Rena and Keith twirl

Rena & Keith’s Beautiful Wedding at Milwaukee’s Tripoli Shrine Center

March 15, 2021

A Meeting & Marriage Decades in the Making

Keith and Rena, both originally from Wisconsin, had been connected all of their lives through 50+ years of long-time family friendships. But their paths never crossed. In 2015, Keith’s Aunt Evelyn brokered an introduction between Keith and Rena. In July of 2016, the two met for the first time on a boat cruise down the Milwaukee River. Three years and many adventures later, Keith proposed to Rena during a trip to Yellowstone National Park. “We’d like to send a special thank-you out to Aunt Evelyn for her incredible matchmaking skills!”

Wedding Planning

Rena and Keith planned an elegant wedding at the Tripoli Shrine Center. The marriage was originally slated to take place in May of 2020, but they postponed until September due to the pandemic. “We sent COVID letters and updates to the guests, keeping them apprised of the situation and of the precautions we and the venue would be taking to increase safety.”

The spacious Tripoli Shrine Center proved to be an ideal location. “The huge ballroom comfortably fits large groups and easily accommodated social distancing for our wedding guests,” Rena says. The bride and groom thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff at the Tripoli too: “The new Director of Sales, Amy Harycki, is a dynamo! Amy is an exceptional coordinator and partnered with our wedding planner to make our day perfect. She has been in the industry for some time and clearly knows what she’s doing. Thank you Amy and the Tripoli for making our day so elegant and perfect.”

To bring all their plans together, Keith and Rena worked with Travis and Kaarin at 88 Events. “Simply put, the best decision we made,” Rena says. “Worth every penny. As the bride, I had completed much of the preliminary work, but I was overwhelmed when it came to the decorations, flowers, and details. This is where Travis and Kaarin came to my rescue. They met with me several times to discuss ideas and a vision for the wedding ceremony and reception. Kaarin provided floral ideas and both had great suggestions for decor.”

“Then COVID hit. Travis provided guidance and sound advice to navigate the craziness. On the day of, Travis transformed the venue. The flowers were spectacular. The crew worked tirelessly to make every detail perfect for our special day. In fact, Travis’ timeline was so organized, the photographer commented that she had never finished photos early! Any hiccups were addressed and Travis made it a perfect day for us. We give Travis, Kaarin, and 88 Events our highest recommendation.”

A Tripoli Shrine Wedding

Keith and Rena have only glowing things to say about their experience at the Tripoli Shrine Center: “It’s been said that the Tripoli Shrine Center is a hidden gem in Milwaukee, and it most definitely is. It’s the perfect place for a wedding reception. Elegant, beautiful, phenomenal food, and value—all words to describe it.”

“Everything is under one roof. We even stayed on site for all of our pictures, because the stunning mosaics and architecture provide the perfect backdrop. There are so many great areas to have spectacular photos taken.”

The ceremony was held directly beneath the dome. “That made it stunning and extremely special,” Rena says. Following the ceremony came dinner and dancing. “The guests raved about the food!” There were passed hors d’oeuvres of bruschetta, chicken satay, and bacon-wrapped chestnuts. For dinner, options included Filet, Crab-Stuffed Catch of the Day, and Chicken Marsala. “Everyone marveled that the food was so delicious, hot, and cooked to the perfect temperature. The wait and bar staff provided exceptional service throughout the evening.”

Let’s Dance

Following dinner, there was of course dancing, as well as a fun photo booth provided by Complete Weddings and Events—”worth the money,” Rena notes. Also worth the effort was Keith and Rena’s first dance: “Our first dance was a choreographed number on which we worked extremely hard. The guests loved it—especially the big dip! We booked Fred Astaire in Mequon when we were at a bridal show. The staff at Fred Astaire were spectacular. Victor and Emily are incredible teachers. We fell in love with dancing and had so much fun learning!”

Final Thoughts

On the day-of, Rena advises future brides to keep it simple. “Let things go and don’t sweat the details. I am a Type A personality and usually don’t give up control. However, between our wedding planner Travis and Amy at the Tripoli Shrine Center, I was able to thoroughly enjoy our wedding day. They took care of everything. It was the greatest gift.”

Wedding Consultant 88 Events
Dancing Lessons Fred Astaire Dancing in Mequon
Make-up Artist Stella’s Salon in Milwaukee
Hair Stylist Kate and Paul
Invitations Hobby Lobby
Rehearsal Dinner Galioto’s Twelve21 in Cedarburg
Ceremony, Reception, Catering, and Bartending Tripoli Shrine Center
Cake Designer/Dessert The Cake Lady
Signage, Flowers 88 Events
Music/Entertainment: Elegant Ensembles
Officiant Pastor Kruse – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Grafton
Transportation Custom Limo Service
Photographer JB Photography – Janalee Bach
PhotoBooth Complete Wedding + Events
Gown Altar Bridal in Illinois
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rentals, Linens, and Chairs Tripoli Shrine Center