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.

Real Weddings

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

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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
Stylized Shoots

Beauty and the Beast

July 3, 2017
Beauty and the Beast Wedding Theme

Crooning candlesticks, dancing feather dusters, a whirl of champagne bubbles, fireworks, and confetti — the “Be Our Guest” spirit springs to life in this magical photo shoot. A favorite story or film can serve as marvelous inspiration for your wedding’s style or theme. Here, Better Together Photography was inspired by Beauty & The Beast, capturing a tale as old as time rendered in a mix of modern and vintage romanticism.

Bride with Beauty and the Beast hand mirror
Click on any image to enlarge

Bride and her love formal dance

There are many nods to the animated classic, from the roses to table décor: a teapot, a clock, and towering candelabras. Yet many of the ties are more subtle, like the classic color scheme, ornate flourishes, and even the bride’s Belle-inspired gown and hairstyle. Thank you to all of the talented vendors, listed below, who helped make this a fairytale dream come true!

Beauty and the Beast themed wedding invitation

Venue The Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, WI
Photography + Cinematography Better Together Photography
Styling Better Together Photography The Style Project
Rentals Relics Vintage Rentals & Arena Americas
Invitations + Signage Coqui Paperie & Gifts
Makeup Lustrous Beauty Studio
Hair Hair by Smash
Dress Amelishan Bridal
Tux DuBois Formalwear
Linens Heavenly Creations Events
Floral Bank of Flowers
Bride Andrea Thompson
Groom Alex Hart
Assistant Coordination Premier Bride

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Real Weddings

Kyla & Ryan’s Outdoor Wedding at Lake Lawn Resort

June 27, 2017
Kyla and Ryan marry in Lake Geneva at Lake Lawn Resort

Kyla and Ryan, both from Lake Geneva, met when they were 16 years old at a waterpark. “He was a lifeguard and I was a pool attendant,” Kyla says. “I can still remember when Ryan first introduced himself. Two weeks later, he asked me to hang out, and we’ve been together ever since!”

In 2013, Ryan swore in to the military and was sent to Fort Lewis in Washington state for three years. Kyla drove with Ryan to his new duty station, and the two enjoyed a day of exploring at Mount Rainier National Park. As they made their way back down Crystal Mountain, Ryan suggested a final stop. “It was a cute little valley in the mountains,” Kyla recalls. “As we were sitting enjoying the view, Ryan pulled out a ring and proposed. I was so shocked — but of course I said yes!”

The two said “I do” in a courthouse ceremony. Almost three years later, they said their vows once more in front of family and friends. Kyla found her ring at Fontana Jeweler and her gorgeous lace gown and chiffon bridesmaid dresses, in shades of teal, at Stone Manor in Grafton. “Ladies, I have some advice for you,” she says. “Eat a snack prior to your dress fitting and do not lock your knees! I think my sister and I can agree that the day I passed out at my dress fitting a month before the wedding was quite memorable.”

Both the ceremony and reception were held at Lake Lawn Resort on Lake Delevan. “The ceremony was outdoors, and the weather could not have been more perfect. We were so excited to finally be able to share this special moment with our family and friends.”

Bride and Groom by Lake Geneva lakefrontDinner was also catered by Lake Lawn Resort. For entrées, guests enjoyed an option of Chicken Saltimboca — chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, sage, rosemary, and provolone, all in a Marsala wine sauce — or Pasta Primavera — chef-selected veggies with fettuccine and a sun-dried tomato, roasted garlic, and Montamore cheese sauce. For dessert: cupcakes and cake pops. “Suzanne Dixon did a phenomenal job creating my vision for the dessert table,” Kyla says.

To document the day, Ryan and Kyla worked with Gio and Ryan at Ideal Impressions. “They went above and beyond our expectations. The photo booth they set up was a crowd favorite, and our families really enjoyed the photo-fusion they created that very same day. Gio and Ryan truly captured every moment that was special to us. It was such a memorable day. From our family and friends who traveled near and far, to the perfect weather, and the vendors who made everything go so smoothly, our day was truly unforgettable.”Beautiful table settings at Lake Lawn Resort

Bridal Shows Attended Lake Geneva Bridal Showcase
Wedding Consultant Shannon Davis from Lake Lawn Resort
Invitations Kelsey Hughes, Bride's best friend
Rehearsal Dinner Novak’s on Fontana, Fontana, WI
Ceremony, Reception & Catering Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan, WI
Cake Suzanne Dixon
Flowers Trellis (Courtney Pilman)
Music/Entertainment ACA Entertainment (DJ Alex) & Frank Whiting
Photo & Video Ideal Impressions
Dress Stella York from Stone Manor in Grafton, WI
Bridesmaid Dresses Stone Manor
Formalwear Macy’s
Rings Bride: Fontana Jeweler
Groom: Grandpa’s wedding band

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Real Weddings

Melissa & Matt’s Elegant Birchwood Wedding at Windwood of Watertown

June 14, 2017
Melissa and Matt marry at Windwood of Watertown

Melissa and Matt got engaged at Melissa’s annual New Year’s Eve party. The evening started with cards and games — then, suddenly, it was 11:45. “I immediately stopped the game and started preparing the hats, horns, sparklers, and champagne for midnight,” Melissa says. Her dad told her he had to show her something in the basement, and Melissa obliged, but felt a little panicked that everything wouldn’t be ready for the big moment.

