Blue/Aqua/Navy, Fall, Real Weddings, Relaxed/Bohemian, Romantic, Washington County

Traci & Adam’s Heartfelt & Handcrafted Wedding at Terrace 167

May 20, 2019

Traci and Adam met through mutual friends in college and clicked instantly. They dated for eight years before Adam took Traci down to Chicago’s Navy Pier for a day of riding the ferris wheel, basking in the city, and, in the end, asking her to be his bride. “Adam told me how much fun he’d had that day and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives making memories just like this.”

The two planned an October wedding at Terrace 167. The vibe was a mix of industrial and the outdoors with a color palette of navy and grey with gold accents. The ceremony was held outside at sunset. “We had all eight of our nieces and nephews stand up in the wedding. Our favorite part was being so surrounded by loved ones. We knew it would be pretty cold out, so we had a warming station with blankets and hand warmers to help guests stay toasty.”

Traci says the Terrace 167 reception space was the perfect blend of her and Adam’s style. “The chandeliers were elegant and the barn wood tables and industrial touches were beautiful. Terry and Stephanie at Terrace 167 were so great at communicating throughout the planning process. They made sure everything went according to plan; we didn’t have to worry about anything.”

Adam and Traci ended up making a lot of their decorations. “Adam is a carpenter,” Traci says. “We cut wooden blocks and used decals to write the table numbers. We made a welcome sign and seating chart, along with many others. We also used hexagon marble tiles to write everyone’s name on for their place cards. We had so many kids at our wedding, we also made a kids pale for each one with a custom word search, coloring pages, and other things to keep them busy.”

“We loved looking around and seeing all of our signs and details that we made come together.” In addition to all their handcrafted pieces, Traci and Adam worked with Well Dressed Tables to outfit the space with extra-special necessities, such as gold cutlery. “The design of the space and the table decor was everything we dreamed and more!”

Make-up ArtistHannah Elisabeth Beauty (From LA)
Hair StylistAmanda Flowler (MACDADDY Salon in IL)
InvitationsMinted
Rehearsal Dinner Pizza Man Tosa
Ceremony, Reception & BartendingTerrace 167
CateringIrene’s Catering
Cake Designer/DessertAggies Bakery
FlowersPink Opal
Music/EntertainmentDJ Milk Love ENT
TransportationGo Riteway
PhotographerJB Photography
VideographerChris Siegel Multimedia
GownEssence of Australia from Veiled by ChaCha (Handmade veil and sash)
Bridesmaids’ gownsAzazie
RentalsWell Dressed Tables
RingsRogers and Holland

Black & White, Classic, Downtown, Light, Pink/Blush, Purple/Plum/Wine, Romantic, Whites/Grays/Silvers, Winter

Kimmie & Patrick’s Colorful Winter Wedding at the Pritzlaff

May 10, 2019
Kimmie and Patrick's first look

Kimmie from Chicago and Patrick from Milwaukee met through mutual friends at their mutual hobby: Phish shows! Patrick proposed in Central Park during an impromptu trip to New York City to once again see their favorite band. Suffice it to say, when Patrick asked, “Come waste your time with me,” Kimmie said yes.

Though the two planned a January wedding at the Pritzlaff, they were determined to keep things as bright and summery as the music that brought them together. “The Pritzlaff was the first venue we saw and we knew immediately we wanted to get married there. We loved the feeling the building gives—historic yet modern, open rooms, cream city brick, wood ceiling and structures, a beautiful built-in bar. A huge reason we chose the Pritzlaff was that we could create our very own vision and customize every little detail if we wanted.”

Patrick and Kimmie landed on a vibe that was neo-hippie, playful, simple, and elegant. “We didn’t want it to feel like a winter wedding at all.” Patrick and Kimmie accented a refined color palette of black, white, and grey with pops of orchid pink and purple, plus lots of marbling and tie-dye. Kimmie found decor inspiration by creating vision boards galore. Her advice to other brides: “Create boards that include art, architecture, colors, and design that speak to you and your tastes—not just pictures of weddings. You will be surprised by how far you can push the space and your own creativity to make this day special and unique.”

Kimmie and Patrick certainly succeeded in creating a shining, singular space. The ceremony centered on three large, living wall pieces. Candles were thoughtfully placed throughout the room, giving off an enchanted glow. “There was a tropical feel, even on a cold, snowy day.” For the reception, the room was divided in two distinct areas, one for dining and the other for cocktail hour and dancing. “A beautiful hand-dyed fabric separated the space. Guests were transported to a new experience throughout the evening.”

In addition to the stunning ceremony walls, there were also lush centerpieces, hanging living walls, and orchid mobiles to further fill the Pritzlaff with warm, tropical flair. Patrick and Kimmie also opted for a mix of seating, combining black banquet and wood tables with leather and ghost lucite chairs. The effect is gorgeously eye-catching and special.

“Working with Cori at the Pritzlaff was the best,” Kimmie says. “She really helped bring the vision to life, and we had so much fun along the way. Hiring her as our wedding planner was one of the best decisions. She was able to take our vision for the wedding and even recommend which vendors we should work with. With her knowledge and experience at the Pritzlaff, she really helped push us to use the space in a special way. Cori was truly a pleasure to work work and definitely a friend for life.”

For dinner, guests had a choice of three entrées. Dessert was a mixture of petite desserts and a festive rainbow sprinkle cake with two lovebirds perched atop the highest tier. Later in the evening, folks were treated to build-your-own tacos and a margarita machine dispensing two delicious flavors.

At the end of the day, Kimmie hopes other brides will think big. “It’s the one day that’s truly yours. Make it special and make it your own!” For Kimmie and Patrick, their day was happy, loving, and delightfully funky-fresh—just like the bride and groom themselves.

Bridal Shows AttendedPritzlaff Events Open House
Wedding ConsultantCori Coffman
InvitationsBayview Printing
Rehearsal DinnerMerriment Social
Ceremony, Reception & BartendingPritzlaff Events
CateringShully’s Cuisine
CakeThe Cake Lady
Table Seating Signage or TerrariumPete Schassler
FlowersRed Petal
Music/EntertainmentDream City Strings (ceremony + Cocktail hour)
Sound By Design
TransportationKeehn’s
PhotographerHeather Cook Elliot
VideographerSound By Design
GownsBHLDN
FormalwearCalvin Klein from Men’s Wearhouse
RentalsLinens: BBJ Linen
Chairs: CORT & Canopies
Lounge Furniture:CORT
RingsKessler’s
LightingMajic
Wedding Block, Bridal Party Getting Ready Day Of, Rooftop Bar After Hours, First LookKimpton Journeyman Hotel
Custom Draping, Ceiling DécorBarking Pony

Blue/Aqua/Navy, Classic, Downtown, Fall, Historic & Unique, Light, Pink/Blush, Real Weddings, Romantic, Whites/Grays/Silvers, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Katie & TJ’s Downtown Milwaukee Wedding at the Discovery World Pavilion

May 2, 2019
When Katie and TJ met their freshman year in a mandatory one-hour credit class, little did they know they’d be formally introduced through friends their sophomore year, become better friends and study buddies during business school, and one day say “I do.” Although Katie knew the proposal was on the horizon, TJ’s surprise blew her away.
TJ told Katie there was a “work event” at the Art Institute of Chicago. “We arrived to the Art Institute and found our way to the gardens. TJ had a cellist playing and got down on one knee to propose,” Katie recalls. “When I thought there couldn’t be any more surprises, we went to a celebratory dinner downtown where both of our families were waiting. It couldn’t have been more special.”

