Real Wedding: Stephanie & Shawn

July 2, 2014

This love story begins at UW-Platteville in 2003. That’s where Stephanie and Shawn first met their freshmen year in college.  Stephanie and Shawn became good friends, and hung out with the same people.  After awhile their friendship grew until they both realized they found ‘the one’!  They dated on and off from October 2004 to March 2012. Took a few breaks for various reasons, but always found themselves getting back together.  A cumulative total of about 7 years of dating.  Then the ring came out and Stephanie said “YES!” They were engaged for 1.5 years from March 2012 until they got married in October 2013.  Fast forward onto the wedding… **insert fast forward noise**

Stephanie and Shawn were going for a classic and elegant wedding style with a few non-traditional twists.  Blue and Orange (UW-Platteville colors) were their wedding colors.  Blue happens to be Stephanie’s favorite color and orange was a perfect accent for an October wedding.   Stephanie and Shawn are both fairly simple in their tastes and like classic with a modern touch.  All their wedding choices reflected this style, including their venues, attire, colors, photography, cupcakes and flowers.

WOW, Stephanie and Shawn, really did their homework when it came to their wedding!  To start with, they toured MANY hotels in downtown Milwaukee and in the surrounding suburbs before finally selecting the Courtyard by Marriott Milwaukee Airport.  They were looking to select a hotel for their guests that was both affordable, had an airport shuttle and offered amenities to make their stay an enjoyable one.  The couple was also looking for a hotel that offered suites that they could be utilized by Stephanie’s bridesmaids to prepare on the wedding day and also for Shawn and Stephanie’s first night together as a married couple!  The Courtyard by Marriott is a beautiful, newer facility with a staff that was more than willing to accommodate special requests and worked with them to coordinate delivery of welcome bags that the bride and groom created for all their guest rooms, set-up a personalized website link for room reservations, scheduled a late night guest shuttle for guests returning to the hotel from the reception, and booked a morning gift opening complete with a breakfast! (Bonus: A suite is provided for the bride and groom complimentary on the night of the wedding so long as there are a certain percentage of guest rooms booked in the wedding block! Did you write that one down, future brides?)  This hotel is sure to give you a comfortable nights sleep, elegance and modern conveniences!!

Stephanie and Shawn learned about Keehn’s Limo Coach Services through the Wonderful World of Weddings Bridal Show at State Fair Park.  Like many engaged couples they had contacted a few limo coach companies to get pricing quotes, but had not heard of Keehn’s until the bridal show.  (Don’t miss out on bridal shows, future brides!!)  Stephanie and Shawn were drawn to Keehn’s as they are a local family owned company.  When they set-up an appointment to tour a their limo bus, they had a very personable experience and they were impressed with the services.  They did a fabulous job on their wedding day and did not disappoint!!

Let’s talk about the WEATHER. Now we all know living in Wisconsin you need to be prepared for any and all kinds of weather situations.  Stephanie and Shawn chose their ceremony venue, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, for the beautiful indoor space in case of inclement weather. (You just never know in Wisconsin!) They had watched the weather for at least a week leading up to their wedding day.  On the day of the wedding, it was foggy and forecasted to thunderstorm.  The couple planned ahead as much as they could by getting matching umbrellas for their wedding party.  Then, when it was just about time for their ceremony, they made an executive decision to move the ceremony inside.  It was a good thing they did! The rain started pouring down just as the last of the guests arrived, complete with lots of claps of thunder and lightning.  Rain was coming down so hard all around, but it made almost a magical backdrop for the ceremony.  Ok, get this. The couple’s wedding song was “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait which has lyrics that say “And if along the way we find a day it starts to storm, you’ve got the promise of my love to keep you warm.”  This was completely unplanned yet so perfect at the same time.  You can’t control the weather, so you just have to roll with it and everything turned out just fine.  As soon as the ceremony ended, so did the rain and Stephanie, Shawn and the wedding party were able to take all their pictures outside on the Villa Terrace patio and grounds.  They they walked across the street to the lakefront to take a few pictures and also down the street by the Milwaukee Art Museum.  As they were about to finish the pictures, the rain started up again!  Timing could not have been better, plus it allowed for some cool and memorable photo opportunities!

Stephanie and Shawn loved working with 1451 Renaissance Place.  They selected Renaissance Place for its classic beauty, it’s downtown location, its on site parking and of course its reputation as an outstanding venue.  They did not disappoint!  Not only is the venue absolutely gorgeous, they were very helpful throughout the entire planning process and offered much-needed advice when asked for planning suggestions.  Stephanie and Shawn were also incredibly impressed with Chef Jack’s Catering from their initial tasting to the meal on the wedding day.  They selected Chef Jack’s for many reasons, including: their reputation for excellence, the fact that they had worked with Renaissance Place many times and because they offered all linens, glassware, plates, utensils, etc.  Stephanie and Shawn opted to have hand passed hors d’oeuvres for the guests as they arrived during cocktail hour. I am definitely a fan of this-keep the guests happy.  One of my favorites was the mini grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup shooter!  They had a buffet style meal and all the food was absolutely incredible.   The meal was topped off with a signature chocolate shot of Bailey’s and chocolate covered strawberries that were passed around at the end of the evening!

The couple went with the Artistic Group for their photography.  Stephanie and Shawn were drawn to their romantic yet modern style of photography along with their relaxed manor.  They fulfilled their vision for their wedding photography.

Another “stand out” vendor was Double Platinum DJ who provided both the music and the lighting.  The couple gave them a playlist of suggested songs and they played a great mix of music throughout the cocktail hour, dinner and after.  The dance floor was packed with people from the time the dance music started until the reception ended.  Many people commented about the great selection of music and how much fun they were having on the dance floor! They opted for minimal decorations by  using only accent lighting to highlight the natural beauty of the venue.  The lighting was a classic touch that added just the effect that they were looking for.

The bride and groom opted to not have a wedding cake, HOWEVER, they did have blue and orange cupcakes in both vanilla and chocolate flavors that were shaped in a tier formation.  On the top of the tier was an oversized cupcake for the bride and groom to cut and share with their wedding party!! Stephanie and Shawn specifically looked for local bakeries that had experience in making wedding cupcakes.  They chose Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe who did a fabulous job.  On the wedding day, Sweet Perfections brought everything over to the venue and set it all up so it was all ready when the bride and groom arrived.  Delicious!

After the reception was over and it was getting late everyone headed over to County Clare Irish Pub where Stephanie and Shawn rented the Michael Joyce Room for their after bar.  They ordered pizza from Zayna’s to be delivered to the County Clare for all the guests who kept the party going and continued celebrating with the bride and groom!! How fun!

Many couples would be disappointed if their wedding day coincided with bad weather, but not Stephanie and Shawn they used the dramatic scenery as a stunning backdrop for photos. Whether they were ducking under umbrellas or fully embracing the elements, the bad weather didn’t stop Stephanie and Shawn from showing how happy they are to embark on the rest of their lives together.  It definitely made for a magical wedding day!

Rehearsal Dinner~Rock Bottom Brewery, Milwaukee
Ceremony Venue~Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Reception Venue~1451 Renaissance Place
Wedding Dress~Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses~David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Suits~Macy’s
Limo Service~ Keehn’s Limo Coach Services
Hair/Make-up~Roots Salon, Milwaukee
Caterer~Chef Jack’s Catering
Music & Lighting~Double Platinum DJ
Photography~The Artist Group
Hotel~ Courtyard by Marriott Milwaukee Airport
Wedding Cupcakes~Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe
Wedding Registries~Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Target
After Bar~County Clare Irish Pub

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