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It’s no secret that we love a good Spring wedding around here.  After all, I was a Spring Bride myself, so I might be a bit partial.

Spring in the Midwest is a fickle thing – raining, muddy, summer-like, and even sometimes – a little snow.  It can surely be a gamble, but it usually pays off.   And when you hit that sweet spot of flowering trees, warm breezes, verdant green and golden sunshine – there’s nothing better.

Here’s a collection of some of our favorite Spring weddings we’ve had the honor of capturing:

Caitlin & Steve
A traditional ceremony at Gesu Parish on the Marquette campus mixes with a modern reception at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Not to be missed is the giant wedding party, irish dancers, and romantic flair they brought to it all. Gesu Parish Wedding

Jessica & Michael
A sweet and sophisticated second-turn at love in the beautiful courtyard of The American Club, with three little boys to steal the show.

Christine & Matt
A formal affair at the Pfister ballroom awash in jewel tones, lots of laughter and a fair amount of wind.

Laura & Matt
A sorbet colored palette with pops of neon pink brought all the energy to this glam downtown wedding.

Kelsey & Brendan
A downtown Milwaukee wedding with color, gold, lots of light and plenty of romance.

Becca & Patrick
A little fog, a little blue, and plenty of fun define this day at Pier Wisconsin.

Alys & Dietmar
A most memorable wedding day at Riverbend, with a nod to Gatsby style, and all the best of Spring

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Some wedding days are as near perfect as they get.  They always take me by surprise – and still never cease to amaze me.  Kristen & Kyle had one of those perfect wedding days at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.  Let’s start with the gorgeous weather and light.  Because really, that brought all the magic.  I’ve rarely seen a first look and a ceremony so perfectly lit as theirs. Kristen’s dress really set the tone as she twirled for her their first look – the joy that is a swishy skirt on a bride who can’t stop smiling and twirling – there is no better energy to start a wedding day with.  There was this sublime pocket of time in the early fall evening where the amphitheater in the woods was awash in a golden glow.  The colors were rich and deep, framing the emotional ceremony in a moment of held breath.  The sun slid slowly thru the treetops and peeked just below the branches as Kristen & Kyle skipped their way joyously into married life.  The only competition such gloriousness had that day was Kristen’s beaming smile that never gave up, and Kyle’s hearty laugh that infused every moment with comfort, joy and love.  These two had FUN on their wedding day, soaked in every beautiful moment, and relished in all that surrounded them.

 

The Credits:

Venue: Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Floral: Belle Fiori
Day of Coordination: Timeless Events
Officiant: Judith Kubish
Cake: The Cake Lady
DJ: Double Platinum
Makeup & Hair: Neroli Salon & Spa
Bride’s Gown: Watters  from Miss Ruby

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The deep and lush greens of summer last only for a month in Wisconsin, maybe two.  Casey and Jake put an exclamation point right in the middle of that season – with a colorful wedding at The Watermark packed with little punches.  The lightness of sorbet inspired oranges, yellows and corals played beautifully against the casual elegance of grey.  Casey’s asymmetrical bouquet, wooden flower boxes and an abundance of succulents kept things surprising.  Coral colored linens added punch to the cocktail tent, and overhead bistro lights brought on the sweet summer-party atmosphere.

The Credits:
Venue: Shully’s The Watermark
Floral: Belle Fiori
Cake: Shully’s Catering
Makeup: Makeup by L. Hiatt
Bride’s Hair: Brenda Rink
Bride’s Gown: Sareh Nouri from The White Dress
Stationer: Three Wishes
Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade
String Quartet: Lakeside Strings
Lighting: Sound By Design
DJ: Sound By Design
Linens: BBJ Linen

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Door County in late fall has a unique sort of mystique.  The tourists have long left, the air is crisp with an icy edge.  The roads are quiet and you get a general sense that everyone is building their nest for the long hibernation ahead.  It’s a time of transition, where you can get a peek at the world behind the curtain.  It’s only fitting that a major life transition like marriage fall at such a time as well.   Brittney and Tyler gathered their nearest and dearest in Egg Harbor for a cozy and intimate ceremony in the open slat barn of Woodwalk Gallery.  Guests huddled close together around the heaters and sipped hot cider as they celebrated the union of these two east coast lovebirds.  The warmth and love multiplied until it filled to the rafters and then boogied down to the 80’s cover band.

The Credits:

Venue: Woodwalk Gallery & Events
Planner: Door County Event Planners
Floral: Flora Flowershop
Hair & Makeup: Door County Wedding Stylists
Catering: Thyme Catering
Dress: BHLDN
Tux: Joseph Abboud
Bridesmaid Dress: Jenny Yoo
Band: The Breakfast Club

 

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This Whistling Straits wedding will keep you on your toes.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, you’ll discover that wait – this couple isn’t who you expect.  Whether it’s the bright and cheery florals, the sweet and sassy fuschia dresses coupled with the wink-worthy lobsters on Tom’s tie, the just gorgeous watercolor stationery, the golf caddies strolling casually by, Emily’s sexy back tattoo ensconced in traditional lace, the Boston accents, the laughter through tears more times than you can count, the look only a Mom can give mid-ceremony,  the neon lights of a club-styled dance party in the rustic Irish barn, or maybe it’s the stolen glass of champagne at dusk on the rocky shore of Lake Michigan.  Emily and Tom had it all.

