Green, Lake Country, Outdoor & Tented, Pink/Blush, Real Weddings, Summer, West

Amanda & Sema’s Sunday Brunch
Wedding at the Seven Seas

August 14, 2018
Amanda and Sema marry at Seven Seas in Oconomowoc WI

Amanda and Sema met the modern way: “I had been talked into trying Tinder because someone told me you can legitimately meet people on there,” Amanda laughs. “I guess they were right!” Sema proposed with the help of the couple’s dog, Hurley. Amanda was watching TV when Hurley came bounding into the room after having gone outside with Sema. “Hurley kept putting his face in mine and wanting me to pet him,” Amanda recalls. “Sema finally said, ‘Look at Hurley’s neck!’ He had tied the ring around his collar. I think Hurley was acting the way he did because he knew what his job was!”

The happy couple decided to keep things beautifully simple with a Sunday brunch wedding. “We didn’t want our wedding to be a big party. We wanted it to be small and intimate. Sunday brunch was just perfect for what we had in mind — the perfect time of day for an outside wedding, plus everyone had the afternoon to do what they pleased. We wanted it as easy and with the least amount of pressure for ourselves and everyone who came. We don’t think we missed out on a single thing by doing a daytime wedding. It was exactly what we wanted!” In fact, Amanda and Sema were able to get all the vendors they wanted (given the non-peak day), and guests also loved how fun and carefree the day felt.

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Seven Seas, with Indian Summer Photography on hand to capture the love-filled day. Amanda says there wasn’t a specific theme, rather a focus on gathering everyone together and feeling comfortable. “That’s why we chose a few very long tables instead of many smaller tables. Even the meal was family style. I guess, if there was a theme, it would be ‘family style!’”

A family friend even officiated the wedding, making the ceremony all the more meaningful. A string duo from Elegant Music Services played the procession and recession songs, and Amanda walked down the aisle in her Amelishan Bridal dress to the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” — a favorite of hers. “Another special part is that I walked down with both my dad and my grandfather, who was a huge part of my life growing up.”

In keeping with intimate, family-style simplicity, a brunch reception followed with a little dancing, too. “I loved it because it felt like a family reunion,” Amanda says. “It was very relaxing without expectations or stress.” Brunch was catered by the Seven Seas and included scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a basket of bakery, barbecue riblets, herb roasted chicken, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. To toast to the bride and groom, guests enjoyed champagne, mimosas, orange juice, bloody marys, and a full bar.

At the end of the day, Amanda and Sema wouldn’t trade their Sunday brunch wedding for anything — it was absolutely perfect for them. “Don’t worry about the expectations from everyone to have some huge party,” Amanda says. Her advice to future brides is to make the day about why you’re there: To celebrate the joining two lives together in love.

Hair Stylist Jamie Schroeder of Hair by Jamie in Oconomowoc
Invitations Purchased from LoveofCreating through Etsy
Ceremony, Reception, Catering & Bartending Seven Seas on Nagawicka Lake
Cake Maja the Bee Sweets
Ceremony Music Elegant Music Services
Chalkboard/Custom Signage Written by the Bride on signs/frames rented from Vintique Rentals
Flowers Barb’s Green House Florist in Hales Corners, WI
Music/Entertainment Vital Image
Photographer Indian Summer Photography
Gown Amelishan Bridal
Formalwear Skeffington’s Formal Wear
Rings Jared
Rentals Vintique Rentals

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Ballroom, Blue, Classic Style, Lake Country, Pink/Blush, Real Weddings, West, Whites/Grays/Silvers, Winter

Amber & Mike’s Wintry Wedding at the Delafield Hotel

August 6, 2018
Amber and Mike marry at the Delafield Hotel in Delafield WI

Amber from Janesville and Mike from Albert Lea, Minnesota, were living in Madison and Brookfield, respectively, when they met on Match over three years ago. The happy couple got engaged on a summer’s day in July 2017 at the Union Terrace in Madison. “We spent a lot of time there when we were dating, and it was the perfect spot for Mike’s proposal,” Amber says. “It was casual and romantic. The perfect moment for the two of us!”

Mike and Amber planned a wedding for the following February, giving them just half a year to get all their ducks in a row. Amber, being an interior designer, enjoyed the planning process as a different way to unleash her space-making creativity. “The theme was a romantic winter wedding — classic and stylish. The colors were soft whites and ivory, warm neutral grays, blush pinks, and accents of navy blue.”

The ceremony, reception, and photography all took place at the stately Delafield Hotel. Both the ceremony and reception were held in the Ballroom. “They transformed the space between the ceremony and reception while we were taking photos and our guests were enjoying the cocktail hour.” The signature cocktail: an Old Fashioned. During photos, the bride and groom had the chance to go up into the hotel bell tower. “The sun was setting and there were light snowflakes falling,” Amber recalls. “The Delafield Hotel also created an awesome backdrop for our photos with our wedding party.”

