The  Blog

recent stories

You know that feeling you get when you are snuggled up under a blanket by a fire, a mug of hot cocoa in your hand?  Take that, and mix it up with a great evening out with your friends – the kind of night where you can’t stop laughing, the stories flow freely and the food is legendary.  Add a touch of elegance, and that combination is exactly what Diana and Justen created for their wedding day in late fall at Villa Terrace.  When you have an intimate guest list you can do so many fun things for those select loved ones – like a kings table as long as the room, overflowing with candlelight, flowers, glitter and wine.  There was a moment when Diana, seated at the middle of the table, turned and looked down over the long line of candles and flowers to see two guests raise out of their seats to clink glasses – that right there was it – the moment that the day was absolute perfection.

villa_terrace_wedding_11villa_terrace_wedding-2villa_terrace_wedding-- villa_terrace_wedding--2 villa_terrace_wedding--12 villa_terrace_wedding_13villa_terrace_wedding--15villa_terrace_wedding_14villa_terrace_wedding_15villa_terrace_wedding--13 villa_terrace_wedding_12villa_terrace_wedding-5villa_terrace_wedding--16villa_terrace_wedding--14        villa_terrace_wedding_16villa_terrace_wedding--25villa_terrace_wedding--18villa_terrace_wedding_18villa_terrace_wedding--17villa_terrace_wedding_25villa_terrace_wedding-_-villa_terrace_wedding_24villa_terrace_wedding_20villa_terrace_wedding_19villa_terrace_wedding--4villa_terrace_wedding_villa_terrace_wedding--3villa_terrace_wedding--5 villa_terrace_wedding--19villa_terrace_wedding_17villa_terrace_wedding_-4villa_terrace_wedding--20villa_terrace_wedding-6villa_terrace_wedding_-5villa_terrace_wedding--21villa_terrace_wedding_-6villa_terrace_wedding_-7villa_terrace_wedding_-13villa_terrace_wedding_-11villa_terrace_wedding_-10villa_terrace_wedding_-9villa_terrace_wedding_-8villa_terrace_wedding--23villa_terrace_wedding_-15villa_terrace_wedding--22villa_terrace_wedding_-17villa_terrace_wedding_-12villa_terrace_wedding--24villa_terrace_wedding_-16

villa_terrace_wedding-8villa_terrace_wedding_-14

villa_terrace_wedding-10villa_terrace_wedding_-18villa_terrace_wedding__-villa_terrace_wedding_-19villa_terrace_wedding_-20villa_terrace_wedding_-21villa_terrace_wedding_---villa_terrace_wedding_---2villa_terrace_wedding-_-3villa_terrace_wedding__-2villa_terrace_wedding-_-2villa_terrace_wedding-_-4villa_terrace_wedding_-25villa_terrace_wedding_21villa_terrace_wedding_22villa_terrace_wedding_23villa_terrace_wedding-7villa_terrace_wedding_-3villa_terrace_wedding_-2villa_terrace_wedding_-22villa_terrace_wedding-_-5villa_terrace_wedding_---3villa_terrace_wedding-_-6villa_terrace_wedding--7villa_terrace_wedding_2villa_terrace_wedding--10villa_terrace_wedding_7villa_terrace_wedding_5villa_terrace_wedding_4villa_terrace_wedding--6villa_terrace_wedding--8villa_terrace_wedding_3villa_terrace_wedding_6villa_terrace_wedding--11villa_terrace_wedding_8villa_terrace_wedding-4villa_terrace_wedding_---4villa_terrace_wedding_---6villa_terrace_wedding-_-8villa_terrace_wedding-_-7villa_terrace_wedding_---9villa_terrace_wedding_---8villa_terrace_wedding-_-9 villa_terrace_wedding_---10villa_terrace_wedding__-3villa_terrace_wedding-_-10 villa_terrace_wedding-_-11 villa_terrace_wedding_---5villa_terrace_wedding-_-12 villa_terrace_wedding_---17villa_terrace_wedding-_-13 villa_terrace_wedding_---16villa_terrace_wedding_9     villa_terrace_wedding_---14villa_terrace_wedding-3villa_terrace_wedding_---11 villa_terrace_wedding_---15villa_terrace_wedding_---12 villa_terrace_wedding_---13villa_terrace_wedding-    villa_terrace_wedding_---18 villa_terrace_wedding__-4villa_terrace_wedding_---19

The Credits:

Venue: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Planner, Catering, Florals: Gracious Events
Pianist: Jessica Saronski
Harpist: Kate Ray
Lighting & DJ: Sound By Design
Makeup: Eicka Althruether
Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza
Bridesmaids: their own
Groom’s Suit: Salvatore Ferragamo
Grooms people: their own
Stationer: Paper Envy
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo

.

villa_terrace_wedding_10

 

...

