Downtown, Milwaukee, Real Weddings, Spring

Nicole & Eric’s Simple & Modern Wedding at the Hyatt

September 13, 2017
Nicole and Eric marry at the Hyatt in Milwaukee

Nicole from Oakdale, Minnesota, and Eric from Chicago, Illinois, met in college through mutual friends. They’d been together for eight wonderful years before Eric proposed in an Indianapolis hotel room, while Nicole was there for work. Eric was driving back from seeing his family in Chicago, so he stopped in Indianapolis to see Nicole and pop the question. “He had gone ring shopping with his mom!” Nicole says. The couple planned a modern, simple wedding at the Hyatt in Milwaukee, with a black and white color scheme and rose gold accents.

The ceremony, was officiated by one of Eric’s family friends. “It was short and sweet,” Nicole says. “Eric and I did our own vows, and as nervous as I was to read them, having that memory is one of my favorite things. My other favorite part was seeing Eric and all of our family and friends cry happy tears when I walked down the aisle. Everyone had been rooting for our love story — it was an overwhelming feeling!”

At the reception, Eric and Nicole kicked off the evening with their first dance and cake cutting. Then it was time for dinner, catered by the Hyatt. “The food was amazing! We had so many compliments on the beef brisket.” For dessert, the couple went for cheesecake: “It’s our favorite! We also had an open bar, which everyone was pleased with — ourselves included!”

To decorate the space, Nicole spray painted wine bottles in black and rose gold, then filled each with roses. “We didn’t spend a ton of money on decorations. It was all handmade and very simple.”

After dinner, Vital Image — who handled the music as well as photography and videography — got the party started on the dance floor. Nicole admits, “My favorite part of the reception was dancing the night away. That’s all I cared about after all the nerve-racking stuff was over! But the best part of the day overall, for me, was exchanging vows with my husband.”

Invitations Paperless Post
Rehearsal Dinner Evolution
Ceremony Location Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Cake Aggie’s Bakery
Flowers Bloom Floral & Event Design
Music/Entertainment Vital Image Wedding Studios
Photo & Video Vital Image Wedding Studios
Gown Marisa from House of Brides Chicago
Formalwear Pursuit in Columbus, OH
Rings Kay Jewelers
Rentals Bloom Floral & Event Design

Ask the PB Pro

Do I have to give my single friends a plus one?

September 7, 2017
Ask the PB Pro

Dear PB Pro,

My fiancé and I are planning a wedding on a strict budget. While we don’t want to be tacky or rude, we just don’t know if we can afford to give our non-married friends and family a plus one. I know other brides face this problem, so what’s the solution?

– Plus None


Dear Plus None,

You’re certainly not alone with this problem, and you do have options. First, make a clear-cut decision on which significant others warrant an invite. Typically, this includes spouses, fiancé(e)s, and any long-term, live-in partners. Once you draw your line in the sand, stick with it across the board, pausing only to — perhaps — make an exception for any single friends or family in the bridal party.

If other single folks are upset by not being offered a plus one, be open to explaining your reasons to help them understand that it’s not personal. Some brides and grooms even invite their single friends to bring a date to the dancing portion of the evening, which is a nice compromise: they get to slow dance with their sweetie, but you don’t have to foot the dinner bill! In the end, remember it’s your wedding and you only have to invite those you see as an integral part of your special day.

— The PB Pro


Have a question for our PB PRO? Email askthepbpro@premierbride.com and watch future newsletters for your answer. View our website for more questions and answers.

Beauty, Planning

10 Beauty Tips to Look Radiant on Your Special Day

September 6, 2017
10 Beauty Tips to Look Radiant on Your Special Day

Written by Elizabeth Walsh-Zimmermann,
Director of WELL Spa + Salon at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI

  1. Your skin is important. It will be visible in your wedding photos for the rest of your life. Treat your skin with a facial to ensure it has the proper moisture it needs to look its best. Be sure to try the facial 30 days before your wedding to see how your skin will react, then do the facial again 10 days before you walk down the aisle.
  2. Moisturize twice a day, in the morning and at night to help make your skin look gorgeous. While you sleep, your skin repairs itself so it is important for you to cleanse at night to remove the pollution and stress from the day and bring the moisture back to your skin.
  3. Gently exfoliate your skin once a week. Use a gentle facial exfoliant twice a week to remove dry dead skin from the epidermis, leaving skin smooth and renewed.
  4. Drink plenty of water for glowing skin. Hydrating is essential to maintaining proper moisture and nutrients to skin cells. Water flushes toxins out, enhancing your complexion and leaving you with soft healthy-looking skin.
  5. Don’t forget about the rest of your skin. Exfoliate and moisturize your body before your wedding. Be sure you focus on dry, patchy areas, like your elbows, knees and heels as dirt is attracted to dry skin and can appear darker in your wedding photos.
  6. If using a self-tanner to add that extra glow. It is best to test a self-tanner before your wedding to make sure it doesn’t rub off on your dress and it applies evenly.
  7. Choose a wedding day hairstyle that makes you feel comfortable. With so many beautiful options, it’s important to have a trial with your stylist before your wedding. The trial will ensure the style you want matches your face shape and gives you the look you want on your special day. It’s also important to do a makeup trial to guarantee your makeup is what you dreamed of as you walk down the aisle.
  8. Try the newest wedding day hair trend – organic chic. This polished, yet messy look incorporates braids, twists and flowers for a whimsical look. Some brides will even have a loose updo during the ceremony and pull it down for the reception. This will give your hair body and look stunning throughout the entire day.
  9. Get the celebrity treatment with airbrushed makeup. With high-definition cameras showing every small flaw or discoloration, many brides are turning to airbrush makeup. Airbrush makeup will fill all your pores to create a clean look compared to foundation that simply covers your skin. It also lasts well into the night!
  10. Complete your look with flawless makeup. Before your makeup consultation, decide the look you are going for. Do you want to look dramatic on the day of your wedding or do you want a more natural, soft look? Depending on what you decide, make sure your makeup doesn’t compete. For the dramatic look, choose dark eyes and light lips. For a more natural look, have light eyes and use a bold, red lipstick to create a look that pops. For a glamorous look, apply eyelashes in the corner of your eyes to open your eyes and look elegant. If you want to be able to touch up throughout the day and evening, most spas will have the products they used available for purchase.

WELL Spa + Salon at The Pfister Hotel
WELL Spa + Salon is also located at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva
The O-Spa at Olympia Resort
Elegance Salon & Spa
halo
skinn
Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios:  Brookfield & Hales Corners
Wide Eyed Beauty
Rella by Cindy
Mary Kay Cosmetics

Country and Private Clubs, Lake Geneva, Outdoor & Tented, Real Weddings, Summer

Ashley & Greg’s Rustic-Glam DIY Wedding at Hawk’s View

August 31, 2017
Ashley and Greg get married at Hawks View Golf Resort in Lake Geneva

Ashley from Wales and Greg from Waterford got engaged while out on Ashley’s parents’ boat on a hot summer day. “On Friday night, Greg asked my dad’s permission to marry me. The next day, he set the proposal with my parents. We were out on Pewaukee Lake with about 70 other boats. Greg kept asking me to get him drinks out of the cooler, and about five drinks in, he finally signaled my mom that he was ready to put the ring in the cooler. He asked for his final drink, and when I went to open the cooler, there was little ring box sitting on ice. When I turned around, Greg was on one knee — and of course I said yes!”

Greg and Ashley planned a rustic-glam wedding at Hawk’s View Golf Club in Lake Geneva. “We wanted some outdoor elements, like wood features and antlers, but with the added sparkle of sequins and gold. The color scheme was gold, champagne, and blush.” Ashley found her dress at Stone Manor Bridal in Grafton, and the couple chose Ideal Impressions Photography and Vital Image Videography to capture their day. The ceremony was held outside at Hawk’s View, with a childhood friend of Ashley’s officiating.

Hawk’s View also catered dinner: “The food was fabulous! Guests had a choice between a filet or chicken caprese, and both were delicious.” For dessert, Greg’s aunt made a wedding cake. The baking of the cake is only the tip of the iceberg in a laundry list of amazing ways Ashley and Greg’s family pulled together to help make their day a special one. “Literally everything was done by family,” Ashley says. “My mom and aunt designed and put together the invitations. For our aisle runner, we hand painted 1,500 rose petals, because we couldn’t find the right shade of gold, and then glued each one in place on 20 yards of fabric. My aunt also hand painted our monogram on the runner.”

Ashley’s grandma cut 3,000 circles out of three different kinds of fabric, creating swirls that were then attached as a flourish for each chair. “They were fabulous!” Greg and Ashley designed and made the centerpieces, and their reception favors were 14 batches of Ashley’s grandma’s homemade caramel corn, presented in a monogrammed fry box. No detail was left behind; even the bathroom was decorated!

