Lake Geneva, Outdoor & Tented, Summer

Kristi & Patrick’s Gorgeous, Heartfelt Wedding at the Geneva National

October 16, 2017
Kristi and Patrick marry at Geneva National in Lake Geneva

Kristi and Patrick met through a mutual friend one December night in 2012 at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Viewing the holiday lights and spending the evening together, the two became inseparable. Patrick was living in California at the time, but it wasn’t long before he moved back to Chicago and reconnected with Kristi. In 2016, he proposed right at the zoo where it all started. Patrick recruited friends to film the proposal, then planned a day filled with surprises: brunch with family and friends, rooftop terraces, a limo ride, and karaoke to end the night.

The happy couple planned a wedding around their love of water, with a light aqua, blush, and grey color scheme. “This is also why we wanted to get married at Geneva National, because the pergola overlooks Lake Como. The venue was close enough to get all of our family and friends there, but also included the water aspect — it was perfect for us!”

To prep for the big day, Kristi also attended a bridal show at the Geneva National. The ceremony would be held at the Geneva National’s Lakeview Terrace with the reception indoors in the Grand Ballroom. On the eve of the wedding, Patrick and Kristi celebrated with a rehearsal dinner under the patio lights of the Ridge Hotel. “The scenery was breathtaking.”

Click on any image to enlarge.

The July 7th ceremony was a particularly special one, as it was three months prior, to the day, that Patrick and Kristi had been married the first time. “On April 7th, we had been married in Pat’s parents’ living room so that Pat’s dad Dennis, who was not in good health, could be there. Dennis was battling cancer and ended up passing away on April 9th. We are so thankful he got to witness our small ceremony.” Kristi’s parents’ pastor, Pastor Dave, led both the intimate living room ceremony and the Geneva National ceremony. “It was so heartfelt. We know Dennis was with us in spirit on July 7th as well.”

Kristi says even the staff at the Geneva National offered amazing support to her and Patrick during the difficult time leading up to their July wedding. “Michelle and Katy, the Geneva National wedding coordinators, sent us cards when Pat’s dad passed away and worked with us throughout the entire year to make us feel valued, supported, and appreciated.”

While going above and beyond to send love and encouragement, the team at the Geneva National also succeeded in giving Patrick and Kristi a wedding they’d never forget, starting with the scrumptious food and drink selection. “We had a drink called the PMAC (Patrick’s nickname — short for Patrick McDonald). It was a light aqua color made with lemonade, vodka, and blue curacao. Guests got a kick out of the name and the drink was a big hit!”

Click on any image to enlarge.

The dinner menu included a choice of filet mignon with a cognac demi glaze, roasted chicken breast with a brandy mushroom sauce, and pasta primavera. “With seventy-five percent of our guests choosing filets, we didn’t know how great that much meat made in bulk would taste — but we got so many comments on how delicious the filets were. The appetizers were tasty too. We had jumbo cocktail shrimp, vegetarian egg rolls, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, and tomato bruschetta. Everyone was impressed! The Geneva National did not disappoint.”

Then came Kristi’s favorite part of the reception: the dancing! “I especially loved when my brother and two guy friends lifted me up on a chair over the dance floor, so I could see all the guests and celebrate in the air.” The DJ kept the dance floor rocking. “Pat and I both loved dancing the night away!”

Kristi says another highlight was the sparkler send-off and fireworks that ended the evening. But looking back, the moment that sticks with her the most was riding away with Patrick in a golf cart, following the ceremony. “Pat and I were so thrilled to be together for the first time all day and to be surrounded by all of our favorite people. Someone offered us a beer when we were riding on the cart toward pictures, and I swear a beer never tasted so good. Pat said the same thing. It was like all the nerves were finally gone, we were together, and we could just enjoy the party. I’ll never forget that moment.”

Geneva National reception room tables

Click on any image to enlarge.

Bridal Shows Attended Geneva National
Dance Lessons McDonald Dance in Arlington Heights
Invitations Lucky Invitations
Rehearsal Dinner The Ridge Hotel
Ceremony & Reception Geneva National
Cake Bittner’s Bakery
Flowers Gia Bella Flowers
Music Music In Motion
Transportation Geneva National shuttle
Photographer Cindy Romano Photography
Videographer Something New Media
Gown Enzoani from Kathryn’s Bridal, McHenry, IL
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings Exquisite Jewelers, Palatine, IL

Ask the PB Pro

How can I honor my parent’s anniversary at my wedding?

October 12, 2017
Ask the PB Pro

Dear PB Pro,

My parents are such an inspiration to me! They will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary close to my wedding date, and I’d love to honor them in some way. Any ideas?

