Blank Canvas, Blue/Aqua/Navy, Classic Style, Downtown, Real Weddings, Summer, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Nicholas & Mary Claire’s Classic DIY Wedding at the Best Place Pabst

October 15, 2018

Nicholas and Mary Claire have known each other since kindergarten. “We lived down the street from one another. When both of our families moved to the suburbs of Chicago, we ended up at rival high schools.” The two reunited on Mary Claire’s 21st birthday and started dating three weeks later. “We got engaged after six years of dating and got married after eight years together.”

Nicholas proposed on a beach at sunrise on a freezing winter’s morning. “He was down on one knee in the sand,” Mary Claire recalls. “With tears in his eyes, he asked, ‘Will you marry me?’ I screamed at the top of my lungs, ‘YES! Of course!’ for all to hear at 6:30 in the morning!” The couple planned an August wedding that was classic and simple, but with lots of personality and “DIY to the max.” The ceremony was held at Christ King Catholic Church in Wauwatosa, with a reception at the Best Place Pabst.

In between the ceremony and reception, the couple stopped for photos in downtown Milwaukee with their photographers from Ideal Impressions. “Ryan and Gio were incredible! They were so easy to work with the day of the wedding, and thankfully our entire wedding party listened to them, so we breezed through photos. We can’t recommend them enough, especially as a team. We had all of our wedding photos by 10 a.m. the next morning!”

Then it was time to party at the Best Place. “We had so many favorite parts, but being able to share time together alone in the reception hall, while all of our guests were at cocktail hour, was really special. It was our time to let it all soak in and enjoy everything we planned together. We also exchanged gifts and cards, which held eight years worth of love and emotions. We’d been waiting for this moment for such a long time, and you could feel that.”

Outside of all the “mushy love stuff,” as Mary Claire calls it, the bride and groom say they had an absolute blast at the reception. One cool feature was a Tall Boy station. “It was basically a cooler filled with Tall Boys that our guests could just grab. And we had koozies made for them to use!” Koozies were just the tip of the DIY iceberg. Mary Claire also made all of the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, and centerpieces, plus the seating chart windows and signage throughout the venue. Mary Claire’s Grandpa Bill and Uncle Tim made their wooden slab guest book.

Another highlight for Nicholas and Mary Claire was turning out an unforgettable first dance. “We nailed all of our dips with no formal training — all self taught!” Mary Claire laughs. “But honestly, that first dance was so special — we’ll never forget it.”

Make-up Makeup by Nicole Marie
Hair Elle Arrigo & James
Rehearsal Dinner Mo’s Irish Pub, Milwaukee
Ceremony Christ King Catholic Church, Milwaukee
Reception & Bartending The Best Place at the Historic Pabst Place, Milwaukee
Catering Irene’s Catering, Milwaukee
Cake Aggie's Bakery & Cake Shop, West Allis
Music/Entertainment Phil Trocchio, Chicago
Transportation Blackline Limousines, Oak Creek
Photographer Ideal Impressions Photography, Lake Geneva
Video Nicholas’ cousins Riley & Delaney made the video with their GoPros!
Gown Theia from Lovely Bride, Chicago
Formalwear Jos A Bank, Glenview, IL
Rentals Irene’s Catering
Blank Canvas, Blue/Aqua/Navy, Orange/Coral, Real Weddings, South, Themed

Emma & Jack’s Tiki Wedding
at South Shore Pavilion

October 1, 2018
Emma and Jack marry at the South Shore Pavilion in Bay View Wisconsin

Jack and Emma are both from upstate New York, but met in Milwaukee. Jack proposed in Disney World, in front of Emma’s family. “He was very nervous about smuggling the ring through TSA without me seeing it,” Emma laughs.

Their wedding theme was unique indeed: Tiki! A color palette of aqua and coral kept things bright, upbeat, and fun, and Emma found her lovey dress at at Eva’s Bridal. Both the ceremony and reception were held at South Shore Pavilion and featured rentals from Well Dressed Tables by Arena Americas and loads of DIY projects by from the bride and groom.