With all this wonderful DIY, Ashley still says her favorite thing they planned for their wedding was a choreographed first dance. “We took private dance lessons starting six months before the wedding. I also took lessons with my dad for the father/daughter dance — same for Greg and his mom.” The fun of a choreographed dance number really set the tone for the party that followed: “After that, the dance floor was never empty!”

Bridal Shows Attended Discover Lake Geneva Bridal Showcase
Day-of-Coordinator Erica from Rustic Bride Wedding Rentals
Dance Lessons Social Style Dance
Invitations Brides Mother and Aunt
Rehearsal Dinner Gino's East Lake, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Ceremony, Reception & Catering Hawks View Golf Club, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Cake Made by Groom's Aunt
Flowers Twins Flowers & Home Décor
Music Sound by Design
Transportation Guest Shuttle provided by Hawks View
Photographer Ideal Impressions Photography
Videographer Vital Image
Gown Essense of Australia from Stone Manor, Grafton, Wisconsin
Formal Wear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Dan’s L&L Fine Jewelry Inc., Waukesha, Wisconsin
Rentals Chair Covers :Sassypants Events   | Large Doors and Arch:Rustic Bridal Wedding Rentals | Lighting/Uplighting: Double Platinum

Real Weddings, West

Bethany & Bob’s Fun-Filled and Heartfelt Wedding at the Marriott West

August 21, 2017
Bethany and Bob reception at Milwaukee Marriott West

Bob and Bethany met at UW Oshkosh through mutual friends and started dating after six years of friendship. Bob proposed during a trip to Colorado, and he says it was “nothing too fancy. I was looking for a nice way to ask her, but ultimately decided it was between the two of us. I thought if the moment presented itself, I might get down on one knee somewhere — so I clumsily carried the ring around, which I was so nervous about the entire trip!” Bob popped the question during a quiet moment at the Air BnB. “It was perfect to see Bethany’s reaction and how happy she was. I think the delivery was all right after all!”

The two planned a ceremony at St. Peter and Paul Church on Milwaukee’s east side and a reception at the Milwaukee Marriott West. One of Bob’s favorite parts of the ceremony was seeing his future bride in her lovely Bliss Bridal gown. One of Bethany’s favorite parts was actually the church itself: “We chose St. Peter and Paul because my grandparents had gotten married there and were married for 65 years,” Bethany says. Sadly, those grandparents passed away shortly after the engagement. “It was a really emotional time for our family, and getting married in the same church was very special. It helped us feel connected to them on such an important day.”

To top it off, Bob surprised Bethany by tracking down the same getaway car that her grandparents had driven on their wedding day — a ’51 Ford Coupe. “We were able to recreate a photo that they took on their wedding day right after the ceremony. Then taking off in our private ride for a few minutes of alone time before the rest of the activities was really special.” The newlyweds drove their getaway car to meet the bridal party at The Garage for a celebratory drink and photos. “This is where Bob and I had our first date,” Bethany says. The group then took a trolley, booked through Adonis Limousine, to the Marriott. “This was a really fun time of the day!”

The professionals at the Marriott kept the fun going, and Bethany and Bob have only great things to say about their reception experience there. “The Marriott treated us like royalty, especially Ashley. Throughout the entire process, she was flexible and ensured we had everything we wanted. We had zero doubts that everything was going to be as we planned, because she was so thorough. Ashley let us use a room the day before to get our centerpieces ready and store anything that we needed. She even placed the flowers on our cake because there wasn’t someone from the bakery to do it. She helped the day run stress-free!”

The Marriott also didn’t disappoint when it came to the food. There were passed appetizers of stuffed mushrooms and coconut shrimp. “We had a special plate of appetizers waiting for us at the head table, since we weren’t able to enjoy them during the cocktail hour.” For drinks, there was wine and beer and “a lot of Crown Royal.”

To decorate, Bethany made all of the table centerpieces with help from her mom, mother-in-law, sister, and bridesmaids. “We had three different bottles on each table. Some of them I decorated myself with paint or twine. The day before the wedding, my sister and I picked up flowers and she arranged them in all of the bottles. We also printed our own invitations and made our own photo booth, with the help of Bob’s mom and a good family friend. Bob’s mom provided us with all of the props, we put together the backdrop, and a family friend was kind enough to take pictures of people, print them out, give them a copy, and save a copy for our guest book.”

Some of Bob’s favorite moments of the day were the bits of advice he was given throughout the evening. “I will always remember and appreciate that,” he says. “I also loved seeing my bride out on the dance floor with her grandpa and uncles.” Bob and Bethany each had one grandparent at their wedding, and Bethany says, “Dancing with them was definitely a favorite moment for me!” Bethany also loved the first dance, the speeches, and her father-daughter dance. “My dad is a musician and he recorded a surprise song for us to dance to. Later that night, he got up with our band and sang ‘My Girl.’”

