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Nicholas and Mary Claire have known each other since kindergarten. “We lived down the street from one another. When both of our families moved to the suburbs of Chicago, we ended up at rival high schools.” The two reunited on Mary Claire’s 21st birthday and started dating three weeks later. “We got engaged after six years of dating and got married after eight years together.”
Nicholas proposed on a beach at sunrise on a freezing winter’s morning. “He was down on one knee in the sand,” Mary Claire recalls. “With tears in his eyes, he asked, ‘Will you marry me?’ I screamed at the top of my lungs, ‘YES! Of course!’ for all to hear at 6:30 in the morning!” The couple planned an August wedding that was classic and simple, but with lots of personality and “DIY to the max.” The ceremony was held at Christ King Catholic Church in Wauwatosa, with a reception at the Best Place Pabst.
In between the ceremony and reception, the couple stopped for photos in downtown Milwaukee with their photographers from Ideal Impressions. “Ryan and Gio were incredible! They were so easy to work with the day of the wedding, and thankfully our entire wedding party listened to them, so we breezed through photos. We can’t recommend them enough, especially as a team. We had all of our wedding photos by 10 a.m. the next morning!”
Then it was time to party at the Best Place. “We had so many favorite parts, but being able to share time together alone in the reception hall, while all of our guests were at cocktail hour, was really special. It was our time to let it all soak in and enjoy everything we planned together. We also exchanged gifts and cards, which held eight years worth of love and emotions. We’d been waiting for this moment for such a long time, and you could feel that.”
Outside of all the “mushy love stuff,” as Mary Claire calls it, the bride and groom say they had an absolute blast at the reception. One cool feature was a Tall Boy station. “It was basically a cooler filled with Tall Boys that our guests could just grab. And we had koozies made for them to use!” Koozies were just the tip of the DIY iceberg. Mary Claire also made all of the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, and centerpieces, plus the seating chart windows and signage throughout the venue. Mary Claire’s Grandpa Bill and Uncle Tim made their wooden slab guest book.
Another highlight for Nicholas and Mary Claire was turning out an unforgettable first dance. “We nailed all of our dips with no formal training — all self taught!” Mary Claire laughs. “But honestly, that first dance was so special — we’ll never forget it.”
Make-up~Makeup by Nicole Marie
Hair~Elle Arrigo & James
Rehearsal Dinner~Mo’s Irish Pub, Milwaukee
Ceremony~Christ King Catholic Church, Milwaukee
Reception & Bartending~The Best Place at the Historic Pabst Place, Milwaukee
Catering~Irene’s Catering, Milwaukee
Cake~Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop, West Allis
Music/Entertainment~Phil Trocchio, Chicago
Transportation~Blackline Limousines, Oak Creek
Photographer~Ideal Impressions Photography, Lake Geneva
Video~Nicholas’ cousins Riley & Delaney made the video with their GoPros!
Gown~Theia from Lovely Bride, Chicago
Formalwear~Jos A Bank, Glenview, IL