08.10.18 Kaylen & Jacob

The Meeting_LJL8228 (1)

Kaylen first met Jacob in high school—she was a sophomore and he was a senior. They went to the movies for their first date and saw a horrible comedy, but were able to laugh about it afterwards.

The Moment

We knew we wanted to get married when I went to college at UIC. We just knew we were going to stay together.

The ‘I Love You’

Jacob said it the first month we were dating and then I said it without even thinking when we were talking on the phone the following month.


The Proposal

Jacob proposed when we were camping in a lightning storm on the beach of IL Beach State Park. It didn’t go exactly how he planned, but it was a very magical moment being on the beach with the wind and the lightning in the distance. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful moment.

The Wedding Day

My favorite part of the wedding day was the ceremony and our first dance… which we danced to OUR SONG—“First Date” by Blink 182.


The Venue

We chose The Haight because it is so beautiful and the people who work there are awesome!

The Dress

_LJL8410.jpgI actually got my dress on a second-hand website called Still White. It cost me less than half the price of a brand new one. I was able to get exactly what I wanted at an awesome price. The designer was Maggie Sottero and it was an Ivory A-line sheath style dress.

The Marriage

Our relationship hasn’t changed that much. We had been living together and we’ve been together for so long that it really feels the same. Changing my last name was the biggest change. That… I am still getting used to.

The Advice

My advice to newly engaged couples? Focus on what’s important. The things that matter are the small things during the day. But do get a really good photographer to capture the special moments.

The Shoutouts

Uncle Bub’s had amazing food and all of our guests told us how much they enjoyed the food. Platinum Occasions DJ, Jim, did an awesome job playing the songs we requested and we ended up dancing the night away.


The Haight’s Autumn Affair

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Last month we celebrated The Haight’s Autumn Affair open house. On Tuesday, September 24th, along with our current clients, we invited brides, grooms, and their friends/and or family members to check out the venue and meet a variety of wedding professionals and vendors for their big day.



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Guests also had the chance to check out the big reveal of our gorgeous new space—our ROOFTOP DECK!


Just over 300 guests joined us and had the opportunity to explore our venue, try a variety of foods, and meet with 28 featured wedding vendors!


Couples and their family members were able to try different foods and desserts like Graham’s Chocolate & Two Wild Seeds!


David Paige Music played some wonderful LIVE music while Schambach Piano tickled the ivories on the first floor.


Shout out to Sounds Abound for the photo booth so that our guests can remember the evening!



“I had a good time on The Haight’s big deck #deckpics !”

Be sure to keep your eyes open for our next open house event! A lot of our vendors offer a discount if you book them at the event, so you don’t want to miss out!


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The following were the featured vendors:

Rustique Swan | Town & Country Gardens
The Local Petaler | Anita Weds
Sounds Abound DJ & Social Photo Booth | Joseph Schambach Piano
Courtyard Marriot | Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Rolls Royce & Bentley | Jessica Draper Calligraphy
Crystal Bride | My Chef Catering | True Cuisine
You Name It Events | SLT Makeup Artistry
David Paige Music | Guru Travel | American Man Barber Shop
Cling & Peck | Two Wild Seeds | Elgin CVB
Fork it Foods | Lullabelle Design | Beyond Catering
Stella & Dot | Graham’s | Windy City Linen | Herb’s Bakery

Vendor Spotlight: Cling & Peck Photography


We are so excited to feature the husband-wife team of Cling & Peck Photography for this week’s Vendor Spotlight! Daniel and Erin have been in the business for seven years now!



It’s crazy that it’s been that long. We’ve had the privilege of being a part of well over 250 weddings now… and still love every second of it!

How Did You Get Started?

We bought cameras as what we thought would be a hobby. Turns out we were wrong. In college, some friends were getting married on a shoestring budget and thought that since we had just purchased “nice cameras” we should take the photos!

What Makes Your Work Distinct?

clingpeck3.jpgWe love making natural looking portraits that aren’t overly posed along with capturing moments as the happen and not interfering with them. Our work really strives to capture the real human interactions and not fake ones.