– 30-Year Goals

Dear 30-Year Goals,

Congrats to your mom and dad! How wonderful to have such role models to look up to as you begin married life. There are lots of ways brides and grooms pay tribute to the great marriages in their families. You might include a simple note of congratulations in the ceremony program, or a reading dedicated to them. At the reception, consider setting up a table of framed photos from your parents’ wedding for guests to enjoy. During dinner, you could also give a toast to them and their 30 years, or invite them onto the dance floor for a special moment in the spotlight. Whatever the gesture, your parents will no doubt be moved that you took time from your day to show just how much their love inspires you.

— The PB Pro

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

Budget-Friendly, Purple, Real Weddings, Summer, West

Brooke & Steven’s College-Themed Wedding at Tuscan Hall

October 5, 2017
Brooke and Steven get married at Seven Seas in Delafield WI

Brooke and Steven met in college at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, when Brooke was a freshman sorority sister and Steven was a senior fraternity fella. The two met through mutual friends one night, and the rest is history. When Steven proposed, it was the Friday of Easter weekend after an egg hunt at Steven’s sister’s house. Brooke remembers: “He told me he had found one last Easter egg, got down on one knee, and proposed! I was very shocked, since I was convinced that he would propose at his official swearing-in ceremony as a police officer — but he did a really good job and caught me off guard.”

The happy couple planned a fun, college-themed wedding. “We agreed on Whitewater colors: purple, silver, and black — with some glitter for me!” Brooke says. “We also added some police-themed décor, since Steven is a police officer and we’re all very proud of that. We had a doughnut bar and a few signs around, like ‘It’s not a party until the cops show up!’” To prepare for the big day, Brooke attended the Wonderful World of Weddings Show at the State Fair grounds.

The ceremony was held lakeside at the Seven Seas of Delafield. “Having a view of the lake during our ceremony was always my dream,” Brooke says. “It was absolutely breathtaking. We couldn’t have picked a better venue.” The ceremony itself was “short, sweet, and perfect.” The officiant, Pastor Roger, had Steven and Brooke face the crowd as they exchanged vows so everyone could see their faces. “His theory was that people came to see us, not him,” Brooke explains. “I could catch glimpses of loved ones in the crowd, and I really liked that!”

The wedding party then boarded a Spring City Trolley to drive around Lake Country and take photos before heading to the reception. Brooke admits, “One of my favorite parts of the day was the trolley ride! We had some good music going and were able to bring drinks on the trolley, so our bridal party could celebrate while riding around Pewaukee.” After pictures were finished, one of Steven’s law enforcement friends led the way in his squad car, lights and all.

The reception was held at Tuscan Hall, where Brooke’s mother Amy Bartolf is the Events Coordinator. “She was my life saver!” Brooke says. The hall also catered a plated dinner of salad, bread & butter, braised short rib, Mediterranean chicken, red potatoes, and asparagus. “The food was phenomenal! You could tell it was healthy and fresh, and our guests raved about it.” Dessert came from Sweet Perfections — an “absolutely delicious cake with a fruit cream filling.” There was also the aforementioned cop-themed doughnut bar and an ice cream station. For late night stacks, Steven and Brooke chose hamburger sliders on pretzel buns and pizza. Drinks included unlimited Spotted Cow and Miller Lite on tap, plus Moscato and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In all the planning process, Brooke says there isn’t a thing she would change — thanks in large part to her wonderful mom. “I had my mother plan most of it, and we decided to have her and our vendors tackle the overall decorating, as long as it was fun and stuck with the college colors and theme. I was a more laid-back bride, and, to future brides, I would highly recommend being laid back during the planning process. Things will change and not everything is possible. If you’re able to enjoy it instead of getting wrapped up in every little detail, I promise everything will fall into place!”

Bridal Shows Attended Wonderful World of Weddings
Invitations OpenBox Events
Rehearsal Dinner Wildwood Lodge with Tuscan Hall Catering and Pizzas
Ceremony Seven Seas of Delafield
Reception & Catering Tuscan Hall Banquet Center
Cake Sweet Perfections
Sundae Bar The Chocolate Factory
Donuts Grebe's Bakery
Flowers Jess Fleur Fun, LLC
Music & Lighting Double Platinum DJ
Transportation Spring City Trolley
Photographer Tialee Photography
Videographer OpenBox Events
Formalwear Du Bois Formal Wear
Rings Jared
Rentals Cover it with Class

Fall, Galleries, Rustic / Barn, Rustic/Vintage Style, Stylized Shoots

Autumn Wedding Inspiration at The Landing 1841

October 3, 2017
Bride and groom in fall themed wedding

As the air grows cold, autumn colors warm up the scene for this fall photo shoot at The Landing 1841, orchestrated by the talented duo at Better Together Photography. The bride dons a gorgeous Bucci’s Bridal gown with long lace sleeves — the perfect answer to a brisk October night. Wool blankets lay in wait for for chilly guests.
Click on any image to enlarge.

