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Zach and Sam knew this was the real deal from the very start. “After only one week of seeing each other, Zach sang and played a song for me on his guitar: ’Carried Away’ by George Strait,” Sam recalls. “He said this was going to be the song played at our wedding someday. I knew the next time I heard him play the song, it would be when he proposed to me.” Turns out, Sam was right!
Eight months later, the two went on a cruise with some of Sam’s family. Zach seized the opportunity to ask Sam’s dad for her hand in marriage. At the end of their trip, they headed straight from the airport to the UP in Michigan to spend Memorial Day weekend with Zach’s family. When they arrived, it was nearly midnight. Rather than wait until morning, Zach made a spontaneous plan to ask Sam to be his bride.
“Zach asked me if I wanted to go outside to sit on the tailgate, look at the stars, and drink some wine,” Sam says. She would have preferred beer, but Zach insisted on wine served in his grandpa’s special wine glasses, which Sam feared would end up broken. “I didn’t think too much of it — but I should have.” Outside, the clouds were covering the stars and it was chilly, but the scene warmed up when Zach pulled out his guitar and started playing George Strait.
“That’s when I knew he was going to propose,” Sam says. “I started crying. He started crying. By the time we were finished, all the stars that were hiding came back out to light up the sky for us to enjoy. We poured some more wine and what do you know? Zach broke one of the wine glasses. It was a very typical Zach and Sam situation, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were married six months later.”
Sam and Zach planned a November wedding with a church ceremony and a reception at the Boerner Botanical Gardens. “It was very classic, clean, and simple. There were about 250 people, and we were more concerned about having a good time than we were about all the tiny details.”
Before heading to the Gardens, the bride and groom said “I do” at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. “Our ceremony was amazing, thanks to our wonderful pastor. It was short and sweet, but filled with so much of what we believe and want for the foundation of our marriage.”
Because their reception was held in the gorgeous Boerner Botanical Gardens, Zach and Sam and their photographer, Allysha Noelle, didn’t have to stop anywhere else for photos. “We had the entire grounds to explore for photos. Our photographer, Ali, was amazing! The wedding wouldn’t have been the same without her.”
Sam and Zach were able to spend cocktail hour with their guests, which they loved and would recommend to other couples. “Cocktail hour was in a separate room from dinner, making it more of a grand experience. Dinner was wonderful, the speeches were amazing, and the live music was super fun. We didn’t have any games or interruptions — not even a garter or bouquet toss. We just wanted to keep the night simple.”
Toward the end of the evening, both Zach and Sam’s dad had a chance to get up on stage with the live band. “Zach was forced on stage to play some guitar and do some singing,” Sam says. “He was eventually joined by his brother, the Best Man, who ended up taking his shirt off for everyone.” Sam’s dad treated the crowd to his drumming skills, jamming out with the band to “Sweet Home Alabama.” The proud bride says, “He killed it! And loved every second.”
Sam wishes she and Zach had done a bit more mingling with their guests. She advises future brides: “Take time after you’re done eating to stop by as many tables as you can to say hello. There were so many people at our wedding that we never even spoke to that night. We spent a lot of time on the dance floor, and while I wouldn’t change that, I wish someone had reminded us to take time between eating and dancing to say hi to more people.”
|Hair and Make-up||Neroli Salon & Spa, Brookfield, WI|
|Rehearsal Dinner||Sorrento House, Wales, WI|
|Ceremony Location||Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Wales, WI|
|Reception Location||Boerner Botanical Gardens|
|Caterering and Bartending||Zilli Hospitality Group|
|Cake||Homemade by Cindi Bartelt|
|Cupcakes||Jen’s Sweet Treats, Cudahy, WI|
|Flowers||Snapdragon Flowers, Elm Grove|
|Music/Entertainment||Tallboy (Live Band)|
|Officiant||Our church pastor|
|Photographer||Allysha Noelle Photography|
|Wedding Dress Designer||Vera’s Bridal – Madison, WI|
|Bridal Boutique for gown and maids’ gowns||Azazie|