What’s Your Favorite Part of a Wedding Day?

We definitely love first looks the most. It’s such a special intimate time between the couple. Being able to capture the emotions that come out as a realization that they’re going to get married is such an honor.



The Haight Wedding First Look

Why The First Look?

clingpeck6.jpgIt’s literally our most favorite thing. We do understand not doing it; and we’ll totally photograph couples that don’t do them. But if you look into the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding, it stems from way back when most marriages were arranged; people didn’t want either party to run away before getting married!

What’s Your Favorite Time of Year to Shoot?

Depends on where in the country we’re shooting! But in Illinois, it’s hard to beat September. The colors are great and the light from the sun is starting to become slightly less harsh.


Do You Follow a Shot List?

We definitely use a shortlist for formal portraits and groups of friends/family. However we don’t use a list for the rest of the day. After you’ve shot so many weddings, using a list actually slows you down in the day. You spend more time looking at a list instead of looking for candid moments that are happening.



Why Do You Like Working With The Haight?


The Haight Wedding ceremony

It has so much neat history and character! All of the old wooden features are wonderful. The whole team is fantastic as well; always so professional and a joy to work with. It’s also five minutes from our house so the commute is nice.



What Advice Do You Have for Newly Engaged Couples?

clingpeck4.jpgDon’t put off getting married. Do pre-marriage counseling. Set a budget for your wedding and do your best to stick to it. Compromise; nothing is worth getting into a huge fight with your family or fiancé regarding wedding planning. Prioritize your wants for your wedding and then allocate money accordingly; whatever is your most important item is what you should spend the most on. Pick vendors that you gel with as well as enjoy their work.clingpeck14.jpg

Jennifer & Roy 11.09.18


The Meeting

Jennifer and Roy met through online dating back in 2014. They had both been in long-term relationships before dipping into the unknown waters of online dating.

JR-25.jpgWe were each other’s first match right out of the gate… and forever.

The First Date

We went out for fondue at Gejas in Chicago.  Roy was on time, and due to terrible traffic coming from work, I was VERY late.  When I saw him and he wasn’t upset whatsoever, I knew he was a special person. Roy’s patience was further tested during our meal when I continued to lose my tofu in the fondue!  He, as always, helped me out so I didn’t starve. He also gave me glitter crayons, since I LOVE to color. I still have them to this day.

The Moment

JR-449.jpgIt sounds simple, but from the sheer easiness of being together, I knew I wanted to marry Roy.  All relationships require work, time and patience; but, this one always feels like we are working in the same direction.  And we laugh all the time. Nothing is ever so serious that we can’t make it work out.

The Shared Song

JR-745We sing a lot of songs in our house, and our shared Spotify playlist really runs the spectrum of genres!  Because she’s such a talented musician, great writer and puts on a HELL of a show, our song is Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves.  If you haven’t heard it, go do it now.

The Proposal

We went on a road trip in October 2016 to buy the ring from a small jeweler (because walking into the store to buy a cookie cutter item isn’t our style). Though I knew what the ring looked like, I still wanted to have a surprise to the proposal.  I used to tease and tell him that he should just give it to me—that I wore it around the house when he wasn’t home. But, he said to wait until the time is right.JR-3 The “right time” was just a regular day. Roy likes to go on what we call “Roy-ventures,” where he just hops in the car, puts on some music or a podcast and goes for a drive alone, or with our dog Sarge (who loves to be in the car).  On January 6, 2017, after work and kinda late, Roy asked me to go on a Roy-venture with him. It was cold outside, and I was already in my pj pants and a sweatshirt…I wasn’t into it. Then, when he asked, my response was, “Do I have to put on a bra?”  Finally, he talked me into it, and we packed up Sarge and hopped in the car.

JR-437.jpgAs we were driving, we were just talking and having a good time.  We made our way toward Chicago, and I began pointing out all kinds of places we’d gone to on dates.  Roy pointed out others, and then talked about places that we should go to in the future. Then, he pulled to a stop, and he asked me to look at the time.  It was now 1-7-17—the beginning of a new year and the beginning of our new phase of our life together.

