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Sarah from New York and Wes from Lake Country got engaged during a Wisconsin visit from Sarah’s family. “I knew this was the weekend Wes was planning to ask my Dad for his blessing,” Sarah says. “I was anxious the whole time, anticipating that conversation!” When the families coordinated a hike in Lapham State Park, Sarah was oblivious to what was about to happen.
“I refused to wear any makeup or put on a cuter outfit, even after hints from Wes’ brother that he was bringing his camera along to take family photos.” When the group reached a scenic overlook, Sarah snapped some pictures, then spun around to find her family huddled a distance away. “When Wes grabbed my arm and said, ‘Hold on,’ I quickly realized what was happening!”
Wes and Sarah decided on a summer wedding with a church ceremony and a reception at the Cupola Barn in Oconomowoc. Before the big day, Sarah attended the Wonderful World of Weddings & Bridal Expo at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield. She found her stunning Adrianna Papell Platinum gown at Evermore Bridal, and the couple chose rings from Lyle Husar Designs — “an amazing jeweler!” To lend some personality to the groom and groomsmen attire, Wes custom made all of the bowties out of feathers.
One of Sarah’s favorite vendors was Coqui Paperie, who fashioned invitations to match the timeless, rustic, elegant theme. “Our invitations were stunning — black, white, and simply elegant. Most couples save money here, but we felt that our invitations set the tone for our guests of what type of celebration they would be attending. It was important to us to make a great first impression, and Coqui did an amazing job executing our vision.”
On the eve of the wedding, Wes and Sarah gathered with loved ones for a rehearsal dinner at the Golden Mast, keeping the festivities in Lake Country for the weekend. Sarah says the ceremony at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was hands-down her favorite part of the day. “Specifically, we brought in an acoustic guitar soloist to perform during the ceremony. He sang ‘Amazing Grace’ — my all-time favorite hymn in honor of our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.”
For photos, the bridal party stopped in Nashotah Park. “We loved the greenery and tall trees as a backdrop!” During cocktail hour, catered by Saz’s Lake Country, there were passed appetizers and an open bar with two signature drinks: a Blushing Bride (Cranberry Moscow Mule) and Dashing Groom (Brandy Old Fashioned). “Both were big hits!” Dinner was served family style with yummy favorites like mac & cheese, garlic whipped potatoes, savory chicken marsala, and bourbon short ribs. During cocktail hour, soloist Ryan McIntyre played. “Our guests loved the touch of live music!” After dessert, Audio Therapy kept the dance floor jumpin’, DJ style.
As for décor, the Cupola Barn was the perfect canvas. “It’s absolutely gorgeous! We kept our décor really clean and timeless to allow the natural beauty of the venue wow our guests.” The table settings were Sarah’s favorite part: “From the gold antler place card holders, fresh rosemary, oil-stamped menus, and the most special touch — wooden chargers made out of 110-year-old Hemlock by my uncle. Our guests loved how these beautiful details came together, and it was fun to have friends and family later send us photos of their wooden chargers being used in their own homes.”
What surprised Sarah the most about wedding planning was how many details can’t be finalized until those last four to eight weeks before the big day. “This was the most stressful timeframe in the entire process,” she says. “We made the place cards and seating chart, all which couldn’t be finalized until we received the RSVPs.” The RSVPs affected the number of place settings, therefore the number of napkins, the number of rosemary branches to accent, and so on. “The guest list is so powerful!”
One final bit of advice from Sarah: “Hire a day-of coordinator! This was the one thing I wish we would have done in hindsight. Because I did most of the planning, there were a few breakdowns in communication between vendors.” Fortunately, Sarah says these were small things that only she noticed. In the end, guests will only remember what a marvelous time they had celebrating Sarah and Wes at The Cupola Barn.
Bridal Shows Attended~Wonderful World of Weddings & Bridal Expo
Make-up~Whitney Disch Makeup
Hair~Jennifer Boll, The Parlor Salon, Germantown WI
Rehearsal Dinner~The Golden Mast
Ceremony~St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc, WI
Reception~The Cupola Barn, Oconomowoc, WI
Catering~Saz’s Lake Country
Bartending~Over the Moon Bartending
Cake~Sally’s Sweet Shoppe
Floral (Bouquets/Boutonnieres/Corsages)~Avant Garden, Delafield, WI
Floral ( Centerpieces & Cake Table)~Laura Nowlin
Music/Entertainment~Ryan McIntyre – Soloist for Ceremony & Cocktail Hour
DJ~ Audio Therapy
Photographer~East Elm Photography, Madison, WI
Gown~Adrianna Papell Platinum from Evermore Bridal, Brookfield, WI
Rings~CRAIG HUSAR Fine Diamonds & Jewelry Designs (formerly Lyle Husar Designs), Brookfield, WI