our team

Our planners are down-to-earth people and believe events should be creative. We are judgement-free and won’t make you feel like your quirky ideas are “bad” – in fact, we will probably love them.

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EVENTS PLANNED
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COUNTRIES & STATES TRAVELED
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CARLENE HARTLINE

OWNER AND LEAD EVENT PLANNER

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Carlene has always been enthusiastic about the details and obsessed with making lists! Whether she was planning themed birthday parties at ten years old, organizing midnight theater viewings of super geeky movies, or helping family and friends plan their most important life moments, she was always known as the planner among those around her.

While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, Carlene worked for a prestigious wedding photographer as a day-of coordinator and couple de-stressor extraordinaire. It wasn’t until she moved to Chicago and took several coordination roles in the hospitality industry that she had that “ah ha” moment: “I love to plan events and I rock at it!” From there, her planning passion became her life’s work and Naturally Yours Events came into fruition.

Over her 15+ years of experience, Carlene has developed planning tools built for efficiency- leaving no detail overlooked- so she can focus on keeping things lighthearted while fostering creative ideas that are original, memorable, and truly personalized.

When she is not planning super cool events, you can find Carlene baking crazy ambitious recipes, binge watching shows with her amazing husband, riding her bike around town and getting out in nature, trying new brews and brunch spots, singing loudly in the car to all the broadway show tunes, discovering the world through the eyes of her little baby girl, and dreaming up all the places they will travel together as a family.

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KRISTEN STEWART

Associate Event Planner and Office Manager

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Kristen has an unwavering energy and a positive “let’s go!” attitude that makes her an integral team player. She has a passion for coordinating details to perfection and turning her client’s vision into a reality, the resourcefulness to make the best of any situation, and a freakishly organized emergency kit. Her motto has always been to prepare well, have fun, and save the earth- whether from zombie hordes or large carbon footprints.

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Sales & Business Marketing at Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!) and years of various (and interesting) work experiences, Kristen found planning events allowed her to express her creativity and innovative ideas for solving challenges. In 2014, she set her mind to pursue an event planning career- finding a home at Naturally Yours Events. On event days, Kristen loves looking around the dance floor, finding the couple’s smiling faces, and knowing- “I helped make this happen.” This exciting part of a wedding also means she can eat dessert and discuss her picks for best dressed of the night, ha!

On non-event weekends, you’ll find Kristen switching roles and attending a wedding as a guest, lounging at Chicago’s lakefront with a good book or playing beach volleyball, enjoying the daily life moments with her husband (who helped plan their surprise wedding!), and adding to her beer coaster collection.

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LAUREN WEST

Associate Event Planner and Social Media Manager

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Lauren is a natural leader and organizer of all the details! At Loyola University Chicago, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology while stage managing theater shows and interning as a wedding planner’s assistant. Whether she was overseeing people in Shakespearean costumes or summer wedding cocktail attire- she was continually thrilled by all the moving pieces coming together. That, combined with the fulfillment she gets from being part of others’ special life moments, propelled her into a wedding planning career.

Now at Naturally Yours Events, she’s our resident escort card whisperer, tipsy groomsmen wrangler, and seasoned timeline executer- all while doing it with poise and a smile on her face. She has an intuition for understanding her client’s vision in order to create cohesive event designs with impeccable details that reflect what they find most meaningful. She believes it’s important to be an approachable team player and make the planning experience fun- not a chore.

Outside of planning events, Lauren spends her time taking weekend trips to visit family, going to the dog park with her four-legged child, cooking up new recipes with her husband, watching the newest Netflix craze, and honing her green thumb in her backyard garden.

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EVELYN ONATE

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Evelyn combines a strong-willed determination, impenetrable composure, and mindfulness for creating special events into her natural planner spirit. She finds joy in celebrating others and always approaches challenges in a calm manner so as to never make a storm out of a drizzle.

She soaks up knowledge like a sponge and after accomplishing two degrees in Business and Education she’s earning a Masters in Special Education from Dominican University. Her love of events came early on from planning large family parties to interning with a wedding dress maker. Now she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Naturally Yours Events team and her clients’ celebrations.

At the beginning of the planning process, she gets a thrill out of learning all about her clients so she can incorporate as many personal elements into their event and truly understand each and every aspect of their combined vision. When it’s time to take a load off, which is seldom, Evelyn loves becoming a couch potato and relaxing with loved ones while telling real life paranormal stories.

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LIZ BREEN

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Liz brings her adventurous spirit, affinity for nature, and ability to think outside the box to the Naturally Yours Events team! From early high school days, to Lawrence University where she earned Psychology & Education degrees, to festivals near and far- Liz has developed a lifelong love for producing events that bring communities together like Burning Man, Full Moon Jam, and Chiditarod. Simply being a spectator is not her forte, she MAKES things happen.

Liz approaches events by looking at the big picture, digging into her client’s style to find creative ways of expressing their personalities, and then organizing it all into meticulous to-do lists. She understands planning can have its challenges and is committed to making it a fun experience for her clients. When they are walking back up the aisle, hand-in-hand, after saying “I do”, she can’t help but think how all their hard work has paid off so they can truly enjoy this very moment.

When Liz takes a pause from her whirlwind life of events, you’ll most likely find her outdoors either going for a bike ride, camping, gardening or organizing her garage. She loves to relax in the mornings while drinking a tasty cup of chai or at night watching one of her favorite shows after putting her son (her little big man) to bed.

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TEMPRIS DANIELS

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Tempris is never afraid to beat to her own drum- in fact she loves to which is why she’s a perfect fit for our quirky team at Naturally Yours Events. As the planner in her family, she organized celebrations from birthday parties to vacations and then moved on to sorority events and friends’ weddings. Her attention to detail and eye for design ensures everyone always has a great experience. 