Everything from dinner to drinks to dessert was catered by the hotel. Guests had a choice or pan-seared chicken breast with lemon and thyme fingerling potatoes or braised beef short ribs with sweet corn mashed potatoes and vegetables in a port wine shallot reduction. For a vegetarian option, there was quinoa with apples and roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet potato cakes, miso sauce, and wilted kale. For dessert, the house-made cake featured two flavors: a simple white buttercream cake with white almond poppyseed and raspberry compote filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream.

Both cakes were decorated with flowers from Bank of Flowers. “My florist, Melissa, was extremely helpful, as she is a very good friend of mine in addition to being my florist,” Amber says. “She really helped me pull everything together and feel great about all of my decisions. Melissa went above and beyond — and the flowers were gorgeous!”

Looking back, the moments that sticks with Amber the most was seeing her husband as she walked down the aisle. Her advice to future brides? Try not to sweat the small stuff! “You hear about how stressful planning a wedding on your own can be,” she says. “But you just have to have fun with it and not worry about all the details. In the end, it will turn out perfectly!”

Make-up Artist Team Bride MKE – Dana Welch
Hair Stylist Erica Symons – Allure Hair Salon – Madison, WI
Rehearsal Dinner I.D./The Delafield Hotel
Ceremony, Reception, Catering, Bartending & Cake The Delafield Hotel / I.D.
Flowers Bank of Flowers
Music/Entertainment The Acoustix
Photographer Erika Lee Photography
Gown Vera’s House of Bridals, Madison, WI
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse, Brookfield, WI
Rings Custom designed by bride and groom
Rentals Chairs from All Star Rentals (Rented through The Delafield Hotel)
Background Sheer Panels and Up-Lighting Double Platinum DJ

SaveSave

Downtown, Historic & Unique, Milwaukee, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer

Jessica & Paul’s Beautiful, Bloom-Filled Wedding at the Milwaukee Art Museum



July 27, 2018
Jessica and Paul marry at the Pfister Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee

Paul and Jessica met in college at UWM. The two were on a trip to Vancouver when Paul proposed. “We took a gondola up the side of Grouse Mountain,” Jessica says. “At sunset, Paul got down on one knee, in the snow, and asked me to marry him.”

Jessica and Paul planned a July wedding at the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum. Both the ceremony and reception were held there. What made the ceremony unique for the bride and groom: “A family friend was the officiant. Her personality and beautiful sermon made our ceremony perfect.” Photos were taken at both the Art Museum and at the nearby Pfister Hotel.

At the reception, food and drinks were catered by the Art Museum. “The reception was amazing!” Jessica says. “The food at the Milwaukee Art Museum was incredible, the music was perfect, and having all our friends and family enjoy the beautiful ambiance with us made it all the more special.” Dinner was a choice of scallops, steak, or risotto. “We decided to split all three — best decision ever!” For dessert: A 1,000 layer puff pastry.

The color story for the day was navy, burgundy, and blush. Floral arrangements from Feisty Flowers were both lovely to look at and filled with meaning. Paul’s heritage is South African, so the florists at Feisty Flowers made sure to include South Africa’s national flower, the King Protea. These were laced throughout all of the arrangements.

Bringing Wisconsin and South Africa together, there were also local blooms and foliages of scabiosa, crimson peonies, baptisia and smokebush from Windswept acres farm in Cecil Wisconsin. “The other extra special touch were the large white peonies we had shipped in from Alaska Perfect Peony,” says Feisty Flowers owner Jaclyn. A nod to the engagement story, no doubt. “Their season is a very short one, limited to spring. But fortunately, with the magical things they are doing with peonies in Alaska, we were able to get them, and they were beautiful, fresh, and large.”

Looking back on all the beauty, emotion, and love in the room, Jessica says it’s impossible to pick just one moment that stands above the rest. “From our first dance to dancing the night away, I focused to much on cherishing the entire day that I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite!”

Make-up and Hair Jennifer Newstat
Ceremony, Reception, Catering & Bartending Milwaukee Art Museum
Cake Regina’s Whitefish Bay
Flowers Feisty Flowers
Music/Entertainment Kyle Feerick
Transportation Blackline Limo
Photographer Heather Cook Elliott
Gown Anne Barge from Gigi of Mequon
Formalwear Banana Republic
Local Spotlight, Planning

PREMIER BRIDE 2018 SUMMER / FALL COVER REVEAL

July 20, 2018

The summer/fall issue is here!

We are so excited to reveal to you the BRAND NEW issue of Premier Bride! Milwaukee and SE-WI’s number one wedding planning resource that will help you from the moment you say “YES” all the way to the very last dance on your special day.
Inside you will find an easy to use Rehearsal & Reception Guide, a complete list of upcoming bridal shows, the top trends, and the best local wedding artisans in the industry! We’ve even made it easier to find what you’re looking for with color coded category pages.

Stop by your local Premier Bride vendor to pick up your issue today!

