Real Wedding: Katie & Dan

May 1, 2014

So, you might think I’m crazy for ‘saying’ this, but I just love winter weddings! Winter makes me think of cozy fireplaces, the holidays, being with family & friends AND beautiful weddings. What a GREAT day for a wedding on this 40-degree winter day, December 28th! It’s like Mother Nature knew Katie and Dan were getting married today so she gave them the only nice day all winter long. Another reason why this day is so special is because it is Katie’s Grandparent’s anniversary. They were married on December 28th, 1948! And even though they both passed away several years ago, Katie loves that they all share the same anniversary date. Katie was very close to her Grandparents; they lived just 5 blocks away growing up. Her Grandma left Katie her engagement ring and wedding ring as well…I just LOVE this…so that’s the ring that Dan used when he proposed and is the one Katie wears now.

The wedding was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee. The church was decorated for Christmas and was breathtaking. There was beautiful organ music and a violinist who played Canon in D (Pachelbel) and La Rejouissance (Royal Fireworks) Handel. This wedding was very traditional and elegant. Katie knew she wanted lace in her wedding dress and she had a cathedral length veil with lace trim that reminds you of ‘The Sound of Music’. Her dress designer is Modern Trousseau which she purchased from Zita Bridal. Katie wore Kate Spade shoes. The groomsmen tuxes were simple black and white…totally sharp!

The rest of the wedding colors were crimson, gold and ivory…super classy! Katie and Dan knew The Grain Exchange would be very ornate, so they wanted to the keep the flowers simple but beautiful. There were a variety of flowers all in white (both high and low centerpieces) – they turned out better than what anyone could have imagined. The Flower Lady was fantastic and did a GREAT job!! The linens were from BBJ Linens and were perfect for the look that Katie and Dan were shooting for. They used a combination of gold and crimson tablecloths. If you think you don’t need tablecloths for a special occasion, think again! They MAKE the room in many cases.

I have to say I’m a fan of some DIY wedding ideas. I don’t think EVERYTHING should be DIY, unless that’s your budget then certainly do that, but some things look nice as DIY wedding ideas. Katie and Dan had just the right touches with their DIY items. Katie and Dan used Etsy and Pinterest to come up with a few things. They made ‘thank you’ cards and had them at each spot on the table to thank their friends and family for all their support they have given them and to express how grateful they are that they were there. There was also a table that had pictures of their parents and grandparents on THEIR wedding days…I thought this was a great idea as it let’s relatives on the other side see who the parents and grandparents are in their new extended family. Plus, I’m a huge fan of photos at weddings – anything to bring back memories! The bride and groom had a lot of out-of-town guests so Katie and Dan shopped at the Milwaukee Public Market and made them Wisconsin themed welcome boxes – SUPER cute idea – with Sprecher root beer, Knights Gourmet Popcorn, chocolate covered Door County cherries, Door County mustard and pretzels, and some really cute cow pies (rich milk chocolate, creamy caramel, and fresh pecans) from Baraboo Candy Company in Baraboo, WI.  Makes you want to attend the wedding just for the welcome box, doesn’t it??

Katie and Dan had a photo booth at their wedding reception. I know you’ve heard this from me before, but I just love photo booths! It gives guests something to do and fun props create such great pictures that everyone was REALLY into it! There was a line all night. And, are your ready for this….at the end of the night, Katie and Dan were given a photo book that all the guests had signed with their pictures. It definitely is one of my favorite things from the wedding.

Their wedding cake was BREATHTAKING!  It was HUGE and simply gorgeous! Picture a large 5 tier wedding cake…BIG gold bows made of fondant. The cake was a delicious chocolate with caramel frosting.  Way to go Cake Lady!! Sticking with tradition, Katie and Dan have the top of the cake in their freezer right now waiting for that year anniversary to get here! For a special touch, the knife they used to cut the wedding cake was the same cake knife that Dan’s parents used on their wedding day.

Making sure the reception was a FUN part was one of the most important things to the newly married couple. They wanted their guests to really enjoy themselves, but yet feel comfortable all night.  The team from The Grain Exchange really made sure the venue was perfect. Sound by Design did all the uplighting of the venue in a soft white which really made the beautiful room even more beautiful, sounds corny, but ohhh sooo true! Music played all night to a packed dance floor! The Grain Exchange staff set up all the tables exactly how Katie had imagined it. The one comment from almost everyone was that the food was FANTASTIC (The bride & groom heard ‘best wedding food ever’ from a lot of people). There were delicious hot and cold appetizers during cocktail hour, and then the first course was cream of potato soup (perfect for a winter day), then a choice of filet or chicken. Maria Bartolotta from The Bartolotta Catering Company really made sure the whole day went off without a hitch and that’s exactly what YOU as a bride want and need! It’s YOUR day so go have fun…let the professionals worry about everything else!

Wedding pictures!! Pick carefully because these are the memories you will have for a lifetime to share with your children, grandchildren and, if you’re lucky, great-grandchildren. I can honestly say Miranda and Adam from Reminisce Studio will catch all those memories for you! Their photography art is breathtaking, and they always seem to know how and where to be at the right time. Miranda and Adam took Katie and Dan’s engagement pictures. Katie and Dan knew after they saw the engagement pictures, that their wedding pictures had to be done by Reminisce Studios, no doubt about it! As you look through the pictures you will see they did an amazing job plus they made everyone feel totally comfortable with them.  Katie didn’t even realize they were taking some of the photos at the reception until she saw them after the wedding. They were always super organized and had a list of who they were taking pictures of and with whom-which helped everyone stay on schedule.

The whole day was so sweet and the ceremony was beautifully done. The entire celebration went off without a hitch and everyone had a wonderful time. All in all, I just love how this wedding inspiration really crosses over different styles, from traditional to DIY to elegant. I feel that is the key to good, timeless design. Congratulations Katie and Dan! You threw a great party that will always be remembered.

Dress~Zita Bridal (Modern Trousseau)
Shoes~Kate Spade
Florist~The Flower Lady
Photographer~Reminisce Studio
Ceremony~Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Venue~The Grain Exchange
Caterer~The Bartolotta Catering Company
Music/Lighting/Photobooth~Sound by Design
Cake~The Cake Lady
Linens~BBJ Linens
Rehearsal Dinner~Mikeys

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