The Wedding Day

I truly loved every single minute of the day, but if I had to choose, it was when we performed a vow renewal ceremony for our guests.  Roy and I really wanted to emphasize that this day was not just about us on our day, but about love and how much potential love has to overcome everything.  JR-513.jpgSo, as a surprise to our guests, Roy and I became ordained online. We wrote a short ceremony and invited all of our guests who wanted to take the time to renew their own wedding vows to each other to do so.  It was an amazing thing to see the love that made each of us as individuals be renewed as we began our next adventure together! One of my favorite pictures Nicole captured for us was of my parents during the vow renewal.  I get choked up thinking about it now!!


The DressJR-13.jpg

Jennifer’s dress was from Bride’s by Young Collection at Brides By Young in Schaumburg, IL. Roy’s Roy’s Custom Barong Tagalog was made by Lupita of Philippine’s Finest Barong in Forest Glen (Chicago, IL).

JR-435The Venue

Roy and I knew that we were going to have a wedding that would be on the smaller side, as we wanted to really invest in giving our guests the best experience we could without breaking the bank.  We wanted a venue that was going to be unique and the Haight did not disappoint! The Haight was the ONLY venue we visited, as we booked the next day with no regrets. The venue itself allowed us to not have to do too much to the atmosphere, so we could customize smaller details–really making our day so personal.


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The history of the building appealed to us as well, and all of the industrial yet artistic touches everywhere throughout the building really gave us the opportunity to create a customized experience for our guests.  There will never be enough good things to say about the staff either. They are kind, responsive and so organized that I was stress free. Their list of vendors was also a great guide–planning a wedding is so overwhelming with choices that having a set of people that you know are great really helped ease the process.  The day of staff (Lauren!!) was also phenomenal. Their help allowed me to take a nap in the bridal suite—I was so relaxed!!!


The Advice

Remember that your wedding day is the celebration of you as a couple and where you are at your lives in that moment. Stop at different times throughout the day and think about that fact.  Take that moment when you approach your partner for the first time in front of your group of loved ones. Take the moment when you dance. Take that moment when you walk out of the ceremony.


Decide what you want to spend your money on!  Prioritize what’s going to be most important to you as you look back, and spend your money there. For us, it was photos (since they last a lifetime) and food (because we love to eat!).


If you’re crafty, don’t feel like you have to make everything yourself! You will go down a rabbit hole of fun ideas, but don’t let it be stressful.

The Shoutouts


Custom keychain place cards were made by MyCraftedStudio on Etsy. Custom Cookie Favors were courtesy of Sweetbox Boutique. Photographer, Nicole Vega of The Still Life Photography. Food and set up by Cuisine America. Hair and Makeup by Cassie and Mariah of Blushing Bride.


The Vendors
Photographer: The Still Life Photography
Florals: Town & Country Gardens | Catering: Cuisine America
Cake & Sweets: The Sugar Path  | DJ: DJUj
Hair/Makeup: Blushing Bride | Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering

Samantha & Chris 10.05.18


Meeting & Falling in Love

Samantha and Chris first met in 2006 while playing Xbox Live games. Samantha was 16 at the time and, as she did quite often with her best friend, would form friendships over the online gaming platform.



I eventually became friends with a good-looking gamer over Uno (yes, the card game). The cute gamer’s friend then entered the scene, who ended up wooing myself with his sultry voice  over mic chat. Soon we were talking to each other every day. Even though he was miles away in North Dakota, Chris became one of my best friends. We would talk for hours and our conversations spanned over every intimate detail of our lives. Chris eventually bit the bullet and traveled to Chicago to finally meet me. When he arrived, however, I wasn’t there! I never showed up to meet him because I was insecure, scared, and not ready to have such a major change in my life. Chris went to my parents house in hopes that I’d be there, but I wasn’t. I actually escaped to a friend’s house in fear, knowing that Chris had my home address and would look for me there first. Defeated, he left a book of poetry with my mom’s boyfriend at the time and went back to North Dakota. We didn’t speak for a year after this incident and the book of poetry would lay, forgotten and unread, underneath my bed.


