Jessica and Ben's magical, fun, elegant wedding

Jessica & Ben’s Autumn Wedding at Bottlehouse 42

March 21, 2022

A downtown Milwaukee wedding with a view

 

From Set-Up to Staples to Saying “Yes!”

Jessica is originally from Maryland, but her Milwaukee-based cousins were good friends with Ben. They arranged a pretty-obvious set-up over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2015. At the time, Jessica was still living in Maryland, but was planning to move to the midwest, where she went to college.

When a late night at the bars landed Jessica in the emergency room to get staples in her head, Ben suggested that the date on the hospital bracelet should mark their dating anniversary. Although Ben may have taken the phrase “sweep her off her feet” a bit too literally, they’ve been official ever since.

After five-and-a-half years of dating, growing careers, Ben learning sign language to communicate with Jessica’s family, buying a house, and adopting a dog together, Ben proposed to Jessica one early morning along Lake Michigan. “We celebrated with friends, bagels, and champagne before road-tripping to Maryland to celebrate with Jessica’s family.”

Finding the Venue: Bottlehouse 42

Ben and Jessica planned a November 2021 wedding in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. Jessica actually works in the same building as their venue. “My desk is right next to the hospitality team,” she says. “When they heard we got engaged, they took us on a great tour of all their venues. We were sold on Bottlehouse 42 for its amazing views and excellent party vibes. The space overlooks the Fiserv Forum and some of downtown’s most iconic buildings. We felt inspired to make it feel cozy for a fall wedding.”

Wedding Dress Shopping

Jessica found her Paloma Blanca gown at White Dress Bridal Boutique. Finding the one took her 70+ dresses at seven different stores! “The one I ultimately chose was so elegant—modern but timeless, a perfect fit for the ceremony and venue. Plus, it came with a detachable train and detachable bow, so I could have multiple looks in one! It made me feel beautiful, while also being a gown I could picture being in for 8+ hours.”

A St. Matthew’s Ceremony

Jessica and Ben said their vows at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, which is the very same church where Jessica’s grandparents were married in the 1940s. Jessica’s cousin, who shares those same grandparents, officiated the wedding. Ben, his mom, and the wedding party walked down the aisle to a guitar instrumental of “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. Jessica walked with her mom down the aisle to Ray La Montagne’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” Jessica says, “The ceremony was incredibly moving and very meaningful to us. Everyone was crying such happy tears nearly the entire time!”

A Stop at Roman Coin

Following the ceremony and photos at Juneau Park, the wedding party stopped at Roman Coin, Ben and Jessica’s favorite dive bar near their first home together. “We had our own cocktail hour there. It was a great way to slow things down a bit, take stock of our amazing day, and enjoy a moment celebrating with incredible friends before rejoining the rest of the wedding.”

Jessica poses with the groomsmen at the Roman Coin on Brady Street

Bottlehouse 42 Reception

Jessica says one of the best moments of the day was entering the reception venue. “Seeing all of our wedding guests having an incredible time, laughing and dancing and hugging… Our main priority was to bring all of our favorite people together and provide them with an amazing time, full of love and happiness. We definitely succeeded!”

Food was provided by F Street Hospitality with extra party rentals by Arena Americas. “F Street Hospitality and Bottlehouse 42 were incredible to work with, from vendor recommendations to helping our vision come to life. F Street Hospitality did an incredible job with the food and drinks. Everyone raved about the food, and everyone was well imbibed all night.” Dessert came from Honeypie in Bayview: key lime, apple, and bourbon fudge pie.

First Dances

To prep for their big Mother-Son moment, Ben and his mom took lessons at Fred Astaire. They danced to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and, according to Jessica, “absolutely crushed it.” Jessica’s father passed away in 2014, so she chose to have the traditional Father-Daughter dance with her brother, Danny, and then invite the rest of their dad’s side of the family to the dance floor. “To honor our Puerto Rican culture, they chose to salsa to ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ by Marc Anthony. It was a fun and special way to transition to the dancing portion of the night!”

Dance Lessons Fred Astaire
Makeup Artist Shalisa Elizabeth Artistry
Hair Stylist Natalie “Bonnie Holly” Gajewski
Invitations Catprint.com
Rehearsal Dinner Merriment Social
Ceremony Location St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
Reception Location Bottlehouse 42
Catering & Bartending F Street Hospitality
Dessert/Pies Honeypie
Flowers Branching Out and Company
Music/Entertainment David Hackbarth
Transportation Milwaukee Food Tours
Photographer Emily Schmidt Photography
Videographer Films by Design
Wedding Dress Designer Paloma Blanca
Gown White Dress Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Gowns BHLDN
Formalwear TheBlackTux.com
Rings Alyssa & Anna (Jessica), Powers (Ben)