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Tara and Victor’s wedding day felt like a love letter to Villa Terrace.  They used every inch of the estate, celebrating the nooks and crannies, decorating the vistas, reveling and delighting in the atmosphere it exudes.  These two certainly have an eye for hosting a great party – whether it was toasts delivered from a balcony, cocktails among fine works of art, a first dance under twinkling lights and stars, dinner al fresco with a Lake Michigan view, and even an impromptu performance from the groom.  This is a summer wedding that takes in all the season and the historic mansion have to offer and garnishes it with love.

The Credits:

Venue: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Planner: Gracious Events
Floral: Gracious Events
Catering: Gracious Events
Bride’s Gown: Pronovias  purchased at: Vera’s House of Brides
Makeup: Blush by Brittany
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s Suits: Michael Kors
Stationer: Creative by Jennifer
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Favors: Taffy Town Taffy
Lighting: Milwaukee Airwaves
Band: Lead Bottom Band

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Sometimes there’s a location that holds all your warmest memories.  The place where you enjoyed ice cream cones in the sun, where you splashed your sister in the pool, where you watched Mom and Dad stroll into the sunset hand-in-hand, where you wasted away afternoons in a good book, where you celebrated graduations, where you dreamed of the dark and handsome man you would marry one day.  And then one day you wake up and realize it’s all coming full circle.  You are making another memory in this special place, one that will be a chapter page in your life.  You are marrying that dark and handsome man, with the broad smile you hadn’t counted on but that makes you weak in the knees, in your favorite place, on a most magnificent day.

The Credits:

Venue: The American Club
Planner: Tailored Engagements
Floral: The American Club
Cake: The American Club
Flower Cake Decorations: The Cake Lady
Cupcakes: Blooming Lotus Bakery
DJ: Milwaukee Airwaves
Bride’s Gown: Pronovias
Bridesmaid Dresses: WToo by Watters
Suits: The Black Tux
Makeup: Kate Troxell
Ceremony Musicians: Fretless Strings

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it every year – the wedding that falls at the end of June gets all the good “wedding day juju”.  I swear!  The weather is perfect, the setting is gorgeous, and the light is all kinds of magical.  Annie & Mike’s day had all these things – but it is something more about this wedding that makes it really special.  It’s the smile on her Mom’s face as the dress is buttoned, it’s the look in Mike’s eye as Annie comes down the aisle, it was the jokes Annie & her Dad shared outside the church, it was Mike’s “let’s do it!” attitude as we cruised around the golf course, it was the ‘can’t breathe I’m laughing so hard’ moments in the speeches, it was in the poetic words of Annie’s sister in her toast, and it was definitely in the way they sang their first dance to each other, as they swirled around and around the dance floor.                                                                                                          

The Credits:

Wedding Planner: Clementine Custom Events
Ceremony Venue: St. Francis Xavier Church – Wilmette, IL
Reception Venue: Westmoreland Country Club
Hair & Makeup: Kate Johnson Artistry
Florals: Edwards Florists
Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s
Band: Carol Sarlas Band

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I adore Milwaukee’s Villa Terrace.  I mean, wrap-it-up-in-a-bear-hug, plant-kisses-rapidly-all-over-your-face – LOVE.  I’ve shot there dozens of times, and each time I try to find a new angle, a new spot, a different way of seeing.  It’s a delightful game, and when I know I’ve won it – I’m beaming as I edit.  Like here, where we went up to the second floor to catch the last rays of light, admire the view, and soak in the experience.  

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They met by chance online.  She was swayed by the friendly looking guy clutching a football.  He was taken by the brown-eyed beauty with the engaging smile. Christine knew there was a reason she was drawn to Minnesota, and as it turns out; it was to meet her husband.  What they both got when she met him at that bar was much more than a romance, than a relationship.  They doubled their families, doubled their love, and doubled their fun.  Christine’s the only bride (in 10 years!) who I have seen cry during an engagement session.  And it was all because I asked Matt how he knew she was the one.  His answer involved how she fit so seamlessly into his family, how is parent’s loved her, how his sister loved her – instantly.  Cue the waterworks.  Their wedding day was a wonderful celebration of that feeling – of finding your spot, your people, your family.

                                                                               

The Credits:
Planner: Tailored Engagements
Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Cathedral
Reception Venue: The Pfister Hotel
Florals: Feisty Flowers
Cake: The Cake Lady
DJ: Double Platinum DJ 
Makeup: Creative Beauty Talent Agency
Hair: L. Hiatt
Gown: Essense of Australia
Bridesmaids: Sorella Viata
Suits: Jim’s Formal Wear
Shoes & Jewelry: Kate Spade
Bagpiper: Rob McWiliams
Linens: BBJ Linen
Stationery: Emily Hawkins
Ice Sculpture: Art Below Zero

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Whenever it gets quiet over here on the blog, it often means I’ve been shooting and shooting some more, which means I’m then editing, editing, and editing some more.
Such is the case now, but I had to share this little ditty from my editing desk today.  I hoped for a shot like this on Christine & Matt’s wedding day.  Mr. Brown is a bit of a wiseguy – cracking jokes and sidestepping tearful moments masterfully with laughter.  But there’s this sweet little vestibule at St. John’s Cathedral where a bride and her Dad wait for their cue.  It’s a spot where I knew he wouldn’t see me watching, and sure enough….there was this.

