Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Alexis and Sam

July 28, 2015

Alexis and Sam met when they were both living in New York City. Sam proposed in a rather nontraditional way: He left a beautiful letter on the kitchen table one rainy Tuesday in February, asking Alexis to be his bride. The couple decided on a wedding that would strive for “elegance and simplicity with unique, personal touches.”

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Villa Terrace in Milwaukee. “We were both very nervous — but not about getting married! We were nervous about the possibility of rain during our outdoor ceremony.” It actually started raining just before the ceremony was due to begin; guests ran for cover, asking Sam if they should move everything indoors. “He knew I had my heart set on getting married on the beautiful terrace,” Alexis says. “So he asked everyone to wait five minutes to see if the rain would stop. It did, and he hustled everyone outside.” The couple then moved quickly, hoping the rain would hold out.

“The moment I cherish most is walking down the aisle with my father,” Alexis says. “I saw Sam looking back at me with tears in his eyes as I passed by all of our beloved family and friends. I felt so lucky and loved in that moment and will remember it always.” Though Alexis’ hem got a little damp, the rain stayed away throughout the ceremony, and the couple walked up the aisle as husband and wife without being rained on.

Shortly after the guests were ushered inside, the heavens opened up and it poured. Everyone grabbed a cocktail and watched the rain and lightning from the dry indoors. “We absolutely loved the Villa Terrace,” Alexis says. “We think it’s so beautiful as-is, so we went with a less-is-more approach to reception decor and just let the venue shine.” The couple didn’t really have a set color palette either. Instead, they stayed within a range of whites, creams, and purple-greys to blend with the succulents used in their floral arrangements by FreshDesign. “The flowers went above and beyond my expectations,” Alexis says. “And I had high expectations!”
With the number of guests, a sit-down dinner wasn’t an option at the Villa Terrace, so the couple chose to work with Lee John’s catering and serve delicious hor d’oeuvres, plus four substantial small-plate options that were all-you-can-eat. A lavender cake with fresh strawberries and lemon buttercream from The Cake Lady received a ton of compliments from guests. Entertainment came from the sweet sounds of the Mark Davis Jazz Band.

As for DIY projects, Alexis enlisted the help of her mom and sister to make welcome gift bags for all of the guests. The bags were then delivered to the guests’ hotel (a block of rooms at the Iron Horse Hotel). “The bag was a craft-paper gift bag with a custom label I made at Erin Jean Photography,” says Alexis. “Inside the bag: homemade chex mix, cookies from our favorite local bakery — Peter Sciortino’s, water, and a pamphlet I made that included restaurant recommendations and ideas of things to do in Milwaukee. There was also an itinerary of wedding events, important addresses, and contact info for Sam and I and our families, just in case.”

Some words of encouragement from Alexis for brides-to-be: “Try to relax and enjoy the process! A wedding is harder than it sounds, but everything truly will work out beautifully in the end. It was so wonderful to see it all come together after months of planning. We were delighted to hear our guests say it ‘felt exactly like us.'”

Pre-Wedding PartyBachelorette party was a weekend in New Orleans
Bachelor party was at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game and then dinner at Hinterland in the Third Ward
Bridal RegistryMaterial Possessions, Chicago and Winnetka, IL
InvitationsBroadway Paper, Milwaukee
Rehearsal DinnerThe Iron Horse Hotel
Ceremony and Reception LocationVilla Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
CatererLee Johns
Cake DesignerThe Cake Lady
FlowersFreshDesign
Music/EntertainmentMark Davis Jazz Band
TransportationGo Riteway
PhotographerErin Jean Photography
Dress DesignerElizabeth Fillmore from Belle Vie Bridal Couture, Chicago, IL
Formal WearHugo Boss
RingsDavid Yurman (bride) and Schwanke-Kasten (groom)
HoneymoonPositano, Italy, Capri, Italy and Paris, France

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