The two planned a romantic and elegant September wedding with a ceremony at St. Monica Catholic Church and a reception at the Discovery World Pavilion. “Our colors were mostly neutrals champagnes, blushes, and whites with lots of greenery and our bridal party was in navy.” On the eve of the wedding, friends and family gathered for a rehearsal dinner at the Wisconsin Club.

The morning of the big day, Katie had Wide Eyed Bride put her best self forward with hair and makeup styling. Then it was off to St. Monica’s, a place that’s very special to Katie and her family. “My parents were married at St. Monica’s nearly 30 years ago,” she says. “I also attended grade school at St. Monica’s, so the mass was very meaningful”. There was beautiful music, including trumpets, an organist, a pianist, singers, and more.

Photos were snapped all over Milwaukee. The groomsmen stopped in the Third Ward, while the bridesmaids went to the UWM Alumni House. The entire bridal party convened at Lake Park for pictures as a group.

The Discovery World  reception kicked off with a happy hour on the patio overlooking the lake. Katie says one of her favorite decorative elements was their Bartique bar, customized with her and TJ’s monogram. “The bars added such a fun, customized vibe to the décor,” she says. “The reception was stunning, and it was amazing to see our vision to come to life.”

Katie recalls, “We were blessed with incredible weather on our wedding day. Not only did it allow for a happy hour on the patio with views of the city and Lake Michigan, but our favorite part of the night was the surprise fireworks!”

Dinner was catered by Bartolotta’s. “Jamie Brouws from Bartolotta’s and Discovery World was the absolute best to work with. She helped to make our day so memorable.” On the menu: “Cheese curds are a must for a Wisconsin wedding. For our wedding cake, we love cheesecake and carrot cake, so we had a five-layer Simma’s cheesecake, carrot cake, and red velvet cake” During the fireworks, there was also Purple Door ice cream cones and ice cream sandwiches.

For beverages, well, Katie works at MillerCoors. “It was important we had a lot of MillerCoors beer products. We also had a custom neon Miller Lite sign made for our wedding to hang over one of the bars. It has our name and wedding date.” At the end of the day, Katie and TJ describe the experience as simply “joyful” — just what a wedding day should be.

Dance LessonsWindy City Dance in Chicago
Make-upWide Eyed Bride (Bride), Clean Modern Pretty (Moms and Maids)
HairWide Eyed Bride (Bride), Hair by Smash (Maids)
InvitationsRobin’s Paperie
Rehearsal DinnerWisconsin Club – City Club
CeremonySt. Monica Catholic Church
ReceptionDiscovery World Pavilion
Caterer & BartendingBartolotta’s
DessertSimma’s Bakery and Purple Door
Custom SignagePaper Envy
FlowersFloral Impressions by Esther
Music/EntertainmentEntourage
TransportationTrolley from Jones
PhotographerM Three Studio Photography
Travel/Honeymoon Service& Beyond
VideographerOne Fine Day
GownRomona Keveza from Dimitra’s Bridal Chicago
FormalwearKnot Standard
RingsGale Diamonds Chicago, TJ’s Ring is his grandfathers
RentalsCanopies, Majic, Bartique
Ask the Right Questions, Before the Wedding, Milwaukee, Music, PBtips, Planning

DJ vs. Live Band: Settling the Dance Floor Debate

April 25, 2019
wedding dj, dance floor, confetti drop, up lighting, Milwaukee wedding

Ask any wedding guest what defines a wedding reception, and the answer almost certainly will entail the music. Did the DJ spin a solid mix of crowd pleasers? Was the band the absolute best? Was the dance floor at capacity from beginning to end? It begs the question: What’s right for me? Band or DJ? Let’s brainstorm a few key considerations.

What sort of mood are you going for? Is this a black-tie affair with old Hollywood tradition worthy of only a big brass band? Or is it a youthful, modern celebration with light-up dance floor, for which only Top 40 hits will do? Your ideal vibe will direct you to the music befitting your vision.
Is it worth it? A band is made up of multiple skilled musicians, as well as their instruments and equipment, and probably some snazzy outfits. This can be a bit more expensive to fund, depending on the size of the group. DJs can vary in cost but by and large fall on the more affordable side.
What will your venue allow? Your chosen reception site will help guide your decision by perusing their rules for entertainment. Be sure whatever option you’re leaning toward can be accommodated by the venue in terms of space, electrical capacity, and noise restrictions.


Team DJ

Unanimously, brides who selected a DJ did so for one primary reason: variety. Milwaukee bride Erin Kelly wanted a crafted mix of music, “to keep people dancing without interruption or too much talking.” She also appreciated the lighting package many DJs can provide, but inevitably opted to go without. “We wanted a mix of classic and modern. No big disco balls or bulky track lighting for us! That said, the option was nice.”
“We really wanted music that was important to us and our families,” says Delafield bride Caitlin Elftman. “I wanted someone who was willing to let our personalities and taste in music shine through rather than their own.” A DJ that catered to their preferences perfectly fit the bill. Curating your dance floor experience is easier with a DJ, explains Milwaukee bride Rebecca Kuss. “I thought there was more of an element of control with a DJ. Whereas with a band, you’re kind of stuck with what you get.”


Appleton bride Lindsey Angiesetty offers some advice by asking what you would prefer supposing you were the guest. “For me, I find it much easier to dance to a DJ, so the answer was very clear. DJ all the way! But to someone else, they may love the idea of experiencing a live band, so that’s their answer.” She also offers one creative alternative to satisfy all. “Can’t decide? Do both!”


Team Live Band

Finding the right performers can bring unmatched energy to a wedding reception. “What a difference having a band made,” says Oconomowoc bride Mary Jahnke. The band she chose kept the guests dancing to ‘60s and ‘70s hits, and “they even let us play our own playlist during the band break, allowing time for modern pop songs.”

milwaukee wedding band, saxophone, live band, wedding music

Door County bride Olivia Harlan Dekker was thrilled to find a band that accommodated requests, and added some extra songs to their set list for a more personalized feel. “They were so interactive with our guests and played the best mix of modern and classics.” For both brides, their respective bands made a big impact while still allowing for a broader selection of danceable tunes.