 

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Kim has a habit of making friends, pretty much wherever she goes.  So it’s really no surprise that Sri fell into her friend net one day in London.  He was the friend of a friend, there were drinks one night and then they went on their seperate paths.  Years later, that same friend posted a picture of a trip with Sri and who should see it but Kim.  She sent him a friend request, he accepted, they met for dinner and they’ve been together ever since.  Some would say facebook brought them together.  Others would credit that mutal friend.  I’m saying it was Kim.

                                                       

Credits:

Wedding Planner: Dare to Dream Weddings
Ceremony Venue: Milwaukee Hilton
Reception Venue: The Grain Exchange
Florals: Jane Kelly
Makeup: Vanexa Yang
DJ & Lighting: Milwaukee Airwaves

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You are going to notice the pictures in this post are heavily weighted in one direction – towards the ceremony.  Not only was it clearly the most important part of the day for Kelsey & Dan, but it was positively unforgettable if you were in attendance.  I’ve never seen a ceremony like this, and that’s saying something since I’ve shot over 300 weddings.  First, let’s talk about how gorgeous St. John’s Northwestern Chapel is.  The light, the textures, the height, the colors…it’s just a dream for a wedding!  But the inspiration for this focus goes beyond the aesthetics.  Kelsey is a worship pastor and so they opened the ceremony with praise music.  I have to say, standing in the front of that church – with all the voices in unison, and witnessing Kelsey & Dan so moved by the experience – it was hard not to get caught up in it all.  It really set the tone for the day, and for my focus in capturing it.

                                                                             

The Credits:

Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Northwestern Military Chapel

Reception Venue: Anodyne Coffee

Bride’s Bouquet and Boutonnieres: Belle Fiori

Bridesmaid’s Bouquets: Blooms by the Box

Bride’s Dress: Etoile, BHLDN

Suits: The Black Tux

Stationer: Minted

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Pink Blush

Hair: Linda Draxler

Catering: Beans and Barley

Cake: Simma’s

Music: Piano Fondue

Bride’s Shoes: Aldo

 

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Ali & Ben had a surprising wedding day in all respects.  Let’s start with the fact that no one in attendance was from Milwaukee – the bride and groom simply thought our fair city was a good middle point for everyone.   Well that, and having a wedding in a brewery sounded like good fun.  Without a doubt, fun was definitely a chief goal for these two.  Laid back, funny and witty, they handled their day with candor and delight.  Laughing was in anything but short supply, especially during Ben’s personal vows which quoted three ‘famous’ Bens.  Really, the whole hall was in hysterics and somehow Ali stayed standing despite all the laughter.  Those words set the tone for an evening of dancing, speeches full of amusing stories and more and more laughter.

                                                     

                       

The Credits:

Venue: Pabst Great Hall
Floral: Bloom Floral & Event Design
Doughnut Cake: Holey Moley Doughnuts
DJ: Greenline Talent
Catering: The Smoke Shack, La Masa
Makeup & Hair: Neroli Salon & Spa
Bride’s Gown: David’s Bridal
Suits: The Black Tux

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Katie and Mickey have an exuberant kind of love.  It’s evident within moments of meeting them. There’s just this electricity as they talk.  They start finishing each others thoughts and sentences as the energy grows.  You’ll see Katie squeeze Mickey’s hand and his eyes crinkle in response.  She’ll throw you a megawatt smile, and then he’ll unleash a laugh, and you’ll be hooked in.  Now you are part of their energy and you better hold on tight, because it’s quite a ride.  Their wedding day was just like this.  They each planned small and large surprises for the other (a thank you for the bridesmaids from Mickey, rival seat cushions for the ceremony, a bagpiper at the ceremony, a flash mob dance performance at the reception), and it was like a long stream of trying to one-up the other and their guests as it all crescendo’d into a raucous dance party in the Pilot House at Discovery World.

   

 

The Credits:

Planner: Evenement

Venue: Discovery World Amphitheater and Discovery World Pilot House

Florals: Jane Kelly Floral

Makeup: Shannon Bartz

Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clara & Watters

Bridesmaids: Alfred Sung

Men’s Suits: Joseph A Banks

Stationer: Minted

Band: David Rothstein Music

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