Throwback Thursday: Julie & Andrew

Throwback Thursday: Julie & Andrew

Today we're throwin' back to the first wedding ever, of Crggg and Qrta! Unfortunately it took place millennia before the invention of the photograph so we'll just have to imagine the lovely couple, who tied the knot at our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's first event venue, Cavern 1028. At that time they hadn't invented knots, so they didn't know they were tying the knot, but they ceremonially mashed each other on the head with clubs and that brought a tear to everyone's eye, you betcha. 

If you insist on a wedding with some visual imagery, fine -- how about Julie & Andrew's from October 2011? (Of course, if you read the title you knew I was gonna give you what you wanted eventually, didn't you, you smart person you.) Erica Rose Photography took lovely photographs of the lovely couple and their lovely wedding and put them up on her lovely blog, so why don't you lovely people use your lovely fingers to touch or click lovingly on that link and check them out love love love love love?

photos courtesy of Erica Rose Photography

Hotels Series: The James

Hotels Series: The James

Once upon a time a bunch of clients showed up asking questions about hotels and we didn't know all the answers. Here's a dramatic reenactment:


“What hotels are nearby?”

“How far away is it?”

“What are their price points?”

“Do they have room blocks?”

G1028 TEAM:

“Let me check on that for you.”

We hate not knowing all the answers, so we decided to change things. We set out on a little adventure on the streets of Chicago, via horse drawn carriage, and received information from a few hotels for our clients! And by horse drawn carriage, we mean Uber and Lyft… we were just trying to sound fancy.

One of our hotels on the day trip was The James, a boutique hotel on the corner of Rush and Ontario in the heart of downtown Chicago. The first thing we noticed when we walked in the door was the impeccable hospitality of the doorman, Lucas. He offered us a bottle of water right away while we waited for our lovely tour guides, Erin and Rachael, to meet us in the lobby.

From there, we started the tour. One of the first things I noticed was the stacked antique luggage art piece in the lobby. We learned this is one of the most popular photo ops in the hotel, and it is absolutely gorgeous!

Then, we toured some of the guest rooms. The James employs a unique naming convention for their rooms, calling them not by their bed sizes but by styles: studios, lofts, apartments, and penthouse lofts. No matter which style you choose, the bathrooms can accommodate an elaborate bridal gown, and they all feature a wardrobe too! Additionally, each room comes equipped with a lovely full bar.

Their penthouse loft room is plenty big for a bridal party! It features dark hardwood flooring, comfy couches, a HUGE bathroom, and a dining area.

Following our tour, the hospitality level increased even more and we wined and dined at their restaurant with Erin Hertzel, their Special Events Manager, Rachael Ballas, their Group Sales Manager, and Dan Wheeler, their National Sales Director. Their restaurant, David Burke’s Steakhouse, is perfect for the day after brunch or for casual dining. The service and meal were fantastic!

Another benefit about using The James as the hotel for your room blocks: They only have attrition after 10 rooms, and only on the rooms you do not use. If you're not familiar, many hotels charge a fee for rooms you block off, but The James's policy is liberal and forgiving. 

Time to talk pricing. Currently the rooms range from $200 up to $1000 a night. Obviously, the $1000 is for the penthouse… This is also Chicago’s peak season, so the rates are very reasonable.

Overall, it was a lovely experience. From the tour, to the people, to the food, it was just too amazing. If you would like more information about The James, please feel free to reach out. We hope this article will lead you into the right direction, and stay tuned for more info on Chicago hotels! ;)


Throwback Thursday: Katlyn & Kevin

Throwback Thursday: Katlyn & Kevin

Today is a day that puts me in a frame of mind to think about other days. Past days. Days where cool things happened, where we met interesting people, where we danced interesting dances. Days where life felt bursting with possibility, instead of like an interminable crushing weight bearing down on you. That's what Throwback Thursday is all about, people! Avoiding the crushing weight of reality!* 

