“My husband and I hired Five Grain Events for their day-of wedding coordination services and it was the best decision!! First of all, let’s be clear – do not be fooled by the description of ‘day-of’ coordination – because there is so much more that’s involved!! My husband and I planned all the details for our wedding, and I thought that I would be able to handle all of the ‘day of’ stuff by just delegating to a few friends/family – boy was I wrong. As the day got closer, I realized just how much stuff goes on behind the scenes and I wanted to make sure that we were able to just enjoy our day. The first time we met with Joan I knew that she would be the perfect fit for us. She is extremely organized, very professional, fun to hang out with and she’s assertive without being overbearing. I knew she would be the perfect personality to firmly but politely coordinate our vendors and guests. From the minute we hired her, Joan was in constant contact with us about ideas and making sure I was on target for all my deadlines. She met with us several times in person and really listened and took notes on how my husband and I wanted the details of our wedding to come together. Joan was fantastic at keeping all of my vendors in the loop with last minute changes and information and it was so much easier for me to have one contact instead of six! Our actual wedding went off without a hitch – it was honestly the best day of our lives and it went so smoothly. I didn’t worry about a thing because I knew Joan was there to take care of it. Throughout the night Joan would find us to make sure we were okay and she stayed until the very end of our reception to help gather all of our gifts/guest book items and make sure they got home with one of our family members. Joan has a lot of contacts in the industry and any bride would be lucky to have Five Grain Events plan or coordinate their wedding!”
It was so great meeting so many wonderful folks at the tweet-up on Thursday! Can’t wait to blog about that and share the photos. In the meantime, here are some more cool people you should get to know…
1) Kristin, Prairie Production. I think most of us have seen those gorgeous photos of weddings taking place in the oh-so-chic venue: a blank canvas that has been transformed into a magical space. Prairie production IS that space. Featuring a wall of windows, light gray floors, white walls and lovely white paper lanterns; it was originally intended (and is still used) as a photography studio. It would be perfect for the couple who wants a minimalist look, or is an ideal backdrop for those who want to add more color and detail. It’s located on Randolph so is in a really great location for any guests you have staying in the city! If you’re looking for a venue for your next event–wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event, make sure to look into Prairie Production.
2) Jamie, West Loop Studio. Like Prairie Production, West Loop Studio doubles as a photography studio. It’s really conveniently located (in the west loop, of course!) and is a very hip loft space ideal for parties of about 100. It’s got great original wood floors, white walls and high ceilings. Although it’s a big open space, there are areas in the room easily dedicated for ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing. If you book West Loop Studio to do your photography as well, you can utilize their back room as a photobooth–they have some of their best images framed on the wall for inspiration to get silly. See the below photos but also make an appointment to view the space with Jamie. She’s a great gal to know and has lots of wonderful ideas for transforming WLS into the perfect space for your event.
3) Natalie, Hello Darling. Natalie and my good friend, Kelly Marie, from Fleur teamed up recently to create Darling Fleur, a floral design class. I’d been interested in meeting with her for a while (based on Amanda Hein‘s recommendation) but seeing photos from their amazing class was just the kick-in-the-bottom I needed! I met with Natalie in her studio and while she showed me photos of her beautiful work we talked about our histories and similarities (we’re both singers! I’m trying to convince her to join my choir, Wicker Park Choral Singers; she lives in Oak Park and I grew up there, etc.). Her style leans toward Old Hollywood (hence the business name, i.e. “Oh, helloooo, dah-ling”) and runs the gamut between lavish and minimalist. As you’re figuring out your floral needs, definitely look into Hello Darling (oh, and say hello to Natalie for me while you’re there!).