And, while you’re finding that perfect vendor, don’t forget to register for our PB Rewards Program and let us know which vendors you’ve booked! It’s easy and you have the opportunity to win some Unforgettable Experiences.

This issue we will be giving away…..

BREWS & BITES Sponsored by Delafield Brewhaus
GAME NIGHT DONE RIGHT Sponsored by JKS Homemade Backyard Games
LAKE COUNTRY STAY-CATION Sponsored by The Delafield Hotel
HOLE IN ONE Sponsored by Terrace 167
YOUR BEST HEADSHOT Sponsored by Halo Salon
SUITE STAY AT SYBARIS Sponsored by Sybaris
OVERNIGHT AT THE KIMPTON Sponsored by The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
LIMO LUXURY Sponsored by High Class Limousine
MAKE A SPLASH Sponsored by The Ingleside Hotel
STATE FAIR FUN Sponsored by Saz's Hospitality Group
ROMANTIC STAY & DREAMY DUVET Sponsored by Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
WEDDING SPOTLIGHT Sponsored by Premier Bride Milwaukee
WINE NOT? Sponsored by Sevens Seas
NIGHT OUT IN WISCO Sponsored by Containers Up
GRAND SLAM Sponsored by Friday's Front Row
BOWLING BONANZA Sponsored by Latitudes Travel
GO KARTS, HOTEL, AND VON MAUR-OH MY! Sponsored by Milwaukee Marriott West
ROCK N' BOWL PIZZA PARTY Sponsored by Heritage Hall

Click here to view prizes in detail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall, Pastel, Real Weddings, Romantic, Rustic / Barn, Rustic/Vintage Style, South

Tessa & Dallas’ Enchanted Bohemian
Wedding at the Farm at Dover

July 13, 2018

Dallas from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, and Tessa from Berlin, Connecticut, met through mutual friends while at North Park University for college. When he popped the question, Dallas took Tessa on a campus-wide walk through their own journey as a couple: Through the library where Tessa would casually bump into Dallas, the site of their first kiss, where they first said “I love you,” and so on. “Then he took me to the backyard of what is now our first home together,” Tessa says. “It was completely covered in white Christmas lights, which I’m an absolute sucker for.” Dallas dropped to one knee, Tessa said yes, and the two walked into their future home, where all of their friends were waiting to celebrate.

Tessa and Dallas planned a September wedding at The Farm at Dover. The theme: “My friends described it as enchanted bohemian,” Tessa says. “I think that fits the picture pretty well. There were plenty of colors. I didn’t want a set of colors, but more of a variety so I wasn’t constricted to just two or three.” Both the ceremony and reception were held at the farm. Dallas and Tessa exchanged their own personal vows. “Our vows stick out as the most powerful moment. We were truly sincere, sharing things we love and admire about each other and how we vow to continue to love and support one another for the rest of our lives.” The ceremony was also unique in that the bride and groom had both parents walk them down the aisle, Dallas and his friends led worship, and a series of friends read Bible verses about love.

Following the ceremony, all photos were taken right on site at The Farm at Dover. “The place is so beautiful, we didn’t need to go anywhere else.” Dinner was catered by Bubb’s BBQ. “It was so delicious and they have a huge variety of food to choose from. Everyone loved it. We had a super delicious buffet at a great price. There was brisket, mac and cheese — the works!” For dessert, Bubb’s broke out a s’mores bar. “Bubb’s was not only super helpful, but such nice people, too.” To decorate the space, Tessa and Dallas tackled a lot of DIY projects — everything but the flowers from Feisty Flowers. “It was a lot more work than we thought,” Tessa says. Her advice to future brides: “Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Ours kept offering, but we didn’t want to put any burden on them. In reality, they really do want to help in any way they can!”

“We really wanted to incorporate our own hobbies and selves into the wedding. We had LEGO characters on the boutonnieres. Each table didn’t have a number, but a place from our favorite nerdy TV shows or movies: Hogwarts, Winterfell, Tatooine, and more. We had a Paradise Falls, from the movie “Up,” tip jar, where people could donate to our honeymoon fund.” There was also a date jar where guests could leave date night ideas, and a polaroid booth.

Dancing was also a highlight of the evening. “Dallas made the playlist himself, which everyone loved. The music you pick really makes it or breaks it. Our guests danced for hours. Our wedding was on a Sunday night, but people didn’t want to leave early because they were having too much fun. Our friends love to dance, and they were dancing so hard that we were worried they were going to break through the floor!“

In the end, it was all the personal touches that really made Tessa and Dallas’ wedding an unforgettable experience. “We planned everything ourselves because we really wanted to make our wedding unique to us. Lots of people told us, ‘Everything was just so you two!’ Best day ever.”

