This is one of those weddings that will make you grin from ear to ear, head to toe. It’s a wedding that is off the charts in terms of styles and chic design, and yet it’s the really fun, totally laid back details that completely jump off the page and leave you wanting so much more. The bride and her adorable groom did much of the wedding on their own and really thought creatively about how to infuse their day with total personality. Photographed by Anna Page, this one is a definite keeper. Click here to see even more.
Finding the perfect Wisconsin wedding venue was a vital aspect of our wedding vision. Thankfully, we discovered the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin- a spacious and historic barn surrounded by acres of beautiful farmland. The Woodwalk’s owners, Margaret and Allin Walker, had an artistic vision and desire to celebrate and update an historic structure and its surroundings that matched our own vision and beliefs perfectly. Plus, there was a huge disco ball hanging in the center of the barn’s rafters- so, we were sold.
As an artist, I began to view the wedding’s design like a really big art project. Only with a really small budget. We wanted the wedding to be whimsical, comfortable, simple, and modern with a bit of vintage sprinkled on top. Yellow and gray was the color scheme I decided upon right away. My penchant for circles and all things round made Billy Buttons an easy choice for flowers for bouquets, boutonnières, and centerpieces. Billy Buttons (craspedia) are a bold shade of yellow, perfectly round, and are fairly inexpensive. Plus, they dry nicely so you can keep decorating with them for years after the wedding. Next, I found white ceramic cow “piggy banks” on sale at Urban Outfitters and then finished the centerpieces with inexpensive Ikea vases.
Next, was the photographer – I am a photographer myself – so, finding a person with a unique perspective was extremely important to me. After many hours and many days searching the Internet for Wisconsin wedding photographers, I finally found my dream photographer, Anna Page. When she told me she was a “photo ninja,” I immediately fell in love. Even though we are often completely awkward in front of the camera – we were confident that Anna would manage a way to make us look good.
Early on we decided on a little theme to repeat throughout our invitations, thank you’s, etc., which was “Us + You = Fun.” To save money, I designed and printed our Save-the-Dates, but decided to splurge on custom press printed invitations. I was fortunate to find Jason Wedekind of Genghis Kern in my North Denver neighborhood. Letterpress is a fascinating time-honored art and working with Jason throughout the design process was one of my favorite aspects of the wedding planning process.
Our wedding party quickly grew to an abnormally large size, 39 in all — 7 ladies, 7 guys, 3 sisters, 3 brothers, 6 nephews, 2 nieces, 2 readers, 5 dogs and 4 dog ushers! We wanted everyone we loved to be involved in some portion of the ceremony. Dressing everyone was super fun, but a lot of work! I like things to coordinate, but wanted to stay away from outfits being overly matchy. I prefer highly organized chaos when it comes to outfit coordination. I was fortunate that my dear friend Katie Newcome is blessed with a remarkable ability to sew. She hand-made the marvelous yellow polka-dot flower girl dresses with detachable tutus AND the matching mini dresses for the two little female pups. Instead of the flower girls actually throwing flowers, we decided to hand-make the flower girls extra long wands. They were looked adorable and were simply created by using a wooden dowel and lots of ribbon purchased from the local dollar store. The little boys wore plaid J. Crew blazers, shorts and shirts from Old-Navy, one-stars from Target w/yellow shoe laces, and yellow bow ties completed the look.
I trusted the fashion sense of all my wedding party ladies and wanted them to have some say in their outfits with the hope that they would be able to wear them again. I told the ladies they could wear any cocktail length dress in any shade of gray, plus any yellow pair of shoes of their choice. Along with the matching purses I gave them (made by Jenna-Lou Design on Etsy), I also hand-made fabric flowers for their hair. They all looked amazing!
I gave the guys 3 choices of modern cut black suits in 3 different price categories to choose from and then asked them to buy a white shirt with a spread collar. I bought them all different gray ties with varying patterns from the Saks and Neiman’s outlets. We also got them yellow socks and gray one-stars from Target. Oh, and our 3 male dogs looked rather dapper as well wearing matching tuxedos I found online and custom bow-ties we hand-made with ribbon.
Even though I’d spent more than a few nights thinking about the stunning but overly pricey dress I tried on earlier, in the end, I knew I made the right decision for my wedding dress. I saved over $2,500.00 and was extremely happy and comfortable with my simple strapless Jenny Yoo dress, along with a beaded headband, and hand-made shoe clips from my grandma’s old clip on earrings. Kyle wore a black J-Crew suit and we added a yellow tie to set him apart from the rest of his guys.
Of course, there was sooooooooo much more to do. All those little details can easily become a gigantic undertaking. In lieu of a guest book, we collected postcards from all over Door County, WI, and asked our guests to write messages and clip the postcards with clothespins on a string that hung in the barn entrance. We used a really cool old metal toy carousel I found at a garage sale (that just so happened to have yellow and gray as its main colors), instead of a typical box for a place for guest to put their gift cards to us. We decided to use the cool customized coasters our press printer Genghis Kern designed for us as guest cards as well. It was a nice way to continue the “Us + You = Fun” theme that started way back with the ‘Save-the-Dates.’ We placed a tall metal stand on each table, each with a framed photograph of one of the many dogs that have held a special place in our lives, instead of typical boring old table numbers. We collected (and heavily washed) vintage drink stirrers from antique stores to make the cocktails a little more interesting.
When the day of the wedding finally came, it was an absolutely perfect. It was fun, relaxing, and we didn’t even care about all the people looking at us. We were just happy to be together and share an amazing and once in a lifetime time day with all our best friends and family— that we had meticulously planned for the better part of a year.
Venue: Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor / Photography: Anna Page Photography / Jason Wedekind of Genghis Kern / Flower Girl Dresses: Katie Newcome / Purses: Jenna-Lou Design on Etsy / Wedding Gown: Jenny Yoo