A Journey Through Planning a Milwaukee Wedding- Meet Chelsey & Brandon

May 8, 2020

From a Premier Bride Model to Bride-to-Be...

We first met Chelsey during our last photo shoot at Story Hill Firehouse where she was a model for us!

She was just the sweetest, most bubbly person who we instantly knew we enjoyed being around. When we found out she got engaged shortly there after, we knew we must follow her through her wedding journey! Take a look into how they met and began the planning their memorable Milwaukee wedding.


Amanda Ketterhagen Photography
Get to know Chelsey and her fiancé, Brandon…

My fiance and I are both 28 years old. I am originally from Greendale and Brandon is from Sturgeon Bay. I completed my undergrad at UW-Oshkosh and then went on to grad school at UW-Milwaukee and got my Master’s Degree in Social Work. I am now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Substance Abuse Specialty. I am currently the Associate Director of a regional nonprofit organization that focuses on prevention and education work related to substance abuse.

Brandon completed his undergrad at UW-Milwaukee. He then went on to Law School at Marquette and got his Juris Doctorate. He is now an attorney at Hawks Quindel in the third ward!

We live together on the East Side with our kitty who we named Blue but we call him Mr. Blue (he has his own instagram @_misterblue_). We both love our happy hours at Taylors in the Park and grabbing a bite to eat at Elsa’s . Or, most recently (before the pandemic) you can usually catch us for brunch (or dinner) at Birch and Butcher. We love working out at our local fitness boutique, Spire Fitness in the third ward. I love the spin classes, and Brandon usually does the rowing classes but I recently got him into spin! We are actually renting a bike from them at this time so we could still do some spinning at home! If we aren’t out to eat, or at Spire you can always find us at home binge watching something and Brandon making us delicious food (he’s the chef in the fam)!


How did you and your soon to be hubby meet?

Brandon and I met in 2014 about two weeks before we both graduated from undergrad. I was home for the weekend and went out with a friend, and he was doing the same! Two total strangers who just happened to meet. I like to joke that we met “the good ol’ fashioned way… at a bar” haha! We went on our first date the very next day, and we were together ever since! I don’t believe in “love at first sight” and I don’t think Brandon does either, but I remember thinking after our first date, “you’re it.” I just knew that he would be my husband someday!

How did he propose?? Where you completely surprised?

Every Labor Day Weekend since we started dating, Brandon and I have enjoyed a long weekend up in Door County. The weekend played out just as most of our Door County weekends play out, but it ended in a way that I did not suspect! So flash forward to September 1st. The day was planned out as such: brunch at Scaturros, wine tasting at Stone’s Throw, a photo shoot with Elena and Gretchen (that’s normal for them), and dinner! However, the only thing that panned out was brunch. At which point Elena pretended she didn’t feel well. Therefore, we set to go to the winery alone. On the way to the winery, Brandon made a detour. I was confused, but didn’t think too much of it because honestly he was a little hung over and was acting weird all day (shocker). The detour was a pit stop in Fish Creek “to take a little stroll and look at the water.” This is something Brandon and I do all the time when in Door County, so although kinda weird, it wasn’t weird enough for me to question. A little stroll down to the water, a quick photo of the view for Instagram, and a walk through the woods later and then “it” happened. As we were making our way back to the car, Brandon pulled on my shoulder to have me pause. The proposal was short and sweet and perfectly “us”. After the proposal, we enjoyed wine and a pizza at Stone’s Throw. Later we arrived back for what I now thought was to be cocktails and dinner at the Yacht Club – celebrating our engagement with Brandon’s family. But, as we pulled up to the restaurant, I looked over and immediately started bawling. I saw all of my favorite people – family, friends, and Brandon’s family all there for a surprise engagement party! The day and the night were unforgettable!”

 Are you planning on having a long engagement?

Nope! Just a little over a year. Our wedding date is October 2nd, 2020!

Have you found the process of booking vendors pretty easy or has it been tough to pick and finalize the ones you would like?

I have found the whole process to be very easy! I have actually been shocked at how smooth planning everything has went. We have a couple friends who are in the wedding industry which helped narrow our search down right from the start!

