Kendra & Eric’s Fun, Heartfelt Wedding at Turner Hall Ballroom

June 12, 2018

Kendra met Eric when he approached her at a bar in the Chicago loop and told her he thought she was cute. “I had never met anyone with that much charisma and confidence,” she says. Their engagement wasn’t a total surprise, rather something the two planned together. Eric and Kendra went ring shopping one day and came home with the perfect one – which Eric proceeded to keep hidden in a dresser drawer for three weeks. “We were about to leave for a trip,” Kendra explains. “So I felt like it was either going to happen before the trip, or on the trip. After giving him plenty of signals that a public proposal would be ‘the worst,’ he proposed to me in our apartment. We were packing for our trip, and he was wearing his Michigan State PJs. It was perfect because it was just the two of us — and now those pants I hate mean so much more to me!”

At the ceremony, the bride and groom read the vows they wrote themselves while Kendra’s Uncle Kevin officiated. “I think it made our ceremony special and unique to share with our family and friends in our own words why we were marrying each other,” Kendra says. “Eric and I are not super sappy people, so this also gave us an opportunity to add some laughs.” When the two were pronounced “husband and wife,” Eric went in for a dip kiss. “He almost dropped me, which made for a pretty exciting ending,” laughs Kendra. “Never a dull moment with that guy.”

Though they now live in Chicago, Eric and Kendra planned a Milwaukee wedding weekend, with a rehearsal dinner at the beautiful Harbor House and a wedding ceremony and reception at Turner Hall Ballroom. “Our venue was a little old and rough around the edges, so the flowers and décor had a bit of a rustic feel — but not rustic in the sense of burlap and mason jars. It was clean and simple.” The floral arrangements came from Belle Fiori: “Emily from Belle Fiori was awesome,” Kendra says. “From our first meeting, she understood exactly what my floral vision was. I felt like I was in good hands and didn’t need to stress about it at all.”

Kendra and Eric also made sure the entire wedding day never had a dull moment. “We wanted people to feel like they were at an amazing party that never stopped, where you went from one thing to the next. We had a live band, which was amazing — we rarely left the dance floor. We had food stations around the room, allowing guests to get up, walk around, and mingle. We had speeches and first dances during dinner, then quickly opened up the dance floor to the guests.”

Dinner was catered by Saz’s: “The food was great. Everyone felt sufficiently full and satisfied. With the food stations, there was a lot of variety, and the Saz’s staff did an amazing job. Katie at Saz’s was awesome. She helped us customize our menu based on what we wanted to spend — without sparing any details or yummy items. She was easygoing and patient, which put us at ease and made us feel confident that she and Saz’s would deliver.”

To add a special touch to the day, Kendra’s dad, a cabinetmaker by trade, crafted some of the décor for the hall. “I had him help make the name cards out of wood,” Kendra says. “They turned out really cool. He stained them and then I wrote each person’s name with a paint pen. He also made the table numbers, which we filled in with white paint. Finally, he made a custom sign welcoming our guests to our wedding, and a mantel that we were married in front of. They were all gorgeous pieces and added a nice personal touch to the day.”

Even with all the delicious food, the packed dance floor, the gorgeous flowers, and handmade touches, Kendra says the most memorable moment of the day was a simple one: “After I walked down the aisle and stood across from Eric, he quietly said to me, ‘Look around’ — and I did. The love in the room was electric. Everyone we cared so much about was there to share in our day. It’s an amazing feeling to have that much support for your future, with this person you’ve picked standing in front of you. I’m so glad Eric told me to take that moment, because I’ll remember it forever.”

Invitations Bayview Printing Co.
Rehearsal Dinner Dinner for immediate family at Harbor House and a welcome reception at Onesto
Ceremony & Reception Turner Hall Ballroom
Caterer Saz’s Catering
Dessert Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches from Purple Door
Flowers Belle Fiori
Music/Entertainment Bluewater Kings
Photographer Aneta Wisniewska Photography
Hair Kate Kent
Make-up Meg Dionne
Party Rentals A la Crate