“It was hard to find tiki-themed wedding decor!” Emma says. “I love that we had an actual tiki bar for our reception and that our guests had tiki glasses as favors.” The two also made lanterns, table signs, special cocktails, wedding programs, and coloring books for the kids.

For the ceremony, Jack and Emma wrote their own vows and had their good friend Sarah officiate. “It was a very funny and sweet ceremony. We both promised to disobey each other,” Emma adds with a wink. Following the ceremony, photos were taken outside at South Shore Park along the lakefront. Emma says that Kara from Kara Reese Photography was “so helpful in figuring out our timeline and keeping us on track.”

Dinner was a scrumptious Hawaiian buffet with whoopee pies for dessert. “Whoopie pies are an east coast thing, so it was a nod to where we are from.” Then the dancing started. One of the bride and groom’s favorite memories: “When we made a giant conga line with all of our guests during Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’” Emma’s advice to future brides is to not worry so much. “Everything came together just fine in the end,” she says. “And anything that didn’t come together didn’t matter!”

Make-up Blush by Brittany
Hair Lauren Heiden from Neroli
Invitations Shutterfly
Rehearsal Dinner County Clare
Ceremony & Reception South Shore Park Pavilion in Bay View
Catering Ono Kine Grindz
Dessert Wicked Whoopies Whoopie Pies
Flowers Wild Petals Florist
Entertainment A Personal Touch DJ
Transportation Uber/Lyft
Photographer Kara Reese Photography
Gown Justin Alexander from Eva's Bridal
Formalwear Men's Wearhouse
Rentals Well Dressed Tables by Arena America's
Blue/Aqua/Navy, Classic Style, Downtown, Historic & Unique, Real Weddings, Spring, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Sarah & Mike’s Lakefront Wedding
at the War Memorial

September 18, 2018
Sarah and Matt get married at the War Memorial in Downtown Milwaukee

Sarah and Mike, who met at their Crossfit gym, got engaged on the first night they spent in their new home together. “We were so excited to begin this next chapter of our lives,” Sarah says. “We agreed that on our first night, we would take some time to enjoy the experience out on our porch.” In the moment, however, Sarah was intent on unpacking more boxes. “Unbeknownst to me, Mike had already hidden the ring under the porch chair and lit candles in the yard. It took two hours of convincing to get me outside!”

Once there, Mike pulled out his bucket list journal, which Sarah had given to him for his birthday three years prior. “He read his top nine list aloud, then let me read the 10th: ‘To marry the girl of my dreams.’ I felt like the moment couldn’t have been more perfect, and I love that it was shared just between the two of us.”

Mike and Sarah planned a June wedding at the War Memorial in downtown Milwaukee. The ceremony was held at the Fitz Plaza with the reception at Memorial Hall. “The venue was remodeled over the winter, and although we were privy to the mock-ups, the results exceeded our expectations. The venue overall felt competitively priced, modern, and flexible. The on-site coordinator, Jennifer, was extremely patient and responded quickly to our many questions. She helped us find a few of our vendors and proactively addressed details of the day that we hadn’t even considered.”

On the day of the wedding, Sarah wore a Paloma Blanca dress from White Dress. Mike says one of the moments that sticks with him the most was watching Sarah walk down the aisle: “My heart was doing backflips.” Sarah says one of the best parts of the ceremony was their officiant. “We asked my 85-year-old grandpa to dust off his old minister robes and officiate our ceremony. He did an amazing job mixing tradition and religion with humor and personal stories. Having someone we both love so much marry us was one of the highlights of the wedding.”

At the reception, some of the most memorable moments happened on the dance floor. “The dance with our moms is among my favorite,” Mike says. At the beginning of the song, Mike danced with his mom and Sarah danced with hers. Halfway through, they “mom-swapped.” “It was non-traditional, but a special moment for the four of us.” For Sarah, one of her favorite memories is their surprise first dance.

After joking about “Wagon Wheel” being their song, Mike had the DJ switch their chosen first dance song to the Darius Rucker tune. “He even went a step further and pulled out an American cowboy hat to dance in,” Sarah laughs. “That moment felt so special because Mike is not a country music fan, and the song felt so highly untraditional — but he put these facts aside to remind me that the night was about the two of us.”

