Real Wedding: Aleah & Donald

March 15, 2014

A girl from Racine, Wisconsin sat in front of a boy from San Luis Obispo, California on their first day of art school in Tucson, Arizona. They both went to the Art Institute of Tuscon and had some of their first classes together. They remained classmates/acquaintances for about 2 years until Donald finally asked Aleah out…and the rest is history. Let’s begin…

The Geneva National Golf Club is an amazing place. The views are beautiful, the food is to die for, and the service was excellent. Aleah and Donald wanted to make sure their wedding venue wasn’t a large, typical banquet room  and found their solution to this at Geneva National’s Lake Geneva Room.  It’s not really a room..It’s THREE! They have a dining room, a lounge & dance area and a bar room.  In addition to that, they had a conference room which they turned into a kid’s room (WITH babysitters!) and a large foyer which held the photo booth later in the evening.   Another unique fact about this venue is they have The Inns which are pods of 6 hotel rooms grouped together.  The couple booked 3 of these pods and all their family was able to stay right there on the grounds of Geneva National Resort.  This allowed them to turn the entire weekend into one long party.  Aleah, raved and went on and on about Jenna, the coordinator at Geneva National Resort. She took care of EVERYTHING.  She wasn’t even fazed when the couple mentioned they wanted a “Bouncy Castle” at their event…personally I would have fainted if I was a wedding planner and heard that!

Aleah & Donald went with Ideal Impressions for their photographers.  I love their photographs – the photographers went above and beyond what they should do.  On the wedding day, it looked like rain so the ceremony was moved into the Legends room. They setup their 8 second printer, tethered it to a camera and started printing images as they shot! Yes, you read that correct!!! After the ceremony the photographers used the same printer to take photos of all the guests overlaid with Donald and Aleah’s wedding logo as they secretly were printing images that they put in these incredible frames Aleah found and had all boxed up ready to give to the guests that night! Before the first dance, Ideal Impressions had a photo fusion ready and left the room in tears…literally…if you have never seen one of their signature cinematic performances you HAVE TO SEE ONE! They are spectacular.  Immediately following the film, Ryan presented Donald and Aleah with a same day flush mount album. Yes, you heard this right! They delivered a custom, flush mount album with images FROM THE WEDDING that night! They were in awe.  The night wrapped up with a GREAT photo booth with lots of props, scrapbooks and silver markers, photo strip, journaling gear and of course 8 second prints.

Ok, so I’m jumping ahead of myself with this wedding story…I just can’t believe everything so far.

The ceremony reflected Donald and Aleah the most.  They had two readings.  One was a Shel Silverstein poem that they changed the ending.  The piece reflected Aleah more since he was one of her favorite authors growing up.  The second piece was Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt. The bride and groom went with an edited version, but the overall message was the same and it couldn’t have fit Donald more perfectly.  Aleah & Donald also wrote their own vows. They came up with a beginning and an end, agreed on a format, and left the middle a surprise.  It was perfect! Aleah will never forget the scared, stiff look on Donald’s face replacing his usual smile as she walked down the aisle with a smile ear to ear replacing her usual timid face. As the couple walked back down the aisle the guests waved ribbon wands with bells replacing traditional rice or bird seed. What a GREAT sound it made!

OK, this is the part of the evening I absolutely LOVE! Aleah and Donald did not have “cocktail time”, they had “FAMILY TIME” instead.  They had a large tent set up on the lawn with a bouncy castle right next to it. They also had other yard games that included a life size kurplunk and fling the chicken! They had an ice cream bar and hand passed s’mores. Aleah & Donald had their immediate families take a family portrait with one of the photographers. The photographers were able to print these, put them in frames, and then later hand them out as favors. LOVE, love, LOVE this idea!  Everyone thought this was extra special and were just amazed that the photographer could print them the same day.  All of this kept the guests busy giving the wedding party plenty of time to take pictures.  Thank you Aleah and Donald for thinking of your guests!

But wait!  It keeps getting better…on to dinner.  As the guests entered the foyer, they were greeted by the thumb print tree guest book (Donald drew the tree).  While that was going on Aleah was taking off her lace jacket (part of the dress) which gave her a different look for dinner.  Donald and Aleah made their grand entrance and then went straight to cutting the cake.  The cake from Gooseberries Market was a four tier cake with each tier a darker shade of purple as it got smaller in size.  On top of the purple was intricate floral piping.  The cake topper was a cut out of “Mr. & Mrs. Wray”.  Only the top was real and the rest of the cake was foam.  This way they could just cut sheet cake in the kitchen and since they did their cake cutting beforehand they were able to serve it right at the end of dinner.   Aleah and Donald couldn’t quite figure out how to seat their ‘unusual’ wedding party so they decided on a sweetheart table.  Aleah told me this was one of the best things they did, because it gave Donald & her some time to themselves to reflect on everything that had happened up to that point.  The food was absolutely amazing and there was SO much of it! Later in the evening they did another round of desserts with chocolate covered strawberries and mousse parfaits. But wait, that’s NOT all…later that night they had pizzas and mini-grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m telling you, this wedding was TONS of fun and, in my opinion, simply all about the guests!!

The DJ, Mike Early from Pro-Sound, did some great uplighting which really helped set the mood.  Before Aleah & Donald got into their first dance they had everyone gather around and they watched their wedding video that the photographer was able to put together from earlier in the day.  The family loves to dance, so the DJ had no problems getting everyone out on the dance floor.  They did all the traditional dances and all the wacky dances including the chicken dance.  Something pretty unique was the glow stick dance with over 500 glow sticks floating around!

Lastly, they had a photo booth that the photographer set up.  He was able to print out 2 copies of photo strips with the bride and groom’s logo on them and the guests were able to paste one copy onto a scrapbook page and write the bride & groom a little note. The photographer, as you can see, played a HUGE role in their wedding and it was because of all the services he offered that they chose him.

As the wedding weekend came to an end, the morning after there was breakfast at Aleah & Donald’s Inn for everyone.  It was the last opportunity for everyone to get together and talk about all the memories from the day before and call out those who drank just a bit too much.  They also got to pass around some more pictures that the photographer had already printed for the bride and groom.  Lastly, it gave Donald and Aleah a chance to say good bye to everyone before they headed back to California to start their new life as Mr. and Mrs.  Don’t miss the video at the end of this blog post!

Photographer~~ Ideal Impressions
Flowers~~ Gia Bella Flowers
Venue~~ Geneva National
Dress~~ Down the Aisle
Bridesmaids Dresses~~ Images of Racine
Hair/Make-up~~ Creative Xpressions
Tuxes~~ Burlington Mens Wear
Music~~ Mike Early from Pro-Sound
Cake~~ Gooseberries
Invitations~~Partly From Wedding Paper Divas

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