Make-up Artist Megan Holstine
Hair Stylist Olive Grace Collective
Invitations Paperless.com
Ceremony & Reception The Farm at Dover
Caterer & Rental Items Bubb’s BBQ
Bartending Service Drink Inc
Dessert Mikes Chicken and Donuts
Flowers Feisty Flowers
Photographer Ellie Malynn Photo
Videographer Tate Randall
Gown Nola by Maggie Sottero from Eva's Bridal of Oak Lawn
Rings Bride: Brilliant Earth
Groom: Etsy

SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Ballroom, Historic & Unique, Holiday, Planning, Real Weddings, Washington County, Winter

Colleen & Noah’s Cozy, Romantic
New Year’s Eve Wedding

July 4, 2018

Colleen and Noah met through the two people that would someday be their Maid of Honor and Best Man. Colleen’s best friend and roommate had dragged her along for a coworker’s birthday party; that coworker was Noah’s older brother. The two spent the evening chatting, and the rest is history!

Noah proposed to Colleen while vacationing in San Francisco. They were taking in a view of the Golden Gate Bridge when Noah asked a passerby to snap a photo. “Noah turned to me and got down on one knee,” Colleen recalls. “We then walked along the bridge, calling all of our family and friends! We celebrated that night in Sausalito with dinner, champagne, and delicious chocolate cake.”

Noah and Colleen decided to start the new year right with a New Year’s Eve wedding. “We basically went off the New Year’s theme. Very romantic, yet exciting and fun! Our colors were navy, blush, and gold.” Colleen attended the Wonderful World of Weddings show and found her Morilee by Madeline Gardner dress at Tres Chic Bridal.

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Chandelier Ballroom. One of Colleen and Noah’s favorite things they planned was the ceremony, which was held in the Fireside Room. “We went to dinner with our officiant, Noah’s cousin, months before the wedding and planned the entire ceremony. It was really fun watching ideas that we had only talked about become more real.”

Looking back, Colleen says the ceremony sticks with her and Noah the most. “All of the seats were filled in a very cozy and intimate room. We had five of our best friends standing on either side of us and the cutest two ring bearers and flower girl. We stood in front of the fireplace, laughed a lot, and cried a little too. Noah’s cousin told a lot of personal and funny stories. One of our favorite parts was reading our vows to each other. They were so true to our personalities and made us both laugh.”

Following the “I do”s, the party moved to the Chandelier Ballroom’s Grand Ballroom. “We had 30 tables of our closest family and friends. We both have very big families!” During cocktail hour, guests were treated to a popcorn bar from Pop N’ Spot Brookfield. Dinner, drinks, and dessert were all catered by the Chandelier Ballroom. Dinner was served buffet-style, with roasted chicken in a mushroom marsala sauce, beef tips with brown gravy, buttered corn, and mashed potatoes. Dessert was an assortment of cupcakes, cookies, apple fritters, and brownies.

To decorate the reception space, Colleen and Noah worked with Marie at Lightly Gypsy, who handled both the photos and the flowers. “Marie did our engagement photos, wedding photos, and floral arrangements. From the moment we met, we know we would be taken care of! She was so easy to work with.”

Following dinner, guests enjoyed a photo booth, dancing under a beautiful chandelier, and some people even made their way over to the Fireside Room to sip hot cocoa in front of the fireplace. “It was beautiful and romantic,” Colleen says. Guests left their gifts under one of the Christmas trees set up around the head table, and at midnight, the entire room watched the ball drop on a projector screen. “Ringing in the new year with all our friends and family was really something special.” The only way their perfect day could get any better: “We left the next night for Costa Rica!”

Bridal Shows Attended Wonderful World of Weddings
Make-up Maria Chrisoula
Hair Beauty on Demand
Invitations Beth Mader (Noah’s Aunt)
Rehearsal Dinner Tally Ho’s
Ceremony, Reception & Catering Chandelier Ballroom (Fireside room)
Popcorn Bar Pop’n’Spot
Cake Designer/Dessert Manderfields Home Bakery (Appleton)
Sam’s Club
Chalkboard/Custom Signage Artist Bari Mader (Noahs Aunt)
Flowers Lightly Gypsy
Transportation Blackline Limousine
Photographer Lightly Gypsy
Travel/Honeymoon Service Unforgettable Honeymoons
Gown Morilee by Madeline Gardner from Tres Chic Bridal
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Colleen: Kesslers
Noah
His Late Father
Behind the Lens, Photography & Video, Planning

Behind the Lens with
Cream City Weddings

July 3, 2018
Behind the Lens interview with a wedding photographer

Interview with the Experts | Photography | Behind the Lens

Finding the right photographer to capture your day is such an important element in your planning process, so we created “Behind the Lens” to give you a more in-depth look at each of our photographers! We will be running a new post each month, so be sure to check back in!
Take a look below and get to know  Cream City Weddings!

How did you know you wanted to be a photographer? How did you go about starting out?

I’ve loved photography since I was kid. I had art teachers in high school who encouraged me to pursue my interest in photography. At age 15 I photographed my first wedding. At 17 I was working part time in a commercial photo studio and at 18 I was working for our local newspaper. Most of my education if from on the job training by myself and with many mentors and other studio owners whom I worked with throughout my career.