Another personal touch came with the late-night snack. “Mike walked out of the kitchen carrying a platter of hot, homemade mac and cheese,” she says. “I was shocked. His family helped prepare the dish, and the caterer helped with the logistics. Mike’s thoughtfulness was just another reminder of how lucky I am to call him my husband.” More than just mac and cheese, there were also five different desserts following dinner, including a scrumptious cheesecake from Simma’s.

For Mike, one thing he wishes he knew while planning the wedding was how much the guests would love their wedding favors. “Just a week before the wedding, we decided to place candy bags on the tables, and we were surprised what a big hit they were. We also didn’t realize how much our guests would like the elephant place-card holders. Many people approached us throughout the night, complimenting us on this special touch. We wish we would have made it clear that these were gifts, as we heard many times after the fact that guests wished they knew they could have kept their elephant.” When all is said and done, Sarah and Mike agree: “We wouldn’t change a thing about our day.”

Make-up Artist Marissa Connet
Hair Stylist Erin Larkee
Invitations Zanna Paper (found on Etsy)
Rehearsal Dinner Bollywood Grill
Ceremony Location Fitch Plaza at the War Memorial
Reception Location Memorial Hall at the War Memorial
Catering & Bartending Zilli Hospitality Group
Cake Simmas
Chalkboard Artist & Flowers Adorn
Music/Entertainment The Latchkeys (cocktail hour); DJ Double Platinum (all other music)
Photographer Tom Nicol Photography
Photography second shooter ( Guys getting ready) Pink Spruce
Wedding Dress Designer Paloma Blanca from White Dress
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse
Rings 12Fifteen Diamonds (Sarah’s)

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Historic & Unique, Lake Country, Pastel, Pink/Blush, Planning, Real Weddings, Summer, Traditional, West, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Anna & Jacob’s Elegant Wedding at the Red Circle Inn

September 6, 2018
Anna and Jake marry at St Paul Catholic Church

High school sweethearts Anna and Jacob got engaged during a holiday trip to Munich, Germany. “We had a nice dinner and were walking around the Christmas market,” Anna remembers. “He proposed by the giant Christmas tree in the middle of the market.” For their wedding theme, the two aimed for elegant romance, with a church ceremony and a reception at the Red Circle Inn. Anna found her gorgeous dress at Bliss Bridal, and she and Jacob turned to Coqui Paperie for their invitations and signage. On the eve of the wedding, the two celebrated with family and friends at a rehearsal dinner at Water Street Brewery in Delafield.

During the ceremony at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Anna says one of her favorite parts was seeing Jacob’s face for the first time as she walked down the aisle. “I also really enjoyed saying our vows to each other,” she says. “It was a special moment for the both of us.” Between the ceremony and reception, the bridal party went to Frame Park and the Fox River in Waukesha for photos. To shuttle guests from here to there, the bride and groom chose a 33-passenger mini coach from Go Riteway.

How was the reception? “It was everything I dreamed of,” Anna sighs. “It was so much fun to have all of our family and friends there to celebrate with us.” Dinner was catered by the Red Circle Inn and featured a choice of chicken or steak paired with green beans and potatoes, plus a vegan option of veggie-stuffed red peppers. “We received numerous compliments from guests on how good the food was. People didn’t know how the steak could be so good when cooking for so many people!”

Anna and Jacob also elected to have an open bar for most of the evening. “Many people came up to us and said how friendly the bartenders were.” Anna says the Red Circle Inn bartenders handled the six-hour open bar “like champs” and that they “continued to be quick and delightful the whole night.” For a sweet treat, the couple chose cheesecake from Simma’s Bakery. “It’s the absolute best, in my opinion,” Anna asserts. “Everyone wanted seconds!”

Beyond the delicious food and top-notch service, one of the things that makes the Red Circle Inn a unique space for a reception is its layout. The dining room is separate from the cocktail and dancing space, allowing people lots of room to mingle, while also allowing a quiet space apart for guests who are less inclined to dance. Anna truly can’t praise the Red Circle Inn enough: “They made everything so easy for us. Norm has been doing this for a long time and communicated everything really well. We relied on him for questions, planning, and the flow of the day. He provided great insights and truly made our day special. We can’t thank him enough!”

