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From Meeting to Marriage
Caelin and Walter met online and had their first date at a festival in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. For Caelin, it was love at first sight—she booked a plane ticket to visit Walter and his family in Guatemala two weeks later. On their one-year anniversary, Walter proposed in the couple’s Andersonville apartment.
The two were married in June of 2020 in a small ceremony at Caelin’s grandmother’s farm in Lake Geneva. “We made the decision before the 2020 wedding that we would celebrate with friends and family with a vow renewal and reception in 2021. We essentially planned two weddings, both very different. We felt very blessed to have a small and intimate experience in 2020, while also getting to celebrate at Halverson House in 2021.”
Wedding Planning Part Two
For their vow renewal and reception, Caelin and Walter chose the Halverson House in Waterford, Wisconsin. The Halverson House features a Victorian house, barn, granary, and gardens—all wonderfully picturesque. Everything from the ceremony to photos by Allysha Noelle Photography to the dinner and dancing were held right on the Halverson House property.
For Walter and Caelin, staying in one place from start to finish felt like the best case scenario. “It meant more time with family and friends and less stress about timelines and logistics. It felt like the whole day was wrapped in the warmth of Halverson House as a singular place that we’ll return to year after year to remember our wedding day.”
A Jewel-Toned Theme
Walter and Caelin went with a theme that was both classic and bold. “A blend of my family’s Wisconsin roots and Walter’s Guatemalan heritage.” The color scheme was black and white with accent colors of bright jewel tones: teal, maroon, mustard yellow, pink, emerald green, and violet. “We used a lot of white and gold materials in our décor, including vintage milk glass and vintage jewel-toned glasses that we used as escort cards and party favors for our guests.”
The bridesmaids each picked their own jewel-toned dress to wear. Caelin says this was one of the best decisions she made. “Put your people first,” she says. “A wedding isn’t just about your love, but the love that your friends and family share with you. I’m really glad I let my friends pick their dresses and colors that they loved. One of my friends has already re-worn her dress at her baby shower. Everyone just looked so happy and comfortable and like themselves!”
Ceremony & Reception
Caelin’s favorite part of the ceremony was walking from the main barn to the gardens, where the vow renewal was held. “There were flowers everywhere, and it really felt like I was walking into a garden of Eden.”
For the reception, guests were seated via a map of Guatemala that corresponded with their table numbers. Each table was named after a place in Guatemala. “We purchased handmade wax candles while in Guatemala City the year before. Each set of candles was of a Guatemalan couple dressed in the traditional clothes of the place they were from. So when guests sat down, there was a Guatemalan candle at each table and they could look on the map to see where that place was located.”
For food, catered by Dinners with Class, there were scrumptious appetizers ranging from honey mustard sautéed shrimp tossed with coconut to buttermilk chicken tenders to fruit skewers. Dinner included a summer berry salad, roasted prime rib, seared salmon, twice-baked potatoes, Moroccan couscous with mushroom-stuffed braised radicchio, and more.
Caelin’s sister created a s’mores bar for guests in the Halverson House courtyard. “We sat around the fire with our guests in the late hours of the evening, sharing our favorite memories and stories with our close friends.” There was also dancing, where the bride and groom were able to show off the moves they learned at Fred Astaire. But Caelin’s favorite part? Read on!
Walter is part of a mariachi band in Chicago, and the group performed in the main barn before dinner! Caelin fondly remembers: “Walter serenaded me in a custom black and silver charro suit that he had made for the wedding. He sang ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and the whole barn started singing along.”
The Bride’s Best Tip
For anyone currently wedding planning, Caelin has this to say: “You don’t have to buy all the random wedding-specific things. We picked décor pieces that we knew we would reuse. For our 2020 wedding, we purchased vintage wedding dishes that are now ours for years to come. I bought a soft white robe that was timeless and made of quality. I use it all the time at home now. I picked fun, pink, feminine shoes that I can wear with any cocktail dress.”
“After the wedding is over, no one tells you about all of the stuff you’re left with. Borrow things or buy things that last and that you can keep as keepsakes in your home—not in a box that gets put away never to see the light of day again.” Choose pieces intentionally for your wedding and it will be money well-spent.
|Dance lessons||Fred Astaire (Milwaukee)|
|Make-up and Hair||Rebecca Ross (Style by R)|
|Rehearsal Dinner||Bride’s Grandmother’s house; Catered by Celebrations on Wells|
|Ceremony, Reception and Bartending||Halverson House|
|Catering||Dinners with Class|
|Flowers||Piscasaw Gardens (Harvard, IL)|
|Music/Entertainment||Mariachi Monumental de Mexico; and Vital Image (DJ)|
|Officiant||Alissa Weber (2020 ceremony done by Sarah Harrison at Koru Ceremonies)|
|Photographer||Allysha Noelle Photography|
|Videographer||Noble and Glass (Gordon Crum)|
|Bride’s Gown||Sarah Seven, shoes by Randall Camellia|
|Formalwear||The Black Tux (Nordstrom)|