photographer: Tell Draper Photography | planner: Life of the Party | venue: Private Club | entertainment: Flow Entertainment, Inc
The Best of | Chicago

Black-Owned Businesses in Chicago to Hire for Your Stunning Wedding or Private Event

Sarah Martin and her future husband were enjoying a walk through their favorite nature preserve along Lake Erie when he got down one knee and proposed. From that moment onwards, the wedding planning began — with dreams of a Brazilian brunch, lush tropical greenery, and open seating. As a Black woman, Sarah has always felt passionately about supporting Black-owned businesses. “When I was planning my wedding,” she shares, “my feelings were no different.” Although Sarah was able to find her wedding photographer through her parents’ church, finding other Black-owned event professionals proved more elusive. 

“I didn’t even know where to begin searching online for professionals who are Black and Brown,” Sara explains. “My seamstress is a friend of a friend who is from Latin America and I never would have found her if I didn’t ask friends.” She goes on to tell us, “While I was fortunate to find many of the vendors through word of mouth, it would have been wonderful to have one site or magazine that I could have references for vendors in my area.” 

In an effort to elevate the beautiful work of accomplished event professionals, and to help consumers find their perfect match for event partners, we’ve assembled a starter list of Black-owned event companies in Chicago. Our hope is to continue to grow this list as a resource for hosts planning every type of celebration — from weddings and milestone birthday parties to fundraising galas and corporate events. Please email us and let us know who we might have missed.

BLACK-OWNED ENTERTAINMENT COMPANIES

Flow Entertainment, Inc

NFL Theme Bar Mitzvah

photographer: Tell Draper Photography

Chicago, IL

  • CEO and Founder Kareem K.W.O.E. Wells is known throughout the Chicagoland area as the “The King of the Mitzvahs” — and revered for his personalized and interactive performance style 
  • Embodies the K.W.O.E. philosophy which he learned as a kid growing up on the West Side of Chicago: Know your genius, work to be unstoppable, own your actions, explore the world. 
  • Started the K.W.O.E. Theory of Change Foundation to inspire and give new opportunities to middle school kids in urban neighborhoods

Flow Entertainment, Inc

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK-OWNED VENUES

Eleven Eleven

Eleven Eleven restaurant and bar in Chicago.

photo courtesy of Eleven Eleven

Chicago, IL

  • Eleven Eleven is a fashionable restaurant and bar situated in the dynamic West Loop neighborhood
  • Draws inspiration from the local art scene and vibrant community to create thoughtful menus, along with artistically-plated cuisine that indulges the five senses
  • Offers a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options 

Eleven Eleven

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK EVENT PLANNERS

aJUICYevent

Baby shower dessert display.

photo courtesy of aJUICYevent

Chicago, IL

  • aJUICYevent is a luxury event planning and design company with a range of customizable service options 
  • Pairs innovation and creativity with stress-free service for everything from weddings and milestone celebrations to corporate events
  • Also offers luxury rental options, creative branding expertise, beautiful stationery, and more

aJUICYevent

Chicago, Illinois

B&C Events

Chicago Black-owned Event planner

photo courtesy of B&C Events

Chicago, IL

  • B&C Events plans and coordinates everything from weddings and social gatherings to corporate parties and brand events
  • Offers custom floral and design services, along with organic balloon styling, for a visually-stunning celebration
  • Creates events that are “elevated to an experience,” with a focus on sensory engagement and meticulous attention to detail

B&C Events

Chicago, Illinois

CRW Events

Wedding Planned by CRW Events in Chicago | PartySlate

photographer: M28 Photography

Chicago, IL

  • CRW Events embodies their motto, “Making Your Dreams a Reality,” with a stress-free planning process and a boutique approach to wedding design
  • Offers micro wedding services along with décor and rental services — ensuring your party vision is faithfully captured
  • Founded in 2010, this talented team plans and designs weddings and events all over the Chicagoland area