The reception theme celebrates harvest time and the bounty of love. Apples can be found throughout the décor and even make for a scrumptious, caramel-dipped favor. Sprigs of rosemary and sticks of cinnamon garnish seasonal drinks, and a shabby-chic layer cake sits atop a sliced-wood platter.

Love is Sweet Take a Treat

Fall Themed Apple menu wedding by DCo Love Notes

Crimson flowers and green foliage from Bank of Memories accent the cake, while shades of ivory and orange add depth to the bride’s autumnal bouquet. It’s these thoughtful details, paired with a rose gold and copper-tinged color story, that come together to create a sense of warmth, comfort, and luxury made with love.

rustic themed woodsy wedding cake

Click on any image to enlarge

Photography & Styling Better Together Photography
Venue The Landing 1841
Flowers Bank of Memories
Dress Bucci's Bridal
Bride Jessica Lentz
Groom Shawn Quella
Hair Danica Bushman
Makeup rd Artistry
Letters EZPZ Marquee
Invites & Table Cards DCo Love Notes
Calligraphy Signage Liz Bartlein





Real Weddings, Washington County

Heather & Krystal’s Great Gatsby Wedding at the Chandelier Ballroom

September 25, 2017
Heather and Krystal have same sex marriage at Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford WI

Heather and Krystal met at Office Max, where Heather was working when Krystal went in for an interview. “We locked eyes and needed to know one another.” When the two started planning their wedding, they decided on a Great Gatsby theme with a back, gold, and silver color palette. Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford — the ceremony in the Fireside Room and the reception in the Great Hall. “Michele at the Chandelier Ballroom was great,” Heather says. “She was cheerful, a joy to work with, and always available for any questions I had. On the day itself, she was there for anything we needed.”

Heather’s cousin officiated the wedding in the Fireside Room. “She’s always been the most supportive person we’ve had throughout our relationship, and likes to call herself our ‘biggest fan.’” Another special moment during the ceremony involved Krystal and Heather’s young daughter, who has autism. “Our daughter Shaine wasn’t doing well with all the people and the strange surroundings. Krystal stopped the ceremony and asked Shaine, ‘Do you want to come up here?’ Shaine ran up, and Krystal held her while we finished the ceremony. To see her holding our daughter was the perfect end to the ceremony; it showed everyone our family.”

As a backdrop for the “I do’s,” Krystal and Heather chose a custom painting of the famous eyes The Great Gatsby. Carrying the theme into the reception, Heather painted wine bottles gold and black, then added black and white ostrich feathers and draped beads. These were placed on top of hardcover books to create the table centerpieces. “My bouquet was also made of paper flowers that I crafted from book pages and accented with ostrich feathers and silver.”

Dinner was catered by the Chandelier Ballroom and was “absolutely delicious.” Guests enjoyed a Caesar salad and a choice of chicken cacciatore or baked tilapia, served with Penne or tortellini topped with Alfredo or house bolognese sauce. “The bolognese tasted so amazing, and the chicken and fish were cooked perfectly. Our only regret on the day was that we didn’t eat more of the wedding meal — there was just so much going on.”

Following dinner came an unforgettable father/daughter dance. “While my dad and I danced, Krystal was preparing a surprise for her dad,” Heather explains. “She had worn a suit for the ceremony and dinner, but Krystal strode out wearing a beautiful white dress for her dance with her dad. Everyone was excited and clapping, and her dad was so surprised and emotional.”

For Heather and Krystal’s first dance, the two unveiled a beautiful waltz. “We took lessons, so it was fun and not stressful. It was great to do something more than just sway.” In the end, Krystal’s favorite moment was seeing Heather walking down the aisle. For Heather, her favorite moment was seeing Krystal start to cry as she read her vows off a yellow post-it note.

Bridal Shows Attended La Crosse Bridal Expo
Dance Lessons Moonlight Dance Studio, La Crosse, WI
Invitations ETSY and Vistaprint
Rehearsal Dinner Mineshaft, Hartford, WI
Ceremony, Reception & Catering Chandelier Ballroom, Hartford, WI
Cake Cake and Bake, Menominee Falls, WI
Music/Entertainment Music Mixx, La Crosse, WI
Photographer ColorfulDreams4U
Gown Charlotte’s Bridal, La Crosse, WI
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse and Charlotte's Bridal
Rings Kay Jewelers


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 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
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


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

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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