Katlyn and Kevin are two lovely humans who decided a while back to spend the rest of their earthly lives together. Which is sweet. They held the ceremony where they told everyone they know and love about this decision right here at Gallery 1028, which is also sweet. Studio Finch used advanced technology to preserve special moments from the day in digitized amber, which are available for viewing every second Thursday after the full moon from 8:51AM to 9:22AM.**

Click/touch/mindmeld with the link and you'll be rewarded with a treasure trove of delightful imagery. I guarantee it.***

*Sorry, don't know what happened here. Our blog-writing bots must've become sentient and read too much Sartre. We're rewiring them now. 

**Update: they are available for viewing anytime.

***This guarantee holds zero legal weight.

cover photo credit Studio Finch

First in Flight Entertainment

First in Flight Entertainment

One of the most common questions we receive at Gallery 1028 is about entertainment options. Well, we have a ton of answers for you. Today, we will be discussing the different types of options that First in Flight Entertainment can provide for you at your next G1028 event to steer you in the right direction.

We spoke with Lisa Jaroscak, an Executive Director at First in Flight Entertainment.

Here is a quick bit from Lisa:

“First In Flight Entertainment has been providing entertainment of all varieties all over the country for almost 10 years now including all over the Chicagoland area. We specialize in providing full service entertainment experiences at events ranging from street fests to corporate events, weddings, social gatherings, fundraisers, tradeshows, music festivals, etc. No event is too big or too small. We enjoy working with our clients to make the planning of entertainment seamless. We like to think of ourselves as a one stop shop for clients because we can provide them with sound, lighting, variety artists, walk around characters, tribute acts, DJs, bands of all sizes and genres, photo booths, and so much more. We help to coordinate all the entertainers to make sure that they within budget and make sure that execution is seamless, and it is a wonderful and easy experience for everyone involved.”

We hope this helps clear up some of the questions that you may have, and if you have any more questions or want to inquire about First in Flight Entertainment, feel free to travel to

photos courtesy First in Flight Entertainment

Throwback Thursday: Hello Darling Event Design

Throwback Thursday: Hello Darling Event Design

Something just a touch different this Thursday... wait, wait, don't go! It's not THAT different. We're still going to be throwing back to some glorious times gone by. Calm down. Jeez. Instead of focusing on a particular couple, though, we're taking a look at Hello Darling Event Design's past work transforming G1028 into a piece of ambient art. This is from a wedding they designed with a theme called "Indie Rock Chic", which is both a sweet pun and a great theme in its own right. On their blog they run through some design decisions in detail, and of course there are a plethora of pixel-rich photographs to accompany the post. Travel as fast as you can through the Interwebs to their site to get a cool behind-the-scenes look at what goes into designing a wedding aesthetic. Happy Throwbacking! See, aren't you happy you stuck around? 

cover photo credit Hello Darling Event Design

Throwback Thursday: Jen & Jimmy

Throwback Thursday: Jen & Jimmy

Hear ye, hear ye! It is hereby decreed that Thursday has arrived once again! It is furthermore decreed, per the Throwbacking charter, that we must throw it back to a most splendid wedding from Gallery 1028 lore. So I guess we'll go with Jen & Jimmy, seeing as how their wedding certainly qualifies. Robyn Rachel Photography were the wizard-historians tasked with documenting the evening, and it is hereby decreed that they didst rock it. Head to the RRP blog for evidence of said rocking-it. I command you to witness the rocking-it! /drops town crier bell 

cover photo credit Robyn Rachel Photography

Throwback Thursday: Ida & Patrick

Throwback Thursday: Ida & Patrick

It's Thursday once again, and you know what that means... time to spin up the flux capacitors and dial in a date.