Another highlight was when Bethany and Bob’s “mascot” arrived: A college friend in a T-Rex suit. “Our friends took turns wearing the suit and dancing on the dance floor. It was a total surprise and definitely a crowd pleaser!” Overall, the happy couple says, “Everything came together perfectly, just the way we drew it up — that was the best part.”

Invitations Michaels
Rehearsal Dinner Three Cellars, a wine/beer store in Franklin. Pizza from Derango’s, Racine.
Ceremony St. Peter and Paul Church, Milwaukee, WI
Reception & Catering Milwaukee Marriott West
Cake O&H Bakery Danish Layer Cake, Racine, WI
Flowers Sendik’s, Brookfield, WI
Music/Entertainment Live band, Velocity (ACA Entertainment)
Transportation Trolley from Adonis Limousine
Photographer Resler Photography
Gown Madison James from Bliss Bridal
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings The Diamond Center, Janesville, WI

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Ask the PB Pro

What are the basics in mother-of-the-bride fashion etiquette?

August 16, 2017
Ask the PB Pro

Dear PB Pro,

My mom is stressing out about finally being a mother-of-the-bride. Mainly what to wear and how or if she should coordinate with my fiancé’s mom and my stepmom. What are the basics in mother-of-the-bride fashion etiquette? I love my mom to pieces and want to make this as easy as possible for her!

– Love My Mother-of-the-Bride


Dear Love My Mother-of-the-Bride,

It’s normal for moms to feel a little pressure on their daughter’s big day. They usually play a huge role, and want to feel stylish and confident — just like you! Tradition works in your mom’s favor, as the etiquette has always been that the mother-of-the-bride chooses her ensemble first, then the mother-of-the-groom and any other caregivers (such as your stepmom) go from there. You may very well be the only line of communication between these three important women in your life, so be open and honest from the start. If you want to stick with tradition, tell your fiancé’s mom and your stepmom that you will let them know once your mother has made her selection so that they can shop accordingly.

Yes, the three of them should absolutely coordinate their outfits, given that they will likely be in some photos together. They might consider dressing in your wedding colors, or in various shades of a nice neutral. Imagine the bigger picture — the moms lined up next to you, your bridal party, and each other — and urge them to dress in styles that work together. That’s not to say everyone has to be in a dress, but the vibe and taste level should match.

If your mom is particularly stressed due to any body confidence issues, reassure her that options are endless these days and tailoring can work like magic. Visit local shops or department stores staffed with professionals that can help suggest items she might not have considered: an elegant wrap or jacket, a skirt and blouse combination, or a polished suit.

— The PB Pro


Have a question for our PB PRO? Email askthepbpro@premierbride.com and watch future newsletters for your answer. View our website for more questions and answers.

Real Weddings

Becky and Chris’ Vintage Beer-Themed Wedding at the Pabst

August 8, 2017
Becky and Chris marry at Best Place Pabst in Milwaukee WI

When Becky and Chris first started dating, Chris had just moved back to Milwaukee while Becky still lived in Chicago. “When I lived in Chicago, Chris drove down almost every weekend for the next two-plus years to be with me,” Becky says. In January 2015, Becky was offered a job in Milwaukee, and the two have been together ever since. Chris proposed over a photo shoot, under the guise of wanting photos of the two of them for their new apartment. At the end of the shoot, Chris and the photographers coordinated a series of photos leading up to the proposal. In the series, Chris hands Becky a card, she opens it, reads the words aloud, and Chris takes a knee, asking for Becky’s hand in marriage.

In preparation for the big day, the couple attended the Wonderful World of Weddings bridal show and took a dance lesson at Fred Astaire. Becky found her Allure dress at Amelishan Bridal. For all the flower bouquets and ceremony arch, Chris and Becky worked with Feisty Flowers, and they chose In-Focus Photography to capture the celebration in pictures. “In-Focus was fantastic to have that day. The team worked together very well and communicated constantly. They made our wedding day and night perfect!”

The wedding was held at Zilber Park for the ceremony and old Pabst Brewery — Best Place Pabst Great Hall  for the reception. “Once we picked our venue, we were inspired to do a vintage and beer theme. There were beer bottles and barley hops as part of our centerpieces, old picture frames featuring some of our favorite quotes about love, and the guest favors were customized wood coasters with our name and wedding date, made by the Pabst gift shop.”