Aubrey is a woman with an assured sense of style.  I marveled at how she carried that through the plans she and Dave crafted for their wedding day.   Every choice, each detail was so undoubtedly them.  Antlers to nod to Dave’s love of hunting.  Sweet Baby’s Breath everywhere. Cookies from dear family members for dessert. Individual choices for each bridesmaid’s dress because Aubrey wouldn’t hear of anyone being not themselves, even for a day.  Getting ready time in spaces and among people they loved most – even Aubrey’s sweet nephew who clung to his Auntie before she got dressed.  And, who could forget the dress that was “so Aubrey” and revealed a big surprise for the reception!

  

    

                                              

...

I don’t think I’ll ever forget Nicolette & Jason’s vows.  The whole barn was crying right along with the two of them.  Nicolette was sniffling between laughter so much she could hardly keep her place on her notes. Everywhere I pointed the camera, someone was wiping a tear or stifling a giggle.  All the best vows go this way – laughter through happy tears – and Nicolette and Jason were bring down the house (or, barn as it were).  I asked them about these words later, sure I’d get some story of how they wrote them privately, labored over these stirring words for months.  The shock and awe of the words moving them to tears as they heard them the first time.  It turns out, they had labored over them, but they had done so together.  They decided – if they were going to make promises for their marriage, it should be something they write together.  I couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of emotion on this day.  It’s like a good sweet tea.  Pleasant and light at the start, and deeper and stronger as you go.

        

                

         

  

               

 

        

The Credits:

Venue: The Barn at Pioneer Acres

Florist: Bloom Floral & Event Design

Catering: Out n’ Out

Cake: Delectably Delicious

DJ & Lighting: Milwaukee Airwaves

Rentals: Relics Vintage Rentals

Dress: Lela Rose purchased at Gigi of Mequon

Hair & Makeup: DeRiah Boutique Salon

Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale bridesmaids

...

Two houses, both alike in charm, In fair Napa, where we lay our scene….Shakespeare please forgive me for borrowing your lovely words and altering them for my needs.  But that line, it sprang into my head on this wedding day and still hasn’t left.  There’s no tragedy here, and all similarities with the play take a quick exit after those 14 words. But it starts us off right.  On the gorgeous grounds of the Beringer Winery, nestled into the golden hills of Napa, there are two houses, one stately and grandiose (Rhine House), another handsome and inviting (Hudson House).  It was in those two houses that we started this wedding day, ladies preparing in one, men preparing in the other.  Between them lays a redwood grove, and it’s there where the two sides meet, marry and celebrate.  The two families are like this too, one from Chicago, the other from Cincinnati, and the two melted together so easily.  All because Adam loves Bri, and Bri loves Adam, and they thought, “hey, let’s take everyone we love to Napa and get married!”.

                                                                                                                   

The Credits:

Venue: Beringer Winery

Planner: Whitney Nelson

Florals: Poppystone Floral Couture

Cake: Sweet on Cake

Makeup: Bella Bridal

Catering: Feast

Band: KJ All-Stars

Bride’s Gown: Amsale, Purchased at: Belle Vie Bridal Couture

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Jenny Yoo

Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker

Groomsmen’s Suits: Joseph Abboud

Stationer: Smitten Boutique

Bride’s Shoes: Sarah Jessica Parker Collection

 

...

There isn’t much that Dana loves more than Bucky Badger.  Well, maybe bright colors.  And Kate Spade.  And Ryan.  He should really be at the top of the list.  Despite the fact that she seemed giddy over Bucky’s arrival at their wedding reception, he played a part in their engagement, and also the fact that Bucky took over for cutting the cake….it was Ryan that Dana’s heart was fluttering for on this day.  I watched her fidget nervously as she waited for their first look.  I smiled as she swished around in her gorgeous dress, raising her eyebrows for his approval.  I clicked away as they went over the fine details that made up their looks, complimenting each other and smiling so broadly when Dana stumbled upon Ryan’s bracelet emblazoned with their names.  Because you see, this wedding looks dramatic, and bold, and all kinds of fun.  And it was.  But to those who looked closer, it was really about the hand squeeze, the knowing look, the glint in the eye, and the pickle that made it’s way into their vows.