How long have you been in the business?

I opened my own photo studio in 1988, in 2011 I was a co-founder of Cream City Weddings with a colleague in Milwaukee. Our vision was to open full service wedding photo and video studio with some of the best photographers in the Milwaukee area on staff and with simple, affordable packaging to make quality wedding photography more attainable for today’s brides.

What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?

First I do believe that the craft and technical aspect of photography itself has to be second nature. Weddings and those precious moments happen so fast that you can’t be thinking about your gear, you and your gear have to be one and ready all the time. Next you have to be a people person. A wedding is a very emotional and stressful event for the couple and their families, you are with them all day and have to be a comforting soul. Finally you do want to have a creative spirit to find unique opportunities and tell their story through the eyes of your camera.

 

Why do you love photographing weddings and engagements?

For me it’s always been the variety. No two weddings and wedding stories are the same.

How has your photography (style) changed since you started?

While I constantly work to improve my technique, I don’t feel my style and approach of creatively and unobtrusively telling the story of a couple’s wedding has changed that much. The beauty of a studio like Cream City is that we have a team of experienced local photographers, all who can beautifully capture a wedding, but each with a slightly different style.

When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?

Look at the images. Do you like them? Note the style and ask yourself if you’d like your images to look like that. Also ask about their approach to wedding photography, if they are a strong, hands-on director of imagery and you want a relaxed, unobtrusive person, you won’t be happy.

Is there anything you wish couples would ask?

These days most couples are very well informed and do a good job of making sure they get their questions answered during our consultations.

How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?

As experienced photographers with the couple for the majority of their day we’ll help out in any way we can to make sure things run smoothly, give directions to favorite photo locations and assist where we can with little things like lining up for the ceremony, cake cutting, a first dance. Often we don’t have to do a thing if the couple has a planner or other seasoned pros helping them but if needed we can do our part.

What is a typical wedding day routine for you?

Simply be prepared, be aware and be creative. I have found that a little advanced planning goes an incredibly long way in making a wedding more fun and relaxed.

Do you have an all-time favorite wedding image? If so will you share it with us.

I like spontaneous and energetic images that show the joy of a couple’s day. It’s more a feeling than a specific image.

These images are some of my personal images. We have a great team at Cream City Weddings and I share the portfolios of our photographers with our clients after I get to know them and their style preferences so that our studio can provide the best fit of a photographer for that client’s needs and style preferences.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blank Canvas, Downtown, Milwaukee, Real Weddings, Red, Romantic, Summer

Kurt & Shannon’s Cozy Fall Wedding at The Seeboth – An Urban Event Destination

June 22, 2018
Shannon and Kurt marry in Downtown Milwaukee at the Seeboth

Kurt and Shannon were both elected representatives of their residence halls at UW-LaCrosse when they met. “We’ll both tell you it was love at first sight, but we took our time focusing on good friendship.” After a year, they made their relationship official. About seven years later, Kurt had a work trip to Germany, and Shannon came along so the two could travel Southern Germany and France. “We stopped at a very famous castle, the Neuschwanstein Castle.”

While waiting for their castle tour to start, Shannon asked if they could take a picture together, and Kurt immediately found a willing tourist. “Little did I know he had slipped her a piece of paper telling her to ‘Take a lot of pictures — I’m about to propose!’” After a thoughtful speech, Kurt got down on one knee and proposed in German, French, and finally English. “Many other tourists crowded around to applaud and congratulate us.”

Shannon and Kurt planned an October wedding with a church ceremony and a reception in downtown Milwaukee at The Seeboth – An Urban Event Destination. While planning the big day, Shannon attended the Wonderful World of Weddings show. The couple also won a free dance lesson through Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Greenfield. “We both had a lot of fun and found it helpful!” Shannon found her gorgeous Mikaella Bridal gown at Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique.

The ceremony was held at St. Mathias Church, near Kurt and Shannon’s house. “It was a beautiful, traditional ceremony with our closest family and friends,” Shannon says. “My favorite part was the moment my dad walked me down the aisle. I took in all those who were there to support us, and best of all: Kurt, who was smiling in a way I’d never seen before.” The couple also had a unique first look in their own backyard. “It was perfect because of its proximity to the church and also because it’s the yard that we have made our own at the house we first lived in together.”

Between the ceremony and reception, the bride and groom made the most of Milwaukee’s lakefront and Third Ward to take some photos. “We stopped by Discovery World, on a bridge over the river, and made special use of a rooftop we had special access to, thanks to Kurt’s work. The views included the Harley Davidson Museum, the Iron Horse Hotel, and the iconic 6th Avenue bridge. The rainy weather meant we had wonderfully unique photo opportunities, and we made the best of it with cute umbrellas for our wedding party.”

