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Natalie and Michael both hail from Wisconsin, but they met in the Twin Cities in 2009 when their friends decided to set them up. “Mike had been living up in that area and I was there visiting for the weekend,” Natalie says. “Our friends had always wanted to set us up, so that weekend they got us to meet!” Spoiler alert: They hit it off right away.
On the day Michael proposed, Natalie had just gotten back from an overnight trip to visit her parents in Wisconsin Rapids. “When I got back to our house, Mike had the lights dimmed and rose petals leading up the stairs. I was in such a hurry trying to get my overnight bags inside, I didn’t know at first what was going on. Once I set everything down, I saw Mike and our dog Cooper at the top of the stairs. Mike was holding signs with writing on them.” What followed next was a very Love Actually moment — Mike built on one of Natalie’s favorite movie scenes. “The last sign was Mike asking me to marry him.” She of course said yes.
For their wedding, the couple went for rustic elegance at The River Club of Mequon. They held both their ceremony and reception there. “I don’t think either of us was nervous before the ceremony,” Natalie says. “We had done a first look and pictures beforehand, so any nerves we had were gone by then.” Both Natalie and Michael agree that one of their favorite moments of the entire day was seeing each other as Natalie walked down the aisle. The couple also wrote their own wedding vows: “It meant a lot to hear what we had to say to each other and promise.”
During cocktail hour, Natalie and Michael were on a mission to talk to every one of their guests — they even missed out on the hors d’oeuvres because of it! The River Club provided all the food for cocktail hour, dinner, and their late night snack of pizza. During cocktail hour, there was cheese, crackers, fresh veggies, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, mushroom caps with Italian sausage, and beef satay.
For dinner, guests enjoyed apple brandy chicken or beef tenderloin with buttered mashed potatoes, a drizzle of truffle oil, and asparagus spears. As a vegetarian option, there were roasted red peppers stuffed with risotto, and for the kids, chicken tenders with fries and veggies.
The cake from Brookfield Wedding Cakes was a favorite of Natalie’s: “It was called a ‘tuxedo cake,’ which we chose to be half lemon, half chocolate with a raspberry filling. It was amazing!” For guests with a sweet tooth, the couple also hosted a candy buffet with everything from peanut butter cups to Laffy Taffy. Putting together the gift bags for the candy buffet was one of Natalie’s favorite DIY projects, along with their DIY table numbers and decorative mason jars.
Natalie says that the music was definitely one of the most unique things about her and Michael’s wedding: “We had a lot of different types of live music throughout the day. During our ceremony, we had a three-piece band play (including Mike’s aunt) and we also had my brother play during the lighting of the unity candle. During cocktail hour, we had the three-piece band continue to play. Later in the evening the band Random Maxx played great music that had everyone out on the dance floor all night.” The other highly unique touch to Michael and Natalie’s wedding: fireworks!
The couple admits that they really owe a lot to their wonderful vendors. “Each one went above and beyond! Larry from The River Club of Mequon is a certified wedding planner and helped us out a lot. Our florist Greg from The Shorewood Florist helped us coordinate the linens, seating, design, and pulled everything together!”
Natalie is also grateful for her friends who were brides before her. “It was really nice being able to ask them how they did certain things at their own weddings and learn from them.” She also has a friend to thank for introducing her to Etsy.com: “I was able to find my veil, wedding dress belt, and hair piece there. I also had a hanger made with ‘Mrs. Ganoni’ on it to hang my dress on for the day.”
Pre-Wedding Celebration~Bachelorette party in Milwaukee`Bachelor Party in Wisconsin Dells
Bridal Registry~Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Target and Pottery Barn
Invitations~The American Wedding
Rehearsal Dinner~Mama Mia’s in Mequon, WI
Ceremony, Reception and Catering~The River Club of Mequon
Cake~Brookfield Wedding Cakes
Flowers~The Shorewood Florist
Table Linens~BBJ Linen
Chairs and Table Riser~Canopies
Transportation~Lamer’s Bus Lines
Photographer~Tricia Dewar Photography
Photo Booth~Party Picture Booth
Dress Designer~Hayley Paige from The Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul, MN
Formal Wear~Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaids~A Savvy Bride, Brookfield, WI
Rings~Bride’s Rings: Custom made through Diamonds by Christine`Groom’s Ring: Rogers and Hollands
Honeymoon~Sandals Resort in the Bahamas
Categorized in: Real Weddings