                                                                                             

The Credits:

Venue: Milwaukee Art Museum

Planner: Tailored Engagements

Floral: Marius Bell

Makeup: Primed Artistry Group

Bride’s Gown: Hayley Paige

Bridesmaid Dresses: Wtoo

Men’s Suits: Vera Wang

Stationer: Cracked Designs

Brides’s Shoes: Kate Spade

Bride’s Headpiece: Sara Gabriel Veils

Cake: Miss Molly’s Pastries

 

...

There was a night at a bar, a beautiful girl, and someone spilled a drink on her.  He offered her his jacket to fix the obvious problem.  As Matt will tell you, “It was all gravy after that”.  I don’t think Matt has stopped being chivalrous since that fateful night.  Where Britany is concerned, he has a singular focus – her happiness.  He still offers his jacket, clears the way, and generally walks thru life wondering if there is something that would make Britany’s day better.  And that is much how their wedding day went.  Matt trying to make sure the day was everything that would make his Bride smile.  It’s an old-fashioned kind of love.  The kind that burps babies, squeezes hands, brings breakfast in bed, rocks on the porch.  It’s the kind that sees you through.

rustic_manor_wedding__rustic_manor_wedding_rustic_manor_wedding_7rustic_manor_wedding_3rustic_manor_wedding_8rustic_manor_wedding_20rustic_manor_wedding_9rustic_manor_wedding_2   rustic_manor_wedding_-10rustic_manor_wedding_-9 rustic_manor_wedding_21rustic_manor_wedding__7       rustic_manor_wedding__-4 rustic_manor_wedding__10rustic_manor_wedding__11rustic_manor_wedding_23rustic_manor_wedding_24rustic_manor_wedding_-12 rustic_manor_wedding__-2rustic_manor_wedding__9 rustic_manor_wedding__8 rustic_manor_wedding__-5rustic_manor_wedding__16rustic_manor_wedding_25rustic_manor_wedding__14rustic_manor_wedding__17 rustic_manor_wedding__15   rustic_manor_wedding__12 rustic_manor_wedding__13rustic_manor_wedding_25rustic_manor_wedding-3        rustic_manor_wedding_6rustic_manor_wedding_10rustic_manor_wedding_4rustic_manor_wedding_11rustic_manor_wedding_5rustic_manor_wedding__18rustic_manor_wedding__19rustic_manor_wedding__20rustic_manor_wedding_rustic_manor_wedding__21rustic_manor_wedding__22rustic_manor_wedding__23rustic_manor_wedding_-2rustic_manor_wedding__25rustic_manor_wedding_-5rustic_manor_wedding__24rustic_manor_wedding_-4rustic_manor_weddingrustic_manor_wedding_-3rustic_manor_wedding_-6rustic_manor_wedding-2rustic_manor_wedding__-6rustic_manor_wedding__-7rustic_manor_wedding_-11rustic_manor_wedding-4rustic_manor_wedding__-8rustic_manor_wedding-8rustic_manor_wedding-7rustic_manor_wedding_-15rustic_manor_wedding-9rustic_manor_wedding_-8rustic_manor_wedding_-14rustic_manor_wedding-10rustic_manor_wedding_12rustic_manor_wedding_-7rustic_manor_wedding-5rustic_manor_wedding_13rustic_manor_wedding__2rustic_manor_wedding_16rustic_manor_wedding__3rustic_manor_wedding__4rustic_manor_wedding_14rustic_manor_wedding_15rustic_manor_wedding_17rustic_manor_wedding_18rustic_manor_wedding_19rustic_manor_wedding_-16rustic_manor_wedding-11rustic_manor_wedding-12rustic_manor_wedding-_2rustic_manor_wedding-17rustic_manor_wedding_-17rustic_manor_wedding_-18rustic_manor_wedding-14rustic_manor_wedding_-19rustic_manor_wedding-18rustic_manor_wedding-13rustic_manor_wedding-15rustic_manor_wedding-_3rustic_manor_wedding-19rustic_manor_wedding-20rustic_manor_wedding-16rustic_manor_wedding__-3rustic_manor_wedding__5rustic_manor_wedding-21rustic_manor_wedding-_rustic_manor_wedding__-9rustic_manor_wedding-6rustic_manor_wedding_-13rustic_manor_wedding__-10rustic_manor_wedding-23rustic_manor_wedding-24rustic_manor_wedding_-20rustic_manor_wedding-22rustic_manor_wedding_-22rustic_manor_wedding_-21rustic_manor_wedding-25rustic_manor_wedding-_-4rustic_manor_wedding__-2rustic_manor_wedding-_rustic_manor_wedding-_-2rustic_manor_wedding__-4rustic_manor_wedding_-23rustic_manor_wedding_-25rustic_manor_wedding__-5rustic_manor_wedding-_-3rustic_manor_wedding__-3rustic_manor_wedding_-24rustic_manor_wedding__