Inside The Seeboth – An Urban Event Destination, the vibe was warm, cozy, and elegant. “What made the venue unique for us is that we were the first of our friends to host a downtown wedding, in a location that some were not familiar with,” Shannon says. “My family are all from out of town, and they got to see Milwaukee in a unique way.”

For the style and theme of their fall wedding, rustic, inviting, and earthy was aim. “Our venue was the perfect mix of old town brick, wood beams, and metal industrial accents. It’s a gorgeous representation of the history of Milwaukee’s industrial past. We decorated with centerpieces consisting of wood plates, stones, moss, and many candles. We had candles in every location possible! A big thank you to our caterer for lighting them all!”

That caterer was Chef Jack’s, who hosted a buffet-style dinner and chef carving station. “Everyone we heard from said it was absolutely delicious,” Shannon says. But what she and Kurt loved most about dinner was having the chance to walk around and have meaningful conversations with their guests. “We only wish we’d had more time for this!”

Bartenders on the Go provided the drink service, which included an open bar all night. Shannon says their vendors were amazing at working together to coordinate the reception and all that had to be done the day of the wedding. Shannon’s favorite thing she and Kurt planned? “The wedding photo locations, but also the venue itself! It brought together our friends and family in a fun and meaningful way.”

Bridal Shows Attended Wonderful World of Weddings 
Dance Lessons Fred Astaire Dance Studio-Greenfield
Invitations Wedding Paper Divas
Rehearsal Dinner Cleveland Pub and Grill
Ceremony Location St. Mathias Catholic Church
Reception Location  The Seeboth– An Urban Event Destination
Caterer Chef Jacks
Bartending Service Bartenders on the Go
Cake Designer/Dessert Cakes While You Wait and Peter Sciortino’s Italian Bakery
Flowers Decorative Touch by Linda Dlugi
Music/Entertainment Double Platinum DJ
Transportation Mr. Bus MKE
Photographer Emily and John, McNiel Photography
Videographer Chris Siegel MM
Gown Mikaella Bridal from Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rentals Linens – Windy City Linens
Tables and Chairs – Canopies
Ask the Right Questions, Coordinators/Planners

Ask The Right Questions | Wedding Coordinator

June 14, 2018
Questions to Ask your Wedding Coordinator

Wedding Coordinators can alleviate the inescapable stress of planning a wedding. While a budget-conscious bride may hesitate because it is an item to add to the budget, a wedding coordinator may be able to maximize a budget by knowing the industry and utilizing existing connections to vendors. Be sure to ask the following questions when selecting a Wedding Coordinator!

-How far in advance should I book your services?
-Can I see a proposed ‘Wedding Planning Timeline’?
-Do you offer packages? If so, what do they include?
-Do you offer ‘day of the wedding’ assistance?
-Are your fees based on an hourly rate, a flat rate, or on the total cost of the wedding?
-Can I see examples of weddings you have coordinated?
-Will you be able to work with the coordinator and staff at my reception location?
-Can you provide me with special rates when working with certain vendors?
-Do you have a cancellation policy?
-Is a deposit required? If so, when and how much?

Photos Courtesy of Weddings With a Twist

Pro Tips from Wedding Coordinators:

“The most important thing to look for in a wedding planner is someone you can connect with and feel comfortable with. You will be working very closely with them and they will play a very important role in your wedding, so it should be someone that you get along with, that shares and understands your vision for your wedding day, and that you can completely trust. When my clients know they can trust me to handle their day just the way they want it, I can tell how much pressure that takes off of them and how much more at ease they are on their wedding day. I truly think it makes a difference in how much they can enjoy themselves. Plus when you find someone who’s personality clicks with yours, you often end up making a new friend in the process!

Aside from that, I think experience is also very important, especially depending on the complexity of the event and the venue(s). Each wedding requires different strengths and it’s important to find someone with expertise that compliments your needs. In addition, if you are planning anything out of the ordinary that will require coordination, it’s a great idea to ask about that right away to make sure it is in fact something the planner can accommodate. I think people often get caught up in just asking for a price quote right away and while I understand it’s important to save money and stay within budget, finding the right planner should be of more importance that just the cost alone.”

-Krista Dentice, Owner and Wedding Planner, Weddings With a Twist

Photos Courtesy of Ambrosia Events

“Getting engaged comes with a lot of joyous emotions, but soon after you will be faced with checklists and an array of decisions to make. That is why some brides choose to enlist the help of a wedding planner, like us at Ambrosia Events. But before you make a decision on a planner, here are some things to consider. Have an idea of the date you would want the wedding to take place, the number of guest you will potentially host, ideas of venues/locations, and your wedding budget. Ask questions that pertain to your vision, make your points clear and let them know what is the most important thing for you. If you have a set budget, make sure you are heard and work with a planner that will stick to your limit. Here at Ambrosia Events we work with any budget and work closely with the couples to ensure their needs are met, because for us the most important thing is to provide services that our clients will be always happy with.”