This time I think I'll go for summer 2014, when Ida and Patrick graced Gallery 1028 with their lovely presences. Orange2 Photography (that's Orange^2, Orange Squared, but I don't know how to superscript) was there and just happened to have a camera, so they were all like, "you guys don't mind if we take some gorgeous snaps of you, do you?" and Ida and Patrick were all like, "Heck no!" Head to their site to see the fruit of that non-imaginary conversation which definitely took place. (See what I did there? Orange? Fruit? OK, I'll go home now.)

images courtesy of Orange2 Photography / Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

Things to Know about Gallery 1028

Things to Know about Gallery 1028

When selecting a venue there are a few things you need to consider. How close is the venue in relation to the guests?  How will guests get to and from the venue? How can I decorate this rustic space? Is this even suitable for a corporate event? And lastly, what are my catered options? Well… we have all the answers for you if you are thinking about G1028 as the venue for your next event.

How close is the venue in relation to the guests, and how will they get there?

G1028 is practically in the center of everything happening in Chicago. We are located between Lincoln Park and the Loop, and just west of the Magnificent Mile. This means we are pretty close to the plethora of hotels, the Lincoln Parker inhabitants, and the largest business district in the city. It's only about a 10-15 minute car ride from any of these hot spots. Additionally, we can easily be reached via public transportation too! We are just off Halsted Street which has a great bus route, and there is easy access from both the Blue Line and Red Line train stops.

Can I even decorate this rustic space?

Great question… and yes, you absolutely can decorate G1028.  The venue's rustic floors, exposed brick, and towering wood beams have a charm all their own, and yet G1028 can be decorated and transformed into anything that you want. We have been the lucky hosts of some spectacular themed events from the traditional wedding theme, vintage, chic, farm, and more. You can truly decorate the space as much or as little as you like. Think of it as a blank canvas that comes with a rustic frame… What goes on the canvas is your vision.


Is G1028 suitable for a corporate event?

Absolutely. We have done corporate events for many clients.  Like I have mentioned before, it truly does not take much to make our space lively. Our space features exposed brick, aged hardwood floors, and 16 foot vaulted ceilings. We also have two moveable bars, a farm table, 4 wood highboy tables with hooks underneath, and a speaker that can be used at your discretion.

We have been the host of many corporate holiday parties so it may be a good idea to start securing your date…

Who is the caterer?

Calihan Catering is our exclusive caterer. Calihan has been designing creative and innovative menu options for over 30 years and continues to get the praise they deserve.  Just recently, the National Association of Catering and Events nominated them for Best Event Production for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. With that being said, we are lucky to have them as our exclusive caterer; they bring an entire new level to the catering world.


Remember, if you have any other questions about G1028, please feel free to reach out.  We love a good chat. Additionally, if you would like to see the space, get in contact with Jeffery Bartlett, our Venue Representative, at and he would be happy to set up an appointment for you.  BUT, please stop in to our bi-weekly get together for Gallery Gatherings from 4:30 - 7:00. The next one is this Thursday, June 23, 2016. Get a lovely glass of Rose and get a tour of our space. We hope to see you soon (;

A Word From the President

A Word From the President

As you may know, Gallery 1028 has the privilege of having Calihan Catering as our partner and exclusive caterer. Calihan Catering has been around for over 30 years putting on flawless events with perfect execution like the James Beard Foundation Awards, Butterfly Ball, and other world-class events. Today, we have the treat of sharing a timeline created by our very own president, Nash Calihan. When Nash isn’t drinking a bottle of San Pellegrino water and strutting around the office in his ‘sockies’, he is working hard making Gallery 1028 and Calihan great. Now on to to Nash’s wise words:


The initial inquiry:

When you first inquire of our catering services, we start assembling a proposal. This proposal is tailored directly to your tastes, vision, and style. We can have a chat over the phone or in person to tweak the proposal. Just let us know whatever works best for you.


Confirm the venue:

In order to have an accurate proposal, we must know where the event will be taking place. This is crucial because some venues have equipment, which means less equipment in the long run and the money saving emoji for you. Some venues even let us set up the day before, some don’t have a kitchen, and some have flights of stairs you have to run up. All of these factors come into play when creating your proposal.