Before the ceremony, Becky and Chris did a first look that resulted in an especially fond and funny memory: “Chris was at the bottom of a long, winding set of steps that led to the front door. Moments before Becky was going to start coming down the steps for the first look, a tour bus arrived and about 50 people came walking in, completely oblivious to what we were doing. The group delayed us by about 10 minutes — but once the tour guide figured out what was happening, she was able to corral everyone and give us a few minutes to get back on our timeline. We had a good laugh about it.” Becky loved doing a first look and says, “I would recommend to all brides and grooms that even if you don’t do a first look, make sure to schedule a small amount of time to be alone and take in the day together.”

During the exchange of vows, officiated by Chris and Becky’s friend Brad, the couple did a beer unity ceremony. Becky selected a beer form her hometown, Oshkosh, and Chris selected a beer from his hometown, Milwaukee. “We poured them together and shared a toast to represent our unity.” Immediately following the ceremony, all the guests were invited to gather under the Pabst sign to take a group picture. A cocktail and appetizer hour followed in the speakeasy at the Great Hall.

Dinner was catered by Maders, with reuben rolls and beer cheese dip as appetizers and steak, salmon, and giant portabella mushrooms for entrées. As a late-night snack, guests enjoyed pizza and giant pretzels with a delicious lineup of dips. After dinner, the newlyweds got the party started with a unique twist on the longest-marriage dance: Instead of starting with all guests on the dance floor and ending with the couple that has been married the longest, the DJ started at 0-5 years and worked all the way up to 50+ years, representing Becky’s grandparents; this way, the dance floor was full at the end of the song.

When all is said and done, Becky advises future brides: “Don’t sweat all the little details. Remember that a little chunk of money here and there adds up. Take care of your priority items first — you don’t need to go big on everything. Looking back, what sticks with me the most is the first look, the ceremony, the food, and our guests. It’s surreal knowing that all of our favorite people were all together in one place for our special day.”

Bridal Shows Attended Wonderful World of Weddings
Day of Coordinator Meredith Sipe at Blue Fancy Events
Dance Lessons Fred Astair
Invitations, Table Numbers Tara at Cracked Designs
Rehearsal Dinner Mader’s
Ceremony Location Zilber Park
Reception Location Best Place Pabst in the Great Hall
Caterer Mader’s
Cake Aggies
Flowers Feisty Flowers
Music/Entertainment Accent Events
Photo/Video IN-FOCUS Photography
Gown Allure from Amelishan Bridal
Rings Mona Shaw at Fred Meyer

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Real Weddings, South, Summer

Andy & Brian’s Laid-Back, Vintage-Style Wedding at Lakewood Farms

July 24, 2017
Choose a seat not a side sign for wedding reception

Andy (short for Andrealyn) from San Francisco and Brian from Chicago met via their mutual friend Chris in August of 2012. Several months later, at Chris’ wedding, the two met again and went on their first date the very next day. In June of 2016, Brian asked for Andy’s hand in marriage on the eighth hole during a round of golf — one of their favorite pastimes. “The proposal was a hole in one,” she says.

The couple planned a wedding ceremony and reception at Lakewood Farms. “We wanted a single location that was beautiful, but not too uptight,” Andy says. “My family guest list was only 18 people, and I’d always wanted a simple backyard wedding. But Brian wanted a good party that his family guest list of 180 could stay at all night and dance til the sun came up!” Lakewood Farms was a perfect match.

For their wedding style, Andy says: “We wanted something that felt like it could have been 100 years ago: Long tables, family-style seating, lots of flowers, mismatched china, lace and burlap, hanging lights overhead, and a dance floor like a barn raising in the center of it all. We used green as the primary color with touches of black, white, kraft paper, and neutral fibers to keep the décor simple and make the party the focus.”

On the day of the wedding, guests arrived at 3pm and were greeted by lively music and invited to grab a cocktail before choosing their own seat for both the ceremony and reception. “The tables were set up in long rows with the dance floor at the center, with large oaks strung with lights overhead and an expansive view from the top of a grassy hill. We tried a lot of floor plans, and we loved the overall layout and flow in the end. Keeping the tables long and family style, with no assigned seats, and having everyone stay in the same place for the ceremony and reception — it allowed for easy transitions and kept everyone together the whole time.”

Andy and Brian’s brother-in-law officiated the ceremony, and the bridal party walked in to the sounds of a lone bagpiper playing a theme from “Braveheart” — a surprise gift from Andy to Brian. When asked “Who gives this bride?”, Andy’s family responded in unison, “We do!” Rings were exchanged, a glass was smashed to honor Brian’s mother’s Jewish heritage, and the newlyweds exited to the tune of “Scotland the Brave.”

