Meet our friends at the Catalyst Ranch

Meet Lauren Smith the Branson Babe, Gala Girl, Marketing Manager of the Catalyst Ranch which happens to be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this Thursday (find out more about their event here )

Lauren (left) and the Catalyst Ranch team



For people who may not be familiar with Catalyst Ranch can you tell us a bit about the location?
Catalyst Ranch is Chicago’s creative meeting and event space. With bright, bold colors and nostalgic Americana furniture, our space invigorates meeting and events by constantly stimulating the senses.

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Tell us a bit about you and your team?
I started working at Catalyst Ranch in 2006 and have pretty much worked every position from the ground up, very happily moving into my current title of Special Events Manager in 2010. Our team is a wonderfully diverse, motley crew of artists and event industry hopefuls. Our staff isn’t your run-of-the-mill event staff that hover in the shadows. Our team is in the forefront with their engaging and endearing personalities, always at the ready to assist.

What services do you offer?
We have an extensive list of preferred caterers and vendors that are as passionate about making each event special and unique. We facilitate these relationships with our brides and planners. Because of our eclectic furnishings and décor, we are able to tailor a floor plan specifically for the bride and planner.

Is there a particular bride style you feel you cater to best?
A lot of our brides are very DIY and that’s great! The more you can tailor your wedding to your specific tastes and flair, the more special it’ll be when you look back on it. We’ve had some amazingly eclectic weddings in our history, including a recent cosplay wedding with a wedding cake straight out of the sci-fi show Dr. Who. Because we’re such a unique venue, the brides that come to us usually have a strong sense of self, who they are, what they like, and can also have fun with it.

Video by Sterling Wedding Cinema produced with Naturally Yours Events

What is the first thing a couple should do after getting engaged?
A wedding budget and guest list needs to be the first steps but another very important aspect to decide early on is the type of wedding the couple wants. It’s best to outline the most important elements of the wedding day that will help make the celebration special and unique.

What is your favorite part/moment of a wedding?
The “I Do’s,” plain and simple. There is a lot of stress associated with planning a wedding, especially the day of. No matter how much you plan, there are so many variables during the day of the event that the couple doesn’t truly relax until their standing in front of their friends and family. And the “I Do” is the culmination of the time this particular couple has spent together and all the hard work and planning we’ve all done to make their special day come true.

Can you give me 1-2 of your favorite requests/ ideas that a couple has come to you with?
One artistic couple created a collaborative art piece with their guests and it was a big hit. Everyone just grabbed a brush, found their paint preferences and went to town on a huge blank canvas. Definitely a memorable wedding moment and a fantastic piece the couple will have forever.

What are the trends you are seeing for 2013/14
Adding a unique local aspect to a wedding, such as food trucks and microbrew beers have been big this year and I think it will continue to get more popular in the next year.

Who is Lauren:
– what is your rule of thumb you live by?
It’s all in the details.

– what do you do in your free time?
Chill out! Painting my nails and play video games (sometimes simultaneously).

– If you were to turn on the TV right now what would you choose to watch?
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” – thank god for marathons on BBC America and Spike TV!

– what book are you reading right now? or what is the last book you read?
Just finished reading Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicle and now I’m on to James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans.

Finally we have to ask but what is an item you would have on your wedding registry?
I love to entertain so I would go with a some great bar equipment and glassware for fab cocktails.


Don’t forget their Fan event this Thursday Nov 15th 6pm-9pm



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