CRW Events

Chicago, Illinois

Dejanae Events LLC

Glamorous Wedding at the Adler Planetarium

photographer: Husar Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Dejanae Events LLC is an award-winning wedding and event planning company based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood
  • With over 20 years of experience, the team still gets “excited about love” — and creating beautiful, unique events
  • They are now offering intimate micro weddings for 12 guests — with design and wedding-day management 

Dejanae Events LLC

Chicago, Illinois

KIA MARIE EVENTS

Cake cutting at modern Drake Hotel wedding.

photo courtesy of KIA MARIE EVENTS

Chicago, IL

  • KIA MARIE EVENTS is a boutique company that offers white-glove planning services to a limited number of clients each year
  • Creates tailor-made experiences with a modern and classic approach that captures each client’s unique style
  • Produces events with a focus on “clean uninterrupted designs and extraordinary details”

KIA MARIE EVENTS

Chicago, Illinois

Merlyn José Events

Photo of wedding table with pink orchid centerpieces and overflowing roses and greenery.

photo courtesy of Merlyn José Events

Chicago, IL

  • Merlyn José Events is a full-service event planning and design boutique committed to telling each client’s personal story 
  • Offers a complimentary planning session, as well as custom-planning packages for a tailor-made experience
  • Design and décor services can come à la carte or as a custom package created specifically for each client’s individual needs

Merlyn José Events

Chicago, Illinois

Nicole Marie Events

L.O.L. Surprise Doll Confetti Pop Party Chicago

photographer: Nicee Martin Photo & Design

Chicago, IL

  • Nicole from Nicole Marie Events is famously known as “the planner’s planner” — with an innate understanding of both the business and its network
  • Specializes in customized, immersive experiences with carefully curated details — be it a lavish wedding, product launch, or intimate birthday party 
  • Experienced in logistical planning as well as immaculate execution and production

Nicole Marie Events

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS

Amber Danielle Photography

bride and groom kiss

photographer: Amber Danielle Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Amber Danielle Johnson of Amber Danielle Photography specializes in everything from event photography to personal portraits
  • Although she developed her love for photography in the dark room, she also excels in digital photography
  • Her philosophy is “live, laugh, photograph” — with every moment being an opportunity to capture the perfect photograph

Amber Danielle Photography

Evanston, Illinois

BeKing Media

Couple laughs while holding champagne glasses.

photographer: BeKing Media

Chicago, IL

  • BeKing of BeKing Media finds inspiration to “embrace every day” and seeks out beauty in everyone, at every moment — as even “grit can be graceful”
  • Descended from three generations of artists — with a combination of American, Haitian, and Cuban heritage — BeKing thrives on capturing different perspectives across various unique genres
  • His work in photography and film allows him to tell powerful stories through a single image and connect with Chicagoans across the city

BeKing Media

Chicago, Illinois

J Lauryn Photography

Courtney & Dane's Glowing Soiree

photographer: J Lauryn Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Jasmine Oliver of J Lauryn Photography specializes in events, studio, and lifestyle photography — with an aim to “elevate your personal image”
  • With a degree in chemistry, Jasmine knows how to capture the energy of a room and highlight the most essential components in any composition
  • As a hopeless romantic, Jasmine values narrating each couple’s personal story, as well as putting them at ease so they can enjoy their big day

J Lauryn Photography

Chicago, Illinois

Nicee Martin Photo & Design

Bride and groom stop to kiss in middle of the aisle at recessional.

photographer: Nicee Martin Photo & Design

Chicago, IL

  • Nicee from Nicee Martin Photo & Design takes time to cultivate authentic relationships with her clients in order to capture personal stories and genuine moments
  • Committed to creating long-lasting works of art that can be passed down from generation to generation
  • Partners with many organizations throughout the Chicagoland area, including mentoring youth, pediatric cancer research, and autism awareness organizations

Nicee Martin Photo & Design

Chicago, Illinois

Olu Jr Photography

Child in white dress falls asleep on mother's lap.

photographer: Olu Jr Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Olu Akintrinof of Olu Jr Photography treats every photograph as a work of art, creating gorgeous compositions that serve as lifelong family heirlooms
  • Clients love how he stops at nothing — be it “rain soaked streets, to twists and turns” — to get the perfect shot 
  • Hosts professional training workshops that challenge wedding photographers to take their artistry to the next level

