Blue/Aqua/Navy, Planning, Real Weddings, Red, Summer, Traditional, West

Rachel & Bryan’s Late-Summer Wedding at the Oconomowoc Community Center

December 28, 2018
Rachel and Bryan marry in Oconomowoc, WI

Before Rachel and Bryan could ride off into their very own proverbial sunset, Bryan proposed to his horse-loving lady at Lifestriders, where both he and Rachel volunteer with therapeutic horseback riding. “I’ve been volunteering there for over 10 years, so it’s a very special place for me,” Rachel says. On the day of the proposal, one of the volunteers tricked Rachel into walking the field with her, when suddenly Bryan came out from behind a tree with Rachel’s horse, Sherlock. “Sherlock was of course making a scene, but Bryan still managed to propose. It was very sweet and just what I wanted.”

The happy couple planned a late-August wedding that was “fun and rustic, while still being a little old fashioned and formal.” Leading up to the big day, Rachel attended the Wonderful World of Weddings bridal show. The ceremony took place at St. Luke’s church. “The day before the ceremony was full of mishaps, including a flat tire, locking our unity candle in the reception venue, arriving late to the rehearsal, and our flower girl almost taking a swim in the baptismal waters. But the day of the ceremony went off perfectly; we couldn’t have asked for anything better!”

Before heading to the reception, Bryan and Rachel stopped for pictures at the proposal spot, Lifestriders. “My horse was a bit too spunky for me to hop on that day in my dress, but some of our wonderful volunteers prepped two of our lesson horses for Bryan and I to ride in our photos, which was really important to me. And we still got some ground shots with Sherlock, even though he was being a bit of a stinker. Personally, I think he’s jealous of Bryan!” Rachel laughs.

The reception, complete with a scrumptious buffet dinner and a night of dancing, took place at the Oconomowoc Community Center (OCC). “The reception space was gorgeous, and Paige at the OCC was wonderful and easy to work with. The OCC was the first reception venue we looked at, and we never even bothered to look at any others! We booked it the day we first saw it.” Dinner included a macaroni and cheese buffet (regular, three cheese chicken, spicy kick, and vegetarian), turkey and gravy sandwiches, salad, and rolls. “It was nothing fancy, and that’s perfect for us.”

Rachel says her favorite part of the reception was how her dad incorporated an old Sicilian tradition: “Throwing coins at the bride and groom during their first dance, while allowing all the children at the wedding to crawl around the floor, picking up the coins and keeping all the ones they could find.”

Another moment that sticks with Bryan and Rachel is their now-famous elevator photo. The wedding party was trying to figure out how to handle the grand entrance into the hall: “Usually at the OCC, the party goes up two flights of stairs and waits to be announced. However, one of our groomsmen uses a wheelchair and couldn’t take the stairs.”

“While we were standing around, trying to figure out how we could coordinate our stair entrance with Omar’s elevator entrance, my youngest bridesmaid piped up with, ‘Can’t we ALL just fit in the elevator?’” So the entire wedding party piled into the elevator, the bride and groom pressed against the back. “Before the elevator doors closed, our DJ snapped a picture. So far, it’s been our absolutely favorite picture from the night.”

Rachel’s best advice to future brides is to not freak out. “Especially in the week or two before the wedding. At that point, whatever is done is done, and if something’s not done, it’s probably not going to get done, so why worry about it?”

Bridal Shows AttendedWonderful World of Weddings
Make-upVon Maur at the Corners in Brookfield
HairKim Meyer at Funky Farmhouse Studios in Hartland
Rehearsal DinnerRevere’s, Delafield
CeremonySt. Luke’s, Brookfield
ReceptionOconomowoc Community Center, Oconomowoc
CatererOut&Out Catering, Cedarburg
Cake Designer/DessertSweet Talkin’ Treats, Watertown
FlowersModern Bloom, Oconomowoc
Music/EntertainmentHigh Energy DJs, Waterloo
PhotographerCasi Lea Photography
FormalwearMen’s Wearhouse

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