Kristin & Brian’s outdoorsy Lapham Peak + Legend at Brandybrook Wedding

March 3, 2016

Brian and Kristin went to the same high school but didn’t know each other until they met while working at a local grocery store — Kristin was a cashier and Brian, a bagger. “We started talking at work and found out we had a lot of the same interests and taste in music; we were both in punk bands in high school.” The two started dating, and nine years later, Brian proposed. “I decided I was ready to call Kristin my wife,” Brian says. “I thought about proposing at Kristin’s favorite place — Arizona. I knew no location would beat the Grand Canyon.”

The couple planned an Arizona vacation complete with a day of hiking various trails at the Grand Canyon. Brian lugged around 15 pounds of camera equipment, eventually stopping to set up the tripod and snap a scenic photo. “I had Kristin go check the camera to see if the first picture was okay,” says Brian. “While she did that, I snuck the ring out of my pack.” He popped the question just before the second timed photo snapped. Kristin remembers: “He had been carrying around this really heavy tripod all day, just to get a picture of him proposing to me. We actually have a picture of us kissing right after he proposed, ring box still in hand.” Brian and Kristin hope to renew their vows at the Grand Canyon on their 10-year wedding anniversary, when they will have been together for 20 years.

Kristin found her dress by designer Hailey Paige at Bliss Bridal, and she has nothing but praise for the Brookfield shop. She and Brian also had nothing but great things to say about their photographers, Mark and Danny from R&R Photographic Imaging. “They were so much fun to work with and made wedding planning a little less stressful. We met with them a few times before the wedding, and they made the day itself so much fun. Danny even rode the party bus with us! They were never intrusive and got so many shots we wouldn’t have thought of.” One key moment the photographers captured was Kristin and Brian’s first look. The couple met near the fountain at Lake Park in downtown Milwaukee. Kristin says: “It was absolutely perfect. I was so nervous all morning, but when I saw Brian and it was just us two, I knew everything was okay. I’m so grateful we were able to share this special moment without nerves.”

The ceremony was held at the Trekker Lodge at Lapham Peak in Delafield, one of the first places Kristin and Brian went hiking together as a couple, way back in high school. The overall theme of the wedding was outdoorsy and rustic, but still elegant. Luckily the weather was perfect during their outdoor ceremony. “We worked with our officiant to make our wedding very personalized from start to finish. We created a coupleship story, which went over how we started our relationship, what makes it so great, and how we have shared so much with one another. Our officiant even asked us to write about each other — and not show each other — so that was a surprise within the ceremony. We also wrote our own vows, which was hands-down our favorite part.”

While the whole ceremony was unique to Brian and Kristin, one of the stand-out parts was their unity ritual. “Instead of using a candle or sand, we chose to plant a tree. We chose a white pine tree that we had partially planted in a nice pot.” Brian poured soil over the base of the plant, and Kristin watered it. They plan to plant this tree at their future home.

The party moved to the Legend at Brandybrook in Wales for the reception. From the outside, the place looks like a castle with windows aglow, and though the interior of the main hall is certainly elegant, exposed wood beams add the perfect amount of rustic charm. The food was catered in-house with passed hors d’oevres and multiple entrée choices including sirloin, chicken, tilapia, and vegetarian wellingtons. Guests enjoyed an open bar throughout the evening.

For dessert, the couple chose a variety of sweet things: mini eclairs and cream puffs, various cupcakes, small apple pies, and a tower of chocolate cake donuts with sprinkles. There was also a cake from Sweet Perfections, consisting of chocolate cake, cheesecake, and raspberry filling. “Our bakery was amazing in executing our design for the cake. We gave them a picture to match, and they did it perfectly. It had a mountain and tree motif to fit with the theme.”

The festive atmosphere was helped by all the fun, personal touches Kristin and Brian added to the reception: “Our wedding party came in to the song ‘Highway to the Danger Zone.’ When it was our turn to be introduced, we wore bomber jackets and aviator glasses on our way to the dance floor. We had a slideshow of pictures of both of us growing up and of us as a couple. The photo booth was a huge hit; we even got a scrapbook at the end of the night with everyone’s pictures in it, and many people wrote notes as well.”

Think bomber jackets and aviators are impressive? Just wait for all of the DIY projects Kristin and Brian tackled. The couple, with the help of family and friends, really tapped into their crafty creativity. Kristin did all of the flowers for the wedding, including the flower crown she wore (and finished at 2am the night before). They assembled the ceremony programs, mini paper cones filled with flower petals (for guests to toss), and hand-painted ceremony signs. Kristin’s dad made large screens to cover the outdoor grill at Trekker Lodge; they were framed in wood and had moss green fabric in the middle. Kristin planted flowering pots for the ceremony and Brian cut and sanded the tree stumps used throughout the wedding. He made all of the risers for the dessert table by hand.

The tablescapes were DIY as well. The “numbers” were vintage postcards of national parks. The votive candles were wrapped in trail maps to coordinate with that table’s park. A friend helped Kristin with the table flowers, and the favors were mini succulents hand-wrapped in brown craft paper tied with a piece of yarn. One thing Kristin wishes she’d known before tackling all these projects: “How helpful it would have been to have a wedding planner. Brian and I wanted to DIY so much of our wedding, and everything turned out great — but it was so much work! It would have been nice to have someone there to take care of the little details and work with our vendors so we wouldn’t have been so stressed leading up to the day.”

Even Kristin and Brian’s wedding gifts to each other had unique flair and tapped into their nature-loving spirit. Brian gifted Kristin a framed world map that says “The Adventures of Brian and Kristin” with pins for where they’ve each been and where they’ve been together. To Brian, Kristin gifted meteorite cufflinks (Brian is really into astronomy) and a vintage compass engraved with “For all of our adventures 08-22-15” and the coordinates of the Grand Canyon where Brian proposed.

As they move into married life, Brian and Kristin have no plans of slowing their outdoor adventures. “We started a new tradition: Planning to visit all of the national parks in our lifetime. For our honeymoon, we went to California and drove over 1,000 miles. We started in San Francisco, travelled to Yosemite National Park for three days, then Sequoia National Park for two days, and finally ended in Big Sur. Every year we plan to go to a different national park; for our one-year anniversary this year, we are traveling to Rocky Mountain National Park.”


Invitations~Paper Envy
Rehearsal Dinner~ Lapham Peak
Rehearsal Dinner Catering~Saz’s
Ceremony Location~Lapham Peak (outside Trekker Lodge in Homestead Hollow picnic area)
Reception Location~The Legend at Brandybrook
Cake Designer/Dessert~Sweet Perfections
Music/Entertainment~A Personal Touch DJ
Transportation~Go Riteway
Photographer~R&R Photographic Imaging
Videographer~ Simply Love Films
Wedding Dress Designer~Hayley Paige from Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaid Designer~Mori Lee from Bliss Bridal
Formalwear~Men’s Wearhouse
Rings~ Bride: Kessler’s `Groom: Ebeniste (Etsy-his ring is wood with a meteroite inlay)
Rentals~All Star Rental

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