The Credits:

Venue: Whistling Straits Irish Barn
Florals: The American Club
Cake: The American Club
Catering: The American Club
Hair: Hair by Smash
Makeup: Blush by Brittany
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Men’s Ties: Vineyard Vines
Stationer: Minted
Groom’s Suit: Alton Lane
DJ: Double Platinum DJ

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Ashok doesn’t love much more than he loves Riverbend.  He lights up within its walls, his eyes sparkle as he describes the library, and his shoulders relax a bit lower as he walks the grounds.  But then there are Brooke and their kids.  They certainly rank above this enchanting estate, and when you see them all together, you understand why.  So on this day, he got all of them together – the incomparable Riverbend in Kohler, his brilliant and gorgeous bride, and their troupe of six kids.  They added a handful of their dearest friends and family and celebrated love on a fall day that was nothing short of perfection.

 

The Credits:

Venue: Riverbend Estate in Kohler
Floral: Destination Kohler
Catering: Destination Kohler
Hair & Makeup: Destination Kohler
Bride’s Gown: Nicole Miller

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“For one night, we have it all to ourselves…”

That’s what Ron said in reflection of his wedding day, looking out over a sea of happy faces, all raising a glass to him and Heidi.  There they were, surrounded by love, basking in the glow of candlelight, sheltered by the incredible architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Love had struck twice, and he had been bold enough to scoop it up.  He joked it was a ‘geriatric’ wedding – but all in attendance only saw how much these two revel in their fortune.  Heidi was radiant.  Rom was effusive in his joy.  Their kids were proud and giddy in admiration.  This is what it looks like to wear love on the outside, for everyone to see.

Ron was in awe.  This magnificent place….they had it all to themselves…for one night.

The Credits:

Venue: Milwaukee Art Museum
Getting Ready Venue: The Journeyman Hotel
Planner: Blue Fancy Events
Floral: Belle Fiori
Cake: The Cake Lady
Band: Green Fourteen
Makeup & Hair: Style By R
Bride’s Gown: Rime Arodaky
Groom’s Suit: Giorgio Armani
Stationery: Designs that Fly
Truffle Favors: Indulgence Chocolatiers

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Whether it’s fabulous selfies wherever they go, carefully constructed shots of their latest restaurant meal….or someone who could talk your ear off with all the gear wishes of their hearts….Everyone has that one person in their life who is always taking pictures.

So, what do you get the photographer in your life?   Or, maybe Mom has been bugging you for a few ideas to put under the tree?

Just send her this list, I’ve got you covered.

Let’s look at 7 fun gifts for the Shutterbug in your life.  This is someone who is enthusiastic about taking photos, loves photography, but isn’t a professional or a gear head.   And actually, a pro or a gear head amateur would probably love these too.

  1. Canvas Wine Tote – $14 –  This tote is adorable, and any photographer who wastes away their nights staring into the glow of a computer screen will appreciate it.  Fill it with some wine to fuel those late-night editing sessions and you are golden.
  2. Podo Labs Stick & Shoot Camera – $69 – I LOVE this little guy.  It sticks to any surface and communicates with your smartphone.  No more selfie sticks or stretching your arm out beyond the socket – just stick, smile and click.   This is extra awesome for the Mom in your life – she gets to be IN the picture with this guy in her purse.
  3. Photography Patent Posters – $19 – A little inspirational and vintage-style art that can suit almost any decor.  A sophisticated homage to your love of photography, and a great conversation starter.
  4. Instax Camera ($54.99) and Instax Film Pack ($19.80) – These cameras are so fun.  It’s polaroids on a smaller scale, with simple and easy to use options.  Give your favorite photographer a chance to go analog and have some fun.  Kids really have a blast with these too!
  5. Wireless Bluetooth Camera Selfie Trigger – $7.99 – Another chance to be IN the pictures instead of always behind them.  This little remote lets you click away from inside an image.
  6. Power Add Bank – $14.99 – Hubby was gifted one of these last year, and you’ll see me stealing it on the regular.  Each battery pack holds multiple charges for your phone or tablet – so no worries about draining your batteries on your photo adventures.  It’s practical, but you will be hearing all about how often the recipient uses this clever gift.
  7. Golden Hour T-shirt –  $28 – There are a lot of fun photography themed t-shirts out there.  But I like this one since it’s a little more subtle and invites conversation for those not familiar with this magical time of day.