Make sure they can play your key selections, and honor your “no-play” list.Remember that your entertainment brings the party vibes, but they are only as good as the brides and grooms they work with. Come to the dance floor with your best energy, and together you’ll create an unforgettable celebration for the ages.

For music vendor tips and questions, download the guide below:

Download the Questions Guide

 

Click here for a list of wedding music vendors!

Before the Wedding, Budgets, Cakes, DIY, Flowers, Gowns, Grooms, Just for Fun, Planning, Stylized Shoots, Trends and Ideas

1 Wedding, 3 Budgets

April 16, 2019
Bride and Groom at head table, cathedral veil, centerpieces floral, candlestick decor

When wedding vendors get together to create awe inspiring ideas for couples, they are always going to pull out all the stops and showcase their best, most extravagant work. This always produces amazing images that give couples that wow factor that they want to recreate for their wedding. And while styled shoots are fun and wonderful, the problem with this is that a lot of couples simply can’t afford most of what they are seeing!

Here’s when something innovative happened… a styled shoot was put together to showcase the same “theme” at three different price points: cost effective, moderate, and splurge! This way, couples can compare the different price points side by side and decide where they want to spend their money, and where they feel they could cut back. Lush florals, a soft fall color pallet, and a beautiful rustic venue were some of the ingredients to this stunning styled shoot. Check it out:


• Cost Effective •

Bride’s Attire – $1,085

Affordable and yet stunning, this unassuming fit and flare gown’s beautiful statement lies within the details of the lace appliques on dotted Point d’espirit. For added affordable elegance we paired our bride with a comb and simpler jewelry.

Hair – $40 in salon, $50 on location

For this look, we just curled the hair and inserted a bridal comb. This look is affordable because it is simple yet elegant. It doesn’t require putting the hair up with bobby-pins or sewing. It is suitable for various lengths of hair and can be customized for different hair textures.

Makeup – $110 Standard Package

This look offers a flawless complexion with airbrush at the most affordable price. Brush applied highlight and strip lashes are included. Perfect for a natural, simple look. A lip product is included for the bride. The duration of each application is approximately 35 minutes.

Groom’s Attire – $180

Keep it simple and elegant to save where you can, well-fit and classy while saving on the budget; skip the coat and vest for a bit of savings.

Florals – $75 for bouquet, $100 table, $5 cake

Roses can be surprisingly affordable and come in lots of different colors and varieties. By using lots of greenery, you can really create an elegant look and get more bang for your buck. Greenery never goes out of style and comes in so many different shapes, colors and textures. Most couples are also trying to incorporate their wedding colors into their flowers and lately that color has been navy blue. Although flowers come in lots of colors, they don’t naturally occur in navy blue unless it’s a berry. Berries are so fun and pretty in floral, but not always available and can also be pricey. That’s when we get creative and oftentimes spray seeded eucalyptus. Here we sprayed seeded eucalyptus navy blue to bring in just the right amount of navy and finished it off with a small navy blue wrap. For the table, a simple runner of seeded eucalyptus can go a long way, and not break the bank. By adding some mix and match bud vases it gives you a floral aspect to the table without going overboard. Finish it off with some simple metallic votives and candles to get some variety and set the mood. With the cake, sometimes a simple seeded eucalyptus wreath is the way to go and can really dress up a cake!

Rentals – $85 per table

For this first look, our mismatched Le Melange dishware brought in subtle details with its classic vintage patterns, creating an expensive look without needing a large budget. Antique silver flatware and a vintage clear goblets were the perfect accent, keeping the place setting simple yet unique and special.

Stationery – $6.15 per suite (Invite, RSVP & Enclosure with blank envelopes) at 100 guests and $5 per table of 10

Getting plain white envelopes and addressing them yourself may take some time, but will end up saving you in the end. You can also get the “gold foil” illusion by having an image of gold foil overlaid onto your text or other elements of the design without having to pay for real gold foil stamping. By adding the menu onto the table number you are eliminating the need for a menu at each place setting as the menu can be passed around the table.

Cake – The starting price for a 6″ mile high conventional cake iced in French buttercream and then covered in an edible 24k gold leaf is $95.00.

A single tiered cake is a perfect example on how to scale back your day without skimping in style. Smaller wedding cakes can still be a work of art. The personal touches added to your wedding cake become a work of art and make this beautiful cake extra special. Even though this option only serves 8, the wedding couple can have sheet cakes in the kitchen for their guests. Sheet cakes are less expensive because they are priced as a whole and not per slice like a tiered cake. This option is the most cost-effective.


• Moderate •

Bride’s Attire – $1,850

Fit and Flare silhouette with sweetheart neckline is teeming in delicate floral lace that compliments any bride with a taste for modern romance. A deep illusion v in the neckline adds a playful touch to the bodice, and a detachable lace keyhole back makes this an incredibly versatile gown. We then accented with a complimentary veil and jewelry.

Hair – $60 in Salon, $75 on Location

For this style, we chose to do a sleek and timeless look. The hair is swept back with some volume so a veil can easily be added. Updo styling is more formal. It requires more time and expertise. Updos require long lengths of hair and talented stylists know what style would best suite each individual.

Makeup – $150 Bridal Package

This look features additional upgrades such as, skin prep, airbrush contour and customized individual lashes make this an upgrade from the standard. A bridal touch up is also included for those final finishing touches! A lip product is included for the bride. Starting at 45 minutes per application. Additional artists are available after 6 applications.

Groom’s Attire – $195

Designer slim fit vested suit offers a more formal look; just skip the coat to save a little!

Florals – $150 for bouquet, $165 table, $35 cake

Adding to the first look, we brought in some pincushion protea which really adds some texture. We also added even more greenery to the bouquet to create more movement as well. Here we incorporated 2 of a very popular garden rose called the Juliet garden rose. It is so fragrant and somewhat resembles a peony. Peonies are often times asked for and only available for a limited time, so the garden rose can be a good substitute, but has a price tag. It comes as a bunch of 12, and runs $15 per rose. When couples are looking to use these, we have to order a bunch of 12 and often times break the bunch up to use them in the rest of the girls bouquets, maybe a groom’s boutonniere, or even on the cake. With the table, we kept the runner, and added some beautiful wooden boxes with more greenery and floral. The cake had received more seeded eucalyptus and a few loose flowers at the top and base.