Confirm Calihan Catering:

To confirm our catering services, you have to sign a contract with a 25% deposit. At this point, you should also start contacting and signing contracts with other vendors like floral design, entertainment, photographers, etc.


Tasting 3-6 months out:

We typically schedule tastings 3 to 6 months out. This allows for consistency with seasonality or discussion of what we would adjust on the menu.

At a tasting we suggest picking 8 to 10 hors d’oeuvres, 2 to 3 first courses and entrees, pick up sweets, and a late night snack option. This is also the time to mention any specific wine, specialty drinks, linen, tables, or chairs so we can showcase them for you.

In addition to tasting our delicious food, we will also develop floor plans, timelines, and a bunch of other exciting details.


3 months out:

A 75% deposit of the balance is due.


1 month out:

 Check in with us in regards to the guest count and the timeline of the event. If anything is changed, we can easily adjust it.


2 weeks out:

This would be the time for a final walkthrough. It is always great to see the space once more after equipment is ordered. This allows our Account Executives to envision the event and overcome any challenges beforehand.


Week prior:

Guest counts and final payments are due at this point. It would also be great to know of any last minute planning changes, as well.


The Day Of:

Our function director will be in charge of the entire event. Many of our function directors have been with us for over 15 years and are able to do this with their eyes closed. They will be your point of contact throughout the entire event and make sure that you have nothing to worry about while you are thanking all of your lovely guests for coming.


Hope you gained some useful info from Nash's timeline. If you have any more questions or would like to inquire about catering, feel free to reach out. We love a good chat. Also, stop into our next Gallery Gathering at Gallery 1028 on June 23rd 2016 from 4:30 to 7pm to chat with representatives from both Calihan Catering and Gallery 1028.

Throwback Thursday: Alexis & Pat

Throwback Thursday: Alexis & Pat

Thursday is definitely one of the days of the week, but it's also so much more, isn't it? Thursdays are like birdsong, poetry, and a light summer breeze, in day form. If they could package up the feeling of a Thursday and sell it, would you buy it? I know I would. And I'd judge anyone who didn't. Oh how I'd judge them.


This week we're throwing back to the snowy November day when Alexis & Pat decided to tie the knot. This wedding is like a refreshing iced beverage after a day in the sun, so head over to Artistrie Co. and drink it all in. 


cover photo from artistrie co

Throwback Thursday: Robyn & Michelle

Throwback Thursday: Robyn & Michelle

Thursdays, man, aren't they the best? Don't answer, you don't have to. We both know that, yes, they are. Here is a song about Thursdays I wrote because I love them so much: 

Oh Thursdays Oh Thursdays Oh how I love thee

You're the best days ever now let's drink some tea

That's intellectual property, don't steal that. This week we're throwing back to the epic wedding of Robyn & Michelle, which took place on a fine December day two years back. Head over to Equal & Forever to check out the pics and get inspired. Maybe you'll even write a song of your own.


(cover photo from equal and forever)

Tips For Your Holiday Party

Tips For Your Holiday Party

I know, I know. It's finally summer in Chicago, and you're asking me to think about Christmas? But the reality of the situation is that great holiday venues are already booking up fast, and if you want to throw a classic holiday party this year, now's the time to get your mind on snowflakes and tinsel. So let's put on our Santa hats (even if we're sweating through the fuzz) and take a look at a few tips for throwing a holiday smash at G1028.


Determine how much you want to allocate to venue rental, catering, and décor. This of course will dictate the rest of your event. It will determine what type of space is available, what types of food and the quantity that can be served and what types of creative holiday décor you can incorporate into your event.


Book in advance

It is never too early to secure a date for your holiday party. Often times, people wait last minute to secure a venue, which leaves them with very few choices. To be able to secure your date at G1028, you just have to sign a contract and put down a 50% deposit on the rental fee. We can also put a complimentary hold on your date for two to three weeks.