“If I could give Five Grain Events 1000 stars, I would. From beginning to end, they were amazing. If it wasn’t for my Day-of-Event Coordinator, Sara Balsom, from FGE, I don’t know what I would have done.We got married at Salvage One, which is not a venue that has a built-in “coordinator,” and the plan was to appoint family members and close friends to put up and take down decorations, etc., and fill in for other coordinator-duties. So when my florist (Fleur, and also awesome) suggested that we hire a Day-of-Event Coordinator, I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t think we needed to spend money on such a thing. The florist recommended a new company, just starting out, called Five Grain Events. My next thought was, “Oh great…they’re new, which makes them affordable, by probably less competent.” I was SOOOOO wrong!!!!! Very affordable and extremely competent.
I contacted Joan, the owner. She was quick to get back to me and quick to set-up a time to meet. Very communicative and very flexible and very friendly. I then met with her and one of her coordinators, Sara Balsom. Little did I know I was meeting my guardian angel, my savior, my saving grace(Sara)!!!!
They were extremely friendly and professional. They explained to me all their services, presented me with tangible information; we discussed their experience in the field, their attention to detail, etc…I shared my vision, and the rest you can imagine. Both listened intently and seemed genuinely interested and invested in doing the best job they could to achieve my wedding vision. Once we negotiated a price, which Joan was flexible (and this was immensely appreciated), Sara and I were joined together and commenced with our working relationship.
I don’t really know how to put into words how unbelievably helpful and absolutely necessary it was to have Sara. I could never have made it without her. THANK GOD that my florist made this suggestion because nobody could have done as complete, thorough, thoughtful, detail-oriented, amazing job as Sara Balsom did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!
Sara met with me and my husband a couple times. She was in constant communication with me. She was always offering to help more, and more, and more…wanting to always take stress and responsibilities off my hands. She was available all the time, by phone, text, or email. She offered a listening ear. She covered ever single base there was to cover, including ALL the ones I thought I had covered, but missed. I felt like I had made a good friend, not hired a coordinator. She organized all the timelines…for the bridesmaids, for the groomsmen, for the band, for the family, for me, and so on and so forth. She attended the walk-thru meeting with the vendors. She orchestrated the rehearsal. On the day of the wedding, she was in total control, moving things along, directing people, answering questions, diverting the questions and vendor issues to her and away from me and my new husband, connected with all the vendors, made sure the decor went up and came down, and so much more. So many people complemented Sara during the wedding, observing what a great job she was doing. She was in constant communication with me about what was happening and when, and cross-checking decisions with me, which left me to just FULLY ENJOY my most amazing wedding. I had the best day and night of my life…and it would not have been that awesome without the most amazing coordinator in the whole entire world, Sara Balsom!!! Afterwards, I didn’t have to worry about a thing. Sara took care of everything…includi ng taking some stuff home with her in her own car.
Five Grain Events — you outdid yourselves. Your services were excellent. I never imagined all that I would be getting when I hired you. You greatly and extremely exceeded my and my husband’s expectations. Seriously. You were affordable and offered all of the elements that would be expected of a much, much, much more expensive company. Above and beyond everything.
Thank you a million times for making my dreams become a reality!”
What is the thing you enjoy most about your job?
I think the fact that when I’m doing a wedding, I get to be an integral part of one of the best days of that couple’s life…and knowing that I helped them lose all concern about everything except having an incredible time. It’s a really cool feeling.
Who, if anyone, encouraged you to pursue your dream?
Well when I was considering leaving my full-time job, I thought about it a lot, but when I actually said it out loud I was surprised that my husband was on board! Then I talked it over with my parents and my in-laws and they were all really supportive. I think if I hadn’t gotten such positive feedback from my family it would not have been such an easy decision.
To read the rest of this feature, click here to go to the Simply Jessie Photography blog.
Today I bring you event planner Joan with Five Grain Events to continue on our Profile series. This blog series highlighting different business owners and entrepreneurs. Plus I think all my brides should get to know Joan a bit!! She is the founder of Five Grain Events and leads the way for fabulous Chicago events. She is way fun, laughs alot, does wonderful work and makes organization look easy. We met because of her pursuit of networking and connecting wedding vendors to one another. She found me! You can find more information on her website and blog as well as follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well!
To read the rest of this feature, click here to go to the Simply Jessie Photography Blog.