Rentals – $174 per table

For the second look we added more detail, like a matching Le Melange coffee cup and saucer on top of the layered plates and a trio of clear goblets. The centerpiece was livened up by our precious metals candlesticks with tapers, bringing in romantic candlelight and a more layered effect while still keeping guest’s line of sight clear so conversation can flow freely.

Stationery – $7.95 per suite (Invite, RSVP & Enclosure with printed envelopes) at 100 guests and $33.75 per table of 10

By getting double sided printing on your invitations it can add a little something to your invitation. You can choose between so many fun patterns or accent colors. You can also save yourself lots of time by getting your envelopes printed with your return address and guest’s addresses. By giving each guest a menu, it adds another beautiful element to your table setting. Opt for a seating chart to avoid confusion when guests arrive to your reception and ensure them a smooth trip to their appropriate table. It’s less than individual place cards and can double as a welcome sign.

Cake – The starting price for a two-tiered 8″ and 10″ conventional cake with fondant covering and an edible 24 karat gold leaf is $290.00.

This cake will serve 40 people. A 2-tiered wedding cake can be an excellent choice for those couples who want to keep it simple yet stylish and creative. With the additional tier it will give you extra height and will look simply elegant on your beautiful cake stand. For couples opting to have a smaller wedding, this cake is the perfect choice as it serves 40 people.


• Splurge •

Bride’s Attire – $3,625

Couture bridal gown detailed to perfection with a fabulous juxtaposition of textures, a gown for the bride who prefers daring details. Tulle godets are interspersed between embroidered lace, while clusters of beading frame the bust and the Basque waist of this strapless fit and flare gown; a bride will see and feel the difference when she puts on this well made, well fit and perfectly detailed gown; accompanied by crystal jewelry and a custom designer cathedral veil to match her gown.

Hair – $60 in Salon, $75 on Location $400 for Hair Extensions

Every bride falls in love with her dream Pinterest hair inspiration photo and hair extensions are usually the only way to guarantee your look comes together. This is how we achieved the braided headband, with hair to spare for volume and length. The hair extensions that were used were custom clip in extensions that were matched to the bride’s natural hair color, then cut to blend in with the hair.

Makeup – $210 Elite

The Elite application is an experience! The appointment starts with skincare and skin prep. A hot towel cleanse is followed by the artist choosing the perfect skincare to start the application. Airbrush highlight, waterproof body bronzing and collarbone contouring are all included. In addition to customized individual lashes, reusable designer strip lashes are also an option! A lip color bar for the entire bridal party to choose their own lip color is included. Applications start at 1 hour each, and multiple artists are assigned to Elite bookings. This is the ultimate celebrity experience!

Groom’s Attire – $225

Ike Behar designer collection of menswear, slim fit and detailed head to toe with well-fit and stylish accents.

Florals – $325 for bouquet, $225 table, $40 cake

Here we added more Juliet garden roses, lots more greenery to create even more movement and drama, and berries to bring in the blue. The elongated satin tails also create more drama and movement. We also brought in some pink mink protea in addition to the pincushion protea. Pink mink protea have a beautiful velvety texture and really give you that rich, luxurious look that lots of couples want to see in their flowers. With the table, we used one of Relics Vintage rentals gold candelabras and created a beautiful draping centerpiece to create lots of drama. Adding height to the tables can bring your eye up and around the room creating a more interesting experience for your guests. Here we also added some more seeded eucalyptus to the table to make it even fuller. For the cake we kept it similar to the 2nd look, and added a couple more loose flowers so that the artistry in the cake could shine through.

Rentals – $335 per table

For the third tier, we swapped the Le Melange dishware for our White and Ivory set, toning down the colors in the china. Instead, we brought in color with two goblets and champagne coups. Five piece gold flatware and silver chargers added an extra luxe effect as well. For the centerpiece, florals were held up high by gold pillars and a beautifully detailed candelabra with clear pegged votives.

Stationery – $16.30 per suite (Invite, RSVP & Enclosure each with custom gold foil stamp and hand lettered navy blue envelopes) at 100 guests and $103.75 per table of 10

The ultimate luxury in wedding invitations is the custom foil stamping! It adds such a rich element to any design and really pops off the paper….especially when it’s your names vs. an accent on the card. When paired with hand addressed colored envelopes in gold ink by a professional calligrapher (pure joy ink) it can really set the tone for the wedding, letting your guest’s know it’s going to be a regal affair. If foil stamping is something you are really wanting, but are concerned about staying within your budget, lots of couples opt to get just the invitation foil stamped, and get the “foil” digitally printed on the rest of the pieces. In this example, if only the invitation was foil stamped it would then be $10.80 per suite. For the tables, the table numbers and menus are foil stamped, adding a fun pop of metallic to the tables. When paired with the individual place cards for each guest it really finishes off the table. Guests often times will take them as a keepsake and like to see their names in print, it makes them feel special and part of your day. Whatever look you like, there are elements that you can choose from each to come up with the perfect combination for your style AND budget.

Cake – The starting price for a three tiered (6″, 8″ mile high and 10″) conventional cake covered in fondant with hand painted decorations and an edible 24 karat gold leaf is $542.50.

Serving 50 people, this 3-tiered wedding cake give you extra height and dimension for a spectacular presentation. With the mile high tiers it not only gives you extra layers of cake but also gives you dimension to your overall look. If you are looking for drama, it’s definitely worth the upgrade.

At the end of the day all 3 looks are stunning, and no matter what your budget is, you can leave it to the wedding professionals to help you come up with the perfect wedding within your budget.

Photography – Studio 29 Photography
Venue – The Farm at Dover
Flowers – Alfa Flower Shop
Stationery and Planning – Dco Lovenotes
Attire & Accessories – Savvy Bride & Tuxedo
Rentals – Relics Vintage Rentals
Hair – Heart MKE
Makeup – Lustrous Beauty Studio
Cake – Simma’s Bakery
Calligraphy on Envelope – Pure Joy Ink

Blue/Aqua/Navy, Downtown, Earthy, Fall, Green/Olive, Historic & Unique, Real Weddings, Romantic, Whites/Grays/Silvers

Jenna & Herman’s Downtown Milwaukee Wedding at The Black Swan

April 11, 2019
Jenna and Herman marry at the Black Swan

Jenna and Herman, both from the suburbs of Chicago, met on a 4th of July booze cruise through mutual friends. After spending the day getting to know each other, Herman boldly exclaimed, “I think I’m going to date you,” to which Jenna responded, “So date me.” The rest, as they say, is history.

The two got engaged when Jenna thought she was planning a surprise birthday party for Herman. When she came home to find a balloon shaped like an engagement ring in the middle of the living room, she knew the birthday party was out. “Herman, with the help of their friends, gave me the birthday party idea to distract me, while the real engagement party went into motion,” she says. “After spending a few private moments, calling our families (who were waiting at the party!), and toasting champagne, we headed to the celebration we had both secretly planned.”