For the aspiring photographer, the professional, or the avid amateur – any of these gifts would leave a serious impression!

  1. The Think Tank International Bag – $399.75 – I’ve had this exact bag for 10 years, and it still looks nearly brand-new.  It’s been hauled around more airports, photoshoots and weddings than I can count…and it just keeps delivering.  The interior is fully customizable to suit your particular gear needs, it fits in every airplane overhead compartment, and it’s built to last a lifetime.
  2. Creative Live Photography Classes – various $ – Buy your photographer a gift certificate to this amazing online education site.  They’ll be able to expand their knowledge and skills in hundreds of areas – all from the comfort of their couch in their pajamas.
  3. Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo Bag – $149.75 – Can you handle more bag love?  Because I am deeply in love with this bag.  I’ve been carrying around multiple versions of other shooting bags for years, always disappointed with how they didn’t hold up.  This bag checks all the boxes and then some!  More space without the bulk, fully customizable, structured enough to stand up when set down (no spilling lenses!), but soft enough to hug your body while shooting.  I could go on and on…this is THE bag.  And, it’s 50% off right now….
  4. Holga Camera – $39.99 – These little cameras come in a variety of colors and styles, but the insides are what matter.  As simple as a camera can be – light, film, shutter and basic settings.  Trust the magic of silver nitrate exposed to light over time, and let this camera unleash some hidden creativity for you.  The basic process they demand frees you from the technical side of photography and results in lots of happy accidents.
  5. Ilford HP5 Black & White Film – $8.29 – This is my favorite film.  Pair it with the Holga camera above and you’ve really got a combo gift.  But give several rolls alone and you’ve just handed a photographer candy.  Film, to use however they want, on whatever they want – that’s fun times.  Make it even better with a gift card for processing to your local lab.
  6. Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza –  $30 – This is a totally bipartisan recommendation, all politics aside.  You could be on the far right and still love the photography in this book.  Souza is a brilliant photojournalist who shot day in and day out, for years, capturing the story that was President Obama.  You’ll be astounded by his neverending creativity and interest in a single subject, and his creative use of elements he had on hand to make brilliant compositions.
  7. Irving Penn: Centennial – $49.98 –  It’s Irving Penn, the consummate portrait artist.  The one we all copy, look up to, seek to allude to.  This tome belongs on every photographer’s bookshelf for endless inspiration and thoughtful reflection.

 

 

 

**Many links provided are affliliate links.  So if you use them, I get a little something for sending you that direction.  Thanks!

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Love conquers all.  That’s how the passage goes.  Rachel and Hsienjan set out to prove that from the moment they met, and on their wedding day too.  This couple is a hearty example of supporting your partner.  Hsienjan spends his days in Virginia studying law as an officer of the Army.  Rachel spends her days in the company of young people in Indiana, teaching music.  Each are dedicated to their careers and pursuits, and also to each other.  They weather that distance with an eye on the day they will come together.   It’s clear that their love lights the way.  Anyone who hears that story would have so many questions, so many “Yes, but….” statements to challenge them with.  But Rachel and Hsienjan just let it all slide off – they smile and beam and calmly assert that it doesn’t matter.  Their wedding day was much the same.  It was cold by the standards of fall – when we Midwesterners haven’t formed our thick winter blood yet.  Everyone was shivering and seeking shelter.  But Hsienjan and Rachel had dreamed of a ceremony in the woods, surrounded by the changing season.  And so they charged on with their non-stick selves.  Smiles on their faces, they would hear nothing of the cold, nothing of Plan B.  And so married in the woods they were – warmed by the hearts of their guests and the voices of Rachel’s children’s choir.  If you asked them about their wedding day – I would guarantee that the cold doesn’t even creep into the description.

The Credits:

Venue: Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Floral: Wood Violet
Catering: Saz’s Catering
Cake: Simma’s Bakery
Invites: Minted
Dress: Mori Lee
Ceramic Favors: Made by a friend

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Elise had a vision for her wedding day.  One that involved a vintage sensibility with blush dresses, romantic florals, a touch of whimsical antiques, and small touches that showed their guests how much they were appreciated.  Late fall in Wisconsin can be temperamental and a cold front was eyeing up their weekend squarely.  In the end, we got surprised by sunshine at moments and a warmer afternoon than expected.  But no matter…the chilly breeze drew everyone closer to snuggle under blankets at the woodsy outdoor ceremony and huddled them nearer with mugs of cider.  That cozy and warm vibe was the perfect final touch to Elise & Dan’s day.  Something that couldn’t be bought in a store, but instead was fostered over time and the clear expression of how everyone felt about this union.

The Credits:

Venue: The Farm at Dover
Floral: Cora Flora Studio
Bride’s Dress: BHLDN
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Bridesmaids: Paper Crown
Catering: Sazamas Fine Catering
Invites: Minted
Tux: Hart Schaffner Marx

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