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

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