The Credits:

Venue: Rustic Manor 1848
Floral: Jane Kelly Floral
Cake & Sweets Table: C. Adam’s Bakery
DJ: Sound By Design
Lighting: Sound By Design
Catering: Chef Jack’s Catering
Makeup: Salon Nova & Lash Boutique Milwaukee
Gown: Mori Lee
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHLDN
Suits: Harleys: The Store for Men
Stationer: Coqui Paperie & Gifts
Rentals: Vintique Rental- WI

rustic_manor_wedding__6

...

She spotted him in a bar.  One slow-sipped drink later and there were so many commonalities in front of them, it was as if the path had just been paved for their future.  And it had, but such groundwork was laid long before that night.  His family, her family, they had danced around each other many times back in Greece.  Both had immigrated to the U.S.  Both had become restauranteurs.  And now, their children had finally crossed paths.  So it was fate that these two would go back to Greece, to explore the homelands of those families.  And that, while standing on a cliff in Santorini, Kosta would pull out a ring…

greek_engagement__3greek_engagement_greek_engagement_3greek_engagement__ greek_engagement__-2  greek_engagement_4greek_engagement__-3greek_engagement_5greek_engagement__-4 greek_engagement__2greek_engagement__    greek_engagement_7greek_engagement_2    greek_engagement_6  greek_engagement_8

...

Spence and Emma are two of those people who you meet and realize you are in the presence of an “old soul”.  Their manner is calm, their sensibility, timeless. To step into their wedding day is to step into a party of almost a hundred years ago.  It’s not just the styling, the cut of her dress, or even the lovely Villa Terrace (which actually is from a century ago).  It’s that Emma obviously shares a piece of her Great Grandmother’s soul (and her name).  And that Spence is a man cut from the same cloth as Gatsby himself – all chivalry, gentlemanly manners and style.  This day was unabashedly fun, but also so deeply steeped in tradition, emotion and beauty.

villa_terrace_wedding-4villa_terrace_wedding

villa_terrace_wedding_13villa_terrace_wedding_2villa_terrace_wedding_villa_terrace_wedding_3

villa_terrace_wedding-5 villa_terrace_wedding_19villa_terrace_wedding-6villa_terrace_wedding-9villa_terrace_wedding-12 villa_terrace_wedding_20villa_terrace_wedding-13  villa_terrace_wedding-10villa_terrace_wedding_21villa_terrace_wedding_22    villa_terrace_wedding-11villa_terrace_wedding_-4villa_terrace_wedding_23villa_terrace_wedding-14villa_terrace_wedding-7 villa_terrace_wedding_24villa_terrace_wedding-17villa_terrace_wedding-21villa_terrace_wedding-_-3villa_terrace_wedding-22villa_terrace_wedding-_-4villa_terrace_wedding_villa_terrace_wedding-24 villa_terrace_wedding villa_terrace_wedding-_-5   villa_terrace_wedding-25villa_terrace_wedding_-2villa_terrace_wedding-19villa_terrace_wedding-_-2villa_terrace_wedding_25villa_terrace_wedding-10villa_terrace_wedding-18villa_terrace_wedding-_villa_terrace_wedding-9villa_terrace_wedding-16villa_terrace_wedding_-3