Through this entire process, Anna and Jacob admit that the Red Circle Inn has now become their favorite place to eat. In the overall planning, Anna says there wasn’t any one aspect she enjoyed better than the rest. “We had such a wonderful day, and our vendors made it a dream come true.” Her final word of advice for future brides and grooms: “The time goes by so fast. Enjoy every moment of the planning, even if it’s stressful, because you will look back and know it was all worth it. Be in the moment on the day of your wedding, because before you know it, the day will be over!”

Bridal Shows Attended Bridal Expo 
Make-up and Hair Anton’s Salon and MSpa
Invitations Coqui Paperie
Rehearsal Dinner Water Street Brewery, Delafield
Ceremony Location St. Paul Catholic Church, Genesee
Reception, Catering and Bartending Red Circle Inn & Bistro
Cake Simma’s Bakery
Chalkboard/Custom Signage Coqui Paperie
Flowers Avant Garden
Music/Entertainment Xcite Entertainment
Transportation Party Bus from Blackline Limousines
Transportation Shuttle Service provided by Go Riteway
Photographer McNiel Photography
Gown Wtoo from Bliss Bridal
Formalwear The Black Tux
Rings J. P. Haase Jewelers

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Behind the Beat, Music

Behind the Beat | DJ Express

September 4, 2018
Interview with the Experts | DJ’s | Behind the Beat
Finding the right entertainment for your reception is such an important element in your planning process, so we created “Behind the Beat” to give you a more in-depth look at each of our DJ’s! We will be running a new post each month, so be sure to check back in!
Take a look below to get to know a little more about Jeff Kohler-Owner of  DJ Express Disc Jockey Service

How did you know you wanted to be a DJ? How did you go about starting out?

When I was 8 years old I had a toy stethoscope and used to talk into it, even back then I told my mother I would grow up to be a Dj. And then when I was 18 years old I used to help one of my friends Dj in a night club. Music has always been a huge part of my life. A few years later one of my friends was getting married and could not afford a Dj so I told him that I would Dj his wedding as my gift to him and two of his guests said we were so good they wanted to know what we charged to do a wedding. Dj express disc jockey service was born!

How long have you been in the business?

We started the business my brother and I back in 1993. After being together for 1 year I bought him out and started to grow my business.

How many people work for you?

We are now capable of covering up to 19 weddings in one day.

What are the qualities that make a successful wedding DJ?

The first thing that makes a successful wedding Dj is being a people person, a vast knowledge of music; past and present, and the understanding that you have a couples special day in your hands and how important it is to help make their day memorable.

Why do you love providing entertainment at weddings?

I love providing the entertainment at a wedding for several reasons. One, this couple has trusted you with the memories of their very special day and I love to see people laughing, having fun, and dancing, all due to them responding to what I’m doing.

How has your DJ (style) changed since you started?

We started with 12 inch vinyl, to CDs, and now laptops. Other than what plays the music style has not changed, fun is fun, dancing is dancing, a good time is still and always will be a good time.

How do you train your DJ’s to make sure your vision is followed?

I personally train each of my Djs, they work side by side with me, then go out and help some of my top Djs to get different perspectives, and then return back to me as the lead Dj, and I am their assistant, and only then will they be allowed to Dj on their own.

When choosing their DJ, what should a couple look for?

First of all that they feel very comfortable with either conversating over the phone or in person prior to their wedding day so that they are very much on the same page together. And also if the Dj company has good reviews and references.

Do you offer extra services? ( Lighting, props, etc.)

At Dj Express we offer up lighting, karaoke, ceremony, cock tail, dinner, and reception music/lighting all at once low cost.

How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?

Though a Djs job is not just to play music, it is to help orchestrate and organize a couples’ day by working together with the other vendors so that everybody including the bride and groom, the vendors, and the Dj are all on the same page to fulfill the bride and groom’s plan for their special day. Example: we will go up and tell the photographers what the plans are and when it is set up to happen and before we do it, we let the bride and groom know and the photographer so that the bride knows to have such as the bouquet and where it is and the photographer has the knowledge of it to take those special pictures for our bride and groom.

