Lisa & Schuyler’s Historic Story Hill Firehouse Wedding

January 19, 2021

The Adventure Begins

Lisa and Schuyler met through a mutual friend at a bar on Milwaukee’s East Side. For years, Lisa was convinced she made the first move, but in fact, Schuyler was the first to ask Lisa to join him for some fresh air outside the bar. When their small group of friends decided to move from the East Side to Cathedral Square, Lisa and Schuyler ended up riding in the back of a truck bed for the short journey—their very first adventure. “That night, we closed the bars, shared numbers, and the rest is history.”

Schuyler and Lisa are big on hiking and exploring local, state, and national parks. “It makes sense that Schuyler proposed while we were doing our absolute favorite thing.” Lisa knew the proposal was imminent because Schuyler was using diamonds from Lisa’s grandmother’s wedding ring. “So I knew he had the ring, but I didn’t know how or when he was going to ask me.” Schuyler popped the question during a hike at Milwaukee’s Havenswood State Forest. “He kept it super simple,” Lisa says. “He got down on one knee, pulled the loose engagement ring (yes, loose!) from his flannel chest pocket, and asked me to marry him.”

Covid Changes Things

From cancelled venues to rethinking their color scheme to accepting a smaller guest list, Covid changed things for Lisa and Schuyler’s September 2020 wedding. “We weighed the pros and cons of having a wedding during a pandemic. We knew that no matter what, we wanted to get married on our wedding day, whether it was just us in a backyard with our family or having an intimate wedding, like we ended up having. We had about 85 guests. Everyone was told to bring masks, to wear them when sitting during the ceremony, and to wear them when inside, whenever possible.”

Safety was the top priority. “We were very open with family and friends that if anyone was exposed to Covid19 or had symptoms to alert us before the wedding day—and to not feel bad for not coming. We had a whole page on our website dedicated to our precautions for Covid so that people knew exactly what they were walking into.”

A New Venue: Story Hill Firehouse

When the Milwaukee County Parks cancelled their events in light of Covid, Lisa and Schuyler had to find a new wedding venue. Enter Story Hill FireHouse, a historic venue perfect for hosting both the ceremony and reception. “We were able to go right from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to the reception without a break in the middle. We did our ceremony on one end of the lawn and had the cocktail hour on the other end of the lawn. Dinner was in the engine bay of the firehouse, where you’re able to open the large bay doors to have an open-air feel.”

Story Hill FireHouse is owned by Janelle Meyer, owner of Évenénement Planning. Lisa had worked with Janelle over the years to coordinate events, so the bride called on Janelle to help her plan her wedding. “Janelle helped me think of all the little things. She is real and kind. She just wants to have a perfect, seamless day for her couples, and that’s exactly what we got. The day was truly stress free.”

An Outdoor Ceremony, Full of Family

“We loved that we were still able to have our ceremony outside, even with the venue changes.” Schuyler and Lisa’s Christian ceremony was held on the lawn of the Story Hill FireHouse. Lisa’s mom walked her down the aisle, which meant the world. “My dad passed away very suddenly a few years back, so it was very important that she be the one to bring me to Schuyler,” Lisa says.

“Six months after my dad passed away, my mom fell ill with West Nile virus. She was in a coma for a week and spent three months in rehab, learning how to walk, talk, read, and write all over again. It was amazing that she was able to walk me down the aisle, when two years ago she literally couldn’t walk.”

After Lisa and Schuyler were announced husband and wife, there was a very special champagne toast. “Every year for Christmas, my dad would gift everyone splits of champagne bottles,” Lisa says. “This had become a traditional gift from my dad to us kids. He had gifted us bottles the Christmas before he passed, and we saved them to toast on our wedding day—to have him with us.”

Schuyler’s parents saw to it that the bride and groom had a family heirloom to toast with: “They gifted us a silver-plated Nuremberg wedding cup from their wedding. It’s two cups connected, so the bride and groom can toast together.”

Reception & Dinner

Following cocktail hour on the lawn, guests made their way inside the Firehouse for dinner. Because Schuyler is the GM at Café Corazon–Bay View and Lisa speaks fluent Spanish and has lived and traveled all over South and Central America, they knew they wanted tacos for food. “Our décor mixed small touches of Latin America too, including papel picado banners and cacti and succulents on the tables, which people could take home as their favor.”

Dessert kept to the theme with Tres Leches cake. All drinks were provided by Story Hill. “They have a very affordable bar package. No special or signature drinks—we like to keep it simple.” After dinner and dessert, the giant doors to the Firehouse were opened so there was more space and air. “The outside became an extension of the reception space. It was such a cool way to let people spread out again. It’s also pretty awesome to have both the indoor and outdoor experience throughout the entire night.”

“Despite all our changes with vendors and venues, the day ended up being better than we ever could have expected. It was a cohesive day that moved smoothly from one event to another. Being able to have all the guests at one site was the absolute perfect scenario, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Save-the-Dates, Invitations & Venue Change Cards
Coordinator/Planner Événement
Ceremony, Reception, Bartending, Chairs and Furniture Story Hill Firehouse
Catering & Cake Café Corazon
Gluten/Dairy Free Cupcakes Blooming Lotus Bakery
Coffee Valentine Coffee
Signage Clark Graphics
Flowers Angie Spors
Music/Entertainment DJ Dann ACA Entertainment
Ceremony Music Addy and Matt Keese
Officiant Pastor James Hein of St Marcus Lutheran Church
Transportation Schuyler’s dad, Tim
Photographer Hannah Toldt
Tintype photographer Margaret Muza
Gown Skirt: Wtoo by Watters
Camisole: Jenny Yoo from BHLDN
Formalwear/Suit JOE Joseph Abboud from Men’s Wearhouse
Linens Windy City Linen
Rings Lisa’s engagement ring and band: MarrowFine
Schuyler’s ring: Tungsten ring from Kessler’s

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