After receiving her Masters in Higher Education from Loyola University, Tempris engaged her passion for being socially responsible at UChicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, planning concerts, orientations, and more. She’s always had a love for weddings as well and says she feels fulfilled when everyone is having a good time while busting a move on the dance floor. When planning, she believes it’s important to trust your instincts and have a well-organized Pinterest board of all your thoughts and inspiration.

Tempris enjoys going to festivals and community events around the city as well as dining with friends at a new local restaurant. She’ll always take time to slow down and relax to work on her wellness regimen that includes yoga & earth-friendly facials while also living life as an ambassador for natural, cruelty-free, and sustainable beauty & lifestyle products. 

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MEL FOLEY

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/THEY

Mel is a triple fire sign Aries and if you know anything about zodiac signs, you know that an Aries can’t be beat and will face all challenges head on. Mel is a sucker for sweet & nostalgic details and has a soft spot for vintage anything.

Mel’s passionate personality drove her into the events industry beginning with organizing variety & comedy shows, vintage markets, wellness workshops, and film & photo shoots in her studio loft with her Columbia College community of students & artists. Mel has produced experiential marketing campaigns across the country, served as an onsite event manager for a Chicago wedding venue, and is a city production manager for Candlelight Concerts.

Joining the Naturally Yours team felt natural, to say the least. Mel loves sustainability in events and likes to think of themself as the couple’s best advocate. On non-wedding weekends you can catch Mel people-watching at farmers markets & gallery openings, exploring the world through the lens of old school film cameras, or running as fast as possible to an oyster & natural wine happy hour.

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CAITLYN GARRITY

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Caitlyn is our ball of bubbly energy! She’s always enthusiastic about any situation she walks into and she loves getting to know new people, places, food, and stories- especially our clients’ love stories!

She studied Theater Production at Millikin University where she learned many valuable skills for executing successful productions & events. She truly enjoys seeing all the pieces come together and watching our couples get excited about each & every moment on the day of. She appreciates how each event, no matter if you recreate it tomorrow or years from now, will never be quite the same as it is in the moment, which makes it even more special. This translates to Naturally Yours Events’ philosophy that all of our events are unique representations of the people they are celebrating and can’t be duplicated or be forced to fit into a certain style/standard.

Caitlyn joined our team in 2021 and has been such a lovely addition! She’s consistently ready for anything- even if that means steering a broken down photo booth bus. Her ideal weekend when she doesn’t have an event includes biking around the city, exploring new restaurants and local spots with her partner & friends.

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SARAH PODLEWSKI

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Sarah is the person always buzzing around making sure everything is in its place and greeting you with a warm, friendly smile. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Economics from Northwestern University; Sarah views events with a practical mind, always arms herself with a good prioritized checklist & timeline, and will never go without a contingency plan in her back pocket. 

After planning with Naturally Yours Events as a bride herself, Sarah enjoyed learning all the ins & outs that go into a wedding day and watching how the team helped her & her husband incorporate their personalities into their celebration. So when the NYE was looking to expand the team, Sarah jumped at the opportunity and we’re so glad she did!

When Sarah isn’t helping us keep everything running smoothly on a wedding day, she is usually baking, swing dancing, exploring local restaurants around her Irving Park neighborhood with her husband Will, having a friendly (competitive) night of board gaming, or catching a movie at her favorite theater, the Music Box. 

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SAMANTHA SCHROEDER

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Samantha has a degree in elementary education from Saint Mary’s and currently teaches 4th grade math and science, her two favorite subjects! While teaching has always been her #1 career goal, she has always enjoyed weddings and planning imaginary events as she watched all the infamous TLC wedding shows. After helping some of her friends plan their weddings, she eventually found the team at Naturally Yours Events.

Samantha’s level-headed & thoughtful approach is incredibly valuable in event production. She loves being part of transforming a space from a blank slate into a magnificent event, seeing how couples include personal touches, and passionately guarding sweets tables until the photographer has all of the detail shots.

Samantha tries to climb outdoors and camp as much as she can. A memorable trip included backpacking part of the Pacific Crest Trail! When the weather is cooler, you’ll most likely find her on the couch binge-watching TV shows, lesson planning, cooking, or rearranging the furniture in her apartment.

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AMRITA SINGH

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Amrita has a true entrepreneurial spirit! As the founder of her own travel planning business, she takes great pride in creating lasting memories for her clients. Her interest in event planning grew as she became involved in planning networking events for fellow entrepreneurs and she realized the wedding & event industry, along with her travel planning experience, could be the perfect match!

She craves excitement in the everyday and believes life is meant to be enjoyed however you can. Her bubbly personality makes the planning process fun and she’s passionate about identifying unique ways to make her client’s experience special & memorable. At Naturally Yours Events, we adore injecting personality into all of our events!

Amrita loves going out with good friends to top restaurants and bars in Chicago or for a longer escape you can find her exploring a nice winery. She’s always down for a fun night of karaoke or just having a quiet night in hanging with her adorable Cockapoo named Crouton.

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NIKKI CARTER

Associate Event Consultant

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Nikki has been in the hospitality business for almost three decades and has always had a love for producing events. She enjoys creating a fun atmosphere for any kind of occasion. When there was an opportunity to assist on event days with Naturally Yours Events, she brought us her creative mind and enthusiastically jumped right on board!

She has a degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston so loves the personal aspect of weddings. She also gets energized by working with other dedicated people who are fun & sociable like she is. Her favorite part of a wedding day is listening to a couple’s personal vows they write for each other and the dancing, of course!

Nikki loves being outdoors and during Chicago summers she soaks up as many beach & boat days as she can get. For the chillier months, you’ll find her curling up with a good book, painting, or getting involved in some sort of new project.

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