Olu Jr Photography

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK-OWNED DESIGN/DÉCOR/FLORAL COMPANIES

Kesh Events

Romantic and ethereal wedding reception with tall floral centerpieces and creative light mapping.

photographer: Carasco Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Akeshi Akinseye of Kesh Events is known throughout Chicago for her lavish floral designs and hands-on wedding and event orchestration
  • Her reputation for artfully capturing each clients unique love story — be it in Chicago or all over the world — has earned her a high-profile clientele
  • Akeshi leads the educational “The Kesh Expereince” workshop and is the author of the bestselling book “The Art of Floral And Event Design”

Kesh Events

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK-OWNED CATERING COMPANIES

Catering Out The Box

Healthy catered salad

photo courtesy of Catering Out The Box

Chicago, IL

  • Founder Anthony Waller of Catering Out The Box serves as a board member for The Hatchery to support Chicago’s thriving food industry  
  • Catering Out The Box was created with the mission to produce fresh and healthy high-quality food at affordable prices for the masses 
  • Currently offering “Party Plates” and boxed lunches to feed essential workers on the front lines

Catering Out The Box

Chicago, Illinois

D.O.C.S.

Soup in individual crock pot.

photo courtesy of D.O.C.S.

Chicago, IL

  • Executive Chef and Owner Ken Shareef of Doctors Orders Catering Service LLC offers custom-menu planning options with menus that “vary, just like your palate”
  • D.O.C.S. is ServSafe certified, serving every event type from weddings to banquet dinners
  • Partners with clients for menus that are 100-percent planned-to-order with only the freshest ingredients

D.O.C.S.

Chicago, Illinois

Lexington Betty Smokehouse

Catered sliders

photo courtesy of Lexington Betty Smokehouse

Chicago, IL

  • Lexington Betty Smoke House is a high-quality food truck serving authentic barbecue to the Chicagoland area 
  • Offers barbecue (such as pulled pork), soul food (including delicious biscuits and macaroni and cheese), and extensive catering services for a variety of event types
  • Also served at monthly pop-ups on the first Sunday of the month at storefront location

Lexington Betty Smokehouse

Chicago, Illinois

Lisa’s Boutique Catering

Catered salmon with lemons, green beans, and potatoes.

photo courtesy of Lisa’s Boutique Catering

Chicago, IL

  • Lisa Shaw of Lisa’s Boutique Catering creates beautifully-plated cuisine with the freshest ingredients
  • Aims to create “a curatorial culinary journey that is crafted to amplify the ambition and vision” of her clients and partners
  • Business is coming soon to Chicagoland area

Lisa’s Boutique Catering

Chicago, Illinois

Nicole Jordan Catering

Catered waffle, collards, and potatoes.

photo courtesy of Nicole Jordan Catering

Chicago, IL

  • Nicole Jordan Catering provides custom menus using fresh and seasonal ingredients with new twists on American cuisine 
  • Aims to serve “exquisite food” with expert coordination and services
  • Offers everything from boxed lunches to tailored menus created for corporate gatherings, themed parties, and elegant weddings

Nicole Jordan Catering

Chicago, Illinois

On The Go Jo

Hand holds cup of

photographer: Collin Pierson Photography

Chicago, IL

  • On The Go Jo is Chicago’s go-to mobile espresso and coffee cart serving unique, carefully crafted coffee beverages and fresh baked goods
  • Created by three friends who were looking to bring specialty espresso drinks and craft coffee to events throughout Chicago and the Chicagoland area
  • Namesake points to an all-female run company, with a playful pun on coffee’s most renowned synonym 

On The Go Jo

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK-OWNED BAKERIES

Bitoy’s Sweet Treats

Bitoy’s Sweet Treats' caramel apples

photo courtesy of Bitoy’s Sweet Treats

Chicago, IL

  • Bitoy’s Sweet Treats creates artisan popcorn, gourmet gelato, and other delectable treats made in small batches with the highest-quality ingredients
  • Founder Jaunita Sally Bitoy “Grandma” also served as a community activist and social worker; the team’s flagship store is where Janunita began her journey with Bitoy’s Sweet Treats
  • Packaged treats also available for at-home delivery, as well as for private events

