen care about looking good, but don't always know how. That's why he became the Wedding GPS, or Groom’s Personal Stylist.
After years of experience running a custom clothing company and working with hundreds of clients, Grant knows how to make guys look dapper. With his connections in the wedding, fashion and grooming industries, you don't have to look further than Grant for advice and suggestions.
Hi, I’m Olivia, the owner and Lead Planner of Olive Fine Weddings & Events! I am passionate about creating the perfect event to highlight the extraordinary love between two people. I graduated from Cornell University and my career began in consulting, where I learned how to think critically, be direct, and adapt to clients. These skills have transformed my working style. I moved onto nonprofits and events next, and although I have worked in a variety of roles, weddings are what make my heart glow. Weddings are meaningful, festive, fun, silly, nerve-wracking, raw, emotional, but most of all, joyful. I especially enjoy weddings that are chock full of details – sometimes, small things can elevate an event and make the couple’s personalities shine.
One of my favorite parts about weddings and events is seeing your story come to life! No matter where the event takes place, it’s the people and the details that truly make every event unique, and as a planner I love bringing my creative energy to make sure that story shines on your wedding day! When I’m not working, you’ll find me at any Chicago sporting event, spending some time with my pup, or somewhere near the beach - yes even in winter!