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Brad had been living in San Diego for 10 years before he jumped at the chance to move back to his hometown of Milwaukee for work. Rachel, originally from Illinois, was out one night with friends after a work Christmas party when she met Brad at a Waukesha bar. He came over, bought drinks, played bags, and chatted with Rachel all night. “It’s a perfect example of fate,” Rachel says. “If Brad hadn’t moved back from California for his job, we would never be where we are today.”
On the night he proposed, Brad took Rachel to the downtown Milwaukee restaurant where they had their first date. Rachel remembers: “He was nervous and barely ate any of his food. Brad loves food and never doesn’t finish all or most of his plate. I knew something was up.” After dinner, the couple walked along the river and ended up at the Bronze Fonz. “I noticed Ryan McIntyre, one of my favorite local musicians, playing songs I loved,” Rachel says. “When he played John Legend’s ‘All of Me,’ Brad got down on one knee. A crowd gathered, I cried, and Ryan McIntyre even said his eyes teared up.”
Ryan McIntyre played a major role in both Brad and Rachel’s proposal and their wedding. The two went for a music theme: Ryan played live at the reception (“Our family and friends couldn’t stop talking about how much they enjoyed him!”), and the couple’s friends Josh and Bobby – also local musicians – pumped up the volume as DJs. For guest favors, Rachel and Brad made a mix CD called “The Soundtrack: Handpicked jams about happiness, love, and other fun stuff.” They even turned Brad’s guitar into the guest book. Now when he plays it at home, the couple can reminisce about their wedding day.
But before the reception, the music, and the favors, there was the ceremony. Brad says he was anxiously waiting for go-time, while Rachel had a rather crazy morning. “Getting ready with the ladies ran late,” she says. “We were supposed to start pictures early with the wedding party, but that didn’t happen. Just before the ceremony started, I asked our photographers if Brad and I could still do a first look – and we did! Having those few minutes to be alone and calm each other’s nerves was crucial for me. All I wanted was to see him, and when I did all of the nerves faded away.”
Both the ceremony and reception were held at The Legend At Brandybrook where Rachel works. “Not many people can say they got married where they work, but I knew I wouldn’t want to get married anywhere else. When you drive up to the club house, walk up the grand staircase, and see the huge ballroom, you know it’s a special and undeniably gorgeous place. And it was so nice knowing everyone in the room. The kitchen staff and servers came out so our photographer could snap a picture of all of us. The Legend’s staff – the people behind the scenes making everything run smoothly – were the true superstars of the day.”
The Legend’s chefs also kept everything tasting delicious. For food, there was bacon-wrapped pork, chicken marsala, pretzel-crusted tilapia, and a vegan plate. “We heard so many comments about how the food was so delicious. We even had a younger guest say ‘Even the carrots are good!'” As a late night snack, there was mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, a nacho bar, and sliders. The cake from Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop had three layers and flavors: red velvet, chocolate, and banana. “I don’t even like bananas,” Rachel says, “but we tried it at the cake tasting and I devoured it – it was awesome!”
As for other vendors, Brad and Rachel are lucky to have “a lot of talented friends” – people they could trust to make their day special. In addition to the musicians, photographers Megan Moran of Picturesque Photography and Stacey Kremel of SMK Photography were friends, too. One vendor Rachel wishes they’d splurged on: A videographer. “I also wish I’d had a speech prepared! After the wedding party speeches were done, everyone looked at me – so I took the mic and awkwardly thanked everyone for coming. Looking back, I would have liked to have written something more meaningful.”
Rachel’s other advice for future brides: “Don’t let people – or Pinterest – sway your decisions. There are a lot of people who will give you their opinion of what you should do, but never lose sight of what you want your day to look and feel like. One of my bridesmaids described our wedding day perfectly: ‘This was just so you guys.’ Our ceremony was short, the music was amazing, the food was delicious, the venue was stunning, and there was lots of time for dancing and mingling. These are the kind of nights Brad and I love! So my advice to brides-to-be: Make your wedding ‘just so you guys!'”
Pre-Wedding Party~My bridal party and I visited Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL and moved on to The Streets of Rosemont and went to Toby Keith Bar, where there was a great country band playing.
Bridal Registry~Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Kohls and Honeymoon Pixie
Invitations~Save the Date, Invitations, shuttle schedule and wedding day festivities timeline created by the Bride
Rehearsal Dinner~Bernie’s Tap Room, Waukesha
Ceremony and Reception Location~The Legend at Brandybrook
Caterer~The Legend at Brandybrook
Cake~Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop
Flowers~Leaves Floral Design, Muskego
Music/Entertainment~Ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner music and first dance – Ryan McIntyre`Reception – Friends Josh and Bobby, who are in a local Milwaukee band, Up All Night, so they provided the sound board and all of the lights that they use at their shows
Transportation~AAA Airport Express & Taxi for shuttle to take guests from hotel to the venue and back`Badger State Limousine Service for our transportation after the reception.
Photographer~Megan Moran and Stacey Kremel Picturesque Photography
Make up~Airbrush by Kandy Smolinski
Dress Designer~Maggie Sottero from Eva’s Bridal Center
Honeymoon~Excellence, Punta Cana, booked through DreamCatcher Destinations.
Categorized in: Real Weddings