Sam & Mike’s Classically Elegant Wedding at the Harley-Davidson Museum

September 9, 2016

Michael (Mike) from Burlington and Samantha (Sam) from Wauwatosa had a rather unique meeting. Mike’s mom owns the bridal shop where one of Sam’s best friends found her bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses. The two girls really hit it off with Mike’s mom, and ended up helping her out by modeling dresses at bridal shows. When Mike’s mom asked the girls to participate in a photo shoot to update the imagery on her website, Mike and some of his friends were also there, dressed in tuxes. “She had us pose for pictures, so the first time we met, he was dressed as the groom and I as the bride,” Sam says. “Five years later, we are married!”

Mike proposed to Sam on a typical Tuesday, after she picked up the dog from doggy daycare and battled traffic to get home. “I came into the house, went into the kitchen, didn’t even get to put my purse down, and he was already on one knee proposing — still dirty in his work clothes. But he said he just couldn’t wait any longer.” The two celebrated with a bottle of champagne and called all of their family and friends.

For their wedding, Sam and Mike wanted something classically elegant with the colors black, gold, and ivory, with pops of color. Sam’s dress came from Stone Manor Bridal in Grafton and the bridesmaids dresses from Miss Ruby’s. The rehearsal dinner was held at the Library inside the Iron Horse Hotel. Both the ceremony and reception took place at Chrome at the Harley-Davidson Museum — the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors. “Tanya at Harley made the whole process so easy,” Sam says. “She did an amazing job. A lot was thrown at her the week of our wedding, but you never would have guessed it. She always made sure I was okay and had everything I needed, along with Mike and our families.”

Unfortunately the ceremony didn’t go quite as planned. It was set to be outside at 4pm, but a major storm was rolling in. Mika and Sam decided to start the ceremony at 3:30 in an attempt to beat the rain. “My father-in-law held an umbrella over my head,” Sam says. “There was lightning and thunder the whole time. Our officiant asked if I wanted to continue with the whole ceremony as planned, but I knew there wasn’t enough time. Meat and potatoes it was — we had all of a seven-minute ceremony.” When Mike and Sam were pronounced husband and wife, there was a huge clap of thunder, and as the last person made it inside, the floodgates opened. It poured the rest of the night.

But inside Chrome was a wonderful evening, just as they’d planned. “We had a cigar bar and an Old Fashioned bar, because Old Fashioneds are one of Mike’s favorite drinks and they’re also a staple in my family,” Sam says. There was also beer, wine, soda, and hard liquor. For dinner, guests could choose from short ribs or chicken marsala, each with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. Vegetarian guests enjoyed butternut squash and pumpkin ravioli. For dessert, there were cupcakes and donuts to satiate Sam’s sweet tooth.

For DIY projects, Sam made the table numbers, spray painting them gold, cutting striped paper, and finishing with gold sparkly numbers. One of Sam’s bridesmaids is a professional hand-letterer, so she made all of the signs for the head table, old fashioned table, cigar bar, and place card table. In all of the planning, Sam says the only thing she wished she had known beforehand was the importance of the RSVP date. “I wish I’d known to really consider the date on the RSVP card. People will always be late with responses, but I cut it way too close to the deadline for final counts for vendors.”

Through all the unpredictable moments and claps of thunder, Mike and Sam’s wedding was a perfect celebration, filled with great food, a gorgeous venue, a DJ that kept the dance floor packed the entire night, and Ideal Impressions Photography to capture every moment. “The one thing that sticks out to us most is just how much love we felt from all of our friends and family. A lot did not go as planned, but everyone was just so happy to be there celebrating with us.”

Invitations~Designed by Natalie Rose Photography and Printed by Nobius Press in Burlington
Rehearsal Dinner~Iron Horse Hotel
Ceremony~in the grass behind CHROME at the Harley-Davidson Museum
Reception~ CHROME- Harley-Davidson Museum
Caterer~Harley-Davidson Museum
Cake and Cupcakes~Classy Girl Cupcakes
Donuts~Cranky Als
Flowers~Gooseberries in Burlington
Music~Ceremony: Nathan Kaddatz on Keyboard Micki and Rachel Gebel singing`Reception: DJ Luke Warm
Photographer~Ideal Impressions Photography
Bride’s Dress~Mori Lee from Stone Manor Bridal in Grafton
Make Up~Melody Sopa Artistry
Men’s Formalwear~Burlington Menswear
Bridesmaid Dresses~Miss Ruby-A Dress Boutique
Linens~FH Event Rentals

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