Heading back upstairs, Melissa’s sister intercepted her, snapping some pics of Melissa with the family kids. “Now I was getting really concerned for midnight,” she says. “At that moment, my now-husband grabbed my hand and led me into the living room.” Turning the corner, Melissa found rose petals and candles arranged in the shape of a heart. “Matt led me to the middle of the heart, got down on one knee, and proposed right there in front of my family and friends!” Melissa cried the “happiest tears I’ve ever cried” and yelled “Yes!”

Matt and Melissa planned an elegant yet outdoorsy wedding with a ceremony at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lake Mills and a reception at Windwood of Watertown. The two celebrated their wedding day with a uniquely large bridal party: 11 groomsmen, 11 bridesmaids, 2 junior bridesmaids, 2 attendants, 1 “ring security,” 1 usher, 6 ceremony attendants, as well as kids who greeted guests, handed out programs, and let guests know where to sit. Melissa says her favorite part of the ceremony was saying “I do” to her husband, along with the beautiful vocal ensembles made up of members of the bridal party. “Another thing that meant a lot to me was having 18 roses in a vase on the altar in memory of the close family members that were joining us from heaven that day.”

For cocktail hour at Windwood, there were passed appetizers: bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, and sweet and sour meatballs. There were also two signature drinks: The Matt (Coors Light on tap) and The Melissa (Brandy Old Fashioned). The main course was a duo plate of beef tenderloin steak and mushroom chicken, served with green beans almondine and new potatoes. “The meal was amazing! The head chef at Windwood is second to none. In fact, as we went to each table to greet guests after we ate, people at every single table complimented the meal!”

The sit-down dinner consisted of long tables decorated with birch logs, votive candles, and flowers. “We didn’t have a traditional head table because our wedding party was just too big! Wedding party members sat with their families or dates at tables close to ours.” Birchwood was used as an accent throughout the space to carry out the natural theme — everything from the cake decor to the DIY photo booth. “The photo booth had a birch tree backdrop and tons of props! We didn’t rent a traditional photo booth because there wasn’t space for one. Instead, we had a camera on a tripod and framed instructions explaining how to use the auto timer. People seemed to really enjoy taking their own pictures and had no issue using the camera themselves.”

 

Other fun touches included an ice cream sundae bar, which featured “just about every kind of topping we could think of! It was big hit with our guests, especially the kids.” Also a hit with the kids: When Melissa and Matt decided to plant an Aaron Rodgers place card among the 285 others, as a joke. “Some of the kids thought Aaron was really coming! They kept watching out the window to see when his limo would pull up. We had to break the bad news to them, and there was some big disappointment — but once we got them all back on the dance floor, the night was saved!”

Bride's favorite moment - the first dance

Overall, Melissa says Windwood really made the evening amazing. “Jamie at Windwood is extremely experienced, informative, helpful, and darn good at what she does. She helped make the day fantastic!” Her favorite thing she and Matt planned for their wedding was all of the personal touches, especially all of the people they involved in the day. “Family and friends are so important to us, and it was such a blessing that so many of them could be involved in our big day!”

Invitations Designed by the Bride and Sara at Leader Printing,Lake Mills
Rehearsal Dinner The Fireside, Fort Atkinson
Ceremony St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lake Mills
Reception & Catering Windwood of Watertown
Flowers Stoughton Floral, Stoughton
Music/Entertainment Dance 2 This Entertainment, Melvin Fields, DJ (Beloit)
Transportation Watertown School District
Photographer Jazzy Photo, Fort Atkinson
Gown David’s Bridal
Formalwear The Men’s Warehouse
Rings The Diamond Center, Janesville and Countryside Jewelry, Lake Mills
Party Rental Company General Rental, Watertown
Planning

Planning the Perfect Wedding Color Palette!

June 12, 2017

Color infuses your wedding with personality and lingers in your memories and photographs. With so many gorgeous colors available, and so many wedding details dependent on your choice, it can be overwhelming deciding on your perfect hue. But once you make a color choice, many other stylistic decisions come easily. And, thanks to today’s design tricks, you don’t have to restrict yourself to colors that directly “match” your wedding venue. With creative up-lighting, chair covers, and floral work you can instantly change the look of any room and compliment your color palette.

Grand Salon | InterContinental Milwaukee

Grand Salon | InterContinental Milwaukee

If you are looking for something unique, head to the museum and immerse yourself in art or design to find unexpected combinations. And remember that nature offers many beautiful color combinations and a hike just may give you the answers you seek. However you find inspiration, the most important thing is to choose colors you’re drawn to and that reflect your style. That way your wedding is the best expression of you!

InterContinental Milwaukee | Grand Salon

InterContinental Milwaukee | Grand Salon

Story by Angela Kopriva
Marcus Hotels & Resorts