There are many routes you can choose when you invite people to a holiday party. If you were planning a corporate holiday party, a budget friendly method would be to send a corporate email to all your staff or a free online invitation. Systems that provide online invitations sometimes have RSVP counts as well, which can ease the process when providing final guest counts.



Décor is entirely up to you. You can go as holiday themed as you want, but just be careful to not overdo it. We have some sample pictures of holiday parties at G1028 in the past, so see the picture gallery below for some inspiration. We would also be more than happy to get you in touch with décor vendors we have worked with in the past.


The Style of Service

Holiday parties tend to be more cocktail reception orientated. This makes the environment more fun, open, and less structured. It allows for guests to mingle wherever they want and with whomever they want. However, if you are looking for a more traditional seated dinner, you can do that too! Just keep in mind that the type of reception you are looking for will affect the budget, as seated dinners tend to be a bit more expensive.



Calihan Catering, our exclusive caterer, has some unique options that fit right into the holiday party theme:



If any of these tips and options spark your interest, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call. Holidays are a great time to bring people together, and what better way to do it than over drinks, great food, and even better company?

Throwback Thursday: Hannah & Chris

Throwback Thursday: Hannah & Chris

All Thursdays are not created equal. Some announce themselves with great fanfare, and some sneak in like a ninja. This is definitely a Ninja Thursday, so we're throwing it back to a super badass couple, Hannah and Chris. Check out the South Social & Home blog for a roundup of their awesome wedding, which included cheeseburgers and confetti -- what's not to love? 


cover photo by Edyta Szyszlo

Snapchat Geotags for your Wedding

Snapchat Geotags for your Wedding

The G1028 team is always looking for ways to spice up our events and what better way to do it than through Snapchat! For those of you that do not know what Snapchat is, it is an app that allows you to send timed pictures to any of your friends. Depending on your location, there are also certain geotags (images placed on your picture) that you can use.

After a recent event at G1028, we learned of the ability to create a custom Snapchat filter for any time, occasion, and place.

 Essentially, you can create a custom geotag for your wedding or event. If you are great with Photoshop, you can do this yourself and save yourself some money. If not, you can hire a graphic designer to do this for you. There is no set cost, but you can be looking at anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the graphic design company.


After your filter is designed, you simply pick the timing and draw a fence around the location of where you want the Snapchat filter to show up. We suggest covering the triangular area shown in the picture above, that way your filter will show up in G1028 and the surrounding streets.

Pricing for the highlighted triangular range covers 334,630 Square feet and is around $8.50 an hour. Worried about not getting phone service inside G1028? Don’t worry. We have Wi-Fi access and would be happy to provide it for you.

But why you would you want to add an on-demand Snapchat filter to your event? Of course, people may argue it takes away from being in the moment, but there is going to be a time where people grab pictures together anyways. So, why not add something unique to your event? There is a very high chance that your guests have not been to an event with a custom Snapchat filter created for their enjoyment. This little detail provides something unique to your event and will be something your guests talk about for years to come.


Considering creating a custom on-demand Snapchat filter for your next event? Take a look through the gallery below for some inspiration.


(images from Pinterest)

Throwback Thursday: Kristyn & Mike

Throwback Thursday: Kristyn & Mike

Greetings and salutations one and all! Welcome to another edition of Throwback Thursdays. This week's throwback features Kristyn & Mike, who celebrated a beautiful wedding at Gallery 1028. Katie Kett Photography was on the scene and took some mesmerizing shots. Head to her blog and check them out, but be careful that you don't become overly mesmerized and forget that you have seven hours of data entry still to do. 

