Melissa & Andrew’s Love-Flooded Wedding at The Landing 1841

January 19, 2018

Melissa and Andrew met through mutual friends, but didn’t really hit it off until Melissa came to visit one of her best friends — and Andrew’s future best man — during graduation weekend at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The two got engaged at a Chicago White Sox game. Melissa and her dad had attended every Opening Day for the past 12 years, and Andrew had recently got in on the tradition. He knew this was the perfect chance to pop the question.

Andrew got himself and Melissa into the Home Plate Club with all-you-can-eat-and-drink. On the complimentary dessert platter was a box of Cracker Jacks — inside, a bright blue fake engagement ring, planted by Andrew. “Andrew has always said that if I’d accept a Cracker Jack engagement ring, he’d propose sooner,” Melissa says. “So I immediately said, ‘It would have been so perfect if you’d put a real engagement ring in here and proposed!’” Andrew grabbed the fake ring and got down on one knee, pretending to propose. Melissa, getting embarrassed, told him to get up. That’s when he pulled out the real ring — and the rest is history.

As a venue, Melissa and Andrew chose The Landing 1841 — a beautiful, newly-renovated barn. “It’s rustic but also very elegant, with tall ceilings, large open windows, gorgeous chandeliers, and a large wraparound deck. We used the venue to guide the theme of our wedding: vintage, shabby-chic, with some small rustic elements. We used a lot of vintage items, such as mismatched china that belonged to our grandparents, parents, and friends, as well as vintage frames and mismatched gold and silver decorative trays for the tables. We went with a neutral color scheme with lots of blush, ivory, champagne, and mixed metals for a soft, romantic look.”

The couple planned to have their ceremony outside at The Landing, along the river — but Mother Nature had other plans in mind. The week of the wedding, Wisconsin welcomed historic rainfall that resulted in severe flooding and a State of Emergency in Burlington. Just three days before the wedding, the grounds at The Landing, including the ceremony site, were completely underwater, had no power, and even the roads into the venue were flooded and inaccessible. “We had our hearts set on an outdoor ceremony, so we moved that portion to their Rustic Barn location, which was also extremely beautifulThe owners and staff were incredible, especially with all of the stress that the weather caused that week. They worked so hard to make sure our day was perfect. We couldn’t have asked for better people to work with!”

Melissa wrote the entire ceremony with the help of her close friend and officiant. “It was very true to us and special,” she says. “We debated whether or not we wanted to write our own vows to each other, but in the ended we decided to do it. There was so much love and emotion in those few minutes and we will never forget it.” Another highlight of the ceremony was when Melissa and Andrew’s son, who was the ring bearer, was pulled down the aisle in a red wagon, blowing kisses to everyone in the audience. The couple also did a tree planting unity ceremony, each bringing soil from their childhood homes, planting a tree, and watering it together; the tree is now planted at Melissa and Andrew’s new home.

Kicking off the reception, the bride and groom say that the speeches were definitely a highlight of the evening. Melissa’s dad went first, followed by Melissa’s sister and maid of honor, then Andrew’s best man, and finally Andrew’s mom. “All four of them had the most amazing, heartfelt, funny, emotional speeches. We were so touched. A particular moment we loved was when the best man got choked up during his speech. He’s the kind of guy who never shows emotion, so it was really special to see how happy he was.”

The dinner menu, catered by Bubb’s BBQ and All Occasions Catering, was very thoughtfully chosen by Andrew and Melissa. “We both love to eat and drink, so we really wanted to make sure we had good food and an open bar for our guests to enjoy. We tried a few caterers, but in the end we went with Bubb’s BBQ. The food was outstanding and the staff was so helpful, so we knew they were going to be a good fit. We chose BBQ because we wanted something different than the standard chicken and beef. Also, who doesn’t love BBQ with a bunch of side dishes!?” For dessert, there was a huge array of mini desserts made by family and friends, along with cupcakes — “so our guests could enjoy them all night long, as they were easy to pick up and eat while dancing and mingling.”

In addition to many of the desserts being homemade, so was a lot of the décor. “All of the signage was handmade, including the chalkboard signs, our menu sign, seat assignments, signs at the bar, ceremony, and various others used throughout the day. The flowers at the wedding were our personal potted plants. We had lawn games and a giant Jenga set, handmade by Andrew’s grandpa. We spent a lot of time trying to make the day as personal as we could!”

In the end, Melissa’s two take-aways were the importance of the ceremony and the fact that you can’t control the weather: “Even though the ceremony is a very short part of the day, it means the most in the end. I’m so happy I took the time to write our own ceremony. As for the weather, you seriously can’t control it. Even though we had a natural disaster occur the week of our wedding, we still had the most perfect day. Our last-minute ceremony site was even more gorgeous than the original, and we adjusted our timeline so we ended up with more time at our reception, dancing and having fun with our guests. After days of rain, we had a beautiful, sunny day for our wedding. It really was a blessing in disguise and wasn’t worth stressing over! The day was going to be perfect no matter what.”

Bridal Shows Attended~Bridal Expo, Chicago
Day-of Coordinator~Claire Haselow of Creatively Chic Events

Ceremony~The Rustic Barn, Burlington, WI
Reception~The Landing 1841, Burlington, WI
Catering & Rentals~Bubb’s BBQ & All Occasions Catering, Big Bend, WI
Drink Service~Drink Inc., Burlington, WI
Desserts~Cupcakes: Gooseberries, Burlington, WI`Various homemade desserts provided by our family and friends
Flowers~Burlington Flowers and Formalwear, Burlington, WI
Ceremony Music~String Duo: The Newbury (Anna Newbury), Burlington, WI
Reception Band~Blue Light Scene, Milwaukee, WI
Transportation~R&R Limousines, Burlington, WI
Photographer~Kallidoscope Photography, Sun Prairie, WI
Dress~Stella York from Diana’s Bridal, Skokie, IL
Formalwear~Tommy Hilfiger Suits from Macy’s
Rings~Windy City Diamonds, Chicago, IL
Hair~Olive Grace Collective, Lake Geneva, WI
Make-up~Kate Troxell, Brookfield, WI