Real Wedding: Wedding Elegance at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center

August 10, 2015


Maria and Evan’s Story

It all started in Chicago, where Maria moved after college to do some dream-chasing. There she became friends with a girl named Schaelyn — a girl who would soon introduce Maria to her future husband. “Schae invited some of her guy friends from Wisconsin for a weekend in Chicago… Evan was one of those guys.” Evan and Maria hung out all night, talking and tearing it up on the dance floor at Hangge Uppe. They’ve been together ever since.

Maria says Evan “really outdid himself when it came to the proposal.” The couple was supposed to spend some time at Evan’s family cottage up north — instead, Evan surprised Maria with a trip to Vegas, a drive to Utah, and a breathtaking proposal at the top of a mountain in Zion National Park. To top it off, Evan had a renowned photographer waiting to capture the moment.

Almost immediately, Maria started planning the wedding. “I really wanted the day to represent the love we have as a couple. I took an androgynous approach for the overall aesthetic, incorporating patterns and colors that had a masculine touch, but still felt feminine.” For her gown, Maria wore an heirloom piece designed by her grandmother back in 1947. Her mother had worn the gown on her wedding day, too, making Maria the third in a line of lovely brides to wear this special dress.

As for the bridesmaids, Maria gave her girls the freedom to wear whatever dress they liked, following certain parameters: black, long, and chic. “They turned out beautifully and complemented each other so well,” Maria says. “I think it works well when the dresses are subtly different. It also makes a world of difference when a girl is confident in the dress she’s wearing, and that’s exactly what I wanted for my ladies — for them to feel poised and beautiful.”

The ceremony was held at the Basilica of St. Josaphat. “It was quite a breathtaking scene — and one helluva a long aisle,” Maria says. “To say I was nervous is an understatement. Considering my lack of coordination, high heels, and my extremely heavy satin gown, there was certainly room for catastrophe! My father did a fabulous job keeping me poised and composed, and it is a walk I will remember forever as it involved the two best men in my life.”

After the “I do’s” it was off to the Hilton Milwaukee City Center’s Crystal Ballroom for the reception, by way of Riteway limousines and shuttles. Janelle Meyer Brown from Evenement Planning made sure the reception went off without a hitch. “Janelle was such a ray of light and helped me stay organized throughout the planning process,” Maria says. Gorgeous floral designs came from Belle Fiori: “I loved the idea of having three different table designs: low and lush, a cylinder display, and a ‘wow!’ piece with tulips, calla, and mirrored tabletops.”

The couple also wanted to incorporate some fun elements into the reception: a photo booth, event artist, and wine bottles for people to sign that will eventually be opened at future wedding anniversaries. The event artist was Milrawkee’s Amanda Iglinski. “Amanda worked during the event to create a live piece of art showcasing the details of our wedding day. It’s now hanging on our wall!”

When it came to the food, Maria’s Italian family took the reigns. There were delectable seafood, cheese, and fruit displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a beautiful sit-down dinner, and a gorgeous wedding cake from Dina’s Cakes. The cake had six flavors in each bite! For a late night snack, the couple chose mini brats and large pretzels. “Our guests certainly didn’t leave hungry!”

In the end, it’s hard for Maria to pick just one moment that sticks with her most. “Everything went by so fast,” she says. “What I remember more so are feelings and emotions. I felt excited, nervous, complete, gratified, and so, so loved.” Her advice to future brides: “Take time throughout the planning process to breathe and acknowledge the real reason you’re getting married. Obviously, no matter how hard you try and how much time you spend planning, nothing is ever perfect. Take everything with a grain of salt and realize the only truly important thing is the person standing beside you, promising you forever.”

Wedding Consultant~Janelle Meyer Brown from Evenement Planning
Invitations~Friend of the Bride
Rehearsal Dinner~The Wisconsin Club
Ceremony Location~The Basilica of St. Josaphat
Reception Location~The Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Crystal Ballroom
Cake Designer~Dina’s Cakes
Flowers~Belle Fiori
Music/Entertainment~Milwaukee Airwaves
Photographer~Front Room Photography
Videographer~George Street Photography and Videography
Hotel Arrival Favors~Biscotto Cookies provided the delicious Wisconsin shaped cookies for the welcome bags for our guests staying at the hotels.
Event Artist~Milrawkee
Rings~Personal friend of the Bride and Groom

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