What is a typical wedding day routine for you?

Checking in at the hall, confirming with the hall where it is that we are to set up, setting up, doing a sound and light check, getting the music ready to go, and doing a once over again of all the paperwork to make sure that I know exactly what is going on one more time, waiting for the guests and my bride and groom to arrive.

What is the most requested song right now?

The most popular song requested right now would still be the novelty songs such as; Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, Macarena, ect.

Are there any new trends you are seeing?

Probably one of the newest trends for a while now is adding up lighting for the ambiance of the wedding venue.

Do you have an all-time favorite song that really gets the guests on the dance floor? If so will you share it with us.

And I would say my favorite song of all time to play to get the guests on the dance floor for some time now has been the Cupid Shuffle. That’ll definitely get guests out on the dance floor.

In conclusion, my customers mean everything to me, and music has always held a special place in my heart. And to know that I get to impact somebody’s special day, knowing that I am a part of that couples memories for the rest of their lives is a pretty cool job that I’m proud to say I love so much.

Jeff Kohler,

Owner of DJ Express Disc Jockey Service

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Blue/Aqua/Navy, Downtown, Fall, Indian, Real Weddings, Red, Traditional, Whites/Grays/Silvers, Yellow/Gold/Ivory/Creams

Ranjani & Abhay’s Iyengar Hindu Wedding at the War Memorial

August 28, 2018
Abhay and Ranjani's traditional, South-Indian, Iyengar Hindu wedding

Ranjani and Abhay are both first generation Indian-American with families hailing from Chennai and Bangalore in South India. “Our parents moved to the US in the 1980s. Abhay grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, and Ranjani in Racine.” Though the two didn’t meet via arranged marriage, they did meet following a series of blind dates facilitated by their parents. After his dad assured him that Ranjani’s parents seemed to be “very nice people,” Abhay sent his first email.

At the time, Ranjani was in New York finishing up her pediatric residency and Abhay was in Iowa. A long-distance correspondence followed for four months, until Ranjani moved to Chicago for work. During one of their first dates — a picnic at Ravinia, watching the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven — Ranjani remembers thinking, “I’m not sure I even like this guy yet, but I think I’m going to marry him.”

After setting the date for an engagement party, Abhay formally proposed to Ranjani by taking her to another Beethoven symphony, then getting down on one knee at a lovely favorite along the Chicago River. The couple, along with their families, planned a traditional South-Indian wedding. “We were both happy that we could follow our traditions and have an Iyengar Hindu wedding in the midwest. We were even fortunate to be able to follow certain customs that our parents didn’t when they got married.”

“We were also happy to be able to share our traditions with our non-Indian friends, many of whom had never been to a Hindu wedding. These wedding customs are centuries old and come from a time when the bride and groom were children. One of our favorite parts of the ceremony was when we were both lifted onto the shoulders of our family members and had to throw a garland around each other.”

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the War Memorial in downtown Milwaukee. “We had an amazing venue. Having both our wedding and reception at the Milwaukee County War Memorial was unique, and one of our favorite parts was being able to enjoy the view and see how much our guests enjoyed it, too.” The scenic Lake Michigan spot made a gorgeous backdrop for photos at at the War Memorial, the Art Museum, and the gates of the Villa Terrace — all captured by the team of photographers and videographers at The Artist Group.

Dinner was a catered meal of vegetarian Indian food. “Both of our families are vegetarian, and so are we. We also had an open bar at the reception, and our desserts were mostly Indian.” To keep the night running smoothly, Abhay and Ranjani asked their brothers to emcee. “We had asked them months before our wedding, but they didn’t plan what they were going to do or say until the night of the reception. Nevertheless, they were a hit!”

In addition to brotherly emcees, Ranjani and Abhay say they owe all the magic of the day to their parents and families. “Our parents meticulously planned the wedding weekend, worked with the vendors, and also hosted family from India who flew here just for our wedding. Abhay’s sister-in-law, Swati, also played a big role in ironing out details as the wedding weekend quickly approached. She even flew in from Los Angeles for a weekend to help plan! Truly, our favorite part of wedding planning was doing it with our families — because, without them, it wouldn’t have happened.”