Herman and Jenna chose The Black Swan (now named the Riverwalk) in downtown Milwaukee for their wedding ceremony and reception. They went for a simple palette of white, black, and green. “Greenery everywhere! We wanted a simple color scheme that complimented our wedding venue’s rich details.” Just as Jenna and Herman found their venue in Milwaukee, the bride also found her gown at White Dress in Milwaukee.
At the ceremony, Jenna’s childhood nanny officiated. “The entire thing was crafted by us in conjunction with her.” In addition to writing their own vows, the officiant asked Herman, who was born in Russia, in Russian if he would take Jenna as his wife. There was also a poem read from the perspective of the couple’s dog, Brady, and the entire audience got the chance to announce Herman and Jenna as husband and wife. “The whole thing was a reflection of us and felt so special and unique.”

Moving into the reception, guests toasted to the happy couple with a signature drink: the “Brady” Old Fashioned, an ode to Jenna and Herman’s dog. Dinner was a casual barbecue buffet from Bubb’s BBQ. “Bubb’s was incredible. They did all the food and drinks for us.” For dessert, there were mini carrot cakes — a recipe from Jenna’s grandmother who had passed away a few years prior.

When they had eaten their fill of the deliciousness, Herman and Jenna walked from table to table to greet family and friends. “We spoke with each and every one of our guests, which was a highlight of the night. We loved being able to spend even a few minutes thanking everyone for coming out and supporting us on our big day.”

Day of CoordinatorBubbs BBQ
Make-up & HairTeam Bride Milwaukee
InvitationsMinted
Rehearsal DinnerThe Outsider|Kimpton-The Journeyman Hotel
Ceremony & ReceptionRiverwalk- formerly The Black Swan MKE
Catering, Bartending, CakeBubbs BBQ
Flowers & Custom SignageMark Allen Inspired
Music/EntertainmentShaun Anthony Signature Entertainment
TransportationBadger Bus
PhotographerHello Rose Photography
VideographerLake Geneva Media Group
Gown White Dress Bridal Boutique- Milwaukee
FormalwearThe Black Tux

Before the Wedding, General News, Just for Fun, Lake Country, Milwaukee, Planning, Reception, Venue Type

Something Old, Something New: 11 Fresh Venues in Southeast Wisconsin

April 5, 2019
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown city skyline on Lake Michigan at twilight.

Wisconsin’s broad offering of stunning wedding sites welcomes a handful of new, or new and improved, promising contenders this year. Exciting new spaces join our selection of revamped old favorites awaiting your Electric Slide and clinking glassware. Read on for some serious dream wedding inspiration.

Revisiting Old Favorites:

 

1896 Room (Oconomowoc)

Begin your future and celebrate the night away at The Club at Lac La Belle Golf Course’s newly renovated 1896 Room. A formal foyer accommodates up to 215 guests, with a refreshed interior offering equal parts grandeur and intimate romance. Remarkable views and landscapes make this venue a photographer’s dream.

The Ingleside Hotel (Pewaukee)

Set the stage for a wedding tailored to your unique preferences and style at this full service location. The Ingleside’s sophisticated design greets your guests, and its professional team will help curate the day of your fantasies. After a 14 million dollar remodeling project, The Ingleside has updated guest rooms, more than 40,000 square feet of banquet space and a newly renovated lobby, restaurant, bar and courtyard. An outdoor gazebo and several ballrooms welcome your vows and party people, with suite accommodations for the largest of guest counts. Kids on your invite list will enjoy the onsite waterpark, and their parents will appreciate the option to tire them out.

War Memorial Center (Milwaukee)

A well-known landmark to any proud Milwaukeean, the quintessential mid-century modern exterior of the War Memorial plays host to those paying homage to fallen armed services members, brides, grooms, and everything in between. With sprays of Lake Michigan on one side, and floor to ceiling views of Fitch Plaza and the city skyline on the other, guests will awe over the updates that bring this 1950s masterpiece into the 21st century. Recently renovated finishes include wall coverings, design features and carpeting. The War Memorial now offers the latest technology in lighting and digital screens.

New Spaces for New Memories:

 

Abloom Farm Resort (Saukville)

Nestled in 17 acres of pinewoods, this retreat features more than spectacular scenery. Party away in Abloom’s newly renovated barn or outside among the trees. Afterward rest those dancing feet on site in the six bedroom attached getaway, boasting multiple wood burning fireplaces and exposed beam ceilings. Abloom’s grand coziness will whisk you away.

The Barn at the Bog (Saukville)

Barn weddings need not be honky tonk, as evidenced by the Bog’s elegant and brand new event space. Rolling countryside surrounds this rustic chic venue, with a second floor lounge space, grand staircase, and impeccably prepared cuisine. Onsite coordinators will ensure your day runs smoothly and your guests are wowed throughout.

The Carriage House (Oconomowoc)

This summer we are excited to welcome The Carriage House to the fold. Situated on the Club at Lac La Belle Golf Course, this stately venue with an English country vibe is nestled among beautifully cultivated scenery. The Carriage House can host up to 500 guests using a tented annex, or up to 295 inside, featuring regal balconies and entertaining suites. A new building offers modern amenities, while still making room for a traditional aesthetic that elevates barn chic to an air of pomp and pageantry.

fête (Wales)

We are sensing a theme here, with nature views and a tranquil escape opening soon at fête. Built specifically to host large groups, fête’s name says it all. Its motto is its definition, “A celebration or festival,” because the biggest day of your life so far should be described as such. Founded by two couples inspired by their own experiences with wedding planning, they are creating their dream space, so that it can be just that for you. A new addition to Lake country, fête embraces the industrial-chic setting featuring multiple amenities and private patios. The space accommodates up to 350 guests, but still provides an intimate setting for smaller groups.

Historic Courthouse 1893 (Waukesha)

After more than 120 years of living, the courthouse is thriving again as the Romanesque stunner it once was. Turn of the century touches like filigree, beautifully preserved moldings, and ornate decor adorn the main ballroom bringing your guests back in time. The courthouse emanates a sense of tradition and splendor, with the service and tailored wedding one would come to expect in such an imposing venue.

Jan Serr Studio (Milwaukee)

Views reach new heights through panoramic windows facing downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan. Modern couples with a love for the city will appreciate the backdrop, along with Saz’s catering, a private penthouse balcony, and industrial design interior. Beginning as a Ford Motors plant, its newest incarnation is a nod to the arts and a thank you to the city for being such a beautiful co-star on your biggest day yet.