Bitoy’s Sweet Treats

Chicago, Illinois

Brown Sugar Bakery

Brown Sugar Bakery swirled yellow cake

photo courtesy of Brown Sugar Bakery

Chicago, IL

  • Stephanie Hart of Brown Sugar Bakery creates specialty cakes and desserts that are known for being “dangerously delicious”
  • Stephanie has been been awarded “America’s Best Bakery” through the Steve Harvey Show
  • In addition to providing desserts and sweets for private events, Brown Sugar Bakery is offering pre-order curbside pick up with 24-hours advance notice

Brown Sugar Bakery

Chicago, Illinois

Eat Moore Cakes

Eat Moore Cakes individual gift sweets

photo courtesy of Eat Moore Cakes

Chicago, IL

  • Eat Moore Cakes specializes in made-to-order artisan-crafted cakes for a tailor-made experience
  • Cakes are planned by appointment with detailed attention given to each client’s personal style
  • Goes beyond album designs to create one-of-a-kind desserts that capture a unique theme or aesthetic

Eat Moore Cakes

Chicago, Illinois

IntoxiCakes

IntoxiCakes donuts on tiered tray.

photo courtesy of IntoxiCakes

Chicago, IL

  • IntoxiCakes creates stunning, made-to-order cupcakes inspired by classic cocktail flavors such as Cosmopolitan and Lime Margarita
  • Cupcakes are baked from scratch with high-quality spirits for an elevated twist on a traditional dessert
  • Available for a variety of special events — from weddings to corporate soireés — as well as for one-of-a-kind party favors or take-home gifts

IntoxiCakes

Chicago, Illinois

Lauren’s Sweet Tooth

Lauren's Sweet Tooth chocolate dessert

photo courtesy of Lauren’s Sweet Tooth

Chicago, IL

  • Laura White of Lauren’s Sweet Tooth believes in creating beautiful and imaginative designs with ingredients of the highest quality
  • Offers custom-baked cakes and desserts, with options for gluten-free or vegan ingredients
  • Also features additional sweets such as cake jars, cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and more

Lauren’s Sweet Tooth

Chicago, Illinois

Signature Sweets Factory

Signature Sweets Factory lavish cake design

photo courtesy of Signature Sweets Factory

Chicago, IL

  • With a passion for mixing beautiful designs and delicious food, Marcus J. Freeman of Signature Sweets Factory started his first baking business at the age of 19  
  • Focus on flavor and quality with all products created in a chemical-free commercial kitchen
  • In addition to providing online orders, Signature Sweets Factory provides catering for elite restaurants and private celebrations across Chicago 

Signature Sweets Factory

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK-OWNED INVITATIONS & PRINT COMPANIES

Vividesigns By Alero

Dinner plate with pink orchid and artfully designed menu.

photographer: Michelle and Yasmin Photography

Chicago, IL

  • Alero Odele-Otaru of Vividesigns by Alero is a working chemical engineer and designer specializing in couture wedding invitations
  • Creates custom-made invitations, stationery, and logo designs for clients all over the world 
  • Offers creative services such as foil printing, letterpress print, raised printing, silk printing, and digital printing

Vividesigns By Alero

Chicago, Illinois

BLACK HAIR & MAKE-UP STYLISTS

Rabecca Ann Artistry

Portrait shot of bride and groom before summer tree.

photo courtesy of Rabecca Ann Artistry

Chicago, IL

  • Rabecca Ann of Rabecca Ann Artistry aims to celebrate people’s “individualized beauty that illuminates confidence from the inside out”
  • Works with some of the most sought after industry leaders and brands — with clients coming back year after year
  • Her background in occupational therapy — along with her training under Bobbi Brown — inspires her to “highlight the natural beauty in all women”

Rabecca Ann Artistry

Chicago, Illinois

Please email us if you know of other Black-owned event companies in Chicago or would like to be added to this list.