Today’s Vendor Spotlight features Five Grain Events in Chicago! Five Grain Events specializes in providing stress-free, organized, and beautifully executed weddings in Chicago. If you know about my love of lists, post-it notes, and keeping on top of things, you’d know how much I appreciate a team with such tenacity and ambition to make your event the best ever! I was lucky enough to meet Joan at a Thursday Therapy Event a couple of years ago. It has been inspiring to watch her connect other wedding vendors in Chicago, as well as, see her grow her own business.

Five Grain Events in Chicago

Tell me about your business- what do you specialize in? Five Grain Events is an event planning company, specializing in weddings.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: SHANE WELCH PHOTOGRAPHY

How did you get started? I’m a planner by nature. I started planning my family’s vacations when I was 13, and my type-A tendencies have only flourished since then – I was constantly planning get-togethers for friends and family, and my passion for precision only grew the older I got. After college, I started working in the non-profit event world, where I gained a unique perspective on event execution and design within a budget. I occasionally assisted for another wedding planner in Chicago, and just fell in love with the process. All the details that needed a watchful eye, the style and love that went into every decision – weddings are a natural fit for someone who loves people and parties as much as I do.

So in January 2010, I started Five Grain Events (based on my married name, Cinque= five, grani = grain) and quit my full-time arts administration gig in May of that year.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: JACLYN SIMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry? Each and every couple that gets married is different, and every wedding has its own personality. Even when we work at the same venue time and again, there’s something unique about each event that keeps the job exciting, challenging, and full of fun. We get to help people plan an immensely personal and passionate event, and work with truly talented and creative professionals throughout the entire process.

How would you describe your business’ style? The Five Grain Events team is calm and collected with impeccable attention to detail. We know that a wedding can be stressful – all the emotion and expectation that is tied to celebrating the love of your life can cause tension. We’re an extremely friendly, calm group of planners and coordinators who take that same friendly and calm approach to connecting with everyone involved with your wedding – from you and your family, wedding party, and guests to the vendors who you’ve hired to make your celebration special.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: KATIE KETT PHOTOGRAPHY

How far in advance should clients book your services? It really depends on the kind of help you are looking for! If you want help planning your whole wedding from start to finish, it’s great to reach out to us shortly after your engagement, so we can help you weed through the noise of picking a date and finding the perfect venue. If you want to plan most of the day yourself, but know you’ll need a bit more help along the way, six to nine months in advance is a pretty good bet. But if you’re just about two months out from your wedding date and starting to freak out about all the details, you can still call us and see if we’re available for helping you coordinate your special day!

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: AVERYHOUSE

Where does your inspiration come from? We hate hearing about brides and grooms who are stressing out during their wedding planning process. We get so inspired from the personal details that make each wedding different, and getting to know our couples throughout the planning process makes it really special for us, too! We love knowing that we can help bring an idea to life and take the worry out of the equation.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: PETER WYNN THOMPSON

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I’m a mother of two young girls, so when I’m not working, I try to spend as much time with my family as I can! I also co-host Thursday Therapy with Bethany Fritz of Maypole Studios – it’s a monthly event where wedding vendors get together to mix and mingle, and has been so helpful in helping us meet all the new and veteran professionals in our industry.

What is one piece of advice you think all couples would benefit from knowing? Being engaged and getting married is such an exciting time in your life! Be sure to savor every moment. Remember that no matter what, at the end of the day, you’re going to be sharing your life with your best friend and that’s what is most important.

Five Grain Events ChicagoImage Credit: ELENA BAZINI PHOTOGRAPHY

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Be sure to check out our blog here where we feature all our weddings; it’s a great place to see pictures from a venue you might be considering, or looking through all the different kinds of styles weddings can have. If there’s anything we can do to make your wedding planning process more enjoyable, we’d be thrilled to help!

How can clients connect with you? If you want to know more about our services, shoot me an email at, or fill out the inquiry form on our website. We’d love to help make your dream wedding a reality!


Instagram: @FiveGrainEvents


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If you’re looking for a wedding photographer and think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line and lets chat!

  • Joan Fivegrain - Thanks for featuring us, Alaina!June 29, 2015 – 7:56 pmReplyCancel

I was super stoked when Sarah of Sarah Postma Photography asked me to shoot Laura and Matt’s wedding with her. I had been itching for a reason to hop back this side of the pond so I was happy to make it happen! October is always a beautiful month to tie the knot because of all the gorgeous colors woven throughout Chicago’s park landscape.

Lincoln Park Cafe Brauer Wedding Photos

Matt and Laura had a beautiful ceremony at the St. James Chapel, a unique travel themed reception at Hotel Chicago, and we had ample time to take photos downtown and at the Lincoln Park Zoo. After the celebration Matt and Laura went to the Maldives for their honeymoon, which made me ecstatic for them! Jon and I had the chance to visit there and will always cherish the memories made on that trip.

