Real Wedding: Michelle & Matt- A Prize Winning Wedding at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Pt. 2

November 17, 2015

Winning $20,000 and a Dream Wedding at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino is certainly enough to make any wedding extraordinary. But Matt and Michelle went above and beyond, using the prize money and eye-popping venue to put their creative spin on their wedding for a day as unique as their own love story.

The wedding’s overall theme and style was “urban vintage with a traveller’s touch.” Michelle works at the Field Museum in Chicago, specializing in Museum Collections Care and Management. “She loves items with rich history and antique aesthetics,” Matt says. “We both love to travel. We love downtown Milwaukee and wanted to incorporate the old-fashioned elements that the city maintains.”

Matt and Michelle had their first look along the Riverwalk in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Michelle wore a gown from Miss Ruby’s, and Matt had successfully tied his own tie (a major point of pride!). The ceremony was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in the Fifth Ward; it’s one of Milwaukee’s oldest Catholic churches. “The church itself is simple but lovely and still maintains all of its original beauty from when it was built in 1850. The pastor, Father José Moreno, officiated beautifully and we received many compliments on how intimate and organic he made the ceremony.”

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After Michelle and Matt said “I do,” the wedding party took a trolley around Milwaukee for photos. “We opted to take some pictures at Bastille Days. It just seemed like a fun mini-outing for the bridal party that would also let us incorporate our love of Milwaukee and festivals. We loved our photographer, Jadon Good — he treated us more like a friend than a client.”

Then it was on to the reception at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. “In general, we were just going for a fun atmosphere. We had karaoke during cocktail hour and dinner. That made for a less-formal feel and added a splash of punchy fun. It may not be the kind of thing everyone would want at their reception, but it gave our party the little kick we were looking for!”

Michelle also really embraced DIY projects. She made mason jar and doily votive candle holders, doily globes, and lace-filled embroidery hoops for hanging. She also painted several chalkboard-style signs detailing the night’s timeline and identifying the various bars and food stations. But Matt says his favorite special touch that Michelle planned was their guests’ sign-in table.

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“Michelle designed a table that allowed guests to personally select a post card out of an antique card catalogue from amongst dozens which we had collected during our travels together around the country and world. Guests could then write a personalized message on the card they selected and place it into the slots of a beautiful antique suitcase Michelle had re-designed for that purpose. We loved that our guests all took the time to personally select cards that spoke to them. They wrote very sweet messages, and now we’ll have them as tokens of our wedding day for the rest of our lives.”

Matt and Michelle’s advice for future brides and grooms: “If you can afford it, hire a wedding planner. We opted to splurge and add it to our budget — it was our big gift to ourselves and turned out to be invaluable to our wedding. Even if you can only afford to hire someone for the day of your wedding, do it. On a different note, when coming up with your style and plans, concentrate on what is most important to you and your relationship. Center your concept on those things, and it will make for a more meaningful and personal celebration of your love.”

Bachelor Party~Miller Park Suite at a Brewer Game
Bachelorette Party~Bar Hopping in the Wisconsin Dells
Bridal Registry~Target and Kohls
Wedding Consultant~Amanda Felsman of Tailored Engagements `Samantha Jacob, Catering Sales Manager for Potawatomi
Invitations~Save the Date – Dazzle`Wedding Invitations – Wedding Paper Divas
Ceremony Location~Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward
Reception Location~Potawatomi Hotel and Casino
Catering and Cake~Potawatomi Hotel and Casino
Flowers~Bobby at Marius Bell Floral and Events
Music~Sound by Design
Transportation~Vintage Trolley from Adonis Limos
Wedding Website~Appy Couple
Rentals~Canopies Events with Distinction
Photography~Jadon Good
Dress~James Clifford from Miss Ruby’s
Formal Wear~Men’s Wearhouse
Rings~Kesslers Diamonds
Honeymoon~Mackinac Island, Michigan

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