After the year of silence passed, I came across the book and finally read its contents. Feeling the undeniable love he felt for me through his words, I immediately knew that I had made the biggest mistake in my life by running away from him—I not only lost my best friend, but the man I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I sent Chris a MySpace message apologizing to him and hoping there could still be a friendship between us. Chris replied that he didn’t want to be friends…instead, he loved me and never stopped loving me. 48972801_10218244041002199_358807516437544960_oHe wanted nothing but to try and figure out this thing between us.

Love will always find a way.

In 2009, we decided to try meeting again and this time, I didn’t run. I instantly recognized Chris as he walked towards me at O’Hare. It was a surreal experience to finally see each other in person for the first time, after all of these years of talking. I was so enamored to see Chris… I never stopped staring at him and smiling—he still jokes about it this to this day. Things moved pretty fast from there, we lived together for a year in Colorado, then returned to Chicago. We blossomed those following years, creating a deeper bond with not only ourselves but all of the friends and family that watched us grow together. We continuously made things better for each other, always having positive outlooks amid any situation.



The Quirkiest Things

I love her sense of humor, her kind heart, her patience, talking about deep things such as philosophy and religion as well as her artistic abilities; she is a wonderful painter and musician. She is also an outstanding mother to our daughter and that is a quality I admire.


I love that Chris and I are not afraid to be ourselves in front of each other. I love that we make each other laugh hysterically at least once a day. I love that Chris will come up to me and we will just stop what we are doing and grab me to dance with him with or without music. I love that we try to teach and show each other things we are passionate about because we love each other so much that we want each other to love what we love. I love so much that we can work together the hardest we will ever work—to teach and give so much love to our baby girl, Luna. He truly is my best friend.

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The Proposal

49106978_10218243758075126_2581973543369572352_o.jpgIn 2014, the first heavy snowfall of the season prompted us to bundle up and play in it (as we did every year). We walked hand in hand around the town, enjoying the silence when suddenly Chris stopped and turned towards me. He got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a dream come true on a beautiful snowy evening, there were no other words except, “YES!”


The Wedding Day

49206525_10218243915879071_2742007782914916352_o.jpgMy favorite part of the wedding was finally getting to read the vows I had written Chris almost 5 years before the wedding. I love that I get to have the BEST last name ever (Sweet). I loved having our family dance with our baby girl, Luna. I loved all of our closest family and friends there to celebrate with us. I really loved EVERYTHING about that perfect day, even dancing to Metallica (requested by Chris) with all of our friends.. WHO PLAYS METALLICA AT THEIR WEDDING?… The Sweet family does!


The Wedding Venue

48997546_10218243842997249_5735896564308639744_oWhen we walked into The Haight and saw the beautiful drapery, the seats and everything set up, Chris turned to me and said, “Yep! This is the place!”—taking the words right out of my mouth. The bridal suite wasn’t there when we had first seen it and it turned out to be EVERYTHING! We are so happy to have chosen The Haight. All of our friends and family said they LOVED our wedding location. The farm tables are gorgeous and all of the decorations and help from the staff made everything a dream come true! Best decision ever!


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The Marriage

48991592_10218244108803894_8008454590590615552_o.jpgI love my new name. It took a while to get used to husband and wife, but we did try to go out of our way to say it for the first couple of months. Ha! Our relationship has for the most part stayed the same considering we had been living with each other for years before we got married. There is less anxiety now that the wedding planning is over with and now that people are treating us as husband and wife. I feel more secure and it has made me want to be better. The more we are together, the better we understand each other, and the more in love we are!


The Dress & Tux49205965_10218244042042225_3178708736038404096_o.jpg

I got my dress from David’s Bridal and it was designed by Oleg Cassini. The tux was a custom suit from Men’s Warehouse.