Then everyone grabbed another drink or topped off their glasses with the small bottles of Prosecco stationed along each table. Brian and Andy sat at a private table, allowing their bridal party to sit at the long tables — which seated 24 — with their respective dates and families. For drinks, the couple stocked the bar and offered two oversized mason jar dispensers filled with signature drinks: bourbon apricot iced tea and whiskey apple cider.

For dinner, Andy and Brian purchased a whole pig for roasting, then made the rest of the food themselves. “Cooking is a major way for me to show my love,” Andy says. In addition to the pork, there was roast chicken, brown rice and quinoa pasta salad with homemade pesto, savory pie with mozzarella, zucchini, and tomatoes, and more. In addition to a naked cake for dessert, Andy made gluten-free peach upside-down cake and blueberry pie. Later that night: apple cinnamon donuts.

In addition to making the food, Andy and Brian tackled a bunch of DIY projects to make their day unique. They made the tabletop arrangements, garlands, signage, music playlist, and bagged mints as a party favor. Andy says she actually would have dialed back on some of the décor, if she could do it all over again. “We planned everything ourselves and did a lot of DIY projects, but the one thing I wish we hadn’t tried to DIY was to manage the day ourselves with only the wedding party and family. We didn’t need a wedding planner, but we did need a day-of coordinator.”

Following dinner, there was dancing. One of Andy’s favorite moments was Brian’s mother-son dance: “Brian’s mom passed away when he was young, so we decided to ask all the women who’d loved him like a son to join him for the mother-son dance. So many women came up that we had to play the song twice. It was beautiful.” Brian’s favorite part of the wedding was also the dancing — all of it! “When I was a kid, I was notorious for asking every lady at a wedding to dance — young and old,” Brian says. “I’d dance to every song at a wedding if I could. It was important to me that the party didn’t have a hard stop and that people could keep dancing if they wanted to. It was so awesome to finally get to dance at my own wedding with a wonderful woman who’s excited to be dancing with me for the rest of her life.”

Invitations Carla Hill
Rehearsal Dinner Lakewood Farms – Food delivered by Double D’s
Ceremony & Reception Lakewood Farms
Cake Gooseberries Fresh Food Market
Flowers Ordered bulk from Floral Explosion and Costco
Golf Cart Rental Above Par Golf Cars, LLC
Photographer/Videographer Bright Image Studio
Formalwear Men's Wearhouse
Rings Arman Jewelers
Vintage Plate Rental All Star Rentals
Rentals  Area Rental & Sales
Flower Donation Petals for Patients

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Ask the PB Pro

Where do you draw the line on who to invite?

July 19, 2017
Ask the PB Pro

Dear PB Pro,

Where do you draw the line on which friends to invite to your wedding? There are some friends I only see at group parties, others I only see at Christmas, and a few who I was super close with during grade school and high school, but we’ve since drifted. I enjoy having these people in my life in their own way, but the guest list is starting to really add up. Help! 

– Too Many Friends


Dear Too Many Friends,

There’s no rule stating that every friendship that has ever entered your life requires an invite to your wedding. Of course inviting your close friends is a no-brainer, but the ones you’re unsure of require a little more introspection. One easy way is to ask yourself: Have I seen this person in the past year? Was it a meaningful interaction? Or, can you imagine yourself having a meaningful interaction (say, a sit-down dinner – not just guzzling champagne at a New Year’s Eve party) within the next year? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” skip the invite — or at least add their names to the B-list, in case friends and family from your A-list are unable to attend. 

— The PB Pro


Have a question for our PB PRO? Email askthepbpro@premierbride.com and watch future newsletters for your answer. View our website for more questions and answers.

Downtown, Historic & Unique, Real Weddings, Winter

Mara & Geddy’s Elegant, Romantic Winter Wedding

July 14, 2017
Mara and Geddy Marry in Downtown Milwaukee

Mara and Geddy met through a mutual friend in the summer of 2011. That summer was a whirlwind, with the two hanging out in groups several times before Geddy officially asked Mara on their first date. “He picked me up on his scooter,” Mara recalls. “I still vividly remember that day, what we wore, what we talked about, what we ate! We hit it off right away and the rest is history.”

The two got engaged in the summer of 2016 after an annual trip to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green. Geddy surprised Mara with a stop at Wollersheim Winery on the way home, and while walking through the vineyard, he proposed. “Geddy got down on one knee, and I could barely comprehend what was going on. He had the biggest, sweetest grin on his face, and I was a crying, happy mess. To this day he still tells me he doesn’t think I even said yes.”

