Wedtoberfest 2015

As we approach the second half of summer in Chicago, newly engaged couples may already be in the midst of planning for their wedding next year. Chicago has a lot to offer for the creative couple who might be looking for something a little bit different to compliment their vision, but where to begin searching for the perfect vendor match might be a little tricky. 

Fear not, my friends, because I have the perfect solution for you, especially if you happen to love craft beer festivals, like I do. On September 17th, 2015, Naturally Yours Events and Indie Wed team up to bring you Wedtoberfest, a beer festival specifically for couples who want to shop alternative wedding vendors in the Chicagoland area. 

This event is more selective and intimate than your typical bridal show. And because it’s a beer festival, it might be more enticing for some otherwise uninterested grooms to participate.

Now that I’ve sung its praises, I have to admit that I slipped up and booked something previously for that date - I’m kicking myself in the butt for that, but while I’m doing that, you should check it out - and do expect to see me at Indie Wed’s wedding show in early February!

New Beginnings


I’d love to introduce myself. 

My name is Nikki, and I’m an artist. My roots are in Boston, on the east coast, but for now I’m loving and living in Chicago with my wonderful husband, and my most adorable Shiba-Inu pup, Tanuki.

I’ve had many interests throughout the years - I met my husband at the college radio station that we DJ’ed for, I joined the collegiate circus for a short time, I spent 10-years as a child playing violin (and at one point dreamt of going to Berklee), I taught English in Tokyo for a year, and I sporadically dabbled in other arts - drawing, painting, design… the list goes on.

But the one interest that has remained consistent in my life has been photography. From the moment when my mother gave me her old 35mm camera, I fell in love. 

I took my first dark room class when I was 15-years-old, and I thought there was something so magical about turning silver into an image on paper. I went on eventually to earn an MFA in Photography, getting my hands on every photographic process I could learn, from digital to darkroom.

I spent a week in Santa Fe with my professor and some great artists, traveling through the desert with a pop-up wet plate tent just as they did in the 1800’s, and learned how to make this:

Studying photography was such an amazing experience for me, but it wasn’t the only focus in my life at that time - I was also busy planning my own wedding! 

(In hindsight, I wouldn’t recommend taking on such a feat while also in grad school, but I did anyway, and it ended up being the best day of my life!)

I loved planning everything - the venue, the music, the decor - but the most difficult part was finding the right wedding photographer - the one thing that was the single most important detail for me. I didn’t just want a photographer. I wanted an artist.

And then, it happened. I found my wedding photographer, Boston-based Ashley O’Dell (who I highly recommend if you are in the area). Her work was incredibly artistic, completely opening my eyes to new possibilities within wedding photography. 

I spent 2 years working for a wedding company, but I yearned for following my own creative ambitions. I thought then - What if I could create a photography service that can integrate my art background, that would allow me to offer my artistic eye to clients that want something a little different? Why not bring my film camera on wedding shoots? Why not create beautiful clamshell boxes for that bride that might want somewhere special to put all of her wedding treasures? Why not embrace it?

Thus, Thistle + Twine Atelier was born.