The Advice

Take it all in! Patience when planning and with each other during planning. Don’t work towards the expectations of others and invest in your marriage! WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS!! It was my favorite part of our wedding!

The Shoutouts

48428790_10218243823196754_6775656156091121664_oNicole at The Haight was honestly SO AMAZING! She gave me the best ideas and helped me set everything up perfectly. Cuisine America brought us food on our day and let us borrow so many things from them! We loved that they are family-owned and how sweet and beautiful they were to us! We loved the entire experience working with them! Town and Country Gardens were so talented and did such beautiful work—I’m still obsessed with my flowers! Esther with Oh So Lovely Photography is SO talented and sweet…honestly one of the nicest people ever. We loved working with her!


Backthird Entertainment played everything and anything we asked for. They were AMAZING! We loved that The Sugar Path added our little cookie from Kingdom Hearts and Nina was so sweet and attentive! We loved our cake tasting and all of our choices! I can’t say enough about Craft Donuts! We LOVE their donuts so much and donuts are Chris’ favorite food! Concept One Photography did a great job on the photo-booth and I’m so grateful to my really good friend, Loni Lovely for my hair and makeup!


The Vendors
Photographer: Oh So Lovely Photography| Photo-booth: Concept One Photography
Florals: Town & Country Gardens | Catering: Cuisine America
Cake & Sweets: The Sugar Path & Craft Donuts | DJ: Backthird Entertainment
Hair/Makeup: Loni Westman | Alcohol: Drinks on Me Catering

Vendor Spotlight: SLT Makeup Artistry


Sarah Tjaden has been doing makeup professionally since 2011. She received her Illinois State Makeup Artistry Certification in 2011 and started focusing her energy into bridal beauty in 2015.

How did you get started? 

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LAF Lines Photography

I have always gravitated toward makeup since I was very young- typically leaving the grocery store with a new Lip Smacker when I would shop with my mom. In high school, I was the friend that would help with friends’ hair and makeup for prom, homecoming, and other dances. The summer after I graduated college, I came across Makeup First: School of Makeup Artistry in Chicago in a Google search. I talked to my parents about getting certified and creating a bridal beauty business. They were extremely supportive, so I signed up for classes that night! My instructor, Jill Glaser, amped up my love for my craft and helped push me to make each application a perfect application.

What do you love most about doing makeup?

I love being able to help women see what makeup can do for them. I know that sounds cliché, but there are so many different ways to utilize makeup and it’s really cool when I’m able to educate my clients and share knowledge, that I’ve acquired over the years, of makeup. It’s very fulfilling to be able to empower women through makeup.



Why weddings? 

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Ashley Klemm Photography

When I was in middle school, I used to want to be a wedding planner and create beautiful weddings. I combined my love for makeup with my love for weddings and voilà! It’s also a great feeling knowing that I’m doing the beauty for an important day in someone’s life. The bride’s pictures and memories will last forever- I love being able to be a part of something so special.



What do you think makes you stand out among other make up artists?


Kara Evans Photography

Makeup artistry is so subjective; each artist has their own workflow and style to their craft. My approach to makeup is more along the lines of natural glam. I keep my client’s complexion flawless and enhance their natural features, so they still feel like themselves, just with a touch of glam. We save the cake for the table- not your face.



What’s your favorite part of a wedding day? 

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LAF Lines Photography

My favorite part of the wedding day is when I get to do my bride’s makeup application. Spirits are high, photographers are taking pictures, music is bumping, bridesmaids are taking selfies and it’s almost time for the show to go on. Whether I’m having a Zen moment with my bride or keeping up with the excitement, it’s an exciting feeling getting her ready to walk down the aisle.


Thara Photo

What advice do you have for newly engaged couples?

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Timothy Whaley and Associates

Don’t sweat the small stuff; pick and choose your battles; laugh together as often as possible.

Why do you love working with The Haight? 

I absolutely LOVE working with The Haight because of their culture. Their environment is fun and beautiful and that’s all thanks to their employees and owners. Not to mention, the space is absolutely stunning. We have a wonderful partnership and I could not be happier working with them!