As advice for future brides and grooms, Abhay and Ranjani would drive home the importance of open communication from the start. “It’s important to talk to each other about what type of wedding you want — how big, how much you want to spend, etc. — before you start planning or getting others involved.” Also, leading by example, this happy couple capped off their wedding weekend with a four-night honeymoon at Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, staying at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso. A perfect end to a wedding celebration and a perfect start to a new life together!

Make-up and Hair Pinal Patel, Wauwatosa, WI
Invitations Greenvelope.com
Ceremony & Reception The Milwaukee County War Memorial
Caterer Zilli’s (Milwaukee) and Sri Krishna Catering (Naperville, IL)
Bartending & Desserts Zilli’s
Flowers Poonam Creations (Grayslake, IL)
Music/Entertainment DJ Prashant (Schaumburg, IL)
Transportation MKE Shuttle, LLC
Photo & Video The Artist Group
Gown Chennai, India
Formalwear Brooks Brothers
Rentals Poonam Creations, Blue Peak Tents, Inc., and Zilli’s

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Ask the PB Pro

Are Broach bouquets “in”?

August 23, 2018
Ask the PB Pro

Dear PB Pro,
Are broach bouquets “in”? They look so pretty depending where you find them. Only thing is, they are expensive.
– Looking for a Bouquet

 


Dear Looking for a Bouquet,

Broach wedding bouquets are not that common so they’re always in and make a statement. If you have access to “lots” of broaches that have a sentimental value (a close family member’s collection), then it’s a nice option. There are many online choices as well and some are cost effective and beautiful. A keepsake to always cherish.

Another alternative is to incorporate some broaches into your floral bouquet. Your wedding florist can work with you. You can include just a few key pieces or a lot. We love cascading pearls or other such enhancements – especially if they’re from someone close to you or someone who is no longer with us. If you love the concept, you could also purchase broaches as your bridesmaids gifts, including them in their flower bouquets as well.

— The PB Pro


Have a question for our PB PRO? Email askthepbpro@premierbride.com and watch future newsletters for your answer. View our website for more questions and answers.

Behind the Lens, Local Spotlight, Photography & Video, Planning

Behind the Lens-
Artist Group Photography & Video

August 16, 2018
Behind the Lens interview with a wedding photographer

Interview with the Experts | Photography | Behind the Lens

Finding the right photographer to capture your day is such an important element in your planning process, so we created “Behind the Lens” to give you a more in-depth look at each of our photographers! We will be running a new post each month, so be sure to check back in!
Take a look below to get to know a little more about Katy & Dale from Artist Group Photography & Video.

How did you know you wanted to be a photographer? How did you go about starting out?
Dale and I started in the fashion industry. We traveled to Europe and fell in love with the style of photography there. We worked for magazines and fashion catalogs, but when we got married we saw the beauty of capturing this real-life event and started Artist Group. We have been hooked ever since.

How long have you been in the business?
We have been photographing weddings for 23 years. We started video about 10 years ago for our clients that wanted the video to match the stills in a cohesive way. Our teams are able to work together so well it saves time and eliminates stress for our clients.

What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?
Experience, talent and the ability to problem solve quickly. Anything can happen at a wedding and you want your team to be able to handle it. The most important quality of all is to be able to really put the clients’ needs first. Listen to what they want and be flexible and creative enough to make it happen.

Why do you love photographing weddings and engagements?
This is one of the happiest, most celebrated times in a persons life. There is beauty and style, but also real emotion. It is all happening in real time and such a wonderful challenge for a photographer. These are images that become treasured art for the families we are working for. It is an honor.

How has your photography (style) changed since you started?
We started with a fashion-photojournalist point of view mix. We have stayed true to that, but technology has really allowed us to expand our ability to shoot much faster and in more challenging places.