Geddy and Mara planned their wedding in five months. “Our wedding was in January, so we were going for a romantic and elegant winter wedding theme,” Mara says. “I love lots of lush, loose greenery and mixed metals. Our colors were navy, burgundy, ivory, and blush, which I think came together really nicely.” In preparation for the big day, the couple attended the Original Bridal Décor Resale & Wedding Show. “We got our silver wedding vases there, which we loved! We used them on the tables with a candle inside and a wreath of greenery and flowers around the base.”

The Expo is also where Mara and Geddy found their florist, Feisty Flowers. “Thank goodness for that!” Mara says. “I totally hit it off with Jackie from the beginning. She’s so talented, her work speaks for itself, and she worked with us on style and budget options. I didn’t realize how much I would love planning the flowers. Looking through the different types of flowers and really narrowing down our style was just way too much fun. Plus, it’s sort of a big surprise, since you don’t know exactly how they’ll look until the actual day. When I finally got to see how it was all going to come together with the venue and all the other details, it was a big wow moment. What Feisty Flowers does is magic!”

Mara found her Wtoo wedding dress at Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique. “It’s a beautiful shop and I had such a great experience there! I wanted timeless dress that I would look back on and still love years later — and I’ve always been a sucker for lace.”

The wedding ceremony was held at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee. “My oldest brother married us and my Dad delivered our sermon, so the ceremony was very special,” Mara says. Before saying “I do,” the bride and groom did a first look: “It put us at ease and relieved any prior jitters we had. During the planning process, I don’t think either of us realized how sweet those first-look moments would be. That memory will forever be one of my favorites — our one part of the day that was solely us, sharing our ‘I love yous’ and some ‘us’ time before the rest of the craziness started.”

After the ceremony, the party moved to Black Swan MKE for the reception. “We cannot express in words how much we truly loved this venue. We loved being their second wedding! Peter and his son, who run Black Swan, are so good at what they do. They were so welcoming and easy to work with! They helped make our vision a reality, and it was such a dream. No matter what questions we had or things we needed, they were on it and somehow always had a solution. On the day of, it was definitely Peter and his son taking care of everything behind the scenes. They kept us on schedule and calm when we were off schedule. Our day wouldn’t have been the same without them!”

Dinner was catered by Bubb’s Barbecue through All Occasions Catering. “We worked with Jessica, and she was a pro. She was so knowledgeable, gave great suggestions, responded to our emails almost instantly, and answered all of our questions about food, seating charts, linen, and tableware. The food and service was excellent! We had guests raving about it all night and weeks afterward.”

“To go with our winter wedding theme, we chose a comfort-food-inspired menu, with carved smoked steer tenderloin, smoked duck with cider-mustard sauce, skillet green beans, and four cheese mac. We also had a dessert station with a small cake and a large variety of finger food desserts, like tarts, canoli, tiramisu, cake bites, and assorted bars. The kids especially liked the doughnut and hot chocolate bar. For drinks, we had two specialty cocktails: a whiskey old fashioned and a pink champagne cocktail called the Blushing Bride.”

During the dancing, Mara’s family unleashed one of the most fun and unique moments of the day: “My crazy-awesome family has a tradition to bring and set loose a chicken or rooster during the chicken dance. Our guests loved it and were following it everywhere, the kids were running around and taking pictures with it — we had a blast. And don’t worry, our infamous wedding rooster is home again at my parents’ farm among his other chicken friends!” Looking back, Mara says they wish they’d looked more into videography to capture such moments. “We thought it wasn’t a huge need for us at the time, but now we both would have loved having parts of our day captured in video to look back on — something to think about for future brides and grooms!”

In the end, Mara said one of the best things about her and Geddy’s wedding day was simply having all their loved ones in one room. “I have a large family and it’s rare we all get to be together. We just really loved spending time with everyone. It doesn’t get any better than celebrating such a meaningful day with all your closest friends and loved ones.”

Bridal Shows Attended Original Bridal Décor Resale & Wedding Show
Invitations Etsy template
Rehearsal Dinner Camp Bar, Tosa
Ceremony Grace Lutheran Church, Downtown Milwaukee
Reception Black Swan MKE
Caterer All Occasions Catering, Bubb’s Barbecue
Cake & Finger Food Deserts Canfora Bakery
Flowers Feisty Flowers
Music/Entertainment Fireman Jim Productions
Transportation Big City Limousine
Photographer Kaleigh Rae Photography
Dress Wtoo from Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique
Formalwear Groom’s Suit: Nordstrom
Groomsman: Calvin Klein from Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers, Blue Nile
Local Spotlight, Planning

PREMIER BRIDE 2017 SUMMER/FALL COVER REVEAL

July 12, 2017

IT’S FINALLY 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…..