What is the style of your big day going to be?

Surprisingly, I am not someone who has been dreaming up what their wedding day would look like since I was a little girl. I’ve always dreamed of being married, but not of the wedding day – if that makes sense. But, Brandon and I have been together 5 years when the engagement happened, and it will be 6 years together when we get married, so of course as things started to move close to an engagement I started to imagine. I also know my style and Brandon’s style very well. I love things to be timeless and classic! I would say that the style of our big day is “simple elegance” with touches of romance and whimsy! Everything will be in neutral tones with lots of candles and beautiful white and cream flowers.

 Has all the changes with COVID-19 affected anything for your wedding?

THANKFULLY not yet… we had to push back our food tasting but that is not something major. We are hoping and praying that this does not effect anything further for our wedding plans! However, we are realistic and we have already discussed that if COVID-19 doesn’t allow us to have our wedding on 10/2/2020, then we will still get married on that date at the court house and just host a reception next year.

Have you picked your dress yet? If yes, how was the process for you?

My dress is from Miss Ruby’s Boutique. It is actually attached to our venue – The Pritzlaff – so I figured I would just start out there and give them a try, and it worked! It was the first and only store I went to. I didn’t want a huge group with me for trying on dresses. I used to participate in pageants (Miss America Organization), so I have experience trying on/picking out gowns. I’ve always only had one or two other people help me with that so since that’s what I’m used to I wanted something similar. The appointment was also last minute so I wasn’t sure who would even be able to attend in the first place. But, I was thankful that a handful of my bridesmaids were able to make it to share in that experience with me! So, it was my mom, and 3 of my bridesmaids (I have 7 total). It was so special that the minute I verbally said “yes to the dress,” I kid you not, fireworks started going off outside! We later found out that it was because of the Tree Lighting ceremony in Cathedral Square Park BUT STILL like come onnnn talk about waterworks with everyone there haha. It felt like the universe was saying “yay!” and I felt very assured that my dress was the one for me! I only tried on maybe 7 dresses total. I had two totally different dress styles going in that I liked. So we tried several of both “vibes.” My wedding dress was the third one I tried on and I knew immediately that it was “the one.” But, I continued on trying several others to just be sure. I didn’t want to have regret or any doubt! After a few, I knew that it was a waste of time because that third dress was mine!

What made you pick your wedding venue?

I think Brandon and I knew right away. The Pritzlaff was our first venue we toured! We walked in and it just felt right. It felt like, “yeah, this is where I can see us getting married.” Aesthetically, it is my style and the look and feel that I wanted for our wedding. Brandon and I both love history, and The Pritzlaff  is rich in Milwaukee history so we love that too! It also such a gorgeous space on its own that there isn’t a need to do a lot to it (which saves us a ton of money haha).

What is a big piece of advice you’d have for other couples planning their wedding you wish you would have known when you started?

This isn’t advice I wish I had known, this is advice I followed and it proved true! Pick up or buy a wedding planning book and follow that to a tee! I love organization, and there’s a whole planning guide in the back of the Premier Bride magazine! It helped me map out exactly when everything needed to be done by. It provides helpful checklists to follow to be sure you are on track of all the planning. And if you’re a crazy person like myself, you can look ahead and just accomplish everything that needs to be done way ahead of schedule! Another piece of advice I was given that I have followed is to not overthink any decisions. I am a classic over thinker, but I didn’t allow myself to do that with our wedding. Just figure out what you like, make a decision, and move on!


What are the vendors you have picked so far?

We’ve got them all set!

Lodging The Pfister
Ceremony and Reception The Pritzlaff
Rehearsal Dinner Bacchus
Flowers and Decor Bloom Lovely
Caterer Sazs
Late night snack! Ian’s Pizza
Photographer Colleen Kubiak Photography
Videography Jordan Biagomala (our friend)
Music and Lighting Sound by Design
Wedding Dress and Veil Miss Ruby Boutique
Custom suits for the groom and groomsmen NL Suits
Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
Cake A family friend is making our cake


Check back in as we catch up with Chelsey in the coming months to see how she’s preparing for just weeks before her wedding!