I’m so excited to share these Classic Colorful Chicago Wedding Photos with you today! This couple was not only elated to celebrate and spend their lives together, they were both the kind of people you’d love to be friends with…
Hotel Chicago Groom Getting Ready Hotel Chicago Groom Receiving Gift Hotel Chicago Groom Receiving Gift Classic Chicago Wedding Cufflinks Groom Getting Ready Photo Downtown Chicago Groom Portraits Chicago Wedding First Look Photo Chicago Wedding First Look Photo Chicago Wedding First Look Photo Chicago Wedding First Look Photo Bridesmaid Photo in Lincoln Park Candid Bride Photo in Lincoln Park Laid Back Bridal Party Photo in Lincoln Park Wedding Photos in Lincoln Park Wedding Photos in Lincoln Park Wedding Photos in Lincoln Park Bride and Groom Photos in Lincoln Park Wedding Portraits near Cafe Brauer St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo St James Chapel Wedding Photo Hotel Chicago Wedding Portrait Travel Themed Reception Hotel Chicago Travel Themed Reception Hotel Chicago Travel Themed Reception Hotel Chicago Classic Wedding Reception at Hotel Chicago Ring Shot at Hotel Chicago Classic Wedding Reception at Hotel Chicago First Dance at Hotel Chicago First Dance at Hotel Chicago Parent Dance Photo Parent Dance Photo Dance Floor Photo at Hotel Chicago Dance Floor Photo at Hotel Chicago Dance Floor Photo at Hotel Chicago

Are you planning a wedding and looking for a wedding photographer? Drop me a line and let’s chat!


4 Regrets Couples Have After Their Wedding

Usually when I write blog posts, I like to stay away from anything negative. After all, you’re planning a huge event and you’re excited (and maybe stressed) so no need to insert “Negative Nancy” here. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that since you’re likely planning this event for the first time, you may be unsure of certain decisions or have regrets after the fact.

How awesome would it be if I can help you avoid some of that? I think super awesome… So that’s why today I’m going to share 4 Regrets Couples Have After Their Wedding.

There isn’t too much that I regret about our celebration because I was very organized and on top of things. For the most part, things turned out great with the exception of our transportation not showing up and the linens coming to the country club wrinkled and looking terrible (thank goodness my Aunt took care of it). I never even knew there was a problem until later but unfortunately for her, she had to show up with wet hair because she didn’t have the time to get ready because she was dealing with a mess.

Which leads me to Regret #1 😉

  1. Not having AT LEAST month-of coordination/planning services. I was SO stressed out over all the details and coordination that if I could go back and do it again, I’d invest in a wedding planner. And I wouldn’t even blink at eye because it would be money WELL spent. How much is your sanity worth to you?! haha. For a type A personality like me, it would have totally been worth it.
  2. According to Huffington Post, 98% of Brides regret not having a videographer. Although I think this number is inflated, I think many couples regret not investing in a professional videographer. As a bride who had video, the advice I would give would be to have a highlight video done by someone who is good! We used a high volume studio that just cranks out video and I have to tell you, our video is 2.5 hours long and I’ve never EVEN watched the whole thing. If I had a nice highlight video with a professional editing job, I would have been much more likely to share with friends and family but the video is SO DAMN LONG that I wouldn’t dare!
  3. Spending the entire dinner time greeting guests. Jon and I thought it would be a great idea to walk around the room and greet everyone. We had a large wedding (270 guests) and never even made it to everyone. Not only did we feel bad, our dinner was cold by the time we got to it. Luckily our venue was superb and remade our plates so we could eat a hot meal. Allow yourself the freedom to sit and enjoy your meal! You deserve it:)
  4. Losing sight of what’s important by planning a wedding vs. planning a marriage celebration. At the end of the day, you’re coming away with a life partner! With all the stress and details of planning, it’s easy to lose sight of this… Make an effort to not get caught up in the minutiae and revel in the moments; from seeing your partner for the first time and building something amazing TOGETHER to celebrating with the family and friends who love you both so much. I once had a couple who wrote a heart-felt thank you card to every guest and presented it to them at their place setting.  That MELTED my heart! They got it right!

Are you planning a marriage celebration and looking for someone to capture it all? Drop me a line and let’s chat!

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10 Top Tips for Setting a Gorgeous Reception Table

While scouring the web for more useful content, I came across this great Style Me Pretty slideshow that gives 10 top tips for setting a gorgeous reception table.

Among my favorites were:

  1. Incorporate your style! I think this a great tip.  Of course you want the tables to reflect your personal style and be presented in a way that’s special to you!
  2. Consider the space- If you’re having a huge ballroom wedding, you probably won’t want farmer’s tables but if your reception is in a rustic raw space that’s being transformed, farmer’s tables may be the perfect addition.
  3. Mini tutorial for setting a place correctly-Score!  This is something I had no idea how to do prior to my own wedding… However, the venue and your planner should have this one down so you don’t even have to think about it! I liked this little nugget for my own personal knowledge though. 😉

Scroll down to link to the article and read more tips!

McDonald Wedding-0305_Alaina Bos Photography_Chicago City Winery

It’s no surprise we’re crazy about tables around these parts… gorgeous dinnerware, ornate patterning and fancy flatware, oh my! But putting it all together takes a bit of know-how. That’s where our pals at Casa de Perrin come in, curators of some of the prettiest tabletop rentals around. From chargers to glassware and everything in between, they’re dishing out tabletop tips that’ll […]

Source: Style Me Pretty