(Cover photo credit Katie Kett Photography)

An Interview with Joyce Pollakoff

An Interview with Joyce Pollakoff

On this week’s G1028 blog, we are going to be featuring a lovely wedding and event planner from Chicago’s North Shore, Joyce Pollakoff. Joyce has been planning events for over 25 years and is incredibly passionate about her work. Working with planners like Joyce is one of the true pleasures of being in the industry. Now on to the interview:


G1028: How did you get started in the event planning industry? 

Joyce Pollakoff: I am truly very fortunate to have had my mother in law Joyce Pollakoff Sr. introduce me to the industry 25 years ago. She has been such a wonderful mentor. We were business partners for 18 years until she retired in 2009.

We continue to enjoy talking about our clients’ events past and present.

Photo credit Stanton Kramer Photography

Photo credit Stanton Kramer Photography


G1028: Have you had clients work with your mother-in-law, and then have other members of the family worked with you?

JP: Absolutely! We have been planning events for many of the same families over the years and couldn't be more proud to be part of their family life cycle celebrations.


G1028: What are some of the challenges of working with the same – or different - members of the same family over the years?

JP: There are some challenges, but there are definitely more benefits. Each event has its own personality and meaning, and it's great to know generations of families, what they like, and how to work with them. I am honored that so many families have continued to contact me for their life events.


G1028: How do you usually get your ideas for events? Do your clients provide you with a general idea, and then do you work your magic from there?

JP: Sometimes my clients provide me with a theme or a focus they have in mind. If not I learn more about my clients and what they are passionate about to help them personalize their event.

There is no better way to gain inspiration than from real life experiences. Personally, I am inspired by art, music, and reading. I love to take inspirations from those and translate them into my events.

I was just in New York and saw a Jazz Show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where I got inspiration from new ideas for staging and lighting.

I also had the opportunity to see one of my past Bar Mitzvah clients perform in the show ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ on Broadway and was able to go backstage to congratulate him.

photo credit North Shore Photography

photo credit North Shore Photography

G1028: What is your favorite event that you have ever planned?

JP: One of my favorite events that I have ever planned was a wedding for a 75 year-old couple on Winter Solstice. They were truly in love with each other and wanted an event full of surprises. Their love showed through all of their choices regarding the menu and music. For the cocktail hour, they selected their favorite music from high school, which was performed by a famous pianist from Ravinia Festival, creating an amazing sing-a-long. The true surprise was when everyone was invited to a gorgeous tent in the back of the country club where there was a 20-piece orchestra and a small-plate menu of all of the foods they loved. It is always the words and emotions of my clients that make an event special. It was an honor to be chosen by them.


G1028: Are there certain things that you have in your back pocket that you are waiting to showcase at events?

JP: I always have something that I look forward to doing. I wait for the right time and the right client that will appreciate doing something different.


G1028: Are there trends that dwindled away that you would like to make a comeback?

JP: I love including family traditions and heirlooms into a ceremony. I recently had a couple have their grandfathers purple heart on the chuppah table along with their family Kiddush cups. It truly makes for a personal touch that can be seen and felt by all the guests.


G1028: Are there trends that you wish hadn't come back?

JP: I try to embrace all trends that my clients love. I help them find ways to incorporate them into their events.


G1028: When you plan a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, how do you manage to tailor to adults and teenagers at the same time?

JP: I try to make sure the adults have some time where the music is specifically for their taste, usually a dance set for the adults when the kids are eating. I really encourage separate cocktail hours to make sure everyone has time to talk and enjoy each other’s company. I truly enjoy when all the guests are together dancing and can enjoy the party as one.

photo credit Garbo Studios

photo credit Garbo Studios

G1028: What are some tips and tricks for a successful event?

JP: The timing of an event and working together as a team are the two most important things for a successful event. It is crucial to have a detailed schedule and to have reviewed the event with the vendors so everyone is completely prepared. I always bring my clients into the room ahead of the guests so they can enjoy a moment of seeing their vision come alive. It’s an emotional moment that carries throughout the event.


G1028: Did you plan your own wedding?