The Peck and Bushel (Colgate)

For a truly unique experience, the Bartolotta folks have paired their expertise with the Peck and Bushel Fruit Company. Situated upon a 70 acre fruit orchard, their rustic barn space features sky high ceilings, a modernized hay loft, and a granite patio for expanded entertaining. Despite the title, think less boot-scooting and more pastoral elegance, with views of Holy Hill Basilica and a sweet scent wafting over rolling hills.

Story Hill Firehouse (Milwaukee)

Coming soon, a Gatsby era firehouse, retired in 1995, reopened and ready to party in spring of 2019! One of only five bungalow style firehouses built in the flappin’ 1920s of Milwaukee, it seems the layout and architecture perfectly accommodate a ceremony and reception space, as well as a separate cocktail and hors d’oeuvres room, and beautifully decorated groom and bridal suites. The history of the firehouse remains while entertaining a brand new day for you and your spouse to be.

 

For a full list of wedding venues in SE Wisconsin, click here!

Green/Olive, Outdoor & Tented, Purple/Plum/Wine, Real Weddings, Relaxed/Bohemian, South, Summer, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Julie & Michael’s Whimsical, Waterside Wedding in Racine

April 2, 2019
Julie and Michael marry at Fountain Hall, Racine

Michael and Julie met, as Julie tells it, “on a random August night at Buckets Pub, eating wings.” Michael popped the question on Julie’s birthday, and the two planned an early August 2018 wedding with both the ceremony and reception at Festival Hall in Racine. To get inspired for the big day, Julie attended The Bridal Show at Fountain Hall. The overall style of Michael and Julie’s wedding was whimsical and bohemian with colors of plum, gold, greens, and ivory.

The ceremony was held outside by the Racine harbor. “It was a special ceremony because my mother and father made our wedding arch and we had a friend marry us,” Julie says. “Walking down the aisle with my father toward Mike — that’s the moment that sticks with me the most. It was windy that day, so it just felt magical. Also, it had been overcast the entire morning of the ceremony. About two minutes before I came down the aisle, the sun came out.”

After exchanging vows and rings from Rasmussen Diamonds (“Amazing!” Julie says), the wedding party snapped photos at Racine’s North Beach while guests enjoyed yard games outside of a towering white reception tent. All of the décor and activities were DIY projects. “From the yard games to the centerpieces, everything was made by my mother and myself,” Julie says.

They not only crafted gorgeous tablescapes for 16 guest tables, but also decked out the wedding party’s king table. “We had gold and greens draped down the center with two large gold lanterns. Around the lanterns, we had wreaths with succulents and fairy lights. Seeing as the tent was pretty tall, I wanted to bring the ceiling down, so we made big gold spheres to hang from above.”

For dinner, Michael and Julie opted for a few different stations. There was a slider station with three different types of meats with different buns and sauces, a pasta station with five different types of pasta served with four sauces, and finally a salad station with assorted toppings and dressings. Dessert was also an assortment: Three flavors of cupcakes, including carrot, salted caramel, and chocolate peanut butter. It was a sweet end to a day that Julie describes as “relaxed, fun, intimate” — everything a great wedding should be.

Bridal Shows AttendedThe Bridal Show at Fountain Hall, Racine WI
Make-up & HairMarietta’s in Kenosha, WI
InvitationsVista Print
Rehearsal DinnerCasa Capri
Ceremony LocationFestival Hall (Outside by the water)
Reception & BartendingFestival Hall in the White Tent
CatererGooseberries
DessertCupcakes by Natalie
FlowersDonna’s Designs
Music/EntertainmentD.L. Entertainment
TransportationDickie’s Bar
PhotographerSealed w/a Kiss Photography
GownMori Lee- Affairs to Remember, Manitowoc WI
Bridesmaid GownsMori Lee- Affairs to Remember, Manitowoc WI
FormalwearMen’s Wearhouse
RingsRasmussen Diamonds
Before the Wedding, Photography & Video, Planning, Stylized Shoots, Trends and Ideas

4 Steps to Finding Your Wedding Photographer (No Selfie-Sticks Necessary)

March 29, 2019
Premier Bride Milwaukee Wisconsin Weddings

50 years from now, you will reminisce upon your wedding, paging through your photo album with pride and gratitude for having first pulled off a memorable wedding, then a lifetime of happiness. Selecting the team who pieces your day together in the form of photographs is a vital part of preserving that moment in your life, and luckily, with a few considerations, it isn’t too tough a task to find a team perfect for you.

1. Just the facts, ma’am. What’s this really going to cost me?

Once you’ve narrowed down your area photographers by style and personality, let’s talk budget. Have your potential artist clearly define their fees and what is included, because hidden charges will get ya every time. Some key details to address before signing on the dotted line:

  • How many hours are included with this price?
  • What if we celebrate into overtime? Are you firm on your end time?
  • Are there additional travel fees if we’re marrying out of the area?
  • Often times engagement shoots are included. Is this the case with you?
  • Is there an additional fee for assistant photographers? In the industry these are known as “second shooters.”
  • Will we receive a file of all images? Are any prints included?
  • Are you able to put together a wedding album and if so, what are the additional costs?

2. Let’s talk experience.

Nothing sells your photographer like past experience, so don’t be afraid to ask about their career history, how long they have been in the biz, and even a time when a wedding didn’t go as planned. How did they handle that? Having an honest conversation with a previous client, addressing with the photographer any less than stellar reviews, and getting a count of weddings he or she has captured will go a long way toward feeling some confidence in hiring them.

When in doubt, ask to see a complete wedding album, not just the photographer’s selected favorites. Knowing previous couples came away with a wide range of great images to compile, instead of a small handful of lucky gems, will illustrate your potential photographer’s skills.

3. I’m getting married today. What can I expect?

Generally quite a bit of time passes between booking your photographer and your wedding day. A lot can happen. Weather, illness, and personal family issues can affect their performance the day of, so it is okay to ask about contingency plans in the event of any unforeseen disasters.

  • Will a contract be provided?
  • Are you insured? If so, what for?
  • Is there a back-up plan should my original photographer fall ill?

Understanding how they have prepared for all the what-ifs ensures the time between booking and marrying is secure, and you need not worry about them yourself.

Additionally, providing in advance a tentative timeline, discussing guest count, and formality or informality of the wedding helps your photographer know when to arrive, what type of equipment to bring along, and how to dress. If they aren’t able to provide your needed services or insist on wearing overalls, they might not be the photographer for you.

4. Party’s over. Now what?

Your wedding ends, you are living blissfully with the spouse of your dreamiest dreams, and all that exists so far is a blurry and unflattering photo your aunt posted of you inhaling a mouthful of cake. When are the good ones coming back already?! Avoid this panic by setting clear expectations in advance of when you will be receiving your images. Depending on workload, initial images can be provided anywhere between two and nine weeks. If you are employing them for portrait and album services, additional time will be needed for image selection and editing.