-Oscar Sanchez, President and Lead Consultant, Ambrosia Events

Photos Courtesy of Mia’s Wedding & Event Planning

“The bottom line is this… Enjoying your wedding and every moment that surrounds your wedding is easy when you work with a wedding planner. Shouldn’t you be able to have a beautiful, stress-free time on one of the biggest days of your life? My name is Maria Diaz-Steponitis and I am so happy to be doing what I love!!!  Who doesn’t love…LOVE !!!!! Finding a wedding planner is easy, finding the right wedding planner that’s a perfect fit, not so easy.  But if you ask the right questions and go with your heart, everything will fall into place.  Also, look for wedding planners in the surrounding area of your wedding location.  They are more familiar with local vendors and are better equipped in the planning phase.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and check-out their social media presence (instagram, twitter, facebook, website).  By doing so and learning more about them through their social media presence, you will have a better understanding of what they can do. My advice is to interview a few wedding planners–don’t just settle on the first person you meet.  Schedule a face-to-face meeting, never hire someone whom you have not meet.  And the biggest advise I can give is……ENJOY EVERY MOMENT because Love is incredible.”

-Maria Diaz-Steponitis, CMM, CWP, Owner / Event Planner, Mia’s Wedding & Event Planning

Recommended Wedding Coordinators/Consultants:

Ambrosia Events
E Events
événement: event design and consulting
Mia’s Wedding & Event Planning
Timeless Events LLC
Vital Image Wedding Studios
Weddings With a Twist

 

Behind the Lens, Galleries, Local Spotlight, Photography & Video

Behind the Lens with
Lightly Gypsy Photography

June 13, 2018
Behind the Lens interview with a wedding photographer

Interview with the Experts | Photography | Behind the Lens

Finding the right photographer to capture your day is such an important element in your planning process, so we created “Behind the Lens” to give you a more in-depth look at each of our photographers! We will be running a new post each month, so be sure to check back in!
Take a look below to get to know Marie from Lightly Gypsy

How did you know you wanted to be a photographer? How did you go about starting out?

I never really wanted to be a photographer – I always wanted to be a doctor. But, as we know, life has a great way of herding you toward your true callings. I got my first “good” camera after the birth of my son. I was going through a tough divorce, and needed something to keep me busy. My friend, Gretchen, who is a beyond-amazing photographer kept encouraging me as I learned different tricks. Eventually my random shoots turned into paid shoots, and I shot my first two weddings for friends.

How long have you been in the business?

I have been taking pictures professionally for about 7 years now. I did take a year off to rebrand and contemplate my career as a photographer while I was finishing my masters in education (I am a full-time teacher also), but I was still shooting and learning during that time.

What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?

I am currently planning my own destination wedding in Colorado, and I have to say communication, personality, and attention to detail are what I most paid attention to while selecting a photographer for my own wedding. Another strong quality I bring to the table, in addition to those, is that I have experience as a florist and wedding planner also. I have been in the wedding industry for over 17 years and have seen just about everything – nothing can shake me on your big day!

Why do you love photographing weddings and engagements?

I love being around people and dig meeting new people. The energy of the day is intoxicating, from nerves to elation. From a writer’s perspective, I love blogging about the memories of the day, and the excitement level is so high that I get a lot of good material. There are also the quiet moments for introspection.  I think I was supposed to say something like “watching people in love,” but as any of my current and former bosses can attest to, I rarely say what I am supposed to, and just what I really think.

How has your photography (style) changed since you started?

Oh gosh. You know, in Napoleon Dynamite (this might show my age and weird humor), Deb has Glamour Shots by Deb? Yeah. That was me in the beginning. Imagine soft contrast and hazy images with awkward posing. I had a tendency to blow out highlights and overexpose in so many ways. I was so proud of what I was doing, and still am, though. We all start somewhere. Now that I have better control of the technical components of photography, I describe my style as “posh Hobbit” or “adventure glam.” I look for amazing natural light, call you to adventure in nature, and create crisp, clean images. I also really dig sun flares and using the sun for dramatic effect.

When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?

Here is my process because I am a strange Type-A creative:

  • Hop on Pinterest and start creating boards that showcase pictures you love.
  • Take a week break.
  • Go look at the pictures and narrow it down to your top 10.
  • Using different sites, like Premier Bride (I used one for CO), find photographers who match your style.
  • Email your choices with the following information:
  • Your Name
  • Fiance’s Name
  • Your vision for your day (theme, style, aesthetic, etc.)
  • Venue(s) for Ceremony/Reception (or general location)
  • Wedding Date
  • Timing of wedding day events – just a rough estimate
  • Questions:
  • What is the pricing for the packages?
  • What is included in the packages?
  • Can I get a sample of a full wedding gallery to look at?
  • As you get responses, gather them into a spreadsheet. Rank the quality of their pictures on their website. If you need a copy of the one I use with my brides, just let me know! I am a nerd for spreadsheets. And color-coding. When you are done, black out the ranking column. Eliminate any that are not in your budget, unless you would be willing to pay extra to get the pictures.
  • Take a week off.
  • Re-visit web sites, and re-rank the images.
  • Contact the top 3-5 photographers again, and ask to set up a phone-call or in-person meeting. Take notes when you chat!
  • If you feel good about it, pick your top one, get that contract signed, and pay your retainer!