SASSY SUCCULENTS Sponsored by Bank of Flowers
SPA DAY Sponsored by Audio Therapy
ROMANTIC STAY & DREAMY DUVET Sponsored by Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
YOUR BEST HEADSHOT Sponsored by Halo Salon
FREE FALLING Sponsored by Vital Image Wedding Studios
WEDDING SPOTLIGHT Sponsored by Premier Bride Milwaukee
GROWN AN HERB GARDEN Sponsored by Waukesha Floral
ROCK N’ BOWL PIZZA PARTY Sponsored by Heritage Hall
SCAVENGE & SHOP Sponsored by Boston Store
WINE & BEER GOURMET POPCORN PAIRINGS Sponsored by Pop’n Spot Gourmet Popcorn
WINE NOT? Sponsored by Seven Seas
NIGHT OUT IN WISCO Sponsored by Containers Up
LIMO LUXURY Sponsored by High Class Limousine
SUITE STAY AT SYBARIS Sponsored by Sybaris
OVERNIGHT AT THE KIMPTON Sponsored by The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
BOUDOIR BEAUTY Sponsored by In-Focus Photography
BOWLING BONANAZA Sponsored by Latitudes Travel
STATE FAIR FUN Sponsored by Saz’s Catering
MAKE A SPLASH Sponsored by Country Springs Hotel
GRAND SLAM Sponsored by Fridays Front Row
HOLE IN ONE Sponsored by Terrace 167

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Real Weddings

Erika & Bryon’s Patriotic Wedding at Olympia Resort

July 4, 2017

Bryon and Erika met through rather funny circumstances. Erika was on a horrible date one night when her guy wandered off. “Bryon came up to me and told me my date was cheating on me. Long story short, he was. That night Bryon and I set up a date for the following day.”

When Bryon proposed to Erika, it was on a candlelit pier with a puppy in his arms. “A little back story: Two months prior to getting engaged, Bryon and I lost our 8-month-old puppy in a horrible accident. We decided to try and find our pup’s brother, and we did!” But Bryon pretended to be on the fence about the whole thing, just to throw Erika off the scent. “Little did I know Bryon had already gotten him! He sent me on a scavenger hunt to meet Carson, the new puppy.” At the fourth stop on the hunt, Bryon was waiting, holding Carson as he got down on one knee to propose.

Click on any image to enlarge.

The happy couple planned a patriotic July 2nd wedding. Erika attended the Boutique Bridal Showcase at the Delafield Hotel in preparation for the big day. “We wanted to showcase our classy patriotism,” Erika says. “I wanted it to look like a presidential banquet.” During the ceremony, the several military men in the wedding party were dressed in uniform. “I also had my dad walk me down the aisle in his Navy whites. At the end of our ceremony, everyone waved flags as we walked up the aisle as man and wife.”

The reception was held at Olympia Resort, who also catered a delicious buffet-style dinner. Erika’s patriotic theme was an integral part of the entire experience: “Before dinner, my wedding singer sang the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ and then my army veteran friend and two marine veteran friends said the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ as we all faced the huge flag behind our head table. For our first dance, we ended it with Bryon lifting me in the air, carrying an American flag.” DJ Audio Therapy kept the energy up on the dance floor to cap off an unforgettable night.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Erika’s number one tip for future brides: “When it comes to vendors, really look at everyone’s work before hiring them. I wish I’d put more thought into some of mine, rather than being quick to hire.” As for her favorite moments of the day, her maid and matron of honor’s speech, a rap set to “Ice Ice Baby,” tops the list, as well as the many patriotic touches. “That was my favorite thing we planned,” she says. “It warmed my heart!”

Click on any image to enlarge.

Video edited by Aaron Moore:

Bridal Shows Attended The Boutique Bridal Showcase at the Delafield Hotel
Wedding Consultant Wendy Hendrix
Rehearsal Dinner The Lakeside Supper Club
Ceremony, Reception & Catering Olympia Resort & Conference Center
Dessert Sugar Sweet Buffets
Flowers Nan Walker
Music/Entertainment Audio Therapy
Photographer Nan Walker
Videographer Paul Fix
Video Editing Aaron Moore
Dress Morilee from Vera’s House of Bridal
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Effy
Rentals Sassy Pants Events