JP: My mother-in-law planned my wedding. The only thing I did was pick out my wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses. However, I did have the opportunity to plan my daughter's wedding this past year. It was wonderful because it was all about the bride and groom. After the wedding, every guest truly felt the love and emotions of this adorable couple, which is a goal that I strive to achieve for all of my clients.


G1028: Do you think food selection is crucial for a successful event?

JP: People eat and enjoy parties with all of their senses. It is important to think about all these senses when you plan an event. I am a foodie and constantly engaged in the culinary world. I truly enjoy working with caterers to create a delicious and beautiful food presentation that my clients and their guests will remember and enjoy.


photo credit Paul Yamashiro Photography

photo credit Paul Yamashiro Photography

If you would like to learn more about Joyce Pollakoff Events, head on over to for more! Stay tuned for next week’s blog post about how technology can spice up your event!


cover photo by Jai Girard Photo

Throwback Thursday: Kat & Justin

Throwback Thursday: Kat & Justin

Thursday strikes again! It's become one of my seven favorite days of the week for sure, and in no small part due to the massive amount of fun we have here throwin' it back. This week we're dialing up August of 2014, when we had the fortune to host Kat & Justin's wedding here at Gallery 1028. The Cage + Aquarium team were on hand and grabbed some amazing shots of the beautiful couple and the beautiful day. Head on over to their blog and dive headfirst into a truly special experience. See you next week!

(Photo credit: Cage + Aquarium)

James Beard Foundation Awards 2016

James Beard Foundation Awards 2016

Our compatriots at Calihan Catering have put up a nice post on the James Beard Foundation Awards, 2016 edition. They had a big hand in the planning and logistics of the event and it went awesomely all around. The Gallery 1028 team was involved along the way as well (at one point Calihan was storing about ten pallets of JBFA-related product at the Gallery) and we couldn't be prouder of how things went. Head over to their blog to read the post and enjoy!

(cover photo credit Eliesa Johnson)

Throwback Thursday: Tana & Ben

Throwback Thursday: Tana & Ben

Thursdays sure do come around once every seven, don't they? It's hard to believe sometimes. This week we're throwing it back to the stylish wedding of Tana and Ben from last year. JPP Studios was on hand to capture some lovely and fun moments from a great wedding, so head on over there to check out the photos and do not delay, because next Thursday will be here before you know it and you don't want to fall behind. Happy Throwbacking!

An Interview with Nicole Hensley

An Interview with Nicole Hensley

This week on the G1028 blog we are talking with event planner Nicole Hensley. Nicole is the owner of Storybook Weddings and Events, and just debuted a beautiful rebrand of her company. She’s fresh off receiving the Rising Star award from the National Association for Catering and Events. She also has done events at Gallery 1028 in the past, and we love her work here! On to the interview:


G1028: First off, we would like to congratulate you on winning the NACE Rising Star Award. How do you feel about winning the award?


Nicole Hensley: Having seen so many influential people receive the NACE Rising Star Award in years past and to be able to say that I am now amongst those recipients is very exciting. Being recognized in front of such an inspiring and incredibly talented group of industry leaders was humbling and made me feel even more honored to have won the award.


G1028: How did you get started in the wedding planning industry?


NH: Although I had managed and planned the logistics of large events while working at Walt Disney World, I wasn’t introduced to the wedding industry until 2013. I entered the wedding world as a Special Events Manager for one of Chicago’s top catering companies and realized that I loved the couple’s wedding journey.

As a catering manager, I was heavily involved with menu creation and the food service on their wedding day. But I found myself answering more than just catering questions and began helping out on their day more than expected. My passion for organization and planning in my personal life found its new place in the planning of couples’ wedding days. Along with my drive for taking on more and more came the excitement of owning my own business!


Photo Credit: Lazy Eight Photography

Photo Credit: Lazy Eight Photography

G1028: Tell us the story of Storybook Weddings and Events.