I should have made a flow chart for that, probably.

The reason I recommend you take breaks, is to eliminate impulsive choices and really allow yourself to think about it. Not everyone needs that, and not every step is necessary. Always do what works best for you!

Is there anything you wish couples would ask?

Not really…I talk a lot, so I usually share whatever I feel is necessary.

How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?

I am really adaptable and can make any situation even more fun. I have a great teacher-voice, and if I see something floundering or not going well, I do not hesitate to step in, delegate, and get things moving. I always chat with vendors when time allows (sometimes we are all so busy it’s more of the head nod from across the room), and make sure that I am working well with other professionals to make your day awesome.

As I mentioned, I have over 17 years of experience in the wedding industry. I am here to help make the process smooth.  

What is a typical wedding day routine for you?

I sleep in as late as I can – I am not much of a morning person, and I purposely do not schedule other shoots the day of a wedding.

After that, I re-prep all my equipment from the night before, go through my shoot list, triple-check my equipment, then get ready to head out the door.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blank Canvas, Downtown, Planning, Real Weddings, Rustic/Vintage Style

Kendra & Eric’s Fun, Heartfelt Wedding at Turner Hall Ballroom

June 12, 2018

Kendra met Eric when he approached her at a bar in the Chicago loop and told her he thought she was cute. “I had never met anyone with that much charisma and confidence,” she says. Their engagement wasn’t a total surprise, rather something the two planned together. Eric and Kendra went ring shopping one day and came home with the perfect one – which Eric proceeded to keep hidden in a dresser drawer for three weeks. “We were about to leave for a trip,” Kendra explains. “So I felt like it was either going to happen before the trip, or on the trip. After giving him plenty of signals that a public proposal would be ‘the worst,’ he proposed to me in our apartment. We were packing for our trip, and he was wearing his Michigan State PJs. It was perfect because it was just the two of us — and now those pants I hate mean so much more to me!”

At the ceremony, the bride and groom read the vows they wrote themselves while Kendra’s Uncle Kevin officiated. “I think it made our ceremony special and unique to share with our family and friends in our own words why we were marrying each other,” Kendra says. “Eric and I are not super sappy people, so this also gave us an opportunity to add some laughs.” When the two were pronounced “husband and wife,” Eric went in for a dip kiss. “He almost dropped me, which made for a pretty exciting ending,” laughs Kendra. “Never a dull moment with that guy.”

Though they now live in Chicago, Eric and Kendra planned a Milwaukee wedding weekend, with a rehearsal dinner at the beautiful Harbor House and a wedding ceremony and reception at Turner Hall Ballroom. “Our venue was a little old and rough around the edges, so the flowers and décor had a bit of a rustic feel — but not rustic in the sense of burlap and mason jars. It was clean and simple.” The floral arrangements came from Belle Fiori: “Emily from Belle Fiori was awesome,” Kendra says. “From our first meeting, she understood exactly what my floral vision was. I felt like I was in good hands and didn’t need to stress about it at all.”

Kendra and Eric also made sure the entire wedding day never had a dull moment. “We wanted people to feel like they were at an amazing party that never stopped, where you went from one thing to the next. We had a live band, which was amazing — we rarely left the dance floor. We had food stations around the room, allowing guests to get up, walk around, and mingle. We had speeches and first dances during dinner, then quickly opened up the dance floor to the guests.”

Dinner was catered by Saz’s: “The food was great. Everyone felt sufficiently full and satisfied. With the food stations, there was a lot of variety, and the Saz’s staff did an amazing job. Katie at Saz’s was awesome. She helped us customize our menu based on what we wanted to spend — without sparing any details or yummy items. She was easygoing and patient, which put us at ease and made us feel confident that she and Saz’s would deliver.”

To add a special touch to the day, Kendra’s dad, a cabinetmaker by trade, crafted some of the décor for the hall. “I had him help make the name cards out of wood,” Kendra says. “They turned out really cool. He stained them and then I wrote each person’s name with a paint pen. He also made the table numbers, which we filled in with white paint. Finally, he made a custom sign welcoming our guests to our wedding, and a mantel that we were married in front of. They were all gorgeous pieces and added a nice personal touch to the day.”

Even with all the delicious food, the packed dance floor, the gorgeous flowers, and handmade touches, Kendra says the most memorable moment of the day was a simple one: “After I walked down the aisle and stood across from Eric, he quietly said to me, ‘Look around’ — and I did. The love in the room was electric. Everyone we cared so much about was there to share in our day. It’s an amazing feeling to have that much support for your future, with this person you’ve picked standing in front of you. I’m so glad Eric told me to take that moment, because I’ll remember it forever.”