When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?
Look for a style of photography that is what you want. Make sure you know the photographer that will be there for you and look at their work. Make sure that photographer is accommodating your vision and supporting that vision with ideas.
Ask what is included in the price.

Is there anything you wish couples would ask?
I think couples are very knowledgeable these days. The one thing I would say is let the photographer guild you on where the best backgrounds are and how to find the right light. This is where the magic happens.

How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?
We work with a photo timeline that is created with the other vendors timelines so that we are always in sync.

What is a typical wedding day routine for you?
We will start with creating a story of the day. A bit of getting ready and build from there. Each wedding is treated differently to avoid a cookie cutter pattern. We search out the personality and unique details of each couple and weave that in.

Do you have an all-time favorite wedding image? If so will you share it with us.
We have so many images that we love. We try to post a few from each wedding as we work through the season. We pulled a few here to share.

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Green, Lake Country, Outdoor & Tented, Pink/Blush, Real Weddings, Summer, West

Amanda & Sema’s Sunday Brunch
Wedding at the Seven Seas

August 14, 2018
Amanda and Sema marry at Seven Seas in Oconomowoc WI

Amanda and Sema met the modern way: “I had been talked into trying Tinder because someone told me you can legitimately meet people on there,” Amanda laughs. “I guess they were right!” Sema proposed with the help of the couple’s dog, Hurley. Amanda was watching TV when Hurley came bounding into the room after having gone outside with Sema. “Hurley kept putting his face in mine and wanting me to pet him,” Amanda recalls. “Sema finally said, ‘Look at Hurley’s neck!’ He had tied the ring around his collar. I think Hurley was acting the way he did because he knew what his job was!”

The happy couple decided to keep things beautifully simple with a Sunday brunch wedding. “We didn’t want our wedding to be a big party. We wanted it to be small and intimate. Sunday brunch was just perfect for what we had in mind — the perfect time of day for an outside wedding, plus everyone had the afternoon to do what they pleased. We wanted it as easy and with the least amount of pressure for ourselves and everyone who came. We don’t think we missed out on a single thing by doing a daytime wedding. It was exactly what we wanted!” In fact, Amanda and Sema were able to get all the vendors they wanted (given the non-peak day), and guests also loved how fun and carefree the day felt.

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Seven Seas, with Indian Summer Photography on hand to capture the love-filled day. Amanda says there wasn’t a specific theme, rather a focus on gathering everyone together and feeling comfortable. “That’s why we chose a few very long tables instead of many smaller tables. Even the meal was family style. I guess, if there was a theme, it would be ‘family style!’”

A family friend even officiated the wedding, making the ceremony all the more meaningful. A string duo from Elegant Music Services played the procession and recession songs, and Amanda walked down the aisle in her Amelishan Bridal dress to the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” — a favorite of hers. “Another special part is that I walked down with both my dad and my grandfather, who was a huge part of my life growing up.”

In keeping with intimate, family-style simplicity, a brunch reception followed with a little dancing, too. “I loved it because it felt like a family reunion,” Amanda says. “It was very relaxing without expectations or stress.” Brunch was catered by the Seven Seas and included scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a basket of bakery, barbecue riblets, herb roasted chicken, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. To toast to the bride and groom, guests enjoyed champagne, mimosas, orange juice, bloody marys, and a full bar.

At the end of the day, Amanda and Sema wouldn’t trade their Sunday brunch wedding for anything — it was absolutely perfect for them. “Don’t worry about the expectations from everyone to have some huge party,” Amanda says. Her advice to future brides is to make the day about why you’re there: To celebrate the joining two lives together in love.