villa_terrace_wedding-8

villa_terrace_wedding-3villa_terrace_wedding_4villa_terrace_wedding_5villa_terrace_wedding-_-8villa_terrace_wedding_-13villa_terrace_wedding-_-9villa_terrace_wedding_-14villa_terrace_wedding-_-10villa_terrace_wedding_-17villa_terrace_wedding-_-11villa_terrace_wedding_-21villa_terrace_wedding_-18villa_terrace_wedding_-19villa_terrace_wedding_-20villa_terrace_wedding_-16villa_terrace_wedding_-25villa_terrace_wedding_-23villa_terrace_wedding_-22villa_terrace_wedding_-15villa_terrace_wedding_-24villa_terrace_wedding-_-12villa_wedding_2villa_wedding_-2villa_terrace_wedding_-5villa_terrace_wedding_-6villa_terrace_wedding_-7villa_terrace_wedding-_-6villa_terrace_wedding_-8villa_terrace_wedding_-9villa_terrace_wedding_-10villa_terrace_wedding_-11villa_terrace_wedding_-12villa_terrace_wedding-20villa_wedding_villa_terrace_wedding_9villa_terrace_wedding-7villa_terrace_wedding_6villa_terrace_wedding_7villa_terrace_wedding_11villa_terrace_wedding_12villa_terrace_wedding_14villa_terrace_wedding_8villa_wedding_3villa_terrace_wedding-15villa_terrace_wedding-_-15villa_terrace_wedding-_-16villa_wedding_5villa_terrace_wedding-_-17villa_wedding_6villa_terrace_wedding-_-14villa_wedding_4villa_terrace_wedding-_-13villa_wedding_8villa_terrace_wedding-3villa_wedding_7villa_wedding_9villa_terrace_wedding_15villa_wedding_-4villa_wedding_10villa_terrace_wedding-6villa_terrace_wedding_16villa_wedding_11villa_terrace_wedding-_-18villa_terrace_wedding-5villa_terrace_wedding_17villa_wedding_12villa_wedding_-5villa_terrace_wedding-_-19villa_wedding_13villa_wedding_-5villa_terrace_wedding-_-20villa_wedding_15villa_terrace_wedding-_-21villa_wedding_14villa_terrace_wedding-_-22villa_wedding_16villa_terrace_wedding-_-23villa_wedding_17villa_terrace_wedding-_-24villa_wedding_18villa_terrace_wedding-5villa_wedding_19villa_wedding_-6villa_wedding_20

The Credits:

Venue: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Planner, Floral & Catering: Gracious Events

Cake: Eat Cake!

Band: Mike Dangeroux

Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clara, purchased at Bucci’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhullier, purchased at Bella’s Bridesmaids

Groom’s Suit: The Black Tux

Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A Banks

Stationer: Paper Envy

villa_terrace_wedding-8

 

...

For Shawna and Trevor, the pieces just fell into place.  They were co-workers with a spark, but who also were dating other people.  Those relationships dissolved naturally, and they found themselves chatting it up and seeing reflected in this other person, everything they had been looking for.  Trevor stole Shawna’s heart in short order and before either of them knew it, suddenly they were living together and talking about marriage.  When your puzzle is complete, its complete.  There is an ease in knowing that, and it is something these two just exude when they are together.  One is so well complimented by the other, and there is such comfort there.  You just know you are witnessing an old married couple, rocking on the porch swing together, reminiscing about the old days….

Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session5Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_ Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session- Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-5Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-2Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session4 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-9 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session2 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-4Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_4Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session  Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-8 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_3Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session3Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-7 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_7Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session-6       Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_6 Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_5   Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session_2   Miwaukee_Fall_Engagement_Session6

...

He grabbed her hand and led her off the barstool.  She was still admiring the candles all over the bar and trying to figure out what was happening.  She gave the bartender, his brother Keith, a questioning look.  Keith shrugged.  Kyle stopped short at the hostess stand.  She touched the corner with her hand, ran her fingers along the edge.  This is where they met.  It flashed in her mind.  He, all smiles and sparkling eyes.  Her, a nervous twitch with her ankle and an abandoned hostess stand as their small flirtation turned into a three-hour conversation.  He was talking.  She looked at him.  He was describing the same moments.  She smiled.  He got down on one knee.  She stared at him.  “Will you marry me?”  She watched the words come out of his mouth but didn’t hear them.  He smiled.  She hugged him exuberantly.  “Michelle?  Are you going to leave me hanging?”  He asked.  “Oh!  Yes!  My answer is yes!”

Fall_Engagement_Session_3Fall_Engagement_Session2Fall_Engagement_Session-3Fall_Engagement_Session-2Fall_Engagement_Session_6Fall_Engagement_Session-Fall_Engagement_Session_5 Fall_Engagement_Session_Fall_Engagement_Session_2  Fall_Engagement_Session Fall_Engagement_Session-5 Fall_Engagement_Session3 Fall_Engagement_Session_4

...