Out of the Box Challenge // Featured Team: Love From The Windy City

Last month, we hosted our first-ever Out of the Box Challenge, a styled shoot challenge similar to the cooking show Chopped. We had nine teams from across the country compete, and we sent them boxes of mystery items including dresses from Ash and Light, Celia Grace, and Urban Set Bride along with accessories from Kerry Ann Stokes and Wood Thumb. Our first and second place winners will be featured in Volume Three of Catalyst Wedding Magazine and all the other teams will be featured here over the next three weeks! We are extremely proud of all the teams and their hard work (and beautiful photos)!

The following images are by Jennifer Claire Photography and her team, Love From the Windy City. You can see a full list of vendors at the bottom!


The elements in the box were classic elements that seemed to be a perfect fit for a wedding shoot inspired by the 1930's hit "Shall We Dance," but set in modern times. The included wedding dresses were especially crucial elements that influenced our theme and look. 

Our two brides had actually met as children while taking ballroom dance lessons; they grew up dancing together. As both brides are dancers, we wanted to physically show the act of "moving forward" through their story. As in the film, both artists start off by dancing alone. The dances are beautiful, but they are missing something. After finding one another, they fall in love and begin dancing together, a beautiful dance that will continue for the rest of their lives!  

The inspiration was also suiting because we could highlight the barriers that have been broken down over the decades, and how our society is moving forward into times of acceptance and openness. Though we featured some classic 1930's-inspired elements in the shoot, we brought out modern elements intentionally. One specific element we were most excited about was that the couple we featured is a same-sex couple, instead of the traditional heterosexual couple captured in the original movie. Featuring a same-sex couple wouldn't have been an option when the movie came out, but now we can openly celebrate and do openly celebrate many different types of couples!



Featured Vendors

Bridal Dresses: Ash + Light and Celia Grace  

Bridal Accessories: Kerry Ann Stokes

Photography: Jennifer Claire | @jclairephoto   

Planning and Design: Dotted Events | @dottedevents

Venue: Morgan MFG | @401morganmfg

Floral Design: Blumgarten & Co. | @blumgarten

Cake Design: Swedish Bakery | @swedishbakery

Apparel Styling: Patrick Niles | @le_mode_patrick_niles

Hair: Holli Beauty | @hollibeauty_

Makeup: Debra Petrielli | @debrapetriellihairandmakeup

Stationary: Emily Rose Ink | @emilyroseink

Cocktails: @_valcohol

Additional Bridal Accessories: Alyssa Kristin | @akristinbridal

China and Rentals: Rent Vintage Chicago | @rentvintagechi

Additional Bridal Accessories and Jewelry: Left Bank Bridal | @leftbankjewelry

Rings: Susie Saltzman | @susiesaltzman

Model: Alexandria Odekirk | @alexandriaodekirkphoto

Model: Evelyn Smesh | @evelynsmesh