It is also necessary in this digital age to know in advance who will hold the rights to your photographs, whether a complete file with the original images will be provided, and how freely you are able to share them yourself. Communicate clearly from the start, set clear expectations, and all that’s left for you to do is smile and pop a leg.

To see a full list of photography questions to ask you photographer, download the guide below.

Download the Questions Guide

For a full list of local wedding photographers, click here!

Black & White, Real Weddings, Rustic / Barn, Rustic/Vintage, Summer, West

Wes & Sarah’s Rustic Lake Country Wedding at the Cupola Barn

March 22, 2019
Sarah and Wes marry at the Cupola Barn in Oconomowoc

Sarah from New York and Wes from Lake Country got engaged during a Wisconsin visit from Sarah’s family. “I knew this was the weekend Wes was planning to ask my Dad for his blessing,” Sarah says. “I was anxious the whole time, anticipating that conversation!” When the families coordinated a hike in Lapham State Park, Sarah was oblivious to what was about to happen.

“I refused to wear any makeup or put on a cuter outfit, even after hints from Wes’ brother that he was bringing his camera along to take family photos.” When the group reached a scenic overlook, Sarah snapped some pictures, then spun around to find her family huddled a distance away. “When Wes grabbed my arm and said, ‘Hold on,’ I quickly realized what was happening!”

Wes and Sarah decided on a summer wedding with a church ceremony and a reception at the Cupola Barn in Oconomowoc. Before the big day, Sarah attended the Wonderful World of Weddings & Bridal Expo at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield. She found her stunning Adrianna Papell Platinum gown at Evermore Bridal, and the couple chose rings from Lyle Husar Designs — “an amazing jeweler!” To lend some personality to the groom and groomsmen attire, Wes custom made all of the bowties out of feathers.

One of Sarah’s favorite vendors was Coqui Paperie, who fashioned invitations to match the timeless, rustic, elegant theme. “Our invitations were stunning — black, white, and simply elegant. Most couples save money here, but we felt that our invitations set the tone for our guests of what type of celebration they would be attending. It was important to us to make a great first impression, and Coqui did an amazing job executing our vision.”

On the eve of the wedding, Wes and Sarah gathered with loved ones for a rehearsal dinner at the Golden Mast, keeping the festivities in Lake Country for the weekend. Sarah says the ceremony at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was hands-down her favorite part of the day. “Specifically, we brought in an acoustic guitar soloist to perform during the ceremony. He sang ‘Amazing Grace’ — my all-time favorite hymn in honor of our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.”

 

For photos, the bridal party stopped in Nashotah Park. “We loved the greenery and tall trees as a backdrop!” During cocktail hour, catered by Saz’s Lake Country, there were passed appetizers and an open bar with two signature drinks: a Blushing Bride (Cranberry Moscow Mule) and Dashing Groom (Brandy Old Fashioned). “Both were big hits!” Dinner was served family style with yummy favorites like mac & cheese, garlic whipped potatoes, savory chicken marsala, and bourbon short ribs. During cocktail hour, soloist Ryan McIntyre played. “Our guests loved the touch of live music!” After dessert, Audio Therapy kept the dance floor jumpin’, DJ style.

As for décor, the Cupola Barn was the perfect canvas. “It’s absolutely gorgeous! We kept our décor really clean and timeless to allow the natural beauty of the venue wow our guests.” The table settings were Sarah’s favorite part: “From the gold antler place card holders, fresh rosemary, oil-stamped menus, and the most special touch — wooden chargers made out of 110-year-old Hemlock by my uncle. Our guests loved how these beautiful details came together, and it was fun to have friends and family later send us photos of their wooden chargers being used in their own homes.”

What surprised Sarah the most about wedding planning was how many details can’t be finalized until those last four to eight weeks before the big day. “This was the most stressful timeframe in the entire process,” she says. “We made the place cards and seating chart, all which couldn’t be finalized until we received the RSVPs.” The RSVPs affected the number of place settings, therefore the number of napkins, the number of rosemary branches to accent, and so on. “The guest list is so powerful!”

One final bit of advice from Sarah: “Hire a day-of coordinator! This was the one thing I wish we would have done in hindsight. Because I did most of the planning, there were a few breakdowns in communication between vendors.” Fortunately, Sarah says these were small things that only she noticed. In the end, guests will only remember what a marvelous time they had celebrating Sarah and Wes at The Cupola Barn.

Bridal Shows AttendedWonderful World of Weddings & Bridal Expo
Make-upWhitney Disch Makeup
HairJennifer Boll, The Parlor Salon, Germantown WI
InvitationsCoqui Paperie
Rehearsal DinnerThe Golden Mast
CeremonySt. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc, WI
ReceptionThe Cupola Barn, Oconomowoc, WI
CateringSaz’s Lake Country
BartendingOver the Moon Bartending
CakeSally’s Sweet Shoppe
Floral (Bouquets/Boutonnieres/Corsages)Avant Garden, Delafield, WI
Floral ( Centerpieces & Cake Table)Laura Nowlin
Music/EntertainmentRyan McIntyre – Soloist for Ceremony & Cocktail Hour
DJ Audio Therapy
TransportationKeehn’s Transportation
PhotographerEast Elm Photography, Madison, WI
GownAdrianna Papell Platinum from Evermore Bridal, Brookfield, WI
FormalwearMen’s Wearhouse
RingsCRAIG HUSAR Fine Diamonds & Jewelry Designs (formerly Lyle Husar Designs), Brookfield, WI
Reception, Reception 101

Reception Sites 101: Ballrooms

March 13, 2019
The Grain Exchange

When people think of wedding receptions, most picture the traditional ballroom. It might be a hotel ballroom or any facility with a large banquet hall. A ballroom is a classic choice for a reception, offering old-world sophistication and (most times) the convenience of an all-inclusive experience.

To decide if the ballroom aesthetic works for you, visit multiple sites in person; the decadence varies from one room to the next. Some ballrooms are set in historic buildings with lavish architecture and crystal chandeliers. This means very little decorating for you, as these ballrooms are naturally beautiful. Many have ornate lobby areas for hosting a cocktail hour, followed by a dramatic opening of the ballroom doors for dinner and dancing. While these glitzy ballrooms offer plenty of glamor, other halls or large conference rooms are more streamlined and unfussy — a blank canvas for you to transform. Aesthetics aside, the biggest draw of a ballroom reception is the on-site amenities.