NH: Do we have an hour to tell this story?! Haha. Storybook Weddings and Events came about from a little dream of mine. Knowing that I wanted to be more involved with couples’ wedding journey and to have the ability to do what I love and raise a family at the same time was the biggest motivation behind opening up Storybook. Although it began as a solo venture, within three months, two amazing ladies became planners alongside me at the perfect time. Knowing that we had an identical work ethic, passion for design and a love and excitement for weddings, we all knew that were meant for each other! Having Lisa Jaroscak and Lindsay Gaeta complete the trio was honestly the best thing that could have ever happened.

 The story didn’t stop there. Over the course of our first year we discovered who we were as a team, our goals, our mission and how we became a brand as a trio. Along with the discovery came a whole new vision for our future and encouraged the decision to re-brand! After many months of hard work we launched our new site on May 1st 2016. We feel like our brand new story has just begun and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead!


G1028: What has been your most rewarding event that you have planned so far?


NH: It’s hard to choose one event that has been the most rewarding because each one has its own story. But we definitely have rewarding “moments.”

We have had the pleasure of working with very thoughtful and loving couples. To be able to see our couples enjoy their engagement journey and to celebrate all their hard work and wedding visions come together is very fulfilling to our role as a wedding planner.

But to be the person who sends the bride or groom down the aisle to their future is such a sweet and unexplainable feeling. Not too many people get to be part of such an important moment in someone else’s life.


Photo Credit: Artistre Co.

Photo Credit: Artistre Co.

G1028: Would you ever plan your own wedding? Or would you even be able to? I know personally that I wouldn't want to plan my own wedding, but I wouldn't be able to not plan my own wedding. 


NH: Oh Gosh! I did last year! I absolutely HAD to plan my own wedding being a “type A” person. I couldn’t imagine not having planned it but to be honest, being able to take a break from wedding planning at the end of my workday would have been so nice!

Although it was a lot of work to try and plan my own wedding while focusing on so many others, the day was an absolute reflection of my husband and I and we had so much fun with our family and friends. It was more than I could have imagined. Looking back, I wouldn’t have had it any other way!


G1028: What is the most challenging thing you have ever faced, and how did you solve it?


NH: I better not dare answer this question because I know the answer has yet to come!


Photo Credit: Katie Pietrowksi Photography

Photo Credit: Katie Pietrowksi Photography

G1028: What is the strangest thing someone has requested of you?


NH: In 2014, I had a bride send back a catering allergy form requesting that we make special adjustments for a guest whom was allergic to cats.

Needless to say, we were able to fulfill that request.


G1028: Do you still have moments from events that you laugh about to this day?


NH: HAHA Oh yes. But Lindsay definitely has a story that takes the cake!

“Sometimes I feel like I am an adult babysitter at weddings. During the end of the wedding reception while the guests were all up and dancing, I literally stepped out of the main reception room for two minutes... and when I came back, the best man was shirtless with his tie tied around his head, perched on top of one of the other groomsmen shoulders. He had sparklers blazing from each hand, with the rest of the guests circling around him cheering on the dance floor. Surprisingly, the venue manager let him enjoy the moment. It definitely made me chuckle” – Lindsay Gaeta


G1028: Can you describe some of the current trends going on in the Chicago area?


NH: Between the three of us, we get the chance to see a lot of trends. The current ones that are common between us all are: 

·      Mismatching Bridesmaid Dresses

·      Delayed Honeymoons

·      Couples paying for their own weddings

·      Food Trucks!!

·      Neutral and Soft Color Palettes


Thanks to Nicole for taking the time for this interview. Head over to the new and check them out today!


Next week on the G1028 blog we’ll be talking about the James Beard Foundation Awards. We were fortunate to be involved and the company had all hands on deck to help execute the world-renowned event. How did it go? Tune in next week to find out!

(Cover Photo Credit: Artistre Co.)