Hair Stylist Jamie Schroeder of Hair by Jamie in Oconomowoc
Invitations Purchased from LoveofCreating through Etsy
Ceremony, Reception, Catering & Bartending Seven Seas on Nagawicka Lake
Cake Maja the Bee Sweets
Ceremony Music Elegant Music Services
Chalkboard/Custom Signage Written by the Bride on signs/frames rented from Vintique Rentals
Flowers Barb’s Green House Florist in Hales Corners, WI
Music/Entertainment Vital Image
Photographer Indian Summer Photography
Gown Amelishan Bridal
Formalwear Skeffington’s Formal Wear
Rings Jared
Rentals Vintique Rentals

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Ballroom, Blue/Aqua/Navy, Classic Style, Lake Country, Pink/Blush, Real Weddings, West, Whites/Grays/Silvers, Winter

Amber & Mike’s Wintry Wedding at the Delafield Hotel

August 6, 2018
Amber and Mike marry at the Delafield Hotel in Delafield WI

Amber from Janesville and Mike from Albert Lea, Minnesota, were living in Madison and Brookfield, respectively, when they met on Match over three years ago. The happy couple got engaged on a summer’s day in July 2017 at the Union Terrace in Madison. “We spent a lot of time there when we were dating, and it was the perfect spot for Mike’s proposal,” Amber says. “It was casual and romantic. The perfect moment for the two of us!”

Mike and Amber planned a wedding for the following February, giving them just half a year to get all their ducks in a row. Amber, being an interior designer, enjoyed the planning process as a different way to unleash her space-making creativity. “The theme was a romantic winter wedding — classic and stylish. The colors were soft whites and ivory, warm neutral grays, blush pinks, and accents of navy blue.”

The ceremony, reception, and photography all took place at the stately Delafield Hotel. Both the ceremony and reception were held in the Ballroom. “They transformed the space between the ceremony and reception while we were taking photos and our guests were enjoying the cocktail hour.” The signature cocktail: an Old Fashioned. During photos, the bride and groom had the chance to go up into the hotel bell tower. “The sun was setting and there were light snowflakes falling,” Amber recalls. “The Delafield Hotel also created an awesome backdrop for our photos with our wedding party.”

Everything from dinner to drinks to dessert was catered by the hotel. Guests had a choice or pan-seared chicken breast with lemon and thyme fingerling potatoes or braised beef short ribs with sweet corn mashed potatoes and vegetables in a port wine shallot reduction. For a vegetarian option, there was quinoa with apples and roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet potato cakes, miso sauce, and wilted kale. For dessert, the house-made cake featured two flavors: a simple white buttercream cake with white almond poppyseed and raspberry compote filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream.

Both cakes were decorated with flowers from Bank of Flowers. “My florist, Melissa, was extremely helpful, as she is a very good friend of mine in addition to being my florist,” Amber says. “She really helped me pull everything together and feel great about all of my decisions. Melissa went above and beyond — and the flowers were gorgeous!”

Looking back, the moments that sticks with Amber the most was seeing her husband as she walked down the aisle. Her advice to future brides? Try not to sweat the small stuff! “You hear about how stressful planning a wedding on your own can be,” she says. “But you just have to have fun with it and not worry about all the details. In the end, it will turn out perfectly!”

Make-up Artist Team Bride MKE – Dana Welch
Hair Stylist Erica Symons – Allure Hair Salon – Madison, WI
Rehearsal Dinner I.D./The Delafield Hotel
Ceremony, Reception, Catering, Bartending & Cake The Delafield Hotel / I.D.
Flowers Bank of Flowers
Music/Entertainment The Acoustix
Photographer Erika Lee Photography
Gown Vera’s House of Bridals, Madison, WI
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse, Brookfield, WI
Rings Custom designed by bride and groom
Rentals Chairs from All Star Rentals (Rented through The Delafield Hotel)
Background Sheer Panels and Up-Lighting Double Platinum DJ

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Downtown, Historic & Unique, Milwaukee, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer

Jessica & Paul’s Beautiful, Bloom-Filled Wedding at the Milwaukee Art Museum



July 27, 2018
Jessica and Paul marry at the Pfister Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee

Paul and Jessica met in college at UWM. The two were on a trip to Vancouver when Paul proposed. “We took a gondola up the side of Grouse Mountain,” Jessica says. “At sunset, Paul got down on one knee, in the snow, and asked me to marry him.”

Jessica and Paul planned a July wedding at the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum. Both the ceremony and reception were held there. What made the ceremony unique for the bride and groom: “A family friend was the officiant. Her personality and beautiful sermon made our ceremony perfect.” Photos were taken at both the Art Museum and at the nearby Pfister Hotel.