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Sarah and Mike met at a bar in 2006 while they were both out with friends. Mike asked for Sarah’s number, and the two were pretty much together from that moment on. Mike proposed on Halloween in 2014. “We had decided to go as Lucy and Ricky,” Sarah remembers. “Me and my parents went to Mike’s house to pick him up, and when we got there, his mom and one of his sisters were there.
“As we were getting ready to head out, Mike asked if we could pose for one more picture. Then he asked what we would go as for Halloween the following year, and I started naming costumes. He got down on one knee, pulled out a beautiful yellow diamond, and said ‘Well, how about next year we go as husband and wife.’ I was so shocked, I told him to shut up and asked if he was serious — he said ‘of course’ and I said ‘Yes!’”
The two planned a Halloween wedding and a masquerade ball reception with their closest family and friends. Both the ceremony and reception were held at Olympia Resort. Mike’s uncle officiated the ceremony and Sarah had both her mom and dad walk her down the aisle. One funny thing she’ll always remember is how her dress, which she found as Christy Bon Bon Belle in Burlington, caused some mischief. It was so huge it kept getting caught on the ceremony arch. “Every time I moved, the arch swayed back and forth over us!”
Mike and Sarah loved everything about their reception. “Olympia was beautiful and everything was perfect. Gretchen from Olympia had everything taken care of and made the day a breeze.” For dinner, the couple chose pecan-crusted pork and fried chicken primavera. “Olympia went above and beyond. We had a lot of guests with gluten allergies, and they made sure everyone was able to eat the dinner of their choice.” The wedding cupcakes came from a friend of theirs at Sweetened Epiphany. The cake was peanut butter and jelly with peanut butter buttercream. They also had half of the cupcakes with plain vanilla for any guests with a peanut allergy.
Olympia also brought Mike’s request for a Missing Man table to fruition. Also known as the Fallen Comrade table, this table is a place of honor set with empty chairs in memory of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service-members. “Mike’s cousin Alex wrote a beautiful speech explaining the Missing Man table. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”
Sarah and Mike included lots of other unique touches to their big day. Inspired by an idea she saw on Pinterest, Sarah made all of the centerpieces. “They were empty wine bottles that I decorated to look like candy corn. They had black bows tied around them and a single sunflower with sparkly purple and black fake stems. They were set on mirrors with candles all around.” Sarah also made all of the bouquets and other decorations.
What does Sarah wish she had known before she started planning? “You can make your wedding what you want. I had so many people try to tell me to stick with one theme or just two colors. I didn’t listen and had fun with it! Like how our first dance was to Adam Sandler’s ‘I Wanna Grow Old With You.’ We definitely did things our way.”
Reception~Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc
DJ~A Personal Touch DJ
Photographers~Mark and Tina Keller of Keller Photography
Bridal Gown~Christys Bon Bon Belle in Burlington