“On-site” means that many of the necessary services are provided by the facility in question — and this means less stress for you. Hotels and conference centers are pros when it comes to throwing a wedding reception. They often have a wedding coordinator on staff to work with you every step of the way to handle food, drinks, wait staff, shuttles for you and your guests, and so much more. In fact, most ballroom venues either provide their own food service or require the use of pre-approved caterers, immediately simplifying your choice. You’ll be able to choose from a menu of dinner options provided by the facility, allowing you to meet your budget’s needs while knowing that you’re working with a trusted caterer. However, if you have your heart set on an un-affiliated caterer, it never hurts to ask — the venue might make an exception.

If not the caterer, you can still build your own reception package and make personal decisions, like opting to upgrade to finer china, fancier linen and glassware, or adding a balloon drop or champagne toast. The nice thing about these package deals is the ease of it all. The options are yours for the picking, and you can customize your reception to suit your budget and style within the confines of that venue’s affiliates.

In addition to a ballroom reception being easy planning for you as a couple, it’s also easy on your guests. Ballrooms are typically spacious, and many can accommodate hundreds of people. Since giving wedding receptions are old hat for these facilities, they know how to offer exceptional customer service and keep your guests comfortable throughout the evening. Speaking of comfort: There’s nothing like a ballroom reception in the heat of summer. You can rest assured that banquet halls are air-conditioned.

If you decide on a hotel ballroom (emphasis on hotel), your guests will love you for it. There’s nothing easier for out-of-town — or even in-town — guests than a hotel party. Hotels typically offer special room rates for guests of the wedding, and it’s convenient to be able to stop back at the hotel room during the down time between the ceremony and reception. Guests can also enjoy the open bar without having to worry about getting a taxi back to their hotel across town. And the next morning: continental breakfast. Need I say more?

As for ballrooms without a hotel attached, many venues will gladly arrange a shuttle service to and from a nearby hotel. Special room rates are normally offered, too.

Scroll down for great Ballroom Images.  For more information on reception venues, check out our Advanced Venue Search at premierbridewisconsin.com. There you can search by the number of guests, price range, and type of venue.

To get you started, here’s a list of Southeast Wisconsin facilities with ballrooms and banquet halls. We’re also including a few “Real Wedding” links from venues!

Traditional Ballrooms

1451 Renaissance Place
Chandelier Ballroom
Davians Banquet & Conference Center
Grain Exchange Room
The Rotunda

Hotel with Ballroom or Banquet Space

Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport
Crowne Plaza Milwaukee – West
Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport Hotel
Delafield Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Milwaukee Airport
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Hampton Inn & Suites
Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Holiday Inn Pewaukee- Milwaukee West
Hyatt Regency
Ingleside Hotel
Milwaukee Marriott West
Radisson Hotel Milwaukee
The Ridge Hotel
Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
The Astor Hotel
The Pfister Hotel

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Melissa & Alan held at 1451 Renaissance Place
Real Wedding: Aleah & Donald held at Geneva National

Ballroom, Blue/Aqua/Navy, Dark, Downtown, Fall, Green/Olive, Real Weddings, Red, Traditional

Rachael & David’s Performing Arts Center Wedding

March 11, 2019
Rachael and David's wedding at the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center Milwaukee

David and Rachael’s love story started at Marquette University. “David was my first friend at Marquette,” Rachael says. “We both did Army ROTC and met on the very first day of school. We became best friends instantly and remained best friends for about two years until we started dating.”

Both David, now a logistician, and Rachael, now a nurse, were stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Tacoma, Washington, when David proposed. “David and I love to hike in our free time, and he knows I love mountains,” Rachael says. “David proposed to me at the top of a mountain with Mount Rainier as the backdrop. I immediately broke into tears and said yes.”

The two planned an October wedding at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts in Milwaukee. “We both love the rustic farmhouse style, but felt that our venue was too classy for that. So we decided to go with a floral, only slightly-rustic theme. We absolutely loved it! Our colors were burgundy, navy, blush, succulent green, and frost green.”

The ceremony was held where their romance began: on Marquette’s campus. “Our favorite part of the ceremony was getting married at our Alma Mater’s on-campus church, Gesu.” Rachael was also baptized at Gesu and her parents were married there. “The church itself has a lot of meaning to us.”

David says that his favorite moment of the day was standing at the altar and seeing Rachael walk toward him, clutching her father’s arm. “Gesu has a very long aisle to walk down,” he says. “From afar, I could only slightly see what Rachael’s gown looked like, but that was it. As she walked toward me, I loved seeing all the little details come to life — her smile, hair, makeup, jewelry, the dress. Rachael looked, and is, so beautiful. Watching her come to life as she walked down the aisle was amazing.”

After David and Rachael said “I do,” the party moved to Milwaukee’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). The space was decorated with signage by Coqui Paperie, who had also done the invitation suite. “They were absolutely amazing! All of our “Coqui” paperie products turned out fantastic!”  “The PAC did an amazing job coordinating and planning our wedding. We were both stationed in Washington State, and the PAC still did a wonderful job planning with us from afar via email and phone calls. When the day-of coordinator we had hired cancelled the morning of our wedding, the PAC seamlessly took over the tasks. They were so helpful before, during, and after the wedding. Karin, our coordinator for the PAC, was especially amazing. We can’t thank Karin and PAC enough!”

Saz’s  catered a dinner of tenderloin spiedini, salmon, and a mushroom vegetarian option. “The food was fantastic! We also had gourmet popcorn as a late-night snack: cheddar, parmesan, caramel, and truffle.” But Rachael’s favorite part of the reception? “Dancing! The Performing Arts Center is one huge ballroom, and we had a live band knowing both of our families love to dance. The Bluewater Kings Band rocked the dance floor all night long.”

When all was said and done, Rachael’s major advice to future brides is just to relax and enjoy. “Stop all wedding planning and prepping at least three days before the wedding. Give yourself time to relax, grab coffee with a friend, or do yoga. Keep busy and visit with family. If something isn’t set three days before the wedding, it’s not worth stressing over. Also, remember that it’s okay to be assertive. Give trusted people tasks the day of. Most of all, enjoy your wedding day! You don’t want to look back and think about how stressed you were.” With the help of good vendors and the support of family and friends, a stress-free wedding can be a dream come true.

Make-upSamantha Kalkopf Artistry
HairAlex from Piccola Salon
InvitationsCoqui Paperie
Rehearsal DinnerRock Bottom Brewery
CeremonyThe Church of Gesu
ReceptionMarcus Center for the Performing Arts
CatererSazama's Fine Catering
DessertO&H Bakery
Custom SignageCoqui Paperie
FlowersImpressions by Esther Flemming
Music/EntertainmentBluewater Kings Band
TransportationAdonis Limousine
Photographerleo&jenny photography
VideographerHedge Visuals
GownEssence of Australia from Something Blue Bridal Boutique, Puyallup, WA
FormalwearMen’s Wearhouse
RingsKay Jeweler
Marquee LettersEZPZ Marquee