Alex and Matthew’s Rat Pack Wedding at the Tripoli Shrine

May 1, 2017

Alex and Matthew met unofficially on LinkedIn, then again in person when Matthew recognized and approached Alex after church one day. When the two got engaged, it was after a screening of “How to be Single.” Alex and her sisters were about to leave the theater when one called, “No wait! Bloopers!” Suddenly a new movie popped up: “There was Matthew on the big screen! He had made a movie of our love and journey together.” Near the end of the movie, the rest of Alex and Matthew’s families poured into the theater and watched as Matthew proposed. Then it was off to celebrate at a local restaurant, where all of Alex and Matthew’s friends were waiting with a surprise engagement party!

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Matthew and Alex planned a Rat Pack-style wedding with a feel of Old Hollywood glam. To prep for the big day, Alex attended the Wonderful World of Weddings bridal show at the State Fair Grounds. The ceremony took place in Alex and Matthew’s church with a reception at the Tripoli Shrine Center. Because Alex’s father is a pastor, she always dreamed of having him officiate the ceremony — and on that day, her dream came true. “We also wrote our own vows. Matthew threw in a few quotes from The Eagles, which was his late father’s favorite music group,” Alex says. “I surprised Matthew and sang my vows — the song ‘To Make You Feel My Love.’”
Alex and Matthew marry at Our Saviors Lutheran


Wedding party at Our Saviors Lutheran Milwaukee

Then it was off to party at the Tripoli Shrine! Alex and Matthew rented the upstairs billiard room and set up a cigar bar for cocktail hour. Downstairs, there was a big band playing Rat Pack tunes. For their Grand March, Matthew and Alex had the crazy-hilarious idea of riding in on the Shriners’ mini cars — and the Shriners made it happen. The bride and groom rode into their reception on the back of two mini cars, to the surprise and delight of their guests.

Then a delicious duck dinner was catered by the Tripoli Shrine. “We took a risk ordering everyone the duck, but even the non-duck-lovers were raving about how amazing it was! One guest even said there was an empty spot next to him, where the servers placed an extra plate of food. He ate his dish and proceeded to eat the extra one as well, because it was that amazing.” Alex and Matthew have nothing but wonderful things to say about the catering staff at the Shrine. “They were so kind, it made us cry! They went above and beyond to make the day special.”

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For dessert, Alex surprised Matthew with a groom’s cake in honor of his late father, Larry. “The cake was a baseball and bat, which was his father’s favorite sport, with the number 13 and the quote ‘Take it to the limit.’ Surrounding the cake were pictures of Matthew’s father. When we unveiled the cake to Matthew and his sisters, it was a very touching and heartfelt moment. Larry was there!” In addition to the special groom’s cake, Alex opted for a dessert buffet. Alex’s mom gathered her friends together and they baked, baked, and baked some more to make Alex’s sweet vision come true.

Alex’s mom helped a lot with other homemade and DIY projects for the wedding, too. She made a special lollipop centerpiece for the kid’s table, sewed the flower girls’ fairy costumes, and crafted the flower girls’ baskets so they looked like castles. “The girls were so excited when they heard they could keep their baskets!” As for Alex, she took on the making of all the invitations, after seeing ones she loved on Etsy that were out of her budget. “I probably bought the whole midwest out of gold glitter paper,” Alex laughs. “Actually I did — I checked every JoAnn Fabric and they had it backordered until September because of me.”

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To capture the day, Matthew and Alex worked with Artist Group Photography & Video. “They are a husband and wife duo and strive to make you feel like a VIP from your engagement photos to your wedding day. Their communication was spot on and their follow-through on everything was a comfort. They got us our pictures immediately and made us feel like they were shooting for Vogue magazine.”

Bride and groom outside in Milwaukee WI

Alex says her favorite thing about her and Matthew’s wedding were all of the surprises. “From singing my vows to the mini cars for the Grand March — but the best surprise was at the end of the night. My brother and a good friend of ours are Shriners, so they opened up their basement clubhouse for our guests. Right when everyone thought all the surprises were over, a new part of the building opened up. The Shriners do amazing things for the community, so I hope your wedding brought some attention to that.”


Bridal Shows Attended~Wonderful World of Weddings
Reception Location~Tripoli Shrine Center
Photography~Artist Group
Cake~Eat Cake
Ceremony Location~Our Saviors Lutheran
Flowers~Shorewood Florist
DJ & Photobooth~Sound By Design
Linen Rentals~Ruby Designs
Wedding Coordinator~Events With a Ring
Gown~Custom Dress by Caroline Hayden, Minneapolis
Formal Wear~Custom Suits from Nas Laine
Bridesmaids~RenzRags on Etsy

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